Ask business owners today, and most will tell you one of the keys to their success for getting and keeping clients as well as generating more sales and leads is building a great opt-in list. It is so true that a solid opt-in list can be one of the most effective marketing tools around. It allows you to not only reach out to those who originally visited your site to find out more about your business, but also presents a direct way of communicating with your audience once they are on your mailing list. While some may brag about their large lists of hundreds of thousands, the majority of us are simply motivated to continue to build and effectively communicate with the list of targeted subscribers we already have. We are more interested in having a smaller more targeted list of subscribers who are really interested in who we are and what we do than we are in having large lists of people who really don’t care and are not interested in what we do or say. These tips should help you do just that.
Tips for building a successful opt-in list:
Give them a reason to opt-in with great incentive and free offer – Your free offer (or free taste) needs to be something of great interest and benefit to your target market, and one that they are compelled to share with others. Something that really speaks to them and helps them solve a problem, run their business more effectively, or simply makes their lives easier. Some examples include: Exclusive ebooks, special reports or white papers, CDs on topics within your areas of expertise, checklists, tips and resources, etc.
Consider what makes your business and the services or products you offer unique and speak to that uniqueness in your offer; but make sure it is related to what you want to promote or the services you want to showcase regarding your expertise. Too many people just slap up an offer about their industry in general, and miss out on that piece of the pie they could get by showing that they really are experts in their fields and know what they are doing.
Make sure your squeeze page, opt-in box or whatever it is you use is compelling – Once you know what you will be offering, make sure you present it well so it clearly lists the benefits subscribers will receive. Tell them exactly what your offer is. Don’t just say, “Opt-in to my newsletter” or “Join my list.” Give your freebee a descriptive name that tells them what benefit or value they will gain by downloading it (mine is a report that highlights how to Save Time, Energy & Money by Avoiding the Top 3 Mistakes Speakers Make!) and tell them what else they will receive by opting in. If it’s more your style, you might also consider making a video and describing it that way. People love to “see and hear” who they are communicating with, and this can help make a big difference in building trust when asking visitors to hand over their email address.
On your opt-in page or opt-in box, have the name of your offer, a description of the offer, and any other information you feel will entice someone to sign up for it. Be as concise as possible so it’s not so wordy people will lose interest. And don’t forget the most important part—your call to action. Tell them what you want them to do such as, “Please sign up below.” Yes, it seems obvious, but a call to action is very important when you want someone to do something specific … like join your list and download your freebee.
Test your opt-ins and make sure everything is working – Whatever you decide to offer, always test it to make sure it works properly and the process is easy for your subscribers. It’s also a good idea to check the process from time to time to make sure your opt-in code and downloads still continue to work. Nothing can ruin the positive impressions you’ve made after convincing someone to sign up to receive your fabulous offer, than for them to have technical difficulties and not be able to receive it. And don’t think just because no one tells you there is a problem that you’re in the clear. Normally, they won’t. They just silently lose some of the trust you have gained and go somewhere else. It never hurts to check the links and opt-in code on your website from time to time anyway. It’s just good business sense!
Now, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is if you follow these tips you will get more subscribers. The bad news is that once you get them, you’ll have to put forth a little effort to keep them. That means the work doesn’t stop here. You should be providing great content on a consistent basis, engaging with them regularly, and most importantly letting them see the real you and why they need to work with you … let your personality and work style show through in everything you send them. In all reality, YOU are your business, so make sure your subscribers see the real you and get to know the real you. We highly recommend making this a part of your marketing plan. If you need any assistance, just let us know. As always, we’re here to help.