How to Design Opt-In Offers That Convert

by | Jan 3, 2017 | 1 comment

Creating opt-in offers that get folks agreeing to hand over that elusive email address isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little finesse.

There is a trifecta, that when implemented, will result in dramatic results. You’ll need to execute a creative combination of the offer, the graphic, and the opt-in box to achieve that high-conversion rate that will ultimately boost your sales.

The Offer

The first and most important part of an opt-in offer that converts is the offer itself. Creating offers that your audience needs is essential in getting them to respond. There are a few different ways that you can go about finding out what they need.

First, you can simply ask them. If you are active in the online communities where they spend their time, put your request out there and see what they need, what they’re looking for, and what their pain points are.

Another way is to get involved in these online communities. Scan for questions that are relative to your niche. Make your presence known by asking your own questions and reaching out to your audience. If you see the same problem coming up multiple times, that is a good indicator that you could create an outstanding product that will be guaranteed to sell. The better you know your audience, the better you can design your product to cater to their needs.

I’m sure there’s a good chance that you already have quite a few blog posts on your website.


Do some digging and see which ones generate the most traffic. Can you build from these and create a supplemental product to offer the people already visiting your site? By using the content you already have and traffic that is already steady – you can capture leads right away and turn those visitors into subscribers!

Creating your offer doesn’t need to be difficult either. Depending on what method you choose, your offer could be as simple as a checklist or as in-depth as a mini-course. Study your audience – take polls if needed – so you can make an informed decision as to what will be most engaging to them. What’s their schedule like? If they have the time, go for a mini-course. Are they visual learners? If so, try a video or webinar. Are they readers? Maybe an eBook would be a better solution.

Know your audience so you can build an opt-in offer that will have them forming a line to get their hands on it.

Ahem – single file, please!

The Promo Graphic

The most common phrase you’ll see scrawled all over the internet is “content is king,” and while this is true, a king is nothing without his queen.

In this case, the queen is meant to be stunning, and capture attention before the king’s content is even revealed. According to a study from Microsoft Corp., the average person generally loses interest after only eight seconds! That is a second less than the attention span of a goldfish.

The queen is represented as an eye-catching graphic that will yield massive results by getting people interested in your content. The more visually-striking your graphic is, the more likely your audience will click on it. Your content means nothing if you don’t have something to generate an initial appeal.

Not only does your graphic need to be pleasing to the eye, but it also needs to tell your potential audience exactly what they are getting in under a second. If they can’t quickly tell what they’re going to get from clicking on it, the chances are high that they’ll keep on scrolling.

At this point, you may be asking yourself any number of these negative questions:– “I’m not a designer. How am I supposed to create something that will grab their attention?”– “I need to hire a designer to produce these graphics, but how can I afford one?”– “I’m already spending so much time on content; how will I make the time to create graphics as well?”

But let me assure you – there’s nothing to worry about.

You got this. (For real, though!)

Creating amazing graphics can be ridiculously easy! You will be using this graphic for promotional purposes on social media and within your blog posts to get people clicking. (And we all know how easy it is to get click-happy on the internet!)

I find that following a simple template makes it easy to streamline my workflow while keeping all the graphics on my site in alignment with my branding.

Depending on the extent of your tech knowledge, there are a few different programs you can use. PicMonkey is a fantastic (and free!) resource that will allow you to throw together graphics in a matter of minutes. Adobe has several in-depth programs, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, that will allow you to keep a ready-to-use template on deck; all you will need to change is the text and any embedded graphics you feel the need to use.

How to quickly design a promo graphic in PicMonkey.

Step 1: Go to the PicMonkey Website

Step 2: Select Edit 

Step 3: Locate the image you are going to use.

Step 4: Insert your background photo or select a solid color.

Pro Tip: Check out the Top Stock Photos post for a list of The Creative Boss’s favorite websites for stock photos!

Step 5: Place your favorite overlay graphic from The Creative Boss Shop on top of your background graphic.

Step 6: Place a text box with the title of your blog post, a catchy tagline, and your website address.

Step 7: Save your work.

Step 8: Promote your blog post complete with the beautiful graphic that you created (without pulling your hair out).

If using overlays seems to be right up your alley, you can get a few different variations of social media overlays in The Creative Boss Shop.

Okay, Okay. I have a freebie for you. If you want the Mint Hexi Overlay Photo Pack I used in the video you can grab it.

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Content Upgrade Free Overlay Pack

How to use a template in Photoshop. 

