If you’ve been in the online space for a little while you know that having an opt in (or three) is really important if you want to grow your business and get your brand known. You want to create something valuable that helps people. You also want to showcase your genius and get known for what you do.
Yet is seems a bit mysterious to you and well … all a little too hard, am I right? In this post I am going to break it all down for you in a simple step by step way so that you can skip away after reading this and create the perfect opt in for you and your business. Let’s start shall we?
What Is An Opt In?
Simply put an opt in (also called pink spoon, freebie, freemium, ethical bribe) is content that your audience wants that they exchange their email address for. No money is exchanged for the opt in as it is free but make no mistake, people think twice before giving their email address these days so your opt in needs to be great.
Opt ins can take many forms depending on how your audience likes to consume information, how you like to provide that information and the purpose of the opt in itself. Opt ins can be blog posts with a content upgrade such as the one I have on this page, webinars, challenges, checklists, templates, swipes files, newsletters, video series.
I am a big fan of simplicity and value so when I create an opt in I get clear on the result I want my audience to get and then I strip it down to it’s most effective information and format. For example, instead of giving someone a 52 page ebook (that they will never read by the way) about how to package their genius into a brand that is true to them I have a free mini course called Package Your Genius that is fun, simple and powerful in giving them clarity and direction.
That’s why important pieces of information such as the problem your opt in solves, who your ideal audience is , how they like to consume or learn information and what tangible results they will get is vital. By asking the right questions for you and your audience opt ins become a breeze to create and really help to explode your business growth and brand visibility. I have created a step by step checklist which you can download below.
Why are Opt Ins So Important?
The key to any successful business, especially online are large numbers of people knowing about you, what you do and how you can help them. Your Opt ins provide an avenue for you to do this that not only showcases some of your best work but can be consistently attracting the right people to your business 24/7. Once set up your opt ins work for you even when you are out enjoying a spot of badminton or sleeping in.
When your opt ins are great and meet the needs of your ideal audience you will have people opting in to get your information and joining your email list.
Once they are on your list you have the opportunity to nurture the relationship and develop the like, trust and preference for you that turns your list into a community of loyal fans. These fans not only buy from you but also share praise and recommendations about you and that is gold!
It all begins with your opt in. Your opt in is the first impression people have of you and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. I am sure you have opted in for something you thought could solve your problem only to be let down and disappointed once you went through it … I know I have.
The result? Most likely you have never gone back to that person’s website again or bothered to read any follow up emails from them… you may have then instantly unsubscribed after your less than stellar experience. This is why it is important to give great value that will help your audience in a real and tangible way through your opt in.
The 4 Key Elements of your Opt In
Before you create your opt in you need to:
How it relates to your blog or content categories.
This is because you want to be known for who you are and what you do (this is what branding is all about) through your areas of expertise and passion. For example my content categories are Branding, Business, Mindset, Energy and Spiritual Development and Living Your Genius so all my opt ins relate to one or more of these areas.
In fact, this blog post and my How To Choose The Perfect Opt In Freebie Checklist relates to my Branding category as opt ins directly impact brand awareness, attraction and growth. Can you see the link?
It doesn’t make sense and confuses your audience if you stray away from what you do. So your opt in needs to relate to an area you like to talk about and know a lot about. If I was to offer an opt in about 5 Healthy Breakfast Smoothies there is a big disconnect for my audience. Yes, I love smoothies (and so does my audience) but it is not what I want to be known for and it doesn’t relate to my brand or business.
Where does your opt in fit in relation to your products and services?
One of the biggest mistakes I see women making when it comes to their opt in is that they know they need one so they slap one together without thinking about what will happen after people sign up.
Before creating your opt in ask yourself where will this opt in lead to in terms of a service or product that I offer? What steps will I take people through in a follow up email sequence that will inch them towards one of my paid solutions?
Let me give you a practical example from my business.
Is this a real need and hot topic?
Another mistake that happens when people create opt ins is that they don’t check whether people actually want and need it first. They assume that because THEY think it is important that other people must as well.
Wrong! Not only should the subject of the opt in come from a real need in the market place but also it should be designed with a particular audience in mind using their language and desires! I have had clients who slaved away producing an epic opt in only to hear crickets after offering it.
It is not that their opt in wasn’t quality or was poorly put together. The reason for the lack of response was that it didn’t meet their ideal audiences’ need and wasn’t offered to them in a way they understood and responded to.
A clear title or headline.
Opt ins with clear, compelling headline convert much better than tricky, fancy or clever ones. That’s because people are time poor these days and bombarded with information so a title that cuts to the chase and tells people in plain speak what to expect or what the result will be wins out every time.
A positive, results focused title.
People naturally move away from pain or frustration and towards pleasure and relief so your title should be positive and highlight the ease, benefit or solution. As a side note here content which highlights pain and struggle is also important to include in things such as blog posts and emails (especially as part of a sales sequence) but not as an opt in freebie.
Clear action steps and instructions.
