18 Aug How to Build an Opt-in List
Building an opt-in list can be prove to be a valuable exercise for your company if you are looking to increase lead generation and awareness for your business. Keep in mind that it that it takes a great deal of time and effort to build an opt-in list that serves the purpose of your business and is also effective. The list building process is not an overnight exercise; but requires a commitment to content, and dedication to increasing your website traffic in order to gain new subscribers.
There are typically 6 steps that we use to get the process rolling to build an opt-in list.
Know What You Want to Communicate
Creating content creates followers! Start by creating a content publishing schedule where you can identify blogs, whitepapers or eBooks that will engage your target audience (buyer personas). You’ll see later that adding subscription signups to these pieces will help you build your list.
Compile a Starter List From Current Company Contacts
The second step is to start compiling lists based on interaction types with your business. For instance, start by collecting client, candidate and prospect names from your CRM, ATS or other internal databases. You can also accumulate a list of organizations and individuals that have communicated with you in the past for various reasons, or that have reached out asking for information. You may need to an additional opt-in request from some of these contacts depending on your relationship, which can be accomplished by sending them an initial email asking for their permission to send information.
Add Personal Contacts
Look to your immediate network for interest in your content. This step could be as simple as downloading LinkedIn connection lists and sending them an email asking for permission to send information.
Once you’ve got your base list in place, it’s time to assemble more followers and subscribers.
Add Subscription Forms
The next step is to add opportunities across your website for subscribers to opt-in. This step requires adding a subscription button, as well as inline article calls-to-action. If you are using WordPress, there are plug-ins available that will welcome your blog readers from their respective referral location and ask for their information to subscribe to your content updates.
There are also pop-up window features that can be used to grab subscribers as you engage them with your content. Some visitors get turned off by pop-up windows, so use these carefully.
Grab Visitors that Download Content
If you have made a commitment to content, a great way to attract new subscribers would be to allow people that download your content to opt-in to your list. You already have their attention with the content you’ve created, so why not get their permission to send them more while you have them engaged? This method is probably the easiest way to grab subscribers if your content is receiving a lot of downloads already. The key here is valuable content!
Add Calls-to-Action in Social Media
If your firm is active on social media, you can attract new subscribers through calls-to-action in your posts and status updates. If people are continuously engaging with your social media activity, it’s likely the case that they will also be interested in subscribing to your content. Offer them an opportunity to receive more great stuff through a call-to-action.
Although this process on the surface seems simple, many companies struggle with building a solid list for content distribution. The commitment to content is key, as is the regular cycle of communications. The return on investment takes some time to calculate, so make sure your company is committed for the long haul. If you’re expecting an overnight success, you may be disappointed.
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Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.