3 Types of Opt-Ins to Grow Your Email List


The days of “Sign Up To Receive My Newsletter” are long gone, friends. When was the last time you said, “OH HELL YEAH!” at a pop-up like this?

(Image via sumome.com)

If one of your goals this year is to build a list, and this is your current strategy, it’s time to step up your game. Read on.

Pop-ups, content upgrades, and free downloads are all over the place these days. How many emails do you get every day, on average?

I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m suggesting that if you want to stand out and transform your audience into huge fans and paying clients, you need to provide an experience.

Here are a few tips to help you get started. I propose that you choose ONE of them and complete it within the next 10 days. Will you rise to the occasion?

This guide may contain affiliate links in order to keep this site running (at no cost to you!). I have personally used and evaluated all of the recommended products!

Email course

What exactly is it? Simply put, an email course is a three- to ten-email autoresponder series that teaches your reader something. ANYTHING can be the subject of an email course.

Why would you take an email course?

Your email course can serve as a lead to your products or services. Your course will lead your audience down a path about a certain topic. You’ll teach them something, tell them about yourself, and eventually persuade them that you’re an expert on the issue. It also serves as a small sales funnel. This opt-in is therefore serving two purposes.

Email courses have a high conversion rate. I’m talking about more than 50%. That’s insane! If you only have time to implement one list-building approach this year, this should be the one you choose.

How to pick a topic

Consider the following:

  • What are the most common questions your audience has for you?
  • What sort of feedback do they leave on your blog posts?
  • What concerns your clients before they hire you?

Have no one to listen? That’s ok! Look at comments on other blogs or Amazon book reviews relating to your niche for some sneaky market research.

How to set up your email course

Because there is no design required, email courses are one of the easiest opt-ins to set up. Just type out your course’s content, divide it into logical chunks, and upload it to your email marketing system. Convert Kit is my favorite for this because they specialize in generating automated email courses.

Guide, resource, or cheat sheet

For content upgrades, cheat sheets, resources, and guides are your best bet. They’re simple to make and can provide your blog readers with the added resources they need to put what they’ve learned in your article into practice.

There are several options available here:

  • Checklists of everything you’ll need to get a project started
  • List of all tools and resources
  • Flowchart depicting the steps involved in putting anything into action
  • Definitions of popular industry jargon
  • A quick reference for symbols, shortcuts, and terminology
  • An email, sales page, or conversation template or script
  • A spreadsheet for organizing contacts, numbers, dates, and other information

There are literally thousands of ways to make these simpler opt-ins. Listen to this fast 25-minute podcast on the issue if you want to learn more about each of these sorts of cheat sheets.

When developing these upgrades, the only rule to remember is to make it a useful resource. You want your readers to be able to use them right away, and ideally again and again in the future.

Consider a resource or guide that would help you take action on the blog post you’ve just published for the best content upgrades.

CoSchedule is one blog that excels at using checklists, templates, and resource guides as content upgrades. For practically every great blog they write, they create a downloadable resource package.

These guides and resources don’t have to be content upgrades to be the major opt-in on your site. These will work if they truly solve the core issue that your readers are now experiencing.

How do you make these?

There’s a wealth of tools available for creating simple cheat sheets. You can use anything from Microsoft Word to Photoshop. I usually use Adobe Illustrator, Canva, or Beacon to create my designs.

opt-ins to grow your list

Ebook or case study

Ebooks and case studies are excellent for conveying a large amount of information about a single subject. These will be far lengthier than your average cheatsheet or guide.

If you want to go into great detail on a subject but don’t want to break it down into courses as you would with an email course, an ebook might be the way to go. You can provide a lot of value with a single download.

Case studies are a great way to show off your achievements while growing your list, and they may also be used as a sales tool. Make a case study out of a handful of your previous clients or projects, and highlight the most important points. Your audience will pick up on your success and know you’re the bomb dot com, delivering outcomes to your clients.

An ebook’s obvious disadvantage is that it takes longer to write, edit, and design than an email course or short guide (which is why it’s at the bottom of this list). However, ebooks can convert well in some areas and provide a lot of value to your audience.

Ebooks and case studies are also great ways to collaborate with others to build a comprehensive resource on a topic.

Question: So, in the following 10 days, what kind of opt-in will you create? Let me know in the comments section.

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Hey there!

I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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