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Only 14 People on Your Mailing List? Create a Compelling Opt-In Offer with These 14 Tips!

So you finally got around to writing some blog posts, but your excitement turned to disappointment because so few people are finding and reading what you wrote.

One of the next two things will happen.

  1. You will get depressed and give up. This explains the huge number of blogs with one or two outdated posts—then crickets.
  1. You realize that your great content requires getting the word out to potential readers. You start to grasp the power of people letting you email them about your business content.

Now how do you attract more subscribers and get their precious permission to deliver to their inbox?

First, what not to do. Don’t blast all of your email contacts through Gmail. You may be very well meaning, but this mistake is compounded when you include every name and email address in the “To:” field. If you must go down this road, at least avoid the discourtesy of spreading around email addresses. Send your mass request by blind copy (bcc).

Don’t be discouraged that people are not signing up to your list when what you have provided is a tiny form in your website footer or sidebar that simply says, “Sign Up for My Newsletter.” People don’t really want another newsletter so don’t mention the work. Instead, offer them something that solves a problem for them and showcases your expertise. This requires a prominent opt-in form that offers visitors something important to them that they can only get from you.

Now, what to do. Open an email marketing account with MailChimp, a free service for lists with up to 2000 addresses. MailChimp allows you to create the list of contact addresses and a form people can use to sign for your list. Because the emails sent from MailChimp include the option to unsubscribe, you will avoid breaking federal anti-spam laws.

We also have recently become a huge fan of ConvertKit which is great for people really interested in growing and working your list.  There offer tools and tutorials to help you make the most of your email offer.

To people you already know, you can send the link to the subscription form that you’ve created. To attract new subscribers, you can place the form on your website.

Why opt-ins? Everyone loves free stuff, and the easiest way to get new subscribers is to offer a free opt-in gift in exchange for their email address. This trade will do a lot for you. You can share some valuable information that builds authority and expertise, and connect and engage with a potential customer.

At New Tricks, we’ve had opt-in success by offering a free training video, “Getting Started With WordPress.” After we update our videos, we will offer this one again. Another opt-in is, “Get our Seven Secrets to a Website that Sells, and Start Putting your Website to Work.”

14 Tips to Your Best Opt-In Offer. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client. What would be compelling to that person when they come to your site? What problem could you solve? What need can you meet that this target user is grappling with?

Your offer should be super-helpful to your audience. Here are 14 ideas for inspiration.

  1. Provide a workbook on a critical topic.
  1. Consider a free consultation.
  1. Excerpt a “sneak peek” digital chapter from your latest book.
  1. Share your manifesto. (I love Chris Guillebeau’s “279 Days to Overnight Success”!)
  1. Offer the pre-recorded audio from your most popular webinar.
  1. Qualify a subscriber for an exclusive offer for your product or service.
  1. Compile a list of tips or ideas (like this one!) to help your people achieve a goal or solve a problem.
  1. Share helpful links. If your audience is bloggers, try offering a list of your most reliable resources for downloading free images.
  1. Share a plan for success. Fitness people might like a 7-Day Paleo meal plan.
  1. Create a free course for those who opt-in.
  1. Write up the complete “how to” for doing something your target market is seeking.
  1. Mine your expertise for a top-10 list or your favorites. (Example: the best under-the-radar antique shops or your favorite scenic views in your city.)
  1. Create a checklist with all the important steps in a process that highly relevant to your audience.
  1. Offer a quiz from SurveyFunnel that adds people to your list and, based on their quiz results, separates them into market segments.

Before you go. I hope you don’t get depressed and give up. Other than your time, coming up with a great opt-in doesn’t cost you anything. The return on investment is superb, because who doesn’t like something free? Try it!

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