How to Create Your Opt-In Delivery Sequence in 7 Simple Steps
You're on a mission to grow your list. So you've created an awesome free opt-in.
Congrats for taking action, following through and getting it done!
So… what now?
Now that your opt-in (aka lead magnet) is done, it's time to get it in people's hands!
But… what do you do first?
Being the resourceful figure-outer you are, you start where you think you should.
You quickly figure out that you needed to complete a step before. So you go do that.
And you soon hit another roadblock when you realize there's yet another thing that needed to be done first. So now you've got to drop everything—again—and go do this other thing.
Before you know it, you're overwhelmed, confused and have lost an entire day trying to do this supposedly really simple thing.
I feel your pain, believe me. I've been there a million times before.
It's even more frustrating when you're going through a tutorial for a tool touted as a ‘simple solution to creating opt-ins in 15 minutes flat.'
15 minutes? My eye.
So, last last year, while creating a series of content upgrades for a client, I documented the entire process for future reference.
That process is what is outlined in this article.
WAIT! If someone on your team handles back-end sequences for you, you can totally skip this post. I wrote this guide for DIY entrepreneurs who want to (or must) figure this digital marketing stuff on their own.
First: Get Your Stuff Together
This is the part most '15 minutes flat' tutorials conveniently “forget” to tell you.
Before starting, be sure to gather all your moving parts:
- Tools Needed—to ensure automated delivery of your opt-in, you need these tools:
- Project Management Hub—to keep all your moving pieces organized, for example:
- Opt-in Collateral—everything related to your opt-in and delivery need to be collected and saved in your Project Management Hub, like:
- the final copy (or copies) of your opt-in
- the direct download link of your opt-in
- all written matter related to your delivery sequence
- all visual elements related to your delivery sequence
- Tracking Document—to use as you go through each step to document important text and URLs
- name your document
- file it in your Project Management Hub
Having all this stuff prepared in advance will help you whiz through each step.
Be sure to save all of these moving parts into your Project Management Hub and open your blank Tracking Document.
KEEP YOUR TRACKING DOCUMENT OPEN.
Now that you have everything together, you're ready to get started.
7 Steps to Creating Your Opt-In Delivery Sequence
I'm currently working on how-to guides for each of these elements.
For now, here are the steps—in order—to getting your opt-in out into the world.
Step 1: Thank You PageCREATE IN: WordPress or landing page program
You may choose to skip this step if you already have a generic Thank You Page created, and/or subscribers don't need to confirm their email.
This is the very first page new subscribers see after hitting the “Submit” button.
Keep it simple. Thank them for signing up, and tell them what to do next (“check your inbox for a confirmation email”).
Your Thank You Page is also a opportunity to upsell a low-cost offer. If you're so inclined to place an upsell at this point, by all means do so. However, for the purposes of this guide, we're keeping things simple and will forgo that option for now.Your Thank You Page is a great opportunity to upsell a low-cost offer Click To Tweet
Once your Thank You Page is created, copy and paste the URL to your Tracking Document and click Save.
Step 2: Download PageCREATE IN: WordPress or landing page program
This is the page new subscribers see after confirming their email address (or after hitting the “Submit” button if you don't require confirming email).
It contains the actual opt-in, the direct download link, or instructions on how to get their opt-in.
Don't make subscribers jump through any more hoops. They've already confirmed their email address. Now give them what they signed up for!Don't make subscribers jump through hoops. Give them what they signed up for! Click To Tweet
Still using Automation Bridge as an example, here's Chris' Download Page (click for larger view):
Once your Download Page is created, copy and paste the URL to your Tracking Document and click Save.
Step 3: Email ListCREATE IN: Your Email Service Provider (ESP) account
If you're adding subscribers to an existing list, you can skip Step 3.
Because each ESP has a different way of setting up lists, it's beyond the scope of this post to go through all possibilities and variations.
Suffice to say, an Email List is a large bucket which contains various Sign-Up Forms (see Step 4) used for tracking, segmenting and follow-up purposes.
You'll need to figure out the best way to set up your Email List that meets your email marketing purposes.
Note: For assistance, contact your ESPs customer support.
This is usually where you're asked for a Download Page URL, so paste yours in the appropriate place.
Step 4: Sign-Up FormCREATE IN: Your Email Service Provider (ESP) account
If you're using a pre-existing sign-up form, you can skip Step 4.
Sometimes called a lead box, this is the form where visitors (leads) enter their information—typically name and email—to opt-in (verb) to receive your opt-in (noun).
