If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already well aware of the power of email marketing.
It’s hard to argue with the numbers.
Emails are 6X more likely to get clicked on than social media posts. For every three subscribers on your list, at least one is likely to make a purchase at some point. As if that weren’t enough to convince you, up to 59% of B2B marketers say that email is their most effective channel for generating ROI.
The thing is, you need to build a substantial list of subscribers if you want to unlock the full benefits of email marketing.
Every single one of those subscribers needs to go through an opt-in, which means yours need to be perfect. Let’s talk about how that works.
Opt-in email examples that use language creatively
A lot of digital marketers complain they can’t grow their email lists fast enough. The thing is, once you look closely at some of the most common types of opt-in forms, it’s not a surprise that customers don’t want to click on them.
If you have a sign-up form that just says, “Sign up!” or “Enter your email here!”, you bet you’re not going to get enough clicks.
For the best results, you need to use opt-in language that catches your visitor’s attention. Here’s how some of the best players in the field are doing it.
1. The in-depth value proposition
Let’s get real. In most cases, you sign up to an email list because it promises you some specific value.
It can be an eBook, special offers, or anything else you can imagine. For it to work, the offer needs to be crystal clear.
BigCommerce understands that, and they hit you with an opt-in form that breaks down the exact benefits of joining their list. Here are the points it manages to cover in only a handful of sentences:
- Their mission statement
- Who their intended audience is
- How joining can benefit you
Usually, opt-ins tend to be very brief affairs. They promise you something and then hope that’s enough to get you to type your email.
Nowadays, though, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit more descriptive when it comes to the value you offer. No one is counting the words you use in your forms, so why not experiment with a longer, better-targeted message?
2. The “better than the competition” sales pitch
Source: Neil Patel
If there’s one goal all businesses share, it’s they want to do better than their competitors.
When it comes to marketing, few people are as well known as Neil. It shouldn’t come as a surprise his site’s opt-in form hits all the right notes. Here are the main takeaways:
- The use of aggressive language such as “regurgitated” and “competition”
- The adjectives he uses to refer to his content, including “proven,” “fresh,” and “new”
If you’re an authority on a subject, people are more likely to listen to you or in this case, to sign up to your newsletter.
Just be sure you can back up all that assertive language with expert-level content, of course.
3. Email marketing opt-ins can be fun
If you spend much time online, you’ve probably come across Upworthy.
Their goal is to compile and share the most viral news on the web. On top of their website, they also use emails to keep their subscribers in the loop about what’s up.
Upworthy is renowned for its casual language, and their opt-in form is a clear reflection of that.
Just like the BigCommerce example we discussed earlier, Upworthy isn’t scared to hit you with an entire paragraph of why you should opt-in to their email list.
The tone here is very different, though, and we like it for two simple reasons:
- Instead of mentioning email right away, it simply asks you whether you want more Upworthy.
- Their pitch is very friendly, and they make a promise to deliver highly curated content.
If you get past the “Want More Upworthy?” message and say yes to yourself, then you’re more likely to want to leave your email. It’s a simple pitch, but it works.
4. It’s all about the free perks
Offering a freebie is a great way to catch people’s attention.
Once again, it all comes down to value, which becomes clear when you go over WPBeginner’s opt-in language:
- Just like Upworthy, they launch into their spiel with a question that reaffirms your desire
- They break down the value of their newsletter in general
- The inclusion of the words “Bonus” and “Free” are always a nice touch
- “Yes, give me the FREE resources” is a masterful call-to-action (CTA)
You have to offer a lot of value through your emails, and WPBeginner chooses their words carefully to make sure their audience is clear on what they bring to the table.
5. Use opt-in forms to personalize your emails
You’re probably already familiar with email personalization. Up to 72% of consumers will engage with only personalized messages, making personalization perhaps the most critical trend for the upcoming years.
Luckily, personalization is easy to see, and it helps transform emails into a more intimate experience.
When it’s well done, personalization can feel like you’re getting recommendations from a friend and that’s something TED nailed with their TED Recommends newsletter.
That image we just showed you is only the first step of their opt-in process. Here’s the second part of it:
Once you make it past those two steps, you get to a straightforward opt-in form but by that point, you’re already hooked. The process feels more like filling out a survey than signing up for an email newsletter.
The language here is key. By asking what your interests are, TED Recommends can provide a level of personalization that most marketers can only dream of.
If you look closely at each of the options, you’ll notice almost all of them have to do with self-improvement and learning in one way or another.
Their copy works well, too. For instance, when they ask “Now, tell us what you’re looking for,” some of the answers include:
- A sense of hope
- A glimpse into the future
- A new perspective
Inspirational language can help your customers reaffirm the reasons why they want to sign up for your email list and help them make that final commitment. It all comes to narrowing down what they want and using language that helps them understand you can deliver it.
6. Use opt-in forms to personalize your emails
You probably didn’t expect to read about chatbots in an article about email marketing. The thing is, chatbots are everywhere these days. Experts predict that by 2020, 80% of brands will be using chatbots.
We’re still a long way away from true AI, but that hasn’t stopped businesses from using chatbots to take care of simple customer support tasks.
With the right inputs, chatbots can even help you create unique and highly compelling email opt-in forms.
That’s a chatbot that Landbot.io uses on their blog to survey readers once they reach the bottom of an article. Imagine if you could have a chat with every single visitor to your website to convince them to opt-in to your email list.
With chatbots, you can do just that, and the whole process sounds like a casual conversation, from the use of emojis to the back and forth, and the prompt for a rating.
If implementing a chatbot on your website is too much work, at the very least, you can try doing away with the stiff language for your opt-ins. Try treating them as a conversation between you and your visitors, and your sign-ups might get a boost.
One mistake we’ve all fallen for is focusing too much on creating eye-catching email marketing opt-ins.
We spend too much time thinking about opt-in placement, designing CTAs that pop, and more. However, sometimes, the simplest changes can have the most impact.
If you want to improve your opt-in conversions, maybe it’s time to try some new language. Test different opt-in forms throughout your website and see what works best. It’s just a different type of A/B test.