Getting the word out about what you do is paramount to being financially successful in business. The contribution an email opt-in can make to growing your list and allowing you to connect with your audience is central to many marketing plans.
The fact that so many people are offering a targeted email opt-in and so many emails are coming your way may make it seem like a method that is already saturated. However, even though excessive inbox delivery may have reduced open rates, it is still an optimal way to reach everyone. Some people have Facebook, others Twitter, others Instagram, but almost everybody has an email account. For those that are connected to you and are interested in what you have to offer it is a fantastic way to deliver more high-value content.
If you agree that your business would benefit from having an email list, then the question becomes “How do I manage one?” You will have to identify behind the scenes protocols, content, and how you will get people to engage. Things to consider include your email delivery system, the use of an email opt-in, the content and format of your email opt-in, whether to have multiple email opt-ins, and how to increase interaction with your audience once they have opted to receive your emails.
1) Your email delivery system
There are many email marketing services such as Aweber and Mailchimp. Google can provide you with an up to date list of companies and the features that they offer. Each has parameters that serve different stages of business from start-up to a well established multinational player. Decide which is best for you to implement right now and then review as the market and your business requirements change.
Once you have identified your email list service you need to decide what strategies you will use to add new emails to your list. What is the appeal for people to be on your list? If you can identify the benefits that people will get out of it they will be more willing to be a part of your community. Perhaps they would be interested in the valuable information that you share in a newsletter. Maybe they would like to know about your future special offers on services or products and related content such as upcoming free webinars or book releases.
An email opt-in is a particular benefit that they can access almost immediately or in the very near future. This is often delivered on the home page or pop-up page of a website, but this is not the only way. If you don’t have a website, it could also be an offer that you make every time you speak about your business. If you exchange business cards ask if they would like to receive your gift at their business email. if you deliver a presentation include a pitch about your gift and a sign-up sheet.
2) Email Opt-in advantages
Your email list is a way for you to generate multiple points of contact to get people to know like and trust you and provide leads for your paid products and services. These people have already self-selected as having an interest in what you have to offer so it is not like cold calling to the general population.
It is a call to action that you can use at every opportunity. Share the results delivered by your great free offer and how they can get it and connect with you in your bio at networking events or annexed to articles. In other words, include it at every spoken and written business opportunity. If your speech or article is directly related to the free content you have to offer then you can refer your audience to this resource in the main body of your presentation.
When you send out email marketing, you need to have consent from the receiver or it will be classified as spam. An opt-in provides this for you. If you add emails to your list in another way make sure that you have permission. Email marketing services also allow the recipient to opt-out of receiving further content from you if they wish.
Pro Tip: I encourage you to unsubscribe to all the lists that you are not reading. You actually want people to do this to you also so that your list only comprises of highly motivated peps who want to be a member of your community.
3) Email Opt-in offer formats
Your free offer can take many forms:
- a PDF file that is a checklist, an informational e-book, or whitepaper
- a Video that is a training or informational resource
- an Audio recording of informational interviews or presentations.
Have an email opt-in offer that solves your target audience’s most pressing problem, so they can get a taste of what you can do for them. This opt-in should be closely related to your paid products or services.
If you have a website dedicate your home page to your signature opt-in offer so you can send guest post and social media traffic to it to build your list. This is sometimes referred to as a “squeeze page,” which is a stand-alone page where you highlight your free gift.
This page comes in handy when you invite people to your opt-in from elsewhere on the internet. For example, you can link to your squeeze page from your bio below a guest blog post. You can also link to it directly from social media.
Over the years I have played around with different opt-in presentations, sidebars and popups. But these failed the smell test! Just keep it simple and don’t make it irritating. Make it super easy for people to find no matter where customers enter your site. Use great copy that lets people know how your offer benefits them as well as giving your readers a clear understanding of what they’re going to receive when they sign up. Write words and phrasing that matches how they would talk about it to make it easily relate-able. In this way, you can streamline your marketing and the copy you use. Make the opt-in a part of your brand.
Pro Tip: Use a double opt-in to avoid getting lots of spam signups from bots. This is part of the set up from your email manager that requires that the new subscriber responds to the first email sent by clicking to confirm that they want in.
4) Multiple Email Opt-ins
Initially, you may just have one really high quality opt-in. later though you may have multiple points of entry and many high-value free promotions.
For example, you might add a free webinar opt-in. Around 80% of those that sign up will watch the webinar. This allows you to develop a fast track relationship that can be further strengthened through the list. Make sure you thank them for opting in and continue to drop feed easily digested valuable resources so they begin to see you as their go-to guide.
You could also add a promotional opt-in such as a taster of a new product you are launching. This could be the first chapter of a book or even the whole book for a limited time. Or, it could be the first video in new training.
You can think of each opt-in opportunity as a point of contact with your ideal audience. The more points of contact you have, the more likely they will develop a relationship and be inclined to make a purchase from you. Instead of one car making deliveries on a route, you have a fleet of cars dropping things off. This distinguishes you as an authority as you have multiple points of added value and also increases trust through evidence of greater reliability.
5) How to increase your click rate
Once you have got your opt-in up and running you want to continually improve it. This means checking in periodically with how the opt-in content itself can be improved. What new information or resources do you have now that could be added? It also means checking in on the ways in which you get the word out about your opt-in and where you can do a better job. In addition, it means how to make an impact on the people who do join your list.
You can distinguish yourself in two key ways:
Firstly, continue to provide brand-driven high-value content that your audience is looking for so that they are motivated to open your emails.
Second, focus on the relationship such that your community likes you and wants to learn more about you and engage with you.
To sum up, an opt-in is a powerful way to promote your brand and grow your list. Decide on each element of your list building system from your email provider to your high-value opt-in content to your email sequences. Let me know how each of these is working for you. What discoveries have you made on what works well and what doesn’t in your email community?
Where are you at with developing your opt in and growing your list? Let me know about your challenges and breakthroughs.