3 Ways To Get Subscribers To Opt In!

Recently I wrote about the importance of capturing your visitor’s email when they come to your site. What’s the best way to do that? Well, in this article I’m going to cover just that..!

In that previous article, which you can read via the link at the bottom, I said that while you *can* simply offer the RSS feed which sends an email to subscribers of new posts, it’s better in my view to use an auto responder. That’s because it allows you so much more flexibility, not least that you can send messages other than simply what’s posted on your blog.

When you sign up with an auto responder, they will provide you with the code to create an opt in box on your site, but what’s the best way to display it to get optimum effectiveness?

The answer is that it depends! Different niches and different blog aims will get different results from different models, and whichever set up you have on you blog, you should be trying the different sign up presentation methods, testing results to see which works best.

That might not sound very helpful if you don’t know what those different presentation methods are, so here goes…

1. The opt in box.

A simple opt in box, normally on the side of your blog, at the top. It will have a box for name and email, and an explanation that it’s the sign up box for an email list.

You may well want to have a free offer there as a ‘bribe’ to get someone to sign up – very often that’s a free report with information relevant to your blog.

2. The pop up.

People hate pop ups. It might be fair to say that everyone hates pop ups! They do work though, so they won’t be disappearing anytime soon. You can get both free and paid versions, and you can set them up to appear in different ways.

Maybe as soon as someone arrives on the blog, maybe with a 10 second delay. Maybe you have a pop under, which loads behind the displayed page, and people only see it when they close the browser, making it less intrusive.

You might use an exit pop, which appears when someone goes to leave the page (they might be the most annoying of all!) Before you dismiss the pop up as too annoying, remember that they do still work.

3. The squeeze page.

A squeeze page is set up with the sole purpose of ‘squeezing’ that email address from the visitor. Generally a squeeze page just has a headline, a sub headline, and the sign up box. Again, they can be annoying, but they do work because when someone arrives they only have 2 options – fill out the box to sign up, or leave the page.

You can either have the squeeze page set up separately from the blog, or have it as a page on the blog. Some people have their entire blog used as nothing else *but* a squeeze page! Or, you can link to the squeeze page via links in your content or banners around the site.

4. ??

Yes, I know I did only say I’d cover 3 ways of presenting your opt in, but I thought I’d cover this 4th one as an extra! By the way, you can use the idea of ‘bonus’ information as your offer to entice sign ups – I.e. I could have said I would tell you the 4th way if you sign up to my list! So, what’s the 4th method?

A simple sentence at the bottom of your posts, telling readers that if they want more information, or to keep updated, they can sign up for email updates.

Personally I’m not a fan of the over aggressive methods, I prefer to just tell people, and if the content is good enough they will want to sign up anyway. Having said that, if someone is going to sign up anyway, they won’t mind the pop ups, which might grab other less keen readers.

It’s all about your own style and what works best after some testing, so hopefully you can get stuck in working out the best way to present your opt in box!

Do let me know what you think!

‘Til next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. I did say you should tell readers about your sign up box – mine is the top right of any page!
P.P.S. Here’s that other article of mine I mentioned – “Is This The Most Important Item On Your Blog?

Do leave a comment!

Leave a Comment


  • Excellent tips! One thing that sends me away from a blog is, pop ups! Such a turn off and a major distraction. Another thing, so many ads that it distracts you from the blog post.

    • Hi Vicki,
      Pop ups really do turn a lot of people off! I get most annoyed by the ones that are really hard to work out how to get rid of. You make a good point about possibly having too much distraction from the content.

  • Gordino,

    When I started reading I realized that I was talking about the same thing (adding a sales funnel to your blog today.)

    I’m real strong on having an Ethical Bribe. Offer the people something worth while in return for their email address. Make it a fair trade.

    Pop-ups annoy me – a little – entrance, side-bar (let’s talk), and exit pop-ups all on the same page drive me away forever.

    Nice Job,
    Dr. Hale

    • Hi Hale,
      I can see that a sidebar can be slightly less annoying, they are for me, but I find that if I have to hunt around for a close button for any longer than a couple of seconds, that’s it – I’m off the site full stop.
      I do think that offering something of value in exchange for the emaill address is a key point – it tends to increase opt ins over just asking.

  • Hi Gordon, I hate aggressive stuff too, I have been in offline business all my life and fortunately did not have to sell myself, therefore I really struggle on line – such a different approach for me – I actually think like the buyer not the seller – and what I did before you see you like or you dont – may be the downside for me. I like exit popups offering something for free I think if they are going to leave they might be interested in a freebie and possible later contact – my soft sell will get me nowhere but I am old -school – LOL
    Great Post

    • Hi Cher,
      Not necessarily true that and old school soft sell appraoch will get you nowhere – there are plenty of people that shy away from the harder promotion and prefer the marketers that want to build a relationship, maybe even actually engage with subscribers!
      It’s fair to say the harder style might get you quicker results, but that doesn’t always mean better results long term.