Your customers are all checking their email. Sure, they check social media and surf the web, but if you want to reach them directly, their inbox is where you want to be. And to do that, of course, you’ve got to get them to subscribe to your email list.

It may sound simple, but convincing people to give you their email address of their own accord is not always easy. Consumers are leery, they’re wary, and they just want to keep the spam down to a reasonable level. However, a good opt-in form can be quite persuasive! How can you tempt your website visitors and convert them into subscribers? Here are five tips.

1. Good design is paramount. This is a blanket rule for all forms of visual communication, of course, but it’s especially important with opt-in forms. It’s got to look good: clean, easy to read, and with a design that graphically matches yet visually stands out from the rest of your web page. An eye-catching graphic or photo is also a good idea. Additionally, don’t overwhelm readers with lots of text; a few appealing lines should be enough. A pithy testimonial that speaks to the quality of your email newsletter is perfect, as are numbers of social media likes or existing subscribers (provided those numbers are impressive enough to use).

2. Make it easy to find. Opt-in forms as popover windows or overlays can be annoying, yes, but they go a long way in helping you build your email list. If you’re totally against using them, then make it easy for visitors to subscribe with a small form on the homepage. Placement is key, though; it doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be in a prime spot.

3. Give something away. What will people get if they subscribe to your email newsletter? What’s in it for them? It’s wise to have some sort of incentive, especially if you’re looking to build your list substantially. Things like a coupon for your products or services, something free like an e-book, privileged content (as well as the promise of future privileged content), entry into a drawing for a prize, and other types of valuable incentives work well. This is especially a good idea around the holidays, when everyone is in a giving mood!

4. Don’t ask for too much. You run the risk of driving potential subscribers away if you ask them for tons of personal information just to get on your email list. All you really need is an email address and maybe their first name. As an added bonus, having just one or two fields in your opt-in form will keep its size to a minimum.

5. Don’t forget to use social media. It’s entirely likely that you have more page views and post engagement on sites like Twitter and Facebook than you have on your website, and many of those followers may not be on your email list. Use this to your advantage with occasional reminders to followers that you have a great email newsletter to which they can subscribe.

If you want to build up your email list, it’s not enough to simply put up a link to your opt-in form on the bottom of your website. Instead, things like prime placement, good design, and valuable incentives go a long way toward helping you build your list and expand your reach. Take a look at your list and your site, and ask yourself if you’re doing all of the things mentioned here. We think you’ll see a bump in your subscriber numbers if you heed our advice.