Creating embedded forms in MailerLite
So, you have your email account set up and now you want to know how to increase traffic on your blog. I applaud you for doing what so many others hesitate to do.
Having a signup option for your visitors ensures that they will return to your website over and over, giving you a way to communicate with them and further niche-down your website, and as an added bonus, increase traffic. More traffic from your site tells Google that you have something of interest to say to the world and Google moves you up the rankings to help you to say it.
More traffic = better ranking. Better ranking = more traffic!
This is not just a bonus for you, but also for your visitors. They are looking for your answers to their questions and when they find them, they want to sign up and hopefully get more awesome insight from you so let them!
I read a blog post by Melyssa Griffin on how she regretted not starting email marketing right away. If you are unaware, Melyssa is a 6-figure blogger, so if she thinks that list building is important, then I think it is fair to consider what it can do for you as well.
I tried list building when I was in my second month of blogging, but I was so unsure of myself then…always second guessing what I was doing. Everything was so confusing (I am looking at you MailChimp!). And this seems to be a common problem for newer bloggers…a level of insecurity about email marketing.
I am here to tell you that it really isn’t that bad. Once you get the basics down you can start tweaking the system to improve your skills and keep increasing your traffic. You got this!
**This post contains an affiliate link. If you click a link and purchase something, I may receive a commission or benefit at no extra cost to you. Please see my full disclosure at the bottom of the page**
As for an email service provider, here is what worked best for me: MailerLite. It is user-friendly and helpful. It is free for up to 1000 subscribers and has all the bells and whistles that some of the more expensive competition offers but at a more reasonable price…free. And who doesn’t like quality products that are free? I do not know and frankly I do not want to know lol.
Related Post: How to Use MailerLite
I have signed up for umpteen list building courses in the past few months, and I have learned a couple of things that I want you to know.
One of them is: you need is to get an ESP (email service provider) and start putting embedded forms on your site. These are your two priorities. If you followed through from my last post on setting up MailerLite, then you are halfway there. Yay!!
People who have been waiting patiently for you to do this will sign up right away. Poof! List building 101.
The second thing is: promote, promote, promote. So if you create the opt-in you have to promote it. We will get to that in a bit.
After the initial rush of signups comes the real work to do in regards to traffic, because we want to maintain the flow of subscribers. We will be looking at various ways to get more traffic in upcoming posts. For now, let’s get our email service set up so that we can collect people for our list. That is the foundation of list building.
Putting opt-in forms on your site is an invitation for people to connect with you. And really, you gotta start sometime right?
So let’s embed some forms and put this aspect of blogging into the “been there, done that” folder so that you can move past this intimidating part of blogging, because it is really not that scary after all.
This tutorial is based on using WordPress, so if you do not use this content management system (CMS), you will have to check your CMS help files.
1. Open your MailerLite dashboard and from the menu in the upper left, choose FORMS.
On the next page click the big orange button to start creating a form. If you have not signed up yet, follow one of my links. Signup is quick and painless!
You will want to choose Embedded form so that you can get the html code to add to your website in various places like a sidebar widget or directly into your blog post, or both (recommended!).
Give your form a name. This is for your benefit only and to help you differentiate from all the other forms you will create. Save and continue.
2. Add your subscribers.
If you are brand new to email marketing, you probably have none and you can create a group based on your website URL (default option).
If you have some from another email service provider, you can import them into MailerLite. This video shows how to import MailChimp subscribers, but the idea is the same for any other ESP.
Save and continue.
3. Yay! Design time!
MailerLite has just changed all of their forms, due to this GDPR stuff, so now you have more and different options for creating forms.
On this page, you have two options. Subscribe form and thank you message. It defaults to subscribe form for me, so adjust accordingly.
In the design tab, you have the option to change the style of form. Your three choices are DEFAULT, HORIZONTAL, and CARD. Card allows you to add images. Choose default for now.
Click on the form image to access sub-menus. In here, you can add a field to the form such as NAME. By default you must have Email
In the FORM DESIGN area, you just have to click on any of the elements to change elements to create completely unique forms for your website.
Clicking on Form allows you to change the size (height, width) and add a contrasting border. You can make tall skinny forms for your sidebar or wide and narrow forms to fit in between paragraphs in your blog posts.
Form background is exactly that. Change it from grey toyour brand colors.
Title is the main heading for your form. Change it from NEWSLETTER to something befitting to your brand.
Text is the text under your Title.
*Due to all this jabber about GDPR, do not make signing up mandatory to receive free stuff or anything else. Word your text so that the people signing up know exactly what they are signing up for (an email from you and special offers etc).
If you are not sure how to word this, look at mine, or go to a big blog and see what they are doing now. You can offer your free stuff in your newsletter with no problems or have a resource library, and as far as I know this is A-okay.
