So you keep hearing about the necessity of “opt-in content” but you’re a bit confused about what it is and why it’s so important. It’s really not so complicated. I’ve outlined it below in a few simple steps:

Setting up your opt-in content

  1. Develop content that prospects would find desirable and be willing to exchange their email address (or other pieces of personal information) to access it.
  2. Host this content somewhere on your website (private, unsearchable)
  3. Create a landing page that speaks to how informative and clever the content is and include a few fields that need to be filled in in order to access it on your website. When the fields are filled in and submitted, they can access the content – either on the website or by email.
  4. Create pointers (links) on your website, social channels, possibly an online ad or two to generate traffic to the landing page.

The idea is that the content download will allow you to demonstrate your expertise and thought leadership. From here you can entice them to open future emails (if you have gained their permission to send them) and keep your company top of mind.

Why opt-in content works

Opt-in content can help you build your marketing list, which you can use in email campaigns. This costs significantly less than buying a list and offers a pre-qualifying element as they have shown initial interest already. And depending upon your content, it can also help uncover hidden needs in your prospects – meaning, they may not see how your company can help them until you show them how you’ve helped others. Opt-in content can also be used to help segment your prospects which can be helpful if you sell a range of products or services. Knowing their interests will help you craft more unique messaging that relates more to their interests which in turn increases the chances of them opening your emails.
Selling to a warm list is more successful than a cold list so it’s in your best interest to generate as big a warm list as possible.
Now, not all your content should be opt-in content. Open content (content available without opting in) gives a taste of what you offer. It helps with SEO and helps your website get found in targeted searches. A good free content would be writing a blog.
The biggest piece is doing something with the contact info of those that opt-in. Make sure you have a plan on how to re-engage with them on topics they would want to hear about.