If you’re reading this, then that means we both agree opt-in and freebies are the best way to grow your email list and scale business online.
You offer your visitors something of value for free, essentially giving them a subtle taste of what it feels like to be a part of your community.
However the biggest issues a lot of people struggle with are:
- What kind of opt-in should I create?
- How do I find amazing opt-in ideas?
The truth is – it depends.
I know you’re probably not a huge fan of technical answers but it really comes down to 3 things:
- The nature of your audience
- The type of content you create
- What you feel comfortable doing (Also read as what you’re great at)
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an Opt-in?
Lead magnet, Freebie, Opt-in, etc… there are a ton of different names to call it but they’re all essentially the same thing.
But no matter what you call them, they’re vital to growing your mailing list and online business as a whole.
An opt-in is any piece of content that you give away in exchange for an email address.
It could be a PDF, an e-book, a mini course, or any other digital product you see fit.
In most cases. your opt-in is typically the first part of your sales funnel.
You give your audience something for free, nurture any subscribers, then present them with any paid products or services at the appropriate moment.
That’s all it is.
I understand as a blogger or digital marketer it’s easy to dwell so much on what’s ideal and what the intended purpose of your opt-in is but there’s really no reason to make it any more complicated than that.
Your site exists because you want to serve a particular audience, your opt-in helps you get more of those people to sign up and engage with you.
So with that in mind, I’m going to give you a rundown of some of the best opt-in examples you can use for your website and the different ways you can go about finding amazing opt-in ideas your audience will love.
10 Excellent Opt-in Examples to Grow Your Mailing List
1 – E-mail courses (mini-courses)
Mini email courses are by far one of the best options for list building.
They essentially allow you to break down an otherwise relatively long solution into a series of smaller steps spread out across several emails.
The beauty of that is when done effectively, it really helps boost your engagement.
Dripping out content over time builds anticipation and it also gets your subscribers into the habit of opening your emails.
And your mini course doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
It really comes down to a simple step-by-step format to get someone to a specific outcome within a given time period.
For example, you can sign up for the FREE 5 Day Email Course below and learn how to create your own blog that brings in $1400/month.
2 – E-books
Chances are you’ve already come across different versions of e-books before.
These are by far one of the most popular opt-in methods.
And they’re great for 2 reasons:
- They convert really well (if you have the right offer)
- They’re a lot easier to create than a mini-course.
That doesn’t mean you need to skimp out on information when you’re creating your ebook.
You should always make sure you’re giving your subscribers a ton of value that way they’re hungry for more.
Example – How to Hire A Freelance Designer by Upwork
3 – PDF files and Checklists
PDFs and checklists are also very common because they’re easy to set up and easy to consume.
People love checklists.
They really help provide a sense of completeness.
The concept is really no different from a grocery list – which coincidentally could be a great opt-in if you’re in a food, fitness, or healthy diet niche.
You check things off as you shop and you feel satisfied once you’re done.
That’s the same feeling you want to give your subscribers.
They’re appealing because it means they don’t have to think or work hard. They can literally just check things off the list.
PDFs and checklists also make for excellent content upgrades.
Sometimes a lengthy blog post can be converted into a checklist for someone to follow or maybe even just as a companion to the post itself.
Example – On-Page SEO Checklist by Optin Monster
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4 – Templates
Think: graphics, google documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and so on.
The purpose of this type of lead magnet is to give your readers different models they can use to achieve a particular result.
I like to think of these as done-for-you content.
It’s a piece of content that sort of fills in the blanks.
Example – Free Financial Planning Templates by Smartsheet
5 – Webinars / video
These obviously will require a little bit more work upfront but can be well worth it to grow your list and maximize conversions.
In fact of all the opt-ins we’ve just taken a look at, webinars and free videos tend to have the most authority.
People like to see who they’re interacting with.
It makes it more personable and relatable.
You can choose to go live or sometimes it can be a previous recording which you end up using as part of your evergreen funnel.
So make use of video if you can.
Example – How Your Startup Can Win at SEO by Hubspot
6 – Quizzes
Quizzes can be great list builders because they are really interactive and fun.
The format is pretty simple.
Ask your readers to take a quiz and then have them sign up to your email list to get results.
Now you have to be careful because we’re all inclined to want instant results especially if you have to go through all of the trouble to complete a quiz.
So you want to make sure you’re not frustrating your visitors instead.
And one great way to do this is to provide an additional resource that helps explain their results.
That way they’re even more inclined to sign up.
Example – The Primary Archetype Test by Cerries Mooney
7 – Case studies
Case studies are great opt-ins because they’re usually backed up by lots of research people are looking for.
For example, a good case study will be “How 30 stay at home moms lost 20 lbs in 1 month with busy schedules.”
That would be something any stay at home mom looking to lose weight would likely be interested in.
Now if your free case study is backed by a product you offer or recommend, they’re more likely to purchase from you.
So this really is one of the best ways to grow your email list when people want to research and read about different successful businesses or people around them.
As always, make sure you’re giving them relevant and authentic information and the results should be something they can see themselves achieving.
