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Getting the email opt-in is key to having an engaged list of subscribers. While technically, in the United States, you can legally email people without the opt-in (this is known as unsolicited email, cold email, or spam email ), it is likely not going to be worth your time, plus it’s not legal in other countries which is scary to manage. Perhaps most importantly, sending unsolicited emails will kill your email deliverability, which will ultimately hurt the ROI of your email efforts.
So, don’t send Spam. Instead, read on to employ a solid opt-in strategy, and grow an email list that will open your emails, read your content, and go on to buy your products.
Give Readers a Reason To Opt In
We know that your website content is awesome, and the world needs your emails. However, not every visitor to your site knows you well enough yet, and will be apprehensive about giving out their personal information online for your opt in list. In addition, people’s inboxes are full enough, with the average worker receiving hundreds of emails a day. That said, there are so many reasons why a user should opt-in to your email; you just need to communicate your value it as well as you can.
Giving your reader a powerful reason to opt-in to your email list is the most important aspect to a opt-in strategy. Consider the following to increase the strength of your messaging:
- Social proof: SmartPassiveIncome.com’s landing page does a great job of this. They use quotes from their customers about how the site has helped them achieve there goals. Getting someone else to tell your story will increase authenticity and relatability, and make someone more likely to sign up, opt-in, and look forward to your emails. Reviews are also great.
- Sense of community: While some of us may be more introverted than others, people are wired to seek connection with others. The proof is all around us, for the explosive growth of social media to social movements and the list goes on. Not every email list will be a community, but if there are community aspects to your email list, that will increase your newsletter’s value. Perhaps you can form a Facebook group around a specific topic, and use the newsletter to keep people informed? Perhaps it’s as simple as sending out surveys, and then sharing the results back with your subscribers for their feedback.
- Enforce why it’s important to stay current with your content: Everybody has a newsletter, and a podcast, and so much content is being shared. Why is it important to stay in the loop about your content specifically? If you can tap into a differentiation and an urgency of your email list, your opt-in numbers (and engagement rates) will increase.
- Freebies, exclusive content, or a discount: Using incentives can significantly increase the conversion rate of your opt-in page, in part because the exchange of value is so clear. User trades their email for something in return. The higher value you can create for the incentive; the more likely a user will go on to sign up. That said, this can be a mixed blessing. If users sign up only seeking the incentive, they may not be actually interested in your website content and decide to actually opt-out later (or, just never open your email). Definitely test this, but proceed with caution.
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Make the Opt-In Process Easy
With a very strong reason for someone to op-tin to your email list, you need to make sure not to completely blow it now with a poor user experience. The opt-in process is the first step in getting people to sign up for your email list. First impressions count, so you want to make it as easy and straightforward as possible. It’s not hard to do, but does take some attention.
Here are a few tips to make your opt-in process easy:
1. Use a clear and concise call to action on opt in pages. Tell people exactly what you want them to do, and make it obvious how they can do it. Nothing is worse than when a user can’t find the opt-in button, or are unsure if they need to put in their full name or just the first name.
2. Make the form short and simple. Ask for only the bare minimum of information, and make sure the form is easy to fill out. First name and email is the gold standard (so you can do some personalization), but test what works best for you.
3. Make sure that dual opt-in email gets sent immediately. If I try to opt-in to an email list and don’t receive the confirmation email immediately, I completely bail. To me, that means this website is going to have technical issues, and this website owner lacks attention to detail. Life is too short to wait for email confirmations. Make sure to check that yours is working.
4. For users who don’t confirm their opt-in, send a reminder! People get busy. Not everyone will confirm their opt-in on your first try.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your opt-in process is easy and effective.
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Use Multiple Types of Opt-Ins, Such As Pop Ups and Landing Page Variants
Running a website is already exhausting, from generating new content to managing social media. So, perhaps the thought of layering even more tasks seems unrealistic.
But if you really want to maximize the number of people opting into your email list, you should use multiple op-tin strategies.
The key methods are to prominently display your email newsletter signup form on your home page, as well as to insert forms throughout your blog content. You can get pretty far just by doing this, and focusing on other activities like publishing new posts. If this is all you do, your email list should grow at a reasonable rate (let’s say in the ~0.5% of unique visitors range).
To increase the number of visitors who opt-in to your newsletter, use pop-ups. While pop-ups can be obtrusive to the website’s reading experience, the key is to provide real value in the pop-up, and to use the right tool that times the pop-up at the appropriate time (often as a user is about to exit your website. With the use of a pop-up, the percentage of users who will sign up for your newsletter can go up to as high as 2%-3%. Imagine, if your site gets 10,000 users per month, you got 200 fresh new subscribers for free! Not bad.
There are so many other ways to get individuals to opt-in. If you really want to step up your email newsletter numbers, try these as well:
- Use lead magnets (giveaways like an ebook or video)
- Run contests
- Reach out to influencers in your niche to share out your email list
- Use your social media channel
- Add a link in your email signature
- Get your email list featured in a similar email list in your niche
- Use advertising (i.e., Facebook lead ads or PPC)
- Consider using solo ads
- Here’s a more indepth list of free ways to build your list
As you use multiple methods, don’t forget to keep an eye on the metrics. Some methods will work better for your audience in terms of conversion rate, and some metrics will get more engaged emails. While the money is certainly in the list, it’s not worth very much if your list doesn’t engage with you.
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Be Transparent About How You Plan To Use Reader’s Email Addresses
When signing up readers for your newsletter, it’s essential to be transparent about how you plan to use their email address. This is important for a few reasons.
First and foremost, being transparent with readers builds trust and encourages them to subscribe in the first place. People are more likely to sign up if they know that their personal information is being used responsibly. It also sets expectations so they know what kind of emails they’ll be receiving and how often. This is especially true if you plan to send them promotions, such as if you are selling solo ads.
Second, it’s the law. Most countries have laws in place that require companies to disclose how they’ll use user data when collecting information like email addresses. Violating these laws can result in hefty fines or other legal repercussions.
Finally, being transparent and honest with readers shows respect for their privacy and demonstrates that you value them as individuals. It’s important to remember that people are more than just email addresses – they’re humans with feelings who deserve to be treated with respect.
Overall, transparency is key when signing up new readers for your newsletter. Doing so builds trust and shows respect for their privacy, while also ensuring that you comply with the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. When they trust you and they clearly understand what they are getting, your opt-in strategy should succeed.
Now, with your list growing strong, it’s time to focus on creating a winning email marketing campaign.
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