What is opt-in marketing?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - opt-in marketing

Opt-in marketing is an inbound marketing approach that Seth Godin termed “permission marketing”. In other words, you’re getting your prospect’s permission to receive communications from your brand. Prospects are far less likely to send your messages to the virtual equivalent of the recycling bin. They’ve given you their email addresses for the express purpose of receiving content from you.

Opt-in email isn’t just more effective

It’s also more ethical. Cluttering up email inboxes with unsolicited messages is a sure-fire way to ruin your brand image and reputation. People just don’t respond well to it, especially since 269 billion emails get sent every single day.

Opt-in email marketing is a marketing campaign that uses permission-based email-collection methods to capture email addresses from willing consumers. Once you have a potential customer’s email, you can add it to a marketing list based on the customer’s position in the sales funnel. For instance, if your prospect signs up for your email list during his or her first interaction with your brand, you might segment that consumer into a list that introduces your online courses and provides actionable tips for interested consumers.

Collecting emails through an opt-in form

When you collect email addresses through an opt-in form, make two things perfectly clear:

Email type

What messages will the subscriber receive? Mention that you send insider tips and tricks, promotions and sales, or other content (but make sure it’s true).


How often should subscribers expect to hear from you? If you promise to email only once per month, but you send emails every day, you’ll get some backlash.

If you follow those rules, you can separate your email campaign from the dreaded ‘spam’ word.

Best practice email design techniques

Design techniques to get the most out of your email sign-up form:

  • Focus on your end-game first

Before you begin planning the copy and layout of your sign-up form, consider what you would like to achieve from your email campaigns:

  • Will you be making use of the list in order to gather data from your customers?
  • Are you utilising it as a lead magnet with a free download to stimulate interest in your products?
  • Are you hoping for immediate purchase or sign up?
  • Keep it simple

After you’ve considered your goals as well as which opt-in method works best for your campaign goal, it’s time to create your sign-up form.

The most essential piece of advice is to keep it simple. Regardless of if you are amassing email addresses on social media, via a landing page or, alternatively, on your website, your subscribers will expect a simple form.

Making it simple means making sure that your form is kept intuitive. Make it easy to comprehend what value subscribers will receive for signing up in addition to any other relevant information such as how often they will hear from your company.

  • Write a persuasive call to action

On average, individuals see up to 247 online marketing messages every single day, and a significant portion of those messages go totally unnoticed. In order to increase the chances of individuals taking notice of your sign-up form, it’s essential to put together a persuasive call to action.

Here are a few helpful tips to assist you with creating a persuasive call to action:

  • Use buttons for your call to action. It can up conversion by 23%.
  • Add value to your call to action in order to increase conversions by up to 14.9%. Write specific as well as relevant copy. Make use of personal words such as “my” as opposed to “you”. Unbounce.com tested this method for three weeks and noted a 90% increase in CTR.
  • Avoid friction words like “download” and “buy”. Instead, try words that imply getting something for nothing “get” or “learn”.

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DSM Digital School of Marketing - Advertising and Digital Marketing