The Importance of the Opt In or Squeeze Page

If you’re new to email marketing then you’ll probably need to learn some new terms and concepts. One important concept is that of the “squeeze page,” also known as an “opt-in page”.

Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a page on your website that exists for the specific purpose of getting a reader to give you their email address so that you can send certain information or information products to them. This opt-in process can be for a new subscription to something that you offer on your site, for the purpose of receiving a particular item from you (such as an ebook), or to join your mailing list to receive future offers, or some combination of these.

Why do Squeeze Pages Matter?

Why Squeeze Pages are ImportantSqueeze pages are important because building your mailing list is an essential part of doing business online. In fact, building your list of email contacts could be the single most important element of your online marketing success. And one of the best methods for getting new prospects to give you their email addresses is through the use of well-designed and well-implemented squeeze pages.


What Should Your Squeeze Pages Include?

Email spam continues to be a significant problem, so be clear on what you’re offering, and what you’re going to do with the prospect’s email address once they give it to you. You don’t need to include your entire privacy policy, but you should at least include a summary of the most important points. How are you going to use their email address? Do you plan to send special offers or anything else beyond what they’re specifically signing up to receive?

Also be clear on what the next step is. Are you going to send them a confirmation email that they need to open and click on before they’re subscribed? If you’re going to send them an ebook, or start an autoresponder series, when can they expect to hear from you – right away or within a couple days? Setting your prospect’s expectations is key to your success.

What Should Your Squeeze Pages Not Include?

Each squeeze page has one and only one purpose – to get someone to agree to give you their email address. This means that the page shouldn’t contain anything that doesn’t further that goal, or require the reader to click to another page to learn more. Your squeeze page therefore shouldn’t have any links to other pages of your site – just a “Submit” or “Sign Up” button if they decide to accept your offer, and a “Close Window” or “X” button if they decide not to. These should be the only methods of navigating away from the Squeeze Page.

Sign Up

Furthermore, you should only request the minimum of information – chances are this is just going to be the prospect’s email address. and first name. If you don’t need to know their last name, how they found your site, or any other extra information, then don’t ask for it on your squeeze page. The more information someone has to provide, the more likely it is that they’ll click away without giving you anything at all.

In the next post we’ll discuss some sure-fire ways for you to build up that mailing list, but all of that is much easier once you’ve set up your squeeze or opt-in page.


First Steps to Setting up a Mailing List

For many businesses, their email marketing lists can be the single most valuable asset they own. Here are some tips for helping you get your first mailing list up and running.

Select Your Service Provider

Step 1The first step in setting up a new mailing list is to make sure you have the infrastructure in place to handle it. This will almost always mean that you’ve selected a service provider (such as the ones we previously discussed) to help you manage and administer your list. Consider the various different features offered by a service, its pricing structure, and its ability to meet any particular needs you have in order to find the best fit.

Decide How You Want to Target Prospective Contacts

Step 2How are you going to target your prospects? It’s not enough to tell people you have a mailing list and tell them to sign up. You have to give them a reason why. One common method is to provide something valuable (usually a downloadable informational product) in exchange for someone giving you their e-mail address. Depending on your niche, this could be an e-book that introduces basic concepts to someone who is unfamiliar with your niche, a checklist to help them accomplish a specific project or goal, or transcripts of interviews you may have available on your website.

Enable and Review Your Analytics

Step 3Regardless of the email service provider you’re working with, you’re likely to have a number of different options for how and when you can collect data relating to your email marketing activities. Make sure you’re collecting as much as possible, and start reviewing this information as soon as possible. Obviously it’s going to become more valuable as time goes on and you have more data to analyze, but it’s still worth getting in the habit of using it as part of your decision making process from the very beginning.

Plan and Prepare Your Messages Beforehand

Step 4If you’re only sending out a weekly broadcast for example, prepare that email at least a day or two before you plan to send it out, so that you have the opportunity to take a fresh look at it one last time before it actually goes out.

If you plan to send a series of emails, then draft all of them before you load them up. It might seem like a big task, but it’s almost always best to approach your autoresponder series this way. If you instead draft each email only after the last one goes out, you might find that you’ve overlooked certain points that you should have made in earlier emails, or that the autoresponder series as a whole doesn’t have a good flow. Review all of your emails, in order, before you start sending any of them out.

Make Use of All Available Resources

The actual technical and administrative steps to setting up a new mailing list will vary depending on the service you use. Fortunately, most service providers have tutorials, videos and other educational materials that can make this process much easier. Be sure to make full use of all the resources that are available to you. You may even wish to consider these resources as a factor when deciding between which autoresponder service to use.

Now, it’s time to get to work and start setting up your lists. In the next couple of posts, we’ll be talking about effective ways to grow your mailing list. So make sure you’re ready to get started!

Should You Use Single or Double Opt In?

Confirmed or Single Opt-in?It should be fairly apparent that your approach to email marketing should only involve sending e-mails to individuals who have signed up to receive them. This might be done as a sign up on your website to receive your newsletter, an autoresponder series, or some other type of information. Avoid any temptation to send unsolicited emails under any circumstances. I know I probably don’t have to say that, but just in case.

The process of getting people to sign up to receive your emails can be accomplished in different ways. The simplest way is known as “opt in” or “single opt in.” This is where you add the e-mail address to your list after someone enters their address on your sign-up form. You may decide to send a “welcome” or “thank you” e-mail to that person as soon as they sign up. This e-mail will likely contain instructions and a link for unsubscribing, and the subscriber will begin receiving your e-mails without having to take any additional action.

The other common technique is known as a “confirmed” or “double opt in” sign up. With this method, as soon as an individual submits their e-mail address in your form, you send back an automated response that asks them to click a link to confirm their subscription. If the individual does not click the confirmation link, then they will not be added to your e-mail list.

Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Yes or NoSingle Opt-In

Pros:
• This is by far the simplest for prospective subscribers; they provide their e-mail address once and then they’re done.
• You can begin sending your messages to new subscribers right away; there’s no need to wait for them to click a link in a confirmation e-mail.


Cons:
• This method does not confirm that a particular email address was actually submitted by the person who owns it. Sometimes people make mistakes or write in bad addresses and you definitely don’t want to email those addresses.
• A competitor or someone else who wants to harm your business can submit third party email addresses, and those individuals could complain that they never signed up for your mailings – and get you blacklisted with spam services.

Confirmed or Double Opt-In

Pros:
• An individual who takes the extra step of clicking the confirmation or double opt in link is likely to be more interested in your marketing message than someone who fails to make the confirmation.
• It protects you from sending email to the wrong addresses or addresses that simply do not exist.

Cons:
• If you’ve never sent e-mail to a particular individual before, your confirmation or double opt in follow-up could easily be routed to their junk folder. Unless they happen to check it and notice your e-mail, they may never get the opportunity to confirm their scripture.
• Some people might simply be too lazy to actually click on your confirmation link.

What’s the Right Way?

AnalyzeIn summary, it’s far from a clear choice on whether you should use a double opt-in method to build your mailing list. The best approach may be to analyze the sign-up, confirmation and conversion rates for whatever method you’re currently using, and use those numbers to help you decide whether a different approach may be more effective.

The same considerations apply even if you’re setting up your very first mailing list, which we’ll discuss in the next post. We’ll go through the first steps you need to do, so you’re well on your way to using the power of email marketing.