Today we’re talking about how many opt-ins you actually need to grow an email list for your blog or your business. Do you need an opt-in, content upgrade or lead magnet for every single post? This question pops up literally all of the time. People are wondering, so how many opt-ins do I need? Should I create an opt-in for every single blog post? Should I only create one opt-in? What is the opt-in sweet spot, if there is a sweet spot? P.S. There totally is.
We’re going to talk about quality versus quantity opt-ins, in which case quantity might actually be better for you and what to do to turn it into one quality opt-in. I’m also going to tell you different ways that you can decide how many opt-ins you need for your blog or business.
I’m going to give you a little hint. It’s not actually rocket science, it’s opt-in science. So let’s dig into it.
I’m sorry, but it’s not a straight yes or no. And the reason why that is, is because it depends on what your end goal is. Does an opt-in with every single blog post serve your audience in the best way? Or does having one major opt-in that you’re linking all of your blog posts to, does that serve your audience in a different way?
One way to really tell if you are doing a lot of really long blog posts that are prompting action, like for example, a checklist or a worksheet, then having an opt-in for every blog post is not a bad idea.
There’s a couple reasons why having an opt-in for every blog post isn’t ideal. The biggest reason being time. Let’s say you take a lot of time on your blog posts and write about 2000 words per post. Once you’ve made the post you have to create at least 1 Pinterest graphic. After that you have to create your opt-in, the cover for the opt-in and the Pinterest graphics for the opt-in. Once you’ve done all that you still have to create all of the social media graphics for Facebook and Instagram to promote it all. Literally we’re talking hours upon hours for one blog post and that’s insane.
I used to do this and it burned me out from blogging because I felt like I was forced to have to create an opt-in with every single blog post. My blog posts were always over 2000 words, which itself takes a long time to create, so imagine creating all of that every single time you wanted to do a blog post. It’s exhausting.
Now, if you’re writing 1 blog post a week and you dedicate that work to one specific day, or if blogging is your primary form income, then this is okay. It’s just when you’re tying in passive income products, coaching programs and services that’s a ton of hours.
Make sure you’re not just doing it because you feel like you have to create an opt-in for every single blog post. Now, if you’re telling someone a step-by-step tutorial on setting something up and you want to include a checklist, that’s totally fine because they’re going to need that as a takeaway when they go to perform that action that you’re prompting them to in your blog post.
It really depends on the content of your post, on your time, and what other options that you have on your site because there’s no reason for you to have to put fluffy content at the end of your blog post because that’s not gonna accomplish anything.
You may get some subscribers of course. However, if they’re just getting your checklist and it’s really not helping them get anything done, then most likely they’re not gonna become a loyal fan or brand follower. So make sure that the content you’re putting in your opt-in is solid and because it truly goes along with your overall purpose of your mission and goals.
So to recap this section, do you need a blog, a opt-in for every single blog post? The answer is yes and no. It depends on your goal. If that opt-in is teaching someone how to do something, it’s giving them something to take away. If it’s quality content they can follow up on from your blog post, then yes. If you have the time, then yes. If you’re only doing it because you feel like you have to, then no.
Let’s talk about quality over quantity. Say you’re creating an opt-in for every blog post or almost every blog post. There’s a couple things that you can do to make your opt-ins work a little bit harder for you.
Instead of creating a massive opt-in per blog post why not make an opt-in that’s relevant to 3-4 blog posts so that in that blog post series, you can link to that same opt-in. Now that means you’re still linking an opt-in to every single blog post, but it’s one you can use for multiple posts rather than creating a new one for each post.
You can also repurpose all of your opt-ins and you can put them in a resource library. Check out this past podcast episode to learn how to create and setup a resource library.
The good thing about creating a resource library is that in all of your blog posts, marketing efforts and everything else you do, you can lead them back to this one massive quality opt-in so it can house your checklists, worksheets, guides, videos or trainings. Anything you’ve created as an opt-in, especially if they’re smaller, would be perfect in a resource library because it’s a quality opt-in that you can give to people and it’s going to be a more organized place for people to consume your content.
Another bonus is that if they’re reading your posts and it’s not relevant to their life at that particular moment, they know that when they follow you and you’re consistently engaging with them, that at some point they can go back to that resource, or that blog post. Having a resource library allows them to consume the content at their own pace.
So to recap, housing all of those opt-ins (big or small) in a resource library is actually a great way to give tons of quality and quantity.
