How To Create An Opt-in Offer That Actually Gets People To Opt-in

Top persuasion techniques you probably aren't using

Jon Brosio
Sep 18, 2018 · 7 min read

As a writer like you, I get it…

Another article about the business side of your passion. It's probably something you're so sick of hearing.

I mean why did you start this whole blogging thing in the first place?

But there's also another question that comes up in lieu of following your passion.

Do you forever want to be a struggling artist?

I would confidently guess that you don't want that. Unless you're the uber-hipster that thinks you cannot sell-out as a writer, you're going to need to focus on a lot of the business side of blogging.

One of the most crucial aspects that is required in building your blog into a money-making machine is creating your opt-in page. This opt-in page is responsible for building your email list. With an email list, you have owned traffic that you can potentially sell to. From there, the opportunities are limitless.

So let's get into the characteristics of an optimal opt-in page…

First…What does email opt-in even mean?

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wait… what?

If you’re new to building an email list, you may be wondering what is an email opt-in form. Well, here’s the email opt-in definition:

An email opt-in is a web form that businesses use to capture the email addresses of prospective customers, and get their permission to send them offers.

In marketing speak, email subscribers are referred to as “leads”. That’s because each email subscriber is potentially only an email (or a few emails) away from becoming a paying customer.

Does that sound exciting to you?

Great! Let’s keep going with the characteristics of an optimal opt-in page…

1. It must provide a solution to ONE problem

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Photo by rawpixel

Many people fall victim to this issue — I know I did.

You think that in order to garner the grandest of email lists you need to create an opt-in page that caters to the masses. You want to come up with some type of offer that everyone and their mother would be compelled to opt-in for.

If you take on this route, it will be your Achilles heel.

Your opt-in offer is a quick taste of the sort of information the visitor will find on your website currently and in the future. To be effective, it must target a problem specific to your audience.

Your opt-in offer should provide one solution to one incredibly annoying problem.​

Put yourself in your reader's shoes — what is their annoying problem?

  • Are you a diet blogger offering a 30 day meal plan and detox?
  • Are you an exercise blogger and you have a plan that will help the reader go from "skinny-fat" to jacked in 3 months?

Think hard about a painstaking problem that you can help your reader overcome.

2. It must be quick and simple

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Photo by Skye Studios

You're doomed to fail if your opt-in page needs a Gettysburg address-like explanation.

Keep in mind, many of the people that are being exposed to your opt-in (and work in general) may be novices.

It's possible that these individuals are uneducated, but very interested in what you are preaching.

Make it easy for them!

What are they getting? If you can effectively solve the issue laid out in point one, this step will come easier as well. They seem to go along with one another.

Like the legendary Jon Morrow puts it:

"On an opt in page, you want the copy to be as short as possible. One litmus test is if what you are offering requires more than a headline to explain, it’s too abstract. It’s not familiar enough, it’s not obvious enough!"

3. It should create a noticeable improvement in someone's life

The purpose of your opt-in is not only to get someone to opt in to your email list: it actually goes even deeper than that…

You want to actually create a noticeable improvement in someone’s life.

That is what will build trust, nurture your relationship, and ultimately help to convince someone to buy your products or services– which is what you want, right?

4. Your Opt-in Should be Instantaneous

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Photo by Paul Knop

People love instant gratification, so to be persuasive, your opt-in needs to be something that can be delivered to them instantly.

For example, a PDF, a video, an audio MP3, or anything digital that can be delivered via email.

You don't want anything that will take time to deliver.

It might suck for you to hear it, a lot of the time with opt-ins, the reader doesn't give a shit about you…they care about the value they're getting here.

After the opt-in, you are building trust with them so in turn — they'll start to care.


Alright, so you’ve created your email opt-in incentive. Next, you need to write the copy for your email opt-in form.

The first part of your email opt-in verbiage is the title of your lead magnet itself.

This is important: you need to think of your incentive title as a headline. You don’t want to come up with some “cutesy” name that makes no sense to anyone except you… you want to be very straightforward about what they are going to get, and what your lead magnet is going to help them to do.

Here are some great examples of lead magnet titles:

  • 52 Headline Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Blog Posts that Go Viral
  • The Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library
  • Toolkit for Growing Your Online Business
  • 5 Free Meal Plans to Ditch Processed Food
  • Life is Messy Planners: Make Room for Genius Work

The second part of your email opt-in copy is the description: you’ll need to briefly describe what’s so special about your incentive so it will be irresistible for someone to opt in.

To do that, I’ve come up with a simple, 3-sentence formula:

“Want to [desired outcome]? Then you’ll need to [action they need to take]. In this FREE [PDF/video/MP3/etc.], you’ll get [repeat or paraphrase the title of your lead magnet].”

Here’s an example of the 3-step formula in action for my 6 Jedi Mind Tricks lead magnet:

Want to build a [money-making blog]? You must know how to [use your passion and blend that with what people want]. In this FREE [6 day “Entre-Blogging” Course], you’ll learn the building blocks of how to [financially actualize your passion].

The final part of your email opt-in language is the call to action copy, or the verbiage that goes inside your subscribe button. What you do NOT want to do is say something generic and boring like, “Subscribe” or “Submit”. That’s not very compelling.

Instead, you’ll want to use language that is specific to your particular lead magnet. So for example, “Download the Checklist” or “Grab the Printable PDF”.

This call to action copy is much more persuasive because it reminds someone of exactly WHY they should click on the button.

There you have it…

You've seen how you can use the power of your words and your passion to build an opt-in page that actually gets people to opt-in. You need to cater to the problems they are trying to solve, you need to be direct, you need to be specific and you need to use the 3-step formula laid out for clear messaging.

If I could leave you with one more piece of advice, it would unequivocally be:

Don't ever use the verbiage "Please, subscribe to my newsletter and get weekly updates on life-altering content".

This never works…

Now, more than ever, people are keeping their emails sacred. They will only give you this address if you can confidently deliver on your problem solving promise for the reader.

So do that.

And go forth building your list.

When you do this, you are starting the quest of transforming yourself form "struggling artist" to "blogging entrepreneur."

👋🏻Hey there — I’m Jon

Want to build a money-making blog? You must know how to use your passion and blend that with what people want. Join 1,200 other people and get my FREE 6 day “Entre-Blogging” Course, you’ll learn the building blocks of how to financially actualize your passion.


(You’ll also get a FREE Copy of “How To Write The Ultimate Blog Post”)

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The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +731K people. Follow to join our community.

Jon Brosio

Written by

📚 3 Mil+ Views | 🤠 Internet Cowboy | 🍷 Wine Aficionado | I'll Teach You How To Build a 💰-Making Blog:

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +731K people. Follow to join our community.

Jon Brosio

Written by

📚 3 Mil+ Views | 🤠 Internet Cowboy | 🍷 Wine Aficionado | I'll Teach You How To Build a 💰-Making Blog:

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +731K people. Follow to join our community.

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