Challenge: Growing Your Opt-In Ezine List

The "best practice" in
business to business email marketing
is to use a double opt-in* process to build your newsletter/ezine list. There are several advantages:

  • less subscribers who don't remember opting in -- so less chances someone will report you as a spammer;
  • a cleaner list with good, true opt-in subscribers;
  • it may be required by your mailing list delivery service.

However, frustration can quickly set in when you realize that 10% or 20% (in extreme cases, up to 50%) of people who fill out the form don't click that link they receive from you in the confirmation email -- and don't become subscribers!

Improving Your Opt-In Rates
Two elements are key to converting more subscribers. First, your offer must be compelling and relevant to your target market. Second, it must be super-easy for them to complete the process.

  • Get help in writing strong copy that describes your ezine and the benefits they will receive.
  • Potential subscribers love a freebie. Offer a free ebook, ecourse, or template, whether written by you or not.
  • Ensure that they receive the confirmation email by giving them easy-to-follow whitelisting instructions.
  • Make it explicit that they must confirm (click the link in the confirmation email) to receive the freebie. State this prominently on the signup or thank you page.
  • Show them what the confirmation email will look like. Your webmaster may be able to help you create an image with the confirmation link circled, so subscribers know exactly what to do.
  • Match the wording in your confirmation email to the description of your ezine on your signup page, so your subscriber will recognize and remember it. Do not, under any circumstances, use the generic confirmation email text! Learn how to use your email list software to customize this element.

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*Definition of Double opt-in:

  1. potential subscriber completes the signup form on your site
  2. potential subscriber receives a confirmation email with a special coded link generated by your list management software
  3. potential subscriber clicks the link
  4. new subscriber is added to your list

Single opt-in eliminates steps 2 and 3

Author's Bio: 

Terri Zwierzynski is dedicated to the success of lifestyle-inspired Solo Entrepreneurs. She is the CEI (Conductor of Extraordinary Ideas) at and the author of 136 Ways To Market Your Small or Solo Business. Terri is an MBA honors graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, and has been working with solo entrepreneurs since 2001. You can reach Terri at

Terri Zwierzynski is a Certified Expert at, the #1 resource online for marketing and small business tips for solo entrepreneurs.