How I Doubled My Conversion Rate with Opt-In Buttons

I don’t know about you, but I put a lot of hard work into my freebies. Like, a lot.

First I research the topic for the blog post and the freebie, then I write and edit the content, design and package the freebie, set up automated e-mail delivery... All in exchange for exactly $0 (and an e-mail address).

So when my conversion rate – the percentage of people opting in to my freebies – doubled as a result of implementing a few simple tweaks, I was thrilled.

Twice as many e-mail opt-ins with the same amount of traffic? Heck yes!

In this blog post, I’ll break down what I was doing before, what I’m doing now, and show you exactly how to replicate my results.
 

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This post contains affiliate links for products that I love and use every day in my own business. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.


When I first launched my blog, I used the form fields that are built into Squarespace to collect e-mail addresses. Then, when I upgraded to ConvertKit, I replicated the same form fields by plugging in "naked" forms.

 
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At this time, I also started tracking my conversion rate.

A conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. In this case, I was tracking the percentage of people who signed up for my e-mail list by opting into my freebie, versus the number of people who took no action at all after reading the post.

The goal is to achieve the highest conversion rate you possibly can, so you can collect more e-mail addresses and grow your e-mail list much faster with the same amount of traffic flowing to your website.

If your current e-mail marketing platform doesn't calculate your conversion rate for you, try ConvertKit – it's free for 30 days.

It all started with a button.

The first, and most important change that I made in order to double my conversion rate was building a branded opt-in button template. The template contains a thumbnail preview of the freebie, a title with a call to action, and a "button." (In reality, the entire graphic becomes clickable once I embed it in the blog post, but I love the look of a button within the graphic.)

If you don't feel confident designing your own buttons, you can purchase my personal template with several variations from my Creative Market shop:

The important thing about the opt-in button graphic is that it entices your readers to click the graphic and opt-in. The best way to do this is to give them a sneak preview of what you're offering, and use some language that conveys a sense of immediacy – such as "instant download," "within seconds," or "get it now."

Once I had my template built and ready to go, I began making subtle changes to my two highest converting blog posts. According to stats that are displayed in the ConvertKit dashboard, the posts were converting at 18.4% and 13.4% – meaning that for every 100 people who viewed the post, 18 or 13 people were opting in for the freebie and effectively signing up for my e-mail list.

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I started by exporting two slightly different versions of the button graphic for each blog post, both with the same call to action but with a preview of my freebies in a slightly different position. I embedded one button near the very top of each blog post, within the few few paragraphs, and one a little farther down the page.

The reason why I decided to include two graphics in different positions within each blog post is so that I can accommodate both fast-action traffic that lands on the post with the sole intention of signing up for the freebie, as well as traffic that needs additional context on the blog topic before they consider opting in.

Building a modal form

Since I was replacing the original "naked" form with the button graphics, I created a new "modal" form in ConvertKit for each of the blog posts.

A modal form is a pop-up/lightbox that can be triggered by a link click, and in this particular case, is triggered when someone clicks on the button graphic.

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The best thing about using modal forms in ConvertKit is that you can change the fonts, colours and images within the form builder to match your brand, your freebie, and your button graphic. You can also adjust the Display Options to trigger the modal to pop up when someone scrolls to a certain percentage, or is exiting the page, in addition to the link click.

Modal forms require two snippets of code that you can copy-and-paste from the builder within ConvertKit. It took me five minutes from start to finish to set them up on each of my blog posts.

The result

The combination of an opt-in button and a modal form makes any blog post way more visually appealing and interactive.

The result was a significant increase in opt-in conversions. With nearly the same amount of traffic to each blog post, my conversion rates doubled, from 13.4% to 25.53%, and from 18.4% to 40.09%.

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Between these two opt-ins alone, my e-mail list now grows by 15-25 people per day, and over 500 people per month. This means that by the end of 2018, my list will have grown by 5-6K, all thanks to an opt-in button template and ConvertKit's modal forms.

Curious to see how it all turned out? You can check out my highest converting blog post, How to Brand Your Instagram Highlights Covers, right here.

To summarize...

Now it's your turn!

To boost your opt-in conversion rate with a few simple tweaks to your posts, here's a quick summary of everything that you'll need in order to replicate my results:

1. Opt-in button graphics

If you're not already familiar with Photoshop or another Adobe software, I recommend building your template in Canva. It's totally free, comes with built-in tech mockups, and the entire platform is so easy to use that you can literally drag and drop new images into your template.

Or, to save yourself the time building an opt-in button template from scratch, you can purchase my template in Canva and Photoshop format from my Creative Market shop:


2. Pop-up/lightbox forms

I personally love ConvertKit, and have been using it to grow my e-mail list for months. If you're not already using an e-mail marketing platform, or if you've thought of upgrading from Mailchimp or MailerLite, you can try ConvertKit for free for 30 days.

With that being said, you could absolutely use another e-mail marketing software with or without modal forms, and see how it works for you.
 

3. A freebie – duh!

The entire purpose of this setup is to convert new subscribers to your e-mail list by offering them a freebie of some sort. My advice? Make sure the freebie is aligned with both your free content (the blog post) and your paid offer, so it's easier to sell to your e-mail list down the line.


Do you have questions or comments about my method?
Let's connect on Instagram!

 
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