Everyone knows that in order to be successful online you need build a large (quality) list through some type of Opt-In offer.
You see them now on virtually every site you visit on the internet, some type of form, whether from a pop-up window or directly on the site itself, that is asking for your name and email address in exchange for some type of offer (newsletter, e-course, free chapter etc.)
Unfortunately, many web site owners (yes, even the gurus) are not doing everything they can to maximize the number of people who opt-in from their website. In fact, many site's opt-ins may actually be hurting their sales.
Here are a few tips on what to do and what not to do with your opt-in offer:
. You should definitely have a pop-up window with an opt-in form. While you may hate pop-ups, the fact is they work. There is even software available that makes it easy to create pop-ups that can not be blocked such as Armand Morin's POPOver Generator. (http://www.money-teacher.com/popovergenerator.htm)
. Of course, you also need to place your opt-in on your web page. However, where you place it is extremely important. Your opt-in should be on the first fold in the upper left hand corner of EVERY page on your site.
. Always give a strong special bonus for people who opt-in. For example, "Sign up for my Teaching Newsletter and receive a free special report: How to Increase Reading Comprehension in the Classroom"
. DO NOT offer a free chapter of your e-book or even a free e-course. You may actually lose sales this way.
If you give away a free chapter of your e-book you are giving your customer the opportunity to not buy your book! Same is true with offering an e-course.
In both cases you may actually be providing enough free information so that the customer doesn't actually have to buy your product. If nothing else, you are putting off the purchase which only gives the customer more time to not buy your product.
Again, what you want to do is capture your customer's email address without giving them a reason to put off buying your product.
. DO offer something that compliments and is related to the product you are selling.
For example, it is fairly easy to create a newsletter about your niche market. Your can start by offering a monthly newsletter on tips, articles, Q&As, book reviews, web sites reviews etc. related to your niche market.
As you start to feel more comfortable, you can increase your delivery to bi-monthly, and eventually weekly. However, I would stay away from the daily newsletter. A daily newsletter is simply overkill and will decrease the value of the newsletter. Also, daily delivery will make broadcasts of special offers more difficult and less successful.
Many will tell you that it doesn't matter too much what your opt-in is, so long as you capture the customer's name/email. That's utter nonsense.
Basically, the newsletter gives you a chance to drop in on potential customers for as long as they subscribe to your newsletter without ever distracting the customer away from your product.
However, if you are giving away a free chapter of your e-book, or even a 5-day e-course, after the initial follow-up email campaign is over (roughly 1 week), every email you send is simply advertising and your customers will see right through that (maybe even accuse you of spam).
As a middle school social studies teacher, I created an e-book on teaching strategies. When I changed my original web site opt-in offer from a free e-book chapter to a free newsletter, I not only increased my list, but also greatly increased the sales of my e-book.
Copyright 2004 Adam Waxler
Adam Waxler owns and operates The Money Teacher web site and publishes The Money Teacher's Home Business Tips Newsletter teaching others how to reach online success. To get your free newsletter subscription send a blank email to: email@example.com or visit our web site at http://www.money-teacher.com