Conversion Strategy Results and the One Page You MUST Include an Opt-In Form On

Conversion Strategy ResultsIn today’s post, I’ll be comparing the number of people who subscribed to my email list on various locations on The Smart Passive Income Blog before and after I implemented a simple strategy recommended to me in Derek Halpern’s SPI conversion strategy video.

To summarize what Derek suggested, I was definitely not giving myself the best chance to obtain the most subscribers. I only had opt-in forms located in the sidebar and beneath each post, and that’s it.

He suggested that I add opt-in forms on some the pages of my site which are accessible from the navigation menu at the top. These are pages that people are most likely visiting, so it would be smart to put opt-in forms in front of the people who visit them.

Google In-Page Analytics (the numbers show the % of visitors who click through to that specific page)

Google In Page Analytics

  • About: 3.7%
  • Archives: 3.1%
  • Podcast 2.5%
  • Videos: 2.6%
  • Income Reports: 6.6%
  • Resource 4.6%
  • Contact: 1.2%

After the critique, I added opt-in forms to the About Page, the Video Page and the Income Report Page.

I felt that the other pages already served another purpose that might conflict with an email opt-in form. For example, the Resource Page, which includes a number of affiliate links, should only focus on the products, services and tools that I recommend, and the Podcast Page already has subscription links to subscribe to the podcast.

I added the new opt-in forms on August 1st. Before then, I was averaging about 47 new subscribers a day, for a total of 1475 new subscribers for the month of July.

In August, subscribership increased 30.24% to 1921 total subscribers, or about 62 subscribers a day – a increase that will make a huge difference over the longrun.

For example, at the old rate of 47 subscribers a day, in a year I would gain 17,155 new subscribers.

At the new rate of 62 subscribers a day, I would gain 22,630 new subscribers in a year. That’s 5,475 additional subscribers!

Specific Locations – Before and After

Below is a list of the specific locations on SPI where people can subscribe, plus the total number of subscribers for July, August, and the % difference. I can find out this information by using Aweber’s search subscriber tool:

Search Subscribers - Aweber

Note: The traffic to each of these pages was relatively the same between July and August.

Homepage (

  • July: 342
  • August: 404 (increased 18%)

About Page (

  • July: 60 (through sidebar on About page)
  • August: 404 (increased 446%)

How to Videos (

  • July: 0
  • August: 30

Income Reports (

  • July: 26
  • August: 84 (increased 233%)

eBook Landing Page (

  • July: 259
  • August: 174 (decreased 33%)

Below the Posts (all blog posts across SPI)

  • July: 287
  • August: 324 (increased 13%)

Getting Started Page (

  • July: 227
  • August: 317 (increased 40% – mostly because the traffic of this particular

Comment Checkbox (the checkbox in the comment field in all blog posts. See Subscriber’s Magnet (affiliate link) to learn more about this plugin)

  • July: 60
  • August: 67 (increased  12%)

Other (various posts, using the sidebar on SPI)

  • July: 240
  • August: 188 (decreased 22%)


  • July: 1475
  • August: 1921 (increased  30%)


From the changes I made, adding an opt-in form to the About Page has increased the number of subscribers the most (by far!) and this makes perfect sense.

The About Page serves to describe who I am and what my site is about. It’s one of the most visited pages in my navigation menu and it doesn’t include links, resources or any other calls to action, so having an option to learn more about what I do through a newsletter after reading (and hopefully being interested in) what my site is about, is perfect.

The forms I added to the Video Page and Income Reports Page did help, but not as much as the About Page – probably because those pages include other things to click on and are there for. Again, the About Page does not.

It’s smart to put opt-in forms in several different places, but if you’re only going to add one more, it should be on your About Page. Most people are not doing this at all. Some people include links to a page that includes an opt-in form, but it’s best to cut out that extra step and just put another form directly on the About Page.

Derek even mentions adding multiple opt-in forms on each page, which I did not do. That was a personal decision based on how I felt about crowding a particular page, although I’m sure that would increase the number of subscribers even more – so feel free to experiment with that as well.

