Get Your Damn Opt-In Box Up Already


Hi. My name is Clay Collins. This is the marketing show. And today is kick-your-ass Mondays. And I really, really, really need to kick your ass for your own good about something. So, the issue – okay, the problem that a lot of people have is that they do not have an opt-in box anywhere in their website, anywhere in their blog. If they do, it’s hiding somewhere. And the number one reason, the number one reason I hear for this why people do not have an opt-in box on their website is not because it’s difficult to do. You can do it in about five minutes using AWeber. I’ll link to that somewhere here, okay? And it’s not because they don’t have enough traffic. There’s no excuse not to get the box up there. It takes five minutes. It’s a lot easier than agonizing over that header graphic that you’ve spent three months going back and forth with your graphic artist about, right, that you think is so clever.

The number one reason why people don’t do it is…because they have heard, someone told them, and it’s sort of gone through the grapevine, maybe they read it cause some, like, you know, hack blogger said it somewhere. But they have heard that they need a bribe. That you have to have an amazing bribe to get people to opt-in. And I’m here to tell you that this is absolute BS. And what I see most people doing is spending months creating a bribe to get people to opt-in and then they get perfectionistic about it, and they hire a designer to make the cover for their free thing and then they keep on writing it and writing it and writing it. And they never get it up, right? They end up getting paralyzed over this task and it stalls them and they leave thousands upon thousands of dollars on the table.

Well, I want to share some kick-your-ass facts with you, okay? So, here’s kick-your-ass fact number one, all right? I did a split test on this blog,, where I had an opt-in box with the bribe and I had an opt-in box without a bribe. And there was only a half of a percent difference between the opt-in rates without a bribe and with a bribe. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a bribe, right? There should be a good incentive for someone to opt-in. And the one that I have in my incentive was tested and proven and it worked in other businesses. And it was creating an increase in mind, but only about half a percent.

Now, again, I’m not saying don’t have a bribe. But what would happen if I had waited until I had a perfect bribe in place or any bribe in place to start accepting email addresses? Well, I would have been short thousands upon thousands of email addresses and the difference was only about half a percent. Now, granted, with the kind of traffic we get, scale that half of percentage and that’s a lot over the long run, but it’s not as much I would have lost if I never had an opt-in box in the first place.

Kick-your-ass fact number two, I have a website called, and it rings – it beats out about sixty million pages, sometimes over 100 million pages to rank around number three for the term “business ideas.” We do not have a single bribe on that site. There has not been one bribe to get people to opt-in to that site from day one. And every single day, we get about 100 opt-ins to that site. One hundred. Now, I haven’t logged in to that site for over a year now. I haven’t touched it. I haven’t done anything with it. Where would I be if I had waited to create a bribe for before putting up an opt-in box? I would be absolutely hosed, right, and you probably are too. So, I want to talk about, now that you have this data, right, and you know that you can just go ahead and – there’s a whole lot of psychology behind why people opt-in. And often, in fact, in most cases, it has nothing at all to do with the bribe or what you’re sort of, you know, the carrot that you’re dangling in front of them. A lot of times it has to do with just that they like you or community or belonging or, you know, a whole lot of factors go into it, right? And that’s why these kick-your-ass facts exist, okay?

So, I want to explain now the theory behind why people don’t take action and why people do take action. So, here’s why most people don’t take action. Most people don’t take action because they go through a theoretical marketing course.

And that theory gets them all excited, but when they go to implement, they experience a whole lot of uncertainty related to that theory, right? They don’t know how to apply it, what should the copy be, where should the page be, should I do WordPress, should I do Drupal, you know, how should I do this, should I have a statistic HTML page, what kind of bribe should it be, how long should it be, what should the cover be, what, you know – they get mired in details because when they go to apply the theory, they encounter uncertainty. And what results is that as a result of that uncertainty, perfectionism sets in, right, because they feel this feeling of anxiety. They start becoming perfectionistic. They start spending four months, five months creating this eBook to get people to opt-in that never comes to pass, right, and then paralysis ensues. And I want to tell you how to get over this and how all the best marketers get over this. Okay? Here it is.

Good marketers, people who have success, get data, right? They get data about marketing campaigns that work. They pay for it. They pay for access and masterminds in courses. They don’t take theoretical courses, they get data about what works. And by the way, this is the underlying basis for everything I’ve ever taught in the last year, get data or I give data in my courses. And this data leads to implementation, right? You don’t know if it’s going to be perfect, but because you saw a squeeze piece that work, because you saw a bribe that worked, because you know that people will opt-in even without a bribe, because you know that you could be losing out upon thousands upon thousands of email addresses if you don’t have a bribe, because you have this data. You implement, you do something based on what you’ve seen worked in other businesses. And that implementation leads to some sort of feedback. When you implement, you get some sort of feedback of some kind. And that allows you to calibrate, that allows you to adjust and tweak and improve.

So, I’m encouraging you to consider that theoretical education produces theoretical results. And that this whole theory leading to uncertainty, leading to perfectionism, leading to paralysis is the path you want to avoid. And instead, get data, use that data that you’ve seen with your own eyes, right? You’ve seen what worked, you know, the outcome, you know the opt-in results. Just like I’m telling you right here, I haven’t opened up my entire business here because there isn’t enough time. But get data, use that data that you have about what worked, right? A campaign you saw with your own eyes, data that you got behind the scenes and use that as the basis for implementation and then calibrate based on that.

Anyway, my name is Clay Collins. This has been kick-your-ass Mondays, and I will talk to you later.

  • Couldn’t agree more on this. Having that box there is much better than having nothing at all.

    I’m a big proponent of making the newsletter itself good and stating the benefits of receiving it instead. Or even providing a sample of that upfront. That way, you get a better quality list of people who actually want to read your newsletter rather than just signing up to get your free carrot.

    I did a similar test on our site. When we first launched, I didn’t offer a freebie. Now I offer a free landing page checklist.

    The only real difference in subscriptions I’ve noticed is when I do a direct shout-out on twitter or fb like, “sign up for our newsletter to download our free landing page checklist”.

    For regular website visitors, it’s about 50/50, which coincides with your own experience.

    I also track how many people actually download the checklist after they sign up. Surprisingly, only about 57% do, which indicates that they are more interested in the newsletter than the freebie anyway.

    • Wow.  This is really great and interesting feedback.  Thanks for sharing, Naomi.  By the way, are you the “Some Other Naomi” that used to comment on Naomi Dunford’s blog?

      •  Ha ha, I am the “some other Naomi”! Interesting how that started as kind of an inside joke and now you’re like the 4th person that’s asked me the same question. That makes me laugh. 🙂

  •  I love this video, Clay. Everything you do is just so cool.

    Got a question though. In the email you said this is the last article we’ll get if we don’t subscribe to the new list. What are you going to be sending to this list each day? You’re not planning on doing a new video each day, are you?


    • Yup.  There will be a video each week day.  And sometimes a video during weekend days as well. 

      • Dude that’s so awesome. I’m DEFINITELY signing up. 

        You’re so much fun to watch. You make it look so easy. You’ve got a lot of talent. Keep it up. I get inspired every time I watch you.  

    • Thanks so much for your kind words also, Martyn.  Thanks means a lot.

  •  Ha!  Theoretical courses lead to theoretical implementation.  Ain’t that the truth!  Thanks for kicking our asses, Clay.  You rock!

    • My pleasure! I’m glad that you enjoyed the content. 

  • Great video talking about such a very common myth of List Building 101, Kudos Clay 🙂

  • Clay, really enjoyed this, some great advice.