Following months of deliberations and painstaking revisions, your marketing goals for 2019 have been set. Not surprisingly, two of the most prominent items on that list are “leads” and “customers”—the lifeblood of any successful marketing campaign. Since you’ve been tasked with generating more worthwhile leads, and assisting the sales department in bringing these customers into the fold, you might be wondering: What’s the best strategy for achieving these goals?
Given all the marketing channels and options available today, a successful strategy needs to be robust and well-rounded. That means leveraging as many high-quality channels as your budget will allow—and one of the best options is Opt-In Advertising.
What Is Opt-In Advertising?
Opt-In Ads are interactive and give consumers the option to sign-up or “opt-in” to a brand’s marketing program within the ad unit itself. Sign-up requires a consumer’s deliberate and voluntary entry of data and and confirmation of consent, which results in high intent to engage. This method can be used to generate sign-ups for email newsletters, SMS messaging programs, or even phone call campaigns.
"The only way for a user to become a subscriber is to “raise their hand” and, in essence, verify that they are interested and qualified to opt-in"
The “Hand-Raising” Effect & the Value of Opt-In Leads
Unlike leads that have been acquired through many other list building and lead generation tactics, true Opt-In leads are inherently well-qualified.
The only way for a user to become a subscriber is to “raise their hand,” verify they are interested, and opt-in. If done the right way, the end result is a better user experience for consumers—from first introduction to conversion—and greater returns for marketers.
How to leverage Opt-In Advertising in Your 2019 Marketing Strategy
When it comes to getting your 2019 opt-in marketing strategy off the ground, there are several key factors you’ll want to take into account, including the vendor you partner with, the messaging you present to subscribers, and your strategy for following up with newly acquired leads.
Choosing the Right Network & Platform
The first step in developing your strategy is choosing the right platform to partner with. Some key questions to ask when vetting potential partners include:
- Are all leads 100% opt-in and consent-based? This should always be the first and foremost. Considering the seismic shift in user and societal expectations surrounding data privacy, security, and consent, as well as a growing body of state and federal regulations, confirming that all new leads and conversions will be 100% opt-in and consent-based is very much a necessary step.
- How large is the platform's reach? A platform with a large audience will increase the likelihood that your opt-in ads will connect with the right users.
- What demographic targeting capabilities are available? The platform you partner with should have the ability to target specific users who are most likely to be interested, engaged, and qualified to interact with your ads.
- How are new subscribers and contacts verified? In addition to your own verification processes, you will want to ensure the vendor has a robust system in place for verifying all consumer opt-in data (name, email address, postal address, phone number, etc).
- How will new subscribers and contacts be delivered to your database/CRM? One of the final and most important pieces of your opt-in advertising strategy will be the data handoff. If your system is able to accept data using direct, real time, secure data transfer through an API, you will want to ensure your vendor can accommodate.
Craft Your Conversion Opportunities
Once you’ve found the appropriate partner for your new Opt-In strategy, it’s time to start crafting your messaging and unique value proposition to your prospective customers. Generally speaking, an effective Opt-In ad will:
- Be created with a particular user/demographic in mind
- Express a clear message about the product or service
- Have an enrollment “offer” – a reason to sign up that isn’t incentivized. While an incentivized offer may convert at a higher rate, those leads have a greater chance of being less qualified.
- Set expectations—when, how and how often will the consumer hear from you? Will you contact them via email, SMS text, or a call?
- Let the consumer know what they can expect to get from you – recipes, exclusive content, early alerts to sales and new product offerings, coupons, tips, more information about a product, a sales pitch? Consumers should know what they are signing up to receive.
At the end of the day, the goal for any conversion-driving ad should be to generate the greatest number of leads, with the highest closing rates, and the lowest possible churn.
Implement a Lead Nurturing Follow-Up Strategy
"It takes 6-8 points of contact to generate a viable sales lead, but all the follow-up in the world won’t help if initial engagement is low."
Your newly acquired opt-in leads have started to filter into your database. Now what? It’s time to implement a lead nurturing workflow and follow up strategy. Depending on the dynamics of your organization, the first person to make contact with your new sign-up lead might be one of your sales reps—or it may not be a person at all if you’ve decided to enroll them in a multi-stepped email campaign.
Determining the best follow-up strategy is a matter of knowing what your target audience and subscribers are looking for and how your company can best provide relevant information and services.
The best marketing strategies are the ones that rely on the perfect combination of unique sources, techniques, and tactics for both short- and long-term goals. For digital and acquisition marketers looking to improve the quality of their leads and drive conversions, Opt-In marketing strategies can serve as an ideal low-touch, high-return solution.