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6 Opt-In Ideas that Grow your Email List and Convert!

posted by:

Katie Grazer

Have you ever wondered how other people grow their email list by thousands of people? When you struggle to get anybody to subscribe to your newsletter? Yup, I get it. I’ve been there. But not anymore using these proven 6 opt-in ideas.

Let me tell you this first. If you’ve struggled so far, it has likely nothing to do with you, your content, or your product. But everything to do with your email growth strategy. 

In this post, I’m going to run you through my favorite 6 opt-in ideas that’ll help you jump start your email list. These are the exact opt-in examples I’ve used to grow my email list to over 6000+ subscribers counting. 

And the good news is, it’s easier than you think. Let’s do this.

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1. Quizzes 

The fastest and most fun way I’ve ever grown my list is by using a personality quiz. This lead generating quiz has helped me grow my list by over 2000+ people in only a couple of weeks. You can check out my “Inside Scoop Quiz” here as an example. 

Here’s how this works. You’ve probably seen one or the other Buzzfeed quiz. Well, a personality quiz that grows your email list is a tat different. 

The first difference is that a lead-generating quiz is highly specific to your business or blog. So a “Disney Princess” Buzzfeed quiz is super fun but most likely has nothing to do with your biz. Let’s say, on the other hand, you’re a yoga teacher selling online classes. And your quiz talks about “What type of yoga practice is best for you” it’s a different story. 

The second difference to a regular online quiz is that you use it to grow subscribers. But How? So here’s the deal. In your quiz, you ask 5-10 questions. And before the quiz ends and the results show, a pop us comes up. Something like this: 

opt-in idea

To see their personality quiz result, the person needs to subscribe first. Once they give you their email address and name, you redirect them to their result. 

Boom! Highly effective, let me tell you! 

What you need: 

  1. Email Marketing service: e.g., Convertkit
  2. Quiz Software: TryInteract

Quizzes sound just up your ally? Then I’ve got something special for you! Check this out:

2. Freebies

Another very effective way of growing your email list is the classic “freebie strategy.” Freebie is just one word for it. It’s often also called Opt-In, Lead Magnet, and my favorite “Ethical Bribe,” lol.

A freebie can be any digital download. We’re talking PRF’s, videos, audio files covering templates, mockups, guides, checklists, cheat sheets, discounts, and so on. 

The idea is simple and plays to the fact that no one actually wants to subscribe to your newsletter. So you’ve got to convince (bribe) your website visitor to give you their name and email. You do this by offering something for free. A freebie. 

You then go ahead and create, for example, a freebie PDF checklist inside one of your posts. You then upload your freebie to your email provider, and whenever someone opts-in to your freebie form, your service sends them an email with the download link to the freebie. 

Boom! Highly effective as well! 

What you need: 

  1. Email Marketing service: e.g., Convertkit
  2. Opt-In Form or Landing Page Builder: Leadpages or Convertkit
  3. A design tool to create freebie: e.g., Canva 

3. Resource Library

One of the best ways to grow your email list is to create a resource library of all your free digital downloads. 

It could be a password protected page on your blog or website. Or, if you can think of something more tech fancy, you could create a protected resource vault or membership area. 

A resource library works well because it’s easy for your audience to access all your free digital resources in one place. They don’t have to go wandering around your website. 

On whatskatieupto.com, I’ve created a dedicated landing page where people can join my community and get access to the freebie library. Once they give me their email and name, I send them an email containing the link to the private page and the password to access it. 

opt-in idea

If you’re just starting out, you don’t have to start with a resource library. People love them because they are value-packed. But don’t feel like you have to go ahead now and create dozens of freebies to build a library. Start by making one freebie a month. Once you get a couple together, you can think about combining them in a resource library. 

What you need: 

  1. Email Marketing service: e.g., Convertkit
  2. Opt-In Form or Landing Page Builder: Leadpages or Convertkit
  3. Resource Library Plugin I used: Essential Grid. 

