One of the most asked questions by bloggers who started their email list is how to deliver a lead magnet or opt-in freebie to their new email subscribers.
Whether you are offering a free ebook, PDF guide, cheat sheet, printables, templates – offering lead magnets or opt-in freebies is a great way to grow your email subscribers faster.
However, figuring out how to tie your free download to your opt-in form can be confusing.
You don’t want your lead magnets to be like others which fail to deliver the promise to new subscribers.
You can jump through hoops trying to figure out how to actually send that free PDF guide to your new subscribers…
You can read this post and learn how to do it quickly!
So, in today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the whole process from creating your opt-in form, hosting your file along with the tools you can use to deliver your lead magnet.
Sounds good? OK let’s get started!
Related: If you haven’t started your email list yet, check out the following guide:
So how does a lead magnet delivery works?
Depending on how many opt-in offers you have, there are many ways to do this. Each has its own pros and cons.
The two solutions I’m going to share below are pretty straightforward.
In addition, I’ve also included a bonus delivery method because, why not? 🙂
To deliver a lead magnet, the basic idea is to include a download link in the email you send to your new subscribers immediately after they signed up.
The key is to automate the process so that you’ll only have to set it up once and let your email marketing provider do the hard work.
I am going to use MailerLite as an example here.
If you’re starting out, I recommend using MailerLite because their automation feature is free (unlike some other email service providers that will charge an extra for this feature).
Either way, the processes should be quite similar whether you are using MailChimp, ConvertKit, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign or other.
MailerLite doesn’t offer file hosting so you’ll have to upload your file to your website via FTP or WordPress Media Library.
To upload your file in WordPress, just go to Media > Library > Add New.
The downside of using the built-in WordPress Media Library is that each time you update and re-upload the file, the URL will change according to the current date.
While there’s a way to fix that,Â it’s just adding an unnecessary step into the process.
You can avoid this by uploading the file via FTP to a folder on your server.
Alternatively, you can use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or other online cloud storage.
If you use Google Drive, just upload the file as usual and get the shareable link to include in your delivery email.
Just make sure the “anyone with the link can view” option is set to prevent anyone with an access get editing privileges.
This method sends an email containing the download link (not as an attachment) to your new subscribers.
Method #1 entails the followings:
This method is ideal if you:
You can use Method #1 with both single opt-in or double opt-in.
At the moment, I am using Method #1 with double opt-in enabled for all my lead magnet deliveries.
In order to enable double opt-in, login to your MailerLite account and select “Subscribe settings” from the menu on the right:
You can choose ON/OFF for your double opt-in. In addition, you can also edit your Confirmation Email, along with the Confirmation Thank You page.
Keep in mind that you can also use your own thank you page by directing new subscribers to a landing page (that is your lead magnets/freebies download page) in your blog.
We are going to implement the landing page option in Method #2.
For now, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to implement Method #1.
Please refer to my start an email list post to create an opt-in form. Pay attention to step #3 where I show how to create an opt-in form with MailerLite.
Once you’ve added your lead capture form, come back here and continue to the next step below.
I’ll wait 🙂
MailerLite automation workflow allows you to create a series of emails.
For this example though, we just need to create one email. This is an autoresponder email which is sent automatically when a new subscriber joins your list.
Here’s how to do it:
Login to MailerLite, then click Automation > Create a new workflow
On the next page:
Two new options will appear after you selected a trigger.
Next, we will add the first step to the automation workflow.
To do so, click on the + button then click the Email icon.
The next page involves the following steps:
To write the email content, click the “Design email” email (in step 3 above) and you can start creating your autoresponder email.
The final step is to create your autoresponder email.
Here’s how one of my lead magnet delivery emails looks like.
Keep it brief and to the point – after all, they opted in to enjoy your offer right way.
Give an indication that more updates are coming their way.
I’d recommend sending out your actual welcome email the next day. This will allow you to connect and build a relationship with new subscribers.
This is crucial to get them to familiarize with you which might increase future email open-rates.
For now, make sure the automation workflow is ON.
That’s it, you are done!
Test the process by signing up using a secondary email (you can always unsubscribe later).
Or you can ask a friend to go through the signup process and ask for their opinion.
With this method, you can send a different email for each lead magnet that you offer.
You just have to set up a different workflow that sends out a unique email depending on which lead magnet they signed up for.
For this method, you’ll have to create a download page for your blog.
Like in method #1, you must upload the file to your website or to an online cloud storage.
This is a good option if you:
Let’s go through the steps in detail.
You can refer to my start an email list post to help create your opt-in form. Pay attention to step #3 where I show how to create one with MailerLite.
Once you’ve added your lead capture form, come back here and continue to the next step below.
Please refer to the previous section above: How to enable/disable double opt-in in MailerLite.
When a double opt-in is enabled, the subscriber will get a confirmation email containing a link or button to confirm his/her email address.