Also note: you do NOT have to offer freebies. Right now it is good just to get the opt-in form on your site. You can do more advanced marketing later on.
We are all waiting to see how this GDPR stuff plays out, but there is no reason to exclude people in the EU from signing up. It is not their fault that this is being put into place. You can add all the people from the EU into a group based on geographic location (see below on how to group subscribers).
As well, MailerLite has all the subscribers personal info and can help you to delete it if a subscriber requests it.*
Input is the color of the field box (Name, Email etc)
Button is the button color and text
Page background changes the whole area around your opt-in box to whatever color you choose. I do not bother with this one for forms being embedded on my site because I am taking the html code and adding it to a text widget or else just pasting it into my text editor in wordpress.
In the Settings tab, you can choose to have checkboxes added to your form (for GDRP compliance) or to hide segmentation fields.
Let your form reflect you and your personality, to attract the people who really want to sign up for all of your expert help. Do not be afraid to change “sign up to our newsletter” into “have I got some info for you!” or whatever you want to say. People like individuality, so go for it! Just click the pencil icon to edit that area of the form.
Change the buttons as well. I have seen some crazy stuff on buttons, as I am sure that you have as well, so go for it (within reason of course).
4. Create your “thank you” message.
Click up top on SUCCESS MESSAGE, and then click on the form that is displayed (click the pencil icon) to bring up a Content area that you can edit. You can also add photos here as well or embed other html into the form.
When you are happy with how your form looks, choose the big orange DONE EDITING button in the top right hand corner.
5. Choose whether you want double opt-in or not.
There are different schools of thought for this choice. On one hand, single opt-in is easier for subscribers, since they get less “hassle” about signing up (one less thing to click).
The other is that a double opt-in makes sure that they really want to sign up. I think this is unnecessary if you have an unsubscribe option in your newsletters. You still get to send a thank you message either way.
You can research this for yourself and decide On or Off for the toggle switch. Your choice.
Scroll down, on this same page, to “Embed form in your website”. I chose java script, but if that does not work for you try the html and copy and paste it into your sidebar text widget or into the text editor in WordPress.
PROMOTE YOUR FORM
If you have the kind of theme that allows you to put an embedded form into the header, then do that. The next best spot is at the top of your sidebar…in a really obvious spot. This is what I meant by promote. Visitors are not used to your site the way that you are, so help them out by making your opt-in really stand out for them.
You want it to be as front and center as it can be (above the fold). People want to sign up. They really, really do. It is important to give visitors a hand with this, so be blatantly obvious about the placement. Put it somewhere that visitors will trip over, so to speak.
As well, use a horizontal form to run across the lower area of your main page and/or all of your posts. Don’t be shy 🙂 You will be amazed at how quickly the signups will happen. And they will keep happening, as long as you make it easy for people.
A side note: you can create your forms in different colors (use the duplicate option) to match your blog post images or replace one (or two) of them. Get creative! If you have a form in the sidebar, one in the middle of a post and one at the footer of your site, a visitor should not be able to miss the message.
6. Segmenting your list.
This is totally optional, but helpful if you have a blog with more than one “niche”, such as DIY crafts, recipes, and a mom blog, for example. This way you can be sure to send craft ideas to the people who are interested in that information, and recipes to the people who are interested in food ideas, and mom stuff to the moms.
Here is a quick video on creating segments.
7. Create Groups
Groups are different from segments and can help you track which forms are the most popular on your site if, for example, if you are creating freebies for your blog posts and then creating an opt-in form to promote the freebie.
This helps to identify what people are most interested in when they come to your site. For example, if you have an opt-in form for chicken recipes and an opt-in form for beef recipes. Whoever signs up to either of these forms would still belong to the “recipes” segment, but now you can see if chicken recipes are more popular than beef recipes, and publish blog posts accordingly.
Creating forms in MailerLite is super simple and the most time consuming part of this task is designing the form to look.just.right.
Related Post: How to use MailerLite
You can also duplicate the form from the main FORMS page and then just change a thing or two to A/B split test and see what your visitors respond to.
To duplicate your form, from the main menu choose Forms > Embedded forms. Find your form in the list (if there is more than one form) . At the far right of the form is an Edit button with a down arrow. Here you can choose Duplicate or Delete.
Like everything else about blogging, it is all trial and error. Best to get on top of it now and start collecting valuable data!
Related Post: Google Analytics Tutorial
You can also add a MailerLite plugin that will embed your forms in a couple of clicks. I have not tried this yet as I am running too many plugins as it is and I am okay with doing geeky stuff manually.
Allright then! We have one more step after this, which is learning to do an automation series. That will be next weeks post. Do you have any questions about this process? Did I miss anything? Do you have any insights on setting up an email service? Tell me in the comments – I love hearing from you 🙂
Until then, happy blogging! And follow me on Pinterest.