15 Best Opt-in Email Strategies (With Examples) | A Step by Step Guide

Aqsa Mughees
Aqsa Mughees

Last updated on

February 8, 2023

Well-planned and comprehensive email marketing strategies often lead to successful campaigns. Inbound marketers know this method comes with a long list of benefits.

It's easy to see why.

Not only is it affordable, but it's also effective. Opt-in email marketing strategies are bound to bring you high ROIs. It's also an intimate way of interacting with potential clients.

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What's the catch?

However, the benefits don't come easily. You need patience and time to grow your list. Buying a lead list and blasting your consumers’ emails is no longer sufficient.

You may need to build an opt-in database from scratch. It sounds improbable, but it's not impossible. The question is, how can you scale up your database quickly?

That's what this article is all about. Read on to find out the best opt-in email strategies.

What is opt-in email marketing all about?

Marketers know email marketing is an excellent way to drive traffic. You can bring in leads and drive sales. Nothing improves your organization's ROI as email marketing does. It's said to bring you $44 for every dollar spent.

It also goes beyond the ROI. You can utilize marketing automation and opt-in forms, personalization, etc. to do so much more.

However, the problem lies in creating the database.

Getting a solid opt-in email marketing database is tough. People are disinclined to opt-in to email lists. An average individual gets a little over a hundred emails each day.

People are bombarded with numerous promotional offers and coupons. It's challenging to convince them to share their email addresses. They're already getting an overload of information from everywhere.

So how does it work? How can you tap into this profitable channel? Read on to find out.

Opt-in email marketing and why it matters

Opt-in email marketing can be a powerful marketing tool. All you need to do is learn how to wield it properly. By using it correctly, you can significantly increase your profit through effective communication.

How does it work?

Opt-in email marketing invites website visitors to sign up to your email list. The process seems simple in theory, but it's tough to maintain. You need to have a good lead magnet for people to sign up for your email list. If there's no incentive, there's no reason for them to opt-in.

Once you get their permission, though, you're all set. You can send all the necessary marketing emails you need.

Should you use terms and conditions?

Most websites use an exit or entry popup for people to sign up for the email list.  

This popup typically appears with a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. It's essential to incorporate these to maintain transparency and evoke your audience's trust.

Did you know?

Opt-in email marketing is also called permission marketing!

Although that's more of an umbrella term, opt-in email marketing is referred to as one of the ways of doing permission marketing.

Don't fall for the trap!

Some people will tell you that email marketing is now redundant. They think it no longer works effectively. Know that they're wrong.

Email marketers often wonder about how their campaigns fare. The statistics are pretty favorable. The average email open rate and click-throughs are two things you need to look into.

Email open rates fluctuate around 25% for most industries, while click-through rates hover over 7%. Both are incredible rates!

These rates will favor you if you maintain a strong email list with people who want to hear from you. It'll grow even considerably.

The number of spam rates has decreased too. Businesses no longer resort to unscrupulous tactics to garner attention. You need to pay attention to market trends all the time to remain at the top!

Before jumping into the strategies, let's look at some key terms you need to learn.

What is "double opt-in" email marketing?

Double opt-in email marketing may sound foreign, but you've probably witnessed it before. Let's say you visited a website and signed up for their opt-in emails.

You'll receive an email or text with another link. If you want to join the email list, you have to continue. If not, you can opt out of it and not hear from the brand further.

This is it! It helps keep the brand's integrity by adding genuinely interested people to the list. You might type in the wrong address, and it could belong to someone else. Or you could change your mind instantaneously.

Either way, a double opt-in gives you the chance to reconsider your choices. This tactic reduces the chances of you spamming your recipient's inbox too.

How does this opt-in benefit you?

This method essentially asks for user confirmation. You get rid of automated profiles or uninterested parties from your service.

You'll no longer hear about spam complaints because that's exactly what they signed up for. Now you'll be in touch with users who are genuinely interested in your brand.

They will engage with your content better, respond, and increase your sales. You get to extract high-quality leads for your campaigns!

It also means you will get lower bounce rates and unsubscribe rates.

Best opt-in email marketing strategies

Getting people to share their contact information is quite tricky. However, nothing helps you get leads as the email opt-in best practices. Let's take a look!

1. Create valuable content

Growing your database is essential for opt-in email marketing strategies. It is critical to pinpoint your buyer persona. Look at the demographic of people who signed up for your email list.

create valuable content

Creating original content that caters to their needs is the best way to win them over. Utilizing multiple channels will help you garner leads too.

Your opt-in content types shouldn't be limited to your products alone. Your subscribers want to know about you too. Build a campaign that allows a broader audience to understand what you do. 

You can add webinars or knowledge base articles to your emails. Incorporating any unique elements can help with lead generation. Most importantly, it enables you to foster a relationship with your subscribers.

