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Email Marketing Opt-In Best Practices

There are plenty of ways that you can boost your open rates, so don’t feel discouraged if you’re not reaching your goals. As long as you remain consistent, you’ll see your numbers start to rise. And remember: email marketing is all about building relationships with people who have indicated that they want to hear from you. By treating those relationships with respect, you’ll continue to increase engagement and build a strong community around your brand. There is a lot of information, but it can be boiled down to a few best practices: get your privacy policy on the same page as your opt-in form, check that your form complies with privacy laws (and state laws if applicable), and make sure you’re checking to see if your opt-in form is meeting its goals. Then it’s just a matter of choosing the best opt-in strategy for you, whether it’s a popup, an inline form in your content, or traditional side forms. There are many things to take into consideration when creating an opt-in strategy. While the best opt-in practices may vary by industry, there are some general strategies that can give your campaign a boost. We hope that the tactics we’ve outlined here prove useful for you and your subscribers—and, most importantly, that they help you achieve your business goals and grow your subscriber list!

If you want to successfully convert your readers into email subscribers and email marketing customers, pay attention to the best opt-in practices we identified above. It’s not enough to simply build a list or send people off to a sales page. You need to provide useful content for your readers that establishes trust, gives them a reason to sign up, and makes it convenient for them to do so. Only then can you make use of the valuable data you have now acquired on your subscribers. Opt-in email marketing can be a daunting prospect. You send your customers (via email) something that they want, something that provides value to them, and then you ask them for their permission to continue doing so. But if you know what to do and follow best practices, this obstacle becomes surmountable and you greatly increase your chances of committing a true act of permission marketing. These mechanisms ensure that the people who are signing up for your email list don’t have unrealistic expectations about what you plan to do with their replies. They also help them make an informed decision about whether or not they want to receive your marketing emails in the future. All of these best practices in opt-in marketing shouldn’t be anyone should adhere to, but following as many of them as possible will make your email marketing campaigns more effective in the long run.

If you want to grow your business, email marketing can be a great way to do it. Not only does it give you a chance to speak directly with your customers on a regular basis, but it’s also an easy way to reach new customers and keep in touch with existing ones. However, there are some common mistakes that many business owners make when they first start using email marketing. Here are the most important ones that you need to avoid if you want your emails to get opened and clicked!

Follow the Law.

To avoid any trouble with the law, you should follow the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and the FTC’s regulations for email marketing. The CAN-SPAM Act requires that your emails contain:

  • An opt-out method (e.g., “unsubscribe” link) in every email.
  • Your physical mailing address or a clear online contact form (so they can reach you).

Make it Easy to Opt-in.

Make it easy to opt-in.

  • Use a single field signup form that only has one action: subscribe (you can always add additional fields later). This will help you avoid the problem of “double opt-ins”, which means that someone has to click through twice before they get to your email list.
  • Make it easy to unsubscribe by providing an unsubscribe link at all times and on every page of your website. This is called an “unsubscribe link” because when clicked or tapped, it takes users directly to an unsubscribe page where they can remove themselves from your mailing list quickly and easily if they no longer want their information shared with anyone else in any future communications with them.

Don’t Bury Your Subscription Page Beneath Complicated Navigation.

Don’t bury your subscription page beneath complicated navigation.

A good opt-in form should be easy to find and use, while also providing enough value that the user wants to fill it out. The best way ensure this is by keeping things simple. If you’re using a pop-up or email signup form, make sure there is a subscribe button on every page of your website so that visitors can easily find where they can join your mailing list or download an eBook without having to go through multiple steps or search through complex menus. It’s also essential that each time someone arrives at a new page on your site—like after reading an article—they’re reminded about what benefits they’d get by joining. This can be accomplished by having a small “Subscribe” button appear at the end of each article (or other content) with text like “Get our free guide!” or “Sign up for updates!”

Don’t Hide the Subscribe Button.

You’ll increase your opt-in rate by making it easy and obvious for people to subscribe.

The subscribe button should be big, bold, and preferably a different color than the rest of your website. It should also be in an area where it’s not hidden away on a sidebar or behind another element (like a hamburger menu).

Explain How Often Emails Will Be Sent.

You should let your subscribers know how often they can expect to receive emails from you. If you are sending more than one email per week, make sure that the recipient knows that right away.

Email frequency is something that varies by industry and company size, but in general it’s best to send no more than once a week—and more frequently if possible. For instance, small business owners tend to send fewer than three emails per month while larger businesses send an average of six or seven emails per month (source). The optimal number of times someone should be receiving emails from a brand depends on how many people subscribe to their list and how engaged those subscribers are with the business (source).