In MailerLite, you can design your confirmation email via your Profile > Subscribe settings > Confirmation email
Few things to keep in mind when designing your confirmation email:
When you click on the confirmation link or button, you will be directed to the Confirmation Thank You page which we will design next.
Still with me? 🙂
For this third step, you can either send the new subscriber to your download page or initiate the download to start automatically after they clicked the confirmation link.
The easiest way to deliver your lead magnet is by including the download link in the Confirmation Thank You page. This page is hosted on MailerLite server so you don’t have to create one manually.
To do this, click on the Confirmation Thank You page then Edit Content.
If you want more control or customize the download page further, you can create a new page in WordPress and send your new subscribers to it.
Here’s how to do it:
What if you don’t want to create a landing page and want the freebie to start downloading immediately after the subscriber clicked the confirmation link?
Easy, just replace your landing page URL with your download link.
However, I would only suggest using this direct download method if you’re offering only one lead magnet, like a catch-all freebie type.
That’s it, you are done!
If you are offering valuable resources/files in your download page, you may want to password protect your download page. This ensures only your subscribers have exclusive access to your lead magnets and opt-in freebies.
Using a simple password that is easy for your subscribers to remember should be good enough. Include it in your welcome or confirmation email.
To password protect your lead magnet download page in WordPress:
How do you send a PDF or any other file automatically to your new subscribers without creating autoresponder email at your email service provider?
The answer: by using the Asset Delivery feature in Thrive Leads.
Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin that helps you create beautiful and compelling opt-in forms that will convert better than the average forms.
It’s the one I use to design all my opt-in forms at Sabahan.com.
The Asset Delivery feature in Thrive Leads allows you to associate one or more downloadable files with any opt-in forms you create in Thrive Leads.
This method is ideal:
To learn how the Asset Delivery works, you can watch the following video:
You can read more about Thrive Leads Asset Delivery here.
There you have it!
That’s how to deliver a lead magnet or opt-in freebie.
Now it’s time to take action.
Start transforming your opt-in freebie ideas into reality.
Learn how to create a lead magnet then use the tools I’ve talked about to deliver them and keep your subscribers engaged.
If there’s anything that I’ve missed or unclear in the article, please let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
Want to increase your email subscribers fast? You’ve come to the right place!
Your email list is probably the most valuable asset you’ll ever have as a blogger.
Your website could shut down, traffic from Google and the social media channels could disappear, but as long as you have your mailing list, you’re still in business.
Since having an email list is so important, you would want more email subscribers. Having more people in your email list is a surefire way to grow your business faster.
In order to get more subscribers, your opt-in forms and offers have to be very good.
A good opt-in form will help you get more leads without needing more traffic.
So in today’s post, you’ll learn how to increase your email subscribers by creating highly persuasive opt-in forms without needing any more traffic.
If you’re up for it, you can turn these list building strategies into a 7-day challenge. Let’s see how many you can implement on your own website.
Let’s dive right in!
When creating your opt-in form to collect email addresses, ask yourself this question:
“Why would anyone subscribe to my email list? ”
If your answer is so that they could get the latest updates from you, that’s not enough.
Nobody wants to subscribe to another email newsletter without getting an immediate benefit. People want it now, not sometimes in the future which may or may not arrive.
So you’ll need to bribe your visitors into giving their email address by offering them something called a lead magnet or an optin freebie.
Your freebie can be a
These are incentives that solve a particular problem your readers are facing.
Next, you can reframe your offer by changing from “Subscribe to Email Newsletter” or “Sign-up for the latest updates” to something that is benefit driven.
For example, identify the feature of your freebie and then add “This will help to…“.
Here’s an example of an unoptimized lead capture form:
Here’s a benefit-drivenÂ example:
As you can see, spelling out the benefit the visitor will get from subscribing makes the opt-in or lead capture form immediately more persuasive.
In this case, your visitors will learn how to optimize their blog and improve their rankings fast.
Here are some key points to keep in mind when designing your opt-in forms:
You can improve your sign-up rates further by offering a specific opt-in offer.
Running more than one offer on your website makes it possible to appeal to different segments of visitors.
This will result in improved conversion rates more than what a typical, single “catch-all” offer can achieve. It also enables you to create segmented email lists.
This is powerful as you will be able to send highly targeted messages to exactly the right people. When you know exactly what your readers are interested in, you’ll make more money from your email list.
You can do this by offering a special freebie for:
But what if you don’t have an opt-in offer available? You can adjust your message to target that specific audience instead.
For example, if you have a category for email marketing and you want to place an opt-in form in that category page, instead of just using the following:
Adjust the message to target the particular audience who visit the email marketing category. Drive home what’s in store for people when they opt-in.
Notice, I’ve also replaced the generic “Subscribe” button to a better CTA “Yes Please!”