2. Provide gated content

Content can be varied. Clients love industry reports, case studies, and guides. Sharing premium content like this is an excellent opt-in email marketing strategy.

provide gated content

This method compels customers to submit their email addresses to receive content. It's a subtle yet effective way to increase your opt-in email marketing database.

3. Construct a blog

Blogs are an excellent way to enhance your subscriber list. Writing relatable blog content will help you become an industry leader.

Try adding value to the community by creating content you're familiar with. People like hearing from those who have particular skill sets.

construct a blog

You need to know what you're talking about. It also means you need to stay abreast of the latest industry trends. Talk about the best practices or products.

People enjoy staying relevant. If you can provide them with the necessary details, people will subscribe to your blog and increase your opt-in email list!

4. Stay true and avoid purchasing an email list

Don't be tempted by the easy way out. Yes, it sounds great to jumpstart your business with a solid email list. However, it doesn't go a long way.

If you want your emails to stay out of the spam folder, you need engaged subscribers.

So what does a bought email list mean? Unengaged followers!

Engagement plays a massive role in visibility and deliverability. Other marketers can buy the same email list you are. These are people who don't care about your content. So why bother?

5. Establish a strong social media presence

A solid social media presence in your target market's networks will help you go a long way. You will convert interested parties into assured clients.  

There are numerous ways you can go about this. You can utilize videos, infographics, or images in email marketing to capture their attention. You can also share your blog posts on multiple channels to increase your website traffic.

Facebook Ads are an ingenious way to boost sales, primarily if you're representing a small business.

If you have a decent following, social advertisements can bolster both your opt-in email list and sales. It's a valuable metric to track.

There's a “lookalike audience” feature that helps you find untapped networks. It assesses your existing audience and determines which markets you can lean towards.

6. Ask customers to subscribe during checkout

If you run an e-commerce store, this is a method worth considering. It's challenging to create a robust opt-in email marketing database with such platforms.

That doesn't mean you can't build a following at all. For example, e-commerce websites usually have their checkouts on a separate page. You can add a box that allows your customers to subscribe to your newsletter.

subscribe at checkout

Entice them by offering discounts. Or let them know you'll alert them about upcoming sales. It's a great way to catch their eye!


The term "newsletter" is quite bland. People think of long-winded, boring letters. Maybe they believe it’s a piece of mind-numbing information.

This is where you should get creative. Create a catchy name for your newsletter—something that reveals your personality or talks about your brand.

For example, let's say you own a bakery. Call your newsletter "Baguette Tales." It highlights one of your best-selling products. It shows your customers exactly what you're selling.

You want something that immediately catches the eye. If not, you can always call the newsletter a gazette, bulletin, or even a memo. Opt for calling it anything but a newsletter!

7. Trick them with simplicity

Don't intimidate your users by asking for too much information. Instead, opt for a simple sign-up process.

Keep things sweet and simple. Otherwise, the lazy visitors will shy away from filling up the form. Others are wary about their privacy. So they tend to avoid filling up the form too.

Here's an email opt-in practice you can try. It works well too.

Just add one top bar that asks for their email address. Yep, that's it. It's simple and effective. You can also ask for their first names. This way, you can personalize emails later.

8. Showcase your creativity with the subscribe button

Do you know what people hate more than incessant emails? Boring buttons and emails!

This is why you need to incorporate call-to-action phrases. Your options are limitless. Don't limit yourself to the "subscribe" button only. It can reduce your conversion rates as form length affects conversion rate.

Use a button that can help you increase conversions. What's your selling point? Do you have a report to share? Or a book? You can use "Download our report" instead.

show creativity with subscribe button

It tells your clients exactly what you're promising. This strategy helps them focus on what to expect.

No one likes a cluttered email inbox. Entering that zone comes with high costs, so you need to stand out. Subscription links will only put people off.

What if you opened the email with an eye-catchy line?

"The deal begins now."

It immediately catches your customer's attention. They'll wonder what you're offering. People like receiving emails that promise something in return. So phrase accordingly.

Another excellent call-to-action strategy is giving them options. Allow them to select what kind of emails they're interested in receiving. Do they want to know more about your services or products?

9. Do not use the term “spam” in your Privacy Statement

Privacy Statements keep your subscribers at ease. However, it's best to shy away from the term "spam."


It gives them the jitters. Even though you might say "we won't spam," their eyes will narrow down on the term itself. It's a reverse psychology issue. They won't be reassured no matter what you say.

They might think you're sharing needless content instead. So it's best to throw them off your scent. Every word matters in the world of marketing. So be careful how you use it!

10. Use double opt-ins!

You already know why it's such a good email opt-in practice. You get to ensure your subscribers are willing and dedicated to your cause.

