What is an optin funnel?
In case you already don’t know, an opt-in funnel is a process to capture the name and email of your prospective customers by giving away a chunk of information for free. A great lead magnet is about the problem(s) specific to your target audience.
Why does an optin funnel works?
It works because prospects get information without paying a dime, so there’s no money-risk at their end. All they need to do is enter their contact info, and they’ll have access to the solution to a problem they are longing to get rid of.
Why do you need an optin funnel in your business?
Depending on what industry you are, around 2-3% of your audience is ready to purchase your product or service at any given moment in time.
Rest 97-98% are not prepared to buy…..yet. Getting people into your email list is your way to capture their info, nurture them, and follow up with them. So that when they are ready to buy, you’re in front of them.
Without an opt-in funnel, you won’t be able to build a list of potential future buyers, as you would have no way of reaching out to them.
That brings us to the question: What goes into the making of a high converting opt-in funnel? Without further adieu, let’s get started:
1) Irresistible lead magnet
This, by far, is the most crucial piece of any opt-in funnel. This is the deciding factor for the success or failure of your campaign. Let’s understand what lead magnet is:
A lead magnet is a small nugget that provides value and solves one specific problem of your target audience. You offer it in exchange for personal information (usually name and email, sometimes phone number).
Remember, your lead magnet should solve just one specific problem, no matter how big or small that is to your target audience. When we try to address more than one issue, we confuse people. In case, you want to solve multiple problems, do that by building an optin funnel for each of those and split test to see what converts better.
Be aware that the issue you are addressing is real-life and not something you made up. An itch that your prospects have and are trying to get rid of but have no idea how to.
The next logical question is, how do you come up with a lead magnet idea? The rule of thumb is, what does your target market want to find about more than anything. And if you offered an answer/solution to that specific question, they would jump on it the first chance they get.
Here are a few examples of good and bad lead magnets:
Industry: Real Estate
Good: 3 steps to find the exact worth of your house in the current market
Bad: How to list your house on Zillow? (A simple google search can answer this question)
Industry: Business Coaching
Good: Here’s what you need to do to get a massive volume of leads flowing into your business.
Bad: Why your business should have a website? (too broad, obvious, no specific value)
Good: Know when she is ready to be kissed.
Bad: 7 gift ideas for a first date (not a pressing issue, a simple google search would list way more options)
We hope this gives you a better understanding of the lead magnets we want to use in our opt-in funnel. The ones that provide value and cannot be readily available anywhere else. Or maybe it is your proprietary solution to the problem of your audience.
One last thing that you need to keep in mind while crafting a lead magnet is it should be easily and quickly consumable. People looking for a solution to a problem aren’t looking to go through a week-long course to get to the answers. They want it on the fly and written in a way that resonates with them.
2) Attention grabbing headline and a supporting sub-headline
There’s no point in creating the world’s best lead magnet if you cannot get your intended audience’s eyeballs. We live in an information age where there’s no shortage of information, if at all anything is scared, it is attention. Capturing the user’s attention is where the craft of creating a headline, which grabs attention in under 3 seconds.
Here’s a truth bomb for you: When people don’t find the headline of your opt-in page compelling enough, they won’t care for the rest of it, even when you’re offering it for free. People might not judge a book by its cover, but they sure judge your offer by its headline.
While there are several ways to write a headline, here’s a headline structure that works almost every time:
Few examples of this framework in action:
- 7 ways to tell if she’s ready to kiss even if you’ve met recently.
- How to earn money online without spending a dime on ads.
- Find out the actual value of your property without calling millions of realtors.
- How to lose al least 20 pounds of body weight in the next seven days without being on a diet.
We hope you get the picture. Save the headline formulae by right-clicking on it and “Save Image as…”; you’ll need it quite often.
3) Top “secrets” users will learn
Layout the broad picture of the solutions offered in the lead magnet, and how it would possibly help them.
Go over the top and call those “secrets.” Guess what! For the people looking for an answer, it really is a secret. The point of doing this is to reinforce the value they would be getting for free.
Three “secrets” are more than enough to build curiosity and have them take action. Here’s an example for the “kiss check” lead magnet idea that we created above:
This guide will tell you about…
SECRET #1: The subtle hints that she drops but are easily missed by you
SECRET #2: It has very little to do with the number of dates you’ve been on with her.
SECRET #3: How to confidently kiss her when the time comes and win her forever.
Now, I don’t know the secrets, but if I were in the dating market, I sure would have jumped on to learn those secrets and be a kiss ninja.
You see how we aggravated the itch using these “secrets” and built up the desire to calm the itch even more.
To create these secrets for your opt-in funnel, keep in mind that they should be building on the curiosity initially created by the lead magnet and the headline/subheadline.
You must address the following questions: Why should people listen to you? What makes you qualified to create a piece of content on a particular topic? Nothing beats social proof when it comes to building people’s trust in you.
People like to hear other people’s experiences with your business because it helps them connect with their current situation.
The biggest mistake that a business does when it comes to displaying the testimonials is tooting their own horn. Doing this is absolutely wrong! No one cares how good you are; they only care what you can do for them. Instead of tooting your own horn, use testimonials to portray the “before” state of your past customer prior to working with you and the “after” state once you get into the picture.
Your potential customers are currently at the same “before” state as your past clients were, and when you explain it, they connect.
What to do if your lead magnet is brand new, and you have no testimonials for it?
In that case, you can use and portray your authority and showcase any media mentions of you or your business. Even just the testimonials about your business, utterly unrelated to the lead magnet works as well. The bottom line is, you need to have some sort of social proof on your opt-in page to boost trust and display authority.