Offer a Sample of What Subscribers Will Receive.

One of the best ways you can convince people to opt in is by giving them a sample of what they’ll receive as a subscriber. For example, offer an ebook or webinar for free. Or, if you have a product that isn’t available yet but will be soon, give readers an opportunity to pre-order it and get special pricing.

When offering something for free, make sure that it is valuable enough for people to want before even reading the rest of your email. If it isn’t compelling enough on its own then they won’t engage with it once they do become subscribers (and they probably won’t sign up).

Make Signing Up Simple with a Single Field Signup Form.

One of the best ways to turn off a potential subscriber is to make it too difficult for them to sign up. Here are four simple things you can do to make sure that your email opt-in form doesn’t deter people from signing up:

  • Make it easy for people to sign up by providing a single field form instead of asking them for their name, email address, and phone number all at once (or worse yet, making them fill in all three fields).
  • Don’t ask subscribers to enter their email twice. This makes the process unnecessarily arduous and may cause people to give up in frustration before they even reach the end of your signup form.
  • Don’t ask subscribers’ names twice either; one time should be plenty! You’ll thank us later when this leads directly into our next point…

Don’t Add Too Many Fields to Your Sign Up Form.

Don’t Add Too Many Fields to Your Sign Up Form.

According to a recent survey, when asked about the most important factors in choosing a brand, consumers ranked “easy sign-up process” as the top reason for choosing one company over another.

You don’t want to frustrate people with a long sign up form that’s hard to fill out and requires unnecessary information, so keep it simple and make sure you’re only asking for the data you need at this stage (you’ll have another chance later).

Let Visitors Know Why They Should Sign Up.

The most important step of all is to let people know what they will get from you, and why they should give you their email address. You want them to subscribe because they are interested in your content, not just because it’s the easiest way to sign up for something.

You can make information like this very clear by showing off the benefits of signing up with a free ebook or white paper. This is also a great way to build trust with new subscribers because it shows that you value their time and attention.

If someone has never heard of you before, they will likely wonder if giving away their email address and subscribing would be worth it — so don’t forget the “why” factor!

Offer Something in Exchange for an Email Address.

Offer something in exchange for an email address. You’re likely familiar with the concept of giving away a free ebook in exchange for someone’s email address, but there are other ways to get you the information you need.

  • Offer a discount on a product or service. You could give away 10% off anything in your store or up to $100 off any product or package. This can be applied at purchase time, so if someone buys something from your store and uses the coupon code they received as part of their opt-in process, they’ll still get the discount!
  • Offer a free trial of whatever it is that you do. If it’s software, offer them 30 days free access; if an ecommerce site, give them free shipping on their first order; if consulting services or coaching programs are what drives sales for you, let them try one session with no obligations whatsoever (and maybe even throw in some swag). It won’t cost much up front but will pay big dividends later when people start buying more stuff from you because they love how easy it was to use your service/product/etc., which means that those emails become leads rather than just “warm bodies” who signed up but didn’t actually buy anything this month!

Link to Your Subscription Page on Every Page of Your Website.

You should link to your subscription page on every page of your website. This is important because if someone wants to subscribe but can’t find a link, they won’t be able to sign up. It also makes it easier for people who are already subscribed, since they can easily click through to unsubscribe or change their preferences.

Most people choose not to subscribe to your newsletter because they are afraid that you will bombard them with emails, but if you follow these 10 practices you’ll get more subscriptions and fewer unsubscribes!

Here are 10 practice that will help you get more email subscribers and fewer unsubscribes:

  • Make the opt-in form easy to find, clearly visible on your website, and easy to fill out. Use a prominent call to action like “Sign Up for Our Newsletter” or “Get Access Now.”
  • Offer something in exchange for an email address (e-book, free course or webinar registration, etc.). People won’t sign up if they don’t feel like they’re getting any value from doing so!
  • Let visitors know why they should sign up by explaining how often you will send emails (once per week? once per month?) and what type of content they can expect in each email (newsletter, blog post alerts). This part is important because people want to know whether or not they’ll be bombarded with junk mail before clicking submit on your form!
  • Explain how people can easily unsubscribe from future mailings at any time by clicking “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of each message sent by us as this provides additional reassurance that our emails won’t be overwhelming them with unwanted stuff which could lead them back here again looking for ways not only avoid this but also prevent future situations where we’d need another solution altogether.”


In short, if you want to follow the law and win over new subscribers, follow these best practices. They’ll give you a great foundation for building a strong email list that will help you grow your business.

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