You have probably already heard of the importance of collecting Email addresses and using them for your sales funnel.
I have created my third campaign now and want to share my experience with you. How to build an opt-in Email list is actually quite easy, it just takes time to set up all the forms etc.
The main idea is that you keep your website visitors for sure instead of sending them only to sales pages where they leave their email addresses to other websites.
To do this, it is important to have several opt-in forms and opt-in landing pages.
Different email list building tools I used.
Once you start with your website business you are probably not too aware of the how important it is to collect email addresses, at least I wasn’t.
The main focus, in the beginning, is directed at building the website and creating good content.
Soon you learn about traffic and ways besides SEO techniques you can use to drive more traffic to your site. To keep this traffic as your personal audience will be essential in future.
First step, a free plugin.
I have worked with the “Ultimate Social Media Icons” plugin in the beginning and still do in fact. It is a free and actually quite good plugin that enabled me to start growing my list.
The main feature of the plugin is to add social share buttons to your site. You can additionally collect email addresses though.
Today I only use the social share function of the plugin due to having a real autoresponder program is much more effective.
If you work with a WordPress website you can download the free version of the plugin. Go to “add a new plugin” in the WP dashboard and enter “Ultimate Social Media Icons” into the search bar.
Choose the first plugin on the left, by “ultimately social”, the one on the pic on the right. For me, this plugin is a great choice and works perfectly.
You can create and activate a popup opt-in form to collect email addresses from your visitors. It is easy to use but once you want to find the email list you’ll probably have to search for a while. I had to at least.
MailChimp the free version.
Now the first option of a real autoresponder program with a free version is probably MailChimp. I have tried working with this tool before but for some reasons, it didn’t work out for me.
For sure at that time I was not as well informed about what an opt-in campaign consists of and which steps have to be accomplished.
Fact is, I wasn’t convinced that I can work with MailChimp and therefore laid off the autoresponder thing for a while. I also read in other reviews that MailChimp can get quite expensive once you start using it professionally.
Please have a look your self and see if you want to work with this actually recommended program. (See plans here)
Today I see that all the essential features you need to start your campaign are available in the free version of MailChimp.
- A contact list. 2000 addresses.
- Emails per month 12.000.
- Email campaigns.
- Opt-in forms.
- Landing pages.
With these features, you can build and work your mailing business aspect.
- Get an Email address from a visitor.
- Let the autoresponder send a welcome and follow-up mail.
- Send weekly or other newsletters.
- Create a landing/squeeze page for your products.
To navigate MailChimp is a bit harder than my favorite autoresponder and the creation options are fewer too. I still think though that working with MailChimp can be satisfying and effective.
There is a lot of tutorial and step by step introduction on how to use the program. Anyway, I have already done the whole setup two times now and don’t want to change it anymore at the moment.
GetResponse, the professional (complicated) solution.
The second try, when I was getting worried because I don’t have a working autoresponder in use was the free trial with GetResponse.
It took me about three full days to set up the whole thing. Landing page, opt-in forms, and autoresponder welcome mail. The program is free to use for 30 days and after that, it is $15.00/month the standard plan.
One thing I don’t like about GetResponse, I must say now is that when you create any forms you have to adjust the mobile version manually which takes a lot of time.
Why I went away from GetResponse was because my credit card refused to pay the fee. I don’t know why that happened, GetResponse wasn’t able to help me out and here in Thailand I wasn’t able to get the visa to pay the bill.
My tip, before you invest all the hard work into this program check whether you will be able to pay the bill. I was quite frustrated when I had to give up and saw all my efforts gone in the wind.
With GetResponse though you can create really nice landing pages and opt-in forms as well. As said before, you lose some time for editing the mobile version but finally, I was quite happy with my results.
An advantage of GetResponse is that they accept all users, affiliate marketers as well. The program I use now has some restrictions on who can use their tool.
MailerLite, my favorite today.
It was a bit hard to get accepted first, I applied as an affiliate marketing site and my application was refused right away. After some going forth and back of emails with a nice lady working at MailerLite we could finally solve the problem.
Before applying check these “terms of service” please so you won’t lose as much time as I did signing up for the free version of the tool.
I actually, agree to these terms and think spamming is not the way to go anyway. If we want to grow and keep a happy email community we have to take good care of them and only provide relevant and helpful content.
Why weight loss material isn’t allowed I don’t really understand, it might be due to unhealthy habits some persons develop focusing too much on their visual appearance.
All in all, I can recommend MailerLite and am very happy to have found a friends review about this program.
How to get started with an opt-in Email list.
The goal is to get people signing up to your list and then provide helpful interesting emails to them. You might also want to add a free gift or something to help people signing up more easily.
1. Think of and create a reason for people to opt-in.
If you don’t have a freebie you can just offer a weekly newsletter with website updates and other news. If you want to offer a freebie it is the first step to create an adequate gift.
As you see I offer a small free training. I created it my self within Wealthy Affiliate where all essential tools and features are available for free members.
I can recommend checking out this training and by doing so some people will already sign-up for my No.1 recommended program for a free trial.
2. Automated welcome mail.
You want to create your first autoresponder email, a welcome and thanks for opting in the mail. If you have a gift you have to add it to your first automated mail as well.
This first mail will be sent right after a person signs up to your list. So it better be ready before you invite people to join your list.
