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A great way build a relationship with a potential customer is to give each visitor ample reasons to share their email address in order to create a line of continuous communication between you and your potential customers.

Since “opting in” is a voluntary option, it is important to learn ways to increase opt-ins, hence increasing your leads. As a general rule a 1% to 5% opt-in rate (or conversion rate) is considered average, but if you do things right you can achieve even better opt-in rates.

Here are some of the ways that you can rule the opt-in game:

1. Be Clear and Use a Strong Call-to-Action. As a digital consumer culture we are used to providing our email address for any number of online opportunities. The problem here is that we have become more savvy and are more sensitive to the types of communication we will be receiving once we offer you our precious email. So make sure that you are clear about what type of messages you will be sending and how often you will be sending them. And to ensure that you get the information in the first place make sure to use a strong call-to-action like “click here” or “get free instant access”. It may seem like obvious advice, but you’d be surprised at how many sites forget to tell people exactly what to do.

2. Use an Opt-In Pop Up. You can blend in your opt-in into your content which is less obtrusive but is also easy to miss. So another option is to use an opt-in pop up. Look for an “exit intent tracking” option. This means that someone has already spent time either reading or viewing your content so you know they are at least somewhat interested in what you are offering up and then you ask them to join your list as they are about to walk out the door, so-to-speak. There are a variety of ways to format a pop-up. Do your homework and figure out which one is best for you because even though some visitors might consider the pop-up method annoying there is no doubt that it will increase your opt-in rate.

3. Use a Header Color Bar. Less obtrusive than a pop-up this is a colored bar that sits at the top of your website and asks for a specific call-to-action. You can change the color to blend with your website’s design for continuity or you can make it bright so that it stands out against your website’s color palette.

4. Let Others Speak For You. If you are a more established brand it might be easy to get people to just hand over their email information. If you are new though, just like with any other type of conversion, it might take a bit of convincing. Use testimonials, videos, reviews, audios and any press that you have been featured on to convey reliability and illustrate the benefits that other visitors have experienced. As a social culture we want to do what others are doing and don’t want to be left out so this strategy could be very effective in increasing your leads.