Opt-In ideas to grow your email list


Your email list is one of the most valuable, yet frequently overlooked components of your marketing strategy. In a recent study by MarketingSherpa, the most used lead generation tactic is email marketing, with 81% of respondents citing it as the most effective channel.

While most businesses know the importance of their email list, it can get a little stale over time. This post is all about reinvigorating your email list. I’ve put together some great, creative opt-in ideas to help you get your list growing again.

What can you do to grow your email list?

One of the best ways to grow your email list is with opt-in freebies. Not only does this help to position you as a thought leader in your industry, but it shows that you are willing to share some of your knowledge with readers for free, and it gives them a little taste of what it looks like to work with you.

What is an opt-in freebie?

An opt-in freebie is when you offer something of value to your target audience, but in exchange, you ask for their email address. It is also sometimes referred to as a gated offer as the visitor can only gain access to the item or information by supplying their email address.

Opt-in freebies are an effective way to build your email list, but which freebie offer would work best for you?

Here’s a list of opt-in ideas that will help to build your email list and generate more leads for your business.

1 Video teaser for a video course or tutorial

If you have put together a video series to teach your audience how to do something, you can produce a mini video that provides the viewer with a quick overview as well as a short pdf. If all goes well, the viewer will then move on to your paid course because they now know what to expect.

2 Provide an audio transcript of your blog

If you write blog posts that are somewhat lengthy, consider creating a recording of you reading the post. Many listeners don’t have the time to read a post from start to finish, but they may like to listen to it while sitting in traffic on the ride home from work.

3 Ebooks, pdf guides, or whitepapers

This is a great way to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and to build trust with your site visitors. Create an ebook, guide, or whitepaper and promote it on your website and social media. Create a landing page for it, where your audience can enter their email to access the freebie.

4 Provide a checklist

People love checklists - it’s a great way to simplify and organize a process for your target market. An easy way to create a checklist is to use one of your blog posts where you outlined steps to take as part of a process.

5 Give your audience a quiz

Quizzes are highly interactive and fun. Give your readers a free quiz, but have them opt-in to get the results.

6 Provide a resource guide of your favorite apps, tools, books, etc.

When you’ve worked in an industry for a while, you get to know the tools that are truly helpful (as well as those that aren’t). You can compile a list of your favorite tools along with how you use them and what you love the most about them. Your audience will appreciate the tips. It’s like you’re letting them in on your trade secrets.

A Brand Clarity Workbook to build a strong brand ( PDF download )


7 Provide swipe files to your target audience

Swipe files are email samples, copy, or examples that you keep on hand and use in specific situations (with a little tweaking). You’re providing your audience with samples that worked for you.

8 Produce a webinar

You can either do a live webinar or use the recording of one you’ve done in the past. This is a great way to generate credibility with your audience. In a live webinar, you can have a question and answer session at the end which can help build trust and engagement with your target audience.

9 Provide templates for your readers

Supplying your audience with tried and true templates (such as spreadsheets or Google docs) that have worked for you, is a great way to generate interest. You’re making your audience’s life much easier with the bulk of the work already done. All they need to do is tweak it to customize it for their purposes.

A mood board template to create your brand

10 Offer a free challenge

The challenge is usually targeted toward a specific problem area (for example, weight loss, changing habits, exercise, etc). The visitor agrees to take part in a challenge for a set amount of time (10 days, 30 days, etc). The important thing to remember when creating a challenge is that the length of time needs to be short enough to keep people engaged, but long enough for them to start achieving results. And of course, once the challenge ends, your participants will be so excited about the results, they’ll want to sign up for more.

11 Provide an infographic

Visual data can be processed faster, so this is a big time savings for your visitors.

12 Add a link to your employee’s signatures

The link that you add can take people to a landing page where they can subscribe to your blog, newsletter, or any other freebie you’re offering.

13 Host offline events

You can host workshops, seminars, and conferences to reach a wider audience. Since these people came to your event, they may be more willing to be contacted afterwards.

14 Encourage subscribers to forward and share your emails

Whenever you send emails out to your subscribers, make sure to include social sharing buttons and a button to “email to a friend”. This makes it easy for your subscriber to share something of value with their friends.

15 Create a Facebook Group

This is a great way to interact with your audience and to get to know them better. There are a certain number of people who at first may not want to be on your list. The Facebook Group allows a trust to slowly build through consistent interactions. Eventually, they may decide to become subscribers.

Your email list is a valuable part of your digital marketing strategy. Lists can shrink and go stale over time, without some effort to continue to grow it. The A Brand Clarity Workbook to build a strong brand ( PDF download )opt-in ideas provided in this post should help to jump-start your email list.

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