Opt-in Email List: 7 types of forms and how to use them to build your list

Building an opt-in email list and sending a newsletter on a regular basis is one of the best ways to build long term relationships with your customers. If your newsletter offers valuable information your subscribers will trust your product recommendations thus helping you generate sales.

There are multiple methods of capturing email addresses from your website. I’ll discuss some of the different types of opt-in forms you can adopt for your own website. Only by testing them can you determine what works best for your own niche.

7 types of opt-in forms

1. Pop-up box

This can be a opt-in box that pops-up when someone visits your website. Pop-up blockers may block pop-up boxes unless you create one that avoids blockers. Alternative methods include an opt-in box that slides in from the top, side, only appears after a few seconds, or appears after exiting the web page.

Here’s an example of a drop-in content box that pops in from the top of the web page.

You can select how often you want the box to appear:

  • Every time page loads
  • Once per browser session
  • Once out of every x times page loads

2. Optional pop-up box

An opt-in form that appears every time a visitor accesses your website can turn them them off and may prevent them from coming back. To avoid this place a few lines of text on your sidebar or within your content with a link to your opt-in email form. When the person clicks on the link the opt-in form appears.

Alternatively create a full web page that describes all the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter (including beautiful graphics). Create a link on every page that links to this opt-in page.

3. Opt-in subscription form on web page

Instead of using a pop-up box embed the opt-on email form within your web page. (e.g. www.isitebuild.com). This avoids annoying your visitors and gives them a choice to subscribe to your newsletter.

4. Squeeze page

This is where the person is forced to subscribe (squeezed) to receive more information. It could be a registration page where they must first register before being able to access your website. Your squeeze page may also be a pop-up box that asks for your contact information to receive a free report or software.

5. Video squeeze page

Video is a powerful method to gain subscribers because it uses sight and sound. This grabs the attention of your readers more than plain text. Create a video that describes the main benefits of subscribing to your ezine. Place it on your squeeze page (pop-up) or embed it within your web page.

6. Footer opt-in

This is a script that creates an ad that slides up from the bottom of your web page when someone visits your website. It ‘s particularly suitable for blogs and is a great alternative to hovering opt-in boxes that can annoy your visitors.

7. Autoresponder

A sequential autoresponder automatically sends out emails in intervals (e.g. every few days). Visitors can opt-in to your list by offering them an e-course, free report, free software, or a combination of these strategies. You start building a relationship with your subscriber automatically by contacting them several times with your email messages.

Test out the different methods described above to determine what works best for your website within. it will vary based on your niche. Also test different content and be sure to offer an incentive for opting in (e.g. free report).


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Herman Drost is the owner and author of
Web Design, SEO, Article Marketing