An engaged email list is perhaps the most important asset for a business.
While social media platforms and search engines change every so often, only one mode of communication remains constant in a rapidly changing digital marketing landscape: email.
Imagine a collective of your most ideal prospects waiting to hear from you and eager to take action.
A warm audience who has given you a sacred place in their inbox.
A bigger email list means a bigger group of people you can market to.
The trick to growing your email list is to design an incredibly irresistible opt-in offer that is built to be shared. It should be highly shareable on social media and attract links from other websites.
Today, we’ll learn exactly how to do that.
What is an Opt-in Offer?
An opt-in offer or “lead magnet” or “freebie” is an incentive you offer in exchange for an email address. Examples of opt-in offers: ebooks, checklists, workbooks, podcasts, videos, live training, etc.
This is not a generic “Sign up for my monthly newsletter” form.
Opt-in offers have to be a benefit incentive you provide upfront.
A good opt-in offer is specific
It must target a question or problem specific to your audience. A generic “weekly SEO tips & tricks newsletter” does not make the cut.
Instead, a good opt-in offer provides a tangible benefit that is useful to your audience. I recommend something that provides immediate relief to a problem they are facing.
For example, a graphic design service might have an opt-in offer that teaches businesses how to create custom logos. It could also teach businesses how to design their own branding kit. These opt-in offers are useful upon download. As a business owner, I could immediately use these opt-in freebies to make my own logo and branding kit. When the time comes to hire a graphic designer, you can bet that I would remember them and engage their services.
It has a clear promised outcome
Your opt-in should match perfectly with your audience’s interests and what’s in it for them. A clear promised outcome that tells your subscriber what results they would get if they sign up.
Amongst all my lead magnets, my free 4-Day SEO for Beginners Bootcamp training series outperforms the rest. This alone gets me over 500 subscribers monthly.
It is a structured 4 Day intensive SEO video training series that promises traffic growth as an end result. Some of my students have said that I should not give this away for free! Lol.
The best way to win someone over is to over-deliver. It is okay to give away some of your best material for free because you’ll be nurturing them down the sales funnel. Think of your freebie as a primer to your paid products in the future. So your opt-in offers have to be bangin’ good to win them over the first time!
Lightweight vs Heavyweight Opt-ins: Your offer needs to pack a punch
An opt-in offer is a gateway to converting a new reader into a subscriber. To convince and convert, our opt-in needs to pack a punch.
There are two kinds of opt-ins: Lightweight and Heavyweight.
Lightweight opt-ins are small freebies that are easy to create and deliver a simple benefit. Such as a checklist, workbook, template. These types of opt-ins are most suitable as a content upgrade to a blog post.
The goal of lightweight opt-ins is short-term. It is relevant only to the reader at that time when they are reading your blog post and applying the strategies learned in the accompanying checklist. Our goal here is volume – we want to attract as many sign-ups by converting readers into subscribers.
Time required to create lightweight freebie: 1-2 days
Heavyweight freebies are comprehensive and require commitment. Such as a webinar, ebook, training series. Getting people to sign up for high commitment opt-ins will not be as easy.
But the quality of these subscribers will be higher. These subscribers are likely lower down the funnel and are your most engaged audience. The goal of heavyweight freebies is long-term. You want to capture these subscribers with a high commitment opt-in and nurture them over email to convert into a paying customer.
Time required to create heavyweight freebie: 1 week
Repurpose your top trafficked articles into an opt-in
Your top trafficked articles have the most opportunity to be turned into an opt-in offer! This is the most efficient and time-saving way to create an opt-in that already has valuable content.
Usually, this is a blog post turned into an ebook. On my blog, I have only one such article that was repurposed into an opt-in and it has worked pretty well so far. SEO Blueprint: How to get your first 10k visits from Google is one of my top trafficked articles and has already received significant social shares.
I repurposed that article into a downloadable pdf that consolidated all my strategies into a blueprint of actionable SEO tips.
Maximize the visibility of your opt-in offers
This is crucial. I saw huge increments in the no. of subscribers I was gaining by placing my opt-in offers in many places. Not so much on where you place your opt-in but how many times your opt-in offer is seen. There are several hotspots you can place your opt-in offer:
- Sticky header (top of every page)
- Content upgrade (within the blog post)
- Dedicated landing page
Fully maximize the visibility of your opt-in by putting them in as many places on your website as possible. For instance, I have a content upgrade to a high traffic blog post Creating a Remarkable SEO Strategy from Scratch and because it was performing so well, I created a dedicated landing page just to drive subscribers to the same workbook. This has multiplied the number of subscribers on my list with the same opt-in!
Next, amplify it!
SEO your opt-in offer landing page and rank it on search results
- Include a focus keyword in the title
- Ensure your landing page loads fast, under 3 seconds
- Build backlinks to your opt-in offer landing page
Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your opt-in offer
- Create 3-4 different pin images all pointing to the same opt-in offer landing page
- Join Pinterest group boards and start manually pinning those pins
- Include a focus keyword in your pin title
- Write a pin description about your opt-in offer and include long-tail keywords relevant to your opt-in topic
Let your social following know about your opt-in offer
- If you have a following on Facebook, Instagram – make sure to create a few Facebook and Instagram posts
- Tweet your opt-in offer and tag people in your network who might be interested. Include relevant hashtags.
Email your existing subscribers about your opt-in offer
- If you already have an email list, no matter how small, it is worth it to let them know about your new opt-in offer.
- Nurture them further with your new opt-in content. You could create additional sequences to prime them down the sales funnel to your paid products.
Have you tried any of these ideas for creating your opt-in offer? What has worked for you?