Passive Opt In

Since you now have an awesome Online Marketing Platform, there is no reason you shouldn’t have a simple form where people can leave their names and email addresses so that they can voluntarily receive more information from you as it becomes available. 

Something as simple as this can get you a few responses, based on the amount of traffic you are driving to your site:

Want to receive updates from us? Stop working so hard and let us just send them to you!

There are several ways to do it, but the fact is that about 60% of opt ins come from an offer for a discount or coupon. So, if you want to get the highest opt-in rate for your business, consider a message like this:

Looking for discounts and coupons? Sign up here to get them delivered to your inbox!

The first message is passive, with very little benefit. The second one promises discounts and coupons, so if you are in a business that offers these kinds of promotions, you can use them to your advantage in this way.

Active Opt In

The Active Opt In requires some more time and effort on your part, but it is the number one way of gathering focused leads on the internet. In order to make this one work, you have to be actively offering something of value in exchange for them giving you their email address. The trick to this is making the “something of value” directly related to the kind of customer you are seeking to acquire for your mailing list. Let me explain by example.

You are Vicky and you run a Personal Injury law firm. Which of these two offers is going to help you grow your business?

  1. Sign up now and we’ll give you a FREE “Vicky’s Law Firm” coffee mug!
  2. Give us your email address and we’ll send you our FREE report, “Five Things to Do in the First Five Days after a Car Accident”

The first offer is going to attract people who want a free coffee mug. Gee. That’s everybody. The second one, however, is going to only attract people who have been in a car accident recently, and want to find out what to do, or if what they did was the right thing.  Either way, you have a list that is filled almost exclusively with people who have been in car accidents. (Attorneys understand that many people will SWITCH attorneys during the course of their litigation, so even if they’ve already signed on with someone, they can still be a good prospect for a switchover.)

Therefore, creating the right offer piece is of paramount importance. Don’t be so in love with what you think your customers want that you don’t give them any other options, either. Sometimes a subtle change in the title can make a 50% difference in the effectiveness of your list gathering program. I can tell you this, and it is both from experience and hard statistics: Keep it simple, and make sure it’s a “numbered list offer”. Again, to make sure you understand this, here are two headlines. The second one is the right one.

  1. The Legal Process After an Accident: What Every Victim Must Understand Before Going to Court
  2. Four Things you MUST Do Within 72 hours of Your Accident

People are inherently lazy, and they want to know that what they are committing to when reading this. They are far more likely to open the article if they know upfront that it isn’t going to be the equivalent of reading Victor Hugo or a Master’s thesis.

So think about what your customers already ask you, and then imagine that there are hundreds of new customers out there who would also like to know the answer to that same question. Offering people a list of things they need to know is one of the best things you can do to attract your target customers or clients to your business.  If you own an insurance agency, and you want to attract new people for homeowners insurance, then put out a piece on what is and is not covered when you have a flood. If you want to attract automobile insurance customers, then create a page on how to keep your insurance premiums low when buying car insurance. Target the piece at the market you want to attract.

And then let it go to work.

If you have a good system in place, then whenever anybody replies to your request for an email address, they will instantly be directed to a page where they can download the document, or it can be emailed directly to them. All of this happens automatically now, so you can have your Marketing Platform working all kinds of crazy hours, and never have to pay overtime. You give the gift, and then wait for the thank you card to arrive. Except, actually, you are getting the thank you card (the contact information) before they get the gift. 

Regardless of how you deliver it, the “gift” you are offering can be directly tailored to the needs of the clients you want to attract. You can create these documents in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, then simply save them as a PDF. Remember, though, it’s not so much about the appearance of the page as it is about the quality of the content. You can really showcase your expertise, and help people learn to rely on you, by giving them something truly valuable in this offer. 

And then, as soon as you have this system up and running smoothly, generating leads for your business, then it’s time to sit back and…. create another one. Every few weeks it’s a good idea to make a new offer to your prospective customers. It doesn’t take much effort once you’ve done two or three of them to simply keep cranking out useful pieces of advice or experience for your prospects. Here is a list of some quick prompts for you to get going, though:

  • Three things you never knew about___________.
  • Five things you need to do before you ____________.
  • Do these four things and you won’t have problems with your__________.
  • Suffering from _________? Here’s how you fix it fast!
  • Four things other people did to make their ____________ better.
  • Older _____________? How to know when to Repair or Replace.
  • How to care for your new _______________. Six things you should be doing right now.
  • Save money on your ___________ repair by doing these things FIRST!

The point is, you have to be in a constant state of giving. But unlike the samples you might give to a customer who walks in the door, these only cost you a bit of time to create one, then they can duplicate themselves ad infinitum. There will always be just one more free sample for the next customer who wants one.


This is perhaps the most hazardous suggestion I will give you. When you have a LinkedIn account, even a free one (as of the time I’m writing this), you have the ability to go in and download the list of all your contacts, plus their email addresses. If you put in your LinkedIn Profile that if people connect with you then they will be subject to receiving occasional emails from you, then that can serve as a discussion point if somebody doesn’t like the fact that you added them to your list. I don’t think an email service will say it is a real “opt in” agreement, but it might dissuade someone from reporting you as an email abuser.

Having said all that, I think it’s a good source for likeminded people who may want to receive your material, especially if you are in the business to business (B2B) marketplace.  Some may even connect with you specifically because they like your business to consumer (B2C) product as well. The fact is, they are connections, and connections are either prospects, or they know prospects.