How do you gain the right to send people more email?
If you want to email them, you just need their email address, right?
Just getting their email address is not enough.
You have to ask people to explicitly opt-in to receive email from you.
Why is an opt-in so important?
Because getting permission is the only ethical way to conduct email marketing. And email marketing is the best way to communicate with B2B buyers on a large scale.
When you ask B2B buyers to opt-in, you re-assure them. You lower a B2B buyer’s sense of risk because you explicitly agree to set very clear boundaries to your relationship.
You are telling your buyers:
- You will ask before you send anything.
- You will set parameters. They will know exactly how you will use their email address, what you will send to them, and when you will send it.
- Once you have carefully set their expectations, you will do nothing to go outside of the boundaries you have established.
Why go to all this trouble to obtain opt-ins?
We’ve all been burned. We’ve received requests for our email address. And then they’ve turned out to be different from what we were led to believe.
And you know how that feels. A sense of betrayal and disappointment.
Betrayal and disappointment are not the associations you want people to have with your company.
When buyers opt-in, they give you permission to place a message in that special place: their Email Inbox. People view and act on messages that arrive in their Email Inbox.
With an opt-in you have permission to send people the emails you’ve told them you would send. You have permission to nurture this relationship.
Ok, if opt-ins are so important, how do you increase the email opt-in rate on your site?
Let’s look at some ways to improve opt-in rates.
Remove obstacles. Make it easy.
When people are on your site, they scan your pages for the information that will satisfy them.
Make it easy for them to know how to opt-in to your email.
Home pages tend to get a little crowded, what with everyone in your organization wanting a piece of that valuable real estate. So instead of putting the email signup on the home page, create a separate special landing page.
A separate landing page gives you the opportunity to explain in more detail exactly what buyers can expect when they opt-in.
You can send visitors to this landing page from multiple locations—from relevant pages on your site, from your articles or blog posts, and from the bio you add to guest posts or articles.
Give them a reason, an incentive to opt-in.
People will not give you their email address because it is good for your business. They give it to you because they want something valuable in return.
Let’s say you are sending them a one-month email course on a subject where you are an expert and where they want to learn more. People may be interested in this value you will deliver in the future, but not as interested as they are in something you can deliver for free and right now.
It could be a report you write on the subject at hand, a tool they can use, or an analysis. Whatever it is, remember, you are a passionate expert on this subject. Nearly everyone else is a beginner. Write something that will teach them to be better than a beginner. A simple ten-page report will be easy for you to write and will give immense value to interested beginners.
In any case, something that they receive right now for free is a powerful incentive.
Lower their perception of risk.
Everyone has been burned by giving their email address and then regretting it later. You know you are not one of these organizations. Make sure your visitor knows it too. Explain exactly what they can expect and when they can expect it. Tell them how easy it is to unsubscribe at any time if they decide to discontinue receiving your email.
What’s the best method of all to lower the perception of risk? Simply tell them “We will never spam you.” This direct statement alone will significantly increase your opt-in rate.
Obstacles, incentives, and risk
In this article we’ve looked at why many companies struggle to get permission from buyers to send them email. The signup form on their website is difficult to find. They don’t provide a strong incentive to opt-in. They give a poor explanation of what people can expect.
Don’t be one of these companies!
Make it easy. Send people to a separate landing page from multiple locations. Use natural and direct language on that page that explains exactly what people can expect. Instead of a button that says “Submit,” write one that says “Yes, sign me up!” or “Send my free report right now!”
Give people an incentive. Go beyond the email sequence you will be sending. The future is not as motivating as you might think. Give them something for free right now.
Lower their risk. When you ask them to opt-in, tell people in advance exactly what they can expect.
You are bringing more people to your site. Now take advantage of the scale of permission-based email marketing. Increase the number of people who opt-in and agree to let you nurture a meaningful business relationship.
Photo Credit: Donald Bell