How to create the perfect blog opt-in.
Building an email list is such a big deal for small businesses, entrepreneurs and bloggers. Knowing how to create the perfect opt-in is really the key that unlocks that door to greater opportunities when it comes to converting those readers into customers.
Take a look at the title. Notice it says for your blog. I decided to add that in about midway through my outline for this post. IT IS KEY.
For YOUR blog.
Not every opt-in is right for your blog. Do you know how many times I have seen in Facebook groups people posting things like, “I got 100 subscribers from this freebie!” and about 300 replies all asking, “what was the freebie, I need to try it!”
Why is that, you ask?
It’s because too many people are focused on the wrong thing. And that is they are focused on the WHAT and not on the WHY.
Sure, we can make a list of the kinds of opt-ins that you could make all day. But if it is not what your audience needs, it will not convert. But I will get into all of that momentarily.
Let me start from the beginning for those of you that are new to this.
If you have just started your blog or online business and you are ready to start bringing in sales or ready to build your email list, you need to have something to convert those visitors into subscribers, and eventually, into customers.
And to do that, you need an attractive opt-in.
Now you may hear the words content upgrade or freebie thrown around in the blogging space. They are often grouped together, but I like to think of them as two different things.
To me, a freebie is given with nothing needed in return. I have given many freebies to my audience. It’s okay to give free content without asking someone for their email address. BUT it is important to know when to offer freebies and when not to. A great example of freebies would be Elna’s 12 Days of Holiday Freebies series on TwinsMommy. She provided extremely valuable content and resources to her audience for free, no sign up required.
A content upgrade does require an email address to receive. It is exactly what it says, an upgrade to the content provided. You have given the free content within your blog post or on your site, and in order for them to receive the upgraded content or access to the good stuff, that visitor would need to sign up to receive it. Like within this post, I will be including my Opt-In Playbook as a content upgrade!
Building an email list is such a broad topic because there are so many things that can be done. Starting with a great opt-in, will get you going in the right direction.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. How do you actually go about creating this perfect opt-in for your blog?
There are three things to consider when creating your perfect opt-in.
First, start with the problem. And not just any problem, but your audience’s problem. Don’t just stop there either. But it should provide the solution to ONE problem, not all of their problems. Many people go wrong here. I have myself. I created this epic-ally huge ebook that tackled a lot of problems I knew my audience faced as my opt-in. Guess how many subscribed? 1. Bigger is not always better. People don’t like to be overwhelmed. If you overwhelm them, you lose them. Give them a piece of the puzzle, not the entire thing. Top converting opt-ins are simple and to the point. They don’t answer to every pain point that your ideal reader has, but to only one of those pain points and in a simple way. There is one exception to this rule: resource libraries. The reason for this is because they can always come back to this at a later date. There isn’t a 400-page resource book sitting in their downloads folder but there is a separate place they can go to view all of your free goodies whenever they’d like to.
If you can hone in on a specific problem and provide a creative solution to that problem, you can easily convert your opt-in. Appeal to the problem; help them identify with the need and how your opt-in will fill it. Cristin Goss of gossBoss recently launched a video email course as her opt-in for mompreneurs wanting to create videos for their business. Most people are lost and don’t have confidence when it comes to creating attractive video content for their business. But she appeals to their problem- not knowing where to start with scripting, editing, and actually shooting the video- and provides a solution. Starting with the problem will help you to increase those conversions for sure.
Secondly, ensure it is consistent with your brand. If you have listened to any of my podcasts or read my article on the “C” word, you know I am always preaching consistency. But really, it’s that important! Consistency allows your audience to know what to expect from you and won’t ever set them up to be disappointed. What I mean by that is, if you are promoting this opt-in about healthy eating choices for a stay at home mom, and they are looking around your site but you say nothing else about healthy living, you have lost that subscriber. Be mindful of why that person is on your site and engaging with your content. You want someone to subscribe and become a part of your community. Not subscribe get their content upgrade then unsubscribe, right?
I have made this mistake an ample amount of times. But never again. Most of us have done it. Create something we think will attract new subscribers but it’s not consistent with our brand. As a matter of fact, I added an entire category that just doesn’t belong because I wanted to use this opt-in. I was focused on the what and not the why. I even filled a need…but it wasn’t the needs of my audience.
Lastly, you need to ensure that your opt-in includes a clear call to action and that it is optimized. Let’s start with the call to action. When creating the perfect opt-in for your blog, you want your audience to know what to do when they see it. A call to action (CTA), provides directions and a sense of urgency directed towards the reader. For example, “Get Your Free E-Book Now”. You are giving the reader instructions on what you want them to do which is to get the ebook. Simply putting up a newsletter sign-up box is no longer enough.
Let’s look at an example of a site using clear call to actions:
Now, how does one optimize their opt-in? There are three top ways.
- Social proof. People like to do what other people are doing. It’s wonky psych stuff, but it’s real and it works. By simply adding a number to your opt-in box, more people will subscribe! So crazy, I know, but give it a shot. Here’s an example from Melyssa Griffin:
2. Using a catchy headline. Identifying the problem is vital. Make sure that you are grabbing their attention with the title. So don’t just put the title of your opt-in or content upgrade, but what will it do for me? Keeping with Melyssa’s opt-in above, her headline is identifying my problem- I want to grow my audience and monetize my passion so I need to sign up in order to learn how to do that.
3. Describe the opt-in. You don’t have to go into great detail but providing some information on it and the benefits of it can convert much better. For example, I have a 100% conversion rate on my Batch Day opt-in, which means, every person who clicked on it, subscribed. I took the time to describe the opt-in and how it solves my audience’s problem.
Now that you know the three simple things required to create the perfect blog opt-in, you can now get to work on your own. To help you create your perfect opt-in, I have created The Opt-In Playbook which will walk you step by step through my own opt-in process that I use when creating my freebies and content upgrades.
Be sure to put yourself in the shoes of your visitor and remember to keep things simple, be consistent, and give them a call to action.
Tell me, what else have you struggled with when it comes to creating the perfect opt-in? Did you overcome it? Share in the comments!
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