You have your email list ready to go and now it’s time to bring in the subscribers. You set your opt-in form live but… nothing happens.
What went wrong?
Chances are your messaging is off. Messaging is a big deal in marketing—it’s what makes a website visitor think, “Yep, I want this company in my inbox.” If your sign up offer didn’t get that reaction, then you’re going to see a flatline where you hoped a line pointing to the top right would be.
To improve your messaging, you want to tie direct value to your email opt-in. This value is what gets that website visitor to plug in their name and email and be excited to see your first email in their inbox.
What do we mean by “value”? Here are a few examples:
A helpful resource related to your content or offer
A discount code for their first purchase
A chance to win free products
An exclusive look at paywall content
A free trial
This value makes a website visitor align with your messaging. If they hop on your ecommerce website excited to look through your coffee products and they get a pop-up email sign up offer that gives them a chance to win a year of free coffee—they’re going to align with that message and take you up on the value (aka sign up to your email list).
Let’s take a look at how 5 different companies have strategized their email sign up offer with the perfect messaging for their customer avatar.
Hey, that’s us! Our customer avatars are business owners, agency owners, and marketers who are in that growth mindset mentality—they want to be learning from the best marketers in the world so we host workshops and trainings for our members with those marketers. Since our customer avatar wants to know more about marketing, we know that our email sign up offer needs to give them some type of value around marketing knowledge.
Depending on the article, we’ll use a lead magnet that has a *chefs kiss* perfect alignment to the article itself. This creates a cohesive message for our readers. For example, in our article Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Email Marketing you’re going to see an email sign up offer for The Ultimate Email Subject Line Swipe File lead magnet. To get the lead magnet, readers need to opt-in to become an Insider (subscribers to our free newsletter).
Our message is right in line with the article they’re reading—we’re giving away 600 of our best performing email subject lines in a 3,000+ word in-depth article on email marketing. In our other articles, we’ll put different lead magnets that align with that article’s topic. Align, align, align.
Nutiva is a huge player in the coconut oil (and other similar products) space. They know that coconut oil can pretty much solve everything, and they want to help their customers get their hands on it. Any messaging that aligns with their customers’ desire for coconut oil is going to work really well for Nutiva’s website since they know website visitors are there for one thing only… that quality coconut oil. How can they poise a customer to buy right now? Here’s a hint: $$$
Their welcome email sign up offer is a 10% discount on the customer’s next order.
Feliz is a direct-to-consumer organic instant coffee company. While they could have gone the Nutiva route and opted to offer new email subscribers a discount on their next order—they decided to take the spicier option.
Maybe it was the caffeine talking, but they decided to go with an offer that let’s website visitors “Enter To Win a Year of Coffee.” We’re going to give them the green light to always let their caffeine do the talking because this is a great sign up offer for their customer avatar. An avid coffee drinker will put down their mug so they can type their email address into the form and have a chance to win a year’s worth of free coffee. No questions asked.
This messaging in Felix’s offer works perfectly for their customer avatars of coffee drinkers.
Do you know what people really love? Getting to try a product before buying it. If you have a digital product, you can use your email sign up offer to show people your product while getting them on your email list.
This is Marketing 405 because you’re not just getting more email sign ups (even though this is super exciting), you’re ALSO priming people to buy your product. Instead of needing a Welcome Email series or putting subscribers down a funnel, you already know exactly what they want. This is what Ben Greenfield has done with his biohacking behemoth of a book, Boundless.
He’s offering a sneak peek of his book without the commitment to buy—which works just as well on books as it does with jeans. Boundless is about $50, so his customer avatar is pretty excited about the opportunity to take a look inside before buying. Ben’s pretty excited because he knows his book is great and that it’ll do the talking for him once people start reading… they’re not going to want to stop. His email sign up offer has the perfect messaging: Take a look inside before committing to a $50 purchase.”
We’ve covered digital and physical products, but what about email sign up offers for memberships? Say less—we’re on it. If you have a membership business and you’re trying to motivate those email sign ups, you have a few options. The most popular is a free trial.
You’ll see a lot (x1,000) of companies doing this because it’s hard to showcase the value of your product without people being able to click around and use it themselves. Trends realized this—they could talk about their awesome content all they wanted but unless people could read how in-depth their content really is, their customer avatar didn’t have a promise that it was what they were looking for.
To help them get through the door, Trends offers a $1 2-week free trial that gives a busy entrepreneur the time to poke around and realize they don’t want to leave. Their messaging is right on brand: if you love it stay, but if you hate it you can leave and we won’t question you or charge you more than that $1.
And because we’re digital marketing nerds, we have a bonus example. This one’s different from the examples we covered above. This example comes from a plant-based chicken nugget company called Nuggs. Aside from their hilarious brand voice, they’re testing out a sign up offer that’s pretty unconventional.
They’re asking for website visitors to send “5 Free Nuggs To A Friend” in return for submitting their friend’s phone number and the website visitor’s Instagram account name. If we look at their messaging, from our inexperienced plant-based chicken nugget stance, we can say this is a great idea. Getting happy customers to make their friends happy with free nuggets is brilliant. We’re really curious to see what they plan to do with those Instagram accounts though…
Your email list shouldn’t stay stagnant—it should be the summer party your customer avatars all want to be invited to. If you’re struggling to grow your list, take a good look at your email sign up offer.
Does the messaging align with why your customer avatar cares about your company?
Is it giving them a free resource they can put into action ASAP?
Is it giving them a discount code on a product they’ve shown a clear interest in?
Is it giving them a chance to win something they could only dream of?
Is it giving them an exclusive look at a product they can normally only see after purchase?
Is it giving them an opportunity to try before they buy an expensive product?
That’s the email sign up offer that brings in subscribers as fast as a summer party featuring free chicken nuggets.