A lightbox opt-in forms (sometimes also called pop-ups) are usually shown on page load or when the user is about to exit the page.
Sometimes they are seen as intrusive and can be annoying. But it has been shown time and time again that they simply work.
Currently, I am using Thrive Leads which helps me create my lightbox. Thrive Leads comes with a huge selection of ready-made opt-in form templates so you don’t have to design yours from scratch.
Check it out and take advantage of the one-time, non-recurring fee of only $67Â and see it for yourself (it also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee).
Instead of using the normal lightbox, I’m using the Scroll Mat (sometimes called the Welcome Mat), an enhanced version of the normal lightbox.
A Scroll Mat turns any page to a full-screen opt-in form that’s displayed immediately on page load when a visitors arrives on your site.
Thrive Themes has found that showing the lightbox instantly on page load is more effective at converting visitors into new subscribers.
It’s even more effective than a lightbox that was triggered by exit intent. The basic idea of exit intent is that you make an opt-in lightbox appears the moment a visitor shows that they’re about to leave as demonstrated below.
For me initially, I was a bit apprehensive as I don’t want to annoy my visitors with pop ups but my results have also shown it’s one of my best converting opt-in forms.
This is an ongoing experiment and I believe I can improve the conversion rates further by using a more specific offer and by showcasing a more exciting picture.
I only show the popup once for every 7 days so as not to annoy my visitors. And it will only be shown when the visitors land on a blog post or a category page. So it’s not the first thing they’ll see when they land on my homepage or blog index.
You can watch the video below to learn how Thrive Leads works.
If you are starting out, I recommend pairing Thrive Leads with MailerLite.
There are three reasons why Scroll Mats convert well:
To improve your conversation rates, you can try implementing the recommendations in point #1 above.
Here’s the thing though, don’t simply use popups, scroll/welcome mats or any other opt-in form types simple because I or some other bloggers use them.
Instead, you should run your own test to see what works best on your site!
So this is where the A/B split testing comes in.
A split test or A/B test is a test that you can run to compare two different versions of an opt-in form to find out which one gets you the most signups.
Don’t worry, A/B testing is not rocket science. In fact, it’s pretty easy to implement if you’re using the right tool.
Why is running an A/B split testing important?
Because it will help you get more leads on autopilot with the same amount of traffic.
For example, if your blog gets 100 visitors per day and only 1% of them opted-in, that’s one new subscriber per day.
Using an A/B testing, you can improve your conversion rates and possibly get 2, 3, 4 emails or more per day with the same number of visitors.
Fortunately, this is very easy to do if you are using Thrive Leads. Â It’s the opt-in form designer that I am currently using and I will use it as an example.
You would want to create a variation of your opt-in forms and start an A/B split test to find out which one converts better.
You can start by testing the big elements first such as:
The reason why you’d want to test the big elements first is that it can be difficult to get a statistically significant result.
If you’re just testing something small such as the text on your submit button “Get It Now” vs “Download Now”, you would need tons of traffic for the test result to be significant which can take a very long time complete.
That said, you can test the smaller elements later once you’ve found a winning opt-in form and the button copy is a good one to start testing on.
Testing different offers is one of the most powerful ways to increase your opt-in conversion but creating different offers can be time-consuming.
Instead, what you can do is find ways to re-frame your existing offer, and modify the offer to match the frame more closely.
For example, if you offer a SEO checklist, you can advertise it in several ways:
One good A/B test you can conduct is to test a 1-step opt-in form vs a 2-step opt-in form.
A 1-step opt in form is just your normal form with the name/email textbox, while the later appears as a link, a button or graphic which launches the actual opt-in form when clicked.
Here’s an example of a two-step opt-in form:
Two-step opt-in forms are powerful because they use the power of micro commitments.
The idea is that, if you’ve already made a commitment to something, you’re more likely to follow that path of action and are less likely to change your mind about it.
So when you click on the text link or button, it shows that you do want to get the thing that was advertised. That click is the micro commitment which will drive you to complete the process such as fill out an opt-in form when presented with one.
You can use Thrive Leads or any other email signup form designer to create these two-steps opt-in forms.
Do you know that the About page is one the most visited pages on any website?
People love to get to know the person or company behind the website to learn more about what they have to offer.
It’s a go-to page for new visitors who are curious to know more about you and your business.
So this is the perfect opportunity for you to get in touch with your visitors by adding your opt-in form to your About page.
To improve your conversion rate, here are a few suggestions:
Here’s how my 2-step opt-in form looks like in my About page.
If you don’t have an about page yet, you should create one. Check out the following post to get started:
Instead of having an opt-in form filled with text, you should also include an image that represents the opt-in incentive.
If you offer a free ebook, have an ebook cover graphic to visually represent your offer. If you offer a pdf checklist, take a screenshot and make it looks good.
A visually appealing image can increase the perceived value of your offer, makes the benefit more tangible and increases your conversion rates.
