Marketing

9 Types of Opt-Ins to Grow Your Email List

opt-ins to grow your email listThe easiest and best way to grow your email list is with an opt-in. An opt-in is a free piece of content you give your audience in exchange for their email address. The purpose of your opt-in is to get people on your email list who are interested in your paid product. You want to grow an email list of engaged subscribers who truly want to be there, read your emails, and buy your products.

The key to an opt-in that attracts people who are actually interested in your paid products is to create an opt-in that directly relates to your products. As long as your opt-in directly relates to your paid product, it will be a seamless transition to take your audience from free content consumers to paying customers.

Not sure what type of opt-in to create?

Here are 9 opt-in ideas to help you decide what opt-in to create for your audience.

1. Checklist

A checklist is a short and sweet opt-in that you can create really quickly. You can use this to create a list of tasks your subscriber needs to complete to reach a desired result or a checklist of tools they need. For example, if your audience is interested in starting a podcast you could create a checklist of all the things they need to do in order to launch a podcast.
The key here is to make sure your checklist is short and actionable. You want to give your audience a quick win. You’re not trying to teach them every single step (that’s what your paid products are for!), you just have to teach them the very first step to help them get a result.

2. Workbook

Create a workbook that gives your audience one specific result. You could help them map out their content strategy for Instagram or help them work through a problem by breaking it down into sections.

3. Swipe File

Swipe files are great because they save your audience time, which everyone wants! It also helps give your audience a starting point in case they have no idea where to get started. For example, you could create social media swipe files of past posts you’ve shared that performed really well to give your audience an idea of what type of content to share.

4. Template

A template is similar to a swipe file except it’s a done-for-you version that you just need to fill in the blanks or tweak a little. You can create an email template, graphic template, landing page template, etc that relates to your paid offer. This creates an easy transition from your free product to your paid product.

5. Teaser

A teaser is a great way to give people a taste of your paid product. You can share a small piece of your paid offer so they can see if it’s for them. You can share the first video from your course or one of your templates from a bundle.

6. Mini Course

Create a mini version of your paid offer or a course that walks them through the step they need to take before they get your paid product. For example, if you sell Canva templates, you could create a mini course teaching people how to use Canva for their business.

7. E-book

Create an e-book using Canva to go more in-depth on a topic than you would in a blog post. You could teach one small piece of your paid offer or repurpose a blog post series and put it all together.

8. Roadmap

Create a roadmap with the steps they need to take to reach their desired result. Make this quick and easy and break it down to the very basics of your process so your audience can get a quick win.

9. Calendar

Create a sample calendar for your audience to reference to make their process quicker. You could create a 30 day social media calendar or a sample newsletter calendar. A calendar can help give your audience a guide of what to create, do, or share and it’s something they’ll want to print out and save for future reference.

How to Create Your Launch Plan in Trello

Create your launch plan in Trello + video tutorialTwo crucial parts to having a successful launch are creating a step-by-step to get your new offer launched and staying organized throughout your launch process.

Today, I’m going to help you create your launch plan in Trello so that you know exactly what to do every day and have all of your launch pieces in one place.

Tutorial

I hosted a Facebook Live in my FB group showing how I have my launch mapped out in Trello. I show you what my Trello launch board looks like, the 4 different phases I have it broken down into, and how I’ve mapped out each task.

If you’d like to see the BTS of my own Trello board, watch it below.

High-Level Tasks

To get started, grab a piece of paper or open up a new Trello checklist and start listing out every high-level task you can think of to get your offer launched. High-level tasks are general tasks like “write 5 blog posts” instead of low-level tasks, like “choose blog topic, write outline, write post, format post”, etc. At this point, you aren’t getting into the nitty gritty of your workflows and all the steps necessary to complete your high-level tasks.

Once you have a good idea of what you’ll need to do over the next couple months, start moving those tasks over to Trello. I personally like to create individual cards for each high level task. Here’s a peek at what my Trello board looks like:

trello-launch-plan

Subtasks

As you can see from the picture, each card is a high-level task and they each have subtasks. Where it says “0/8” means there are 8 subtasks for me to do before the high-level task is complete. If you already have your workflows written out for some things, like blog posts or sending newsletters, you can copy + paste those here instead of starting from scratch.

