Where’s the action? It’s a question you should be asking yourself on every landing page you create. What do you want visitors to do, and what are you doing to ensure that they take that desired action? We’ve found that two-step opt-in forms are about the best way we know to add action to your page. Whereas an embedded opt-in form is usually easy to skip over, a two-step form—such as a LeadBox—lets you put your best foot forward by crafting a strong call to action on the page, whether you do it with words, images, or a combination of both. Once you’ve got visitors’ attention and they’ve clicked the call to action, you can handle the less-compelling logistics, such as asking for their contact information. And if you’re a really smart marketer, you’ll do whatever you can even inside the opt-in form to keep the action moving forward. The creators of our 10 favorite opt-in forms we found in the last month all understand this principle. Check them out and get inspired to make your own LeadBoxes and other pop-ups more actionable. You’ll notice that many of these LeadBoxes are quite literally action-packed—they use animated progress bars, which consistently out-convert static ones. We’ve created a pack of 5 animated progress bars for you to use free on your own LeadBoxes (or anywhere else you please). Click below to download them:
Here are the 10 LeadBoxes that wowed us most this month:
1. Russell James: Blog Footer LeadBox
What Stands Out: Once you’ve scrolled to the bottom of a blog page and you’re still reading, you’re probably in exploration mode. Something’s got you attached to the site you’re on, and you’d like to keep learning more about the topic. That makes the bottom of a blog post an excellent place for a call to action. Raw chef Russell James has created a downright beautiful footer area to set up his lead magnet, a giveaway of his top 10 favorite recipes. (A nice touch: he says the recipes were voted on by his audience, which puts real-world results behind what’s normally a matter of taste.) Once you click “Send my recipes,” you see a LeadBox that’s just as well-considered. Russell appears on a bright, appealing visualization of the recipe collection’s cover, surrounded by shelves of healthy ingredients. The button copy creates continuity, and the salmon color adds contrast while sticking to the subtle color palette of the site.
2. Tucson Art Academy Online: Exit LeadBox
What Stands Out: On this page, painter Colley Whisson advertises a variety of video courses, sold as relatively high-value packages. It may be a purchase that some visitors will want to mull over, so if they’re not ready to buy right now, Colley gives them another way to take action. When you move to leave this page, an exit LeadBox pops up offering something totally free: a PDF of Colley’s insights on color, value, and design. One of his own paintings fills the image slot, inviting you to anticipate making art that’s just as lovely with the help of the PDF. A black call-to-action button and minimalistic animated progress bar match the page’s low-key but deliberately designed aesthetic.
3. Life as a Strawberry: Blog Subscription LeadBox
What Stands Out: It seems like every month food blogs get better and better looking, and lately I’ve noticed that their owners are getting better and better at marketing. Jessie Johnson’s Life as a Strawberry blog is evidence of both trends. A big, hot pink subscription area appears just below the first fold to catch anyone who scrolls past the day’s featured story. It offers not just email updates, but also recipes, special offers, and a free cookbook. The LeadBox repeats those promises, and gives a peek at the recipes she’ll be sharing inside the graphic. Everything’s bold, bright, and extremely appealing.
4. Amanda Jane Daley: E-Book LeadBox
What Stands Out: Writer Amanda Jane Daley keeps things fairly simple in this LeadBox. She’s spent the entire landing page sharing what her giveaway, an e-book, is all about, so she’s free to focus on a simple call to action once the form pops up. The LeadBox and landing page complement each other in another interesting way, too. Amanda’s landing page headline touts the book as “your new favourite beach read.” The page doesn’t dwell on that idea, but the LeadBox image contains a reminder: Amanda smiling from a gorgeous tropical location. Very subtle and very clever.
5. Rachel Luna: “Favorite Things” LeadBox
What Stands Out: Writer and speaker Rachel Luna makes an admission on this boldly designed 404 Opt-in Page: her website was hacked. It’s something you’d probably never notice if she didn’t tell you—the “temporary site” is stunning—so this bit of behind-the-scenes information makes it seem like Rachel is letting you into her world and telling you the unvarnished truth. That ultra-accessible tone is very useful when you’re promoting a guide to your own favorite resources. A photo illustration makes Rachel’s tool kit look colorful and fun, while the headline’s mention of “business tools and resources” keeps things grounded.
6. Michigan Democratic State Central Committee: Petition LeadBox
What Stands Out: This is one of the most innovative uses for a LeadBox I’ve seen yet. The Michigan Democratic State Central Committee has set up a landing page inviting visitors to sign a petition in protest of a plan for funding road repairs. To sign the petition, visitors simply click into a LeadBox and enter their email address. At that point, the Committee can keep them updated on the progress of their efforts to oppose this legislation. Bold reds and blues and a cheeky “birthday tax” cake image strike a tone familiar from TV political ads, and the language inside the LeadBox is strong and persuasive. It sums up the page’s central argument in bold, emotional language, and casts signing the petition as “making your voice heard.” Regardless of your political leanings or lack thereof, this LeadBox contains some interesting tactics to try.
7. RoverPass: PDF Version LeadBox
What Stands Out: RoverPass is an RV-park reservations site, and its content marketing taps into a niche of travelers hungry for information that can help them make the most of their time on the road. In this blog post, they use a LeadBox to offer a PDF version of the post topic that seems ideal for printing out and reading during long hours in the passenger seat. Rather than use a traditional call-to-action button, RoverPass embeds a slick image of the e-book into the post and uses a headline to draw attention. The LeadBox itself is crisp and clear, with a nicely detailed headline: “Want to save more money RVing? Get our 90+ tips that save RVers money while on the road.”
8. LinkedSelling: Book Page LeadBox
What Stands Out: LinkedSelling takes the simple Coupon Page template and amps up the inspiration with a sky-blue and golden color scheme. Once someone is intrigued and clicks the button, the LeadBox seems to say, “Let’s get focused” with a shift to businesslike blue and gray. A professional-looking image of a hardcover book adds value to the offer. The copy also encourages visitors to keep the promise of the book in their sights by repeating the title and inviting them to click “Reserve My Copy” to proceed.
9. Ratafire: Free Guide LeadBox
What Stands Out: Two years of research and the most up-to-date information: that’s what Ratafire promises you’ll find on this page for a guide to fan funding. The book on the landing page and in the LeadBox sits slightly open, beckoning visitors to reach out and start flipping through it. The landing page is elegantly spare, and accordingly, Ratafire takes a simple approach to the LeadBox. The submit-button text is a quick, forceful “Go!” And the typewriter-style font in the headline nicely evokes the spindly dandelion seeds shown on the book cover. It’s a reminder that attention to visual branding doesn’t have to be elaborate.
10. Chicago Elite Fitness/Bucktown Crossfit: Free Consultation LeadBox
What Stands Out: There’s a lot to admire on this landing page for a Chicago gym—the whole thing exudes strength and commitment. The same thing goes for the LeadBox, here used as a simple method of getting people to sign up for an initial consultation. The text communicates the core selling points—it’s free, it’s one-on-one, it’s typically $99—and the button urges leads to think of themselves as part of a team with their trainer, reading “Let’s Do This.” Because it offers an in-person service, the LeadBox feels justified in asking for more information than a typical opt-in form would. It also has a couple of nice extras: a checkbox allowing visitors to get a newsletter, and a blank field asking for visitors’ goals to make the consultation more valuable. The form fields are framed by a bold logo that looks like it was designed to fill this space and, at the top, an animated progress bar matching the landing page’s black and gray. If you haven’t grabbed your own progress-bar pack yet, be sure to download it before you go: