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Online Marketing Communications, THE OPT-IN OFFER: YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSET

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Converting web visitors into customers is rarely completed during the website visit.

But by crafting an irresistible opt-in offer and following up with e-mail messages designed to build rapport and a relationship with the prospects, conversion rates of 15 to 25 percent (and sometimes greater) can be achieved.

Capturing contact information is fundamental to the success of any business enterprise. As web marketer, entrepreneur, or copywriter, your primary goal, at the very least, should he capturing your web visitors’ e-mail addresses.

Without this information, you have in effect wasted all the time, money, and effort it took to get them to your website. 

For this reason, I can’t overemphasize that constructing your opt-in offer is infinitely more important than crafting the offer for your primary product.

It’s apparent, therefore, that you need to make your opt-in offer copy as compelling as possible in order to convince visitors to give you this personal information.

A good way to do this is by providing a benefit that gives visitors an incentive to give you their e-mail address.

One method is to ask them to sign up for a free report (with an irresistible title), a free newsletter, a free course, free product, free chapters of your book-in other words, something that requires no financial commitment.

The following opt-in offer was designed as an exit pop-up (a window that pops up when the visitor leaves the site).

The objective of this opt-in offer is to capture the contact information of as many web visitors as possible so that, through a series of follow-up auto responder e-mails, prospects can be encouraged to sign up for a membership.

The opt-in offer is designed to prequalify prospects. In this case, it means that anyone who signs up to receive this free report is interested in getting discounts and saving money on purchases.

And therefore is someone who might also be interested in signing up for a paid membership to the discount buying club to get even more discounts on a wider variety of products and servers.

Five Keys to an Opt-in Offer That’s Impossible to Refuse
In addition to creating an offer that prequalifies prospects, there are five elements that winning opt-in offers contain:

1. Compelling title that speaks to the needs of your target audience
2. Appetizing benefits
3. Ease and speed (instant gratification)
4. Assurance of privacy
5. Form for obtaining e-mail address and, at least, a first name

A free subscription to a newsletter or e-zine is the most common item featured in online opt-in offers.

There was a time when free subscriptions were desirable, but because practically everyone is offering a free newsletter or e-zine nowadays, people are not as eager as they once were to sign up for them. 

A growing number of people regard free newsletters and e- zines as contributors to their already cluttered e-mail boxes, particularly since the content of most leaves a lot to be desired.

Since the objective of an opt-in offer is to get as many web visitors as possible to sign up, you must offer something irresistible that people can’t wait to get their hands on right away something that offers instant gratification instead of a promise of monthly or weekly issues of publications of dubious value.

You conceivably could offer a free newsletter that gives irresistible content, but I don’t recommend it as the primary opt-in offer.

I don’t mean to imply that newsletters and e-zines are no longer viable marketing vehicles.

On the contrary, when written effectively, they’re still a major marketing communication by which companies stay connected to their prospects and customers.

However, for the purpose of capturing the contact information of as many web visitors as possible, they should be regarded as secondary opt-in vehicles.

Presenting the Offer
An opt-in offer doesn’t have to be in the form of a pop-up window. It can appear as part of a webpage.

An abbreviated form of it can even be featured in an online ad, embedded in an e-mail signature file, or announced in discussion boards and forums.

Here is an example of an online ad designed for tax preparers that incorporates an opt-in offer:

Discover *The Best Tax Break* that can give your small business and Schedule C clients a net tax savings of $1,800 to $2,125 every year. Send for the Free Report that reveals this secret by sending a blank e-mail to report@domain.com.
What is your primary opt-in to offer to your website visitors?

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