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10 Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Lead Generation Popups

Marketing is a creative process, especially with all of the strategies out there. One of your main concerns as a marketing professional is the lead generation. Current studies show that one of the biggest challenges for marketing professionals is generating high-quality leads.

There are many lead generation strategies available to you. Most marketing professionals practice direct mail, referral systems, telemarketing, special events, promotions, and advertisement. One particular strategy that most forget about though is lead generation popups, also commonly referred to as “opt-in” and “opt-out” forms. If you are ready to take charge of your lead generation campaign and get the most out of your opt-in and opt-out forms, then here is our coverage of the steps that you can take.

But before we head into explaining how to use lead-generation popups, let’s cover the basics. After all, if you do not have the foundation, then building your campaign is going to be much more challenging.

What is an Opt-In Form?

A lead generation popup is a form that appears on your webpage when someone visits or leaves the page. Popup forms come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and fonts. The most standard form asks the viewer to enter their name, email address, and other information so that your brand can contact them or so they can receive emails and other newsletters from your brand.

As Active Campaign points out, the leads that you generate through the forms result in an opt-in list. The opt-in list is comprised of prospects who are interested in your brand and have given you their email and other contact information in order to receive information and updates about your brand.

As you continue to grow and formulate your opt-in list, you want to limit it to only those who have come forth through the lead generation popup lists. Contacts that you have generated through business cards or who you have met at tradeshows should not be included.

So what do lead generation popups look like?

Now that you know what an opt-in form is and the purpose of the form, let’s take a look at an example of the form.


Above are two versions of one opt-in form above. The first version is the original version and the suggested treatment is the changes that you can make to one form to improve it. Before we delve into the details, let’s discuss what goes into a traditional opt-in form.

The main components of an opt-in form include the “call-to-action,” space for the prospect to put in their email addresses, and the “opt-in” button. Without these there vital components, your opt-in form will be largely ineffective.

Perhaps the most important part of the opt-in form is the call-to-action. According to Hubspot, a quality call-to-action leads to an increase in engagement by 80%. Therefore, when you formulate a call-to-action for your form, you want to make sure that it helps you achieve the desired results.

Two other features of the opt-in forms above are the changes that you can implement to improve a form. As you can tell, the size of the form, the wording on the button, and the header to the form can directly impact whether a user decides to opt-in.

Now that we have covered the basics of an opt-in form, let’s take a look at a few tips on how to make the most out of your lead generation popups.

#1: Fewer Field Forms

As mentioned above, the traditional form has a placement for prospects to enter their email. Other than that, any other additions are really a custom version. Nothing is wrong with adding more field forms, but if you do decide to do so, then you need to be strategic.

E-Consultancy mentions that the fewer forms allow you to generate more leads and to convert more users. The reason behind this is that your prospects do not want to spend time filling in fields. Therefore, the easier you make the opt-in process, the higher the chance you will generate more leads.

There is a downside to fewer fields, which is that you may find yourself attractive fewer quality leads. The data that your prospect provides allows your sales team to screen the prospects and gather data that helps nudge the leads through the sales funnel. Fortunately, there are ways to bypass this product. Most traditionally, you can reach out to your leads after they opt-in and gather more information.

Here is an overview of two types of forms, one with fewer fields and the other with more fields:



As you can tell, the form with fewer fields is ideal. Just do not forget to follow up with the lead afterwards to gather any missing information so your sales team can perform the proper screening.

#2: Requiring All Fields be Filled

Another issue that common arises when it comes to opt-in forms if whether or not you should require your prospects to fill out the entire form in order to submit the form. According to Hubspot, there really is no mandatory rule explaining which form you need to have filled out.

As a result, what you do need to do is recognize which fields are required for your purposes and which ones you can go without. For example, getting your prospect’s phone number may be useless if you have their name and email.

Fields that you should certainly require are the prospect’s first name, last name, gender, their email address, and any other fields that are relevant to your brand. By requiring the necessary fields, you can ensure that your brand attains the information that it needs to make the most out of the lead and guide them through the sales funnel. In addition, for fields that are not required, some will fill them out anyways. For those who do fill out the information, at least it will save your sales team time in having to go back and request the information from the prospect.

#3: The Feature Box

Another strategy that you can use is to add a feature box to your opt-in form. As the Header Removal Test by Social Triggers points out, adding a feature box is a great way to generate leads and eventually convert your users to buyers.

Many other brands have utilized the feature box and have seen positive results. For example, DIY themes added a feature box to their opt-in form and experienced a subscription rate that increased for a whopping 51%.

It’s great to know how effective a feature box is, but to put things into perspective, here is an overview of what a feature box looks like:


A feature box is an opt-in form that includes a “feature.” In the above case, the feature box is the picture of the “Nonverbal Website Intelligence.” With a feature box, you can further solidify a point about your brand or whatever you are offering. In addition, you can also use the space to provide statistics and other information that can lead the prospect to make a solid decision in terms of whether they want to opt-in or not. Obviously, you want to feature information that is going cause the prospect to opt-in.

#4: Inspire with a Crazy Good Headline

According to the Crazy Egg, a user’s attention span lasts for approximately 5 sections. This means that you have five seconds to attract a prospect enough for them to opt-into your lead generation campaign.

