What exactly is an opt-in & how do I make it? In this guide to opt-ins, I show you how to start collecting email addresses straight from your website.
Bloggers and online business owners are so busy working in their business, they don’t have much time to work ON their business.
A building block to blog + online business growth is having an opt-in. An opt-in is when someone gives you permission to send them emails.
Back when I started Angel Foods my cake business in 2010 I started with a weebly website. It was a starting point and meant I could put a website on my business cards, build up my gallery or portfolio.
But then the website got outdated and I knew it was time to go more professional. I had heard of WordPress & Opt In’s and and I all the business people out there said to ”get them on the email list”.
I have to tell you, creating an opt-in on my website was THE #1 BEST BUSINESS DECISION I MADE.
Even though I had a website that was half finished. Even though I was all scattery and wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing. I grew my business along the way… while growing my email list.
Start and Grow an Email List
Starting and growing an email list, where I can email people regularly, be in their inbox and provide value and inspiration. By regularly staying in contact, THIS creates a relationship…. and this is the VERY beginning of how to make money online.
#1 Business Tip: ‘Get them on your list’!
To make money online, it is essential to have an email newsletter list. This is how we ‘Capture’ email addresses, so we can later ‘convert’ them into paying customers.
Over here, where we talked about the 3 C’s to making money online. Hint: you need to capture contact details.
The best method of getting email addresses is by an ‘Opt-In’ on your website. (An opt-in can also be called a landing page.)
Related article: How to Start an Email Newsletter & Make Sales Through Emails.
How do you get permission to send emails?
To get permission to send people emails this is usually via an opt-in, by offering something of value to your potential customers in exchange for their email address.
When someone enters their name and email address they are given the option to receive email. (When people don’t give permission, that is referred to as spam).
By someone entering their contact details for your freebie thingy (your promised goodie) they are giving permission for just that freebie.
It is important to add the fine print and written note of if and when you are using that email address in another way. For example, if you are wanting to send email newsletters, then you need to let people know this and give the option.
Ways that you can get permission to send email newsletters are:
- a tick box at time of subscribing (by ticking they are agreeing to receive extra communications)
- fine print at the bottom of an opt-in or landing page (by entering details they will also receive other emails)
- written on welcome page (thank you for entering details and BTW you will also receive free advice/info/deals via email)
- via email (when delivering the freebie goodie to their inbox you tell people what they can expect).
For example: ”Tthank you so much for signing up for this free checklist. What you can expect from (this company/me) is that I will email weekly with free information and advice. By grabbing the free checklist you agree to this. We don’t like spam either! Terms and pricing policy on how we use contact details are here.”
Ideas of What you can Offer as an Opt-In
Long gone are the days of ”sign up for my email newsletter”. That worked 10 years ago and maybe 5 years ago, but no longer.
Now, people want value, like jam-packed full of value. But it doesn’t have to cost you the earth, in fact it may not have to cost you a penny.
The #1 most important rule when deciding what to offer as an opt-in? It must be of huge value to your target market. So high value that they are virtually (figuratively and metaphorically) tripping over themselves to sign up for. It has to be irresistible – to your target market.
Ask yourself the questions:
- Who are you selling to?
- What are you wanting to sell more of?
- What gift would be of value to your customer?
- What part of your business are you trying to grow?
- What is your current offering description and price?
- If you don’t have an offering yet, what are you wanting to sell? (Videos, tutorials, eBooks, courses)
- Write 5 things that your customers find most frustrating and inconvenient around buying, using, and/or experiencing your product or service.
- Another way to ask yourself: what three things prevent my ideal customer from giving my product or service a try (as it exists right now)?
So, thinking about your target market, their mindset, what their concerns are and greatest desire. What would they get the greatest value from signing up for, on your website? I would suggest sitting down for 10 minutes, in quiet and really nutting out who is your target market and what would they love to sign up for.
Offerings are to be designed to make customer’s lives easier, more convenient or more fun!
It must provide the solution to 1 (one) problem, be quick and simple (no 52 page reports or 136 page book!), consistent with your business an what you offer.
Here are some suggestions:
- Free consultation
- free report
- blog post (or collection of)
- books (physical or digital)
- courses or mini course
- video or webinar (live or replay)
- free shipping
How To Get Opt-In on Your Website
To put an opt-in on your website, you really have 2 options. 1. Do it yourself or 2. get someone to do it. Don’t complicate it any further than this. The first step is decide whether you are doing this yourself or not.
If you are wanting to do this yourself, because either you can’t afford to pay someone, you want to try figuring it out or you are a bit techy minded, that cool.
