Let’s take a damn minute to talk about email list opt-ins. First things first, though. If you’ve either:
a) Been living under a rock and not noticed every marketing pro telling you to start an email list
b) Been living in a normal house but have ignored every marketing pro telling you to start an email list
I’d like to take this opportunity to clear a few things up! Spoiler alert: the marketing pros are right.
But Asia, there are already a billion things to do. Whyyyyy do I need an email list too?
Because if you have a business and a majority of your marketing is done online, it’s the fastest/easiest/most guaranteed way to get eyes on your stuff. If you woke up one morning and found your social media accounts had been hacked or mysteriously deleted, how would you feel? How would you connect with your audience? Would you have to start from scratch, or would you pour yourself a cocktail and put your feet up knowing you could pop in and connect with your list immediately?
Social media is a really great marketing tool, but when it comes to direct contact with your audience an email list wins every time. By opting into your list, your subscribers are not only giving you permission to send stuff directly to their sacred inbox on a regular basis, they’re also telling you they WANT you to send stuff directly to your inbox on a regular basis. You don’t have to figure out new algorithms every month, you don’t have to have to feel like you’re getting lost among thousands of your industry peers, and you have a direct line of communication with potential customers. It’s like a WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the next question on your mind:
What the hell is an opt-in?
Sometimes called an opt-in, sometimes called a lead magnet, sometimes called a freebie, sometimes called a pain in the ass, an opt-in is simply something you offer for free in exchange for someone’s email address. The idea behind an opt-in is that if someone lands on your website without knowing anything about you, the chances of them getting distracted and clicking away is pretty high. If they see an offer for your opt-in, something they find valuable, you’ll have a way to stay in touch with them after they’ve gone. We all hate spam, our inboxes are full enough as it is, and relying on a boring box that’s titled “Sign Up To My Newsletter” there’s a good chance it’ll get passed up. But if you offer something helpful, educational, entertaining, or inspirational fo’ FREE, who could pass that up? WHO, I ASK YOU?
What should I offer as my opt-in?
The world is your burrito on this one, but instant-access products like eBooks, templates, or courses tend to be really successful. I’ve also seen discount offers for bosses with product-based businesses. All that really matters is that it’s actually something of value that will genuinely help your potential clients so you can start building that know, like, trust relationship you’ve heard so much about. You want them to think, “If she’s offering this for free, what else does she have up her sleeve?”
But I’ve recently discovered my new favorite: Quizzes. Why? Because everyone loves learning something about themselves. I mean if it takes less than a minute why wouldn’t you want to know which hotdog condiment you are?! Quizzes are fast, scratch our instant gratification itch, are a great platform to enhance your brand, and they give you the ability to learn about your audience.
How can I make a quiz?
I used Interact to make this one, and so far I’m really pleased with how intuitive the interface is. They take care of the technical (ahem…boring) stuff on their end, so all you have to do is come up with a subject, your questions, and your answers. You can see analytics like how many people are taking your quiz, which answers are chosen most, and whether they’re sticking around until the results page. You can customize your quiz with photos, fonts, colors, and your logo. It’s easy to connect to your mailing list provider and to share your quiz on your website or via social media. And for those of us who like to jump into things without having a clue what we’re doing, have no fear: they also offer resources for tips and best practices so you have some guidance for a well-converting quiz.
If you don’t have an email list and want to get started (you really do want to get started), or if you have one but have found that your opt-in freebie isn’t converting like you’d hoped, try out quizzes and see if they’re a good fit for you and your biz!