You can go to places like Fiverr to get this done cheaply for as low as $5.
Additionally, you can purchase some good looking ready-made templates which you can customize from Creative Market.
There you have it, 7 ways to increase your email subscribers fast.
You can turn this into a 7 days email list building challenge if you are up for it!
In addition to social media marketing, your list building should remain a priority in your content marketing effort.
If there’s one thing I should mention before I end this article – don’t be shy about advertising your opt-in offer.
Make it obvious for your visitors they’ll get something highly valuable if they opt-in for your offer.
If you are too subtle, fewer people will see your email subscription forms and you may miss out on potential visitors who may become subscribers.
How to increase subscribers to newsletter? There’s need to be a balance.
If you are too aggressive, you may annoy your visitors who don’t opt-in.
Either way, you should run an A/B testing to see what works for your own website.
Now it’s your turn.
Which of the email marketing strategies above have your implemented or are planning to implement in your email list building effort?
I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!
My biggest mistake when I started blogging in 2006 was not starting my own email list!
Had I took the plunge, imagine how many email subscribers I would have today, hundreds of thousands maybe?
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re already aware of the importance of why you should have your own email list.
So I won’t bore you with the why part (well for most bloggers, it’s where the money is).
Unfortunately creating a mailing list for your website from scratch can be overwhelming and expensive.
But those aren’t entirely true.
The good news?
Starting your own mailing list doesn’t have to be complicated or costly.
So in today’s post, I’m going to show you how to start an email list for free.
And this whole process should take you less than 20 minutes!
Ready? Let’s dive in!
There are quite a few email service providers that you can use, but all email marketing services aren’t created equal.
For me, I knew growing an email list could take time.
I didn’t want to spend money on something that would cost me a monthly fee, yet generate little to no income, at least during the first few months.
Bootstrapping is the name of the game here 🙂
Now you may be asking, why can’t you just send email for free from your Gmail account?
Next, I’ll describe the exact steps how to build an email list for marketing. These involve:
I recommend using MailerLite.
It’s forever free to use if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.
Unlike some other email service providers, it doesn’t limit the number of emails you can send per month.
Most importantly, you have an unrestricted access to their autoresponder service which allow you to automatically deliver your opt-in freebies/lead magnets after a user sign up.
In comparison, some other email service provides will only let you send one autoresponder email. You’ll have to upgrade your plan if you want to setup more.
Basically, the free tier ofÂ MailerLite gives you full access to all their paid features including autoresponder, automation, segmentation, tracking, tagging system – the whole enchilada.
As your subscribers grow past 1000 people, you can upgrade to a paid plan. Their plans are among the cheapest email marketing software out there too.
Go ahead sign up with MailerLite now.
I should mention that you will need your own domain name to use MailerLite.
Here are a few steps that you need to do during the sign-up process:
After creating your MailerLite account, you need to have your account validated by completing these 2 steps:
Fill in your blog/company information. MailerLite will use this info during the approval process. So make sure your blog is in good shape to improve your chances.
Your website verification consists of two steps. First, you need to enter your website URL:
The second step is entering your email address.
You must use the same email domain as your website domain, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t enter a free email address from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc. here.
Once you’ve completed the 2 steps above, MailerLite will start reviewing your account.
This usually takes from 15 minutes to 4 hours, but sometimes it may take up to a day. They will send you an email notification after the review is completed.
Also whenever you decide to upgrade your plan, you’ll have to go through the approval process again.
MailerLite comes with tools to help you design an opt-in form. This will likely be your main method of collecting new mailing list subscribers.
Here’s how you do it.
First, you need to create a new group to save your subscribers in. Click Subscribers > Groups > Create new group
For demonstration purpose, I named my group Demo Group.
Once created, your group will appear in the Groups list.
Next, to create a new opt-in form, click Forms > Embedded Forms > Create Embedded Form
Below, I named my form “Demo Group Form #1”
Next, you’ll need to associate the form with a group or groups. Here I selected the Demo Group I created earlier.
Click “Save and continue” and on the next page, you can edit and format your optin form.
Few things to keep in mind when designing your opt-in form:
The default MailerLite optin box only asks for the user’s email address. To add the name text box, click on the email textbox edit icon, then click on the “Add new field” button.
Play around with the form design and settings. Don’t worry if you make a mistake because you can always edit, delete and recreate the form.
When you are done, click on the Done Editing button.
You can watch the video below for an overview of MailerLite embedded form.
And now’s the fun part!
There are two ways you can embed the form into your blog; manually or by using a WordPress plugin.
I am going to show you how to do both.
When you are done designing your form, you’ll find the following code snippets under your Form Settings tab.
For the manual embed, you will need to copy the first code snippet once into your website header.
Most WordPress themes should have an option where you can paste the first code snippet into the header.
