The Two-Step Opt-In Process (And How It Increased Our Newsletter Subscriptions By 60%)

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Transcript: Hello marketing people. In this episode of the Marketing Show, I’m going to tell you the three things you can do to increase your opt-in rate by 60%. These are things you can do today, but before we do that, I have an audience-building story for you.

So here’s the audience-building story, and you may have heard this before. So once upon a time, there were 2 bulls standing on a hill looking at a herd of cows. The young bull says, “Let’s go down there and breed a couple of those cute cows.” The old bull replies, “Let’s mosey down there and breed them all.” So the moral to this story is that you can be super aggressive with your marketing, and you can get some results, or you can mosey your way into building a huge audience. Let me show you what I’m talking about.

So these are examples of old-fashioned and traditional squeeze pages. As you can see, there’s a lot of use of flashing arrows. We’ve all seen things that look like this. Before, huge red headlines. Again, here’s another example; moving arrows, and you know, just lots of arrows and very, very aggressive marketing. I’m not judging this. I’m not judging this from a moral point of view. But these do work, and you can get some results with them, but they’re definitely much more aggressive than the moseying approach.

So these are examples of one-step opt-in processes, right. You go to the webpage and you immediately opt in, or here, you know, you go to the webpage and you can opt in. Again, here, this is a one-step opt-in process. Enter your e-mail address and then hit submit. So those one-step opt-in processes do okay, but I recently did a mosey experiment with a two-step opt-in process, and increased my opt-in rate about 60%. So let me show you how that worked.

Here we are at marketingshow.com, and right here, we have kind of the traditional one-step opt-in process, right. Enter your e-mail address to get free updates and you can do that and hit join us, and you’ll be immediately added to our newsletter, and you’ll get updates about the Marketing Show. But we recently experimented with a two-step marketing process, and in a second, I’m going to show you the three things that we did to increase our opt-in rate by 60%, and they were all, all of them a two-step opt-in process.

Now you’re probably wondering right now what is the mosey approach to building an e-mail list. What is a two-step process? Well, right now, let’s just go over the two-step opt-in processes that we implemented. So the first two-step opt-in process was the blog sidebar, and here’s what I mean. Here we are on marketingshow.com, and if we click on this link that says, ‘Want free marketing tools and updates,’ we click on this link, so that’s step number one, and step number two is to opt in here. So people first indicate their interest by clicking on a banner, and then they’re brought to this page.

Now this is actually just a welcome gate. We built this with the welcome gate software, which if someone wants to, they can turn off the welcome gate, and they can just use it as a squeeze page. So it won’t appear when someone comes to their homepage. They can decide to just use it as a landing page to collect e-mail addresses. So again, with this two-step process, step number one is to click here, and step number two is to opt in, and we got a number of opt ins from this two-step opt-in process.

The second two-step opt-in process that we used was a survey. So here we are again on marketingshow.com, and at the bottom here, there’s just a little survey that says, ‘How often should we e-mail you about new Marketing Show post?’ and someone can click on either every time we add new content, which is daily, or once per week, and if they click on either of those – Let’s click on one of them – they’re brought to this page again where they can opt in. So step one is make a selection on the survey and step two is to enter their e-mail address. So that’s the second two-step opt-in process.

Now the third two-step opt-in process was lead player. So what we did was we took all of our old Marketing Show videos, and we added lead player to them. So we’re not doing this with our most current Marketing Show videos. We’re only doing this with Marketing Show videos that are a month old or older, and here’s what happens with those. ‘Hello everyone, my – And we’re going to give you our favorite marketing e-mail of all time, and we’re going to give you some swipe copy that you can use in your business that’s based off this. So that’s what you have to look forward to in this episode of the Marketing Show.’

So as you can see here, in those old episodes of the Marketing Show, at some point, we say, “That’s what you have to look forward to in this episode of the Marketing Show,” and then folks can opt in to continue watching. And again, you can get lead player if you’re interested in it at leadplayer.com, but what we were actually able to do was take the gold that was in our existing YouTube videos, and we just took those existing YouTube videos. We pasted them in lead player, and we turned it on, and we immediately took every single existing past episode of the Marketing Show and turned it into a two-step opt-in process. So step number one is they play the video. They hear the intro. They hear what they’re going to get in that episode of the Marketing Show, and then it says, ‘Opt in to continue watching.’

So with those 3 examples under our belt, I’d like to briefly go over the benefits of using a two-step opt-in process. The first benefit is that your visitors aren’t bombarded with opt-in boxes. It seems nowadays, so many blogs and websites are just bombarding you with opt-in boxes. There’s a feature box. There’s an opt-in box above the post. There’s an opt-in box below the post. There’s an opt-in box on the right and left sidebars. There’s a slide up. You know, there’s so many different ways and there’s a pop up. There’s just so many things going on, and when you use a two-step opt-in process, those opt-in boxes are buried a second layer deep, and people are only shown them when they express interest that would indicate that it is actually time to make those opt-in boxes appear. So a lot of this is based on timing, and it’s driven by the end user.

The second thing you do when you have a two-step opt-in process is you create a yes letter with lead player. Someone hits play to watch a video, and then after they find out what’s in the video, they get an opt-in box with the call-to-action that is custom tailored to the content in that video. So it’s absolutely congruent. Someone decided that they wanted to watch it. It shows part of that video, and then it offers them the opportunity to opt in to watch the remainder of it, and again, the call-to-action is custom tailored to the content in that video, essentially allowing me to take all those videos I have on YouTube and turn them into lead generation devices.

Third, when used correctly, two-step opt-in process simply convert better. Now, if you have a horrible two-step opt-in process and amazing one-step opt-in process, the one-step process is going to work pretty well, and there are plenty of cases where a one-step opt-in process should be used, but on the whole in most situations, I prefer using a combination of one-step and two-step opt-in processes, and from what I’m starting to see both with my clients and with myself, more people are going to end up opting in through the two-step opt-in processes because they’re more effective. The entire process is driven by the end user. They’re not aggressive and they tend to be much better received.

Anyway, that’s what I have for today. I hope you have enjoyed this episode of the Marketing Show. I hope you’ve learned a lot, and I’ll talk to you next time. Take care.