I love MailChimp. It is a great Email Service Provider (ESP) for people looking to build a following, create engagement and make more money. Building an email subscriber list is one thing you absolutely can’t put off. Ever. In fact, you should be ready to capture email addresses before your website has even launched. See this post on how to prepare to launch a blog if you need some guidance on how to do this. If you have not set up an email subscription system on your site, I recommend you drop everything and do that now. This very minute. Here’s a detailed post on how to set up MailChimp on your site, step-by-step.
You Gotta Work With the Monkey
Going Beyond the Basics with Mailchimp
If you already have MailChimp on your site, congrats! But if you’re like most people, you’re probably severely underutilizing MailChimp and not doing the truly awesome stuff you should be doing with it. Here’s what you’re up against:
People are inundated by SPAM, so they tend to be selective about what they sign up for. Most people want LESS junk, not more, so you have to make sure your content doesn’t fall into the JUNK category.
You know what people care about most? Themselves. They want to know that your emails will help, motivate, or entertain them in some way. If you can deliver the goods, people will stay subscribed to your email list. And if your emails are really good, they will tell their friends about them, maybe even forward them.
But in order for people to decide whether they like your emails or not, you have to get them to sign up first. You have to bring them into your world and onto your email list. The way to do this is via targeted email sign-up forms.
Everything in your website must be continually tweaked, continually refined for greatest effect, because you never know if that person laying eyes on your site for the first time will give you another shot. They might be looking at one single page on your blog and once they’re gone, they’ll never see your site again. Each page, each blog post absolutely has to count.
Here’s something you should know. People find very little value in signing up for “Blog Updates”, since most people figure they can return when they feel like it – which in many cases is never. Anything that you can offer beyond “updates” and you’re ahead of the game.
Once you set up your first email sign-up forms, it’s necessary that you track which content resonated enough with that person to prompt them to sign up. If you don’t know which email form they used to sign up, then you won’t know whether the offer on your email sign-up form was effective or not.
MailChimp doesn’t automatically track which form your subscriber used to sign up, but fortunately, this is an easy fix.
Tracking Which Sign-Up Sources a Subscriber Used
First, you need to log in to your MailChimp account so you can reach the Dashboard. At the Dashboard, you’ll want to click on Lists on the left sidebar.
Look For “Lists On Dashboard
You’ll see your subscriber lists. Click on the one you want to manage.
When the List Dashboard appears, look for Settings. Click on the downward triangle to bring up the available options on the pull-down menu.
Look for Settings
From the Settings Menu, select List Fields and *|MERGE|* tags.
Select List Fields.
Now, here’s the important part. Click on the Add a Field button at the bottom. You’ll be given various choices, but click on the Text button (not pictured) once, as that’s the one we’ll need. Wait a few seconds and the Text field will appear.
On the Field Label, type ” Signup” as well as on the “Put this tag in your content:” column. Very important is that you UNCHECK the Visible? box, as we don’t want this field to make itself viewable on our forms.
Click Save button once everything looks good to go.
Setting Up Our Signup Field
Now, it’s time to look for the embedded forms on your website. You’ll need to insert the following piece of code into your form, right outside the
<input type=”hidden” name=”SIGNUP” id=”SIGNUP” value=”blog” />
What you’ll need to change here is the Value field, name “blog” above, so you know what form the subscriber is using to sign up. For example, the form on my site at the top has the value “Header”, so I know that was the form the subscriber used to sign up. The Value field can be anything you want it to be, as long as it makes sense to you.
Insert Code into Embedded Form
Now, when someone uses that particular form to sign up, this is what I’ll see on my reports:
At-a-Glance View Where Subscriber Signed Up
This is pretty cool, as now I’ll be able to test and refine my forms and know whether they’re working to entice subscribers to sign up.
Later on, we’ll talk about how to create forms that work for you and other strategies you can use to increase your subscriber sign up rates.
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