Why your business needs an opt-in email challenge

Why your business needs an opt-in email challenge

In the online marketing world, we’re often told “the money’s in the list”.

When you build your audience on social media, you don’t own their data – the platforms do.

If your Facebook group or Instagram account got shut down tomorrow, how would you keep in touch with all those potential customers? It sounds like the stuff of marketing nightmares, but it’s not uncommon.

It’s also a well-known saying because email marketing is still one of the highest converting digital marketing techniques available to small businesses.

Social media alone isn’t enough


Most business owners struggle with social media – despite posting consistently and engaging with followers regularly, their efforts don’t always convert to sales.

That’s because social media is a ‘top of funnel’ activity – designed to attract new leads and build brand awareness.

It’s the equivalent of a handshake and introduction at a networking event – and it’s highly unlikely that someone will buy from you at this level of interaction.

Research suggests it can take between 7-11 touchpoints with a brand to convert someone from first awareness through to a sale.

In the ethical market it can take even longer – ethical consumers carefully consider every purchase and heavily research their options before they buy.

It’s extremely hard to convert a follower into a customer without a multi-channel, layered marketing strategy.

(It can be done – one of my Instagram Academy members last year made a sale purely by posting and engaging a potential customer on Instagram because we tailored her content to her target audience – but if you want to scale this up, you’re going to need more ‘middle of funnel’ activities to build interest).

In the middle of your sales funnel your job is to nurture relationships with your leads.

This stage is all about building trust and showing them how your product or service can solve their problems.

An email challenge is the perfect way to generate and nurture leads, show your expertise and turn followers into customers. 


The most powerful way to market the difference you make to your customers is to show them, not tell them.

By adding value through an email challenge and showing up in their inbox every day you show them exactly how you can help and give them a preview of the results they can expect when they buy from you.

Instead of promoting an expensive product or service on social media, you can promote your free challenge – warming up your followers and building goodwill as they see how much value you’re adding (without feeling like you’re being pushy!)

When they follow your challenge they get to know you and trust the results you can deliver.

Then, when they’re ready to buy, they’re going to come to you – making you the “go-to expert”.

An email challenge is the ideal way to build a connection with potential customers for service-based businesses, but it can work perfectly for product-based businesses too.

When you’re selling a product you’re also selling the solution to a problem. 


And when your product is ethical, your customers are buying into a set of values and what those say about their lifestyle.

If you build an email challenge based around that lifestyle, you can build a trust-based connection that shows them why they should buy your product.

With an email opt-in challenge you can create targeted tasks that show your customers exactly how you can help.

You can automate the whole process to bring in new leads on auto-pilot, and by showing up in their inbox every day and adding value, you’ll position yourself as the go-to expert before you send them your sales pitch.

Email challenges are effective across different niches


This year I’ve created 5 day challenges for clients across several niches – from podcasting to beauty products.

In a recent challenge I created for a branding coach, the landing page I wrote converted at 80% – adding hundreds of new potential customers to their list and filtering them automatically into a sales funnel at the end of the challenge.

The 5 day email challenge I created for a cruelty-free beauty brand added over 100 new subscribers to their list on day 1!

5 day email challenges are a great way of getting to know your audience, building trust and converting loyal followers into paying customers.

5 day email challenges generate results


As part of the sales funnel for my Instagram Academy last year, I created a free 5 day Instagram Engagement Challenge – delivering marketing advice and a post prompt into participants’ inboxes every day to help them increase their Instagram engagement.

The sign up page converted at 74.1%, with 331 people signing up for the challenge.

Overall the campaign achieved an average open rate of 71.6% and an average click through rate of 11.4%.


(To put these stats into context, the average conversion rate for a landing page in 2019 is 2.35%, the average open rate is 17.92% and the average click-through rate is 2.69%).

10 subscribers converted into course participants (across 2 cohorts), generating a direct revenue of £3,300 from the challenge.

Several of those clients went on to buy further coaching packages from me after the Instagram Academy finished – and one hired me to create a 5 day email challenge for her, generating a further revenue of £1,500.

19 subscribers who didn’t convert to course participants went on to become clients for other coaching and training programmes I offer, generating around £3,385.

My total revenue from my 5 day email challenge was £8,185 – an average of £24.73 per subscriber.

Put your lead generation on auto-pilot


If you want to generate more leads for your business without spending hours battling the algorithms on social media, a 5 day email challenge could be the answer.

With the right audience research you can optimise the sign up landing page and email challenge itself to get as many subscribers as possible, keep your open rate high and engage and convert your ideal customers.

Once you’ve tested and optimised the challenge, you can run it on auto-pilot (using a workflow in your email marketing software), which means you can focus on creating promotional content for social media and spend more time serving your customers and making a positive impact!

For more information on creating a high-converting 5 day challenge, read my how to guide here.

If you’d like to explore how a 5 day email challenge could bring a more consistent stream of potential customers and warm leads to your business, I can help.

Book a free initial chat with me to find out if a 5 day challenge is right for you and how we can work together to create the perfect challenge for your customers.

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