How To Increase Your Email Opt-In Rate
by Alan Lam last updated on 0

How To Increase Your Email Opt-In Rate

Improving your email signup rate can significantly grow your business. After all, according to McKinsey, email marketing generates 40 times more revenue than Facebook and Twitter combined. It’s clear to see that all marketers should invest time to improve their list growth.

How to grow your email list

First, you should optimize your website’s layout with signup forms and pop-ups. Ideally, when people visit your website, you should give them every opportunity to sign up.

Second, when your visitors are browsing your site, it’s highly unlikely that the first thing on their mind is to subscribe to your email list. For this reason, it’s your job not only to get your visitors to think about subscribing but to encourage them to sign up.

For example, if we’re analyzing good and bad signup forms, would you opt-in to this person’s mailing list?


You’d probably say, no, it’s unlikely!

To get people to subscribe, your signup form’s description (which is also referred to as opt-in copy), should speak to the part of their brain that responds to rewards. You want to get inside your reader’s minds and encourage them to think, “Man I can’t resist what this site has to offer. I have to subscribe.”

To write persuasively, follow this simple three-step formula:

1) Create a valuable offer

2) Craft a powerful headline

3) Persuade your visitors to hand over their details

1) Create a valuable offer

More and more blogs are published each day. In fact, Statista puts the figure at over 152 million blogs. So here’s the reality. With millions of blogs on the web, each asking you to sign up for their list, can you really just expect people to hand over their personal information? No, of course not.

If you want people to subscribe, you must create freebies also known as lead magnets, i.e.,  something of value you can offer your readers in exchange for their email address. Here are some of the most popular ideas for lead magnets to get you started.

How to create a “freebie” offer

The biggest mistake I see when people create lead magnets is they create something their audience needs to have and not what they actually want.

You’ll find great examples of this mistake in almost every household. For instance, your mum will say you need to eat your vegetables, but do you eat it? Certainly not by choice. You want sweets. And getting you to eat sweets is so much easier than getting you to eat vegetables. Don’t fall into the trap of creating something people need. They may not want it.

So back to your “freebie.” You want to create something people want to read. For example, if you’re a fitness blogger, don’t offer your audience a guide on “101 different ways to warm up.” Instead, meet them where they want to be. People want to lose weight. So create something like the “5 most delicious recipes to help you effortlessly lose weight.”

Here is a great example:


Pay attention to the chosen topic. Who wouldn’t want to discover free information on low calorie dishes? Remember, don’t get too caught up with what you think your audience needs to read. Instead, figure out what your audience really wants and then give it to them.

2) Craft a powerful headline

The second step is all about generating attention to your signup form. The truth is, there’s no point creating an offer, ready for people to download, if they don’t spot your offer. So here’s the deal. The most simple and effective way to grab the attention of your readers is to use the “benefit-driven” headline.

The advantage of using this type of headline is that it’s easy to come up with, and people almost always respond to things that can improve their lives.

To create eye-catching headlines – an easy and effective method is using copy formulas. Copy formulas help you construct headlines for maximum persuasive impact.

Copywriting formulas to create benefit-driven headlines

At this stage, identify the benefits of your offer, and then pick one of the 3 formulas to craft a powerful headline for your sign-up form:

1) The benefit of your freebie + time period:

  • Cook amazing pasta + in 5 minutes
  • Make a landing page + by tonight
  • Increase walk-in traffic to your restaurant + this month

2) Who else wants [most desirable benefit of your freebie]?

  • Who else wants to [look great naked]?
  • Who else wants that [classic neighborhood experience]?
  • Who else wants to know when their [client has viewed their invoice]?

3) Are you a [target customer] who wants to [benefit]

  • Are you a busy working mom who wants to make healthy, home-cooked meals?
  • Are you a beginner tennis player who wants to hit powerful groundstrokes?
  • Are you a fitness instructor who wants to get more high-paying clients?

If you would like to find more copy formulas or you need a little more “assistance” to get your brain juice flowing, the following articles can point you in the right direction:

3) Persuade your visitors to share their details

Finally, bringing everything together, you’ve now created:

  • A helpful offer people want to download.
  • A benefit-driven headline that has captured your visitor’s attention

Now, it’s a case of writing a mouth-watering description to hammer home why your visitors should subscribe. Let’s say your offer is an eBook that teaches people “how to serve a tennis ball.”

In your description, what you want to do is pump up your copy with specific claims and promises. Tell your users how they stand to benefit if they download your eBook.

To begin with, start simple. Then, gradually get more specific. For instance:

  • Learn how to serve
  • Learn how to serve fast
  • Learn how to add an extra 10kph to your serve
  • Learn how to add an extra 10kph to your serve even if you’re a beginner
  • Learn how Roger Federer adds an extra 10kph to his serve and how you could do the same – even if you’re a beginner

Notice how I don’t just go for the full-blown sentence. Instead, I take gradual steps to construct a persuasive claim. Here’s an example from Selena Soo, an entrepreneur who sells online courses:


Keep your eyes on how she uses claims like “immediately,” “faster” and “become known as.” These promises make her copy emotive and convey a sense of urgency to persuade her readers to download her “freebie.” Note: don’t promise something you can’t deliver. Big claims are effective, but only if you can deliver.

Final thoughts

The money is in the list, but only if you’re able to grow it. Fortunately, if you’re already driving visitors to your website, you only need to use my three step process to turn them from visitors into subscribers.

Back to you

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