31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 10: Pop-ups

[Before we start, have you followed 10 new people yet?]

How to add a pop-up to capture email addys for your newsletter

Now that we’ve (almost?) figured out what our next several newsletters are going to be, we need to find a way to build our email list. Creating the actual sign-up form isn’t a piece of cake, if we’re being honest. Not impossible, but it’s potentially tedious.

Today we create a form on your website that will automatically capture emails for you, for your future newsletter.

Creating a signup form on your website

You need to choose a service that will create a pop-up form for you to add to your website (I’m assuming you won’t create the code yourself). Check with your website host to see if they have one already built in; what a godsend if so! Otherwise check out the many available (always try free first!) services like Mailchimp, HubSpot, ConvertKit, AWeber, GetResponse, ConstantContact. They’ll have pop-up templates you can customize to match your brand.

Anyone who signs up via the pop-up will be set aside and placed in an email list for you. Many services also offer newsletter templates you can create and send directly from their site, without having to download and transfer the list, so look for that.

I’m all about as few steps as possible. But I’m also about as cheap as possible, if I’m being honest. So do your homework. Right now I’m using a relatively seamless plugin, but TBH it took two days of research to figure out, and another to implement. I first went with Mailchimp but then added MailPoet plugin meaning ultimately upgrading ONCE AGAIN to do it all from WordPress. I guess simpler does have a cost that is worth it. At any rate, it’s done. If you are at any page of my website, it should pop-up in five seconds.

Starting steps:

  1. Find out things like where do the emails go, if you are notified when people sign up, how many free addresses allowed, etc. (With free the MailPoet I now use I get the first 1,000 addys for free—but as mentioned I had to upgrade a few levels of WordPress to be able to add the free plug in…is anything worth it ever easy?)
  2. Pick and personalize the look of the pop-up form from a template they provide. Adjust colors and fonts to match your brand.
  3. Determine when and where your pop-up form will show up. You should be able to decide if it appears on every page of your site, if it fades in or sparkles, how long it stays up, does it appear when people arrive at your site or when they leave, etc.
  4. Use a strong or fun call to action. Tell people WHY they should sign up for your newsletter, what to expect, and what they’ll get in return. “Sign up for my monthly newsletter chock full of industry insights and news, and get a free xxx. Offer ends Dec 31st so sign up soon!” (In that example, starting Jan 1st you can reword the offer and have it expire a few months later.)
  5. Add it your website asap. No excuses for waiting. If it’s not perfect, fix it later. JUST GET IT UP! Done is better than perfect! Most form builders will provide the code needed to add to your website so you just copy and paste. Some offer simpler drag-and-drop option. (My upgraded plug was a download so I didn’t have to open a new account.)
  6. Now go to the program where you created the form, and figure out a sequence of events that happens once people sign up. Do you want a confirmation or Thank You email to be automatically sent once they hit ENTER? Create it now. They’ll walk you through it.

Does this make sense? Take your time.

Do your best to make it happen today. Create the form. See it through, even if it’s a PITA (pain in the ***). You don’t have to go live today, just have ALL the groundwork done today.

Recap: create a pop-up sign-up form for your soon-to-be launched newsletter.

Tomorrow we start working on your “lead magnet” — the incentive to get people to use that sign up form.

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