Today we’re going to work on the virtual welcome mat for your business: your opt-in. (Click here for a list of important email marketing lingo and a simple worksheet for planning your email strategy.)

While your mom and best friend might sign up for your list just because they love you, most other visitors won’t. You need to give them a compelling reason to let you in their inbox. Enter the opt-in!

Here are a few options for your opt-in (specific examples to follow):

Options for introverts:

PDF download: This is the easiest option. Create an informational handout or blank worksheet people can print and fill out. (Canva is a great free tool for designing PDFs.)

E-mail course: Answer some of the questions your audience is asking, teach them a skill they need, or sneakily prepare them to work with you through an automated series of instructional emails. All while training them to open your messages!

Options for Extroverts:

1-on-1 call: Offer a short consultation that previews your full services and lets you gather useful information about potential customers. Calendly lets people pick an open time slot on your schedule, and syncs with your Google, Outlook, Windows, or Apple calendar so you don’t double-book yourself.

Group training: Prepare your potential clients to work with you by walking a small group through part of your onboarding process. Zoom is a video-conferencing tool that allows up to 40 minutes per call free.

Specific Industry Examples

Example A: Gina is a direct sales consultant selling home care and cleaning products.

  • Introvert opt-in: A 5-day e-mail course teaching people how to set their own housekeeping routine
  • Extrovert opt-in: A group training on kitchen cleaning hacks

Example B: Kristy is a full-service wedding planner.

  • Introvert opt-in: A PDF wedding budget worksheet.
  • Extrovert opt-in: A 15-minute call reviewing their wedding day timeline.

Example C: Hallie is a real estate agent specializing in 3-4 neighborhoods.

  • Introvert opt-in: A 5-day e-mail course going through the important documents needed to buy or sell a home.
  • Extrovert opt-in: A group training on preparing your home for sale.

Example D: Stefanie is a portrait photographer specializing in high school seniors.

  • Introvert opt-in: A PDF style guide for choosing outfits.
  • Extrovert opt-in: A 15-minute session style consultation.

Important: an opt-in should not be a sales pitch. Period, full stop.

People have different opinions on this topic, but this is what I believe. The opt-in is only the first or second impression someone will have of you and your brand. Think of it as the online dating profile for your business. It’s an opportunity to show off your expertise and personality, and present yourself as a helpful, trustworthy, interesting, and memorable person. Play a little hard to get and don’t come on too strong yet! (You’ll have an entire welcome sequence to make your soft pitch, I promise.)

To get the First Date Framework and learn how to write a compelling (but not creepy) welcome sequence, sign up for my newsletter below.