A Different Optin Strategy for Your Blog

How many of us have an optin box on our blog? It has been drilled into us over and over again, that if you are serious about your online presence for your business, you must have a list and a way for people to optin (join your list).

Benefits of a list are many:

  • Build a deeper relationship with your potential clients by keeping in touch.
  • Let people know about your events, activities and yes, your new products and services.
  • Joint venture with others to cross promote.

And that’s just a few of the reasons to have a list.

If you are new to email marketing, I have some earlier posts on the topic.

Some blogs’ optin offer a free report as a bribe in exchange for an email address. Others don’t offer anything at all, just a monthly newsletter.

What if we did something just a little different? Instead of a bribe (free report or video) or the promise of yet another unread newsletter, how about we re-purpose the optin box to invite questions?

Not only does this help build your list, but you can get a real sense of what questions people are interested in, helping you write more targeted blog posts. Eventually it might even help shape products and services that you might offer. Way better than writing a newsletter than may or may not be relevant to your audience.

Many autoresponder systems give you the ability to tailor the opt-in box to include custom fields, as a custom field is what is needed to add the question field to the optin box. I use aweber, and with that system, just look for the “Create New Field” button on the right when you are editing your web form. The hardest part for me was finding a form skinny enough to fit into my existing blog template. Once you have created your optin form, in most cases you can copy and paste the HTML code into a text widget in your blog (the widget menu can be found under “Appearance” in your WordPress dashboard).

Note that you need to let people know that you are adding them to your list, see my “ask a question” widget to the right for an example. I’ve also decided to make the optin a double optin process (the reader has to confirm their email address) just so it’s really clear what’s going on.

To give credit where credit is due, this cool idea is courtesy of Sylvie Fortin. Her website is workaholics4hire.com which provides outsourcing services

About the Author Kathy Alice

Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.

Leave a Comment:

Julie Labes says November 15, 2010

I too have wordpress. I am going to fiddle around with it today to see if I can add the widget you suggest.. Thanks for the idea.

Franziska San Pedro says November 15, 2010

Thank you for this excellent post and giving us some more ideas how to connect to our readers. I will look into that and add one to my blog. Great idea,
Flavor Designs

Kathy Alice says November 15, 2010

Hi Julie,
You’ll need to create an optin form in your email marketing system. aweber calls them web form. Once that is done you can copy and paste the HTML code into your text widget in WordPress.

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