Boosting Opt-Ins with Selz

For the last month, I’ve been experimenting with a new way to get opt-ins to my mailing list using my free ebook, The Guest Blogging Survival Guide. Selz is a platform that allows you to quickly create an online store without the usual complications of creating an online store. When they reached out to me to review their service, I didn’t have any ebooks or other digital downloads for sale, so I decided to try out their platform as a way to get opt-ins instead. The results were pretty surprising.

The Opt-In Forms

Before we dive into numbers, let’s compare the two widgets I was using for opt-ins. First is my standard opt-in box using the Genesis Enews Extended plugin along with the default styling of my current theme from StudioPress called Focus.


Next is the Selz widget. Instead of asking for an email address, it entices visitors to get a free ebook. You can try it out to see how it works.

Buy this on Selz
Sell digital downloads on Selz

The Numbers

The difference in number of opt-ins I received using my standard opt-in box vs. the Selz widget is pretty dramatic. The Selz widget received 62 downloads and opt-ins vs. 26 opt-ins with the standard opt-in box. This is over the same length of time (26 days) and only a difference of 465 visitors between the two time periods, using the same incentive. The Selz widget was also in the same place on my sidebar as my standard opt-in box was previously.

Why Selz Converted More Subscribers

Here is my theory on why the Selz widget led to more subscribers than the standard opt-in box. The sheer size difference of the Selz widget compared to the standard opt-in box, along with the use cover image of the ebook in the widget, makes it stand out. Since there are so many opt-in boxes out there, there is probably a little opt-in form blindness going around. The Selz widget combats that. It also gets people excited about downloading a free ebook vs. subscribing to a mailing list.

How to Set Up a Selz Widget for Your Blog

Setting up a Selz widget as an opt-in form or to sell an ebook is quite simple. Once you’ve created your free account on Selz, you will click on the Sell an Item button to add a new item to your store.


Next, you will enter your product details, media, and pricing.


Then you’ll be given options on how to share your new item. You can do so by sharing your store link or item link on social media, getting a button, or embedding a widget (like the one above) onto your website.


Prior to sharing your product, you will want to set up your payment details by going to Settings > Payment Details and connecting to your Paypal account.


You will also want to set up a connection to your mailing list under Apps. You can connect to Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp, or Aweber.


And that’s really it! You can add more products to your store at your leisure.

Coming from someone who has gone through the set up steps for both Shopify and Magento, Selz is a piece of cake if you want to start selling products today without the need for all of the functionality of a full blow ecommerce application. Plus, there are no monthly fees. Selz only takes 5% + 25c of the transaction amount. So if you sell something for $100, the buyer pays $100 – they take $5.25 and you receive $94.75.


For simple selling, Selz is definitely a great way to go! It’s also a good thing to try to increase opt-ins with a digital download as their widget does stand out more than the typical opt-in form.

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  1. says

    Your eBook cover image is really cool Kristi. So it’s absolutely no surprise you got more sign-ups.

    But it would be interesting to see whether Selz still performs better if you have a lousy or mediocre cover image. If it doesn’t do better then I’d probably look to improve the cover of my eBook rather than drop the Selz plugin.

    One other thing …

    If you offer your eBook for free then I presume Selz still charges 5% + 25c of the transaction amount. In other words, 25c per sign-up.
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  2. says

    Hi Kristi !
    I visited Selz website and read the features that the stores created with it has to offer . I was simply impressed with its features . BTW , the widget that you’ve created with Selz looks very good and i’m excited to go through your book that i’ve downloaded just now . Thanks for sharing the book and information on Selz with us .
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  3. says

    Hi Kristi,
    My first visit here after hearing a lot about you! I tell you what I am so happy to be blogging again after my 3 year break (long story)!

    Anyway I really loved this post and is something that will really help me as I have been hard at work pushing myself to write lots of quality posts / guest posts over the past 2 months and I feel its about time that I write a book on blogging!

    I am going to go with Mailchimp and now this after you have suggested it so many thanks as this sounds awesome!

    All the best and will be back!
    – Phillip
    Phillip Dews just posted Just Let me Comment – CommentLuv or Disqus

  4. says

    This is the very first time I hear about Selz and this does sound an awesome widget based on your review.

    I will surely give it a try and let you know what I think about it! (:

    Nice review keep it up! :)
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  5. says

    Hi Kristi!

    This is awesome and was just what I was looking for as I am currently writing a book for bloggers myself. In fact it’s a collaboration with other bloggers well i hope it will turn out to be!

    I like what Kevin said about your cover and would have to agree with him when he talks about Lousy covers! I just hope the one that i have designed and put up on my blog cuts the mustard!

    Anyway I just wanted to say thanks for this post as I am now using this method myself!

    Have a great Christmas and my Best Wishes
    – Phillip Dews
    Phillip Dews just posted My Blog Needs YOU! Build a Blog of Means

  6. says

    Am I the only one that still believes that simplicity generates more conversions? Kristi, I don’t believe that you should compare those two widgets because there are really big design diferences. Of course Selz’s one is graphically more attractiv, but I don’t like the fact that you have to click 2-3 times a button to be able to sign-ip. If you were able to graphically adapt your old Genesis Enews Extended Plugin I bet you that Opt-in rate would be even greater. Can you track how many people clicked on the “Get it now” button but didn’t complete the registration?

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  7. says

    Hi Kristi,
    I was in a tug-of-war with myself reading this, wondering how the idea of giving the e-book away works with Selz when the idea of Selz is to act as a way to take payments easily.

    So reading the comments here, I wonder the same as Kevin – On what basis does Selz charge when you are giving away something free?

    Do they charge 25¢ ?
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  8. says

    Second comment:
    I just signed up to get your ‘Guest Bloggers Survival Guide’ – partly to watch how Selz works on the page.

    I think the way Selz looks is very attractive and encouraging with the signup form popping up to fill the screen, and then spinning around to present the fields in which to fill in the details.
    It looks high class and businesslike… a little journey all on its own.

    I just signed up for Selz…
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  9. says

    Hi Kristi,

    This sounds like it’s worth a try. You get a lot of traffic to your blog so, I assume the numbers would be different for me. Still, it seems like it’s worth a try.

    Something to change it up would be good, I think. It sounds like it’s not too difficult to set up, so that’s a plus. I, especially like the commission rate. That’s awesome! Thanks for the great info. and case study.

    Have a great day! :)
    Geri Richmond