For me, it’s not all about the numbers. If it was I would also include a pop-up when people visit the site to capture even more subscribers (they absolutely DO work!) but that’s not the experience I want people to have when they arrive at my blog.

Your website is your own and you’re free to do what you want with it, however I suggest not missing out on the potential number of subscribers that you could gain by adding just a few more opt-in forms to pages and posts where you know visitors are going.

Thanks again to Derek for the helpful tips. If you have yet to watch the original conversion strategy video, I highly recommend it.

Lastly, if you have yet to begin email marketing on your site, you should start by reading The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Newsletter.

Cheers, and all the best to you! Have a fantastic week!

  • Jed

    Nice to see the stats Pat. I did the same on the about page of my niche blog and saw that it had a high conversion rate too.

    • Pat

      Nice Jed – I didn’t include the actual conversion rate %, but it changed from about 1.2% to about 7.3% (on the about page) :)

      Great to see if working for you too. Cheers!

  • Kenneth

    Good information Pat. I agree with your comments regarding not adding an opt-in form to your resource page. I wondered after Derek’s video analysis of SPI, if you would go that far. Your resource page is about product promotion and since you don’t push products to your list, it’s important to keep it focused on product promotion.


    • Pat

      Thanks for the reassurance Kenneth. Typically, most pages should just have 1 or two actions that you require your visitors to do. On my resource page, which is the most profitable page on my site, I definitely have to keep it optimized for what I’m offering on that page. Cheers!

      • Derek Halpern

        I’d think the jury is still out though. Never know if converting the person to an email first, then asking for a pitch after is a method for higher conversion. Would require separate lists and automator actions, so it’s definitely more time to set up.

  • Dave

    Awesome stuff Pat. I really love seeing numbers and how things turn out after playing and tweaking them and this post shows exactly that.

    It is amazing what so little tweaks can do and it is something that must be done from time to time. I have no doubt that these number can even improve if you would add the opt-in at the top or middle part of the pages instead of at the bottom but I guess you have your reasons for not doing that.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Dewane Mutunga


    Derek is great! He’s helped me boost traffic and optimize things as well. Good guy with practical advice that works.

  • Jeffrey Trull

    I just recently added opt-ins to my About page, and I’ve seen some increases, too. I know this is something that’s been talked about a lot, but I think I need to improve my About page. Since it’s clear that it can have such a big impact on subscribers, I’ll definitely be more motivated to make the changes now.

  • Personal Growth @

    Wow Pat! What an eye-opener. I’m sure a lot of us will find this helpful. It seems so obvious yet so often overlooked. Thanks for sharing. As always, you give us a reason to keep coming back. Great stuff! Thanks Derek! You’re awesome. I’m always reading your posts over at DIY Themes.

  • Sarah Russell

    Interesting results – it’s definitely incredible how much of an impact small changes like that can have.

    Good for you for testing the results for yourself and not simply adding a feature because someone else tells you to (not that Derek would steer you wrong, just nice to see decisions driven by data rather than opinion)!

    Congrats on the improvements!

  • Tony

    Pat – I think Derek’s suggestion of multiple forms on those pages was so you had an opportunity above and below the fold. Right now, a reader has to scroll all the way down each of your subpages to get to the form. I wonder if it would greatly increase by having it at the top???

  • Andrew Clews

    Brilliant article Pat. It is great to see the nuts and bolts, which you do so well, and stats to demonstrate your actions. I shall now be putting this and the advice from Derek’s review to work on my site shortly. Keep up the great work. So much to do and so little time….

    • Pat

      Thanks Andrew, I appreciate that. The numbers don’t lie, and I knew it would work but not this well. Definitely follow Derek and all his advice to help with conversions – he’s great!

  • STRONGside

    Hey Pat,

    It really does make sense to have an opt-in page on your “About me” page. I’d say that is the number one page I read when I visit a new site, and that is one of the best things about your site in particular, your personality and ability to connect with your readers.

