There is no shortage in email list building plugins for WordPress. And because of that many website owners wonder whether one tool might be more efficient than another.

The truth is, it’s not the tool that makes your lead generation strategy effective. It’s the way you use it on a website. One and the same form will have different performance on different pages. Depending on when the form appears on the page, its click-through rate may vary significantly. Finally, the call to action is what often determines whether your visitors will share their email addresses with you or close the form without hesitation.

Does that mean, there is a universal formula for lead generation? Not really. But there are few proven techniques that typically help you get more subscribers who are genuinely interested in your content.

So, when used right, almost any email form builder with decent targeting features will do the job. However, if you haven’t installed one on your website yet, GetSiteControl is a great app to check out.

GetSiteControl brings 7 widgets in a single plugin

GetSiteControl is way more affordable than most solutions out there (you can start with a freemium version with no credit card required and then upgrade to a $19/mo plan). But the best part – it comes with a contact form, a survey tool, promo pop-ups, and a Live chat on board. So you get much more than just a subscription plugin.

Now, if you already have an email opt-in form on a website, let’s see what you might want to change about it. And if you haven’t, well, it’s time you create one, because everyone knows by now that the money is in the list.

But first, let’s briefly talk about the elephant in the room.

Pop-ups. Can I collect emails without being annoying?

The short answer is yes. If you are uncompromisingly against any forms of pop-ups – you’re free to create bars, tabs, or slide-ins.

GetSiteControl offers 9 webpage positions to select from

But if you’re wondering about the efficiency, it will surely differ. Because despite the complaints about pop-ups being intrusive and annoying, they work. And they work way better than other – less noticeable – types of a subscription form. Here is a case study on Aweber blog showing how a lightbox pop-up brought 1,375% more subscribers than a sidebar form.

Now, chances are, such higher rates are caused by the fact that pop-ups are simply seen more often. And today when the attention span of the Internet users is so short, it is only natural to be willing to make your subscription form seen. At the same time, it is only natural to not be willing to turn your audience away by being intrusive.

So where is the line between showing a timely call to action and looking too persistent in the eyes of a user?

Ideally, you want to show a pop-up to the people who are likely to be attracted by your offer. Below, we’ll talk about how to do it.

Use time delayed opt-in forms

The difference between entry pop-ups and time-delayed pop-ups can be huge in many ways. One of them is perception. No one is excited to see a subscription form before having a chance to get familiar with the website content. Odds are, many will intuitively close it and continue browsing.

That’s why time-based triggers create a much better experience.

Creating a time-delayed pop-up in GetSiteControl

First of all, you’ll exclude the annoyance factor. Second, your form will be shown to a smaller crowd, but most probably the CTR will go up as well. Because by choosing time-delayed forms, you target those who seem to be interested in your business and are more likely to subscribe.

You might want to experiment with the settings and calculate the ideal moment to show your widget. Some bloggers state that 60 seconds is the right time for a call to action, other businesses prefer showing it sooner. For example, Kern River Outfitter website owners consider an email opt-in shown after 5 seconds their best performer.

How to do it in GetSiteControl: when creating a subscription form, go to the Behavior tab and select “Start to display the widget under the following conditions”. Then decide on the delay bracket.

Use exit-intent pop-ups to entice abandoning visitors

Exit pop-ups are widely used on Ecommerce websites, yet, they are another subject of a long debate.

On the one hand, they may be seen as an intrusive technique casting a shadow on your website UX. On the other hand, knowing that over 90% of your website visitors will leave without taking any action, why not try to convert at least some of them? After all, exit pop-ups are by far among the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment.

The trick is, if you want exit pop-ups to attract subscribers, the offer must be truly valuable, relevant, and tempting. A combination of a nice discount with a sense of urgency has been one of the best examples so far.

How to create an exit-intent pop-up in GetSiteControl: in the Behavior tab, choose “Start to display the widget when the user is leaving the website”.

If your website has nothing to do with sales, however, there are other ways to entice visitors to become your subscribers. And that brings us to the next chapter.

Make use of lead magnets

Lead magnets are powerful conversion boosters, and there is plenty of evidence of them being 10 times more efficient than a regular email opt-in form.

The idea behind lead magnets is simple: you need to offer something irresistible in exchange for an email address. And these days, a monthly newsletter doesn’t strike most people as a strong incentive to subscribe. That’s why lead magnets came into play.

PDFs, reports, cheat sheets, and toolkits make great lead magnets for publishers and increase opt-in conversion rate tenfold or more. If you don’t know what to start with, here is a detailed tutorial on how to choose the right lead magnet for your audience.

How to deliver lead magnets with GetSiteControl: use an Autoresponder feature to create a welcome email. Include the link to a lead magnet in the email body – that way, every new subscriber will receive it instantly.

Use surveys to capture emails

Surveys can become an interesting alternative to a classic email opt-in form because they are more engaging, and therefore, involve higher commitment from a visitor. On top of that, surveys bring added value and can be incredibly useful if you know what to ask.

The example above is a great way to kill two birds with one stone because you get to grow the list of subscribers and learn more about their pain points at the same time. The latter will become a priceless insight for the website content and the lead magnets you might want to create in the future.

How to replicate this survey in GetSiteControl: when creating a new widget, choose Survey. In the content tab, click on the “Add question” button and choose “Email address”. Fill out the fields and activate the widget.

A/B test your email opt-in form

Split testing is quite an effortless way to optimize performance and find out what triggers your audience. Will a subscription form with a GIF perform better than the one with a still image? Does the button color actually have any impact? Which copy is more persuasive?

Stop the guesswork and test your hypothesis.

GetSiteControl allows you to run up to 5 A/B tests simultaneously, so if there is already a decent volume of traffic on your website, you’ll be able to determine the best performer quickly.

How to A/B test a form in GetSiteControl: add two widgets that will be competing against each other. You can do it by cloning a widget and changing the variable you want to test. Click A/B on each widget and add them to a test. Real-time progress will be available on the dashboard as shown above.

Go ahead and optimize your email opt-in form

No matter what your conversion rate is, chances are, there is plenty of room for perfection.

And if you’re looking for a mighty yet affordable tool for opt-in conversion optimization, GetSiteControl might be the one. Check it out here and share your thoughts in the comments below.