Sometimes, when you are about to leave a website, a message pop-up or a section will appear asking you to sign in or subscribe to the website’s newsletter to get the latest information, news, offers, deals, etc. These messages are called opt-in. 

In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, businesses use opt-ins to connect more with their target audience. If you are a budding entrepreneur or a business owner, you should know what opt-ins are and how to use them in your business. Let’s dive in now.

opt in meaning

The Basics of Opt-in Forms: Definition and Purpose

The term “opt-in” is a phrasal verb that indicates the action of choosing whether users would like to receive something. In simpler terms, it is a crucial component of permission marketing. Opt-ins in these cases are marketing emails. 

When web users decide to opt in, they agree to participate in a company’s communication system by giving their consent to receive emails from the company. This whole process happens through an online form on a website. 

Many companies that own websites use this form of digital marketing strategy to create a professional approach to their potential customers. They avoid making their business look pushy or overselling too much. Their main focus is giving their customers a good customer experience. Forced marketing sometimes creates a bad user experience. 

receiving emails

Understanding the Concept of Permission Marketing

Permission marketing has become increasingly popular in digital marketing. One of its best examples is subscription emails. Subscribing means users are permitted to be marketed to free of charge.

This serves as a mediator for users to choose whether to receive emails from your company. Unlike other businesses that always use interruption-based marketing (ex., Ads that are forced on the audience), in permission marketing, you respect the customer’s decisions. That way, you give your target market a great customer experience on your website.


Different Types of Opt-in Forms: Pop-ups, Slide-ins, Inline Forms, etc.

Opt-in forms come in different options or ways.

Some of the most popular forms that businesses use are:

  • Slide-in forms – From the word itself, these forms will subtly slide in when you visit a webpage. They usually come out after a few seconds of scrolling through a website. They typically slide in from either the left corner or the bottom right of the screen. 
  • Popup forms – These opt-in forms pop up on a website’s home page, landing pages, or product pages. They take up the whole screen so users won’t miss the “Call-to-Action” (CTA). These are sentence or sentences that grab the users’ attention and urge them to take some action)
  • Exit-intent forms – As the name itself, these opt-in forms present themselves when the user is about to leave a website. This is the last stage of engaging with the user and turning them into subscribers.
  • Bar forms – These opt-in forms are displayed near the navigation bar at the top of the webpage and have a CTA button. 
  • Inline forms – These opt-in forms are placed within the content users read or browse. 

Opt-in forms are not just mandatory forms when doing email marketing; they are the law. Sending unsolicited emails to your users can land you in legal trouble, and some can be considered fraudulent activity.

Benefits of Using Opt-in Forms for Businesses and Marketers

You need to use opt-in forms on your website because they are widely considered beneficial for businesses and marketers. They can create a targeted and subscribed user base, which means that users who have opted into your email marketing are already invested in your website and potential customers.

Also, with opt-in forms, you are given consent and permission by the user to collect information. With this, you can create a more personalized and relevant message to the user.

When opting users to subscribe to your business, know that it will also give you a chance to build a great relationship with your customers because some customers love personalization and not so overselling businesses or companies.

Designing Effective Opt-in Forms: Elements and Best Practices

Designing your opt-in forms is one of the most crucial parts.

Here are some of the key elements that should be present in your form:

  • Clear and straight-to-the-point headlines;
  • A concise web copy (or content) that defines the value proposition of your business;
  • Catchy CTA.

Your form should be visually appealing, instantly catching your user’s or customer’s attention the moment it comes out. It also needs to be seamlessly presented so as not to annoy the user. Customer experience is a top priority when it comes to gaining traffic. 

laptop and opened notebook

Creating Compelling Opt-in Offers: Lead Magnets and Incentives

When it comes to engaging users in opting in, businesses often offer incentives and lead magnets to attract the attention of users or potential customers. These offers are for the exchange of their contact information with consent. Lead magnets can be webinars, discount codes, newsletters, etc. 

Some incentives can include early access to promos, new products, etc. These sweet deals are accompanied by compelling content that encourages the user to take action. 

Crafting Persuasive Copy and Call-to-Action (CTA) for Opt-in Forms

It is essential to know your targeted customers so that the words or terms you use in your content or copies will be easily understood. However, writing persuasive copies using simpler and non-complex terms is the safest way to reach many audiences.

This way, many people can relate to and understand your marketing promotion, etc. Your Call to Action should be action – and goal-oriented. Create your CTAs with excitement and urgency to attract your audience’s attention. 

woman writes email on her laptop

Segmenting Opt-in Subscribers for Targeted Communication

When users opt into your forms, you can segment your market to clearly engage them. Segmenting your subscribers can help you identify their demographics, preferences, behaviors, etc.

Making categories allows you to send targeted and potential customers a more personalized and relevant message. This can increase the likelihood of conversion rates and traffic. 

This can also help minimize potential risks for your company. You should know which products or services are most likely to earn a fair share of the audience and potential consumers so you can know how to promote them successfully. 

Timing and Triggering Opt-in Forms: Exit Intent, Scroll, Time Delay, etc.

The timings and triggering for opt-ins balance user experience and visibility.

Among the different types, you can use these three:

  • Exit intent forms – These forms appear only after the user is done and about to leave the website. They serve as the final engagement between you and the user.  
  • Scroll-triggered forms – Forms that come out after the user has scrolled to a certain page in the content. This means the user has reached substantial content, and you can now begin engaging with them. This form appears when the user has started engaging more with your content.
  • Time-delayed popups – This is the timing for your form, which you can use to time or trigger your opt-in form to pop up after a specific time the user has been on the website. 

Experimenting with these timings is risk-free. You can try them and use KPIs to determine which tactic garners more traction or conversions. In no time, you can find which one would suit your website.

Analyzing Opt-in Form Metrics: Conversion Rate, Click-through Rate, etc.

Analyzing and tracking conversion rates can help you measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts or lead generation efforts. Conversion rates measure the percentage of users who visit your website and become leads or subscribers. Click-through rate is a metric that shows how many people have visited or clicked your ad to visit a page or landing page.

These metrics are essential for determining the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. They can help you edit your messages and CTAs, create a new marketing strategy for your content or approach, etc. Lastly, they can identify what works best for your audience, and continuous analysis and optimization can make your opt-in integration successful. 

The Bottom Line 

The opt-in form is a powerful marketing tool in this digital age. It is also legal, and by integrating it, you can gain the trust of your audience and potential customers. Giving your customers a great customer experience can create retention and long-lasting impressions. Through persuasive copies and compelling, eye-catching design, you can reach your target customers quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to have lengthy forms or short forms?

Lengthy forms can overwhelm users and create a sense of turn-off. In that way, users won’t engage with the opt-in form, unlike when it is shorter, concise, and compelling. This could grab their attention immediately.

What strategies can businesses do for users who have opted in but are no longer interacting?

To re-engage with inactive users, you can send them a reactivation email or offer them exclusive promotions. You can also conduct an engaging survey that will surely catch their attention. Make sure it is relevant and aligns with the customer’s niche.

Are conversion rates important?

Yes, conversion rates are the most critical metric to monitor frequently.