by Erica Wiley | Featured Contributor
I have to apologize. I nearly wrote the most boring article on Opt-Ins. It would have been a sad irony- an uninspiring post about using Opt-Ins to close on your website. The whole point of your website is to inspire your visitors into action.
So I’ve gone back, jazzed it up and made it not just informational, but actually inspiring.
We’ve been talking about using your website navigation to lead your visitors through your sales process. If you follow the three previous steps: Intro, Rapport and Education, the Close will come naturally.
On a website, the Close is referred as the Call To Action (CTA.) This is the step where you instruct your website visitor what to do next to work with you. This usually includes opt-ins, contact forms, phone numbers and buys now buttons.
If your prospect is still on your site, that’s great news! She wants more information from you. However, most of your website hits are first time visitors and will rarely initiate direct contact, such as calling or completing a purchase.
An Opt-In is the most effective CTA because it requires minimal commitment from your potential customer. With an Opt-in, your website visitor is opting into your email list, now converting into a lead because she has expressed interest and provided you with her contact info.
Ball’s back in your court. And if you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan like me, “Challenge Accepted.”
You crafted your message well, so your web lead is your ideal client and this is your opportunity to woo, wow and dazzle her. I’m putting emphasis here because most people will not revisit a website, which is why the Opt-In is critical to your sales success! It allows you to get in front of her again.
But you MUST validate her decision to give you her email. Don’t take it lightly or you’ll find your unsubscribe list growing just as quick.
Many people include a Freebie with their Opt-In, a free product sample, audio training or report. Not only can this boost your Opt-In conversions, but it also allows you to provide instant gratification to your new web lead. Providing instant value goes far in proving that you care, understand and can actually help your prospect.
A new subscriber who receives instant actionable value will eagerly await and open your next email.
Not so techy and don’t know how to set up your Opt-In? No problem.
Opt-ins are managed by your email campaign provider, such as Mail Chimp, Aweber and Emma. In addition to housing your list and e-newsletters, they provide the form you need to link on your website to capture new subscribers. (You may even have a drag and drop form builder.) Most have a simple WordPress plugin, making it even easier to install the form without any HTML code.
The last step to launching your opt-in is to set up an Auto-responder. As the name implies, this generates the automatic email response to new subscribers. The first email is a confirmation, validating that it is a real person and not a spammer and requiring a link be clicked in order to confirm subscription. You may have heard this being referred to as a double opt-in.
Remember- automatic doesn’t mean sound like a robot! Replace the default text with your own wording, using natural conversation tone to explain what your new subscriber needs to do next.
After being lead to a Thank You page, they’ll receive a final welcome email. This is a great opportunity to remind them of the good stuff to expect from you in the future, especially if your Opt-In does not include a freebie.
If you offered a freebie, be sure to include a link to the download both on the Thank You page and in the final welcome email.
Opt-ins are most effective in the top fold of the web page, meaning no scrolling is necessary to view it. You can design them into headers, use plugins to place them in your sidebar or even integrate them into blog posts.
Get creative and check your metrics to see what works best for your audience.
Be sure that it’s instantly clear what your website offers, what uniquely qualifies you, how your service will create a valuable impact on your customer’s life and give a direct action for your visitor to engage with you.
If you’ve found this series helpful, please share your insights and success below.
Struggling with creating your opt-in? Post your below, I’d love to help!
Business + Tech Geek – Erica Wiley of PROFITGEEKS – New York
Erica Wiley is Co-Founder and President of PROFITGEEKS, a unique web development and marketing agency that uses technology, biz savvy and good clean fun to grow businesses.
Erica blends her 10 years in sales & marketing with the unique experiences learned from working from home, homeschooling and managing a blended family of 7! She knows first hand the challenges that entrepreneurs face and teaches her clients how to use technology to streamline business operations, create a profit-generating online presence and have time for their passion.
Her work is her joy as she helps you demystify marketing and technology and create a customized system that will keep you focused, motivated and in action!
An all around geek, Erica is passionate about personal development, LOTR, Star Wars, white boards, productivity & planning apps, software testing, volunteering, tree climbing and currently, indie folk music.
For simple, practical and immediately effective tips, Tweet with Erica or find her on Facebook.