The great thing is, once you launch once and figure out the steps you need to take, you can use the same system over and over. That’s why I love having a template in my project management system to copy for every launch.

Adding Timeframes

Now that you know all of the tasks you need to complete over the next couple months, it’s time to start figuring out how long each task will take you. When I started out my business a few years ago offering Virtual Assistant services, I had to track my time for all of my clients. I used Toggl (a virtual stopwatch) to track every little thing I did.

To be honest, it was totally annoying at first having to start and stop the timer for each task! BUT knowing how long it took me to get things done for my clients became really useful. Most of my clients would assign the same types of tasks every week or month so knowing how long each task would take helped me plan out my schedule.

I started timing myself when I’d work on my own business tasks and was able to plan out my schedule more effectively and create manageable daily to-do lists. This way I wasn’t scheduling 5 hours of work in a day when I only had 2.

If you’ve never tracked your time before, I highly recommend it. It will also help you get an idea of how long things will take for future launches. You can estimate how much time each task will take for now and just write out the time on the side of the subtask, like the below picture.

trello-launch-plan

Add due dates to tasks

Start going through and add due dates to your tasks. To point one a key difference in Trello and Asana (another PM system), Trello does not let you add due dates to subtasks. You need to add the due to the high-level task, so each card has ONE due date. In Asana, you can add due dates to each sub-task as well.

When managing your launch in Trello, you need to find the best way to do every subtask without leaving them until the last minute that the high-level task is due. Personally, I put all my high-level task cards in order and pick a due date for each one after I’ve added my timeframes and know how long they’ll take me.

I have limited time to work each day since I work at home with my 2 kids so I have to know exactly what I’m working on and when. I start going down my launch to-do list and know exactly what I have to do, in the order I have to do it. This really helps me stay on track and not get caught up in things that don’t really matter (like the branding of a product or spending hours creating launch graphics).

By adding the timeframes, I really only allow myself that amount of time per task. So if I set aside 30 minutes to create the launch graphics, that’s how much time I allow myself. Otherwise, I find that I can lose track of time and spend way too much time on small details when I could be knocking off other things from my to-do list.

launch-project-management-trello

Assign Tasks to Team Members

This part is only if you have team members who will be helping you out during your launch. Once you have everything mapped out with due dates, you can start assigning each task to specific team members.

If you don’t currently have any team members, definitely pay attention to what you’re working on throughout your launch and ask yourself if there’s anything specific you’d like to hand off in the future. This will help you choose the best team member when you are ready to grow your team.

Now you’re ready to plan out your launch in Trello!

My 4 Step Content Blueprint to Launch Your Offer

content blueprint to launch your offerThe content you share leading up to your launch is almost more important than the content you share during your launch. In the weeks leading up to your launch, you want to educate your audience on your offer topic and make them want to learn more.

The most common struggle I hear from clients is that they don’t know what content to share on social media or their blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.

I totally understand because I used to be the exact same way. When I was trying to think of content topics for my audience, I would open up a blank Google doc or grab a fresh notebook from my latest Target run and try to come up with ideas.

The issue with that? I didn’t have a structured blueprint that helped me create content that was designed to get people to hire me or buy my new product.

Now, I use a 4 step blueprint to come up with at least 25 content ideas in 10 minutes or less. The best part? Once I start running low on content ideas I can just do the process again. It’s a repeatable system that you can use every time you need new content ideas. If you’re a visual learner, I did a Facebook Live in my Facebook group showing you how to create your launch content blueprint step-by-step. Watch it below!

Today, I’m going to show you my 4 Step Launch Content Blueprint so you can easily come up with content topics that are designed to sell out your new offer.

Here’s a breakdown of the 4 steps:

launch-content-strategy

Here’s what each step means:

Step 1: Offer Topic

This is the topic of your new offer. Let’s say you’re launching a new course about teaching people how to use Asana. You would start off with writing Asana.

