Your initial offer, your “Opt-In” offer is the entry-point of your sales funnel. This is a free product or service that entices the visitors to your site to sign up for your mailing list. Most people are reluctant to give away their name and email address for nothing more than the promise of quality content. Your opt-in offer is an incentive for doing so. 😉
What Are the Best Types of Opt-in Offers?
When considering what type of product to offer as an opt-in incentive, you have several options.
EBooks and Reports
EBooks and reports are some of the easiest products for you to create. An eBook is a PDF that can be viewed on any computer. A report is a short eBook that can be as few as seven to ten pages, as long as it helps the reader solve a specific problem. Aside from reports and eBooks, your PDF could be a resource guide, a mind map, a detailed info-graphic, or some other format that organizes information and/or makes it easier for people to digest.
Online training courses (or eCourses) are segmented courses that come with educational aids such as worksheets, note-taking sheets, chapter summaries, and so on. An eCourse guides te reader, step by step, through the process of solving a problem. An eCourse can be presented in PDF format or by using a series of emails, videos, or audios. You can offer it online, by download, via your blog, or as installments sent via email.
Apps and Free Software
Software programs also make excellent opt-in offers, especially because of their high perceived value. With the rise of mobile devices, mobile apps have become increasingly popular. These are small software programs that help users do something through the use of their mobile devices (usually smartphones). The great thing about this software is that people will use it often, which keeps you continually on their radar.
Free trials are offers that let prospects try out your service for a limited time. Without giving away your full product, people get a true taste of the value you offer. A free trial could be a limited-time membership to a paid website, a limited-time use of your service, or a free trial of a software program.
The Elements of an Excellent Opt-in Offer
People love free stuff! However, if their interest is to continue, even a free product offer must deliver results. It has to be irresistible to your target market and solve an urgent problem for them. Your offer needs to be something unique that people won’t find at the same quality and value anywhere else. This is especially important considering your competitors are trying to target the same traffic that you are.
It can also help your cause if your opt-in incentive is a limited-time offer, because this adds urgency to the deal. The customer is afraid that if they wait too long, they may lose the chance to take advantage of the offer.
Finally, since your offer is the main thing that draws in your customers, it needs to be visible everywhere possible. Create a landing page for your offer and also put it on the sidebar of your blog and any other relevant sites. If it’s just what your readers are looking for, they will become subscribers.
The Entrance to Your Sales Funnel – The Squeeze Page
Your squeeze page is absolutely critical because it is the entryway to your sales funnel. In fact, it works something like a sales funnel in itself – it draws the attention of your visitors with a good headline that identifies a problem, leads the visitor down the page with its compelling copy, and then calls them to action by giving them the sign-up form for future communication.
Selling Your Freebie
What many marketers don’t understand is that in order to sell your free offer, you still have to advertise and promote it. It’s natural to assume that everybody jumps all over an offer of free stuff, but it doesn’t often work that way. First of all, there is already a great deal of free content out there. Why would customers want yours over someone else’s? But even more importantly, they ‘pay’ for that offer with their name and email address. People do not easily give out that private information any longer.
Features and Benefits
An important part of the squeeze page is the features of your product. It’s best to list the features as bullet points so they’re easy to scan and read. In addition to describing each feature, be sure to tell the reader exactly how this feature will benefit them. In other words, don’t simply list the features and expect them to fill in the blanks. After all, it is the benefit to the prospect that resonates with them on an emotional level.
For example, if you’re offering an Internet security information product that explains the most common ways websites get hacked, add that this keeps your site safe so that you can rest easy at night.
Social proof refers to testimonials and reviews from other people who have previously claimed your offer. These endorsements add a great deal of credibility to your product. While they’re not absolutely essential, they help entice people to sign up. Even if your deal is not a freebie, you might want to consider initially giving away your product to the first few people who take advantage of your offer. Then you can use these positive product reviews to further promote your product.
Audio and Video
A short audio or video clip also helps to promote and sell your free offer. It can be something as simple as you saying hello and talking about how your offer will help the customer. This adds a personal touch, lends credibility, and gives people another way to digest your content.