Example – Fit4Life Gym Case Study by Vendasta
8 – Worksheets & Workbooks
As the names suggest, you’re basically giving your audience something to work on.
It’s a good way to teach your audience while they work through something on their own.
These work well because in many cases, not everyone might be going down the same path.
So you give them a worksheet or a workbook and you have them create their own personalized path.
Example – Defining Your ICA by Amy Porterfield
9 – Members only access
The concept here is part of your content is hidden behind a gated wall.
You limit access only to the people who sign up to your list.
This basically is another type of content upgrade.
You provide some information about a particular topic then offer additional information or special access to your subscribers.
If you’re going to create gated content, you have to make sure you deliver on the promise.
It’s never a good feeling for someone to sign up then end up finding out it wasn’t worth it.
Example – Brian Dean uses these quite effectively on his blog Backlinko.
10 – Tutorials, Guides and Trainings
You could argue that these could take the form of any of the previous opt-ins we just took a look at.
And you’d be absolutely correct.
The reason I’m including these here is because tutorials are actionable and in most cases that is what people are looking for.
Irrespective of the format you use, tutorials and guides tell people if you sign up to my list I’ll get you from point A to point B in X amount of time or steps.
You are virtually holding their hands throughout the entire process and people appreciate that.
Example – 8 Steps To Turning What You Know Into A Successful Online Course by David Garland
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How To Find Interesting Opt-in Ideas
Now that you understand what an opt-in is and some of the best formats you can use, the next question is how do you come up with interesting opt-in ideas?
This can be a bit of a nuance especially if you’re just getting started with your blog or online business.
I’m going to give you some of the best ways to find interesting topics your audience will gladly sign up for but at the end of the day, it all boils down to 1 single point:
Find what people want and give it to them.
The concept is as simple as that.
Your opt-in is not a place for you to experiment with ideas no one has heard about before.
So the steps I’m going to give you right now essentially show you some of the different ways and places where you can find content that’s attractive to your niche.
Here we go:
6 best ways to find out great opt-in ideas for free
1 – Popular patterns in your niche (Google trends, Pinterest, YouTube, etc).
Social media site is an amazing resource for any service.
There’s a lot understanding you can obtain if you take the time to comprehend a few of the social media analytics.
Well, the one point we understand is they all have enormous audiences interested in certain subjects.
That’s where you are available in.
Pay attention to the preferred patterns in your niche because popularity frequently leads to inquiries and also you can position yourself as someone that has the answers.
Systems like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc, allow you to look for trending subjects or videos and you can quickly find some interesting opt-in concepts for your site.
Google fads is also one more excellent method for you to see what’s trending as well as you can use those ideas for lead generation.
2 – Competitor evaluation.
I have actually constantly stated in some cases there’s charm in being a novice since you can pick up from those who’ve already preceded you as well as are obtaining exceptional outcomes.
Competitor evaluation is a terrific method for you to identify what type of opt-ins and also topics are transforming well for other marketing experts.
That stated, NEVER EVER just duplicate or take someone else’s work.
It’s dishonest and would just end up hurting you in the long run.
The entire point is to do research so you can see what’s functioning.
My advice to you is you register for several of those mailing listings yourself.
That’s useful details offered to you completely free.
Not just do you gain from whatever it is they’re showing or offering however you can likewise start to see exactly how they craft their messages and also how they engage with their target market.
That’s something you certainly want to make use of.
The remarks area( s) of various other blogs can likewise be a hidden treasure for opt-in ideas.
3 – Survey Your Target Market.
This basically is an expansion of the previous point.
I make certain you’ve come across the phrase ask and you shall obtain, right?
Well, that absolutely applies here also.
If you get on social media, you ought to be involving with individuals as long as you can.
Facebook groups are one superb instance that comes to mind in terms of opt-in concepts.
Talk with people, ask them what they ‘d want, or see if a particular inquiry keeps emerging.
There’s no much better recognition than when it’s originating from individuals who actually desire it.
As your checklist and target market grow over time, you can remain to ask your customers as well.
That gives you the excellent possibility ahead up with a couple of more interesting opt-ins.
4 – Online Forums (Quora, Reddit, etc).
On-line forums are a goldmine for content generally.
Quora as well as Reddit are generally platforms where individuals share their opinions as well as ideas regarding anything.
Reddit serves for discovering the trending topics people are looking for and Quora is where individuals ask inquiries to make sure that the area can better help them.
In any case, they supply great deals of insight.
The charm concerning all of it is these questions are usually broken down into different sub-categories so you can get really details with your opt-in if you’re trying to target a particular target market.
5 – Use Key phrase Research tools.
Key phrase tools are terrific for material research and SEO however in numerous ways that can additionally be put on your opt-ins.
If you’re not familiar with what a Key phrase tool is, they’re essentially devices you make use of to locate details topics you can target and also rate for online.
Some excellent free key words devices consist of Ubersuggest as well as Google Keyword Planner.
If you have an interest in a paid variation with advanced metrics and understanding then Semrush or Long Tail Pro would certainly be an excellent alternative.
