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There’s a right way and a wrong way to get an email opt-in. The first and foremost best practice that you should always follow is to be honest in all things. If something is free, then let it be free. Requiring an email opt-in to receive something might not cost a visitor anything financially, but that doesn’t mean it is 100% free.
1. Trust Is a Must
ISPs have a lot of filtering power at their disposal. Email providers have a lot of filtering power at their disposal. For emails today, just sending out a few too many can be enough to your authorized emails blocked from ever being delivered. This means that creating trust with your opt-ins is vitally important. You’ve got to be on a trusted subscriber list to guarantee that your stuff is going to be seen. Without trust, you have nothing.
2. Honor the Relationship
Many people will opt into an email subscription because they want something that you’re providing. Don’t assume that they’ve opted in because they want to receive every sales pitch you dream up at night. There’s a specific reason why you received an email opt-in. Respect that. If you are sending out daily emails that are worthless, it won’t be long until the spam blockers start taking notice of what you’re sending.
That’s assuming someone doesn’t just unsubscribe because they’re tired of your telemarketing-by-email efforts.
3. Double It Down
Most email opt-in programs today are using a double opt-in feature to avoid being blacklisted. Although a single opt-in option still works, the double opt-in helps to verify that someone really wants to receive the information that you’re about to send them. When an account holder says that they want your stuff twice, it’s a lot more difficult to say that you’re sending out things that aren’t wanted and that can stop a blacklisting from happening.
4. Have a Great Autograph
Consistency is the key to success when using an email opt-in campaign. A best practice is to keep the structure of the content consistent, but nothing is usually said about the signature of your email. Your virtual autograph must also be consistent so your subscribers can recognize that you’re the one who has sent the information. Include legitimate contact information to avoid getting your emails transferred over to the spam folder.
5. Don’t Hunt for Werewolves
There isn’t a magic silver bullet that will help to magically cure all email opt-in blues. It takes a variety of methods, time, and dedication to the cause to build a list of subscribers that will engage with your content. There are zero methods that will provide instant results. By implementing a series of best practices, however, slow and steady growth can happen in time.
6. Do Your Thing
Why do many emails get funneled into the spam folder before ever seeing the light of day? It’s because there are certain components of a subject line that are common to spammy messages. Lots of exclamation points or making it seem like the email is a reply or a forward is an easy way to get emails never read.
What you’ve ultimately got to do is your own thing. If you like throwing in a few puns into your subject lines you send to family and friends, then do it with your emails here too. Use your brand name if it makes sense. If you create an interesting subject line, you’ll be much more likely to have inbox recognition of each item you send.
7. Every Chance Possible
Your email opt-in box should be above the fold on every page.
Or not. You should actually be giving your visitors every possible chance to opt into your amazing emails. Here’s a proven fact: people who engage with a brand feel like they have a relationship with that brand. It identifies with a core part of who they are. When this happens to you, then you have the perfect time to get an email opt-in.
Your site has plenty of touch points. Use them to get more opt-ins and your lists will grow organically.
These email opt-in best practices have been developed to help you find better success. It won’t be an instant success, but with enough sweat equity and patience, these tips will help you get to where you want to be.