Turn Your WordPress Website Into a FREE List Building Machine
Every blogger and internet marketer knows that list building is the key to success. Building an email list allows you to profit more in the long run, and gives you the opportunity to profit multiple times from a single lead.
One of the main problems with this, mostly for beginners, is the pricing involved with top quality list builders. Yes, you can get a free trial that lasts about 30 days, but what if your blog doesn’t blow up and make enough money within the first 30 days? Or what if you have to wait for your commissions to get paid out, and that’s only going to happen next month?
If you’re in such a position, then this post is for you! I will tell you how you can turn your WordPress website into a list building machine. The best part is – you don’t have to spend a single penny to do this. I will tell you about a WordPress plugin that will let you set up an entire email marketing system INSIDE your WordPress website – for free.
WordPress & List Building
WordPress is a truly amazing piece of software. By installing it on your server, you can instantly set up a complete, fully-functional website in a couple of minutes. This is why it’s such a great platform to use when building a list of email subscribers.
List building with WordPress is really a walk in the park. And the best part is – it doesn’t matter what type of WordPress website you are running. Blogs, corporate websites, portfolios, news portals – you can build a list with just about any type of WordPress website.
Let’s start off with the requirements. I’m going to tell you exactly what you need in order to turn your WordPress website into a list building machine. Don’t worry – you only need a few things and some time. Remember – earlier in this post I mentioned you don’t have to spend a penny to do this.
- First of all, you need a website powered by WordPress. This can be a blog, your portfolio or any other type of website.
- You need to install a specific plugin. I’ll tell you more about this plugin and how to install it later on in this post.
- You need a couple of minutes to complete the process and configure the plugin once installed.
I also recommend using a theme with a sidebar, since it increases your conversion rate when you have a subscription form in your sidebar. This is only optional though – you can integrate the subscription form wherever you want to.
The FREE list building plugin
So let’s get started – let’s turn your WordPress site into a list building machine!
The first step is to install the FREE list building plugin. This plugin is called MailPoet, and can be installed directly from the admin dashboard of your WordPress website. Simply log in, go to “Plugins” > “Add New” and search for “MailPoet”.
Note: When searching for “MailPoet”, you will see an “Install Now” button. Click on this button, and then “Activate” once installed. The screenshot above shows the search results for “MailPoet” after the plugin has been installed on my system.
Once installed, click on “MailPoet” in the WordPress admin sidebar. The first time you visit a MailPoet page, you’ll be directed to a “Welcome” page. Simply browse through the page, subscribe to their newsletter if you want to, and click the “Continue to MailPoet” button at the bottom of the page to access MailPoet.
Now that you’ve installed MailPoet, it’s time to configure the plugin.
Step 1: Setup up a subscriber list
The first step, before even configuring the plugin itself, is to set up a subscriber list. You can, of course, have more than one lists on one installation. These lists will help you filter and categorize your subscribers if you are promoting different types of offers.
Next you need to click on “Add List” in the top bar.
This page allows you to add a new subscriber list. Simply enter a name for your new list, and optionally you can also add a description. Descriptions are never shown to your subscribers – so these fields are useful for internal use.
Click on “Add list” once you’ve entered the details. This will create your new list for you.
Step 2: Configure MailPoet
Now we move on to configuring MailPoet. Go to “MailPoet” > “Settings” to reach the settings page for MailPoet.
You should complete as much details in the settings pages as possible. This will help optimize the plugin for you. Here’s a quick overview on some of the most important parts.
“Your Company’s Address” – Be sure to complete this. This enhances authenticity, and keeps you on the safe side of the law.
“Email Notifications” – Here you can configure the plugin to send you an email update every time someone subscribes / unsubscribes.
“Sender of notifications” – Here you can configure the details of the email sent when someone subscribes / unsubscribes.
“Subscribe in comments” – If you use the default WordPress comment system, you can enable this option to allow visitors to subscribe to your lists when they leave a comment.
“Subscribe in registration form” – If you allow user registrations on your site, you can enable this option to give users the option to also subscribe to your list while they register.
“Link to browser version” – Adds a link to email newsletters so subscribers can view the newsletter in their browser should they experience any problems viewing your email in their default email client.
Here you can add new subscription forms with different fields. Creating multiple forms to test out the performance of multiple fields is a great way to find the perfect form for your website. For example, you might have one form only collecting email addresses and another collecting first names as well.
Here you can configure whether a subscriber needs to confirm their email address or not. If you enable this feature, anyone who enters their email address in your subscription form will have to verify their email address first before being entered into your subscriber list.
Here you can configure how emails should be sent. You can use the built-in feature, or an external SMTP service. Using the built-in feature is free and pretty powerful if you’re only starting out.
Here you can configure some more advance settings for MailPoet. Settings like permissions and details of the emails being sent to your subscribers.
Here you can find a variety of add-ons that you can install with MailPoet to enhance your list building strategy.
Step 3: Embed your subscription form
The last step is to simply embed your subscription form on your website. This is usually best done in a sidebar, but if you do not have a sidebar, you can always add your subscription form to the footer of your website, or even at the end of your posts.
Add a subscription form via “Widgets”
The easiest way to add a subscription form to your website is to go to “Appearance” > “Widgets” and drag the “MailPoet subscription form” widget into one of your sidebar choices. This is quick and easy – and allows you to customize the title text of your form…
This will add a subscription form to the sidebar or footer of your website. The form usually fits the CSS styles of your website.
Add a subscription form via “Shortcodes”
An alternative option is to use a shortcode to integrate a subscription form on your website. The advantage here is that you can basically integrate a subscription form ANYWHERE on your website – adding a form at the bottom of your posts is a very good idea.
To integrate a subscription form via a shortcode, simply go to “MailPoet” > “Settings” and click on the “Forms” tab.
Now hover over the form that you want to integrate, and click on “Edit”. Once you reach the “Edit” page, look at the bottom of the screen.
As you can see in the image above, there’s different options including HTML, PHP, iframe and shortcode options available. In this step, I’ll show you how to use the shortcode option. You can also use the other options if you choose to, but the shortcode option is easiest in this case since you’re integrating the form on your own site.
Click on the “shortcode” option and a new textbox pops up with the shortcode in. Copy this shortcode!
Now for the integration part – you can use this shortcode in pages and posts. Wherever you paste this shortcode, a subscription form will appear. Handy hey!!
Tip: When using the shortcode integration method, be sure to add a catchy title since the shortcode will only add the subscription form and no title or other text.
So let’s see this in action. In the screenshot below, I opened one of my older posts and simply pasted my shortcode at the bottom of the post. I also added a heading that tells the user if they enter their email address, they will receive further updates.
Now when I update this post and visit it, the result is as below:
Want to test out how this type of integration works? Here’s a live preview of the integration – feel free to enter your email address if you want to receive updates from my blog 🙂
Now it’s your turn
I just showed you how you can turn your WordPress installation into a complete list building machine. It’s easy to do, and can help you save hundreds of dollars if you’re only starting out in the blogging or list building world. Now it’s your turn – follow the steps, add the plugin and integrate your subscription form.
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