One of my favorite tools for designing graphics is Photoshop. I have ready-to-use templates saved that are part of my brand style guide. I simply load the template and edit the text, background, and colors as needed. I have added some Photoshop templates to the shop to make the process even easier. These will coordinate perfectly with the pre-made branding kits.

A great reason to use Photoshop, as opposed to a web-based program like PicMonkey, is that you can keep nearly everything in place and minimize the amount of time you spend editing.

Step 1: Open your template file in Photoshop

Pro Tip: Want to create your own custom template? Preregister for the mini-course on designing brand graphics.

Step 2: Edit the title and tagline text.

Step 3: Save your beautiful graphic.

This is the best rinse-and-repeat formula for designing gorgeous graphics specific to your brand. Photoshop is a very robust program and may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Don’t let it (or any other Adobe program) intimidate you. There are many resources and tutorials you can find all over the internet to help you learn the ins and outs of these programs. You don’t need to be a professional photographer or graphic designer to use Photoshop! You can take baby steps and learn how to accomplish small tasks one at a time. You don’t need to know everything there is to know about the program to start using it right away.

If you don’t think you have the time to learn how to create your own templates, I have created some that are fantastic and ready-to-use. Go ahead and browse my selection in The Creative Boss Shop. (Go on, you know you wanna!)


The Opt-In Box

The final part of a high-converting opt-in offer is that pesky little box that prompts the users to enter their email address.

This is the part they usually click away from. Damn that little “x”!

There are a couple reasons this may happen, but luckily, there are also a couple of solutions to prevent it.

Reason: You’re asking for too much information.Solution: You probably only need an email address, so only ask for an email address. You don’t need their phone number, postal address, and the blood of a virgin to send them emails. Keep it simple.

Reason: Your opt-in box is cluttered.Solution: Keep your opt-in box clean and intuitive. The user should be able to clearly navigate through it without wondering what they should do next.

My favorite (and the most user-friendly) tool to create opt-in boxes is LeadBoxes by LeadPages. I can create a great-looking template that integrates with my email service provider, and with every new offer that I create, I can simply duplicate and tweak the text and graphic to match my current offer.

Yes, it’s really that easy!

If you’re looking for something less expensive, another tool that creates great-looking opt-in boxes is the Bloom plugin from Elegant Themes. This is included in a yearly or lifetime membership to Elegant Themes. The Bloom plugin can also be integrated with your email service provider and gives you access to your stats right within your WordPress dashboard.

Always remember to keep them simple and aligned with your branding. This is the final step to creating a high-converting opt-in offers, and if you’ve already managed to get a subscriber, it would be terrible to lose them now.

Create the Ultimate Opt-In Offer

If you are ready to take your email game to the next level, I would love to have you join me in a fun mini-course that will help you skyrocket your email list by creating the ultimate opt-in offer your audience will love!

Create the Ultimate Opt-In Offer covers the fundamentals of knowing your audience and uncovering what opt-in offers will have them drooling. Then, it transitions seamlessly into the creation and publishing process. Lastly, once you have the hardest parts out of the way, it covers how to promote your opt-in offer and get it in front of as many eyes as possible.

As a bonus, I have included eight templates to put you on the fast-track to creating the ultimate opt-in offer for your audience!

Ready to design opt-in offers that actually make your audience click happy? I know you are. The Creative Boss breaks down the 3 key aspects to creating opt-in offers that convert.
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Sarah Crosley

Sarah Crosley

Founder of The Creative Boss

After years of trying to run an online business I have seen quite a few ups and a whole lot more downs. I spent hours every day researching how to make a go at some elusive, passive income. I felt like it was something that was just a myth, and then I figured out what the real meaning of passive income was: to work smarter, not harder. It’s not just sitting around watching the dollars pour into your bank account, but you can create products that will sell and still be sitting on the beach or at home in pajamas, and I want to share with you what worked for me. I don’t want you to spend years trying, failing, and throwing in the towel.

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1 Comment

  1. Rhonda

    Great ideas! Our favorite resource for creating amazing graphics for Redemption Market is Canva… and it’s free!


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Who is Sarah?

I am the founder and lead designer here at The Creative Boss. After years of running handmade shops on Etsy and scouring the interwebs for tips and advice on how to grow and succeed online, I knew that there needed to be a change!The Creative Boss was launched to offer a one stop shop for busy creatives who want to succeed online with ease.
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