Let’s review the steps you should take to create a high-converting opt-in. You might also hear this called a lead magnet, freebie offer or lead generation tool. Go time !!!

Develop a list of 10 topics.
You have to choose a topic that is near and dear to your heart. It should be a reflection of how you intend to work with your clients. Don’t limit yourself to what you can create; videos, PDF graphic workbooks, or simply a written resource will all serve you just fine.

Personally, I provide my clients with templates, checklists or questions that tie together into no-brainer content. My opt-in is 10 Email Marketing Templates (fill in the blank style, Baby!) And when you work with me, well, I’m straight-forward – even when it comes to editing.

An opt-in resource acts as the top of a sales funnel; it’s the first way that a community member will interact with you, so take your time with making it great. A few mistakes I see:

  • Not giving enough value. You’ve got to play big these days, “89 Awesome Marketing Tips” not “8”, etc. Dig deep inside yourself to come up with the best possible creative concepts you’ve got.
  • Writing what you want, not what your clients want from you…more on this later…
  • Getting too fancy. It’s a freebie. No need for bells, whistles, 6 week challenges, etc. Nathalie Lussier published some great results on her 30 Day List Building Challenge if you’d like to read more on this.
  • Giving away the farm. Sorry, most people won’t read your 100 page book. It’s a nice gesture, but in this case, best to have people pay for your 10 full color chapters of brain candy

Ask for feedback everywhere.
Now that you’ve got 10 topics in your brain case, give yourself a week to think about which ones are best for you. Choose three of them as your top 3.

Go post the top 3 to your Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, on social media, and, maybe, send them out to several colleagues or friends for feedback.

We really want to start to get a feel for which headlines resonate with people. To do that, we have to simply ask them what they think. It’s not that fancy, but it can be extremely effective.

Write your first draft personally.
When I saw this opt-in question posted on Facebook, I noticed several copywriters pitching their services to the woman asking the question. No. Uh huh. Stop right there.

Your opt-in is ┬áreflection of who you are as a coach. It’s your heart that needs to spill onto the page for your readers. And since it’s your business selling your professional services, it’s important that you take a first stab at what you want to write.

A draft can look like:

  • Bullet points with some supporting data
  • 10 links to opt-ins you like (or blogs, etc.)
  • Supporting research data for the opt-in

If you really don’t want to write, don’t. Create a series of videos, meditations, or other visuals and have a copywriter tie them together with a few words & automated email series for you. Why not compile a list of your top 28 favorite quotes, even?

Get it set-up on your networks.
Now comes the fun part. After you have developed your opt-in, you have to make sure it’s set up correctly. The first question is double opt-in vs. single opt-in. Depending on your email subscriber, you may not have a choice.

Double means subscribers get an email, Are you sure you want this? and must confirm their email. Single is simply, Great, you’re subscribed. If your double opt-in person signs up for a second single opt-in offer (i.e. webinar is single, freebie is double) they will be lost in an abyss until they confirm their subscription. I lost 37 people this way. Every one hurt.

You aren’t finished once the freebie goes live on your website:

  • Add it to social media profiles
  • Put it in author profiles
  • Test it from several browsers
  • Try it from your iPhone
  • Consider a pop-up & test it

Make sure your emails are hitting your list, too. Check on this periodically by seeing when your last subscribe popped onto your list. Even with zero promotions, just by doing the above, you should get a few new folks a month.

Track your conversions.
How closely you monitor this number is up to you. Basically, you want to get an idea of which sources send you the most subscribers so that you know where to spend your time and, sometimes, money.

Typically, close, careful tracking does not apply to passive list building within your social media networks. However, if you pay for a Facebook ad, for example, yes, you’ll want to add a tracking pixel that tells you how effective those conversions were. (Er, how much it cost you per person to add to your list.)

Likewise, if you do any guest blogging, you also want to know how effective any or all of those websites are at driving traffic to your list. The two tools I recommend are Google Goals and JetPack for WordPress – but there are several.

The other advice I can very cleverly tell you is that you will always see a bump in leads after something awesome has happened – and this doesn’t really require super-stealth tracking. For example, you ask a friend to mention you in a newsletter and you get a dozen new opt-ins.

Now, I would argue that if you have a very aggressive goal for yourself, tying your outcomes to your total reach in numbers is highly recommended. In some recent research, I learned that during a six or seven figure launch, it was the size of an email marketing list that played a huge piece in the success of the campaign.

Analytics teams were able to evaluate how many sign-ups (3 to 5%) would come from a list and therefore calculate how many affiliates (or the size of the affiliates’ lists) that they needed in order to hit their projected sales numbers (i.e. based on the cost of the program.)

Final Words of List-Building Wisdom
Regardless of whether or not you test your headline in a viable market, some opt-ins simply do not perform well. “How to Write Quickly bc It’s Due in 4 Hours” was a complete flop for me. A “Blog Writing SEO Checklist” performed moderately well for several months.

Change your topic every several months if possible. You can also have multiple sales funnels with different opt-ins if you choose to target a different niche. This may also make sense if you have the bandwidth to do so for a specific program launch.

Finally, you probably want to enter an “active” phase in your list building at least 1-3x / year. This is when you actively promote your free offer in order to gain new subscribers to your list.

Just remember that no matter what you do, it’s what you DON’T do that won’t help you. So make sure you keep your eye on the long-term prize to ensure new folks are following you every so often.



Elspeth Misiaszek is the innovator behind eMarketing Copywriter. She believes you deserve to profit from your passions & has dedicated her business to mentoring others to do what they love & love what they do. Grab your 10 Free Email Marketing Templates to really rock your writing.