Call to Action
The call to action (CTA) is the section that tells people to do themselves a favor and sign up now. Your call to action should be interspersed with your content, as well as placed at the bottom of the page. It should also be placed near the top of the page, above the fold, so that those who don’t need much convincing can sign up for it immediately.
Simple Is Best
Keep your squeeze page clean and simple or you’ll risk losing prospects before you’ve had a chance to communicate anything. There should be no fluff and no distractions. This includes no superfluous outgoing links and no extra, unrelated content. Design your page so that there’s just one thing prospects can do – sign up.
Your squeeze page should make bold claims about what you’re offering the visitor. However, your offer has to deliver. If it doesn’t, the recipients of the offer won’t be satisfied and they’ll be less likely to buy from you in the future, even if your offer is exactly what they need.
One-Time Offers (OTO) and How They Work
A one-time offer is an excellent way to qualify prospects early on in your sales funnel. It’s most commonly an offer that you make to prospects as soon as they’ve shown interest in you by opting in to your email list. It’s often a deeply discounted product or even another freebie. What makes it a ‘one-time’ offer is that it’s only available for them right at that moment. As soon as prospects click away, the offer expires. One-time offers are also called OTOs.
Why One-Time Offers Work
One-time offers work because they add urgency. The visitor has to buy it right now or it won’t be available again. It’s an exclusive deal. OTOs also play upon the idea of scarcity. Since the offer is exclusive, this raises its value in the prospect’s mind. They feel as if they are privy to something others are not. For prospects who are on the fence about taking advantage of the offer, the scarcity factor knocks them off that fence and right towards that “buy it now” button.
The Mechanics of a One-Time Offer
One way to implement OTOs is to present it to prospects immediately after they’ve shown interest. You can do this by redirecting them to your OTO on the next page they see after they sign up for your list or make a purchase.
By showing people your offer before they have even finished the opt-in process, your prospects are even more likely to grab the OTO because of what’s called compliance. They have already accepted one offer from you, so they are much more likely comply with your second request. They are also still focused on the benefits you have to offer and haven’t been distracted by the freebie itself.
This strategy also works brilliantly for qualifying prospects. After you’ve given people a freebie, you can then offer them something at a low price. If they don’t take advantage of the second offer, you know that they’re probably only after the freebie. These prospects are less likely to make any future purchases.
The Exit Pop-up
Another strategy for OTOs is to use an exit pop-up. This is a pop-up window that appears when the visitor leaves the page. It says something like, ‘Are you sure you want to pass up on this special one-time offer?’
Although many visitors ignore these pop-ups and close them immediately, there are those who will take the time to read and act on them, especially if the copy is compelling and the offer is good.
OTOs for Your Email Subscribers
Another great strategy for using one-time offers is to send them to your email subscribers. Occasionally, make your subscribers offers that need to be acted upon quickly. You can then gradually increase the price of these offers in later emails. This naturally leads your qualified prospects to your back-end products.
When creating your one-time offers, keep in mind that they don’t always need to be profitable for you. OTOs are often used as just one element of a sales funnel. They may simply get people to subscribe to your list or help you build a trusting relationship with your customers. Think of this as a way to lead customers through your sales funnel and qualify them. The high-ticket items you offer at the back-end, further down the funnel, are what will earn you the profits.
Note: You don’t have to create your one time offer, but can use something you already have instead.
Let’s put this into action for your business….
(1). Brainstorm different opt-in offers for the start of your funnel and identify the one you will use. What specific needs does your market have? Which one can you solve that is directly related to the products or services of your business?
(2). Next, look around at squeeze pages that you like and note which aspects you want to use on your own. Look at your biggest competitors’ squeeze pages for ideas of what already work.
(3). Finally, decide which offers are most relevant to your opt-in freebie. Which ones add the most value to your offer? if you have a One-Time Offer, where will your OTO appear? E.g., on the thank-you page, download page, or as a pop-up?
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