Step 2: Content Pillars

These are your content categories that directly relate to your offer. Come up with 3-5 content pillars that relate to your offer. These are meant to be high-level topics. Back to the Asana example: you might write: Tech tutorials, team management, workflows

Step 3: Sub-category

Now it’s time to get more specific on what type of content you’re going to focus on during your launch. Your sub-categories are smaller, low-level content ideas that go under your big content pillar. Ex: Under the tech tutorials content pillar you might put, getting started with Asana, managing projects in Asana, and working with a team in Asana.

Step 4: Post Titles

This is when you brainstorm possible topics for you to share on your blog, podcast, YouTube, or social media accounts. You don’t have to use all of these, and you can come up with more SEO friendly titles later, but it’s a great start. Ex: Let’s take that “working with a team in Asana” sub-category and break it down into post ideas. You might come up with post titles like: Adding Team Members to Your Asana Account, Track Your Team’s Progress During a Launch, Assigning Tasks to Team Members.

Here’s a sample of what that would like look after you map out it:

launch-content-map

I always choose 5 content pillars and then try to come up with at least 5 topic ideas, which gives me 25 content topics to talk about during my launch. I go through my content topics and highlight which ones I think would be best as long form content (like blogs, or podcast episodes) and which one’s I’d prefer to talk about on social media.

Now you know exactly how to come up with content ideas for your launch!

8 List Building Strategies

list-building-strategiesOne of the best ways to connect with your audience is through your email list. You don’t have to worry about algorithms or paying to get seen. How freaking awesome is that?!
Today we’re going to talk about 8 different list building strategies, and which one is right for you.

I’m going to break down this post into 2 categories: quarterly list building events and evergreen opt-ins.

The quarterly events take more time to prepare than the evergreen opt-ins since they’re typically longer in content. You would also do a promotional period for your quarterly strategies to build buzz before the live event and get people to sign up beforehand. These are meant to get a lot of people on your email list in a short amount of time.

The evergreen opt-ins are available year round so that you are constantly building your email list. These are quicker to create and and don’t have a launch period where you would have to get people to sign up before it’s available. I’ve created evergreen opt-ins and added them to my website in less than 30 minutes, so they’re really easy to get started!

Quarterly list building events

Host a challenge

Hosting a challenge is a great way to give your audience quick results by getting them to take action. Challenges typically last a couple days and you encourage your audience to take 1 small action each day during the challenge.
The key to getting people to actually take action during your challenge is to give people quick wins. A quick win is when they take a tiny action step and get results immediately. You aren’t trying to teach them everything in this challenge, you’re just showing them that you know your stuff and showing them you’re an expert.

Webinar/Training/Workshop

There are so many ways you can deliver a video training. You can host it on your own website, through Facebook Live, YouTube, a webinar host. It really matters what way is easiest for you and where you feel most comfortable teaching.
You can host a workshop that’s interactive where your audience will be following along with you and doing activities, exercises, or filling things out. Or you can just teach a specific topic where they can take notes as they follow along.

Video series

Have a topic you could break up into a couple videos? A video series is a great way to get people used to seeing your face and be seen as an expert. Your videos don’t have to be fancy. They can be a few minutes long, have powerpoints, or just be face to face with the camera.

Giveaway

Giveaways can help grow your email list quickly. You can give each person extra entries for sharing the giveaway with their friends or on social media. This was, the people who are entering the giveaway are basically doing your marketing for you!
The key with a giveaway is to make the things you’re giving away relevant to your products or services. You don’t want to give away an iPad and then get a bunch of people to sign up who aren’t interested in your services and are just interested in the prize. You could giveaway a spot in one of your programs, subscriptions to online tools and platforms, or items your ideal client would use on a regular basis.

Online summit

Let me start by saying, online summits are a lot of work. I helped a client prep and launch an online summit and it’s something that comes together over (at least) a couple months. I would try one of the other quarterly list building strategies first if you’ve never done one before.
Now that that’s out of the way 🙂 Online summits can grow your email list with tons of potential clients and customers. An online summit is when you invite a group of experts to teach on different topics related to your main summit topic. By getting a variety of people to speak at your online summit you’ll end up getting in front of all of their audiences at once. So instead of being interviewed on 15 podcasts to get your name out there, you can just host the summit and have each speaker send at least 1-2 emails promoting the summit to their own email list and on social media. My friend, Krista, has tons of great resources about hosting your first online summit, here.