For Thrive Themes which I’m using, I can paste the code via the Analytics/Scripts section. Yours may be different.
Then, for the form body itself, you can paste it anywhere you want it to appear. It can be on your sidebar, within a post or at the end of a post.
To show it within your post, activate Text mode then paste the code into the text editor.
Below is how it looks like in my post.
You’ve now successfully created your first email opt-in and people can start signing up for your email newsletter.
If you are using WordPress, you can install the plugin for MailerLite. To do so, click your Profile image > Integration > WordPress
Follow the instructions to complete the steps.
Now that you know how to start an email newsletter, you can start sending your first email newsletter!
But wait.. how can you send newsletters if you haven’t got any subscribers?
I suggest you test the sign-up process by signing up using a secondary email address to see if everything was set up properly.
Alternatively, if you have an existing subscribers list, you can import it or manually enter them to MailerLite.
Here’s how to do it:
Click on the Subscribers tab > Add subscribers
Then choose one of the ways to upload your list, either with CSV, Excel or manually entering emails one by one.
In MailerLite, the emails that you create are called campaigns.
To create your first campaign, click Campaigns > Create your first Email
On the next page, you will see 4 campaign types. But for demonstration purpose, we are going to create Regular Campaign.
Enter your campaign’s subject title. You can use emoji to grab attention, though I’d recommend you use it sparingly and test if positive results are produced.
Another thing to consider is adding personalization to engage more with your subscribers.
Fill in the rest of the details. Then click NEXT: Content.
Check out the following video on how to Quick Start your campaign and how to use the drag and drop editor when designing your email.
Once you’re done, click Done Editing.
Once you’ve designed your campaign. It’s time to send it out.
On the next screen, you should be able to select the subscribers you want to send the emails to.
Select the Group or Groups, then click the NEXT: Review and confirm button.
On the next page, you may want to send a test email to yourself to check how the email will look like for your subscribers.
Sometimes the test email ends up in spam folder because of the additional word Test added in the subject field. Don’t worry, this does not happen with the regular campaigns.
Click the NEXT: Schedule button below.
Select the Send now option, then click the Send button.
The confirmation page is where the subscriber is directed to once they clicked the confirmation link in the email.
MailerLite provides a default confirmation page which is hosted on their server.
While this works fine, the design is rather uninspiring and basic.
So, you might want to customize your confirmation page:
To specify a different confirmation page, just change the URL of the landing page to one of your own.
Click your Profile picture > Subscribe settings > Confirmation Thank You page
You can create the page as you normally would when creating a page in WordPress. Here’s how mine looks like at the moment.
The design will definitely be changed in the future as I run experiments to my improve engagements.
For further reading, you may want to read my article below. Pay attention to the section where I talk about customizing your thank you page.
Here’s the thing though – the default MailerLite opt-in form looks rather uninspiring!
While it gets the job done, people won’t be signing up in droves anytime soon.
Of course, you can make your opt-in form more beautiful and compelling but the MailerLite form design and options leave much to be desired.
To help you create a beautiful and high converting opt-in form, I recommend using Thrive Leads. It’s not free but it’s well worth the price.
You can see it in action here at Sabahan.com as I use it to design all my opt-in forms.
If you are serious about building your email list faster, having versatile and professional looking opt-in forms are crucial.
And Thrive Leads will help you achieve that goal.
After you sign-up, you’ll have access to Thrive University. It’s a free online marketing course you can take at your own pace.
You can learn how to:
If you ask me, the email marketing courses worth far more than the price of Thrive Leads itself.
You can access them all for free with the purchase of Thrive Leads (only a small portion of the courses are Thrive member exclusive).
People don’t sign up to mailing lists for no reason. They will only give you their email address if they can get something of value in return.People don't sign up to mailing lists for no reason. They will only give you their email address if they can get something of value in return.Click To Tweet
Gone are the days where you can just paste your opt-in form in your sidebar, and that’s enough to get people into your list.
Today the Internet is a busier and a noisier place. You need to stand out from the crowd to get noticed.
Providing great content is a good start as it may be enough of an incentive for some people to register their email to get updates.
Unfortunately, soon you’ll find your conversion rate is still low.
Most of your visitors would leave after they get what they wanted and may never return.
So how can you get more people to sign up?
By offering what we call a lead magnet or optin freebie. These are incentives that solve a particular problem your audience is facing.
These opt-in offers/lead magnets can be in the form of:
Here’s one of my own opt-in freebies to give you an example.
GET INSTANT ACCESS TO
61+ Curated Facebook Groups List That are Perfect for Bloggers!
What you will get:
Please enter your first name and email below to get an instant access. Don't worry, your email is safe. I hate spam too!
Your lead magnets don’t have to be complicated though. In fact, you should start with something simple which offers a quick fix to a problem.
So how do you create an effective lead magnet that converts regular visitors into email subscribers?
That’s a big and interesting topic on its own and deserves a dedicated post.
