There are so many different email marketing options available to the every day business now days that it can get a little bit tricky to work out what’s the best option for you to use as your optin service. There are the web based ones: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Email Brain, Mad Mimi to name a few which can sometimes need a plugin to work. Or there are the plugin based ones which can either work with several of the web based ones or completely independantly of them: Thrive Leads, Bloom, OptinMonster, Optin Panda, Leadin, and the list goes on.

But what does it all mean?

What is an optin?

An optin allows you to collect email addresses of your potential and current clients. It’s basically a place on your website that allows interested parties to sign up (and normally receive a freebie as an enticement for supplying their contact details).

Why use an optin?

An optin allows you more freedom than just marketing on social media. Various email marketing systems and plugins will allow you to get some reporting information about those who are signing up and can track when emails are opened. The web based marketing systems also allow you to set up campaigns, autoresponders etc. to really make it a simplified marketing strategy. You can look at segmenting your lists, doing member only promotions etc. It also allows you a means to back up your followers list, in case of worst case scenarios (shut down of the system you are using) so that you don’t need to start completely from scratch.

What should I look for in a optin option?

If you have no idea what would suit you, I’ll be running through several different ones over the course of the next few weeks. Some will be plugins which you’ll still need to look at getting a compatible web based system, and others will be the web based systems.

In the meantime, things to consider include: pricing, simplicity of use, ability to scale up easily and what kind of things you want to achieve with your marketing.

I have an optin set up, now what?

As I mentioned, normally when people sign up to an email marketing offer, they receive something for free. This could be a simple checklist, a sample, an ebook. But it should always be something that is relevant to your actual business. For example: an ebook of video techniques for someone promoting video editing services; a free sample of a new drink for a company who makes soft drinks etc. This can tie into your call to action on your website. This is what you want people to do, so you need to call people to do it.

But then, you need to actually make use of the details. By this I mean, you could do a newsletter monthly covering upcoming events, interesting factoids about the business and the industry, or more importantly sales information. Utilise it to keep people interested in what you are doing.

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