As a website designer, I’m often asked if there’s an easy way to create cool email sign-up forms. And not just for the sidebar or footer – isn’t there a way to add an email sign-up on the About page or at the bottom of a blog post?
Thankfully, the smart folks at Opt-In Skin have created an easy and inexpensive way to do just this.
What Is Opt-In Skin?
Opt-In Skin is a premium WordPress plug-in that allows you, the non-website coder, to design and add your own cool email list sign-ups anywhere on your website or blog.
It costs $47 for a one-time license, and it comes with 18 totally customizable designs, called skins. Simply choose your design and change the colors and fonts to whatever you’d like them to be. You can even customize the “subscribe” button! Plus, several of the pre-designed skins include social share icons, which makes them perfect end-of-blog post forms.
Opt-In Skin works with MailChimp, Aweber, iContact, and Feedburner. The process to link your email account to your desired email form is straightforward and easy to understand.
And for those number people out there, Opt-In Skin will track how many times people visit your page versus how many people click the “subscribe” button. You can even choose to split-test two forms on the same page to see which form is more effective!
What’s In It For You
It’s very rare for your first-time website visitors to buy your products or services, so it’s important that you capture their email address. That way, you can continue to build a relationship and conversation with your visitors, so that you’re the natural choice when they are ready to buy.
Most email programs will ask you to paste a bunch of code into your website to create these email forms. Not only is the code confusing, but it’s not very customizable. This means you’re stuck with an opt-in form that is generic and difficult to use.
This is where Opt-In Skin really shines.
Once you’ve created your awesome sign-up form, Opt-In Skin will assign a short code to that form. Simply copy that short code and paste in the desired location on your website or blog, and bam! You have a smart, professional email sign-up form.
No piece of software is perfect, and that includes Opt-In Skin. I’ve encountered formatting issues with a few of the skins when I adjust the default width or height. In some of the designs, adjusting the height or width doesn’t adjust the rest of the form, which leads to weirdly stretched or otherwise ugly forms. Luckily, I’ve only encountered this with one or two designs.
The other known issue I’ve come across occurs specifically with designs that include arrow graphics. There are 5 arrow styles to choose from, but the editor will default to style #3 every time you edit one of your forms. The work-around is simply to remember to reset your arrow style options before you save your form, but I’ll admit it’s a pain in the butt. Hopefully, it will be fixed in future software updates.
Where do you use email sign-up forms on your website? Let me know in the comments below!
And, if you have any experiences (good or bad) with Opt-In Skin, let me know that too.
photo credit: Opt-In Skin