We studied 1,000 top performing sites (with combined traffic stats of 30.7 million website visits per day) using Sumo to find out which email opt-in tools they’re using -- and if they’re worth your time.
Today we’re using our data to uncover:
Check out what we discovered:
For those strategic enough to spend the time creating Click Triggers, our data found an average conversion rate of 31.50%.
What’s a Click Trigger? A two-step popup that’s activated by a link click (meaning visitors ask for it).
But before you add 3 pop-ups to every page of your site, think about your user experience.
Instead of going crazy with adding too many pop-ups, fine tune the settings and you’ll naturally increase conversions.
For example, you can set your pop-ups to show:
Key takeaway: If you’re looking to capitalize on your traffic, Click Triggers are the best option, followed by Welcome Mats and List Builder pop-ups.
Here is the best day for you to start testing the email opt-ins above in your own business.
The last 18 weeks of data shows us that the highest opt-in rates occur on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Mondays, and Thursdays -- in that order.
You’ll notice from looking at the chart above that Tuesday is the highest converting day.
So should you only schedule your opt-ins to appear on those days? Or should you strictly focus on Tuesdays?
Look at your own data to find out if you’re experiencing the same trends. Using your numbers, A/B test your opt-ins on your highest converting day.
Try changing elements like:
Key takeaway: The middle of the week (Mon-Thurs) performs better than weekends and Friday. Use this time to test out different versions of your opt-in.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see the best performing opt-ins to see how yours stack up?
Now you can.
Ready to peek inside a two step Click Trigger opt-in that converts at 92%? Check this out:
That red line is a link to download the article in a PDF form so readers can refer back to it at their leisure, and without having to bookmark the page.
When you click the “Download it here” link, the actual opt-in pops up. Here’s what it looks like:
This one simple email opt-in converts at 92%.
Unlike this example, the next one can’t be missed.
The bright blue button with Download the Ebook is actually the first step of the opt-in. Once you click that, the opt-in form appears:
This opt-in converts so highly for 5 specific reasons:
As a result, this Click Trigger converts at 79%.
Click Triggers aren’t the only pop-ups converting well. See what I mean in this next section.
This simple and unassuming pop-up is currently converting at about 56%:
Let’s dissect why it’s working so well.
First, the bold CTA mentions the word free.
This word free is enough to motivate people (up to 68% in one example) to take action when they otherwise wouldn’t.
But the word free isn’t the only motivating element in this CTA.
Free, when combined with Funnel Analysis Report, feels as if you’ll be receiving a custom report just for submitting your email.
The CTA buttons on this opt-in are brightly colored with the words “Get It Now” instead of something boring and generic like Submit.
To discourage users from clicking the “No Thanks” button, they grayed it out so the blue CTA pops more.
All of this helps increase conversions.
This next example doesn’t take advantage of customized CTA buttons yet it’s still converting at 45%.
A CTA button that fades into the background and standard Enter Your Email and Subscribe Now text are not recommended for high-converting pop-ups.
So what makes it convert so well?
It clearly explains what you’ll get (pulmonary hypertension news), when (twice weekly), and how (via email) in two sentences.
Here’s the formula: Item + Frequency + How = SUCCESS
You’ll also notice they weave the word free in there along with action-oriented verbs like receive and sign up. These are all copyable.
My only critiques:
Now that you have the best pop-up examples under your belt, let’s check out the highest converting Scroll Boxes.
We found a Scroll Box that converts at 41%:
Here’s why this one works so well:
There are also two other factors that are contributing to their success:
The next example clocks in at a 22% conversion rate and carries some of the same elements.
A big bold image of exactly what you get when opting in. In this case, it’s a free ebook on guerilla marketing tactics for Facebook that don’t involve using ads.
They’ve also listed the value of this ebook -- in this case, RM299 (299 Malaysian Ringgit).
As for the CTA button, the words Daftar Sekarang, or Register Now, appear again. So they’ve listed -- and reinforced -- that you should Register Now twice to create urgency.
This example doesn’t even bother with a No Thanks option. If you’re not interested, you’ll have to X out of the box altogether.
Key takeaways: Whenever you’re giving away something for free:
Contests are another tactic to try with your audience. If you choose this route, be sure to add that sense of urgency so people actually sign up without dilly dallying.
Before we move on, there’s one more thing to consider here: this opt-in asks for 3 pieces of information (name, email, and phone number) from new subscribers, as opposed to just one (email only) like the other highest converting forms do.
In our research, we discovered:
This supports existing research that the more items you have on an opt-in form, the lower your conversions will be.
The thought here is that having more items to fill out overwhelms your potential subscriber which makes them more likely to not take any action.
Keep things simple instead and consider asking for just an email address with your opt-in forms.
Next up, let’s talk highest converting Smart Bars.
In this first bottom-positioned CTA bar example, you see the word free front and center once again.
