Those little Opt In Boxes might be hurting you

by | Jul 14, 2012 | Business | 9 comments

Those little Opt In Boxes sometimes make our visitors feel like we’re trying to take something from them (their email address).  Is there a better way?

imageDoes your site instantly communicate Giving or Taking? ~ Clay Collins

A lot of experts encourage adding opt-in boxes do additional places on our websites. I know it works for some people, but have you noticed personally that you’re not willing to give out your email address as often as you did in the past? It’s becoming precious, isn’t it?  It sometimes “feels like” websites are only looking to collect my email address – for something.  I know this isn’t always true. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling a little cautious and protective of my email address (which represents time, freedom and privacy to me now)

If it’s true for you, there’s a good chance people who visit your website are feeling the same way.

Your visitors might be ignoring your “opt-in box” entirely.

Earlier this month a friend sent me a link to this Marketing Show episode.  It’s almost 10 minutes (long for a lot of us with short attentions spans), but I promise it’s worth it.

There are 2 things I want you to watch for:

  1. How sites like Groupon are using a strategy to ease visitors through the process of signing up (around min: 3:00), by answering a yes or no question first.
  2. How to create a step system, with a “poor mans method” at minute 5:30


The full post is here:

Do you see this same trend? Could you use one of his strategies to help you convey giving vs. taking? Share below what you learned from this video.

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  1. Denise

    As someone who guards her email address and who has recently been unsubscribing from sites that are not currently resonating with me, I agree with what he’s saying. I think the key for me is to make sure I’m adding value to the lives of people who visit my site. I like the idea of giving them something they want and THEN asking for the email address. Hopefully this will also get subscribers who are really invested in what I provide.

    • Loralee Hutton

      Brilliant Denise! Ideally that’s what’s important, right? Collecting emails for the sake of collecting them isn’t healthy. But if we’re connecting with our ideal client (at whatever stage of the buying cycle they’re in), then staying in touch with them through email seems very wise.
      Thanks for your contribution to this conversation. xo ~ Loralee

  2. Cathy Sykora

    Interesting observations. This is how my website was before I vfigured out how to save my readers a little time. I totally agree about taking the opt in off important pages like the blog, strong message and sign up pages that you really want your reader paying attention to and not doing something else.

    • Loralee Hutton

      Those are really important pieces Cathy! Thanks for mentioning the point about keeping their attention focused. Do you believe what he says about people not even noticing the opt in boxes anymore? And if that’s the case, would it even matter if they’re on important page (just wondering aloud right now).

  3. Leanne Chesser

    Hmm. Interesting. I don’t agree that asking for email addresses directly is an indication of taking. I’m all about giving, yet I have an opt-in box in the upper right corner of my site as well as after every blog post. I also have a free offer page in my nav that’s a squeeze page. The point of asking for email addresses is to give . . . give my free offer, give value in my newsletter (which continues to offer free stuff) and give by serving. Even when people buy my stuff, it’s about giving because it’s about helping them achieve something or overcome a challenge that changes everything for them. My goal is to create community on my blog and through my newsletter. Now, I suppose it’s possible that at a quick glance, people could interpret it as taking (but not after spending any time with me) . . . and that’s a thought to ponder.

    • Loralee Hutton

      I completely agree with you Leanne. My reason for posting this today is because I believe there is an imbalance I’d love for people to look at. I have the extra opt-in pages around my site too. I’m also looking for the right balance.
      Sadly, not everyone is as conscientious as you are. You’re right on target by building an amazing community through trust(with your free and paid content).

  4. Allegra

    THIS IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO SEE! Seriously. I agree with everything he says – that idea about a site communicating GIVING vs. TAKING is spot on. Makes me feel better about not making my OptIn such a primary, prominent part of my site. Thank you. 🙂

    • Loralee Hutton

      Can’t wait to see what you come up with Allegra. If you have any great suggestions, share them? I’m very interested in all sides of this topic.
      xo ~ Loralee

  5. pamela

    Very nice post – good info and easy to grab. Thanks.

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