Despite the explosion of Social Media, email isn’t dead. In-fact email remains one of the best ways to access an engaged audience committed to your brand.
But to get to that point, you need to able to transform your readers into leads. These are people willing to hand over their email address in return for the value you have to offer.
This isn’t easy – especially after the introduction of GDPR. Yet there are key ways you can make this happen.
One of the most popular ways to capture leads is using an opt-in form. But first, it’s important to understand what that is and how it works.
Let’s take a look.
What is an opt-in form?
Opt-in forms are placed on your website to encourage visitors to subscribe and allow you to contact them.
Most opt-in forms add subscribers to an email list. This is so you can email them information about products or send them regular newsletters.
If you’re a new blogger, you might offer a free ebook or PDF. People can download this after they subscribe so you can grow your email lists.
Ultimately they’re a great way to capture leads from people already interested in you.
How to add an opt-in form to WordPress
Now that you know what opt-in forms are, you need to understand how to add them to your website.
One of the easiest ways of doing this is through the use of a plugin, which there are plenty of.
Today we’re going to look at adding opt-ins to WordPress using a plugin called Thrive Leads.
The four main benefits that set Thrive Leads apart from the competition are:
- Easy design and deploy options
- Advanced targeting options for a hyper-targeted list building (relevant = more conversions)
- A/B testing to increase conversion rates (this one is super important – you need to split test your forms to understand what works, and what doesn’t)
- Actionable reporting and insights so you know how your forms are performing
So how do you create opt-in forms using Thrive Leads? Let’s start by setting up a lead group.
Setting up a Lead Group
A Lead Group is one or more opt-in types that are automatically shown on your website, based on the rules you determine.
To set up a Lead Group, from your Thrive Leads dashboard, click Add New.
Then give your Lead Group a name. For this article, I want to capture people leaving the website. So I’ve named it ‘Exit Website’.
With a new group created, the next step is to choose the type of form you would like to display. Click Add New Type of Opt-In Form.
The following screen asks you to select which type of form you want to use. I have chosen the Lightbox.
The other form options are:
- In content forms
- Post footer
- A ribbon that displays at the top of your site
- The Screen Filler
- A Scroll Mat
- A sidebar widget
- Or PHP insert for your own customisations
As you can see from the above image, your next step is to add a form, which we’ll cover next.
Adding a lightbox popup form
After selecting ‘Add a form’ from the Lead Group section, you’re taken to a page where you can start building the lightbox popup.
Click Create a Form to get started.
Now give your form a name.
Next is to create the design of your form, which is the fun part. The four coloured squares shown below allow you to:
- Edit the design
- Clone your form (you can create as many forms as you like and the traffic will be distributed randomly to each of them)
- Reset your stats
- Archive the form
Let’s begin by editing the design of the form.
You’ll be met with a window of templates you can choose as the base of your form. With over 120 designs to choose from, take your time and pick one that suits your needs the most.
Once you’ve chosen your template, let’s look at how you can customise your form to make it fit your brand and purpose.
Customising your form
The customisation options in Thrive Leads are wonderful. The drag and drop interface means you don’t have to be a designer to create beautiful forms that stand out.
I’m going to show you how to customise a form so it looks completely different to what I started with, to show how easy it is.
Here’s the form I’m starting with:
Because my form is for people exiting a website, I want to begin by changing the text to reflect this.
Clicking on any text box lets you change the font, colour and position of the text. You can even control the letter and line spacing to make something completely different.
On the right-hand side of the page, clicking the plus icon will open up a range of elements you can add to your form including:
- Lead Generation
- Styled lists
- Star ratings and much more
After playing around with colours, fonts and adding my own images, my form looks like this.
Now I’m sure you can do much better than me with more time on your hands and a better eye for design. But this highlights the lengths you can go to in order to make your form your own.
What’s more, you can even preview your design to see how it looks in a mobile layout. And hide specific elements from mobile.
Form triggers and frequency
With your design in place, it’s time to look at when you want your form to trigger and how often this should happen.
Go back to your lightbox dashboard and under the heading Trigger, click the blue link. This opens up the following overlay.
Because this popup is for exit intent, I want to select ‘show when the user is about to exit the page’.
This particular trigger can’t be detected for mobile pages, so included is a smart exit option which can display the popup after a number of seconds.
You can access the display frequency settings in the same way by clicking the link under its heading.
This setting is important because your visitors won’t want to see the same popup over and over. Changing the frequency will ensure this doesn’t happen.
Integrating an email provider
Before you can begin capturing leads, you need to add your preferred email provider as an integration. This is so that when someone opts-in, their email is captured on a list you’ve set up within your email provider.
To do this, go back to the Edit Design option for your lightbox and select the opt-in area of your form. This will show a link on the left side of your screen to connect your form to a service.
Here you can choose either an API or HTML form connection.
If you don’t already have an API connection, after clicking the API connection option, select Add New API Connections.
A new window will open where you can select a new connection from a drop-down list.
Thrive Leads connects to almost all of the most popular email services as shown below, so you’ll be sure to find the one you use in no time.
Thrive Leads was built to be the most conversion-boosting testing tool ever and by using their A/B split testing tool on your opt-in forms, you can see exactly where to make changes to get the most leads.
You can test anything on your forms, including headlines and testing one form against another so for this example I’ve created a second opt-in form to show you how it works.
Click Start A/B Test to begin.
Give your test a title and some notes for further clarification. If you want to automatically display the winner of your test, select the checkbox. This means you won’t have to change settings to display the best one yourself. Now click Start Test.
The following window will display your results as they come through with key metrics about each of your forms.
The clear overview makes it easy to see which of your forms performs the best.
Page target settings
There’s one more thing you need to do before you’re ready to go with your forms. That is to set your page target settings.
From your dashboard, select the gear icon on your Lead Group. This is where you can fine-tune where your forms are displayed.
You may not want to display your form on every page of your website, so here you can select exactly where to show your form.
Additionally, you can override the display logic, by selecting exclusion settings. This is to prevent your forms from showing up on pages you don’t want them to.
It’s probably best to set your targeting options at the end of the form building process. You don’t want to accidentally publish a form that you haven’t finished perfecting yet.
With this section completed, you’ve successfully built and implemented your very own opt-in form on your WordPress website.
Now you can focus on creating excellent content to attract readers, who will eventually fill in those forms and land on your email list.
Personally, I find creating opt-in forms to be a bit of chore. I’m not a developer and my design sense is largely outdated. But building forms using Thrive Leads makes the process simpler and more intuitive with plenty of guidance along the way.
The vast library of form templates allows you to quickly choose a design close to what you want. But the customisation options far exceed what’s available with other plugins.
The same goes for the variety of service provider integrations. No more worrying about whether your email service provider will work with your plugin. Thrive Leads pretty much has them all.
And it has the handy custom HTML form option for any others – it’s rare to find this option in any WordPress lead generation plugin.
Add to this A/B testing, display settings and the range of form types, creating opt-in forms for your WordPress website has never been easier.
These features are all incredibly important to have if you want your email subscription forms to actually convert.