As noted above, depending on your ESP, steps to creating a Sign-Up Form will differ. Contact your ESPs customer service or tech support for help setting this up properly.
This is usually where you're asked for both Download Page and Thank You Page URLs, so paste each URL in the appropriate place. (LeadPages only asks for a Thank You Page URL.)
Now that Steps 3 and 4 are complete, copy and paste the following to your Tracking Document:
- the sign-up form HTML code, and
- the sign-up form URL
Click Save on your Tracking Document.
Step 5: Follow-Up Message (optional)CREATE IN: Your Email Service Provider (ESP) account
This is the first email message new subscribers receive from you after confirming their email address (or after hitting the “Submit” button if you don't require confirming email).
There are so many ways to write your follow-up message, but we're keeping things simple in this guide.
Your first Follow-Up Message will basically be a combination of your Thank You Page and Download Page:
- Thank your new subscriber.
- Include download instructions. No hoops to jump through (“In case you missed it, here's the link for my super awesome opt-in.”).
- Tell them what to expect. Will you be sending more follow-ups? Let them know.
- (optional) Make a clear call to action (read a blog post, reply to the email, upsell a related offer, etc.)
- (optional) Share all the ways they can connect and keep in touch with you.
Make sure this message, and any follow-ups for this list, are directly related to your opt-in topic.Make sure follow-up emails directly relate to your opt-in topic Click To Tweet
Because the one thing you know for sure about your new subscriber is that they are interested in THAT topic. Don't assume anything else.
Citing Chris at Automation Bridge again, here's an example of a Follow-Up Message I recently received (click for larger view):
Yours doesn't have to be this elaborate, but I encourage you to emulate Chris' example for future sequences.
When you're done writing a Follow-Up Message, get it proofread and send yourself a test.
When it all looks good, save it, and set it to publish immediately after sign up (it's probably already set up that way).
Now that Steps 3, 4 and 5 are complete, you're ready to publish your Sign-Up Form.
Step 6: Publish Sign-Up FormPUBLISH IN: WordPress or landing page program.
Now you're ready to display the Sign-Up Form on your site or landing page.
Place your Sign-Up Form in a visible area, above the fold, as close to your header as possible. Alternatively, you can place it as a widget in your “Menus” area in WordPress.
Here's an example of where the Sign-Up Form appears on Automation Bridge (click for larger view):
And this is the lead box that opens when clicking the “Yes Send It To Me” button (click for larger view):
Paste the HTML code in the appropriate field and save (or integrate the form if you have the option).
Step Seven: Test Your SequenceTEST IN: Most common browsers and on various devices
We're almost done! There's only one thing left to do.
Before publishing or driving ads to your shiny new form, be sure to test your opt-in process first.Before publishing your opt-in form, test the process first Click To Tweet
Be sure to test:
- in each of the most popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari)
- on different devices (PC, Mac, tablet, smart phone, etc.)
- on different operating systems (Windows, OS X, Android, etc.)
- on different email services (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Mail, etc.)
In fact, get help on this one.
Ask people with different browsers, devices, operating systems and email services to go through and document each step (ask for screenshots whenever possible).
This ensures you haven't missed any important steps and that your sequence is running smoothly.
It's better to know sooner rather than later if there's a hiccup in your sequence.
Fix and test until it works.
CONGRATS! Your opt-in delivery sequence is done!
Now it's time to promote your opt-in and grow your list.
And think of other places to promote your opt-in, beyond your landing page or website.
Here are some suggestions to get you started, but I'm sure you'll come up with your own:
- send your opt-in URL to your existing mailing list (exclude those who have already received this particular opt-in)
- post the opt-in URL to all of your social media profiles
- add the opt-in URL to your email signature
- create a lead box or pop-up box for your opt-in
- create compelling ads leading to your opt-in
You'll come up with more ideas on this site and elsewhere.
Test out what works best and see what produces highest conversions and do more of that.
This was a quick overview of the 7 steps.
As you worked through the sequence, you probably found steps that didn't quite work for the type of opt-in you created (ex.: an email course with nothing to download).
Maybe some of the steps didn't quite fit with the tool(s) you use.
That's why I'm working on how-to guides to walk you through each step in more detail.
The best part (I think) are the short video tutorials showing how to accomplish these steps in various programs.
I obviously can't create tutorials for every tool, program or software available. I'll start with the ones I've used or have access to, and go on from there. (Let me know if there's a specific tool you'd like me to tackle!)