How to Structure an Email Optin Process

How to Structure an Email Optin Process

I’ve recently had a lot of people ask me about thank you pages as part of their optin sequence. In the process of articulating the importance of using Thank You pages, I thought it would be important to review the entire optin process to give some context to Thank You pages.

When you design your optin sequence, you want to include the following items.

  • Optin landing page
  • Confirm the optin
  • Deliver the content

The way that you go about this is extremely important. The process you implement can improve your subscriber’s experience and strengthen your brand. When it’s done right, you also have more opportunity to build a relationship and deliver on your optin promise. With the diagram below, my objective is not complexity. I’m aiming for increased clarity.


Let’s go over some highlights from the diagram above.

Optin Page

The optin page is the first page the subscriber reaches on your site. This page has the sole purpose of getting the subscriber’s email address. Typically you would make a promise or an offer. A weak offer might be that you promise to send them email whenever you publish new content. A stronger offer might be a special report or a white paper. It could also be training, videos, software, printables, templates, and a bunch of other stuff. The real point here is that you only have one job on that page. Don’t distract the user with anything else, like banner ads, menus or links to related articles. Just make your offer and get the optin. One exception might be a tool like the optincrusher that asks for the optin on every page.

When the user provides her email address, that is posted to your email service provider. Most email service providers offer a default page that instructs the user to go check her email and click the confirm link. I recommend that you create a page on your own site with that message and have your email service provider forward the user to that page after processing the initial optin.

View my Next Steps page for the optincrusher optin sequence.

At this point, your email service provider will send a confirmation email to your subscriber.

Confirm the optin

When the confirmation email arrives, the user will be instructed to either click a link to confirm or ignore the email to not subscribe to the list. Assuming they click the link and confirm their interest in being on your list, you want the user receive one of two things: the content you promised them or instructions about how to get the content you promised them.

In the case of optincrusher, the download is protected by a password. The password comes in the first email message, so I choose to send the user to a page that will tell them what to expect.

View my Download Steps page for the optincrusher optin sequence.

If your promised content is publicly available, you could skip the thank you page and send the user directly to the content. You could also link directly from the thank you page to the content. I recommend you use the thank you page to further set expectations.

Deliver the content

The promised content is why they gave you their email address in the first place. At this point you have a lot of flexibility about how to format and structure your communications. The most important advice I can give you (and myself) is to be consistent. Keep delivering quality content and your subscribers will keep coming back.

Leave a comment below if you have questions or ideas for highly effective optin sequences.

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7 Responses to “How to Structure an Email Optin Process”

  1. Stanley Day August 26, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Dan,

    I am thinking about using optincrusher on my site but I have a question before I do.

    A visitor on my site opts-in to my list, completes the download process and returns to the site – would the opt-in form still be visible on the other pages or does it disappear once that visitor is on my mailing list?
    I am just curious to know.

    • Daniel August 27, 2014 at 5:41 am #

      There is a shortcode in optincrusher that sets a cookie to prevent the optincrusher from showing. If you place that shortcode on your Thank You page, you can effectively prevent optincrusher from displaying to subscribers.

  2. Tabitha Philen August 27, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    LOVE this Daniel. Thanks so much! I’m sharing it with the group I mentor, Inspired Bloggers Network. Thanks again!

  3. Steve Ball August 27, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    Hi Daniel

    I use Infusionsoft for my sins, LOL and have done for a few years now, its always been something I liked working in.

    One of the things they try to instil is your philosophy for getting the double opt in, but many of my clients who use Infusionsoft don’t want to use it as they feel it will lose people from their funnel.

    What do you feel or hear about this kind of worry about losing potential leads?


  4. Lyudmila August 27, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    Hello, Daniel!
    I use optincrusher two of its sites, which greatly enlivens its pages and bring more subscribers, unlike other forms of subscription and banners. Probably, judging by your scheme, optincrusher gives even more options, which I do not guess. But in any case I am very happy with the plugin, for which you my appreciation and gratitude. I will care for your further developments. Creative you success!

  5. Vincent Kernaghan October 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    I have optin crusher on a site where I just recently got a msg from Wordfence saying the optincrusher_settings.php file contains suspected malware.

    Is this something I should be concerned about or is there an update available?



    • Daniel October 26, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      Vincent, I’m not sure what wordfence is saying, but you’re welcome to send details in to and we’ll have a look. If your site was hacked, there’s a good chance that whoever did that put some bad code in there. You can download and install a fresh copy if that’s the case.

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