Best Practices for Growing your Opt In Database with Quality Leads

The world of privacy settings, email marketing, and general inbox fatigue is constantly changing.

  • How will I know I’m not violating a policy or regulation?
  • How will I know my emails are getting to the right people?
  • How will I know if my emails even get read?
  • How will I know (if he really loves me, SING IT WHITNEY)

One way to keep your email marketing strategy humming along (with Whitney Houston in the background) is by creating an opt-in email database.

While you’re queuing up the ultimate Whitney playlist, we’ll cover:

  • What an opt-in email marketing database is
  • Why an opt-in email database is important
  • Best practices for growing your opt-in email marketing database
  • Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner from Super Bowl XXV – best rendition of the national anthem ever, CHALLENGE ME

Great, now that I can’t get Whitney out of my head, what is an opt-in email marketing database exactly?

Opt-in email marketing is email sent to recipients who actually signed up for your email list.  This is the opposite of sending out unsolicited emails, because the recipient actually gave you permission to enter their inbox. 

Why is an opt-in email database important?

  • To enhance your email marketing engagement with subscribers that will actually open and read your content
  • To maintain integrity with your subscribers by sending them only the emails they signed up for
  • To comply with email marketing guidelines such as CAN-SPAM the act and the  GDPR.

1. Use what you’ve got! 

Sometimes getting started with a new process or concept for email marketing database design can be intimidating.  It can feel like you’re starting from scratch.  But there is one way to start by building on to what you’ve already got. 

Do you already have an email marketing database for other types of content, promos, or campaigns?  Great!  You’ve got a list to start with! 

Chances are the audience for your current email marketing database may benefit from other products or services you have to offer. 

If you’ve created a lead magnet or premium content that would add value for most of your current list, start by testing it out on that list to build up subscribers. 

We’ll talk more about that next.

Supercharge Your Lead Magnet

Start attracting qualified leads with your lead magnets.

2. Use what you’ve built!

So you’ve got an opt-in email marketing database, but what the heck are you supposed to send them and how does that help grow your opt-in database? 

Hot tip – lead magnet or premium content. 

Send potential subscribers a sample of your big-industry-knowledgeable-rubik’s-cube-solving brain to entice them to learn more. 

Some examples are:

  • Industry reports
  • E-books
  • How-to guides (like what you’re reading right now)
  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Blogs
  • Free Courses

Even repurposing existing content in a new format can be helpful:

  • Blog post = social media post
  • YouTube video = blog post in written format
  • E-book = mini-course

Pro tip: Dig deeper into creating a sweet and sticky lead magnet with Honey Lead Magnets.

A great way to gather opt-ins when people come to your website for their freebie, is to create a simple pop-up box asking for an email address in exchange. 

This opt-in offer can be placed in so many locations on your website:

  • Pop-up
  • Top bar
  • Body copy
  • Footer
  • Cart Checkout

Check out Active Campaign’s Opt-In Email Marketing Pop Up Box:

Hubspot’s Opt-In Email Marketing Top Bar:

Hot Tip: Keep the language simple and the pop-up box clutter-free. 

Next, we’re taking it to the next level!

Supercharge Your Lead Magnet

Start attracting qualified leads with your lead magnets.

3. Use what you know!

You’ve got an opt-in email marketing database, but how do you grow it?

You grow it by giving people more of… you!

People love a guru- someone that has seen it all, walked the path, and came out the other side like a shiny beacon of hope (in my mind, I picture Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, wiping out weird lake zombies with a blazing wand spewing fire, but you get the picture.  Oprah works here too.  She’s great.).

So use what you know! Be that guru and share your knowledge with the masses! 

Establish your authority with:

  • Posting on social media
  • Uploading blog posts
  • Short YouTube videos
  • Guest spot on your friend’s podcast

The more you put out there, while sounding like the guru you are, the more chances are that people will find you and want to work with you.  Or at the very least, subscribe to your opt-in email database. 

Hot Tip: Try to put your most authentic message out there.  People gravitate towards REAL people.

Let’s Review

Keeping up with ways to shift your email marketing strategy can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.  Leveraging resources already at your disposal while focusing your time and energy on the right activities can help grow your opt-in email marketing database in no time. 


access now


  • Strategy: What to put in your lead magnet to attract your ideal clients.
  • Building Blocks: Every technical piece you need to have in place to publish and share your lead magnet.
  • Promotion Strategy: Where and how to promote your lead magnet to start blowing up your list.

[bravepop id="341970" align="center"]