Let’s Talk Opt-In + List Growth
We’ve all been there: sitting down at your desk, turning on your computer, only to find your inbox bombarded with offers you never signed up for.
As inbound marketers, we know that the days of buying a lead list, loading the contacts into our CRM, and blasting out emails are over. However, the concept of building a completely opt-in database from start to finish can be a daunting task.
Utilizing an opt-in list growth email marketing campaign is vital to ensuring that your emails are reaching the right contacts, the ones who expect to see your messages – and not those who could potentially harm your reputation. Our digital marketing agency is here to provide the ins and outs of opt-in email marketing and the tools to help you do it.
What is opt-in email marketing?
Opt-in means prospects or leads are aware you’re adding them to your email list. Opt-in email marketing is the process of sending marketing materials to an email list of prospects who specifically subscribed to your content. You can send email newsletters, promotional materials, or nurturing email campaigns.
Double Opt-In vs. Single Opt-In
Users can subscribe to emails that use a single opt-in in one simple step. This means that the only thing users have to do to subscribe is type their email address into the required field. Single opt-in is helpful for marketing teams that want the process of signing up for automated emails to be as quick as possible.
On the other hand, double opt-in requires an extra confirmation step to verify each email address added to your contact database. Double opt-in is when a user signs up for email marketing, then confirms the subscription process via a separate email or landing page to officially be added to a mailing list. This process reduces the risk of spam complaints and increases the interest level of the user.
How to Build an Opt-In Email List
Attract Prospects with a Lead Magnet
The lead magnet—also known as the opt-in bribe—is key to attracting new prospects and growing your list. To attract website visitors to become your subscriber, you have to entice them with a promotion or offer that they can’t refuse. Here are our tried-and-true lead magnets.
- Freebies: From free trials to free gifts, it is nearly impossible to resist a good freebie. The goal is to give away something your prospects will value in exchange for their contact information.
- Discounts: You can easily attract leads with as little as a 5% or $5 discount. It doesn’t have to be a monetary offer, either—upgrades and other deals might also be enticing.
- Gated Content: Gating content refers to requiring a user to submit their email address through a form to receive content. From e-books to quizzes to case studies, customers are constantly on the hunt for new information. If you can provide the answers your target audience is seeking, they’ll willingly hand over their contact details in the process.
- Exclusivity: People love to feel like they are receiving special treatment or are gaining access to something not everyone else can get. Cater to the sense of exclusivity with offerings of access to special communities or VIP programs.
Place Opt-In Forms Throughout Your Website
Anytime someone visits your website, it’s a chance for you to invite them to join your email list. To make sure that a visitor has as many opportunities as possible to opt-in, place sign-up forms throughout your website in key positions, for instance in the footer or at the end of a blog post.
Use Popups, Carefully!
Popups are useful in conveying relevant and valuable offers to those who visit your site. However, popups should be used sparingly, as they can disrupt the user experience. Experiment with different types of popups, for instance, first purchase discounts and exit-intent, in order to see what incentivizes your target audience.
Utilize Double Opt-In
Double opt-in offers an extra confirmation step to verify each email address added to your email list. When this setting is enabled, contacts who are created will receive a follow-up email with a link to confirm their email subscription. Getting a double opt-in confirmation allows you to be sure that your contact actually wants to hear from you and it significantly reduces your potential for spam complaints.
Set expectations about two things: frequency and content. When a person gives you permission to communicate with them, the clock starts ticking. As soon as you receive someone’s email address, immediately send them a message thanking them and letting them know when you will be emailing again and what you will be sending them.
Permission does not last forever. To stay welcome in your subscriber’s inbox, you need to make sure that all of your emails are interesting and timely. Highlight offers that are time sensitive, as well as provide content that is relevant to their previous interactions with your company.
Enable Subscribers to Opt-Out
Today, everyone’s inbox is cluttered. Aid your subscribers in the fight against unsolicited emails by offering them a way out. Let your list know that if they want to opt-out, it is as easy as clicking a link placed in the email that will lead them to the area where they can unsubscribe. But, don’t fret about those subscribers who opt-out! Because you have established an honest, open relationship with them through email, you have earned their trust. And trust builds customers in the long run.
It’s always better to ask for permission to email ahead of time than to ask for forgiveness for spamming later. Anytime you send an email to someone without their permission, you are sending spam. Not only does sending out unsolicited emails affect your reputation as an email sender, but it can also have hefty fines.
Avoid becoming an accidental spammer and implement an opt-in email marketing strategy. These best practices will allow you to grow and nurture your list.