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Email Marketing: 5 Tips for Developing an Opt-In Page that Converts

Posted on: March 30th, 2010

Appleton Creative believes one of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign is the mailing list. Constructed and compiled through opt-in pages (known as ‘squeeze’ pages in the industry, due to their convincing ‘squeeze’-style pre-sales copy), your opt-in pages are essentially the life source for your entire marketing campaign.

And yet, despite their importance, few marketers invest any real time and effort into gearing their opt-in pages towards conversions. Sure, some invest in a flashy header or some slick sales copy, and a few even give their opt-in page a custom skin or product-based background. Yet despite the half-completed steps and slight moves towards effectiveness, few marketers create opt-in pages that actually work.

Appleton shares these five tips to help you do what so many would-be marketers can’t: create an opt-in page that converts. If your bounce rate is getting you down and your lost opportunities becoming a regular occurrence, apply these five tips, tricks, and strategies to your opt-in page today.

Use images to draw attention.

An alarming number of marketers ignore the potential than image-based opt-in pages offer. From simple directional arrows to detailed trust-building badges and credibility indicators, polished on-page graphics are absolutely essential for good conversions. Whenever you are releasing a new landing or opt-in page, have it checked over by a third party like Appleton Creative to point out dull graphics or poor image placement.

Don’t sell, pre-sell.

The goal of an opt-in page is not to sell a product, but to sell consumers on the benefits of it. You are not competing to create an instant sale, but to acquire attention and long-term sales interest. As such, your copy should be geared around building interest and fostering decision, not closing the sale then and there. Pace your copy and you will earn long-term sales — pull out the hard sell tactics straight away and you will only end up driving people away.
Highlight the value on offer with a subscription.

People do not buy products, they buy experiences. When you can market your product as an experience, a solution, or a truly incredible asset to someone’s life, then you will be able to generate long-term interest and build a large, valuable, and ultra-targeted opt-in list.
Look at your opt-in page and check whether it is selling a product or an experience. Whenever possible, use your copy, images, and page design to reflect value, not just features, design, or style.
Give people an incentive to get involved.

Free reports are popular, sometimes annoyingly so. Ever wonder why? There is a reason for their popularity, and it is the fact that they are highly effective. If your opt-in page is struggling to generate subscribers, invest some time in a product, report, or service that you can provide to new subscribers.

Qualify your traffic.

In the early days of Twitter, there was a race to see which marketer could gain the most followers. The entire exercise was valueless, but in the metrics-driven early days of the service, it seemed like a legitimate effort to create marketing power. Of course, the followers were worthless, and the marketers who attempted to monetize them looked foolish when they found that nothing converted.

Just like Twitter followers are valueless when they are looked at as a unit, email subscribers are valueless when they are treated as numbers. Create qualified opt-ins and you will end up with long-term sales success. Chase big numbers and ambitious targets and you will end up with the same result as the early Twitter gunners — a long list of worthless names and email addresses.

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