Stephen from AspiringBloggers.com has shared some opt-in freebies ideasÂ to help you grow your subscribers list.
You can also learn some email marketing strategies fromÂ Â Thrive University.
When you register, you can get access to more than 20 different guides, video courses, training webinar recordings and interactive content to help you build your online business.
Best of all it’s totally free to join!
The catch? While most of the guides can be implemented regardless of the tools you are using to design and build your blog, some guides are specific to the Thrive Themes plugins.
It’s free anyway, you got nothing to lose but more email marketing knowledge to gain. If it’s good enough to help me get started, it should be useful to you too!
Register with the free Thrive University now.
When it comes to placing your opt-in or signup forms, the more location you placed them the better.
Here at Sabahan.com, I have opt-in forms at the following locations:
So far this location hasn’t converted as well as I hoped for. I suspect this is due to the fact that there are so many blogs placing their forms at the same location resulting in “opt-in form blindness”.
A hero image is a large, featured image prominently displayed on the homepage.
It’s one of the first elements a visitor see when they visit your site.
A hero image tells what your site is about and how you can use it to show you have a solution to the visitor’s problem.
It’s an ideal place to add your opt-in form to directly influence the behaviour of a visitor as they go through your site.
But why do I use a button which introduces an extra step instead of an actual opt-in form?
Well, people have discovered that asking the visitors to click on a button or link before showing them the opt-in form can improve your conversion rates.
I found that to be true for Sabahan.com. Currently it’s my best performing opt-in form.
I haven’t created many of these yet. But I think if you have a highly targeted and compelling opt-in offer, this location can CONVERT LIKE CRAZY.
This ribbon is a horizontal bar that appears after the reader scrolled to 70% of my article.
Because I only want to show it to readers who are actually interested in my content.
This improves my conversion rates tremendously and I get good sign-ups from mobile users.
Scroll mat turns any page into a full-screen signup form that’s displayed immediately on page load.Â It rolls down to welcome visitors to your website when they land on a specific page.
I was a bit reluctant to implement this at first for concern that it may affect the users’ experience. However if authority sites like Problogger.com find such ‘popup’ acceptable, the least I could do is test it on my blog.
In any case, I’m limiting the scroll mat to only appear once a week. So far it is one of my best performing opt-in forms.
The ‘obligatory’ signup form widget on my sidebar. For best result, I recommend placing this at the very top of your sidebar before any other widgets.
A call to action button on my About Page. I got a few signups here.
There are many other locations you can experiment with in addition to the above. Each placement will perform differently depending on your site design, niche and audience.
The only way to find out which one performs the best is to test out the various locations as you go along.
For that purpose, I’m using Thrive Leads to track my email sign up conversion rates.
Thrive Leads helps me find out which opt-in forms/content perform the best over time. I can even conduct an A/B testing to automatically increase my conversion rate.
I know there are tons and tons of things I can do to improve my conversion rates. I’ll be glad to share my finding in my future posts, so stay tuned.
By default, MailerLite tracks who has opened your email newsletters or clicked on links.
However, if you want to track where your new subscribers came from then you’ll need to use Google Analytics.
I’ve dedicated an entire post to teach you how to use Google Analytics to track your email signups.
Check it out here: How to Grow Your Email List Using Google Analytics Goals Tracking
There you have it!
That’s how to start an email list for free from scratch.
Email lists offer the best form of communication with your audience.
Even though social media marketing often gets the spotlight, having access to your audience email addresses is still the most valuable digital marketing channel for your blog.
Not content marketing, nor influencer marketing.
Now it’s your turn.
Have you started your mailing list yet? Now that you know how to create an email subscription list, are you going to start one soon?
Please share your story in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
So you added the email capture form on your blog.
(If you haven’t, you really need to consider starting your own mailing list.)
You can sit back and hope for a massive emails pile-up of which would rarely happen.
You can find out which traffic sources bring you the most email subscribers. Then focus your effort to attract more of such traffic to help you grow your email list even faster.
In this post, I am going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to track your email signups using Google Analytics goals.
While this post is useful for any website owner, the examples given assumed you are using WordPress.
Tracking your mailing list sign-ups right from the start is important to measure your email marketing success.
It allows you to find out which online marketing strategies are bringing the best ROI (return on investment) for your effort.
You can then ramp up your effort for the particular strategies to drive even more subscribers.
As you gather more data, you can run tests to improve your email sign-up conversion rates even further.
For example, you can find out the exact pages or articles that are most effective in getting new subscribers and then create more similar articles.
You can also track which signup forms convert the best.
Optimal Opt-In Forms Locations
Here at Sabahan.com, I have opt-in forms in the following locations:
Sabahan.com shows fewer opt-in forms on mobile devices so as not to distract the user-experience.
My results show Scroll Mat converts the best.
