Opt-In Email Lists: what it is and the best way to use it

email-optin

Opt-In Email Lists: what it is and best practices

Building an opt-in email list can bring great results to your company because it enhances the benefits that an effective email marketing campaign can provide.

In the first place, many marketers use email marketing campaigns to communicate with possible customers and the current ones in a simple and fast way.

Therefore, having the messages actually delivered to the target audiences has become a challenge that these professionals must face, once Email Service Providers (ESP) can be quite unforgiven and block even legitimate senders.

We must understand ESPs act this way for a greater good: to make the internet a better and safer place, ensuring spam and other dangerous emails don’t circulate freely in the online world.

So, to fully enjoy the many benefits that email marketing campaigns can bring, marketers are trying their best to adopt the best practices when sending emails. In this sense, having opt-in email lists is one of them.

This article was prepared to introduce and explain opt-in email lists, as well as teach how to build one, and reveal why these lists are used to improve email deliverability and generate engagement between the company and subscribers.

  • What is an opt-in email list?
  • Is my email list an opt-in list?
  • Why is it important to implement an opt-in in your email lists?
  • How to build an opt-in email list
  • Single or double opt-in?
  • Best practices to opt-in your email lists 

What is an opt-in email list?

An opt-in email list is a gathering of email addresses that were willingly given to you. In other words, this means people filled out your forms and landing pages online, and they were fully aware of this act. 

They agreed in receiving your emails, newsletters, reminders, requests, and any other form of email communication. For this reason, in the marketing world, opt-in email lists are also called “permission marketing”, since you acquire someone’s permission to send emails from your campaigns, 

Why is it important? When people choose to be a part of your community through forms equipped with an opt-in, they want to receive, open, read and interact with you. This way it is hard to be blocked or marked as spam, once they are aware of your incoming messages.

They wait for your emails because they want to hear from you. They got interested in what you have to say, what you stand for, and what you have to offer. Furthermore, there are two kinds of possible opt-in email lists:

  • Users choose the types of emails they will receive: are you going to send them tips? Share some kind of knowledge? Will they receive exclusive articles and posts? Will they receive promotions and sales? They must know what they are going to receive from you;
  • Users choose the frequency of the messages: how often are the users going to hear from you? Twice a week? Once a month? Whatever frequency they decide, you must respect their preferences, otherwise, you will find some spam complaints (you don’t want that to happen).

When your email lists are full of people who willingly signed up for your channel, through opt-in forms, you can expect awesome results, and also boost your ROI.

Opt-in email lists are effective to make sure your lists are full of active and responsive users, facilitating the conversion and sales processes, while your reputation as a sender is safe and sound.

Keep reading to know how to employ this technique to acquire new contacts or manage your current email lists. Learn how to know if your registration forms are equipped with an opt-in gadget.

Is my email list an opt-in list?

When people go through a quick process intended to permit you to send them emails, then your lists are opt-in lists. 

Subscribers can permit you by subscribing to your channels of communications (for example, your official website, landing pages, newsletters, and registration forms) or by clicking on a box, which says they are aware of your terms or asks if they want to be a part of your community.

If your contact lists were built otherwise, for example, by purchasing random subscribers lists online or gathering emails without the holders’ consent, then your subscriber list isn’t opt-in. Purchased and random email lists is the dangers because:

  • lists can have a lot of invalid addresses, and sending messages to them will hurt your deliverability and reputation as a sender;
  • these lists can provide a low level of engagement, which is bad for both your deliverability and conversion rates;
  • purchased and random email lists are full of fake emails, so there is no point in sending them messages;
  • when people are unaware of your incoming messages, it’s more likely that they are going to mark you as a spam sender, which is negative for your business and will make you a target to ESP filters.

These are some of the dangers of purchased lists and other kinds of mailing listings that don’t ask for the user’s consent, such as the addresses originating from your business cards, online purchases, and social networks (like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram).

Asking for the user’s permission through opt-in processes can avoid all these problems, besides making you enhance your online presence and improve your email exchanges with your audience.

Why is it important to implement an opt-in in your email lists?

