Lead Gen Report 2021: Using Opt-in Forms For Lead Generation

Momina Ayaz
Momina Ayaz

Last updated on

April 10, 2023

Being in the lead generation business, we wanted to understand whether opt-in forms are truly effective in building email lists like so many marketers claim. To put this to the test, we asked 147 marketers from businesses of varying sizes whether they use opt-in forms. We also took a closer look at their experience with opt-in forms. Here are the results!


Email marketing is still winning

As per the study, email marketing still continues to be one of the most profitable marketing tools with several businesses around the world continually pouring their money into it.

74.7% of our respondents said that they are actively growing their email list. That’s nearly 3 out of every 4 businesses trying to grow their email list - a clear indicator of rising email marketing popularity.

Opt-in forms are making this possible with a whopping 65.8% of marketers using them to grow their email lists. This confirmed our prediction of increasing reliance on opt-in forms.

76.2% of opt-in form users prefer pop-ups

The study further inspected opt-in form popularity by form type. 54 respondents filled out this portion of the study.

The findings stated that the pop-up form was the top choice for most marketers, with 76.2% using pop-ups to grow their email list. This didn’t come as a surprise as pop-ups are high up on the attention-demanding spectrum, making them a great choice for primary lead generation. The runner-up was the embedded form with the user-friendly, non-intrusive experience that it offers, making it more suitable for secondary lead generation.

form type graph

Here’s the complete breakdown:

  • Pop-up forms: 76.2%
  • Embedded forms: 59.5%
  • Topbar: 23.8%
  • Fullscreen cover: 7.1%
  • Scroll boxes: 7.1%

A lot of marketers also believe in using different kinds of opt-in forms in conjunction to create multiple channels for lead generation. This is in line with what the experts recommend as different form types fulfill different needs and target different stages of the marketing funnel. Using a combination of form types makes your forms more inclusive and optimizes conversions. About 50% of all marketers use at least two different types of opt-in forms.

Opt-in forms are effective in generating leads

Next, the survey dove into understanding the effectiveness of opt-in forms. As per the results, 54.7% of marketers found them effective in generating leads, while 18% did not.

Now, if your marketing funnel is gaining more leads, it should be leading to higher revenues. Our study could not verify this. There was no conclusive correlation between opt-in forms and revenue generation. 38.1% of respondents found them effective in boosting revenue while 33.3% did not.

79.1% of opt-in form users rely on lead magnets

The study also corroborated the belief that opt-in forms need an incentive to nail high conversion rates. 79.1% of marketers who use opt-in forms, use lead magnets with them, with ebooks being the most popular choice of lead magnet. 4 out of 5 marketers who use lead magnets, rely on ebooks as the key hook.

There was also a strong reliance on discounts and free trials, with 25% of marketers using them to bag email addresses.

More businesses are tracking exit intent

We also took a look at how many marketers are trying to understand user behavior. 38.1% of marketers are tracking exit intent to generate leads. This is an impressive figure!

Exit pop-ups are a great way to win abandoning visitors. With so many specialists using ebooks to reel in visitors, it’s also recommended to connect the exit intent pop-up with a solid incentive. Like, “Hey, take this free ebook on your way out!”.


There’s a lot that we understand more clearly now as marketers and product developers. Email marketing is maintaining its glory with most businesses actively growing their email lists.

Most marketers are endorsing opt-in forms and finding them effective in generating leads and meeting their email marketing goals. This nod of approval means that marketers know the effect a good pop-up can have on conversions. We also saw more people experimenting with the forms, using lead magnets, and tracking exit intent.

All these are solid indicators of rising interest and adoption of opt-in forms for lead generation.

Author Bio

Momina Ayaz

Momina Ayaz is a Content Marketer at Mailmunch. She loves reading during lunch breaks and witnessing technology reshaping the corporate sphere.


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