  • Brent Walker

    Incredible results, thanks for sharing. It’s information like this that remove the real barriers to success… leaving only excuses… and in this case you even tackled my first excuse with a link to your beginners guide to starting a newsletter. Darn you Pat Flynn!! 😉

    • Pat


  • Robert

    Hey Pat! I just added a Newsletter feature to my site, so I will try adding opt-in forms in other places besides the sidebar! Great tip!

  • Tom

    Thanks for the great tip Pat!

  • LifeAndMyFinances

    Once again, great tips Pat! I’ll have to implement some more subscriber areas, since I only have it located on my sidebar for now! Thanks again!

  • Ricardo Bueno

    Hey Pat, I started including opt-in forms on my About page the moment I realized it was the most visited page on my website and to date, it definitely accounts for a steady number of increased subscribers. I also added a “Why subscribe?” link just below the opt-in form on my blog sidebar, surprisingly, that one converts fairly well also. My guess is people are curious enough to click it and make the commitment once landing on the page.

    Love the changes you made, and totally agree that they’re effective. The only one I haven’t implemented is the subscription form below my posts… Guess I should get on that.

    • Brankica

      I had to click and see what you were talking about “why subscribe” link. It is a great idea but as a first time visitor I have to say, I didn’t get my question answered.

      I was wondering why should I subscribe and all you say is I should join others.

      I would love to see more on that page :)

      • Pat

        Great constructive cricticism, Brankica. I would have to agree. What do you have to offer them that they need to subscriber for? What’s in it for the new subscriber? :)

  • Tom Ewer

    Wow Pat – those are some epic results you have seen! What an increase. Not that I am surprised – I have followed Derek’s recommendations on my own site and it makes a big difference. Simply put, the guy knows what he’s talking about. Moreover, it is easy to follow his advice when it instinctively makes so much sense!

    Thank you for including your results here so we can all see what you’ve done, and what kind of effect it has had.

  • Brankica

    Hey Pat, this is a great run down on what you did last month. I switched to Aweber recently mostly to be able to track what sign ups people are using.

    Using featured box in Thesis and opt in in it increased my subscribe rate by crazy amount. The about page is converting pretty good as well. I am surprised to say that by percentage the sidebar is very low on conversions but it is displayed on every single page so that does mess up the numbers a bit.

    I have one interesting observation as far as Derek’s advice go and it is the proof how each blog is different. I follow Derek’s advice to the letter most of the time so I added an opt in in the footer as well. In a month, I had 3 or 4 people subscribe using that form. Very bad compared to the other opt ins, but I guess that is still 3 more people on the list.

    I just want to stress out how important testing is and how it can make or break the numbers.

    I love the video you two did here cause it really helped me do some good things on my blog :)

  • Dave #inoosa

    Thanks Pat,
    So much information here on your website. If I read it all I will never get started! It’s a procrastinators nightmare! :-)

  • Joe

    Great info. I wonder though, do you have stats to show if clicks on the affiliate links on your resources page, or other action items on other pages decreased due to people being redirected to a different action than the page was originally designed for?

    • Pat

      Well, the resources page does not include an opt-in box for that very reason. The only other page I could test that would be the video page (although the plugin doesn’t count views from that specific page), and the Income Reports Page, which is where I added the new functionality. With the small amount of increase on the Income Report Page it would probably be safe to say that it didn’t have that dramatic an effect.

  • Chris Trynkiewicz from

    Awesome news, Pat! I din’t expect it to have a higher effect than +10%. That’s a huge-ass red submit button you have there on the about page, but it sure works :)
    I wonder how much of a difference would there be if you’d just typed “to subscribe, use the form on the right” instead.

  • Kevin

    Hey Pat,

    Can you do a post on nothing but how to get your own stats? Maybe you have already done this, but I have no clue how I would go about getting the stats like you can.

    BTW, Great Post!

  • TomL

    I wonder how this would work in other niches.

    Have to try it out on one or two myself as your results were quite impressive.

