I’m about to let you in on a dirty marketing secret. Ready?
There is no such thing as a freebie.
I mean, yes, there are tons of pieces of “free” content all over the internet. Just Google “free” + whatever you’re looking for (marketing plans, social media templates, business branding guides)… and you’re bound to find something.
But think back to everything you’ve ever downloaded for “free.” Have you ever had to give something in exchange for it? Maybe… Your contact information?
If that’s ringing a bell, congrats! You’re already familiar with opt-in strategies for email newsletters.
Which is great news for you because, as I’ve already mentioned, email newsletters are extremely important for small businesses.
So, what exactly are email opt-in strategies, and what are a few you can use? Let’s dive in.
Email Opt-In Strategies 101
You could write the greatest email newsletters — they could be filled with helpful tips, beautifully designed, and include tons of freebies… but they’re not worth a whole lot if no one’s reading them.
(A caveat: your emails don’t have to be perfect, they just have to remind people that you exist and create customer touch points… but more on that in a later post).
So email opt-in strategies are ways to boost the reach of your newsletter, thereby increasing your potential client base.
Sounds pretty good, huh?
Before you start dreading the thought of all the work that might go into strategizing how to grow your list, I’ve got great news: marketers having been doing this for a long, long time. Which means there are some tried-and-true email opt-in strategies you can steal from.
Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites.
Give Clients an Easy Channel for Feedback
Customer retention is important. So much so, that you have a 60-70% chance of selling successfully to someone you’ve sold to before.
Your chances of selling to a new customer? Somewhere between 5-20%.
But it’s easy to lose repeat business — you have to make sure you have a strategy in place to keep in touch with them. Which is where your email newsletter comes in handy! Newsletters are a quick way to touch base with previous clients, without having to send individual notes to each person.
So, how can you get them to sign up for your newsletter?
One easy way to do so is to send a customer satisfaction survey to your previous customers. This will allow people to give feedback and also give you a quick entry to ask if they’d like to receive helpful tips, freebies, discounts, early access to future workshops, etc., from you. If they say yes, sign them up!
Boom, instant email subscriber.
Create an Exit Intent Pop-Up
But wait, don’t leave! If you sign up now, you’ll get access to my absolute top SUCCESSFUL email opt-in strategies.
…Did that keep you reading?
That’s the allure of an exit intent pop-up. While this one may be a little advanced, if you’ve taken my Business End of the Dog: Building a WordPress Website class — or are otherwise familiar with using Divi on WordPress — you might be ready to tackle this one.
The general idea is, someone is on your page and is about to leave. Their cursor moves towards the top of the screen, indicating they’re about to type in a new URL, close the page, or otherwise exit your website.
Then a pop-up appears. Wait! You won’t want to miss this!
You’re probably familiar with the lingo. Give them an irresistible reason why they should sign up for your list. They don’t need to stick around the website, but by signing up, they’ll have access to all the best things you have to offer.
Want to read more about creating an exit intent pop-up? Divi has a tutorial here.
Give ‘Em a Little Something Extra
The holy grail of email opt-in strategies: the freebie (a.k.a. download incentives).
If you scroll all the way down on this blog post, you’ll see this is a strategy I subscribe to (pun intended).
Give folks a little something extra — something helpful, not junk! In exchange, just ask for their contact information (but be clear that you’re signing them up to receive emails from you — it’s illegal not to).
This freebie can be anything. A discount, early access to a class, a handout or video on a training method, a worksheet… The sky’s the limit!
Try to think about the most common requests you get from clients. Then think through some of the content you’ve already created: blog posts, social media graphics, handouts, etc. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. How can you repurpose the content you’ve already created into something useful, something that potential — and current — clients might be drawn to downloading?
I’ll be back next week with some ideas on download incentives you can use — and a customizable one just for you! One guess what I’ll ask for in exchange 😘
In the meantime, are there additional strategies you’ve used successfully to get sign ups for your email list? Let me know in the comments!