Make Your Email Opt-In Pages Shine

Boost Subscribers by Making Your Email Opt-In Pages Shine

If you don't have an email list yet, you may not know that there is a series of pages that need to be made in order to deliver a free gift to a subscriber. This post covers the basics of those pages and the first emails that you load into your auto-responder of your email list provider.

First You Need The Opt-In Page

After signing up with an email list provider like Aweber or ConvertKit, you will need to make an opt-in form. That form can be placed on any page of your website. You may also want to set-up what's called a “landing page”. A landing page is a page dedicated to selling the opt-in and free item they get when they sign-up.

Here's an example of a landing page that I use to ask people to sign-up to receive my free report called “Graphics 101 For Your Online Business Success“.

The “Almost There” Page

Once someone has filled out your opt-in form and signed up for your list, you want them to see a new page on your website. This is the “almost there” page and is used to tell new subscribers what to do next. You never want to leave a subscriber or a customer not knowing what to do next.

You can say something simple like: “Just one more thing! Thanks for signing up!” or “You have successfully signed up! Please follow the steps below, to complete the process.” And then tell them what to do next.

Here's the “Almost There” page I use: “You have successfully signed-up!

Don’t Put a Link Here

Some people add a link to their gift directly on the “almost there” page. But this is a big mistake. What if your subscriber got their email address wrong? They won’t realize there’s a problem because they’ll download your gift but never hear from you again. This means you could be missing new subscribers without even realizing it.

The second reason you want to do this, and I think the most important, is that it trains new subscribers to open your messages. They learn to click when they see your name in their inbox and you always want them to do that.

Keep it Clean

Some people invite their new subscribers to take the next step on this page. Some encourage them to join your Facebook group and others actually make offers here. I don't do that.

I don't want my subscribers to get sidetracked at this point. I want them to open my email and pick-up the item they signed-up to get. So, on the “almost there” page, I like to stick to the steps they need to take next.

Next is The Pick-up Page

Once you have an “almost there” page in place, you might think that you should just link to or attach your gift in the email to your new subscribers. While it’s true that you can do that, it’s smarter to create a “download” or “pick-up” page on your site.

This page has the link that new subscribers will click to find their download-able gift. By sending them to a page, you’re exposing your community to your branding again and increasing the chances that they’ll stick around and explore more of your content.

But what should you include on your pickup page so it’s helpful to your audience without being overwhelming? Here are a few things you can do…

Create a Quick Video

Record a video to put on the page. This can be a video of you talking to the camera giving your new subscribers a big welcome. If you’re in a tech-heavy niche, it might be better to use a screenshot style video (where users see your screen instead of your face). Both methods work well so choose the one that appeals to you.

Videos are a great way for your new subscribers to get know you, however, I understand that a lot of people are just not comfortable in video.  If that's the case for you, I highly encourage you to start using video sometime soon, but it is not necessary.

Link to the Resource You're Giving Away

Now that your subscribers are on your “pick-up” page, don’t make them hunt for their gift. Provide a link that is prominent so they don't have to search. You can make this a simple text link and invite them to right-click and save the download.

But I like using a large button for the link. Visitors love buttons and you may see a higher conversion rate (more downloads) if you choose to do this. You can easily create buttons in WordPress using the Gutenberg Editor or by downloading a theme with the buttons already styled for you.

Here's a screenshot of the download page for my Free Graphics 101 Report.

Make a Second Offer

Below the resource, don’t be afraid to make a second offer.  You can link to a product you created if you want to. Tripwire products (low-cost items) are usually a good idea here. And don't forget about affiliate products. An affiliate offer that is closely related to the product they downloaded would be a good choice.  However, I wouldn't use an affiliate offer, if I had my own product to offer here.

Another option if you don’t have a product created already, would be to link to an in-depth blog post or your favorite podcast episode. This allows you to lead your visitors deeper into your content so they can become familiar with your work.

Keep It Relevant

The important thing to remember when making an offer on your “pick-up” page is to make sure it’s related to the opt-in gift. If you are giving away a guide to choosing the best painting tools, you wouldn’t promote a coupon for organic dog food. It’s not relevant and is likely to confuse your audience.