  • Sean

    Time to add an optin form on the old about page! Great info thanks a million Pat.

  • Scott

    Great post Pat. To see such large increases in opt-ins on a site that is already well established is great. I can’t imagine the percentages that a smaller, less optimized site could achieve with this info and opt-in placement. Thanks Pat!

  • Vince

    Hey Pat,

    It was interesting to watch Derek’s critique video and now it’s very helpful to see the positive impacts from the changes you made. Well done.

    Aweber seems to have handy stats capabilities. I was wondering if Mailchimp has the same tracking features.

  • The Happy Rock

    I appreciate the no pop ups. I know it works and it is hard to resist putting it on a site, but I hate them. I think it detracts from the user experience and says something negative about the site itself.

    Hold strong.

  • Hector Avellaneda


    The video with Derek was KILLER, dude! I took so many nuggets of information from the video alone and found out I am doing SOOOO many things the wrong way!

    This was extremely valuable. Thanks for sharing… Oh and I’ve just registered on SocialTriggers, too!

  • Franck

    Hi Pat

    From what I understand of the numbers, you certainly had more traffic in August than in July (+18% increase with o change on home page)

    I miss the information of what form is caputring most, betweeb sidebar and post footer. In the mentioned page you have several forms.

    • Pat

      Hi Franck, thanks for the comment.

      The 18% increase in subscribers on the homepage doesn’t necessarily mean there was more traffic. It only shows that more people signed up. My conversation rates were higher, for some reason, but I can tell you that the increase in traffic was definitely not 18%.

      The sidebar is capturing the most subscribers, overall. But, different pages serve different purposes.

  • Momekh

    Pat, in the end of the article you say that you do not include a pop-up optin form, although they DO work. Although I also know from experience that they DO work, I only wonder if people actually do find it annoying.

    I have myself subscribed to a blog or two via their popup optin. For those who are willing to try this out, I think a cool method is have a ‘timed’ optin form. For example, on my site, if the average time spent on posts is say 2min15sec (you find that out via Google Analytics), then I will tell Aweber to show my form at 2 mins. People who have ‘stuck through’ and actually consumed your content will probably not mind you asking them join their email list (if you ask them, rather then ‘push’ them :) ).

    I found the timed idea at Chris Guillebeau’s site as well.

    Another idea for popup optin’s could be based on the position on the page. (like Mashable has the ‘read next story’ alert show up quite elegantly when you reach their comments section). One can show the optin form when a reader reaches the comments section. That is something worth trying, as I got this ‘idea’ while typing this comment! :/ 😀

    But if the method works, Pat, of all the people, I know you WILL give it a shot, if nothing else but to see if it works out or not.

    As always, your posts inspire.
    Thank you again, and God bless! :)

  • Daniel

    Would you recommend starting a mailing list even if you are a small blog with only a few readers?

    Would you ever make it a requirement to sign up to access part of the site?

  • Nicole Johnson

    Hi Pat,

    I think you are highly UNDER-utilizing your mailing list. I’m subscribed to both your newsletter and your blog alerts, but you really don’t e-mail a lot. I think you would find that if you did a weekly/monthly “recap” type newsletter, you would have very good results that will make this blog post all the more relevant. It sounds like you are focusing more on the first few e-mails in your auto-responder, but now that I’m done with the series, I hear from you sporadically, except in the form of blog posts, which is fine, but I can’t always read all of them. I really think if you utilized broadcasts in Aweber, you’d find great results!

    In my newsletter, I have links to the most recent articles, featured articles, free resources, and paid resources. It’s fairly low in the “sales-y” category and there is always a free weekly tip and free link/highlight to my newest article. Any announcements go in there, too. I highly recommend it! Good luck with your new readers! :)

    • Leon Aldrich

      Pat does the “Zen” approach to marketing, “He sells without selling.”

      He is so good at it, that when I get an email from Pat, I’m the one who creates a donate box, fills it out and sends him money.

