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How To Have A Targeted Opt-in Form For Each Blog Category

Last Updated on March 20, 2020  

When you are building your list, the entire point is to offer your visitors a targeted solution to a problem they are experiencing. The closer you make that opt-in offer jive with what the prospect is looking for, the higher the likelihood that they will subscribe.

Makes sense, right?

In this post, I’m going to show you how you can have a different opt-in offer for each category (or page) on your site.

It all adds up to more targeted opt-ins to your list.

Why This Will Earn You More Opt-Ins

So, you have a person out there on the internet who is looking for how to do something. They go to Google and they type it in. And – BAM! – they land on one of your blog posts. This blog post hopefully does a good job of helping the person solve their problem.

Now, YOUR goal here is to get this unknown visitor to take the next step – and subscribe to your email list.

The closer you can get your opt-in offer to match the nature (and type of problem) of the blog post they just landed on, the more likely they are to opt in. Combine this with my 7-point checklist for an effective lead magnet, and you can do some interesting things.

You could create a lead magnet uniquely for that single blog post – and doing that would give you the highest likelihood of getting the opt-in if you create a good offer.

But, what about the sidebar opt-in? Most blogs have a sidebar – and most sidebars have an email opt-in. Can you make THAT email opt-in form more targeted to the blog post?

You’re damn right you can. And you do it by having a unique opt-in offer for each category.

How You Do It

First off, if you haven’t already read it, go read my post: The Strategic Way To Define Your Blog Categories. (opens in a new window)

Its OK. I’ll wait. 🙂


OK, we good? So, now you should see why you should define your blog categories around the hot buttons of your target market. These are the things which your market is looking for.

Now, if we match up a unique lead magnet to each of those benefit-based categories, you see how this will outperform just having one big global opt-in form like most people do?

The first step to doing this is to map out a lead magnet to each of your major categories. Here’s how I do it for the Blog Marketing Academy…


Get More Traffic

Sell More Stuff

Build My Platform

Increase Enagagement

Build My Business

Be More Productive

[/one-half-first][one-half]Opt-In Offer

Post-Publish Checklist

Product Idea Generator

30 WordPress Plug-ins Ebook

Pre-Publish Checklist

Academy Business System

(currently pending)[/one-half]

As of this writing, I haven’t gotten one set up for the “Be More Productive” category, but all the others have been matched up with a lead magnet which is more likely to be relevant to people finding value in the posts within that category.

Once you have the lead magnets created, then you have to create the opt-in form and distribution for each one. Personally, I am using the LeadBoxes feature of LeadPages to create the actual opt-ins. It works quite well and it allows me to track the stats of each lead magnet from a single screen – which is quite convenient. 🙂

For the actual forms, I simply use a text widget in my sidebar and I place the design and opt-in code into that widget.

Now, here’s where you set up the separate box for each category…

First, make sure you gave the WordPress Jetpack plug-in installed. It is free. Then, you want to have the Widget Visibility module enabled. That module will give each widget the ability to give it conditional rules on when it will appear and not appear. This is the key.

I then create a “catch all” opt-in form using a widget. Then, for the categories I intend to have a more targeted lead magnet, I set up rules to HIDE the catch-all from those categories.

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 2.25.58 PM

Then, for each targeted lead magnet, I drag in a NEW text widget into the same sidebar. Set it up the same way, but I add a visibility rule to SHOW if the category is the one I want to target. It looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 2.26.14 PM

So, it is a little bit of logic here. If for example, the category of the blog post is “Get More Traffic”, then the catch-all opt-in will be hidden and the targeted one will appear.

The one thing to keep in mind here is that this setup will make you NOT want to assign your posts to more than one category, because you could end up having multiple opt-in forms showing in your sidebar. Just keep that in mind. 🙂

Expanding On This Idea

The cool thing about this concept is that it does not require that you spend any money. Jetpack is free, and there is nothing stopping you from setting up every other aspect of this for free.

Like I said, I use LeadPages for the Leadbox feature, because I find it cleaner than a typical opt-in form.

You could also do the same thing by defining different sidebars for each category. Either way, that would be more work. If you don’t use a framework of some kind, then you’d have to manually code it. Or you could use Genesis and the Genesis Simple Sidebars plug-in, but then you’d need to select the sidebar for every post you publish. More work for you. Using Jetpack works nicely.

If you wanted to do the same thing but for the END of your blog post (rather than your sidebar), then I’d recommend you check out Magic Action Box.

Lastly, two blog posts you might want to check out for further information on building your list:

master-your-listAnd lastly, to get some more fine-tuned and thorough help with building your list – and what to do with your list after they’ve subscribed – then check out the Academy course called Master Your List. I think you’ll find it valuable. 🙂

Exclusive Bonus: Download your free copy of 45 Lead Magnet Ideas. This free report is designed to speed up the lead magnet creation process for you... by giving you a massive jumpstart on thinking up lead magnets that convert like crazy. Sign up for your FREE member account here to get instant access!


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  • Katharina von Bloggen für schlaue Frauen says:

    Hi David, I love your article and immediately started working on a lead magnet for one of my blog categories. But I have a problem: I use Mailchimp as eMail marketing service and I’m not sure if they have an option to offer different lead magnets … Typically I send the lead magnet out with the final welcome eMail, but there’s only one of them and that’s my problem. Do you have any recommendations for me?


    • David Risley says:

      You’d need to use a separate email list for each lead magnet, in that case. I’m assuming that you can give each list a different welcome email. I haven’t been inside a Mailchimp account in some time now, but I’d be shocked if it worked differently.


  • Jacques van Heerden says:

    Definitely a new way to garner a wider reach of your audience and to simply keep them coming back for me. It will take you some time to setup correctly, but once in motion, I’m sure it will boost conversion rates like crazy.


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