This video gives you a really solid introduction on how to setup and follow best practices for your double optin forms, offer, and process.
Hi, Good Morning, this is Mitch Tarr, President and Founder of ZinMarketing.com. Today we’re going to do sort of a case study, step by step, how to build your opt in process. I was teaching a class the other night on email marketing with some live students and we were going through this process. The assignment I had them do was to go and find five websites at random and try and sign in to their newsletter, try and get on their newsletter list.
As they did that, I said, “Describe for me the process that you go through, step by step by step by step.” What we discovered was so many people are doing this terribly wrong. I thought it would just make sense to go through the fundamental building blocks.
This is your first chance to make a first impression. This is where it all starts, the opt in process. I’m just going to describe for you today the actual, concrete, specific building blocks you need to make your opt in process work and to make them effective. Here’s the overall principles. Here’s what you’re trying to do in your opt in process. You are trying to connect with people.
Someone fills in a form on your website, that’s not the end of it. That’s just the beginning of it. That’s where you really have a chance to really connect with people. You must be clear in what you’re doing. What you offer people is what you have to deliver. What you offer people has to be clear and it has to make sense and you have to have language that makes sense. All of the pieces have to tie together.
I’ll show you what those pieces are in a second here. It’s got to make sense. You sign up for something; you should know what you’re signing up for and what you are getting. The emails that follow on have to make sense for the recipient. Confusing them doesn’t do you or them any good. It’s not really setting your best example.
This opt in process has to look like you and your company put it together. The brand has to connect together. This really sets the tone for what happens. This is your first chance at a first impression. People have been to your website, they’ve seen you’ve got a website. They filled in a form; they’re interested in what you have to see. Now, what do you do with that? How do you connect with them?
I use the word connect because really that’s where I think most people are going wrong. What I’ll do now is I’m just going to describe the steps that you would put in place for a double opt in sequence. What you really have to have to make this work properly. First of all, your offer in the opt in form. Make it clear. Describe what people are signing up for. It’s just not acceptable to just use the word newsletter, email address, and submit as your offer. Tell people what they should expect; “You’re going to get a weekly newsletter with the best advice we have to offer on selling your home in under 30 days.” That’s a pretty compelling offer. Tell people what to expect.
Make sure that when you think this through you then deliver and give people what they expect. So many opt in forms and other parts of the website are broken and they just don’t follow through on this. So that’s the very first step. It all starts with the clarity there. The second thing is, and a lot of people aren’t even doing this step, once you fill in the form and you hit the submit button, send them to a dedicated thank you page where you explain what’s about to happen.
A good example of this is “Congratulations, your submission form worked”, that’s the first question that’s on people’s mind. Second step is, “Check your email address, we’re sending you an email immediately so you can confirm that you made this request and you’re a real person and that you’ve got your email address typed correctly, go check your inbox now.”
The third thing is to say “Thank you very much, we really appreciate your interest.” Just a simple thing like that. Make sure your thank you page puts them back in the website and on a dedicated thank you page. By doing this you also have the added benefit of being able to use Google analytics tracking and conversion code tracking and Facebook code tracking. As you move people through from the sign up form to the thank you page you can track how many conversions you actually get. Bit of an advanced skill but this is the place that you can do that.
The third thing is because we’re doing the double opt in, you send out a confirmation email. I like double opt ins because it allows you the opportunity to connect more strongly with people right at the beginning. There’s a few steps in the process as you can see here. You have a chance to confirm the email address is actually a real one that’s typed in correctly by the person who requested it.
A confirmation email is a good step to do. Make sure you put some words and language in the email that says what’s happening. For instance, “You’re one step away from getting access to the weekly newsletter with the best tips that we have on how to sell your home in under 30 days.” It just connects the dots for people and it’s a nice touch.
Don’t use an off the shelf template for this. Make it look like an email that came from you. Make it personal. Put your brand in it, use some logos. Just really take an opportunity to connect with people. Make sure that what language is in here reflects what the offer was. If you have to be putting people on a list called newsletter list or join a newsletter, put them on a list called newsletter list. So if the name of the list is displayed, like some software packages do, it makes sense.
The next step is after they click on the confirmation email, then you link them to a custom confirmation thank you page. The same concept as the thank you page redirect up above. This is where you can say, “Success! You’ve made it, you’re on the list, you’re in the group, you’re part of the fan club, you’re going to get the thing.” If you’ve offered an incentive, this is where you deliver the incentive because they’ve successfully signed up for your list.
Again, make sure this page is personal; make sure it delivers what you promised. Make sure that it looks like part of your website and it’s not a generic, standard, service provider site. Make it personal.
Finally, this is the point where you send a welcome email. It could be the beginning of your auto responder series; it could be just a welcome email that says something else. It could be an offer, it could be a survey form, it could be a feedback form, it could be a coupon, it could be almost anything.
This is a good opportunity for you to do one more relationship-building step to connect with people. When you look at all of these steps, the five different pieces that you have to put together, this is where you make sure that they tie together, that they are clear. This is when you start building the relationship. This is when it starts to work.
I can tell you just from looking at all the websites that the students submitted on their assignments, most people aren’t doing this very well at all. If you do have these steps in place, you’re usually not making them personal. If they are personal, quite often they don’t make sense. If they do make sense, quite often they’re not clear.
Just step back, here’s the exercise, here’s what you can do, go take a look at your own process. Go sign up on your website, see exactly what happens to you. Is it complete? Are all the steps there? Is it off the shelf or is it personal? Does it connect with you? If you were looking at this as the beginning of a relationship, like a sales relationship, does it start the relationship off right? Does it do the right thing?
What I would suggest that you do once you’ve reviewed yours is go look at five others in your industry, five other competitors. See how they’re doing and what they’re doing. You will discover there’s an opportunity to make yourself look different and behave different than the competition.
That is the tip for today. The how-to, and that’s how to set up your opt in email process for a double opt in email and how to set it up so that it builds a connection and it builds a relationship with your new subscribers. Which could be new customers and some of them could be your new blue chip customers.
Finally, of course at ZinMarketing we do email marketing for you or we can teach you how to do it. Drop over to those websites and take a look and we will look forward to seeing you next time.