Double Success of Your Email Opt-In List

Written by Alex Harris

Alex's expertiseI’m a website designer focused on conversion rate optimization, A/B testing, and creating landing pages.

I’ve been doing this now for over 10 years. It really has become a specialty of mine, to not only create great web designs focused on improving your profit, but also building your email list and making more ROI from the advertising dollars that you’re spending.

Design Tips to Improve Your Email List

Why is this so important, creating your email list? It’s because it’s all about relationship marketing. You’re building a consistent path for people to experience your brand.

Because what happens on websites with everybody? It doesn’t matter if you have the best website in the world. Everybody is going to leave. So what you want to do is collect email addresses to really build your list over time.

I’ve done a lot of testing. I’ve done over 5,000 tests and thousands of landing pages. I’ve been testing almost every single day that I’ve been working on the Internet, for over 13, 14 years now.


I also have the testimonials to prove it. I’ve done a lot of work with a lot of great experts online.

Brian Eisenberg's testimonial on Alex's workHere’s a particular testimonial from Bryan Eisenberg, a marketing optimization expert. He’s also a keynote speaker and a bestselling author of some of my favorite books. He actually became a mentor to me over a period of time. Bryan said that I’ve been one of his secret weapons for many years.

I also do a lot of work with e-commerce site owners. This particular owner said that I helped her increase her conversion five times overall.

I have also done a lot of work with lead generation companies. One of the owners I’ve worked with said that after three months, the conversion rate on his landing pages increased five times.

Problem? Solution?

So what happens in the conversion aspect? In between, someone’s searching on Google for a query, and then arriving at your site – your WordPress site, your e-commerce site, your landing page, whatever it is.

But in between all of that, there’s experience, visitors, browsers. You need to understand what those pains and problems are, so you can connect the problem to the correct solution.

During that time, there’s going to be a lot of micro goals that you’re going to be creating. The obvious one with traffic is you want to get people to visit your website. But it wouldn’t matter how many people visit your website or how much traffic you have, if you’re not able to convert any of that traffic into actual leads.


The first step in really creating all this is the opt-in process, the ability to have a lead magnet or something of value that people can obtain from you by entering their email address.

Consider the theory of reciprocity. When you give away something, people are going to feel obligated to give you back something in return. That’s really the first step in this relationship process – getting those opt-ins.

After that is the ability to turn those opt-ins into qualified leads. There’s a big difference between someone opting in and a qualified lead. An opt-in may be someone in general looking for your information that you want to kind of tease over a period of time.

A qualified lead, on the other hand, is someone who may actually want to do business with you. Once they are a qualified lead, you want to turn those into qualified prospects. Then eventually, the big enchilada, the conversion or the sale.

So you need to not only have those conversion goals, but have micro goals in between that really get people to experience your brand, improve your authority, and build your credibility.


Let’s look at some examples, particularly this website that we worked on last year. It’s for a personal branding site, a WordPress site. We changed his whole site. But in particular, his homepage, we added this main opt-in section at the very middle, direct above the fold, which clearly asks people to subscribe with their email address. This resulted in an increase of opt-ins of 35%.

Obviously, your home page is going to be one of your most top trafficked pages, so don’t make it confusing. Make it as obvious as possible, so they can opt in to your list.

The next case study is for a podcast WordPress site. All we did was simply change up his header and his sidebar. We added the MailChimp widget to collect more email addresses, and also changed the buttons to make them really look like buttons, so people can subscribe to his podcast. Remember that when people subscribe to your podcast, that’s basically like them opting in as well.

So by doing just these small changes, retaining the exact same information that he had but just reorganizing it and using design, we increased the opt ins by 25%.

There’s also the ability to add overlays. Now, these work really well, but you have to test them and you have to have a really good giveaway – a lead magnet. In my case, I give away free landing pages. This has really increased my own email list by 20% per week, by having this opt-in overlay. I do it with OptionMonster.

Next is the two-step opt in, where you place it at the end of your blog post. Take this example from Pat Flynn’s site, At the end of each of his blog posts, he has this section, “Like what you’ve read? Get started.” As soon as you click on that, you now are presented with an opt-in overlay.

Homepage for Lewis Howes' websiteThis two-step process I’ve actually implemented on my own site as well, and has dramatically increased the frequency of opt-ins I get per day. This is a great example that you can implement with many different strategies, but this way is done using lead pages.

Another example of doing this is showing the actual form at the end of your blog post. Here’s an example from Lewis Howes’ website, another podcaster. At the end of each of his blog posts, he says, “Did you enjoy my podcast? Like what you’ve read so far? Get access to my weekly tips.”

Getting people to interact right there at the end of the blog post will dramatically increase your opt-ions too.

Homepage for the Michael Hyatt siteUse Social Proof

Let’s look at more examples. Here’s another podcaster, Michael Hyatt. He has his own WordPress theme. But what I wanted to show you is that he’s calling out logos of popular media outlets – The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Businessweek – as social proof, showing that he’s a credible source and that he’s not going to scam you or steal your money in any way.

How do people get these New York Times, Wall Street Journal on their site? You can write a guest post or do PR, but that’s kind of like the hard way. All you really need to do is use Google advertising, run a network, display advertising, and run ads at The New York Times or Wall Street Journal. Then you can use these logos too, “As seen on New York Times, Wall Street Journal.” It’s valid. You have advertised on those sites, so you can use those as social proof too.

Chris Ducker's website homepageHere’s an example from another podcaster, Chris Ducker. He shows his picture on his home page, because people like to work with people that they like. The more you can relate to certain people, the more likely you’ll do business with them.

Chris shows his email opt-in form right there, with a clear call to action, “Join now for free.” A picture of him, a couple of bullets. Not hard to read. Right below that, “As featured in…” He uses social proof – Entrepreneur, Forbes, Startup Weekend, Blueprint, Rise, et cetera.

He’s also segmenting his audience to his blog, speaking, and podcast. That’s a great way to distribute traffic across your site as well.

Ready to Double the Frequency of Your Email List

You can do this. All you need to do is figure out where people are going on your site, what people are interacting with, then create ultimate value. What value can you give away, so that they’ll want to opt in to your list? This doubles the frequency of your email list.

By going from one to two opt-ins per day to two or four, implementing a popover, optimizing your home page to include an email opt in, putting the opt in at the end of your blog post, and continuously trying to provide more value to your potential audience.

I’m here to help you create your own conversion plan for your own website, so you can increase your revenue and your leads as well.

If you visit, you can learn about this course that I’ve documented. I’ve gone through one case study already, and now I’m working on the next case study. I’m also looking for people to work with, where I can create case studies of your site. I want to turn your website into a selling machine.

Get Your Conversion Plan Today

Get your own conversion plan today by visiting Not only do I give you training and specific advice for your site, but I also give you HTML-responsive landing pages, a video website review specific for your website with actionable advice, and I also give you free consulting and answer unlimited questions to help you improve your conversions.

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