Once your opt in has been taken by your audience it should be very plain to them how to use it and what benefits they will get out of it. A checklist for example is self explanatory, a template might be plug and play and a 5 day challenge will introduce people to the topic and then step them through one part each day.
Whatever you choose as your opt in make sure that the steps and instructions are crystal clear to your audience otherwise you may lose them or confuse them.
A specific outcome or solution.
What solution or result is your opt in offering? If you were to explain it to someone what would you say? If you can’t be specific as to why someone would opt in and exactly what result they will get it is then very likely that your audience will not understand the benefit to them. Using the opt in on this page for example the problem is ‘how do I know which opt in to create and offer?’ and my opt in solves this by providing the important areas to know and consider so that my audience can ‘choose a perfect opt in confidently that suits them and their audience’.
Be relevant to current symptoms
Your ideal audience has certain frustrations that keep them stuck and it is the job of your opt in to speak to one of these frustrations and the symptoms that repeat around this. For example, if you are a health coach who helps women lose weight naturally you know that this process can take quite a while and requires more than just a healthy eating recipe book.
They will need to work with you over a longer period of time to really get healthy and lose the weight but currently they are probably not thinking about losing 25 kg but instead are focusing on the first steps of losing 5 kgs and getting more energy happening.
So your opt in will be addressing this current desire of losing 5 kg and feeling vital. Once they have opted in to this ( examples could be a video series, 14 day challenge) then you build the relationship and rapport through emails, blogs and other content you provide including offering your longer term products and services.
Valuable and Timely
These days given information overload and unpleasant opt in experiences, people are far more selective with who they give their email to. The value needs to be real and clearly seen for people to do so.
An opt in is valuable if it solves the problem that your ideal audience is looking for… it’s that simple.
If it solves their problem in a timely manner saving them time and headaches then you have a knock out opt in. My top tip here is the let the juices flow without over thinking when you first create your opt in and then go through it and see what you can take out that makes it more simple and effective.
Easy to consume and use
The size of an opt in does NOT determine how useful it will be. In fact most of the feedback I have received through market research suggests that most people do not have 1-2 hours straight to give attention to long opt ins.
That’s why cheat sheets, checklists, downloadables and templates are so popular because they are quick and effective. That’s not to say that you can’t create something a bit more meaty than a checklist. I have used quizzes, 5 day challenges, video series and webinars but I am mindful to package them up in easy to consume ways which feel simple and not overwhelming.
So if your opt in is more substantial make sure to deliver it in bite sized pieces over time. The How To Choose The Perfect Opt In Freebie Checklist will guide you and keep you focused so you will always be able to create the perfect freebie for your ideal audience.
Addresses one problem and offers one solution.
The most effective opt ins are ones that solve a specific problem that is easily recognised by your ideal audience.
Write The Perfect Home Page – notice that it is only addressing the Home Page and not the whole website.
How to Contour Your Face Like A Pro – addresses contouring only not making up the entire face.
How to Get Your First 1K subscribers – gives information about techniques to get 1000 subscribers.
Opt ins that are vague or don’t have an end point or result are ineffective and won’t entice as many people to sign up. So break down your main product or service into micro steps and think about an initial problem that you can help them solve in a specific way.
Takes your ideal audience from Point A to Point B.
Where is your ideal audience BEFORE your opt in? In other words, what frustration are they dealing with? What are they thinking and feeling about this situation?
Where will your audience be AFTER they use your opt in? What can they DO after consuming it? What will they have to show for it or who will they be as a result?
If you can answer these questions then you have a clear path and result for your opt in.
Establishes your expertise and gains trust.
Does this opt in showcase a quality sample of what you know and are passionate about? Does it link to a blog or content category that you want to be known for?
Does it include an About You page at the end as an introduction to who you are?
If you deliver something valuable that solves a problem for your audience then you have made your first deposit into the trust and rapport account. Your opt in is the doorway and once someone opens it you have the opportunity to continue to build the relationship.
Showcases your unique style, personality and branding.
Your opt in is also the best time to showcase not just what content you share but also HOW you share it in your own individual way. Allowing your personality, language and voice to come through is one of the best ways to stand apart from others in your field that do similar work to you.
Sprinkling through your quirks, point of view and your branding design helps you to attract and keep the right people who come to recognise your style and develop a preference for the way you do things. By the way if you are looking for ways to get clear on a brand design for you then check out my DIY Your Beautiful Brand Like A PRO course.
So there you have it. Everything you need to choose and create the perfect opt in freebie for you and your audience.
Make sure you have downloaded the checklist and use it each time you are creating your opt ins so you know you have a winner every time.
Some final words on opt ins.
Keep it simple and valuable.
Be open to testing and tweaking until it works well.
Have a go. Most outrageously successful opt ins started out as flops or far less impressive and were improved upon in response to feedback.
You do have expertise that people want.
Enjoy showcasing who you are and what you know.
Go forth and create my friend! If you know someone that you think would needs some clarity and help around choosing the right opt in then feel free to share this post with them.