Laina Turner, Author
L.C. Turner, Author

5 Elements of a Successful Opt In For Authors

I’ve talked before on the blog about email marketing. I stressed the importance of building your email list.

A strong email list is like gold. 

The bigger you grow your list, the easier time you’ll have at selling your books. Because the people on your list have already shown an interest in you and what you have to offer.

That’s a much easier sell than strangers on the street.

But how do you get your audience to join your mailing list when every company out there is asking for emails? Why would anyone want more email?

Think about it. How many email lists do you belong to and how often do you actually take the time to unsubscribe when you get 25 of those biggest sale of the year emails in a row (can you say Kohl’s anyone)?

5 Elements of a Successful Opt In For Authors

The answer is rarely is ever. It’s easier to hit delete, and I don’t want to unsubscribe because imagine if I missed a sale on an item I want.

I would never forgive myself.

Just because you’re not Kohl’s doesn’t matter. Your list is no different. Will people unsubscribe? Of course, they will. But the Kohl’s marketing department doesn’t sit around crying over an unsubscribe and neither will you.

What they ARE doing is working on ways to make more people subscribe, and that’s exactly what you need to be doing.

The reason people sign up for your email is they want something you’re offering in exchange for their email address.

Quid Pro Quo in a sense. But in a non-creepy way.

To create a successful Opt In you need to create a piece of bad ass content that your readers can’t live without.

An Opt-In does several things. Most importantly:

  1. Gets people on your email list.
  2. Allows people to see the quality of your content.
  3. Helps you build a relationship with your readers.
  4. Gives you a built-in set of people to market to.
  5. Expands your reach and allows you to introduce new books, products, and offers without looking for a new audience.

I’m a firm believer of building relationships with my readers over time. It’s like any other relationship. You want to put effort into it and cultivate it.

When you do you build a life long relationship.

When you are creating offers and then setting up email funnels (we’ll talk more about that in a later post) you want to approach it as if you are cultivating that long term relationship.

What kinds of things can you use for your freebie Opt In as an author?

Some ideas are:

  1. Short story/novella that’s only available to subscribers.
  2. Book extras/ behind the scenes stuff.
  3. Preview of an upcoming book.
  4. List of your top 10 favorite authors (nothing wrong with showing the love to others).
  5. Discounts/coupon codes for current books.

Those are just a few examples. I’m sure you can think of several things your readers would love to have from you.

While there is no limit to the creative ideas you can come up wth for your Opt-In, there are certain elements you want that creative idea to have, so it grabs your reader.

What does an Opt-In Need:

  1. Sense of urgency
  2. Exclusive
  3. High perceived value
  4. Be substantive
  5. Call to Action

You need to make your subscribers feel special AND value what you are giving them, so they want to continue to engage with you.

And like any marketing idea, it’s a lot of trial and error. What you think is a great idea for an Opt-In may fall flat. Then one you think is so-so might be the best thing you’ve ever.

It’s hard work to build that email list especially when you’re writing your next book, but it’s worth all your hard work.

Most email providers will have the ability to create forms you can customize for your specific Opt-Ins. I use Convert Kit which does run $49 for the lowest package, but it’s so worth it. Their forms are so easy to use and give you the ability to integrate downloads for your readers that are easy.

Keeping it as simple as you can is a good idea. No one likes complicated.

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