“Opt-in” in email marketing is using email to promote products or services after asking permission of your audience to sign up for your email list. Getting permission before sending marketing emails, or asking consumers to “opt in,” helps earn their attention and trust long-term, generating new sales, retaining more consumers, and providing a return on investment for your brand.
However, an email opt-in list is not easy to build. Consumers may hesitate to give out their contact information so you must make doing so worth it for them.
Read on to learn more about email opt-in marketing and tips for building and maintaining an email opt-in list.
What Are Email Opt-Ins?
An opt-in list is a list of subscribers who have provided their email address in order to join your mailing list. This provides your brand the opportunity to send emails (whether marketing, sales, retention, or others) to those who want to receive email communications from you.
Email is an extremely effective form of communication for both acquisition and retention because you’re getting permission to send promotional materials, e-newsletters, marketing campaign messaging, and other calls to action directly to your leads or customers. However, to get people to opt in, you must provide some sort of enticement or incentive (while following all CAN-SPAM rules and email best practices).
Why Is Opt-In Email Marketing Important?
When people sign up to receive emails, they want to hear from your business – you won’t be wasting time on people who aren’t interested or won’t convert. The bigger your opt-in list, the larger your direct marketing audience. Your email platform will then allow you to track and guide leads through the purchase journey, which helps create a lasting relationship with customers.
Email marketing is also a validation of your business, helping consumers understand why they need your products or services and why your brand is the best option.
How To Build an Opt-In Email List
Leads and customers aren’t going to give away their contact information for just anything, so you need to make it worth it. The perfect strategy may depend on your product, service, or target audience; however, some of the tried-and-true tactics include:
Attract With Valuable Content
Original, valuable content is key when it comes to any marketing strategy, especially email. Content can include:
- Premium content like industry reports, guides, or e-books.
- Blog content that establishes your brand as an industry thought leader, trusted partner, and source of reliable information.
- Social media content which can share a variety of types of content like blog posts, images, videos, infographics, and more.
Use attractive, emotional, educational, or brand-promotional content to bring your audience to your social media channels or website hosting the opt-in form. Make the audience curious about and interested in your brand. Take advantage of the various types of content available and make sure you’re providing it consistently.
Ask For Subscriptions
There’s no harm in right out asking for subscribers. Promise to deliver promotions, discounts, freebies, premium content, or similar enticements for those who sign up. Be sure the form you’re using to collect the leads is easily accessible and prominent. Also consider adding proof that what you’re offering is worth it (for example, you currently have XX subscribers, or share discounts or products you’ve provided to subscribers in the past).
Provide Gated Content
When you “gate” premium content, you’re forcing a consumer to provide their information to access that content. These could be e-books, reports, guides, case studies, or similar content, but again, it must be enticing and interesting enough that the consumer will want to provide their email address in order to access that content. Most of the time, once a consumer provides their email, they are sent an email with the requested content, or it automatically opens in a new page or downloads to their computer.
Offer Rewards or Incentives
Everyone wants discount codes, first looks at sales, or freebies, so incentivize your opt-in forms by offering people something tangible if they sign up. These could include:
- First purchase discounts.
- Premium subscriber discounts.
- Promo codes (which are also good for tracking).
- Giveaways (encourage customer retention while also attracting new ones).
- Spin to win.
- Rewards programs/clubs.
Be a Thought Leader
Are you a reliable source for industry-related information? Are you a leader in your industry? Authority in your space? When you are, people want to hear and read what you have to say. This also makes them more likely to follow you and willing to subscribe to your content.
Be active on social, blog, and engage with other relevant industries and leaders regularly.
Take Advantage of Subscription Opportunities
There are some logical places where it makes sense to ask for an email address, such as during a retail checkout process. Pop ups on landing pages when visitor is idle for a certain period of time or a banner on your campaign landing pages are other options. However, be sure to avoid overusing these opportunities because you could be more intrusive or annoying than encouraging.
Tips For Opt-In Forms
Once you’ve attracted a lead or customer to your website or landing page, you need to make sure your opt-in form follows a few best practices to encourage the most sign-ups possible:
Use An Eye-Catching Headline
When a person sees your form, whether on a landing page, a social media page, or on paper, you’ll need to use an eye-catching, creative headline to immediately grab their attention and pique their curiosity. Like a blog or news article, the headline should describe the form in just a few words.
Too much text, long sentences, or long paragraphs can immediately turn off a prospect, especially if they are viewing the page on a mobile device. Instead, break up any text with bullets or use other visuals to create white space.
Consider the Placement
Should the landing page have content at the top explaining the form, and the form after that? Or should the form be the first thing visitors see? How will the landing page look on a desktop vs. a mobile device? Is the form large enough and in a logical place? The last thing you want is for your site visitors to not be able to find the form.
Make sure you get the most important information for your needs, but you can be creative about the questions you ask, content, images you use, and other design elements on the page. Don’t hide the form or include things people don’t need but showcase your brand and creativity to encourage opt-ins.
Have a Compelling CTA
You won’t get email addresses for nothing in return. The call to action for the form should be compelling and encouraging. For example, “sign up for exclusive discounts and freebies” or “your email address gives you access to exclusive content and giveaways.” Make sure they not only visit your page but fill out the form in completion and click “submit.”
Contact Dragonfly Digital Marketing
If you need help maximizing opt-ins for your email marketing campaign, Dragonfly can help. We work with businesses of all sizes to develop and expand their email lists to reach new demographics and retain existing customers. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business grow.