But you could promote a set of high-quality painting brushes as an Amazon affiliate on your “pick-up” page. Your subscribers are likely to thank you for this suggestion and you may even earn a few commissions.

Contact Information

Don’t assume every download will go through without a problem. Sometimes, visitors don’t know how to claim their gift or they may not be able to see the button, which can be frustrating. That’s why you want to include a way for new subscribers to reach out to you easily. This could be a special email address you create just for this issue such as support@mysite.com or you could link to your help desk if you have one in place.

Making your “pick up” page shine isn’t hard. It’s all about looking through a subscriber’s eyes and thinking about what they might need. If you do this, you’re more likely to design a page that creates a great user experience.

Craft a Wonderful Welcome Email

Next thing you need to set-up before you get your first subscriber are the emails they will receive. I send two welcome series, one that specifically gives the new subscriber the link to the “pick-up” page and then they are sent into a nurture email series. Here are some tips to help you write those first emails that new subscribers will get.

Use a Catchy Subject Line

Start by writing your subject line. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it should grab the attention of your subscribers. A few good ideas include:

  • Here’s Your Free Gift…
  • Your (Workbook/Gift/Download) Is Inside!
  • Do You Love FREE Gifts?
  • Open Now: Your (Workbook/Gift/Download) Is Here

Greet Your New Subscribers

Most email services allow you to add the name of your subscribers to your greeting. This customizes your message for each recipient. That means an email to “Ann” would start with “Hey Ann!” while an email to Betty would start with “Hey Betty!”

If you’re not sure how to personalize an email, ask your mailing list provider. Your provider will give you a small bit of code such as FNAME (meaning first name) or firstname_fix to insert into your messages. I use ConvertKit and their code for first name is {{ subscriber.first_name }}.

Congratulate Receivers

Next, you should let your subscribers know you’re excited that they requested your item and congratulate them. Remind them about why they want it so they’ll be tempted to download (and use) it immediately.

You could say something simple like: “Hey FNAME! I’m delighted you signed up for my free crochet video tutorial. Use this video to kickstart your own crochet journey and discover your next crafting adventure.”

Link to the Gift

Now it’s time to link to the gift. Remember, you don’t want to send your subscribers directly to the item from your email. Instead, you’ll direct them to the “pick up” page you created previously. This gets them back to your website and gives you a chance to deepen your relationship.

Offer Bonus Content

In addition to your gift, you can also offer content that might be a useful bonus item. For example, you could create a short checklist of materials for new crocheters. You might link to your favorite hooks, yarn brands, and other crafting tools. Make sure to use affiliate links so that you earn a commission on any items your subscribers purchase.

Use the P.S. Section

The “P.S.” section in an email is one of the most widely read areas. That means you want to include something juicy at the end of your message. Here, you could link to your YouTube channel, Facebook group, or online community.

Write Engaging Nurture Emails

A nurture sequence is a series of emails to your list that follows up with them. You can use a nurture sequence after someone has made a purchase from you, downloaded your free gift, or bought a product from your affiliate recommendation. Here are a few tips to help you create a nurture sequence for new subscribers.

Follow Up Quickly

After your welcome email with a link to your “pick-up” page, you want a second message to be sent to subscribers 1-2 days after they signed up for your list. This doesn’t have to be lengthy or filled with information.

You can say something simple like, “A couple of days ago [or yesterday], I sent you my video crochet tutorial for newbies. Did you enjoy the tutorial? Did you get hung up on anything?”

Then link back to the “pick-up” page again for subscribers who may have missed your original email or who didn’t click through on the first message.

Encourage Conversation

In follow up emails, ask your subscribers to respond to you. You can say, “Click reply and tell me what you’d like my next crochet tutorial to be about!”

If you can get your subscribers to open and click reply, their email provider is more likely to show your messages to them. That’s because engagement sends an important message to email services that you’re a trusted sender.

Most importantly, a response from a subscriber creates a relationship. Good email marketing is not one-way communication. Once you’ve warmed your community, you have a relationship and that’s more powerful than anything.

Consider Your Audience

When it comes to your nurture series, focus on the needs of your subscribers. Think about what you can offer them but also how can you be of true service to each member. If you don’t know what your audience needs, invite them to tell you! Ask questions in your messages such as:

  • What do you want to learn about (your topic) next?
  • What problems are you struggling with in (your topic)?
  • What wins have you experienced with (your topic)?