Sometimes quantity isn’t always key. The purpose of making opt-ins that substantially grow your business and make meaningful connections and impacts on your subscribers, is to make those opt-ins high quality.
Take a look back at your opt-ins. Are you doing them because you had to or because you just need to get your numbers up (quantity) and so you’re creating fluffy content. That’s okay if you’re working on quantity right now, we’ve all been there. In fact, when I first started my blog a couple years ago, I literally was creating an opt-in for every post and sometimes it didn’t even make sense to have an opt-in for it. Of course what happened is I hardly got any subscribers from those opt-ins I was making, because I had no goal. I had no purpose. When you’re creating an opt-in and when you’re writing a blog post, you have to make sure that everything is tying together and it’s helping you meet your end goal and quality opt-ins can help you meet your end goal faster than just putting a bunch of stuff out there in the universe.
When I say quality opt-in, it doesn’t have to be a five-day video series or challenge with templates, worksheets, checklists, guides and all these things. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be. A quality opt-in means that you are giving something away to people that is really going to impact their life the way they do business, the way that they live, the way they run their household, the way they organize their finances.
Whatever niche that you’re in, make that opt-in quality, so that it really impacts their lives. Because when you’re making that impact and you’re making that connection with your subscriber, that’s going to be when you become their go-to. That’s going to be when they start tagging you in Facebook groups, because you know the solution to their problem. That’s going to be when they start replying to your emails and telling you thank you for what you’ve just given them. That’s going to be when they buy that first product or course you create. That connection starts with that first opt-in, so make it a quality one. Don’t worry so much about making tons and tons of opt-ins.
I would suggest that you make a few quality opt-ins and then you base all of your marketing and all of your content around those opt-ins. If you are a WordPress designer and a brand stylist, then those are two different audiences that you’re serving. Because some people may already have a great brand, but they’re making the switch to a WordPress website, or maybe somebody already has a website that they love, but they’ve outgrown their brand and it’s time for a refresh. The opt-in that you create to attract branding clients or customers is not going to be the same as the opt-in you would create to attract WordPress clients and customers.
Now, of course, you’re always going to have that customer that needs the best of both worlds. They’re going to need branding and a website design, and that’s perfectly fine. My rule of thumb is is that whoever you’re trying to reach, whatever products you sell, whatever services you offer, whatever topics that you blog about, whoever you want to bring to your list and whoever you want to talk to you that you need to create an opt-in for each specific topic. The best rule of thumb is think about your niche. Think about the topics that you talk about and blog about.
If you are a lifestyle blogger and you always blog about three things, maybe that fashion food and family or what have you, then you want to create an opt-in for each one of those. So maybe for food you can create like an ebook, “10 quick non-breakfast eater recipes” or something like that.
If you want to attract people who are interested in fashion than you could include a style guide on how to look like, or how to find good quality, fashionable fines at a thrift store.
You could create an opt-in for how to organize your home, how to organize your kid’s toy chest, how to organize your cabinets, how to make a meal plan.
If you are a WordPress designer and a brand stylist and you offer WordPress design and brand styling on your services page, obviously your end goal is going to be to book more. Let’s say that some people may not quite be ready for that. Then maybe you have an e-course or mini-workshop on how to get your WordPress website set up in a weekend that’s going to attract your WordPress clients. And then for branding, maybe you sell premade branding kits on Etsy or on your website.
So the point is that your opt-ins should lead to an end goal. Is your end goal going to be for someone to click through an affiliate link and try out one of your favorite products or services and in exchange you get paid for that? Is your end goal going to be that you want someone to buy your product or buy your course? Is that end goal going to be that you want someone to hire you and work with you?
Determining what your end goal is going to be is what going to really help you determine how many opt-ins you should create and how many avenues you need someone to take to get to that point. Think of it as a stair-step and think about your end goal first. There’s an awesome podcast by Reina from Reina and Co about creating verticals for your business. Essentially “creating verticals” is about starting with your end goal and working backwards to tailor your content around that goal. So rather than thinking that you have to create an opt-in for every blog post, think about how you can maximize the effectiveness of a single opt-in and then how you can use that opt-in to serve a higher purpose.
For example, with just one opt-in, you can write multiple blog posts that lead back to that opt-in to maximize its effectiveness, while also maximizing your ROI (return on investment) in terms of time and energy that you’ve put into that opt-in.
