Set up single opt-in

1. Create a compelling offer that drives subscriptions by answering your ideal subscriber's needs or questions.

A generic call to action, such as get updates or receive our newsletter, is not sufficient to draw subscriptions. Build an offer that your target audience finds irresistible by: Reviewing your buyer personas and their pain points. Identifying one or two questions, concerns, or solutions that your ideal buyer has or needs. Creating a brand promise or value proposition that addresses this need or question. For example, Get the best answers to X in our weekly newsletter or Subscribe today to get our free guide on how to do X. Building your offer or giveaway with your product team, content team, or design team, if applicable.

2. Build a single opt-in subscription form that collects essential data that you need for a healthy email list without overwhelming potential subscribers.

All major email platforms – for example, GetResponse, Aweber, Constant Contact and ActiveCampaign – have visual form builders that let you drag and drop the elements you want on your opt-in form. Your goal is to: Prominently feature your compelling offer on the opt-in form and on your email landing page. Add form fields for the basic data that you need to collect to build a healthy email list. At minimum, you’ll want their first name and email address. Consider additional demographic data, such as their job title and industry that will allow you to better segment and manage your email contacts in the future. Keep in mind that for every additional field of information you request, the lower your opt-in rates. Refer to the instructions provided by your specific email platform, as each platform has its own approach to building opt-in forms.

3. Don't rely on the default text provided by your email platform for your opt-in confirmation button.

The text tends to be generic, such as subscribe now. Instead, tie your opt-in button with your specific offer. For example: Yes, I want to do X. Yes, send me X. Yes, give me the answers to X.

4. Ensure compliance with CAPTCHA and other spam reduction techniques.

Your sender reputation, which spam filters use to influence your email deliverability, relies on compliance with global privacy and anti-spam legislation. To be compliant: Turn on your email platform’s CAPTCHA tool on your opt-in form, which forces your potential subscribers to indicate that they are human and consenting to subscribing to your emails. Consider double opt-ins, which require your user to click a link in a confirmation email before joining your email list. Every additional step your user has to take will reduce your opt-in rates. However, maintaining a clean list may increase your overall email open rates, click-through rates, and deliverability rates, even though it may reduce the speed of your overall list growth.

5. Make your single opt-in form visible on your home page and main navigation, plus anywhere else subscribers are present.

A great subscription form is only as good as its visibility. Include it, plus a callout of the benefits of subscribing, for example your compelling offer on: Your homepage. Your main navigation. Any main landing pages.

6. Test and revise your opt-in form to continuously improve your email opt-ins.

Split test your form and consider testing: Your main offer. Your headline. Your email subscription button. Single opt-in versus double opt-in. The length of your opt-in form. Some website hosting platforms or website plugins, including sites that run on platforms such as WordPress or Shopify, have plugins that allow you to A/B test different headlines, callouts, and subscription button texts. If your host doesn’t, consider trying a specific variable, such as your headline or your form text, for 30 days. Your goal is to test one variable at a time and find one change that increases opt-ins.