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Last updated Sep 14 2020

⚡ Opt-in frameworks

Opt in secrets from my swipe file - Lianna Patch

Conversion copywriter Lianna Patch shares a few examples from her swipe file to showcase how to write and create better opt-ins.
What Lianna covers:

  • The EEEE system for good opt-ins: Enticing, Empathetic, Eye-Catching, and Email-segmenting
  • The SSSS system of bad opt-ins: Same, Selfish, Stock-y, and Single-segmenting
  • A live teardown of good and bad opt-ins
  • A list of different opt-in types you can consider for your customers

Click below to read the transcript.


What's up y'all, thanks for watching this. Before I dive in, I wanna take a second to encourage you, to continue the work especially if you're a white person like me, of learning how to become actively anti-racist. And so, I've put some of the resources that have been most helpful to me on this page, on my site.

And with that said, let's look at how to write and create better opt-ins. So, I was thinking about this and how to put this into four slides, and I was like," I think good opt-ins are EEEE, like EEEE, like a pig." I don't know, I've never met a pig, is that what they sound like? They squeal a lot. Anyway, your good opt-in has to be enticing in that the offer is genuinely tempting for someone to give you their email address. It needs to be empathetic, as in you're writing in a very personable friendly way that meets the reader on the level they already are. It has to be eye-catching because obviously we're competing for their attention, especially if it's an exit-intent, popup with your opt-in in it. And ideally you should be using your opt-in to segment people who join your email list so that you can send them more relevant stuff in the future.

By contrast, bad opt-ins are SSSS, like snakes. They're the same offer that you've seen everywhere else, probably like a 10% off coupon, for instance. They're selfish, they're written from the point of view of the brand, and they're often written using first person or I-language and not second person or You-language. They're stocky in their imagery, like you've seen this person before, you've seen this photo before. And then they're single-segmenting, which is to say they don't segment at all, they just grab your email address and dump you into a list that will probably never segment you in the future, we've all seen those and been on those and maybe even run those. Who's talking, it's not, that's not, okay.

Anyway, here are a couple examples of good and bad opt-ins.

So, on the left, I'm hoping my cursor shows up. This is Vrai & Oro, they're a jewelry brand, their opt-in says, "I'm shopping for myself or I'm shopping for someone else." That's great because then they know how to write the emails, targeting those people as either treat that person or treat yourself. Emily McDowell has a hilarious illustrated bear that says, "Annoying Pop-Up Bear." Good thing and cute. She offers 20% off, she's excited and it says, "Sign me up." Even her call to action is excited for you.

By contrast, I can't remember what glasses website this is. But first of all, look how wordy this opt-in is. Welcome, we want to give you a 60% off, which is a great offer, but also like, why is it so much? Kind of kills my trust. Coupon code for your first frame, basic Rx lenses included, wasn't even thinking about what might not be included. Send me a coupon and then no thanks, I wanna pay full price and there's fine print in there. This is not supposed to be something that it takes me 10 minutes to parse, right? And you don't wanna make your users feel like turds just for not saying yes to your opt-in. So, don't say that.

We also have Brand Air, their opt-in does kind of the same thing. No, thanks, I like paying full price. No, thanks, I wanna pay full prices, in this is glasses website and I like paying full prices. Maybe I'm just not ready to opt-in, like try something like maybe later or not right now, or it's cool or no, thanks it's cool. Something that reaffirms the basic personhood of the reader and doesn't make them feel like they're a jerk cause you're being a jerk.

Let's see, what else do I have for you? Oh! Other types of opt-ins you can consider going beyond just the discount or the coupon code. You can send them a buying guide or a product comparison of your product to competitors or perceived competitors, whoever you think, whoever your people think you're competing against, lay it out for them, why you're the best choice. Y

ou can offer them a free first product or a smaller freebie tacked on to the order of a certain size or value. You can offer them a bigger coupon once they complete a survey. So, you get that valuable segmentation data and you can even have them fill out a quiz that recommends them personalized product, which can be hugely successful. And that's it. I think I'm under five minutes. I'm gonna go back to the last slide and thanks for coming.