Evergreen opt-ins

Quarterly list building events will help get a bunch of people on your email list at one time. But, you also want to use evergreen opt-ins that you can set up once and leave on your website for people to sign up for all year long. You can also repurpose any of the content from your quarterly list building strategies and make them evergreen after you host them. If you don’t have any list building strategies in place at the moment, you could start off with a quarterly event and then repurpose the content as an evergreen opt-in. Less stress and you don’t have to come up with two ideas!

PDF’s/Guides/Roadmaps

This is probably the quickest option to get your opt-in on your website and to start getting email subscribers. You can create these in Canva or Google docs within a few minutes! The goal of your download is to give your audience a quick win. They can learn something new really quickly or take action right after they finish reading/filling out your download.
Don’t overthink your opt-in idea, just think of ONE quick win you can give your audience that relates to your products or services.

Quizzes

I don’t know about you, but I love a good quiz! Quizzes aren’t only helpful to your audience, they’re helpful to you because you get so much insight into your ideal clients and customers. You can see what they’re answering and notice any trends. You’ll also have a better understanding of your audience and you can create new offers based on your audience’s needs.

Mini email course

With an email course, you can break down a topic into a few parts so that your email subscribers get a quick win each day. You’ll send an email to them every day and build the know, like, trust factor.
If you’ve ever done a content series, you can repurpose the content from that by packaging it all up in a mini email course.
Bonus: Your audience will get used to seeing your name in their inbox so they’ll be more likely to open future emails from you!

Remember this…

Don’t drive yourself crazy coming up with ideas for your list building strategy. When deciding which one to choose, ask yourself these questions:
1. What does my ideal client want to know?
2. What’s the very first step they need to take to figure it out? (hey don’t need to see the whole staircase right now, just one tiny step)
3. Which list building strategy would work best for this?

5 Hidden Benefits of Evergreen Webinars

evergreen webinar

Prefer to listen to the audio version? Click the play button below.

Using evergreen webinars as your opt-in is a great way to get people on your email list, but there’s so many more benefits than that! Today, I’m going to share 5 hidden benefits of using evergreen webinars for your online business.

1. It nurtures your new subscribers

A subscriber isn’t going to feel as much of a connection to you by downloading a PDF, as they would hanging out with you for 30 mins to an hour on a webinar. Even though evergreen webinars aren’t live, your new subscriber is getting to know YOU, aka the person behind the biz. They’re also getting value and learning from you, which is helping them trust you more.

2. Limited maintenance

This is one of my fave benefits, of course. Something you can truly set up once and then just check in once in a while to make sure it’s running smoothly? Yes, please! Evergreen webinars really don’t need much maintenance. You can check the stats and see if any comments have come in (if you even choose to enable comments), but other than that, set it and forget it!

3. You get to show your personality w/out the hassle of going LIVE

I love reading people’s emails or social media posts but I feel even more connected to them after I see them on video or hear them speak. It humanizes your brand and helps them get a feel for what your personality is like. After seeing you teach a webinar they’ve gotten a taste of what your teaching style is and if it resonates with them, which can help them make a decision of whether they want to work with you or buy your digital product.

4. You build your expert status

If you pack your webinar with value, people will be anxiously waiting for your offer. Seriously, I’ve sat in webinars just waiting to hear what the offer is because I had already learned so much from the webinar and wanted to learn more. Imagine if you help your ideal clients realize a mindset block that’s been getting in their way for months, in just 15 mins. They’ll be so freaking excited about what their life would be like after working with you for 6 weeks. Or if you show them how easy + stress-free it can be to write their About page copy, just from a few simple prompts, they’ll be banging down the door to get their hands on your kit to write their entire sales page copy.

5. Recurring revenue

Need I say more? An evergreen webinar works as a round-the-clock marketing machine.