Stay on Topic

Remember to keep your nurture sequence geared toward your audience. If you go off-topic, you’re likely to confuse them. For example, you spend an email talking about your beloved dog when you’re in the crochet niche.

An exception to this would be if you can make your topic relate back to your niche. Using the example above, if you’re talking about your dog so you can share a picture of the sweater you crocheted for him, then that makes perfect sense. Your subscribers will appreciate that content.

Don’t stress over your nurture series. Focus on creating a welcome email and two quick follow-up messages. As time goes on, you can add more emails to the series and grow it at your own pace.

3 Big Email Mistakes You're Making (& What To Do Instead!)

I'm going to close with the 3 big email mistakes that a lot of people do, including me. Yes, I'm guilty too, but working on it. 😊

Email Mistake #1: Emails that Are Too Long

You need to respect your subscribers’ time. Don’t write long emails—get to the golden nuggets! If you have a story to tell that’s lengthy, break it up. Tell your subscribers you’ll share more with them next time.

If you send emails that are short and easy to read, it creates a contract with your subscribers. They expect you to get to the point and share what you know with them. They don’t want long, rambling paragraphs while you try to remember what you wanted to say.

Of course, this can be difficult. Maybe there’s a problem some of your subscribers are facing and you want to tackle it with an in-depth tutorial or lengthy video. Instead of adding these to your email, post them to your blog. Then send a short email with a link back to your site. This sends traffic to your site and keeps your engagement levels high.

Email Mistake #2: Emails without Offers

If the purpose of your list is to sell, you can make offers right away. You don’t have to wait. But make the offers relevant and if it makes sense to offer a special deal to a new subscriber then do it.

You do want to have offers in front of your audience from the beginning. But don’t go straight for the jugular on this. Remember, subscribers want to taste a sample in the beginning. Then later, they may become a “yes” to more expensive products.

You don’t want to push your $10K+ coaching program right away. Instead, share a deeply discounted product to act as a tripwire to new subscribers.

Email Mistake #3: No Emails at All

Stay in touch with your audience. The worst thing you can do is to not follow up at all. If you’re not broadcasting and you only have 2-3 emails in your nurture sequence, then subscribers stop hearing from you. They forget who you are and you get shy about sending out messages.

Plan for consistency! If you don’t, then keep adding to your nurture sequence so they’re getting emails from you regularly.

How often subscribers expect messages from you depends on your niche. If you sell pet accessories on Etsy, then followers might want to hear from you 1-2 times a month. More often than that and your messages aren’t relevant.

But new moms? New moms will want daily baby care tips. That’s because they’re thinking about their kids every day. Once their children are older, they may opt out of your emails but for now, they’ll appreciate hearing from you.

It takes time to learn how to become a good email marketer. If you’re making one of the mistakes on the list above, don’t panic. Just follow the advice to start doing it right. You will get better at emailing your list the more you do it!

There's So Much More

If you're new to email marketing and want to get started, I'm sure all this can feel overwhelming. This blog post simplifies the process, but there's so much more to it including:

  • what email list provider to use and what to look for in a provider
  • how to get subscribers
  • what to write about in your emails
  • what to offer as a free gift
  • how to handle the maintenance of your list
  • deliverability
  • how to make offers
  • and so much more!

I'm working on an email course to help those who are new to email marketing get started. If you would like to be on the notification list for this new course, sign-up below!

PLUS, if you sign-up, you also get the templates for several emails that are loaded into my auto-responder. The first is the email series I send to the subscriber immediately. The first in the series shows an image of the item they will download and gives them the link to the “pick-up” page. This series as two more follow-up emails. The second is the first email in my nurture series. It's an email that tells my new subscriber that it's a BIG DEAL that they are taking action. You can feel free to edit both emails to fit your own niche and audience.

Sign-up below!

All my best,

Reba

About the Author Reba Collins

I’m a fifty-something, self-taught, online business geek from Texas and owner of Online To Thrive. A lot goes into creating an online business and it can be a really scary endeavor. I’m here to help make getting started easy and affordable with step-by-step courses that are clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated.

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