Welcome to Week 1 of my Email Marketing Showdown series! This week we’re going to cover that first impression your subscribers get of your email list: the signup forms and landing pages you use to collect their information.
If you’re not using signup forms and landing places for your business, you’re missing an opportunity to get people on your e-mail list. No matter what you sell, having an email list is the #1 way to sell more of it! With an email list you can:
- build up a rapport and a relationship of trust with your subscribers
- meet people where they already spend a lot of time: their own inboxes!
- establish a system of two-way communication to educate your customers AND find out what they want from you.
Having a signup form somewhere on the sidelines of your website is only the beginning! Read on for more:
Ways to Use Signup Forms in Your Business
- Right at the top of your website. Use an app like SumoMe to add a free signup form to the top of your website. That way your site visitor sees it right away and knows just where to go to get more information from you.
- In the blog posts you create. Embed a signup form at the bottom of every blog post you create. Sometimes you can use a specific form (see the next tip), and sometimes just a general form is enough!
- To deliver an opt-in download. Use a signup form to get people interested in a digital download of some sort: a resource guide, free pattern, printable, checklist, ebook, or anything else that can be downloaded. You can use a specific form to deliver this download so your subscribers can get it right away when they sign up. (For more info: How I use MailChimp to Mimic ConvertKit)
- To collect signups for a group activity. Issue a free challenge, e-course, or craft-along for your subscribers, and use a signup form to collect the names of people who want to participate in this activity.
A note about Landing Pages
Landing pages are like a full-page signup form. They give you more space to advertise what you want people to sign up for, instead of just a basic box. Landing pages are great for downloads and opt-ins as well as paid products or online classes.
Want some visual examples?
You can see my regular MailChimp sign up form here. I’ve also embedded a basic form in the bottom of this post. I created this signup form in MailerLite, and this is an example of a landing page (also created with MailerLite).
MailChimp vs. MailerLite: Signup Forms and Landing Pages
The first strike against MailChimp in this week’s competition is that they don’t actually have landing pages built directly into their software. They do integrate with other landing page software, though, so if you want to create a landing page for your MailChimp email account, it’s possible! You’ll just need more than one piece of software to do it.
MailerLite offers landing pages for subscribers directly in the software. They have a drag-and-drop editor that lets you customize the layout, and plenty of customization for colors and fonts to help your landing page match your brand. Here’s a screenshot of their landing page templates:
In MailChimp, you can make one main signup form for each list you’ve got in their system. Then you can create much simpler embedded forms for those lists as well. The problem is that every form leads to that one list, and there isn’t an option to customize the results that happen after someone signs up for that list. (For instance: if I want to deliver an opt-in download, I have to put them all on a page on my website and link to that in the welcome email in Mailchimp, because every form leads to that welcome email and I can’t send a custom download with each form individually.)
In MailerLite, I can create multiple forms for one list, and design each one visually according to my needs. I can also customize the “thank you” page for each individual form, so that means: huzzah! If I want to deliver an opt-in download, I can send you that download immediately in the thank-you page for the form you used to sign up. You’ll still get on my regular email list, but the process for joining that list will be customized just for you.
Want an example?
At the bottom of this post is a signup form for MailChimp. Here’s one for MailerLite:
Want to follow along via MailChimp? Enter your e-mail in the box below! And be sure to leave a comment if you have questions about YOUR email marketing. I’ll answer the questions in a future post!