The 13 Most Important Features Your Email Opt-In Bonus Must Have

free opt in offerNot building an email list is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger and internet marketer. Your email list is one of the most effective tools you can use to communicate with your audience simply because email is a more personal way to reach out. You get a real sense of speaking to your audience, also you get more engagement and feedback from them.

If you can think of a reason to start building your email list right now here’s one: The people subscribed to your email newsletter are priceless because they’ve already said “Yes, I want to learn more from you.”

6 More Reasons To Start Building Your Email List

  • Your email list is directly connected to your business. Your email list grows and so will your business.
  • You will be able to “sell” without sounding like your selling.
  • You have an “in” with your most likely customers.
  • Your audience receives a personal invitation to interact with you every time you decide to send them an email.
  • Emails can serve many different purposes: to teach, to connect with people who want to know more from you, and ultimately to sell to potential prospects.
  • Your email list will never die. Your blog or website can disappear or you could start a new project. Having an email list will let you keep your audience updated with every change you make.

The Standard but powerful Way to Gain More Subscribers

The standard way to get people to sign up for your newsletter is the free opt-in bonus they get after they signed up. The opt-in free bonus can be an ebook which is the most common opt-in bonus, a multi-ebook pack, a graphics set. The first impression is what counts the most. If your free bonus is of high value it will strengthen all future interactions between you and your subscribers.

This is why it is very important to create a free offer that delivers awesome content that enlightens, educates, entertains, and overall makes sense to your ideal customers. A well written offer manages to bring new people into your circle of trust along with solving their immediate problem.

How to Find The Right Opt-In Offer

The of an opt-in bonus is to grow your email list. That’s it. When crafting your opt-in offer or bonus think about what will attract your ideal customers, not just everyone. Your free opt-in offer’s job is to potentially connect you with the “right people”, not to make you struggle to please everyone.

The fact is that a lot of people will ignore your offer completely, some people are freebie hunters, so they’ll just subscribe to get their hands on your free bonus.

Your free opt-in offer also serves as a filter. It will allow you to separate the people who don’t care about your stuff from the ones who truly want to connect with you and learn more things from you.

The 13 Most Important Features Of An Irresistible Opt-In Bonus

1. It carries your personal enthusiasm: What is it that gets you going? What do you know that would ultimately transform your customers lives if they would implement it themselves? This is your bonus giveaway. Your personal point of view is what’s needed. Anyone can get general information on any topic by doing a simple Google search, your opt-in offer must generate excitement. The information contained in your free offer must be obtainable only through you.

2. It echoes with your potential customers: Figure out an unconventional way that will immediately satisfy your subscribers need or desire. Do a keyword search to find out what the people you want to attract are searching for. Use those keywords in your offer, also post tweets and messages on social networks where you know your target audience is.

3. It has an attractive cover graphic and layout: Your cover should be simple and compelling. If you’re using Photoshop I have a great script that will create stunning eBook covers in seconds. You can download it here(right click & save-as). I’d appreciate if you would share this on your social networks.

4. It has a convincing title: Find out what the popular keywords people use to search for the information your opt-in offer contains. Make use of a tag line or sub-heading to insert keywords and keyword phrases. When you establish the title think of how it would look in tweets, Facebook posts and on your squeeze page. The title should state an exciting solution to a common problem, make it brief and straight to the point.

5. It is immediately available: When someone subscribes to your newsletter make sure you setup your auto-responder to quickly deliver the email containing the download link. Your reader has made the decision to give you an important part of his online identity, his email address, in exchange for something you promised would make an impact. Don’t keep him waiting for days, or even hours. Send it on the spot.

6. It’s something that can be implemented right away: Your free offer must actually contain useful information that can be put to use today. Use the information you have to give people a real solution to their problem. Providing them a bigger picture can make your reader think about the possible solution that exists in the future. This will keep your subscribers engaged and they will be looking for more information from you. This is vital for gaining their trust and likeability.

7. It must include a hint of what will come next: You want your subscribers to know that you’ve just began. Your subscribers hopefully will get the idea that there is a real person behind the free offer. The free offer provides and answer to a challenging problem, one that might require a wider solution. Give them a hint of what will happen next and encourage future interaction. Make sure you create a moment where you show what the future could look like.