      A long while back I asked him, “Hey, when are you going to sell me something like those other guys.” I was getting desperate to hear the standard overly hyped sales pitch you hear everywhere else.

      And this is why Pat reigns supreme in this niche.

      • Nicole Johnson

        I agree, but he can still send more “non-selling” e-mails to his list. I get an email very infrequently. One of the benefits of having a list is to use it! :) Just my 2 cents. I got quite a few emails in the beginning, but very infrequent ones later. I think a “Weekly Wrap-Up” type broadcast e-mail like Copyblogger does would do him (and his readers) good. That’s all I’m sayin’.

        • Teemu Kinnunen

          Couldn’t agree more Nicole!

          I think people really want to get some email from Pat.

          If I want to benefit people in my mailing list, I have to email them frequently and keep building close relationship between them.

          Pat, send us some more emails! We want ’em!

  • Gabriel | tuinmueble

    Umm well not know that something as simple as the location of a form, can make such a difference in subscribers.

  • John Sherry

    A simple yet smart conversion strategy – subtle mullti placings of opt ins to encourage and remind would be susbscribers in direct calls to action. It just proves that once they navigate away from the only page with an opt in link they also may not come back to it. So don’t let them. Like this and a brilliant extra to add the figures to back it up. Cheers Pat, top notch as ever Sir!

  • Mark Hunt

    I think one of the reasons for your success is that your not too pushy. Pop ups are very annoying, I have stopped following some sites following their introduction.

  • kimanzi constable

    Thanks for the link of the video, can’t wait to watch it!

  • Mitchell

    Hey Pat, great post man! I’m sure you saw a great increase in overall conversions in August, so I was just wondering, what’s the overall opt-in conversion rate for your entire site?


  • Nicholas Scott@Writing a Press Release

    I Am completely agree with Mark Hunt that he think one of the reasons for your success is that your not too pushy . And i also think like this . Pop ups are very annoying, I have stopped following some sites following their introduction.

  • Eddie Gear

    From your stats I can see that your side bar form is not converting as much as the new placements. Is it safe to assume, that one can get a better conversion rate when not placing opt in on the side bar?

    • Pat

      No, I don’t think so. Although it doesn’t convert as much as the others, it picks up subscribers that I wouldn’t normally get otherwise. If it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have as many subscribers, even through the traffic is the same. What would rise is the average conversion rate per opt-in form, but that’s not a good metric to use for overall number of subscribers.

  • Sean Lewis

    Great Post Man! I was trying to figure out where else I should put a opt-in box. I have a pop up one and one below my post, I might try putting one on some other pages.

  • Cory Lamle

    Great stuff Pat!

    I actully found your site from google, and because it continued to showup in the results, and I kept getting exposed to your content, I eventually opted in.

    While optin forms are not quit as annoying as adds, I think used too much they can get annoying really quickly. I actually went out of my way to find your opt in form because I saw the content as valuable and helpful.

    My first impression of sites that do popup opt ins and just over populate them, is that I’m just another email. Definitely have to use with caution…

    We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in San Diego, beautiful city!

  • Money Blogging

    Hey Pat! Talking about collecting emails..
    I discovered that if you type in google “ebook the smart way” – the first link that come up is the link to opt-in subscription form, and the second link right below is a direct link to pdf file to download your book.

    I thought this way you maybe loose some subscribers who decide to download the copy by the direct link rather than enter email. Maybe you should block it from indexing is robots.txt? Or it’s not that important? What do you think?

  • Ben Long

    Pat, great post-blackout post! I am curious how I can easily add an opt in form to one of my php sites. I tried Aweber for a while but seems a bit pricey. There has to be a free way to do this for those of us in ultra small niches.

  • Yayson Potter

    Great post Pat and excellent idea. It’s amazing how the about page made such an impact on how many signups you received. I will have to check this out on my website in the future. Thanks again!

  • Bojan

    This seems to advanced for me to cope with right now. Inspiring, a situation in which I want to find myself in the near future, certainly!