Pro tip: If you want to include your signup forms on the sidebar, place them at the very top to improve visibility and sign-up rates. This is the most common location for an email signup form.
The more places you put the email signup forms on your blog, the better chance you’ll have in converting your visitors into subscribers.
Now, while you can use Google Analytics to track the conversion rates of each opt-in form location, I am currently using Thrive Leads to do that for me because it’s easier.
Besides giving me the ability to design beautiful and conversion optimized opt-in forms quickly, it has a built-in reporting feature showing me how each form is performing.
I know the conversion rates could be higher. Improving them is a continuous process. In fact I have a few ideas queuing up waiting to be implemented. So in my future posts, I’ll show you how I implement them to improve my conversion rates!
If this sounds too complicated, I learned all these from the FREEÂ Thrive UniversityÂ courses. They have been instrumental in helping me to be up and running faster that I could have been if I were to do it alone. Go ahead check it out.
Alternatively, if you haven’t designed your own opt-in form yet, you can sign up with Sumo. Their free plan allows you to collect up to 200 subscribers.
When designing your opt-in forms, there’ll be an option to connect them with your email marketing service provider.
This guide is based on using double confirmation opt-in to track email signups using Google Analytics goals.
Unlike single-opt-in which adds people immediately into the mailing list, a double opt-in requires the people entering their email address to click on a confirmation link in an email.
Later in the article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each method and why you would prefer using one method over the other.
First thing first. You need to add Google Analytics to your blog.
The steps include:
You can find a detailed instruction to help you with the setup here.
There are plenty of plugins you can use to add the tracking code to your blog.
Some themes may even have the option built-in and therefore installing a Google Analytics plugin isn’t necessary.
If you want the ability to access your analytics data right from your WordPress admin dashboard, you can consider installing Google Analytics Dashboard WP (GADWP).
An autoresponder is an email service that sends an email or a sequence of emails to the subscribers automatically.
It’s like having a personal assistant that never gets tired and never have to take the weekend off. It’s always there to guide and welcome your new subscribers.
As you can imagine, you can use it to create a great experience when welcoming and integrating your new subscribers into your tribe.
There are many mailing list providers offering autoresponder services. I am currently using MailerLite. It’s free to use if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.
Setting up the perfect autoresponder sequence emails involve lots of things.
The email sequence can be a blogging course that gets sent every day for a week or to drum up interest to drive sales to your product or service for a couple of days before the final hard sell.
I will get down to the nitty-gritty of how to set up an autoresponder in my future posts.
For now, you probably just want a simple welcome email that goes out once your subscribers confirm the subscription.
Sending the right message in a welcome email is crucial. It sets the stage whether new subscribes will open and engage with your future emails or ignore them.
It’s the first friendly engagement between you and your subscribers and it’s your chance to earn their trust and tell them what to expect in future emails.
Most people use it to send out freebies, PDF, templates or whatever opt-in incentives promised earlier in exchange for their email address.
Here’s how my welcome email autoresponder looks in MailerLite:
Once you set up your autoresponder email, the next step is to create a Thank You and a Confirmation page on your blog.
Your goal is to lead people to your Thank You page. Their final destination is your Confirmation page. When they land there, you have achieved your final conversion goal.
If you are using a single opt-in method, your goal completes when the subscribers land on your Thank You page. However, we are using the double opt-in method which involves some extra steps.
The process would typically involve the followings:
You can see the process in action if you click the button below and sign up with my email newsletterÂ 🙂Yes Please!
The subscribers will be forwarded to the Thank You page after they submit the opt-in form.
This page can be a simple Thank You for Subscribing page, or a page that lets the subscriber know that they need to confirm their email address.
Avoid using the default confirmation page provided by your email service provider. A customized confirmation page will work better. But it must include clear instructions on how to finish the opt-in process.
If you are offering an opt-in incentive or freebies, avoid offering them on this page because the subscribers will just download it and will ignore your confirmation email.
I set up mine to be as distraction-free as possible as I want to focus the subscriber’s attention to take the next step which is to click the confirmation link in the incoming email.
I also reminded the subscriber to check their bulk or spam folder if they do not see the message in their inbox.
Here’s how my Thank You page looks like (although it’s asking for a confirmation):
The design may change in the future as I find more ways to optimize it.
You know you’ll need to improve this page if you are getting terrible confirmation rates.
You can expect to see 20-30% of people do not finish the opt-in process, that’s the average in the industry (I know that’s pretty high).
But anything more than that, you may be doing something wrong.
Keep in mind that most people are probably viewing the page on mobile so keeping it simple to get your message across is important.
Here’s how my confirmation email looks like:
When designing your opt-in forms, there’ll be an option to connect them to your Thank You page.
For Thrive Leads, you can find the setting under Connect with service > Post Opt-In Action:
The Confirmation page is where the subscriber is directed to once they clicked the confirmation link in the email.
