There are several ways to build your list, and one of the easiest is to build an opt-in page (that’s a web page with a form that online users can fill out, telling you their name, email address, and other contact information). You can invite people to opt-in to your list right on your homepage, and you can also have more opt-in pages embedded within your site for different courses or offerings. But take warning: The phrase “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t necessarily apply.
If you want people to actually sign up, there are several must-have items you must incorporate into your opt-in page to make sure it works and inspires ACTION.
Let’s say, for example, you are hosting a free teleseminar about a hot new topic in your industry. You need people to opt-in and reserve their spot for this content-rich call, where people will learn something they can immediately apply to their business. Maybe people aren’t interested in signing up for your general list off your homepage, but they are really interested in your FREE teleseminar topic. This might prompt them to opt-in and join your list.
So, what does your opt-in page need? I’ve broken it down into 8 essentials:
1. A memorable domain name. Select a domain name that’s so easy that people can remember it (example: YourDomain.com/help)
2. Welcoming media (video, audio, image). Add a video where you tell visitors about how they’ll benefit from opting in. If you’re not comfortable with video, next best is an audio message. Otherwise, go with an attractive image. Make sure to include a caption explaining why they should watch or listen, and make sure you include your name and introduce yourself in your video or audio message.
3. Opt-in form. Have your web assistant create a small contact form that appears ideally on the top-right portion of the web page. Make “name” and “email address” required fields. I like to ask for “company”, “mailing address”, and a “telephone number”, as optional fields.
4. Powerful copy. Use a memo style for addressing your audience, and make sure you:
- Greet your reader with “To: (Insert their category, such as Small Business Owner),” so they see this is relevant to them. Also include “From: Your Name,” so it seems personal.
- Relate with the audience. Example: “As an entrepreneur, don’t you wish that you had more than 24 hours in a day?”
- Identify with the pain your audience is feeling, such as how you struggled to get clients when you first started your business.
- Let them know you have answers for them.
- Touch on how you have expert knowledge that can help them solve their problem.
- Emphasize what they’ll learn and be able to use right away. Entice them with the benefits, but leave some surprises to be revealed.
- Let them know that you’ll be in touch with more information and resources.
5. Include your bio information. Let your readers know who you are and why your background makes you a great resource. This is more of your standard bio compared to the background you’ll give them in your memo. I put my official bio in a sidebar on my opt-in pages, so it’s part of the template.
7. Give something away of value. Last and most importantly, make it worthwhile for people to opt in. In our example, it’s a FREE seat at your hot new teleseminar. But, you could also offer a free ebook download, a free CD, or video to people right when they land on your website for the first time.
8. Keep the conversation going by inviting your reader to join you on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. You’ve probably seen the Facebook and Twitter thumbnail icons on pretty much everyone’s homepage these days — and they make it really easy for your readers to go straight to your social media sites and sign up as a fan or follower. Use them!© Copyright 2011 Ali Brown