Eight Engaging Email Opt-in Ideas for Creatives

Eight Opt Ins

Do you get as frustrated as I do...

…when one of your Instagram posts or reels (especially one you put a lot into) doesn’t get the engagement that you think it deserves.

This just happened to me this week! A few weeks ago I posted a photo on Instagram that I almost didn’t even post and it got over 1,400 likes and 330+ comments! Then this week, I posted a photo that got 18 likes and 1 comment. I know that some content will be a hit and some, well… won’t…. but even keeping that in mind, there’s a huge discrepancy between those engagement numbers.


  • Your content – Are you posting what your followers want to see, like and comment on?
  • The algorithm – What the social media algorithm *thinks* is content that your followers want to engage with.

This means that even though you may craft a gorgeous post or video, you’re still at the mercy of the social media platform. Even though it can be disappointing when a post doesn’t do well, it won’t be a catastrophe if your marketing strategy is varied. When it comes to marketing, keep that old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” front of mind. You need to have a lot of eggs and a lot of baskets. You can’t simply post a few images to Instagram and expect your business to take off.

But what are these baskets? Social media. Word of mouth. Paid digital advertising. Paid print advertising. Press features. An affiliate or ambassador program, etc. And, of course my favorite basket of all – email marketing. In my experience, email marketing has the lowest point of entry (meaning you can start out without a huge investment) and the highest ROI.

I know it can feel intimidating or even a little scary to move from posting on social media – which is so busy – to emailing your audience and showing up in their inbox. Yes, it is more intimate but that is one of the main reasons that it works. Building your email list and creating a relationship with your subscribers through sending regular newsletters full of interesting content is easier than it sounds.

The first step is to build your list. Your job is to get your audience from where they are now (on social media, at in-person events, etc.) onto your email list. The best way to do this is through an opt-in. That’s where you offer someone something for opting-in to your email list. I’ve gathered eight engaging opt-in ideas for creatives that are low cost, low effort and high ROI!

here are eight engaging opt-in ideas for creatives:


This is a simple yet effective way to say thank you to your customers and get them to join your list. Set up a coupon code for 10-15% off your online shop and then share it on social media and at your in-person events as a perk when people sign up for your email list. You can even use a different code for various platforms and track from where you get the most sign-ups.


Host a giveaway of your products or join forces with other creatives and create a bundle giveaway that you can all share across social media. If you set it up with other makers, be sure that you have a central way to collect email addresses and that subscribers know they’re opting in to all of your lists.


This is a great evergreen perk that you can easily add to the confirmation email that subscribers get when they sign up for your email list!  You could offer a checklist, resource list, calendar, planner, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to printables. Just make sure that it’s something that aligns with your brand. For example if you’re a jewelry designer, you could make a seasonal checklist of must-have wardrobe basics (including your jewelry of course).


This could be a written tutorial like a password protected blog post or a video that subscribers get a link to when they sign up. It could even be a short course. For example, if you make craft kits, you could do a series of how-to videos based on your kits.


This is my favorite opt-in but it’s also the most time intensive to create. I know I’m not the only one who flips to the quiz in a magazine and dives in – people love quizzes! They love finding out things about themselves. A great quiz can be very effective. Take your time figuring out your quiz topic and forming your questions and results. You can even do a bonus for people who share their quiz on social media. If you’re looking for a great example check out Quinn Tempest’s What’s Your Purpose as an Entrepreneur quiz.

wallpaper downloads

This is perfect for graphic designers, artists and illustrators but even if you’re not one of those, you could collaborate with a talented friend to help you create a desktop and/or phone wallpaper that your audience would love. You can even do a seasonal or monthly series that you send out to your email list.


This is a great way to get people to join your list as well as to thank your loyal customers. When you launch a new product, you can do a pre-launch for your newsletter subscribers so that they get access to your new offers first. Handmade inclusive lingerie line Hey Mavens! does this through their private Facebook group, the Maven Haven and it creates this sense of community and urgency that works extremely well.

Cheat Sheet

cheat sheet

We usually think of cheat sheet opt-ins as only being relevant for service providers like coaches and consultants but makers can use them, too. Here are a few examples:

  • If you have a line of natural cleaning products, your cheat sheet could be an all-natural spring cleaning cheat sheet full of helpful pointers for people doing their spring cleaning without using chemicals.
  • If you’re a clothing designer, you could do a capsule wardrobe cheat sheet with tips and inside advice from stylists on how to create a capsule wardrobe on a budget or while shopping local.

It’s worth spending a little time getting creative and brainstorming ideas for this opt-in since it has a 50% conversion rate!

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