Unwilling or unsuspecting users can find their way into your opt-in email marketing database through single opt-ins. People become wary of those brands in general.

It's a good practice to have a confirmation step in your process. Some new legislation even requires it.

11. Ask for feedback

Try incorporating surveys or polls into your campaign. Allow your recipients to engage with your service. Allowing them to provide feedback keeps them engaged.

ask for a feedback

You can also get valuable insight into other content. You'll know what kind of things they like.

Better yet, add benefits to the action. Add a discount to your opt-in form survey. For example, "Take a quick survey to get 10% off on your next purchase."

You will undoubtedly get more participation this way. Your consumers will reciprocate by providing you with better conversion rates.


When all else fails, offer services free of charge. It includes redeemable coupons or even free trials. Gated content works too.

12. Set the mark

Always let your consumers know about the frequency and content of your emails. It's courtesy. This subtle opt-in email strategy can help you go a long way.

People will know how many emails they'll receive from you. It doesn't matter if it's once or twice a month. Specify it anyway. Allow them to expect your email.

That doesn't mean they should be left in anticipation. Customers come first. Don't throw them off with poor marketing tactics. They'll end up pressing the "this is spam" button.

It's also a good thing to let them know about the kind of content you'll share. Give them a preview while they sign up. Allow them to see some of the upcoming content.

People will be pressed to read your emails if they know what's coming. Set the mark properly so you can meet every one of their expectations.

Segment your audience

Remember that your subscribers are on different stages on the sales funnel. They all want other things as well.

Based on the responses, you can categorize your audience. Your consumers might have varying choices. So you can put them in lists according to their needs.

Also, pay attention to where they're signing up from. If they sign up for a product page, they're most likely buyers already. However, if they came from the landing page, they haven't checked out your website yet.

13. Personalize your emails

Campaigns that personalize customers perform better. Clients want to feel relevant, and it begins with personalization.

There are numerous ways you can proceed with this. The easiest way is to insert your customer names.

Let's say you run a delivery service company. Start your email with a "Hi Mary!"

Add a discount coupon for some hook, line, and sinker.  

While the users sign up for a subscription, allow them to communicate with you. Find out what they would like from your emails. Do they want to know about discounts or sales? Or restock updates?

14. Make people feel like they're missing out

The fear of missing out is real. This is a great opt-in email marketing strategy. People like doing things others do. That's just how social media works.

Users are constantly checking what their friends, family, or coworkers are up to. That's the herd mentality. It's an excellent tool to utilize.

fear of missing out

So what if you have a reluctant lead? Just tell them how many others subscribed to your letters.

Sounds odd? Well, it works.

If you tell potential customers that you have over 50,000 subscribers, they'll be inclined to sign up too. They don't want to miss out. Wouldn't you like to know what the others have been exposed to?

It works well because it provides a valuable lead magnet.

These numbers also showcase your company's value. So if you have a large number of subscribers, it means you're doing your job right. So this is a great way to build your opt-in email marketing database.

15. Add social proof

Social proof can help you boost your sales. Consumers scour through customer reviews first, especially if they're trying out a product or service for the first time.

It could be videos, posts, or blog reviews. Actual users are the most reliable sources. People on the internet are jaded. They know companies can make a simple product look extraordinary.

It's up to them to find out what has merit.

That's why you have to take out the testimonials and reviews. What do your customers say about you? How did your product or service impact them?

That's what social proof is. This opt-in content type is an excellent way to garner attention. If you have such reviews lined up, it's time to showcase them.


Opt-in email marketing is the key driver of sales for many businesses all over the world. The ROI your brand receives is incomparable.

However, none of it matters if you fail to get people on your opt-in email list.

People get numerous emails every day for work and leisure. All the promotional content they receive from other companies clog their inbox too. That's why you need to break through the noise.

Also, remember that permission isn't permanent. You must communicate with peak efficiency. Always provide value. You may build a good rapport with your consumers, but that's not where the work ends.

Find ways to stay relevant. Make sure you're always welcome in your subscriber's inbox. Remain punctual, engaging, and relevant. Garnish your emails with some freebies or tempting offers. Also, let your subscribers know when you'll be reaching out to them again.

It seems complicated to convince users to share their contact information. Re-invent the conventional forms of marketing by utilizing some of the best opt-in email strategies!

Show them how many subscribers your brand has. Highlight the reviews. Get customers to talk about your product. Incorporate them into your emails and generate leads!

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Author Bio

Aqsa Mughees

Aqsa Mughees works as a Content Lead at Mailmunch with 5+ years of experience in creative content strategy. With a grip in digital content creation for the tech industry and an undying love for writing, she is crazy about helping businesses grow through content marketing.


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