5 Opt-In Best Practices For Any Email Marketer

Ensure your subscribers say yes the right way

Ensure your subscribers say yes the right way

A recent report found that email marketing is still one of the top marketing channels, according to both marketers and consumers. Its ROI is the highest for any online marketing path, and it can offer better rewards than most offline marketing channels.

The effectiveness of your marketing depends on the quality of your list. The better the match of the mailing list to your target audience, the greater the effectiveness of your campaigns. Likewise, how you sign subscribers up to your list can make the difference between conversion or not.

The opt-in process can be challenging. There are legal restrictions to consider as well as how your subscribers might react. Here are five best practices to help you create the perfect process.

1. Give The Audience A Choice Of Email Frequency

In the recent report from Marketing Sherpa, the survey found that customers prefer to set the frequency at which they receive emails from the brand. Therefore, by offering your subscribers a chance to determine how often you contact them, you can get your relationship off to a good start.

The top options to offer could be weekly, fortnightly, and monthly. While you might think that this stifles your marketing efforts; using segmentation could automatically reduce the number of emails sent to an individual subscriber that complies with their request.

2. Confirm Subscription

This is a legal practice in most countries – but not all. When someone enters their details on a sign-up form, send an immediate email to confirm their subscription. The new subscriber will then need to click on a link to confirm their subscription.

In the United States, this is a legal requirement. While it is not a strict requirement under UK, Canadian or Australian law – it is highly recommended in all countries. It does also provide you with some protection. These countries have strict anti-spam laws, and double opt-in provides you with evidence that the subscriber had intentionally subscribed, and it wasn’t entered by a robot or another person.

3. Collect The Right Amount Of Information

The more information you collect from subscribers, the better you can segment your email list and send relevant emails, and the easier it is to maintain your list.

In contrast, the more information you request – the fewer new subscribers you’ll attract to your list. Consider what information you really need and what information you could collect from your audience through your email marketing campaigns.

For instance, you could collect a name and email address and then ask subscribers to provide more details further down the line, or, monitor their behaviour to collect further information.

4. Provide Value To Your Opt-in

To increase the number of new subscribers, you should entice your audience with an offer. Free ebooks, discount codes and other freebies are the perfect gifts to attract new signups if the offer has value to the audience.

Don’t give away your freebie too easily either. And don’t use a pop-up that will give them access as soon as they’ve signed up. Instead, wait until after they’ve confirmed their subscription via double opt-in and then send their reward via another email.

5. Don’t Use A Pop-up

From January 2017, Google will introduce an algorithm change in their search engine that gives a negative rating for any pop-ups that aren’t required by law. The target is pop-ups suggesting the audience subscribe to a mailing list.

Therefore, using landing pages for offers is going to be the better option when generating subscribers and will enable you to still rank highly on Google search results. If people can’t find you – they can’t subscribe.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the best channels to sell to your audience. It helps you build trust and give relevant offers to list members. To get the most out of your marketing campaigns, you need to have the best quality lists, and this starts with your opt-in process.

Using the tips above you can start to manage your business’ email opt-in process and acquire a better marketing list to help you grow your revenue.

What are your email list opt-in tips?

Let us know in the comments below.

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5 More Small Businesses With Great Email Opt-Ins

"Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

There are many examples of email opt-ins available on the web. We have previously listed a few websites with great sign up areas for visitors. Today we go back to this topic and find some more excellent email opt-ins for you to take a look at.

1. motoring.au.com

Very clear and simple, this email opt-in appears on the first page of the website. It informs the reader exactly what they will receive if they sign up to the email newsletter (car news, reviews and advice). The website also draws attention to the button to process the visitor’s details which is in red and very eye catching.

The sign up also gives some peer pressure by showing how many people have liked their Facebook page and how many follow them on Twitter. When seeing this, others will want to join in where thousands of have before.

2. QuiBids

Although probably not the best positioned sign up, being at the bottom of a very long page, the bright colours against a white background do allow the sign up form to standout.  In a similar vein the use of red in the heading draws the reader’s eye to this section of the website.

The details requested on the sign-up form are also not too obtrusive. Though what is really impressive is the offer they give you when you sign up. New sign ups get three free bids. Although this is probably something which they give all new users, it makes the visitor feel special.

3. Seek

Moving into the job market is our next website. Seek offers those who are registered or not, to have a regular email sent to their inbox about the latest jobs tailored to their requirements. There are several things which are good about this email opt-in. The first is that the content of the email is fully customisable, allowing the visitor to select only the information they are looking for.

Then the user can select the amount of jobs they receive by selecting the type of email they have (i.e. with or without graphics). The opt-in also allows the visitors to say whether they wish to be included for job searching advice and tips in their emails.

4. Forbes

This article site has many features with additional options for those who opt-in. This is made easy by the limited information required for the user to sign up with and therefore there is less chance of abandonment on the form.

There is also the option for the visitor to sign up using any one of their social media profiles – providing visitors easy access. Signing up to their email list allows special access to users and allows them to comment on articles which have been posted by their many contributors. This gives members a sense of community.

5. Business Insider, Australia

Business Insider offers those who wish to opt-in to their emails the choice of up to five different emails to receive. Individuals can select each one they wish to get and then enter in the minimal amount of information.

Once the visitor has signed up for the newsletter(s) they can then leave comments on any article. What is more interesting about this site is that they aren’t sending out the newsletters yet. They acknowledge this and explain they are generating a list to email before they commit to the publishing of a newsletter. However, they do announce exactly what the newsletters will contain.

So this a great example for building up your mailing list organically before jumping in with the mailing. This is a good idea if you are just starting out with email marketing and want to ensure you have significant numbers to make the process worthwhile.

There are loads of businesses out there with excellent email opt-in. By optimising your email sign up page you can generate more names on your mailing list and greater revenue for every email you write.

Take Action:

  • Have a look at the above examples and see if you can incorporate any of their great ideas within your email marketing strategy.

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