The understanding you receive from a keyword device tells you the number of individuals are looking for details keyword phrases and exactly how well they’re doing online.
That informs you what you must develop as well as enhance your material around yet likewise offers you the best chance to develop those content upgrades we spoke about previously.
6 – Usage Your The Majority Of Popular Content.
If you have any kind of piece of content that’s doing especially well, you require to make certain you profit from it.
If people are reading a certain article or enjoying a certain video you developed then that’s a wonderful chance to hook them when they’re truly interested.
Google analytics can aid identify which of your web content is appealing to your site visitors and also you can make use of that as leverage to produce an opt-in for them.
If you need aid, see 7 Points You Should Do When An Article Goes Viral.
This listing is by no suggests the end all be all.
There are various means you can set about finding out fascinating subjects yet there’s no requirement to be everywhere.
These 6 actions will do just great as well as will certainly give you great deals of concepts you can use for your free offers.
The factor is do not make things any more difficult than they should be.
Identify what your target market desires as well as give it to them.
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6 Things To Keep In Mind When Creating Your Opt-ins
If you want to grow your mailing list quickly, successfully, and get lots of positive feedback then these are things you must make sure you’re doing consistently:
1 – Value
his is an overused term however the concept stays the same.
Offer your customers something they will appreciate.
You understand finest what will help your target market. At the very least we have actually seen several of the various means you can find beneficial material.
If I’m attempting to reduce weight, offer me genuine tools and also sources to do so.
If I’m attempting to dish preparation on a budget, offer me a wish list that fits my budget.
Value is in the eyes of the observer.
It can be considerable or it can be little. Either way, it must provide on the promise.
Always remember that.
2 – Simpleness
The goal of your opt-in isn’t to overwhelm your client.
Actually rather the contrary.
It needs to be easy and also cause a fast win.
Nobody wishes to review a 300 web page electronic book or need to go through 50 videos simply to reach the final end result.
I’m not claiming there isn’t a time or area for those points however in a lot of cases, people want outcomes upfront.
You must discover an excellent equilibrium in between value and also simplicity.
And guess what?
Quick wins maintain individuals desiring much more.
3 – Effectiveness
This is definitely related to simplicity but allow me to clarify what I imply right here.
Let’s stick with our weight reduction example.
I’ll provide you 2 options and you tell me which one is simpler to develop:
I’ll teach you exactly how to lose weight by changing your diet, doing cardio, raising weights, and dish prepping.
I’ll show you how to shed 20lbs with cardio.
Also as you read it, I know the second choice appeared extra appealing to you.
The huge mistake lots of people make is they try to cover every little thing under the sun.
It’s tedious for you as well as oftentimes just winds up confusing your target market.
Concentrate on providing a certain solution to a solitary trouble rather than trying to solve every one of their troubles simultaneously.
Particular pain point, certain end results to a particular target market.
Solve one issue!
That’s what efficiency is.
5 – Uniformity
Your opt-in requirements to be regular with the piece of web content they connected with or the overall style of your website.
If somebody dedicates to something, then lead them on to something that’s relatable.
If someone involves your blog as well as reviews “10 various ways to drop weight”, they’re not thinking about a “Free Financial Coordinator” even if it takes place to be the best worldwide.
Okay perhaps not something that shocking but the factor is there needs to be some continuity.
Prevent doing points that will certainly create confusion.
You ‘d be surprised at how well a few of the simplest things convert when they’re consistent with the total message.
If you’re mosting likely to disrupt someone’s focus with a pop-up or an opt-in, you need to ensure it’s worth it.
6 – Develop
Your opt-ins ought to always be building upon the following action in your advertising and marketing funnel.
Like I’ve stated previously, you wish to offer adequate worth to satisfy their instant requirements yet there should be area for extra.
This is most likely mosting likely to sound rough yet it requires to be claimed nevertheless.
If you’re reluctant to make a sale, you will not make any type of sales.
And also the means I see it, if you’re building an organization to earn money online or due to the fact that you at some point want to stop your 9-5, then you need to learn exactly how to market effectively.
That’s the whole factor of having your opt-ins in position.
Not since it’s just another sales device, however due to the fact that it’s an exceptional possibility for you to present your subscribers with even more offers that can aid even more their trip.
As well as if your web content is useful, is handy and also actually obtains them to the preferred result then there’s nothing wrong with that said.
We all spend cash on things that improve our lives in one way or another.
So don’t create your opt-ins even if everyone has one or since a person informed you to.
Find something you know you can build upon.
You’re in this to produce a legit service.
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Final Thoughts On How to Come Up with Amazing Opt-In Ideas
Take this information and put it to good use.
You now understand what an opt-in is, some of the opt-ins that convert really well and the different places you can find interesting opt-in ideas.
Use all of that to come up with high-converting freebies that will grow your mailing list.
I also want to let you know there’s no such thing as the “perfect” opt-in.
At least not when you first create one.
You have to test and experiment continuously till you figure out which one leads to the most subscribers and eventually more sales.
That’s what good business people do and I’m sure you are.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.