  • Aaron

    I think you should improve your opt-in section

    The offer is not attractive – what’s pat ebook ?
    Do a report “How I Make A Passive Income $24,000 Every Month Online”
    I’m sure that would get anyone’s attention…

    Doesn’t stand out – try to highlight it more with graphics, or make border, or eye candy…

  • Justin Cooke

    Great analysis, Pat.

    I’d listened to your chat with Derek and just recently applied the Opt-Ins to our About Us page and have noticed an increase as well. I thought that was a really excellent tip. Some of the others didn’t apply as well simply because of our layout as compared to yours, but I bet long-term you get quite a bit out of those changes.

  • David

    Hi Pat

    These stats are pretty cool. It just goes to show that with the correct tweaking you can make a huge difference to subscriber stats without the need for the brutally rude pop up forms that destroy user experience.

  • cash4wealth

    what a brilliant idea this is. i will take into consideration in implementing this on my site for strategic investment and business growth. thanks buddy.

  • Naveen Kulkarni

    Awesome Pat,
    Interesting article actually. In fact, I did follow the article of Deren in which he did the site analysis of SPI. And here are the real results from implementation:-) It’s really interesting and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    I was thinking, how about adding the SPI logo (small sized) to each subscription box?

  • Riley Roam

    Hi Pat,
    Thank you for all the fantastic information! My husband and I have a children’s educational media company and online marketing is very new to us. Your site has been an invaluable resource and we’ve been devouring your podcasts. Thanks again!

  • Alex

    I’m getting ready to embed my opt in form, so this is a perfect post for me to come across. Hopefully I can take what I learned here and maximize conversions. Thanks for sharing your case study.

  • Monja

    Great results, Pat –
    I will just work on this today! I think sometimes people want to sign up but don’t find the opt-in therefore it´s good to place it prominently but also not overwhelming. thanks for sharing!

  • Nicolaj B. Müllertz

    Wow great insight Pat…
    I will try to take some of the ideas to my personal blog :)

  • David

    Wow, I am really impressed, both by your results Pat and by the fact that there are only 62 responses to that post so far.

    I mean, if this suggestion of yours has more or less the same potential for each and everyone of us, then this is MASSIVE!! I will definitely install an opt-in form in our 4HWW Success Stories about page now (well, I will have my business partner Florian do that, he’s the tech crack :) ).

    Thanks for sharing, Pat!

    Regards from Greece,

  • Mark

    Well done Pat. Extremely informative. Metric collection and split testing can provide a wealth of information. Thanks for sharing. Great stuff indeed!

  • Andrea | EC Simplified

    How do you find out where on your site people clicked to join your newsletter? I know I get that info in my Aweber opt-in confirmation emails but I don’t get how to view that info nicely, like as %ages or a chart…

    Tricks, anyone?

    PS – Thx to you Pat I’ve grown my list to 120 people in my first month…Woot!

  • Shatish Rao

    Hey Pat, this was mind opening. Some of the conversion ideas were simple but so effective. I’ve been your reader for sometime now and the things I’ve learned from your blog is just amazing.

    Thanks to you I know how to create a Facebook fan page now.=)

  • DrDicty

    Hi Pat, I always admire how detailed you describe all activities. I really like that – it motivates.

  • Gerald Mora

    Nice post, it is true we need to build relashionships by constantly getting in touch with our prospects/clients.

  • Financial Freedom

    Opt-ins have been my achilles heal but i’m working on this more and more everyday. I really believe a footer slide in would help after two minutes of reading and just testing certain headlines e.t.c.

    Dwight Anthony

  • Brayn

    The more I read this site the more I like it. I have started to just scrap the surface of what you can do with internet and internet marketing. Please keep the wealth of information coming.


  • David_in_Greece

    Hi Pat

    Today I remembered this article of yours and googled it to find it again. I was wondering if you’d say that this still holds true, or if in the meantime you have made other experiences that you’d recommend regarding where best to place one’s optin form?

    Thanks and best regards from Greece,