The Only Two Things You Need For Your Opt-In

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The Only Two Things You Need For Your Opt-In:

Part 2 of 3 in the Opt-In Series

This article is to help you find the best solution to offer a free opt-in to your audience.  I will be covering the basics and offering suggestions for optimising the customer journey. There are really only two systems you need, to offer a successful Opt-in - A landing page and an email provider.

What is a landing page?  

A landing page is a place where your potential subscriber ‘lands’ after seeing an offer they would like to take up or at least learn more about.

Many people call it a lead page. Don’t get confused with the actual platform LeadPages and the generic term of a lead page.  A lead page is just another term for landing page and is used because it is a page that collects ‘leads’.

What is a 'lead’?

A lead is your subscriber.  It is a term used in sales to describe a potential customer or prospect - someone who may potentially buy from you because they like what you do and see that you offer a solution to their problem.

You need a place where people can learn about what you offer and can sign up to receive more information through their email.  It is an exchange, or transaction and even though money is not necessarily exchange at this point, you need to remember that for people to give up their email address to you, you will need to think about how you ‘sell’ them on the idea of the free thing that you offer.

And that is why you need a landing page.  You need a place where people can learn about what your opt-in is, the benefits of them signing up for it and what results they will get once they have taken action on doing whatever it is you suggest them to do in the opt-in.

This lead page should have compelling copy that makes them want to give you their email address.  It should also have a place for them to give you their email address and that is where you mailing provider comes in.

What is a Mail provider?

It is all very well using your gmail account to send information to people, however it is a legal requirement that people have an option to ‘unsubscribe’ at any point if they decide they no longer wish to receive information from you.  And that is why mail providers were created. It is a place for you to collate all your subscribers emails and also give you the ability to email them information about how you can help them achieve the thing they want.

When it comes to landing page platforms and mail providers, there are many options - some are free, some offer a free trial period, some you pay for from the get-go. You need to pick one that provides you with what you need at your stage in business.  

Some free landing page solutions do not give you the option to integrate to your mail provider which means you manually transferring emails from one platform to another.  Which is not exactly efficient NOR is it particularly helpful to your subscriber if it is not an automated action of them receiving your free gift (opt-in) after giving you their email address.  You must always bear in mind your customer’s journey. You want to make it easy for them to know, like and trust you, so that there is a higher potential that they will become a paying customer or client.

Get the Opt-In Cheatsheet


This cheatsheet is a quick reference checklist for everything explained in this 3-part Opt-In Series. Get your hands on your own copy to help guide you from conception to implementation so you don’t miss a step!

    Opt-In Cheatsheet graphic.png

    Landing Pages

    There are many options here, but I am going to cover the easiest and cheapest option available, and that is to create landing pages on your website - if you have one. Before I switched to Squarespace, I used Wordpress with Divi theme (from Elegant Themes) and so my instructions here are about those two platforms (WP & Divi), but most of what I cover is possible on whichever website platform you have.

    Usually a landing page is a stand-alone page, with no links out to other pages, so you’ll want to create a page using a ‘blank’ template on your site.  That means your main header, menu and footer will not be seen on the page.

    Go to Pages> Add New> scroll down to Page Attributes and select ‘Blank Page’ from the Template drop down menu.

    From here you can use your website builder to create your landing page.

    If you don’t have a website, then you will need to use a platform that hosts its own pages.  Here are a few options available:


    Click Funnels (an all-in-one system for a funnel).


    Ontrapages (free version does not let you integrate to mail provider)

    Google Docs (a very simplified way to create a landing page!)

    Mail Providers

    There are many options for mail providers, but I am going to cover two of my favourites.

    I am a big fan of ConvertKit!  They provide one of the best services because of the ‘back end’ potential.  When I say back end I mean that, behind-the-scenes you can do so much with it. Segmenting, tagging, automation etc it all has a very logical way of working that allows you to create a really great customer journey.  One of my favourite things is the ability to offer other sign-ups to offers' though links in the emails without having to ask your subscriber to sign up again. One click gives them what they want.

    Some people aren’t keen on ConvertKit because of the simplified visuals of their emails. ConvertKit was designed to get more emails into your subscribers inbox because they do not contain lots of graphics or code that can potentially be directed to spam by many email servers.  You can add your own links, images and create your own templates, however it is meant to cut out as much crap as possible to give more chance your email will be seen and opened.

    Another option for a mail provider is MailerLite.  This has a prettier front end in terms of pop-up boxes from buttons etc (much like what LeadPages provide) but there’s less back-end customisation.  Also, it is quite a new platform, so there doesn’t seem to be as many options to integrate with other platforms. However, as platforms becomes more popular more integrations become available, plus there is always the option of using a 'middle-man' for integrations - enter Zapier.

    Zapier allows you to set triggers (known as zap’s) for many platforms to integrate and ‘talk’ to each other.  There is a free version which allows a certain number of zap's, for full customisation with filters etc, the paid version is the route to go.

    Back to MailerLite…. One of my reasons I like MailerLite is the fact that it is free up to 1000 subscribers, which is great for starters and boot-strappers.

    Another great option is Mail Chimp.  They improved their platform considerably over the last year or so and also now offer automations with their free plan.  The only issue I have with mailchimp is that it’s list centric as opposed to subscriber centric. What I mean is one subscribe could be on five of your lists and they would count as five subscribers.

    Mailerlite and Convertkit both work on subscriber basis - meaning your subscriber is one record and they can appear with several tags or groups to allow segmenting.

    Other mail provider options:




    More advanced (with CRM systems etc):



    So you have a landing page and a mail provider.  You need to connect the two - which we’ll cover in the next article.

    The next step for your systems is to also create a thank you page to complete the process.

    This is a secondary landing page where your subscriber will get redirected to once they give you your email address.  This is usually where you thank them for opting in to receive your free gift and give them the next instructions you would like them to follow.  

    You will want them to confirm their subscription.  This is know as a double opt-in. It is not an legal requirement, however it is best practice for online business, because what is the point of having people on your list (that you may be paying for) if they are not the right people?  You want people on your list who are ‘your people’, who are eager to hear from you.

    So generally step by step instructions for your landing page go like this...

    1. Thank them for signing up

    2. Ask them to confirm their subscription to get the awesome thing they requested

    3. Ask them to do this next…(next call to action)

    Step 3 above, is the next action you would like them to take.  It can be…

    -add my email to your contacts so all messages go to inbox rather than spam (known as ‘whitelisting’)

    -join my Facebook group

    -book a call with me

    -send me a message

    -do a little dance, because hey, why not!

    Not only does the thank you page guide your subscribers, but it also gives the opportunity for tracking.

    You can track the number of conversions via google analytics or create retargeting ads with Facebook if you use pixels.  You may not think you need this, and you might not, but it’s worthwhile setting it up just in case!

    And that my friends are the two basic systems you need to offer a free gift or opt-in to your audience.

    Related articles in this Opt-In series

    1: How to Create an Opt-In

    2: Systems for your Opt-In (this article)

    3: Implement your Opt-In  


    Get The Opt-In Cheatsheet

    Opt-In Cheatsheet graphic.png

    This cheatsheet is a quick reference checklist for everything explained in this 3-part Opt-In Series. Get your hands on your own copy to help guide you from conception to implementation so you don’t miss a step!

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      Sarah Henson