Do Simple Opt-In Forms Build Credibility?

I just read a great post by Jonathan Mendez talking about the benefits of making your opt-in forms and landing pages simple.

I’m a big fan of making opting in easy, but I’ve always looked at it as an isolated interaction between subscriber and site. Meaning that you make your opt-in form quick-and-easy to fill out so people don’t abandon it.

Mendez says there’s another benefit: “simplicity generates a comfort level and confidence in users based on the perceived ease of the landing page before they even engage.”

Simply put, the opt-in is likely the first contact your subscribers have with your site. The easier/more smoothly that goes, the more comfortable and confident they’ll feel on your site.

Put them at ease, they’ll feel like they’re going to succeed on your site — that you’re going to make it impossible for them to fail.

Make the opt-in confusing or difficult, and every future action they take on your site is going to feel daunting. If they sign up at all.



  1. sally neill

    12/8/2006 3:23 pm

    Very helpful comments, Im just figuring out opt in forms etc etc and I found this information very helpful, I will keep this in my thoughts when I do a landing page, so thankyou, sally 🙂

  2. Chris Lockwood

    12/8/2006 5:07 pm

    I guess I’d have to see what his idea of simple is… most forms I see ask for name and email, not sure what could be NOT simple about that.

  3. Justin Premick

    12/8/2006 5:50 pm

    Hi Chris,

    There are a lot of things that might unnecessarily complicate an opt-in form or page:

    • Location of the form – is it “above the fold” (and not just for people on 1280 x 1024)? If it’s in a sidebar, is it prominent, or is it obscured among a mess of “Add To My Yahoo/Google/Bloglines” links and other content?
    • Size and color of the form headline, fields and labels: are they easy to see and read?
    • Lack of description in the form headline – is it immediately obvious to visitors what will happen if they opt in? Are the benefits clear and relevant to visitors?
    • Other content – does it draw attention away from the opt-in form? If so, is there a logical flow from that content back to that or another opt-in form, or to whatever action you want visitors to take after hitting your site?

    (I’m sure there are more, these are just the first handful that come to mind)

  4. ralph elliot

    12/8/2006 10:09 pm

    For seminar marketing, a monthly drawing for a free registation at an upcoming seminar will increase opt-ins at the landing page up to 30%

  5. Stan smith

    12/8/2006 9:27 pm

    I have been testing a variety of opt-in forms and it the results are showing that the headline is the #1 influencer and the "Benefit Bullets" are a clost second.

    The data is showing that clearly telling subscribers what they are getting and how they can benefit is the key to the success of an opt-in form.

  6. AnnaLaura Brown

    12/16/2006 8:57 am

    Offering a free ebook or set of articles or something similar works also.

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  9. Tom Lindstrom

    11/20/2008 4:57 am

    I think an opt in form works best if it is in the top right corner of your blog.Every marketers #1 priority is to get people on their list, so making the form as visible as possible is important.