For the most success, you want to make the most out of those five seconds. To do so, there are a number of tweaks that you can make to your headline. The more compelling your headline is, the more effective your opt-in form will be.

There are three components to a good headline:

  • Summarize the copy or inform the prospect what the brand can do for them
  • The headline should be bold and it should stand out
  • A highly-effective call to action to prompt the user to opt-in. It’s your final push, so make the most of it here

In addition to working on the appearance of your headline, you should also use strong words. The wondering of your header can make a significant difference. The better your header is, the more likely it will be that your prospect will click on your opt in form and fill it out.

#5: The Opt-In Form Should Be Visible

Even with opt-in forms featured on the website, many brands make the mistake of hiding the opt-in form. As you can imagine, an opt-in form that is not readily visible is not helpful for you and it certainly does not do any good for your prospect who may want to opt-in.

As Pinpointe mentions, there are a number of places where you can feature the opt-in form. The most popular choices include the header, the footer, the sides of the page, and the center of the page. If you want to really be creative, you can choose to have the opt-in form to pop-up when the user visits the website or when they are about the leave the website. These types of forms are just as effective.

To determine which opt-in form works best for you, the best thing to do is to run an A/B test. The A/B test will provide you insight into what your website visitors best respond to. If you are unsure how to perform an A/B test, then there are numerous guides that can help you with the process. With a bit of guidance, you will be able to make the right decision for your brand.

#6: Do Not Link an Opt-In Form – Feature It

Another common mistake that brands make when it comes to opt-in forms is actually creating a link for the form. Linking out to an opt-in form defeats the purpose of the form, which is to enhance visibility and to get users to sign up. Also, if you link out, fewer people will feel inclined to click on the link and then fill out the form.

Here is an example of a non-link opt-in form:


While the form itself is good, the issue with this particular form is that it sits at the bottom corner of the entire webpage. Placing the form at the bottom of the webpage in such a small font makes it difficult for users to see and locate. Therefore, it is ideal to place the form at a readily visible part of the page.

#7: A Good Reason to Subscribe

Sorry, but sometimes – your brand is not good reason enough to prompt a user to subscribe. You need other incentives, according to AWeber. There are many resources that you have at your disposal with your opt-in forms to prompt users to subscribe.

Once of the most popular incentives is a discount or promotional for your brand. For example, you can incentivize your user to opt-in by offering them a discount on their next purchase or a free sample product. This will not only give you the leads that you need, but it will also allow users to familiarize themselves with your brand. In addition, as they make a purchase using the promotional code, there is also a chance that they will choose to buy other products that can help you boost your sales.

If you are not equipped to offer a promotional code, then the next option is to provide your users with a free webinar, guide, or a book of tips on something that relates to your service. This type of incentive attracts business-oriented users who are looking for ways to improve. Keep in mind that the key for this particular prong to work is that you need to make sure that you are giving out quality offerings. If you can produce a high-quality webinar, e-book, or other content, you will be able to promote your brand and also gain lead generation benefits.

#8: Keep Spam Out of It

Another useful tip that you should incorporate into your opt-in form campaign is to keep spam out of it. Some brands tend to explains to users that all emails or newsletters sent out after registration are completely “spam-free.” While it should be spam free, it is not a good policy to highlight the fact.

Here is an example:



Reassuring your prospect that opting-in will protect their privacy is good, but you should not do it in a way that is too pushy. Affirming that there is “no spam” involved is a good thing, but there are less obvious ways to achieve this goal. Instead of mentioning “spam,” the alternative is to simply express that your brand will do what it can to ensure that there is no breach of privacy.

#9: Gated Content and Videos

If you are not having any luck in getting people to opt-in the old fashion way, then you can be a bit more hard lined instead. According to Unbounce, one recommendation is to use gated content and videos. Gated content and videos high-quality and useful information that your users want; but to attain the information, the users need to opt-in to your brand’s newsletter or whatever it is that you are offering. By creating gated content, you can easily increase your opt-in rates and more importantly, you can better keep track of user access to your videos.

Brands who use A/B tests to determine the effects of gated videos find that the videos are a much more effective means of generating leads than other options. Keep in mind though that the effects of gated videos are really brand-specific. Some brands attain strong responses, while others – less so. Therefore, instead of jumping right in, you should run an A/B test on the matter and see how it goes. If it works, then use them more often.

#10: Constantly Blog and Attach and Opt-In Form

Finally, opt-in forms can be used on more than just your webpage. You can also use opt-in forms in various other settings, including blogs and guest blogs. If you decide to use it for a guest blog, then at the end of the post, ask the user to opt-in. Do not forget to express that the opt-in form is for your brand and not the one where you are featured as a guest. For the blog effect to work, you need to blog on a regular basis; some brands recommend doing so a few times a week.


Opt-in forms are a highly effective means for generating leads. The more you improve your form, tweak it, test it, and put your energy into perfecting its features, the better results you will find. Opt-in forms are supposed to make it easier for you to generate leads, as long as you do them right. Hopefully, you will be able to take the best advice from the tips above and go into your next campaign with the proper tools to get you through in a manner that helps you achieve success.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and what other tips have for lead generating popups. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.


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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

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