To get an opt-in on your website, it depends on what type of website platform you have. I use and recommend WordPress.org (different to .com)
You need an email service provider to ‘collect’ the email address for you.
MailChimp is a free email service provider for up to 2000 email subscribers.) I have a Starter Guide to Starting with MailChimp and video training on exactly how to create a an opt-in (otherwise known as sales page or sign up page) inside the training module in Blog Business School. Not already a member? It is only $1 to enrol.
I use ConvertKit and below I show you how to connect the dots…
How to Create an Opt-In with ConvertKit in 2 Minutes Flat
I have been using ConvertKit since April 2016 and am head-over-heels in love with this email service provider. One reason I love them so much, is that I can create a landing page (opt in) in 2 minutes flat!
Below I show you exactly how I do that.
- Beginning to 3:00 minutes are examples.
- 3:00-3:50 ConvertKit advantages.
- 3:50-end how to create ConvertKit opt-in
I can see you thinking okay, cool. Now I have an opt-in… how do I add to my website? I got you covered.
ConvertKit also has a plugin that adds your opt-in to the bottom to every single blog post, like the bottom of this one. Cool, hey?
Other reasons I love ConvertKit is that I can create content upgrades (blog specific opt-ins) in under 10 minutes that covert wayyyy better than a standard opt-in (between 10-40% versus 2% or less with a ‘normal’ opt-in!)
How to Set up an Email List
In any email service provider you can have multiple lists (multiple opt-ins or offers can be on different lists). But lets keep this simple for a second and say that your opt-in is to go on an email newsletter list.
In MailChimp create a list and call it ‘Email Newsletter List’.
In ConvertKit any new opt-in automatically collects the emails as ‘subscribers’.
This is what email service providers are born to do!
Pop up Opt-Ins
Pop ups are when a type of opt-in that ‘pops up’ on a website. The argument is can be that they are annoying, but the thing is: pop ups work. (To the tune of around 1000 email subscribers per month on my Angel Foods website.) I have tried different pop up strategies and what is killing it right now, is pop up after 60 seconds on pages & posts.
This year (2017) Google is going to start penalising bad pops ups (pop up on entry, pop ups that are obtrusive, etc) so be sure to have a ‘good’ pop up practice versus a ‘bad’ one.
There are pop up plugins free and paid. I have always paid for a pop up opt-in from a developer or VA and on Angel Foods website that is a custom coded pop up. On this website I am using the free version of PopupAlly.
6 Things to Remember for Opt-Ins:
- Put in how much the ‘gift’ is worth or valued at. For example: ”Valued at $17.95”
(If you aren’t sure, just guesstimate. It is giving your customer a perception of value, so they are more likely to read the resource or use the free delivery. Not only that, with a $ dollar sign, the ‘ opt-in rate’ being the number of people who sign up, is much higher!)
- Put in a call to action.
So, give your potential customer the exact DIRECT next action you want them to take. Don’t leave room for error or not signing up because they were unsure.
If you want them to enter name & email address, say that.
- Make it pretty.
Remember, we ‘eat’ with our eyes first. Ugly opt-in’s mean people will leave.
- Safe SPAM free zone.
Tell them that their email addresses are safe with you and you won’t sell or SPAM them. (And mean it!) Make this writing smaller, in italics, and near the Opt-In boxes.
- Deliver what you promise – ASAP!
Whatever your gift or exchange is, make sure the customer receives it straight away! This starts building a relationship on trust, that you will deliver what & when you say you will.
Set up an email auto-responder, like MailChimp or ConvertKit, and deliver the ‘gift’ straight into their inbox, whether it is a PDF document, work sheet, check list, voucher, etc.
- Test. Tweak. Change. Repeat.
Opt Ins need to be changed and updated regularly (and you can have more than 1!) Regularly look at the Opt In rate, being number of people signing up compared to number of website hits.
Try changing the wording (Sales Copy), type of ‘gift’, value amount, SPAM statement, pretty-ness of the opt-in or even the type of Opt In plug-in, and test the results.
For step-by-step training on how to set up Mailchimp and ConvertKit, create a sign up page and adding to your website to grow your email list check out the training module in Blog Business School. (Not already a member? Enrol today for this training.)
Quick Reference Resource List:
- Website: WordPress.org
- Hosting: Siteground
- Domain: GoDaddy or Crazy Domains
- Themes: Sparkling or Genesis Framework or StudioPress or Foodie Pro or Restored 316
- Security: Securi
- Email Service Providers: MailChimp or ConvertKit
- Video Editing: Camtasia for PC or Mac
- Enrol in Blog Business School for just $1: Online training for the business of blogging.
THERE'S MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM!
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