How to Create an Evergreen Free Opt-In for Subscribers
Have you ever been looking for a thing, but weren’t really sure what that thing was, and then you stumbled upon a perfect thing, and realized OMG, I totally needed this thing!
That’s kinda what it’s like finding the most magnificent freebie ever delivered by someone who knows exactly what you want at just the right time.
A perfect opt-in is like finding a valuable gem in a pile of noise on the Internet, like a beam of light saying, “This was made for you!”
So what’s the difference between a valuable free opt-in that converts visitors to raving fans and one that simply clutters up space or makes you feel cheap afterward like, wow they really only wanted my email address... Allow me to share that with you right now.
What Does Evergreen Mean?
In the same way that evergreen trees look the same in each season, evergreen content is internet language for content that can be be at any time and has no expiration date.
For instance, a blog post titled, “The Best TV Shows of 2019” is really only applicable in 2019. Beyond that, it’s reached its expiration date. But a video titled, “The Perfect Morning Yoga Routine” can be accessed and used at any time. It’s what is known as evergreen.
Implementing an evergreen strategy when it comes to your opt-ins for your mailing list means that your freebies will remain relevant for as long as you want to offer them!
Know Your Audience
First thing’s first, get to know your audience a bit. After all, what good is having someone’s email address if they never wanna hear from you again? An essential rule of thumb is to have an idea of who your audience is. But hold on loosely to that, because your audience may surprise you in who they are, but their overall essence, or the essence of the goals that they have - will be clearly focused.
For instance, if you’re a food blogger, folks are coming to you for recipes, right? But even then it can be narrowed down even further. Maybe your niche or zone of specialty isn’t just all the food recipes ever, but crock pot recipes.
In this way, having a very intentional strategy with who you are trying to reach is going to allow you to craft the perfect free offer just for them.
An excellent freebie would be offering something that is similar to what you sell, or what you speak about on your blog already.
For instance, if you’re a marketing expert with blogs all about social media, a free PDF guide all about the best times to post to Instagram would be so valuable to your audience!
It’s important to know what your audience is coming to you for and what you’re already an expert on.
What Has Helped You the Most?
Your audience has found their way to your site because you help them with something. Whether that is solving a problem, filling a need, or providing a service.
So think about your area of specialty. What solutions do you already offer or intend to offer for your visitors?
A solution could be How-To’s and DIY posts, recipes, or informational content, artwork for sale, coaching, funny memes - seriously anything!
When you were going through what you went through to get to where you are now, what helped you the most? What have been your best solutions? Start there.
Think of what helped you when you were in your audience’s shoes. And better yet, if you’ve already been getting repeating questions from people in your circle about a certain topic, that is an excellent place to start in creating a freebie or an offer!
Keep It Simple
So you may have gotten this far and thought to yourself, okayyyy yes yes yes, I get it - but what do I make?
I totally get that there’s sometimes a tech curve here, because most opt-ins are digital products like ebooks, PDF guides, or free downloads of some kind.
If the thought of that’s making you squirm in your seat a little, allow me to point out several opt-in options that aren’t digital products that work really well:
Free samples of your product, good, or service.
Free discovery calls (for coaches or consultants).
A discount coupon for your services or online shop.
On the flip side, if you’ve got your sleeves up and you’re ready to dive into creating something digital, here are some great options:
The key again is to look at what you offer or what you sell and start there. Because otherwise you may end up with no bites, or a flooding subscriber list full of people who only wanted the opt-in but don’t want anything else from you.
The point is to offer a sample of what you do that gives folks an idea of who you are, what you’re all about, and the value you offer.
A great exercise to do if you feel stuck is to get out the ole notepad and just jot down some ideas for your opt-in. Are you a graphic designer? Maybe try a free Photoshop graphics template! Do you have an alternative healing practice? Maybe try a free guide to the chakras. Yogis, maybe create a free yoga video to share with your audience. The sky is really the limit, so just have fun brainstorming different ideas.
The best part is there’s no need to go out of your way because a great evergreen freebie should be something that you already do and specialize in. One that you can use again and again for years to come. The key is to make it valuable, but make it quickly so you can focus on other things, such as continuing to create more fun and helpful solutions for your audience. Plus, getting sucked into Doubt Land about an opt-in can be debilitating. Sometimes you just have to put it out into the world and see what happens.
The Best Graphic Tools For Creating Your Opt-In
If you’ve read a few of my other blogs, you’ll know that I’m a fan of Canva for beginners, and the Adobe Creative Cloud for the more advanced folks out there. They both offer a lot of flexibility and the ability to create anything you want.
Create your opt-in files and store them in a safe place. Make sure the name of your opt-in is visitor friendly! For instance, if the name of your PDF Guide is 10 Tips for Crock Pot Meals, make sure that is in the file name, versus something like “Freebie3422.pdf” because the file name goes further to help your audience know exactly what it is they signed up for.
Plug Your Opt-In Into Your Mailing System
Once you’ve gotten your free opt-in down pat and ready to go, time to plug it into your mailing system so you can start serving your audience and building your list! Because of it’s ease of use in this category, I recommend ConvertKit if you don’t have a mailing system already. But MailChimp or OptinMonster works great too!
Simply create your sequence, form, or campaign, upload your freebie, and embed the opt-in form into your website wherever you’d like it to be, whether that’s on an announcement bar, in a popup, on the sidebar, or embedded into your blog content or a landing page. Get creative and find what your audience responds to the most.
Creating Great Opt-Ins Again and Again
To recap and bring this topic full circle, here are just a few rules for creating killer opt-ins:
Serve your unique audience
Share something similar to what you sell
Keep your opt-in on brand
Be intentional with the purpose of it
Give your audience somewhere to go once they’ve finished it
Get feedback on your opt-in and tweak when necessary!
When your audience has finished absorbing all the greatness of your opt-in freebie, what’s next for them? How can they continue the conversation? Be sure to provide them with next steps, more options to keep learning, or a way to connect with you by including links or direction to your social media outlets. Remember, the goal is to serve them, create connection, and allow them to become fans for life!
I’d Love to Hear From You
I hope you have fun creating your opt-in! Are you having difficulty deciding what to create for an opt-in? Drop a comment below and share your experiences!