You might think that following email marketing best practices would get you the best results. Unfortunately, marketing isn't quite that easy. Your target audience is unique, and what works for others won't necessarily resonate with your audience.
Even following someone else's split A/B tests don't always produce the best results. If you're not performing your own tests, you won’t be able to figure out what works best for your unique audience. If you're looking for inspiration to start A/B testing your opt-in forms, below are a few tactics to help you.
1. Test your offer.
While a visually appealing opt-in design helps attract leads, you need a compelling offer for new subscribers in exchange for their email address. Often this offer comes in the form of a lead magnet, such as an e-book, checklist, template or other free download, which you send to new subscribers.
Testing your offer is crucial to determine what works best with your unique audience. For example, you might think a comprehensive e-book is what they want when a quick checklist is more attractive to your audience. That being said, creating different types of lead magnets can be time-consuming.
To save time, you can repurpose the same resource into multiple formats and test which one resonates best with your audience.
Here are a few actionable tips to create a killer lead magnet:
Offer a unique resource: People are rightly picky about who they entrust with their email addresses. Unless your offer is unique, visitors will hesitate to subscribe.
Solve a real problem: Take the time and care to learn about the specific concerns of your audience and address them with your lead magnet.
Provide high value: Your lead magnet should have high perceived value as well as actual value. In other words, your audience should feel that the lead magnet will make a real and substantial difference.
2. Test different form types.
A simple opt-in form in your sidebar may net a few subscribers, but they are less effective in driving conversions than other opt-in types. To maximize signups, you need to test different opt-in form types and choose the ones that are most effective with your audience.
Pop-ups are often the highest converting type of opt-in forms. Unlike other forms placed on your page, pop-up forms are difficult to ignore. Aside from the type of your form, there are a few other factors that influence the signup rate which you can test:
You can test your forms in different locations on your page to see where your visitors are paying the most attention.
Prompting a pop-up form at the right time increases the likelihood of conversions. If you don't want to show a popup while your visitors are reading your content, you can prompt a form at the precise moment they leave your site with an exit-intent pop-up.
You can also test displaying your opt-in to different segments of your audience to see which works best.
3. Test the copy.
Writing compelling copy for your forms is the best way to increase the perceived value of your offer and build the curiosity of your subscribers. QuickSprout's opt-in form is a great example. The headline says, "Free Course: Double Your Traffic in 30 days + Secret Bonus (Valued at $300)."
Below are a few actionable tips you can learn from the above copy:
Perceived value: Specify a dollar value to increase the perceived value of your offer.
Build curiosity: The copy promises to solve one of the reader's biggest pain points in a limited time frame: building traffic.
Demonstrate expertise: While writing copy for your opt-in, make sure to demonstrate your authority and expertise in your niche.
Now that you know some best practices for writing copy for opt-in forms, you can come up with ideas for A/B testing your own copy.
Test your copy by including the word "free." Free has enormous psychological appeal.
If you already have a substantial number of subscribers, you might want to include that number in your copy as social proof and test if it increases the credibility of your offer and drives more conversions.
Include reassuring copy such as a "no spam policy" displayed next to the Subscribe button. Check if it could positively impact your conversions.
4. Test your form length.
Reducing the number of form fields is the easiest way to boost sign-ups. While shorter forms can get more leads, longer forms are proven to improve lead quality. Generally speaking, the higher the lead quality, the more likely the leads will be to convert to customers.
For example, Iron Mountain found that generating quality leads requires gathering more details from their prospective customers than just their name and email address. They found that validating form fields is a great way to encourage qualified lead submissions.
By focusing on lead quality, you can improve the nurturing process and increase the likelihood of turning leads into customers. You'll also save time and resources by not following up on low-quality leads that are not likely to convert.
You can A/B test different elements of your opt-in forms to increase your lead quality. For example, you can change the headline to clarify the form's purpose and test if the new headline improves lead quality. You can also test by adding different relevant fields to your form to improve quality.
Every website is unique. To understand what works best with your audience, you need to A/B test your opt-in forms by using the above tactics. Test different elements of your form and stick to the ones that work best with your audience to maximize conversions.