5) Exit pop-up
The ultimate purpose of your opt-in page is to make sure that you convert a maximum number of visitors possible into a lead by opting in to download the free lead magnet.
However, most visitors that come on to the page won’t do it. Sometimes not because they don’t want to but because life gets in the way, and they get distracted. Exit pop-ups are an excellent way to capture the attention back.
As soon as someone tries to close the optin-page, a pop-up would appear, reminding them of what they’re about to miss. What makes an exit pop-up great is when we have some sort of urgency and scarcity in the pop-up itself. Doing this gets the user’s attention back.
Here are some great examples of exit pop-ups across various industries:
6) Terms acceptance
While it’s obvious to send emails to people who have opted in for your free lead magnet, it’s always a good practice to get their consent explicitly. In EU countries, it’s even required by the law.
Not only would it make people more aware of getting emails from you, but it would also be in your records for future marketing campaigns.
While we’re here, it would also be a good idea to have a disclaimer about keeping their data safe and not passing on to the 3rd party to boost their confidence. Which, by the way, you should be following as well.
7) Email autoresponder & whitelisted SMTP configuration
Autoresponder is a piece of software that helps you automate your email campaigns. When building an opt-in funnel, we need an autoresponder to automatically send out the lead magnet to people who request in an email.
On top of that, you would also need it to send out automated email sequences to nurture your leads. One thing that matters more than anything while choosing an auto responder is, how good their email deliverability is. Most of the popular email autoresponders work hard to ensure that the emails hit your prospect’s inbox as much as possible.
Here are a few good autoresponder programs that we recommend:
Another thing to keep in mind is to whitelist your domain with your autoresponder. A bit technical but super important when it comes to the opt-in funnel. Whitelisting your domain means to let the email receiving software know that it is coming from a verified source.
Depending on what provider you choose, you’ll have clear instructions on how to do that. If it’s too technical for you to get around, reach out to the autoresponder’s support, and they’ll help you out.
8) A purposeful thank you page
Once people submit their info on the opt-in page, you’ll have to direct them to some page, letting them know that their lead magnet is on its way to their email inbox.
However, if you think about it, just thanking them is a waste of webpage real estate. To have one complete page and have two lines of text, which state the obvious isn’t a good use of it. In reality, a massive chunk of marketers do this.
Here’s an idea, why not use this space to engage the lead you just got to its maximum. In addition to thanking people for downloading the lead magnet and depending on what industry you’re in, here are a few things that you can add to get more engagement out of your leads:
- Ask them to schedule a free 15-20 minute free discovery (read sales) call with your team.
- Put on a video sales letter that takes them to a Tripwire or a low dollar offer.
- Survey to understand your target market even better.
- Ask them to be added to a FREE Facebook/LinkedIn group and get even more value/free stuff. (Create a community of your target audience)
These are just a few examples of what you can do. Feel free to get creative and come up with your own ideas to grow engagement. The more your target audience engages with your content; the better are the chances that they’ll buy from you.
9) Brand all the way
Before you take a big gasp and say, “I don’t have a professional branding done” or “I don’t have a budget for that kind of stuff,” let us stop you right there and clear up the air. By branding, we solely mean that you’re consistent with your logo, fonts, and colors throughout the campaign.
This includes your opt-in page, thank you page, emails, lead magnets, and other graphic assets that you will use to convert a lead into a customer.
It is essential because it helps people identify and recall your stuff in an instant. When the branding is inconsistent, people have a hard time remembering previous interaction with your business, and all your engagement efforts get wasted.
Again, you don’t need to get a professional branding done. You just need to keep it consistent.
10) Split Test
A split test or (A/B test) is comparing two or more versions of your landing pages side by side to understand which one drives more conversions for you.
Any successful marketer on the planet will give you this, one universal piece of wisdom, to test and test each step of your funnel as much as possible. A funnel/marketing campaign is never done. You need to optimize it for better conversions continuously.
In this part of the process, you need to become a detective. You need to keep looking for what your target market wants and how you can cater to their needs. Most optin landing page builders have the capability of creating a split test. A few elements of an opt-in funnel that you can split test are:
- The actual lead magnet.
- Call to action on the optin page
- Engagement actions on the thank you page
- Email sequences
- The overall branding (fonts and colors)
11) Pixel Retargeting
In an ideal world, we want everyone who comes to our opt-in page to give us their info. Sadly, the reality is far from it. Depending on your industry, the average opt-in rate for a cold audience is 1.95%. Yes, that’s it! How do you get that up and squeeze most out of your optin campaign?
There are three ways you can use pixel retargeting on your optin funnel:
- Retargeting visitors who didn’t optin and present them with the same lead magnet offer: This is a great strategy to recoup the potential leads who didn’t optin for the first time.
- Retargeting visitors who didn’t optin and present them with a different lead magnet offer: Maybe they weren’t interested in what you had to offer. Perhaps they are seeking answers to some different questions altogether. Why not offer them another lead magnet? It would also act as a split test and can help you figure out which of these is your market is interested more.
- Retargeting visitors who did optin: You do this when you want your leads to engage even more with additional content. Or retarget them when you want to ascend them to the next step of the funnel.
Bonus tip #1: Make sure your opt-in funnel is optimized for mobile as 68% of the internet traffic now comes from a mobile device. Ideally, you should build it, keeping mobile users in mind rather than desktop users.
We hope this article gave you a better understanding of the anatomy of an optin funnel. Still, have questions or just want to say hi? Comment below and let us know.
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