Debbie Allen International

Build Your Online Community with a Free Opt-in

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user Danar Vincente

The best way to grow your email list is to do it slowly and continuously so that the people on your list are really engaged. You want high quality followers to join and stay in your community. This way you will gain the best results from your email marketing efforts.

One way to build high quality followers is to keep sending out relevant content on a consistent basis. It’s not about sending out an email newsletter once in awhile. You must be consistent and strategic. Another way to keep your community active is to really touch the hearts and minds of your followers by engaging them into your personal life.

Important! To grow your opt-in list you must have a sign-up form on the home page of your website; this is a MUST! Free offers create fast lead generation. Offer a free gift for signing up such as an e-Book or e-Guide. An e-book is usually about 40-100 pages, yet a simple e-guide is only about 10-20 pages. Both work well as a free offer to convert followers into your community. Keep in mind it’s not about the number of pages you provide – it’s about making a good offer to get followers to take action.

The information you provide in your free offer will inform prospects of your expertise and give them some quick tips. Normally I suggest sharing seven to ten tips that solve a problem around your expertise. 

Your free offer can also be easily created by using a series of articles. Or if you have already written a book, simply break it down into a short booklet or offer a free chapter. It’s important that your free offer also has a call to action at the bottom so that you can move the reader to the next opportunity of working with you. For example, your call to action at the end of a free book chapter would be to ask your reader to buy your book.

Once your free offer is in place you’ll also need to set up an autoresponder program and an email management system such as MailChimp, Aweber or ConstantContact to automate your list. Your free offer can be used on a landing page, your main corporate website or both.  

Join my online community at AttractingCustomersLikeCrazy.com to get your free gifts including my free guidebook and audio program. Feel free to use this as an example to set up your own landing page and free offer.   

Your first autoresponder is a thank you email; thanking your followers for opting in. This same email can then direct your new followers to more information and/or another call to action. Additional autoresponder messages will keep prospects in the loop by offering them access to your newsletter and ongoing marketing messages. It’s important to test your autoresponder system and every email before sending them out to make sure they look professional.  

  1. Link your sign-up form on every page of your website. Also add a link on your footer or side navigation.
  2.  Place a link to your email sign-up form in your email signature by offering your free gift.
  3. Offer a free giveaway to lucky subscribers.  
  4. Place a link at the bottom of your articles that leads to your free online offer and opt-in form.
  5. Place a link on social media sites that leads to your free offer and opt-in form.
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