8. It contains a strong Call To Action: Whether it’s an invitation to connect on Twitter or Facebook, attend a webinar or possibly purchase a book, your free bonus must have a “Call To Action”. Even if you do not actually offer something for sale, it’s important that your free offer sets a path forward to an ultimate sale. It’s possible that some of your subscribers maybe ready to step up and purchase but the truth is that the majority will require more information that will convince them they are making the right choice.

9. It’s not mind-confusing: Make sure your free offer is not too “meaty”. To be certain that your opt-in bonus get’s the time and attention you are hoping for describe it accurately and prepare your reader for the download. If your offer might take more than 15-20 minutes to read, give your subscribers a heads up. Or if you are going to separate the content in to sections, explain that to your readers and let them know about the sending schedule.

10. It’s well produced and designed: Make sure your free offer does not contain any spelling errors or factual mistakes, before you go public with it. Also check that all the links within the free offer work, and that your graphics are clear. Most of the times your free opt-in offer is the first download your subscribers receive from you. Making a powerful first impression is what determines the outcome of future interactions between you and your subscribers. The writing must be clear and compelling, this way it will address the questions of your readers even before they come up. Very important is that you test the opt-in process yourself to make sure everything is delivered when it’s supposed to. You don not want to look unprofessional in front of your subscribers.

11. It has an invitation for feedback: One of the most important benefits of your free opt-in offer is that it allows you to start a more personal communication process with your readers. Ask your subscribers to comment on your latest blog post, maybe invite them over to your Facebook page, or to check out your new video and then respond to their comments. Internet marketing works best when you appear to want communication with your readers and potential customers, asking for feedback and then responding to it proves this.

12. It passes on your “Value Proposition”: Who are you and how are you any different from all the other online marketers. Your opt-in offer is your chance to show your readers why they should do business with you and how you can serve them best. Providing a quality free report, video series, eBook can put you ahead of the competition without ever mentioning their names, and can make you look like an expert in your field.

13. It is followed by an autoresponder series: Now that your readers subscribed and downloaded your opt-in bonus your must give them a good reason to come back, and continuously reach out to them with new information that complements your free offer. If you skip this step your email subscribers will probably forget about you, even if they liked your free offer. Setup up your follow-up emails to be sent on a 2 day schedule after your subscribers downloaded your free offer. It’s safe to say that a 5-6 email series is ok.

The free opt-in offer is just the starting point of your email marketing campaign. Building a list of devoted and engaged subscribers takes a lot of work and patience. Don’t wait to long to build your list. Better off don’t wait at all, start right now. If there is anything I can help you with please let me know, I’d love to hear some of your comments, and if you truly found this article helpful please share it on your social networks.

Before I let you move on to the comment box below I just want to say that there are a lot of autoresponder and email marketing services that provide you with a lot of features that can enhance your email campaigns, and you should always do a thorough research before you choose one. I’ve used and still use Aweber ever since my first email marketing campaign. I honestly feel that Aweber(affiliate link) actually provides the best value for your money.


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  1. says

    This is a great post. I believe that the free optin bonus must always over deliver on value to your subscriber. This is the key to gaining their trust quickly and building a raving fan base of readers who are glued to your content.

    In my free ebook report, I literally give away some of my best traffic generation tips and it’s proven to work extremely well for building my expertise, creditably, and subscriber retention. Thanks for sharing such detailed insights with our BizSugar community. I appreciate it.


    • says

      Hi Ti, you’re right giving away your best tips and advice to your readers is definitely the way to go if you want to build a solid relation with them.

      I feel that the trust of your subscribers is the most important aspect of doing business online.

      Thank you for your comment, have a great weekend.

      • says

        Hi Philip,
        I am actually working with a Software Development Company by the name of XuDu Technologies Pvt Ltd and am currently thinking of starting up with a newsletter for ourselves. I would actually appreciate it if you could provide me with a few tips.
        It would be much appreciated if you could help me out and also I would like to learn from you and stay in constant touch so as to improve my own skills.
        Looking forward to your reply eagerly!

  2. says

    Hi Philip,
    Thanks for this great and timely post. I’m new to list building – in fact I just started this weekend and I’m glad I came across this article.

    These tips are helpful

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