Your list of opt-ins is one of your business’ most valuable assets. If you provide a compelling opt-in offer, then you are giving your customers something they’ve asked for, and your opt-in list will probably be highly responsive to your email promotions because they will be expecting to hear from you.
If you want people to opt in to your list though, you need to offer them something valuable in return for their contact information. Here are nine opt-in incentives that are the most successful, proven ways to collect email addresses:
Incentive #1: Free Reports
Free reports are one of the best things you can offer people in order to encourage them to opt in to your email list. Free reports can work well for any site that’s selling a product or service, because it gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field. You’re showing your potential customers that you should be their first stop when they are looking for information about your particular topic.
Incentive #2: Free eBooks
A free ebook can draw a lot of people to your opt-in offer. As with a free report, a free ebook will help you build your list and familiarize your visitors with your products and services. If your ebook contains valuable information, then your visitors will understand that you are giving them something more than what your competitors are offering.
Incentive #3: Free Newsletters
If you can provide subscribers with regular pieces of valuable information in the form of a newsletter, then you can quickly establish yourself as an expert in your industry. This will help you to build relationships with your subscribers, which will increase the likelihood that they will buy from you.
Incentive #4: Downloadable Articles
If you have a lot of original content on your site, then you might want to require your visitors to opt in to your email list in order to download your articles. This is a great way to get a lot of opt-ins, as long as you offer useful information that people can’t get for free somewhere else.
Incentive #5: Surveys
Surveys are not only a good way to collect opt-ins, but they also provide you with a lot of useful information about your target market. Let everyone who takes part in your survey know that they will receive the results by email when they are calculated and published.
Incentive #6: Free e-Course
Another great way to collect leads is to offer a free electronic course on a subject that your visitors are interested in. You will be able to build your list and your credibility quickly if you offer to teach people about something they are interested in for free. You can write different lessons and have them emailed to your subscribers at specific intervals using delayed autoresponders.
Incentive #7: Free Downloads
If your business sells software, then a free trial download can be a great way to generate a lot of opt-ins. This way, customers can learn from experience that your product is valuable. You can get them hooked on it and then ask them to pay for it after a set period of time (usually 30 days).
Incentive #8: Contests
If providing visitors with information through a monthly newsletter or a report doesn’t seem right for you, you could consider setting up a monthly contest. This is a proven way to get contact information from customers both off- and online.
Hosting a contest on your website works along the same principle as dropping your business card in the jar at a restaurant in order to win a free lunch for your office. The restaurant gets to collect information about its customers, and the customers have a chance to win something. Both parties get something of value and the restaurant didn’t have to spend much money to get a lot of good leads.
Incentive #9: Members Only Areas
Members only areas work along the same lines as downloadable articles, only you let your visitors gain full access to your online information by opting in. For example, if you visited the New York Times website (http://www.nytimes.com), you’ll see that you are free to browse some of the articles, but need to register in order to access most of the site. Since the registration is free and the content is valuable, the website gets lots of opt-ins.