How To Create An Opt-In Form

In order to add any people to an email list, we’ll need a form that helps gather their information. In Internet Marketing (or IM) terms, this form is called an Opt-in form.

This will be where a visitor to our website puts their contact information for us to use in the future.  Usually an opt-in form has specific information that is required and possibly information that is optional.

Obviously, the most vital piece of information we need is our visitor’s email address. In order to customize and personalize the emails to our visitor, we’ll also ask for their name.

Things You Should Know About Creating Opt-In Forms

First, like any creation, it is decision time.  We want to decide what color to make the form, what information do we want to receive from our visitor, as well as what information do we want to give our visitor.

For example, I like simple and straight-forward.  Specifically, if you look at the form to the right, you’ll notice that it is very simple.  There are 2 boxes. One for the visitor’s name so I know who I’m talking to and one box for their email address.

In general, I don’t want to ask for too much information on an opt-in form.  I’ve learned that the more information you ask for, the less likely someone will be to complete the form.

Second, it’s necessary to set expectations. For example, what is going to happen when they click the button?  How is their information going to be used?

As you look at the form on the right, you’ll notice two things.  The button says “Connect with Rachel.”  That’s what will happen once they submit their information.

Also, under the button, it says “Your information is 100% secure with us and will never be shared.” In other words, once their information is in my database, it is only in my database.  I don’t intend to sell or otherwise share their information with others.  Consider it an act of confidence, if you will.  My address book (or my client list, if you will) is confidential and for my use only.

Summary: Steps To Create An Opt-In Form

The opt-in form was probably the easiest thing to do so far.  In fact, there are only three steps to creating the form itself.

  1. Create the web form in the email marketing system.
  2. Customize the form including color scheme, wording and input boxes for information.
  3. Add the code for the form to the website where it will be located.

This one little form is essentially the business end of the Internet Marketing business. Being able to know who visited my website and being able to follow-up with them after their visit is going to be the only way to ensure I learn how people like or use my website.


  • igor Griffiths

    Reply Reply April 18, 2014

    well hello Rachel, like how you shared the thought process behind your form creation.

    The one thing I would add is to never allow a seed of doubt to form in a potential form fillers mind.

    Most people do not think about where their personal details go once they have submitted them however by mentioning the possibility of them being shared, you may have sown a seed of doubt in their minds.

    However it will only be through split testing a form with and without that phrase that you can tell if that encourages or deters people from submitting their personal details.


    • rachelbock

      Reply Reply April 18, 2014

      That’s a great point! I wonder how many people hesitate to fill in a form when the form has those “seeds.” Have you ever tried split testing forms?

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