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Follow these 8 Opt-in Best Practices to Build a Healthy Email List

Let’s face it: convincing someone to opt in and agree to receive mail from your company isn’t always simple.

Every month, American businesses send out around 1.4 million emails. The typical individual gets more than 120 emails every day. Most potential subscribers are already exhausted and overwhelmed by what’s in their inboxes before you ever begin a discussion with them.

Here are eight suggestions and methods to help you stand out from the crowd and boost your opt-in email campaign.

1. Inform potential subscribers on what they may anticipate from your emails

In your opt-in form or welcome email, provide a brief and clear summary of the material you want to deliver. As seen in the sample below, Penguin Classics does the latter. A line or two of text may make or break your campaign.

Penguin Classics example

Consider the following scenario: someone subscribes anticipating a monthly newsletter. What do you think will happen if they start getting bi-weekly retail discounts and notice of new arrivals?

There is a possibility that they may take advantage of the offers you send. However, they are more likely to be perplexed or upset. They may unsubscribe or report your emails as spam. Yikes.

To prevent this problem, manage expectations from the outset.

Do you want to go the additional mile? Consider creating and maintaining various lists to provide varying themes or frequency of messages. It may be time-consuming for a small company, but if you have the resources to spare—as The New York Times does—it might be a worthwhile investment that leads to more conversions down the road.

2. Use polls or surveys to get constructive input

Pay attention to your audience. It may be advantageous to solicit feedback from subscribers in order to design future content and campaigns.

You may include a feedback request in your welcome message series or as a trigger email. Including an incentive, such as shop credit or access to limited edition products, may boost member involvement.

Everyone gains in this situation. Your email campaigns should be more effective, and your subscribers should get more relevant communications.

3. Keep things easy and don’t make signing up tough

An opt-in page should be brief and to the point. The goal is to grab leads, not to milk them for information before they agree to get material.

simple email sign-up examples

To sign up for a newsletter, no one wants to read a wall of text or fill out more than a few dozen forms. Overthinking your opt-in email campaign can only turn off prospective subscribers.

The Campaign Monitor form shown above is an excellent example. With the minimalist style, white space, concise content descriptions, and bare minimum necessary subscriber information, signing up is a breeze.

4. Provide something of value in return for opting in

Add a lead magnet to your opt-in form for more oomph. This might range from a downloaded professional guide to a one-time buy one, get one (BOGO) offer. What you provide should be relevant to the interests of your target audience.

Do you need additional information about your subscribers for personalization? Lead magnets may persuade consumers to give you more than just their email addresses and names. If your sign-up procedure is more complex than necessary, make it worthwhile for them to participate.

A lead magnet may also be used to entice subscribers to join an onboarding email drip campaign. This is a terrific method to gently promote your company without overstaying your welcome. After all, bringing presents increases your chances of making a positive impression.

5. Demand that new subscribers validate their choice

What distinguishes a verified opt-in from a single opt-in? This technique, often known as a double opt-in, may seem confusing and repetitive. However, it maintains your email list in good shape.

When you send an email to confirm a sign-up through an opt-in form, you’re also checking to determine whether the supplied email address is active. This keeps mistakes and fraudulent emails off your list and lowers marketing email bounce rates.

Confirmation emails, such as the one shown below from Indiegogo, remind new subscribers that they have agreed to receive your material. It may help to prevent misconceptions and unjustified spam complaints.

indiegogo newsletter signup

People that use double opt-ins demonstrate that they are more receptive and eager to engage with your communications.

6. Allow subscribers to modify their choices and information

When you give an all-or-nothing experience, most individuals will choose for “nothing” if they are not completely happy with what they get.

Why not provide a method for them to opt down rather than out completely?

Include a preference center where your subscribers can choose what kind of material they want to see, how often they want to get emails, and how much personal information they’re willing to share with your company. Allow them to update the information at their leisure.

Giving customers control over their membership allows you to send them communications they’ll love and reduces the number of times they unsubscribe out of irritation.

7. Use social proof to expand your email list if you aren’t beginning from scratch

What exactly is social proof? It includes everything from client testimonials to email list analytics.

For example, adding a sentence like “Join over 5,000 subscribers” is an example of social proof. Using genuine quotations (as shown in the Chime email below) or poll findings is also acceptable.

Chime social proof example

You may call this humblebragging (or downright boasting), but include social evidence in emails works.

What’s the harm in leveraging current subscriber data to build your list? Simply make certain that you have clear permission to utilize quotations and voluntary survey analytics in your marketing efforts.

8. Make use of various website technologies such as top bars and exit-intent popups

A single page on your website with a basic email sign-up form may not produce enough leads for your digital marketing efforts.

You may include a simple opt-in form under each page or blog post. Slide-ins, sidebars, and top bars are additional options. Setting up an exit-intent box to appear before a visitor navigates away from your site is a very successful opt-in email approach.

Wrap up

For digital marketers aiming to enhance revenue and conversion rates, polishing your opt-in email approach is essential. It also prepares your audience for more positive experiences with your brand.

Here are some recommended practices for opt-in:

  • Tell potential subscribers what to anticipate from your emails.
  • Polls or surveys may be used to solicit constructive input.
  • Keep things easy and don’t make signing up tough.
  • Provide something worthwhile in return for subscribing;
  • Need new subscribers to affirm their choice.
  • Allow subscribers to modify their choices and information.
  • If you’re not beginning from scratch, use social proof to expand your email list.
  • Use various website features such as top bars and exit-intent popups.