Going on vacation? Your webinar is still selling for you
Is it the weekend? Don’t worry, your webinar is still selling for you.
Need to take a mental health day? Your webinar is still selling for you.

Even when you aren’t working, your evergreen webinar is.
THAT is my kinda marketing.

5 Quick + Simple Tips to Create Your First Evergreen Webinar

 

evergreen webinarsPrefer to listen to the audio version of this post? Click the play button below.

Chances are you’ve watched a webinar or have thought about creating one yourself. But hosting one live? Not worth the tech headaches or having to spend ALL that time creating a webinar, just to have it seen by your audience for a couple days. That’s where evergreen webinars come in. You don’t have to show up live, it’s constantly doing your marketing for you and people can watch it when it’s convenient for them. And I don’t know about you, but whenever I sign up for a live webinar, I typically forget about it if I can’t watch it right now.

Ready to get started creating your first evergreen webinar? Here’s 5 quick + simple tips to get you started:

1. Don’t overcomplicate it

I run a simple business. I don’t want to build my biz on complicated strategies – so I don’t. I’m assuming you don’t want to have a complicated biz either, right? When you think about it, all you need for your webinar is a sign up form, landing page, and an email sequence (because we want to convert those watchers to clients + customers!). Sounds pretty simple, right? Don’t let yourself get caught up in the tech stuff or the steps it’ll take to launch your evergreen webinar. There really aren’t that many steps and you probably know how to do most them already!

2. Host it on your own website

The first thing people do when they decide they want to create an evergreen webinar? Google “webinar platforms” and start seeing the crazy price tags. Then, they throw out the idea of creating their own webinar because it’s too expensive and the tools look complicated anyway.

But like I said, I like to keep things simple. I wanted to create a webinar and wasn’t about to drop a couple hundred bucks on a new tool, so I uploaded my video to YouTube and embedded it on a landing page on my website. Simple enough! Huge perk: the webinar landing page was branded to my business since it was on my own website and it took me about 3 steps to create the page.

3. Fancy video equipment not required

One of my fave tools for recording (my face or my screen) is Loom. It’s free and you can pause + resume recording at anytime, which really saves the day when the dogs barking or your baby wakes up from her nap 😉

I also like QuickTime, if you have a Mac, since you can highlight what part of the screen you want to share.

There’s plenty of free options for recording your webinar, so don’t start thinking you need to head to Amazon to get a fancy camera and light setup. Use what you have and get that webinar recorded, girl!

4. Follow this simple 3 step webinar format

When you’re creating your webinar, remember that people want VALUE. There’s nothing I hate more than watching a webinar where the host talks about themselves for 20 mins, teaches for about 10-15 mins and then tries to sell me for another 15-20 mins. Yes, you should sell to your audience at the end, but if there’s no real value in the beginning of the webinar they’re A) not going to stick around long enough to hear your pitch or B) just not hire you. Provide value, teach them something, and make it worth their time to be there.
I like to keep webinars to around 30 mins instead of an hour (if you can depending on what you’re teaching) because, let’s face it, everyone is in a hurry and wants to consume content as quickly as possible.

Here’s an easy format to follow:

First 5 mins: Intro + what they’ll learn
15-20 mins: Value/Education
Last 10 mins: Sell your service/product. If you can’t tell me what you’re selling + why I need it in less than 10 mins, you have to simplify your pitch + your offering.

5. Add urgency to your webinar

Just because your webinar is evergreen, doesn’t mean that people have unlimited amounts of time to watch it or get your offer.

Here’s 3 ways to add urgency to your evergreen webinar:
Close the cart to your offer
Special discount or bonuses expire in X days
Replay expires in X days

For the countdown timer and page redirect, I use the timer in the Elementor Pro plugin for WordPress ($49 / year). You can also use the free Evergreen Countdown Timer plugin for WordPress. These work just as well as the tools with an expensive monthly fee!

Do you feel empowered to create your own evergreen webinar? Remember, don’t overcomplicate it. You can make it as simple as you’d like. The most important thing is getting it up and running so you can share your value with your audience + start converting them into customers + clients!