No matter how irresistible your offer is, you still need a good system in place to walk folks through your email opt-in process and welcome them into your world. Unfortunately though, some people who are interested are going to get lost along the way. For a variety of reasons some people won’t ever make it onto your email list and won’t ever see your content. Here are 3 ways you can improve your email opt-in process and make sure that the experience is as easy and as rewarding as possible for your new subscribers.
#1 – Test, Test, Test
Before you release it to the world, sign up for your own offer so that you can see first hand exactly what your peeps see as they go from filling out your opt-in form to consuming your content. Surprisingly, even the pros forget to test things once in a while. Make sure that everything works just the way you want it to.
True story: I once created an opt-in page for a free teleclass. I spent hours and hours putting it together. When I was finished, I threw the signup form on the page, and then promoted it like crazy. Then I did what everyone does, I sat in front of my email program, hitting the refresh button over and over and over, waiting to see the signups roll in.
But none came in. I waited. I hit refresh a few more times. I waited some more. Nothing. Now I’m worried. Is there something wrong with my topic? Is it not interesting enough? Maybe I wasn’t clear about what I was going to cover?
More waiting. More refreshing. More nothing.
Then, finally, an email came in that blew me away. Someone wrote to tell me that they tried to sign up for my free class, but the opt-in page wasn’t working. I couldn’t believe it. I had never tested the opt-in. So I lost out on an untold number of people who might have wanted to learn from me. Because for every person who takes the time to write and let you know something isn’t working, there will be 10, or 50, or 100 people who just move on. Your page doesn’t work, your opt-in doesn’t work, they are just gone.
The lesson? Test your pages, test your opt-in process, test everything you can.
#2 – Give ’em the good stuff
What happens right after a person hits the submit button on your opt-in form is critical. It is also the point where you may lose some people. Especially when you are using a double opt-in system that requires people to go to their email and click a link in a confirmation email. (And you should be using double opt-in – for so many reasons!)
Think about things from a new person’s perspective. They saw your offer, they were interested in your offer, and they filled out your form. Now what? Well, now they are probably expecting to get whatever it is they signed up for. This might be the actual content itself, or it might be a thank you page telling them to go click that confirmation link in their email.
In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is send people to a generic page that does nothing. Here’s one I landed on today. I signed up for a small teleseries, filled out my email address, hit submit, and landed here:
My first thought was, ‘Well, that’s not good’.
I didn’t get any information about the calls, I didn’t get any direction on how to get information about the calls. I didn’t get welcomed into a community. I didn’t get offered other ways to engage or learn or discover anything about this person or what they were offering.
I suppose they expected me to run to my email and look there. Which is okay for people like me, who have been around for a while, but what happens to people who don’t know to check their email? You are going to lose some of them. They won’t check their email right away, and by the time they do they have either forgotten your offer or they are not interested anymore. They might have even found help somewhere else!
This is a lost opportunity to welcome new people into your world! This offer of yours might be their first contact with you, so you want to do everything possible to make it easy for them. Don’t forget either, some of the people who find your offer might not be tech savvy and might not understand the whole email opt-in thing.
The important thing is that when someone hits that submit button, that something happens. Thank them. Either give them what they signed up for or tell them how to get what they signed up for. Don’t let potential clients get lost!
#3 – Don’t ask for too much information
The final tip I want to share is a big mistake that will push a lot of people away if you make it. Asking people to give too much information in order to get your offer or sign up for your event turns people off. What is too much information? Well, it depends. The key is to not ask for more than you need at this point in your relationship with this subscriber.
At the bare minimum, all you need is someone’s email address to add them to your list. But you should definitely ask for their first name. Giving your name and email to sign up for something has become the standard for online offers, and most people are used to and comfortable with doing so.
But when you go beyond that, when you begin asking for additional information, your opt-in rates will go down. Why are you asking for my phone number? Are you going to call me? Am I going to be added to some telemarketing list? Why do you need my physical address? Every additional piece of information you ask for is another opportunity for people to resist.
So unless you have a good reason to do so, you should resist the temptation to ask for phone numbers, or addresses, or anything else.
Make it easy for people to step into your world
You spend a lot of time and energy creating offers that will resonate with your people and draw them into your world. You owe it to yourself, and to the people you serve, to make it as easy as possible for them. Don’t make them jump through hoops.