How I went from 16% to 40% of people opting in

If you’re looking to build your list more quickly, there are 2 things you want to focus on…

#1 Getting more people to your opt-in page (This is the page you use promote something for free. It’s also called a squeeze page or landing page.)

#2 Getting more of the people who land on the page to opt-in.

Today I want to focus on #2 above, and what I did to increase my conversions from 16% to 40%. There’s a surprising twist, so you’ll want to read to the end.

First, let’s look at what a typical one-step opt-in page looks like.

Here’s one of our opt-in pages:

biz-assessment

As you can see, the opt-in fields are displayed on this page. This has been considered best-practice, because it minimizes the number of clicks someone has to make.

I recently learned from three different online marketing experts that testing now shows that a 2-step opt-in process converts better.

A 2-step opt-in process looks like this…

First, visitors get to a page like this, where they click on a call to action button.

biz-assessment-2-step

Once your visitors click on the button, a pop-up with the opt-in fields is displayed like this…

biz-assessment-pop-up

The reason this has been shown to be more effective is that you’re getting your visitor to make a “micro commitment.” They’re saying “yes” to something and this prepares them mentally to take the next step and opt-in.

Up until about two weeks ago, all of my opt-in pages used the old fashioned one-step method. Learning about this more effective method, I decided to give it a shot and I tested it with Facebook ads.

What I learned was surprising.

In the first few days of driving traffic to the new 2-step opt-in page, only 16% of people joined my list.

As you can imagine, I was very disappointed by these results. At first I thought my poor results might be due to the offer or the text on the page. But then, my instincts told me that the 2-step opt-in process might not work well in this context.

It was easy enough to test my hypothesis.

I simply swapped out the page for one with the traditional one-step process.

By now you can probably guess what happened…. My opt-in rate sky-rocketed.

In the following few days, my opt-in rate increased from 16% to 40%.

What I learned from this experience…

  1. It’s important to be “in the know” about best practices, but don’t follow them blindly. It’s important to test and look at the numbers when trying something new.
  2. It’s important to follow your instincts about what will work well for your business.
  3. Different strategies work better in different contexts.  I now know that the 2-step opt-in process isn’t as effective in this context, but I will continue to test it out in different contexts.

Now I’d love to hear from you.
Would you like to get more people to opt-in to your list? Where might you try the 2-step opt-in process? Are there places you think the one-step process would work better? Share your thoughts and questions below.

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