The power of the opt in

A Marketing Mistake Every Author Should Avoid

Please don’t make me say this again …I said it once, I’ve said it twice, I’ve said it over 100 times! I’ve written it once. I’ve written it twice. And yes, I’ve written it over 100 times! Authors must gather emails of fans and followers. Resistance is not an option.

“What?” you ask.

Ahh … I’m glad I got your attention. “It’s your bird. It’s your plane. It’s your goldmine. It’s on your website. It’s on your HOME page. It’s your super duper way to get names and emails fast. It’s your opt in or lead magnet … that’s what it is.”

You gotta do it … that is if you want to be seriously successful in your publishing; in your authority and credibility; with you speedy way to communicate directly with your fans and followers. You gotta have a quick and easy want to gather names and emails of visitors to your website. And of course, a way to gather those names and emails—their contact information. And, oh yes, a goodie to give them with no cost nor strings attached, accept to give you their name and email. Trust me here.

For authors, the most common way to gather a visitors is what is known as an opt in or lead magnet. It’s the secret sauce to building your email marketing list and future campaigns for your book, events, or services. Hook them when they land on your Home page … of course, you’ve got to have the right key words and phrases that would lure in the search engine spiders or “something” that you’ve posted on social media that would attract a reader to your

For authors, the most common form of the opt in is something free. It could be:

  • a few chapters of your most recent book;
  • a special report of a topic you have expertise in
  • a special report another expert has given your permission to give their article or report;
  • a cheat sheet of insights or solutions;
  • an entire pdf of a previous book to “lure” them into buying the next book;
  • recipes;
  • a special tool or product that you’ve created;
  • a Top 10 list for something that you have expertise in;
  • quotes created in poster format;
  • what else?

Plus, when you ask them to part with their email address before receiving your “gift”, they view that what you are offering has value and something they want.

Your Next Steps …

1. Get your website ready. Make sure you have an “email collector” that can collect emails easily such as Mailer Lite, Mail Chimp, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Emma, Constant Contact, or ConvertKit all are rated high. Use just one. Some are free for a limited number (such as 500 to 1000) others charge right away.
2. Create your opt in.
3. Create a “mini” ad to pull them in. Don’t make it too wordy—simple “what” and “call to action”.
4. Create a “hello” page for that will pop up once an email/name is added with a download button to immediately receive your opt in gem.
5. Place ad on your Home page—upper section for immediate eye-ball appeal. Place it in the center or right side.

Bonus: As an “add”, consider creating a “drip” feature. After a few days, you automatically send something else that you think would be of value. Do this over a week. By then, you are starting to build a trust relationship. A very smart thing to do.

Now, promote it. Create your own social media campaign using your key words that tie to whatever your are offering as well as your target market as well as hashtags. Your social media pushes should be varied and go out several times a week … for as long as you offer your gift. When you retire or replace it, move it to a Resource section of your website or make it a blog. It’s replacement should immediately be added … and a new campaign started.

Remember the goal of any opt in lead magnet is to gather emails … new ones. Gathering emails is the author’s goldmine for building fans. Resistance is not an option—this is a mistake you want to avoid.



Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 37 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences. 

Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact me.

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