3 Ways to Improve Your Email Opt-in Process

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

checkBefore 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:

 

Not the best thank you page!

 

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.

Don't ask for too much information!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.

 

The Know, Like, and Trust Factor – How a Big Name Coach’s Recent Email Made Me Unsubscribe

Building the Trust in the Know, Like, and Trust Factor

The Know, Like, and Trust FactorAre you building the know, like, and trust factor with your website visitors so they feel comfortable enough to sign up for your email list? In this post I share how a recent email I received caused me to unsubscribe from a well known and respected coach’s mailing list – just because of his privacy policy.

One of the biggest ways you can help a new visitor develop that know, like, and trust factor, and feel comfortable giving you their email address, is to have a clearly defined privacy policy that reassures them that you will keep their information private and that you won’t spam them.

This has become common practice on the web. Beneath most opt-in boxes you’ll see a sentence or two promising not to share, rent, or sell your information. This promise on your part helps people decide whether or not they trust you enough to give you their email address. It’s a big part of developing that know, like, and trust factor.

My Promise to New Subscribers

Here’s the promise I make to people signing up for my free audio program, “How to Grow Your Holistic Business”:

Don’t worry, I won’t spam you and I’ll never share, rent, or sell your information – ever!

It’s a pretty clear promise. If you sign up for my list I will never use your information for anything other than sending you emails myself. I won’t sell your email address, I won’t rent it, and I won’t share it with anyone ever.

As I said, putting these little notices on our opt-in boxes is a common practice that most online businesses adhere to. The exceptions to this are the big brands that tell you up front that they are going to share your information with their ‘partners’ or other ‘third party’ businesses. (Okay, maybe they don’t tell you up front, maybe they make you click a link or two to find their privacy policy, but somewhere in their pages of legal jargon and gobblygook they tell you that they are free to share your info!)

I don’t think that is a nice way to play. Which is why I recommend that you tell your visitors up front, in clear language, what your privacy policy is and exactly how you will treat their personal information. Making that promise up front helps build the know, like, and trust factor, and can often help your visitor say yes to signing up for your email list.

The email that took the trust out of the know, like and trust factor

So, let me tell you about this email I received from a well-known business coach, and how his privacy policy at the bottom of his email caused me to unsubscribe from his mailing list.

Before I do, let me stress that this coach did nothing wrong. He wasn’t deceptive or anything like that. He may do things differently than I like or differently than I teach my clients and students to do, but that’s his right. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it is ethical or not. In my mind it is not an authentic or heart-centered way to grow a relationship with those people either on your email list or thinking about joining your email list.

Anyway, I’ve been on this coach’s email list for a long time. Three days ago I received his latest email, and after reading it through I got to the end and noticed that below his signature he had the usual collection of junk down at the bottom of his email. The bottom of an email is where a lot of marketers like to toss in various disclaimers and tell you how to unsubscribe and all that.

I rarely bother reading those things, but for some reason I read this one. Oh boy!

The first section was titled, “Privacy Policy”, and here is what it said:

How not to write a privacy policy!

The privacy policy from a recent email that caused me to unsubscribe from a well-known business coach’s email list.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your contact
information will never be shared with
with any third party that isn’t working
directly with XYZ, Inc.

Your information will never be
rented or sold to anyone EVER.

Say what?

Reading this shocked me. I immediately felt betrayed. What do you mean, “that isn’t working directly with XYZ, Inc.”?

This tells me that you are most likely going to share my name and email address with any third party that you DO work directly with.

That’s not cool, my friend!

Not only is it not cool, it is certainly not a way to grow that know, like, and trust factor. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have signed up for this coach’s list in the first place if I had known in advance that he was going to share my information.

I was irritated to say the least, and was looking for the unsubscribe link, when I decided to pause for a moment. Maybe it wasn’t this coach’s fault. Maybe I just didn’t see his privacy policy when I signed up for his email list. So before I jumped to conclusions, I went to his website to see exactly what his opt-in form looked like.

I wasn’t too surprised. There was nothing there about a privacy policy at all. The opt-in offer on his page didn’t mention my privacy, just asked for my name and email. A quick Google search turned up a few of his other opt-in pages and they were all the same. No mention of privacy or how he would treat my information.

An opt-in form with no mention of a privacy policy.

An opt-in form with no mention of a privacy policy.

Yes, it was my own fault for signing up without knowing how my information would be used or protected, but now that I’m aware of the situation, I can take steps to remedy it – which in this case means unsubscribing from this coach’s email list.

What this coach’s privacy policy can teach you about the know, like, and trust factor

I’m sharing this story with you because there is an important takeaway for you to keep in mind as you grow your own business. Again, I’m not saying that this coach did anything wrong, just that this particular way of treating email subscribers doesn’t align with the heart-centered and authentic methods I practice and teach.

I think it’s important that as business owners – especially in the holistic field – we have to constantly be looking for ways to improve and strengthen the trust with our email subscribers.

Be up front with visitors to your website who might be thinking about opting in to your email list and tell them exactly how you will treat their private information. Give them your word, and then stick to your word. Doing that will go a long way toward strengthening the know, like, and trust factor with your visitors and bring them one step closer to ultimately becoming a client or customer.

Bob-headshot-240x300Bob Crawford is a holistic business coach, helping members of the holistic community take their practice to the next level by attracting more clients and making more money, while still remaining authentic and heart-centered. Learn more at: www.growingyourholisticbusiness.com

 

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