NOTE: this is the final in a series of six posts about creating effective opt-ins. The previous posts in the series are:
– Post 1: Series intro
– Post 2: Identifying the right opt-in topic
– Post 3: Picking the right format
– Post 5: Actually creating the damn thing
If you have any questions about this step – or any of the others in the series – please let me know in the comments below.
Congratulations! You now have an opt-in that’s designed to give your ideal readers a taste of the value they’ll get if they sign up for your newsletter (or equivalent thereof).
Great. Now… how are you going to actually get it into people’s hands?
Different email services set up opt-in sequences in slightly different ways, and readers actually access different opt-in formats in different ways too.
Personally, I use MailChimp and my opt-in gift is a couple of downloadable PDF files, but there are many other options.
What I want to do in this post is quickly take you through the process, I use to give you a basic idea of what to expect from this bit. If you use a different email service, you’ll probably find that the general concepts work the same… but some of the specifics may vary.
If you can’t immediately figure out the equivalent action in your email service, check their Help files, or contact their Support Desk. Or you could put out a call for expert help in one of your social media groups.
With that said, here’s my process.
I like to work backwards, “starting with the end in mind”. This means my first step is to set up the download page that people will access my PDF files from.
Depending on your opt-in format, you might not HAVE to do this!
I have two separate files in my gift though (the guide itself, and a quickie checklist). Plus, I want to give people clear instructions on how to use the files once they’ve download them. So for me, setting up a download page is the most logical option.
Here’s a screenshot of the page people see once they’ve confirmed that they want to get my opt-in gift, so you can see what I mean.
If you already have a newsletter list, you probably did this back when you created your list. So all you’ll need to do now is add a link to your new opt-in download page (or wherever new subscribers will access the opt-in from) in your confirmation email and/or screen.
If you don’t have an existing list, you’ll be setting this up from scratch. Your mailing service will probably have clear instructions on how to do this in their Help section – but for what it’s worth, here’s how I do it in MailChimp…
1. First, set up the initial signup form
I usually include a couple of paragraphs with brief instructions on how (and WHY) to sign up, and choose the information fields I want people to fill in.
It’s important to realise that the more fields you include, the less likely people are to actually fill them all out. Plus, if people can’t immediately see WHY you’re asking about a particular thing, it’s likely to feel intrusive.
I normally ask for people’s first and last names, email address, and what their biggest issue is around copywriting.
2. Next, I set up the confirmation request page
MailChimp is a double-opt-in service, which means anyone who signs up for my list needs to confirm that they want to be added. While this seems like a pain, it actually cuts down on the number of spam complaints, so I’m happy to do it.
However, it’s fair to say that MailChimp’s default text for the confirmation is… well, “boring and soulless” isn’t too harsh, is it? Luckily, MailChimp makes it easy to change almost everything in there (although I still haven’t figured out how to change the button text)!
So my next step is to change the text here so it reflects my brand – and my opt-in – better.
3. Finally, there’s the “Thank you” screen and confirmation email
The last bit is to rewrite the default text on the “Thanks for signing up” screen and confirmation email (because again: default text = boring and soulless).
This is also where I tell people exactly what they need to do to get their opt-in gift… Pro tip: don’t forget to include the password here if you have one!
NOTE: if you’d like to see the exact text I wrote for each of my MailChimp pages, you can run through the process yourself by signing up for my opt-in gift.
You’re welcome to unsubscribe again afterwards if you’d prefer :-).
The last thing to do – and the first thing your potential subscriber will see – is the signup page for your opt-in gift.
This page can be something fancy you create using a service like LeadPages or OptimizePress… but it can also just be a page on your own website. (That’s all mine is!)
Because this page is the first contact your potential subscriber has with the idea of your opt-in, it needs to clearly tell them:
NOTE: that last bullet point requires a clear call to action, which will usually involve either:
Either way, you need to actively tell them what to do – don’t just assume they’ll see the form and/or button, and automatically know!
As you can see, I actually have BOTH options on my landing page. That way I cover people who prefer a button click, AND those who like forms better.
Then, finally, connect the form and/or button to your email service.
Note that this step can get fairly technical, depending on your email service – so please don’t hesitate to ask someone for help if you need it!
Once you’ve done it though? You’re ready to start promoting your opt-in – confident that the people who want it will be able to easily access it.
Next week, I’ll be running a slightly updated version of my popular “Content that Connects” webinar. When I first ran this class back in February, I had nearly 100 people sign up for it – and you can see some of their feedback on the webinar info page.
In the webinar, I’ll be going into more depth on several of the points we’ve covered in this blog series, plus:
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