How Ramit Sethi Gets 80% of Subscribers to Confirm their emails in the first 5 minutes.

Here’s exactly what he does.

Mauro Accorinti
6 min readApr 29, 2021


A few days ago, I found myself lost in a sea of unread emails.

Emails from different emails lists, promotions from my bank, from my dad’s bank, from ebay, my mom’s subscriptions to realtor websites, from social media, from…

Let’s just say it was insane.

And that’s because, over the years, I’ve created a bunch of emails for different reasons.

And add to the fact that, since I was my family’s “tech guy”, I also helped them with stuff for their emails…

It became an absolute mess.


One email for the YouTube channel I made when I was a teen.

One email for my dad’s business.

Another that used to be the one for my dad’s business, but ended up as my mom’s email address. (Which by the way, still gets list prices from distributors to this day)

Two emails I made for education reasons - one I made during high school and another one given to me by my University.

And then, my personal one.

All of which I still maintain to this day.

And even though I had my own system of auto-forwarding and filters to attack this issue…

Let’s just say, I got fed up with it.

So I ended up switching emails, did a full purge of everybody’s not needed subscriptions, and made it my goal to reach mailbox zero.

And in that process, that also meant unsubscribing and re-subscribing to my favorite email lists from over the years…

And yeah, you probably already know where I’m heading with this.

I ended up re-subscribing to Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You How To Be Rich” email list.

But in that process, I noticed something…

First, let me show you Ramit’s free tools page, which serves as a kind of landing page:

I Will Teach You How To Be Rich Free tools page
IWT’s product page

Now, normally in most opt-in landing pages, you’d expect for the next page after to either be a thank you page or even a direct link to the downloadable you were promised.

But here, Ramit does something different

Here’s what you’d see directly after opting in:

IWT’s “after opt-in” page
Ramit’s “after opt-in” page

This is IWT’s powerful page for getting 80% of leads to confirm subscriptions in the first 5 minutes.

So let’s take a good look and study it a bit, cause right off the bat, it’s doing a lot of things right.

  1. We know that after the opt-in, Ramit’s first goal is to get us to do the double opt-in. He can’t send us more email until we confirm. And since he has our attention right now, he uses this opportunity to tell us to check our email.
  2. To do that, he uses a powerful headline: “PROVE you are not a robot to get your content.”
    Notice that it starts with a verb. It wants us to take action. But how do you prove you’re not a robot?
    You keep reading.
  3. Through visual cues, right smack in the middle, we have the info we’re looking for. We’re given very specific instructions to “Go to your inbox and click the confirmation link we just sent you”. There’s nothing vague about that sentence, and we discover what Ramit wants us to do.
  4. And if that’s not enough, he includes a 5-minute timer, indicated by a green animated bar on the page.
Timer with green bar that’s featured on the IWT after opt-in page
This thing

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the secret behind this page.

Without saying anything directly at all, Ramit is letting us know that…

“Hey BTW, you only have 5 minutes to do this. This can’t wait.”

And so, naturally, without thinking you just go to your email and confirm.


You just go to your email and confirm.

That is the magic of implied urgency.

IWT after optin page with annotations around 2 elements

Here’s the thing…

The timer doesn’t really do anything.

It’s not like you lose access to the tools if you don’t sign up in that time.

In fact, out of pure curiosity, I ended up waiting those 5 minutes just to see what happens.

And to my horror… 😱

IWT after opt-in page’s timer says “Done!”

It says “Done!” and nothing else really happens.

Just in case, I also checked my email. And I was able to confirm my subscription just fine.

So what’s the deal with the timer?


Urgency gets people moving.

It represents scarcity, which is one of the biggest psychological triggers that influence behavior.

That’s why you’ll see lines like “only 3 left in stock!” or “price goes up tomorrow” in sales and e-commerce.

Amazon page featuring a product that says “Only 8 left in stock”
Limited Supply!!!

And here’s the thing…

I still haven’t come across many other pages that have used this method in this same way, or otherwise.

So imagine what other types of opportunities you could create by using something similar to this method for your business!

For example:

  • On top of just leaving a timer on your page, why not include a bonus for doing so in a certain amount of time? Or maybe an extra special email if they confirm before x amount of minutes.
  • Or maybe, after they opt in, you let them access a personalized letter/story/about your page where, after they finish reading, you can let them know that the letter/story continues in their email box (where they can confirm through a link).
    ( does this)!
  • Or maaaybe go a step further.
    After opting in (for the sake of the example, with a gmail account), a special little window is opened within the website itself that leads to gmail webpage.
    That way, without ever leaving your website, your lead can click on their freshly received email from you and confirm on the spot!
    It would be clunky as hell, probably have UX issues, and it wouldn’t take into account alternate mail accounts people have…
  • But that isn’t the point!
  • The point is to get you to try and think outside the box.
  • To not copy what everybody else is doing.
  • Like whatever I’m doing here with bullet points. Because YES. I LOVE bullet points. And I’m doing this to illustrate a point.
  • Whenever you’re constructing a customer journey, you need to start asking yourself questions.
  • Questions like:
  • What do you want your lead to do next?
  • What would help them do that?
  • And what can you add or remove to help them along?

That’s how help leads along and influence leads to the right place for the right reasons.

So remember that the next time you need to get people to confirm their subscriptions.

Also, send them follow-up emails like Ramit does:

Ramit’s follow up email

And you might find less unconfirmed subs on your list.

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