You also see that with opting-in, you receive two goodies: a food diary and resource guide. #DoubleWin
The Empower Me text on the CTA button:
Key takeaways: There’s only so much room to get your message across when it comes to Smart Bars so it’s crucial that yours stand out with actionable words.
Up next, I’ll show you the best performing Welcome Mats.
Want conversions that go above the 60% mark? Study this next example.
This Welcome Mat converts at 61%.
Key takeaway: Welcome Mats give you the chance to pair your message with an engaging image so don’t waste this opportunity by using crummy stock photos.
Instead, and as we saw in the example above:
Now that you know what works really well, let’s cover what isn’t working.
Are you making these email opt-in conversion mistakes?
The first example on our list has over 74,000 views, which sounds pretty impressive.
What’s the problem?
Only 53 people have opted in (that’s a .07% conversion rate).
Think about how many missed opportunities that is.
But, after looking at the example, it makes sense.
Here are my critiques so you don't fall into this .07% conversion trap:
Take note and don’t make these mistakes.
This next example clocks in at a .01% conversion rate. With 12,970 views, and only 1 opt-in (probably the owner testing it), there’s even more you can learn from here.
When translated, the bold headline is “Free SEO... now…”. Again, just because the word free is in there doesn’t mean you automatically get more conversions.
Here are the 3 reasons why this email opt-in converts so poorly:
The entire form is extremely hard to read due to the busy background image and multiple boxes and colors.
These next few examples are also guilty of driving away users from opting in.
This scrolling box below is converting around .26% with only 4 opt-ins out of 1,525 views.
You can blame bland, generic forms for that.
There’s the typical Join Our Newsletter and Subscribe Now buttons, which most people are so used to seeing they simply tune them out.
In between the generic sandwich is a one-liner that doesn’t deliver the benefits of what people get for opting-in. Stay up to date and receive a personalized newsletter?
No wonder they’re not seeing high conversion rates.
This next example takes this awful strategy a step further by not customizing a single thing. They literally used the exact template that comes with the tool.
Taking the lazy approach severely limits your conversions. Only 2 people have opted-in out of 2,136 views (.09% conversion rate).
While the generic template is there for you to use in a pinch, if you’re not tweaking it to your specific offer or your audience, you won’t connect with your audience and inspire action.
Key takeaways: Get super specific with your offer and make sure your message speaks to your audience.
If you want to save time by using a generic template, that’s cool, but don’t forget to tweak the text to suit your readers.
You’ll find a similar situation plaguing the lowest converting Smart Bars.
Let’s start off with an example still rocking the original template:
Because of this lack of creativity, the conversion rate is a paltry .007%. That’s 9 opt-ins out of 116,254 views.
Imagine where this brand would be if they simply worked their text to fit their audience.
The one thing they did right was choosing a sticky Smart Bar so it scrolls with the reader.
This next example fails to do that and it could be why their conversions are suffering.
They at least spent the time to change the call to action statement that precedes the opt-in box. And they even led with the word Get and used FREE too.
So why did only 234 people opt-in out of the 1,289,303 views (for a mere .02% conversion rate!)?
Key takeaway: Stop missing out on conversions and start customizing your forms.
At the very least, change the CTA text and set your bar to move with the reader down the page (aka make it sticky).
Up next, I’ll share what you can learn from the lowest performing Welcome Mats.
By now, you’re probably an email opt-in auditing pro and already know what I’m going to mention here.
Instead of wasting the space below the headline, use that to drive home what’s in store for people when they opt-in. You can use the box text to give instructions about Entering Your Email.
As for the buttons, the generic Sign Up isn’t going to cut it. And the conversion rates prove this fact at .03% (2 out of 7,052 views).
The big gray box is another area to tackle as it doesn’t stand out visually. It’s more like a big gray blob.
But, you shouldn’t add a background image just for the sake of doing so as this could distract readers.
As an alternative, create a background that compliments your offer like our top two performing Welcome Mats do.
An image of what people are getting when they opt-in or a final product of what they’ll accomplish after using your freebie (curves in all the right places) is a much better idea.
The last example on my list is a total *facepalm emoji*.
At first glance, it doesn’t look too bad. Before I dive into the specifics, see if you can spot the errors here for yourself:
Here’s where things go wrong:
As you can guess, here’s what the conversion rate looks like: 2 opt-ins out of 1,709, or .12%.
To fix this:
Key takeaway: It’s crucial that you consider your message along with your image when it comes to Welcome Mats. Everything should support and reiterate the benefits of opting-in.
Don’t forget about your buttons too. If you overlook these, you can kiss conversions goodbye.
Now that you’re equipped with this data, it’s essential that you apply it to your audience and your opt-ins.
To do this, remember these seven points:
Tackle these email opt-in tips to go from a 0.01% conversion rate to 92% overnight.