It’s a tried and true marketing axiom: regularly sharing valuable content does wonders for boosting sales, return rates and the lifetime value of customers. The real question is, how do you share it?

How do you get your emails in people’s inboxes and your Facebook posts on their newsfeeds? Ultimately, consumers must choose to see your content by opting in.

What Motivates Opt-ins?

What really makes people opt-in to your email list and like your Facebook Page? While it may seem logical that consumers will follow you when they become customers, like your product or generally support your business, the stats show otherwise:

  • The 1st reason people subscribe to mailing lists (58%) or like a Facebook Page (41%) is to receive special discounts or offers.
  • The 2nd highest reason people both opt-in to email lists (39%) and like a Facebook Page (28%) is to take part in a specific promotion or contest.

It’s only after these motivations that people opt-in for more traditional reasons:

  • The 3rd most common reason why people both opt-in to email lists (37%) and like a Facebook Page (27%) is being an actual customer or supporter of the business.

So the big message here is clear: while having an excellent product or service is great, it’s not enough to increase opt-ins; the real winners are discounts, offers and contests. In fact according to another survey:

  • 80% of consumers say the type of content they prefer to receive from brands is coupons, discounts and promotions, compared to brand news (preferred by only 8% of respondents).

Local Business

Are opt-in preferences different for small, local businesses when compared to larger ones? Stats show a small but notable difference:

  • About a quarter of respondents said they were more likely to opt-in to email lists (25%) and like a Facebook Page (28%) for a local business over a national business.

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, getting more customers, writing great email headlines or posting funny content on social media is not the number one way getting people to opt-in, subscribe or follow you. While great content is important for maintaining followers, most people will not initially opt-in without incentive.

People are naturally motivated by opportunities that clearly and directly benefit them: exclusive discounts, one-time deals or the chance to win something through a contest or promotion. If you’re looking to boost you opt-ins, consider these results when developing a growth strategy.

Source: MarketingCharts