Adopting the system of opt-in email lists is not only important for your online reputation, but you also contribute to making the internet a safer place. Some of the reasons of why it is important to implement an opt-in in your email lists are:

  • it’s a positive practice to protect the image of your brand: when you send emails to random users, who didn’t give you permission to send them emails, your messages will likely end up in the junk folder, or worse, you might get listed as a spam sender;
  • opt-in email lists are respectful to the internet regulations: having an opt-in email list is a way to show the internet (and ESPs) that you respect and follow their safety and privacy guidelines, once the users willingly share their data, and you are responsible to keep it safe;
  • it makes you improve your engagement rate: as the users are aware and conscious of your brand, and they are a part of your community by free will, you won’t be surprised when you see them responding and sharing your pieces of communication;
  • it helps to grow your lists: with more engagement and online sharing, besides reaching your current subscribers, you can easily find new people, making the presence of your company enlarge;
  • it allows mass emails and makes users receive them: sending too many emails at once, a practice also known as mass emails, triggers the ESP filters, which might recognize you as a spam sender, but if you send mass emails to users that have opted-in, you won’t find any problem;

Opt-in email lists are effective at improving your engagement and reputation, and also can bring relevant features that will make your email marketing campaigns successful, while you improve your email sender reputation

Single or double opt-in?

Asking permission is always an intelligent option when you are building email lists. This simple action can both determine that the new email address is valid and belongs to a person who is really interested in your business.

But you can always go beyond and ask for an individual confirmation. After they marked the “I want to be a part of your community” box, in your registration forms, you can ask for a second confirmation through email, a process that is called double opt-in.

This way, after the new leads are done filling out the registration form, they will be asked to open their email boxes and confirm their registration. Thus, you make sure you have a new lead, who is active, and confirms the desire of being a part of your community twice.

It doubles the safety, and it also avoids no one being included in your lists against their will. A double opt-in is a strategy you have to consider.

How to build an opt-in email list

Now that you learn about the importance of having an opt-in email list, check out some practices to build one.

Offer relevant and valuable content

When you include sentences, like “fill out this registration form to sign up for our news and stories” or “please add me to your channel”, you make users explicitly permit you to send messages to them.

The challenge here is to make them click on the box that grants permission. The only possible way to do so is to offer relevant and valuable content.

You have to think of manners to keep users interested in what you have to say and offer. After all, if they are visiting your website or came aware of your brand somehow (usually on social media), it’s because your line of business is interesting to them.

Write stories that are worth reading, create products that will improve their user experience, offer them life-changing events, there are many possibilities as long as the subscribers are engaged. 

Give special attention to the confection of newsletters, promotional messages, and nurturing email campaigns. Nevertheless, don’t forget to post relevant content on social media, and update your blog frequently.

Finally, you must have a schedule and follow it strictly. Your contacts want to hear from you frequently, but you don’t have to flood their mailboxes every day (this will result in unsubscribes and spam complaints). 

Create an offer that people can’t refuse

Good markers are good at creating offers that people can’t refuse. In fact, it’s the whole point of the profession. Then, you must bring this expertise to your email marketing campaigns as well.

Knowing the exact time when to launch a new sales campaign or when to put out a new company’s initiative can make a difference in how people respond to these projects. 

For example, starting sales during holiday times, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, when people usually buy gifts for each other, can bring awesome results to your performance reports. 

Giving your older subscribers special discounts is another great idea because it shows gratitude. This action can turn a simple subscriber into a faithful member of your community, who advocates in your favor.

Another idea is to invest in upsells. If someone buys a product or hires a service that you offer, you can always try to offer other similar products and services to them. Upselling is a great way to boost your marketing campaign results.

Planning and executing great deals, sales, and upsells is important to keep users engaged. However, be aware of the words you use and in the email case sensitive

If they sound excessively promotional, they can be taken as spam by ESPs. It can also happen when you send too many promotional emails at once. Keep this in mind during the planning stage of your campaigns.

Ask subscribers to share your emails

After you build your own subscriber lists, employing the opt-in method to make sure only active, responsive and engaged users are present on them and come up with cool ideas to send through email, you have to consider asking subscribers to share your messages.

If they do share your emails, you can see your performance grow, spending little investment in the process. It’s the best marketing strategy a company can have.

It happens because the users who share your emails have friends and family members that have the same interests, and if they see your messages and know your brand, they are very likely to become promising leads, and who knows, buying customers.

