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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