4. Challenges

Another fantastic opt-in idea to grow subscribers is to use challenges. I’ve got two challenges in my business right now, and they are so much fun. Challenges can be extremely effective in growing your email list and provide so much value. 

Now there are many ways how you can set up a challenge in your business. You have to see what makes sense for you. But how I like to run my challenge is via email. 

Check out my quiz challenge here if you want an example. 

On my challenge landing page, I promise to teach about a specific problem over the course of the next few days. It also includes an opt-in form. Once they’ve given me their email address and name, my email service adds them to a special email sequence. This email sequence contains the challenge emails. So I’ve prepared the challenge emails in advance, and my email service will automatically send one challenge email a day with instructions, pdf guides, or to do’s. 

opt-in idea

Challenges are a bit more complicated and also require a higher commitment by your audience timewise. If you think about a freebie download vs. a 5-day challenge, it’s a different level of value but also investment. 

I’ve nonetheless found that people who do take my challenge are the people committed to growth. And you can serve them up with a lot more free love during a challenge. So challenges have their advantages. 

What you need: 

  1. Email Marketing service: e.g., Convertkit
  2. Opt-In Form or Landing Page Builder: Leadpages or Convertkit

5. Webinars

Webinars are huge! This opt-in idea requires a bit more prep and guts; I agree, but boy do they work. 

The idea is that you prepare a for, e.g., 1-hour webinar where you’re going to teach about XYZ related to your business. You want to provide free value and tips to people so that they’re like – hell yeah, I’ve gotta attend this event! 

Once you’ve prepared your webinar, you can pre-record it or show up live. Then you go ahead and create your webinar registration page. It includes a form to sign up for the webinar, including the specific date and time the event is happening. 

opt-in idea

As soon as they register for your webinar, your email provider connected to the form adds the person to your email list. You can then follow up with information about your webinar and continue to give value via email long after. 

What you need: 

  1. Email Marketing service: e.g., Convertkit
  2. Slide Design: e.g., PPT, Keynote or Canva
  3. Webinar Software: Demio

6. Manual

The final one of my opt-in ideas is, I would say, a bit more old-school opt-in. You can manually add existing clients, FB group members, and other lists of email addresses to your email provider. 

So what you do is, if you have the name and email address of people saved somewhere on your computer, you can create a CSV. File and upload an existing list of customers or people into your email provider. 

I’ve personally used this strategy in the past to add people joining my FB group to my email list. Before someone could join my private FB group, I would add a question saying something like 

“Before you join – would you like to join my Newsletter? I send weekly emails and freebies your way to help you XYC. If yes, please let me know your name and email address here”. 

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Even though this opt-in idea worked well, I’ve since stopped using it because it does take a lot of time. Plus, when you add someone manually, you don’t get GDPR consent. (You know the tickbox at the end of an opt-in form that this person agrees to sign up for your newsletter.) And since I’m in Europe, this is a big deal-breaker for me. However, you could still follow up with an email after you manually added the person to click a link giving you permission to email them. And if they don’t delete them. 

A bit more manual, but still effective. 

What you need: 

  1. Email Marketing service: e.g., Convertkit
  2. A FB Group, Customer List, a Notepad, and some imagination!

Alright, these were my 6 opt-in ideas to explode your email list and exactly what I did to grow mine to over 6000 subscribers! 

Can you see how easy it can be to grow email subscribers? Without the constant hustle – But with a system that runs behind the scenes on autopilot. All you have to do is believe in yourself and do a little prep work. 

As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, if your list isn’t growing right now, it has likely nothing to do with you, your content, or your product. But everything to do with your email growth strategy. Also, you don’t have to do all 6 strategies straight away. Why don’t you pick one and just try it? It will get a lot easier!

You got this!

Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this post or have a question. That’s what I’m here for. 

Xoxo Katie 

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Disclosure: *If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! *

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