Do I Need to Offer a Free Optin to Get People on my Email List

Do I Need to Offer a Free Optin to Get People on my Email List

Short answer? No. Long Answer? Maybe. Ok it’s only longer by one letter but here is the scoop. Optin Freebies have outgrown their welcome – sort of. What I find is a lot of folks give the wrong thing away. For example graphic designers always give away DIY templates. Which is fine if you’re selling DIY templates but if you’re looking to take on clients to design their brand or brand elements, DIY clients are not your best audience. You want to cultivate an audience of people who hire folks to do the work.

Some might say that if you give them a free template now, they might realize they want more and hire you to give them more but that can be a long game marketing strategy.

A better opt-in might be something you can use in your business. A brand personality quiz not only intrigues your audience but it also gives you data on who is coming to your site, the type of content or brands they look for AND it gives you an opportunity to customize the conversation (or funnel) after they get their results. Sending customized emails geared towards their results helps you have a better conversation and connection point.

If you DO want to have an optin offer, think about what is fun for your clients to download but also that can help YOU in your business.

  • A checklist to get them ready to work with you
  • A quiz that gives you market research about the people opting into your list
  • A small sample of what you can provide them that leaves them wanting more
  • Case studies that let them see what is possible
  • A first order incentive that doesn’t lower your profit margins drastically
  • VIP List – early access to your new launch
  • Private Podcast
  • Behind the Scenes look at your process
  • A special workshop replay that invites them to work with you
A website snapshot with an opt in for a newsletter

Example of Optin

A website snapshot with an opt in for a newsletter

Example of an Optin

Personally, every time someone says to overdeliver free stuff in order for people to buy from you I just want to respond to them with “NAPS ARE AMAZING!”

It won’t make any sense at the time, but neither does burning yourself out to please people who aren’t paying your bills either. (And naps ARE amazing)

Over delivering, is actually a form of persuasion often used in business. It’s called Reciprocity and it basically involves giving so much value and free things to people (often without even their consent) that they feel obligated to buy from you to return the value. There are ethical ways to use this but I find the majority of the time it’s crafted in a way that isn’t great long term for the business owner or the client.

Larger companies with banked profit or larger established profit margins often have a bit more leverage to bring out the “free stuff” to use reciprocity but for many small business owners, this can lead to burn out, developing the wrong audience and spending WAY too much time building the perfect opt-in instead of finding the perfect audience to sell to. Your time is valuable and so are you.