Another example is that when I record a podcast episode or any of the content that I put out, I make sure that it’s leading back to an opt-in. So much of what I talk about is opt-in design and opt-in marketing, which leads perfectly to my opt-ins, which are free Canva and Adobe opt-in templates. With my Canva/Adobe opt-in, you can just grab and design your own opt-in. I also have the opt-in design workshop where I take you through step-by-step how to design an opt-in with templates that I give you as well as how to get it set up for delivery.
I recently launched a new opt-in, which talks about all of the ways that you can launch your opt-in and get your first or your next subscribers. It has over 22 simple tips you can do to get more people looking at your opt-in, and to really maximize the effectiveness of that opt-in.
If you haven’t noticed, all of the topics I talk about lead into products that I created, which leads into the services that I offer. When you’re mapping out your strategy, your content strategy, and your opt-in strategy and your end goal, think quality over quantity. How can you maximize the effectiveness of your opt-ins by creating multiple pieces of content that will help you promote the opt-ins that you create?
But remember, don’t just don’t do it because everyone else is doing it. Do not create an opt-in for every blog post if it’s not relevant. Don’t create an opt-in for every blog post if it’s not serving a purpose or helping you meet that end goal. Do not create an opt-in for every single blog post if you are stressed out about the time that it takes to do it because that completely takes the joy out of blogging and out of growing your business. Do what makes sense for you.
Create one massive opt-in and focus all of your content in your marketing funneling to that one opt-in, or if you want to create multiple opt-ins for multiple blog posts, then create good quality, micro opt-ins that still lead to your end goal, and then condense those into a resource library and focus all of your content and your marketing efforts on those micro opt-ins. Just don’t feel pressured to create an opt-in for everything. Make sure that the opt-in is going to help your new subscribers and your new brand followers accomplish some sort of goal because if it’s all fluff and no good stuff, it’s all fluff and no good stuff, then you’re going to be easily forgotten about.
Think about the opt-ins that you’re putting out. How is it helping you meet that end goal? How is it fitting into the time that you have to produce your content? How’s it making you feel when you produce it? If it’s making you stressed out, then reconsider what you’re doing. Try taking a week to create a series of blog posts that will only need one opt-in.
If creating opt-ins are stressing you out, if it’s taking too much time, if it’s not serving a purpose, if you’re getting a ton of unsubscribes—like people are literally unsubscribing right after they get your opt-in, then rethink your opt-in strategy.
Don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else does. Do what feels good to you and do what makes sense for your business.
Another option: Create one high quality opt-in for every topic you talk about and leave it at that and see how it goes. Start with one per topic and then when you’re ready work your way up to 2 or 3 and test those out for a couple of months. Take 60 to 90 days and see which opt-in is getting the most traction, what content is the most popular, how many people are getting to your blog posts, what’s your most popular posts in that timeframe. What are people signing up for the most? What are people most interested about? And then after 60 to 90 days, then you reevaluate. If you had one post and one opt-in that literally blew all of the others out of the water, then rethink your content strategy and do similar content to that.
When it comes to doing your opt-ins, you’re going to have ones that flop. But if you make it quality and solving a problem for your people, then than you’re gonna be more likely to have a successful opt-in than if you thought about about quantity.
It’s like Abigail & Emily of Think Creative Collective always say “tweak and repeat”. Puts something out there if it’s not working, tweak it and put it out there again or completely scratch it and start something new.
How are people responding to things that you’ve done in the past? What have been your most popular posts? What do you see people liking and engaging with in your communities, in your Facebook groups and Instagram? What are people’s pain points? What are they having problems with the most?
When you create your opt-in a lot of it is about figuring out what your audience wants and needs. Observe how they’re responding to your content and how they’re consuming it. And then once you see these things, you can tailor your content and your future options around this.
Don’t create an opt-in for everything, but do create a couple of different opt-ins, at least two that are good quality opt-ins, and then create at least 5, 10, or 15 pieces of content related to both of those opt-ins. And then let it sit for a couple of months. After it sits for a couple months go back and evaluate the 2 opt-ins.
Example: Opt-in #1 has 500+ subscribers and 150 unsubscribes, but opt-in #2 has 100 subscribers, and only 5 unsubscribers.
Put some things out there, see what your audience responds to most importantly, see what you enjoy doing the most. And then you can figure out from there if you want to create an opt-in with every blog posts or if you want to create one or two big opt-ins that you promote forever as your primary method of getting subscribers or if you test out a bunch of small ones.
It’s all in your preference. What it comes down to is just the amount of time it takes and making sure you don’t feel forced to do what everyone else does.
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