With these autoresponder programs writing Emails reach a totally new level. I was very surprised when I saw how easy it is done and how professional these emails can look in no time.
You can add images, change backgrounds, add buttons and and and. It is not comparable with writing an email at Gmail for example. There is text but it is structured and you can change the sizes and fonts and colors of every element.
It’s really fun to do this job but to have my own templates, with time, will shorten the time I spend creating amazing Emails:)
3. You’re ready for the opt-in forms now.
Well done, you know how you want to convince people to join your list and you have the first Email ready, the one people get after subscribing.
Now you want to create and publish several opt-in forms. I recommend using a number of forms, some work better some worse:)
- Widget opt-in form.
- Pop-up opt-in form.
- Embedded on page opt-in form.
- Landing/squeeze page opt-in form.
So far I use the first three options. My autoresponder set-up is only a week online and so far I have 2 sign-ups on the landing page and each one from the pop-up and side widget forms.
It is too early to make any conclusions yet or change anything but by analyzing the information you get from MailerLite about who, when where signed up you can optimize your results.
The widget form I created is on the right above now, I’m not too happy with it, I think it’s a bit too big and too nervous, I’ll soon do some changes to it when I have the time.
Creating and editing the widget is again made very easy with MailerLite. A drag and drop editing dashboard let’s you edit effectively and fast.
Don’t forget to edit the “success message” as well. It is the pop up that opens once a subscriber has submitted his details.
As you see I have created my own infographic. I use this on all opt-in forms to get some kind of branding optimation. I create these images with the free to use tool “Canva.com review” I haven’t found a better program and do all my infographics there.
As far as I know, you can create as many forms as you like. One for the side widget area, another for the fooder etc.
I now quickly create a new form that I want to embed right here on this post. Let’s see how long it takes and what the steps are I need to accomplish.
Create an embedded form:
- Click on create a new form and give it a name.
- Add it to a subscribers list.
- I want to place it here so no need to change the template. (Default)
- Edit how you like it, check success message and edit if needed. Click finished editing.
- Choose an HTML code and paste it to where you like. It took me 14 minutes to get this done.
That was easy indeed If you want to add images or more buttons you have all possibilities you want. I also checked how the form looks on a mobile phone. It is all adjusted and there is nothing I have to change.
Creating a pop-up form is a similar process. Choose a subscribers list, choose a template and create with the easy to use dashboard.
These two or three opt-in forms are good to start your campaign with I think. From now on people can sign-up for your mailing list and you can send them newsletters and other interesting emails.
The autoresponder you can build out now as well. One or ten follow-up emails can improve your conversions drastically. The online customer lifecycle is not one “stop & buy” thing.
An online customer wants to get good information first, reviews and examples of how you could take advantage of the product you recommend.
In a series of follow-up emails, you can gain more trust and show that you are competent and the product is valuable. Don’t let your campaigns look like spam, Provide information, help solve relevant problems and explain why and how your recommendation was able to help you.
Landing/squeeze page, your opt-in review.
As I understand and see a lot of successful marketers practice is that a landing page does not only link to the product page but it lets your customer first opt-in to your mailing list and then, on the success page you give access to the product page itself.
Building a landing page, if you want to create an in-depth one takes some time. You want to make some kind of review of your product.
Mainly you want to outline all the features involved in the product. How someone can benefit and who can benefit must be explained.
Make sure you don’t use duplicate text form your website or any other source, the landing page is a website and gets indexed by Google and other search engines.
Duplicated content can hurt your landing page and the source page you copied it from. (Just reminded me that I have to delete my landing page on GetResponse lol).
That is why I use a lot of infographics. These are image formats and can not be read by search engines.
The editing again is made very convenient, a very short learning curve. Within an hour or so you work like a pro and start having fun editing your landing page.
I recommend making your landing page an opt-in form. Don’t lose your visitors to the product sign-up page. Funnel them through the Email opt-in form first.
After they have opted in they see the success page and there you place a call to action button where they get to the program.
Like this, you have the email address and in case the customer doesn’t buy the product right away he’ll get follow up emails that can convince him to give it a try later on.
To drive traffic to your landing page you use your website. To wait for organic traffic I think is not working due to the page not having a good URL. You can give it a keyword title with low competition to increase the chance of being found in the big sea of websites.
On your website, you place a call to action button where it is relevant. With these buttons or images or just a text, you link to the landing page. See three working examples below.
I think this is enough information for today. Please add yourself to my list if you are interested in more helpful articles. I keep sharing what I learn and try to learn what you want to know.
As for now, I was not able to integrate a working opt-in form. I made a screenshot and added a link to it. I’ll never learn all, this keeps things interesting 🙂
Thanks for reading How To Build An Opt-In Email List.
I hope it was worth your time and you could learn something here. I am happy to have understood the Email list thing finally and feel great to share it with you.
Choose your autoresponder as soon as possible and set your campaign up. Every one of your website visitors is a potential subscriber and essentially a future customer.
Don’t let them get away, an email list is a most valuable treasure for the website marketing business. To get traffic to a new post is much harder than sending an email with all your new content to at least all of your subscribers.
Please if you have a question let me know. If you want to share any experience or add some points I have not mentioned just leave a comment below. I and all the readers welcome constructive comments and me for sure will reply asap.
Have a great week now, see you, Stefan 🙂 asuperaffiliate.com