We mustn’t forget that if you want to become a figure of influence in your area of work or field of company, having actual subscribers forwarding and sharing your content will help you on this task. The more people share your messages, the more registrations you can have.

However, your content must be really interesting to reach this level of engagement. So, you have to trust your content creators and ask them to be creative and persuasive.

Best practices to opt-in an email list

At this point, you have learned how to build opt-in email lists and the reasons why it is important. Now, it’s time to go over some of the best practices to opt-in for an email list, so you can enjoy all of its benefits, and enhance them.

Add an opt-in on every page

If you want to get people’s permission to send emails, first they have to find you. When you add an opt-in on every page of your website and social media, for example, finding your brand becomes easier.

Make it visible on your home page, and don’t forget to include the opt-in options in all of your blog posts. Be creative, you can use popups, put the opt-in in a position near your products (many companies use the strategy of putting it right below the products), or combine free content that you offer to subscribers with forms to collect emails.

Another detail you can’t miss is to make the unsubscribe button visible in your email. You have to make the process of leaving just as easy as arriving. If unsatisfied users can’t leave, they will probably mark you as spam, which is worse than losing a contact (it was not contributing to engagement rates, anyways).

Request information progressively

Usually, users trying to subscribe to a channel are given endless forms to fill. Some of them can stop filling in all the required information because it is too tiring. Some groups don’t even start filling out their information when they look at how extensive a form is.

This scenario is very common and it makes companies lose many leads every day. That’s why you must request information progressively, so the user is not scared or pushed away when they find your registration forms.

You can create different sets of forms in a registration form, asking the most basic questions first, then advancing to more specific surveys. According to these segmented forms, you can create distinct groups and organize your mailing lists according to them. Therefore, by requesting information progressively, you are able to:

  • increase conversion rates;
  • facilitate the inbound process;
  • improve the user experience in your platform;
  • trace and build profiles of customers that are closer to reality;
  • accelerate the user’s journey from awareness to final purchase.

Segment your audience

Understanding that your audience has different kinds of profiles on them is an essential conclusion. Sending the same email to every single contact that you have will kill your open rates, and if it is a constant practice, it might even hurt your deliverability rates.

An email written to present some of your services and products is unnecessary to the subscribers that are with you for a long time, for example. Or exclusive sales may sound weird and suspicious for newcomers, but it can make sense to people who trust you and have already completed a purchasing process.

When you segment your audience, organizing your contacts by characteristics in common, is an effective manner to keep them interested in your messages. Personalizing your messages can help you connect with your subscribers, and this connection is defining when you are trying to introduce a new product or make a new sale.

You can use criteria as you desire to organize your lists, for instance, organizing your contacts according to activities that activate the opt-in pages, location, customer behavior, and phase on the customer journey map (awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, retention, advocacy).

Working with bright email list management will make sure you achieve the desired results in your email marketing campaigns.

Now that you learn all about opt-in email lists, learn also more about email list management

Gustavo Mandia
Gustavo Mandia
August 9, 2019.
Empresa que preza pelas boas práticas, pronta para ajudar a seguir tudo da forma certa do jeito mais tranquilo, sempre desmitificando os paradigmas e mitos!
Rafael Silva
Rafael Silva
August 9, 2019.
Ótima Equipe, atendimento excelente
Danilo Matta
Danilo Matta
August 9, 2019.
Atenção total e serviço excelente.
Ricardo Marques
Ricardo Marques
August 8, 2019.
ótimo serviço!
Frederick Borges
Frederick Borges
August 8, 2019.
Pascoal Silva
Pascoal Silva
August 8, 2019.
As bases foram processadas rapidamente😉
Cristiane Paiva
Cristiane Paiva
August 8, 2019.
Margrave Doubghlas
Margrave Doubghlas
August 8, 2019.
Empresa séria e com profissionais experientes, dedicados há muitos anos sobre os assuntos relacionados às melhores práticas de e-mail marketing, automação de campanhas etc. Super recomendo para limpeza de bases de e-mails e organização de e-CRM.
Ricardo Chrisostimo
Ricardo Chrisostimo
August 8, 2019.
Eduardo Macedo
Eduardo Macedo
August 8, 2019.

Share this post