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.


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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How To Use Email Opt-In Offers To Attract More Subscribers

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

You email subscription list needs constant maintenance. Part of that job is removing old subscribers from your list so that those who are hard bouncing or not responding to your emails are no longer receiving your content.

The problem is that when you remove contacts from your list, your contacts list shrinks, giving you less opportunity to make a return on your email marketing campaigns. To avoid this you should look into adding names to your list. This is mostly done via an opt-in form that is either embedded on a web page or ‘pop-ups’ after an action has occurred.

Simply requesting the users details may persuade some people to sign up to your email list, but the vast majority of people will not just sign up. Instead you should look into giving something away for their contact details. This is a much better way to entice your website visitors to sign up.

Why Are Offers So Effective?

Email addresses are valuable. When businesses are sold, the number of addresses on their contacts list can form part of the valuation. Consumers know this and they have a vested interest in keeping the number of organisations who have their contact details down to a minimum.

Therefore, you need to give them a reason why they should sign up to your mailing list. Simply stating that they’ll receive more information every so often is not going to be highly effective – every business could offer that promise. You need something unique; an offer that will invoke their imagination and will be highly valuable to them.

What Can Be Offered?

There are a variety of options for your opt-in offer. Many organisations offer a free quote. This can be good for those businesses where customers have bespoke prices depending on the work that needs to be done.

An uncommitted potential customer now could be a loyal customer in the future, but only 30% of those who land on your website will ever find their way back.

Therefore, consider creating information you are willing to provide in exchange for their contact details. This information can be presented to the subscriber in many different formats such as:

  • An auto-responder email system.
  • A whitepaper.
  • An ebook.
  • A locked area of your website.
  • A free application (or a lite version)
  • A trial of your service.

The latter of these is very inefficient and should only be considered as a last resort. However, any of the other three options are very common. The first option, an auto-responder series is highly effective as it regularly reminds your audience of your brand.

However, the real power of the offer is that the audience will find it valuable. Therefore, giving advice like “how to…” and “X number of ways to…” are perfect options.

How Can You Deliver Ebooks, Whitepapers Or Apps?

If you decide to offer your subscribers an ebook, whitepaper o app there are various options for delivering on your offer. The first is through an autoresponder. That is, when the visitor signs up for your email you automatically send them an email to confirm their subscription and provide an attachment of the ebook or whitepaper.

If you use this option you should also include a confirmation link, so they confirm they have signed up to your email marketing list. Otherwise you may breech CAN-SPAM laws.

Another option is to send the visitor back to a secure page on your website where your customer can download the document. This can be effective as it is a double opt-in (where two actions have to be taken to confirm sign-up) and therefore conforms with best practices and CAN-SPAM laws.


Email marketing lists need constant maintenance. Removing old contacts is important, but so is the process of adding new contacts. One of the most efficient ways of adding new subscribers is to offer something valuable in exchange for contact details. This could be a free quote, but more than often it is an ebook or whitepaper. These are highly effective and can really grow your marketing list. The more on your email list – the higher chance you have to make a return on your email campaigns.

What offer do your new subscribers have? How many offers do you have?

Let us know in the comments below:

Take Action:

  • Create more offers for your website to encourage more sign-ups.

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