Category Archives: Two-Step Optin

Two-Step Opt-In

Two-Step Opt-In Works Better Than One-Step

Once upon a time there were two bulls grazing together, a young bull and an old bull.  The young bull spied some good-looking cows some distance away in the pasture and said to the old bull, “Let’s run right over there and breed a couple of those cute cows.”  The old bull looked back at him and said, “Instead, how about we amble over there and breed all of them?”

The point of the story is that with marketing, you can push hard to make a sale, and you’ll get some sales, but sometimes pushing less hard can make more sales.  Clay reports that he’s done experiments that show that the use of a two-stage opt-in appears to be more effective than a one-stage opt-in.

One-Stage and Two-Stage

We’re all familiar with a one-stage opt-in:  the visitor is presented with a box to enter an email address to sign up for current news, latest developments, free advice, or whatever.  Typically a Web site will have a one-stage opt-in on every page.  One click, slam bam, it’s done.  Simplicity.  Directness.

The two-stage opt-in, on the other hand, presents just a box to click to get the information.  The visitor might be then provided an opportunity to enter an email address, in a box that provides a little more information about what’s to be provided than is shown in the typical one-stage opt-in, or the visitor might be presented with a survey.  For example, a question might be posed such as “How often would you like us to send you information?”  With responses such as, say, weekly or monthly.  Then the box for the email address would follow.

The Bottom Line

Two-stage opt-in appears to work better than one-stage.  Given the importance of building that email list of prospects, it’s worth a try.
For this observation and the humorous story illustrating it, I’m indebted to Clay Collins of The Marketing Show.
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