All the email service providers like MailChimp, MailerLite, GetResponse etc provides a default confirmation page which is hosted on their server.
Don’t rely on those as the standard confirmation page is very basic!
I highly recommend you create your own confirmation page so that you can track your email signup conversion and customize the page for extra engagement.
Next, you should tell your email service provider to use your page instead of theirs.
For MailerLite, this setting is located at Subscribe settings > Confirmation Thank You page.
This is the page where you can give access to the opt-in incentives promised earlier if you have them. Or you can include those in the welcome email.
Enhancing Your Confirmation Page
Since the visitor has confirmed the subscription, you can experiment with many things here to encourage engagement or drive more traffic to your blog.
For example, you can ask your new subscriber to tell all of their friends about your blog.
By signing up for a free GoViral account. The idea with GoViral is you can offer additional cool goodies to your new subscribers in exchange for sharing your site with their friends.
Once you signed up, just follow the prompts in GoViral to create your “Share this to get the freebie” page.
Here’s an example on how it’s done:
Here’s my current Confirmation page. It’s pretty minimal. The content may change in the future though.
Now that you’ve created your Thank You and Confirmation pages, you need to ensure that nobody can stumble upon them accidentally as this will mess up with your goal tracking statistics.
To hide your pages, you need to:
To hide your Thank You & Confirmation page from the search engine, you can install SEO plugins like Yoast SEO.
On the page you want to hide, scroll down to the Yoast SEO section. Click on the Advanced icon and then select No from the drop-down option.
Do this to both your Thank You and Confirmation page.
Next, you’d want to hide those pages from your blog internal search.
You can install the Search Exclude plugin to help you with this. All you have to do to exclude the pages is check the “Exclude from Search Results” check box on the right of your editor.
If you provide access to your opt-in incentives in your Confirmation page, you’ll need to make sure the URL is not easy to guess. Otherwise, people will be able to download your incentives without signing up just by guessing your confirmation page URL.
I choose two separate goals for my email list signups tracking because I want to see how many people actually confirm their email address after submitting the opt-in form.
If I have 10 signups per day, but none of them confirms, my actual conversion rate won’t be accurate.
Setting up your goal tracking with Google Analytics is actually pretty straightforward as you’ll see next.
That’s it! You are now ready to track email signups using Google Analytics goals.
Just give Google Analytics a few days and a few sign-ups to start getting your data.
Once you’ve received several newsletter sign-ups, you can start finding which traffic sources bring you the most subscribers or which blog posts convinced the visitors to give out their email address.
It appears that at the time of writing, I get the most email subscribers from referral traffic (visitors arriving from other websites), followed by traffic from the social media.
If you want to find out which social networks convert the best, click on the Social link as shown above.
In the Social section, you can see all the users coming from the social networks.
It’s not a surprise I get most of my email subscribers from Facebook since I got more traffic from them at the moment. However, the email signup conversion rates from Quora traffic is more than double than that of Facebook.
This tells me I should continue my focus to attract Quora traffic if I want more email subscribers.
On a side note, you can learn how to use Quora to drive traffic to your blog here.
To see which traffic source as a whole (domain) refer visitors who convert into email subscribers, look under Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals.
To find out which of your blog post and content leads to the most conversions, look under:
Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path
To separate the goal from all other goals, select your Email Signups goal under the Goal Option drop-down menu.
This will show the steps (up to 3 levels) your visitors take before they sign up to your mailing list.
You can use this information to find out which blog posts lead to the most subscribers. If you have multiple landing pages (squeeze pages), you can find out which ones produce the best conversions.
The difference between single opt-in vs. double opt-in is that double opt-in requires the subscribers to confirm their email address before they can join the mailing list.
Single opt-in adds the subscriber’s email into the email list immediately after they submit the opt-in form. No confirmation is necessary.
Each method has its own pros and cons.
Double Opt-In Advantages
Double Opt-In Disadvantages
Single Opt-In Advantages
Single Opt-In Disadvantages
So which one should you use?
A study conducted by GetResponse says while single opt-in appears to be better from the start, double opt-in is the better choice long-term.
They found the single opt-in conversion rate is worse than that of the double opt-in. Double opt-in emails also get higher click-through rates.
That said, the best method will depend on your situation. You’ll have to test it for yourself to decide which method will work best for you.
Some people claim single opt-in can work well too. You just need to send the right welcome message and actively clear out inactive/invalid subscribers in your email list.
As for me, I’m currently experimenting with the double-opt in for Sabahan.com mailing list.
Armed with this information, you can now start to track email signups using Google Analytics goals to improve your email marketing ROI.
By focusing your effort on attracting only the right kind of traffic or creating the right content, you’ll be working more efficiently which will grow your email subscribers count even faster.
Now it’s your turn.
If you are already using Google Analytics goal to track email signups in your blog, what traffic or content that lead the most sign ups for you?