How To Write Email Opt-In Copy And Get More Subscribers

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Image of Website Copywriter Sara Noel holding a laptop in a mirror.

In order to reap the benefits of email marketing, you’ll need to get actual people to sign up for your email list. 

If you read my post about how to grow your email list with a lead magnet, you’d know that creating a freebie is the BEST way to do that, but one essential factor was left out of that post:

You have to make people actually want the lead magnet that you create. 

“And how do I do that?”

By convincing them that it’s worth it!

“Again… how do I do that?”

You write really great email opt-in copy.

And that’s where I come in. 😎 Keep scrolling for easy ways to spruce up your opt-in forms and get more subscribers!

We should prob start with what email opt-in copy even is, huh?

Opt-in copy is the copy that goes on your email opt-in form—the form that tells people what they’ll get in return if they enter their name and email. 

(Also, quick reminder: copy, in the simplest terms, is words that sell things.)

Here’s an example of an opt-in form: 

Now that you know what it is, let’s talk about how to write a great one!

#1 – Tell them what they’ll get!

Don’t be vague; tell them what they’ll get, but try to consider what they really want and focus on the benefit—do they care more about getting a 4-step strategy for setting up Dubsado automations, or do they care more about the peace of knowing that their workflows are all set up for them & their days of spending hours responding to emails and sending contracts are over? 

You’ll also want to make sure you give the details. 

When people are considering downloading a lead magnet, they want to know:

  • What do I get?
  • When do I get it?
  • Why do I need it?
  • What’s the format of the freebie?

When people are considering signing up for a newsletter, they want to know:

  • How often will it be sent?
  • What is it about?
  • Is it worth reading?

And no matter what they’re downloading, they’re going to wonder: is it worth the trade for my email? 

& speaking of… 

#2 – Make it worth the trade!

We talked about this last week, but I’m going to reiterate: your freebie should have juuust enough value. 

It should either make someone’s life easier, or help them with a problem they’re trying to solve, or give them information that may not be readily available elsewhere, or teach them how to do something, or make something more convenient. 

There has to be a reason they’d want it. 

Find that reason, then capitalize on it. 

#3 – Keep it simple!

Don’t make people read too much. You have limited space, and they have a limited attention span. 

For example, my newsletter opt-in could say:

“Sign up for my newsletter, Tuesday Table of Contents, where I send a marketing tip, my favorite resources from around the Internet, and a book rec every week!”

But, instead, it says:

“One marketing tip, once a week.”

The decision to shorten it was intentional, because I want people to know what it is, how often they’ll get it, and what the topic is immediately upon reading.

You can also spice up your opt-in forms by adding social proof. Here’s an example from my friend Harry of Marketing Examples:

Don’t you feel way more inclined to subscribe now that you know how many other marketers invite him into their inbox? And how many of them seem to love it?

That’s the power of social proof. 

(Speaking of: my intern is working on a blog post all about how to use social proof to improve conversions this week, so stay tuned for that coming to the BTL blog soon!)  

>> For more opt-in copy tips—and about a thousand other marketing-and-copywriting-related tips—join the waitlist for my website copywriting and digital marketing course, coming back in October! 

Today’s email was an adaptation of a lesson from Site Series™, so if you liked what you learned, you’ll love the course. 

Here are a few other ways to get more subscribers on your email list:

  • Ask people to join! Make sure you’re talking about it often on your other platforms; as creators it can be easy to think we’re alwaysss posting about our offerings, but in reality, followers need to hear things tons of times before taking action!

  • Consider adding an opt-in to your intake form. Something like “check the box below if you’d like to be added to the BTL email list!”

  • Mention it in your blogs. Include CTAs in the middle and at the end of your blogs to prompt people to subscribe—your blog readers often come from places like Google and Pinterest, and may not know who you are yet (aka they may not know what you have to offer, cuz they just landed on your site via some random search).

Really want to get serious about writing the best email opt-in copy? Here’s some optional homework for you:

Here’s your homework:

  • Sign up for an email service provider. I use and love Flodesk—use my code “BTLCOPY” for 50% off!
  • Create 3 opt-in forms. You’ll need a pop-up form (add this to your site’s homepage when you’re ready), an inline form (this is good for on your webpages and in your blog posts), and a full-page form (so you can link directly to your freebie; great for linking on IG!)

& that’s it! 

Still curious about all the other elements of your email marketing operation?

I can teach you. 😇

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution. 

Through what I like to call sales-focused storytelling, I'll help you find your brand's voice, perfectly position your offerings, develop your target market, and write copy that resonates with your ideal audience. And I'll do it all while keeping your personality at the forefront of every draft, to ensure that each word aligns with your true self. 

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Writing your own website or sales page copy doesn't have to be something you stress over anymore. I'd love to work with you to craft conversion-friendly, SEO-optimized copy your leads will love.

As an absolute email marketing fiend, there's no one more qualified to teach you how to get new subscribers on your email list and write the most click-and-binge-worthy newsletters. 

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