When it comes to establishing new connections and building already-existing ones, it is extremely important that you work the opt-in process to its fullest potential. If people opt-in, they are prequalified automatically and they are valuable connections for you.
When it comes to the opt-in process, there are certain steps that you should follow in order to get people to agree to connect with you. The way in which you build your opt-in pages and forms will make a world of difference when it comes to how many people agree to opt-in to your offerings and your business.
Your opt-in page
It is very important that you exercise caution when it comes to how much you ask your online connections for at the point when you want them to opt-in. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that you are only entitled to ask for their name and Email address. When you are starting to collect data, if you follow certain rules, you will see that your opt-in list will become more and more robust and the quality of the people who are connecting with you will be very high.
- Make sure that your approach is simple: Your ultimate goal is to get your visitors to opt-in. With that in mind, the last thing that you want to do is to create a busy page that has a lot of useless information from the perspective of the visitor. Your page should express confidence, professionalism, and it should appear credible.
- Be up front: It is extremely important that you are transparent with your visitors when it comes to what happens if they choose to opt-in. You should tell your visitors exactly how you plan to use their information and give them an easy way to opt-out, if that is what they choose to do.
- Express the value of what your visitors will get if they opt-in: You should be as clear as possible when it comes to describing what your visitors will gain if they choose to opt-in. You can offer any number of valuable pieces of information, such as newsletters, white papers, valuable discounts, and other incentives. You can also offer deals that are only available to your visitors who have opted in.
Your opt-in form
It will probably not be easy to come up with the perfect opt-in form for your particular business. It will require a great deal of thought and effort. The things that you will need to consider when creating the form are specific to your target audience and if you use some other business’s form, make sure that you carefully customize it and optimize it for your particular social media marketing strategy. As is the case with the opt-in page, there are also certain rules that you should follow when it comes to your opt-in form.
- Ask for what you need: On your opt-in form, it is important to ask for the information that you need. However, you shouldn’t ask for additional information if you aren’t actually going to use it. You should ask for name (first and last) and Email address, as a minimum. If you are going to use the collected data to organize and separate your lists, asking for location will also be helpful. Bear in mind that if you don’t plan on using a certain type of information, don’t ask for it. Remember that the more information you ask for, the more reluctant your visitors will be to give you any information. Privacy and identity are serious issues in this day and age of the Internet.
- Don’t check boxes for your visitors: If you have items on your form that have boxes to check, don’t check them for your visitors. It is presumptuous and possibly offensive. Part of your transparency policy is the fact that you are upfront about everything, including letting your visitors read and understand everything in your form on their own. It is their decision, not yours.
- Always send a message of welcome: After your visitor has opted in, it is important that you send a welcoming message in which you thank them for choosing to opt in. You must always remember that they don’t have an obligation to opt in. They are choosing to do so. With that in mind, it is very important that you make them feel that they have undoubtedly made the right decision by opting in.
The opt-in process is an extremely important part of your business’s ultimate success. It is also a part of business that many people attribute less importance to than they should. Once you have acquired the data that you have been seeking, you need to make sure that you deliver whatever you have promised your visitors in exchange for opting in, make sure that you deliver valuable information in a timely manner, and respect the privacy of your visitors and only use information that is relevant to what you are doing. If you take a look at your opt-in process and you feel that it isn’t working as well as it could, tweak it until it works well for your business. If you aren’t sure about how to tweak, you might ask your online connections for help, which in many cases proves to be most valuable.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.