An optimized list building strategy for your blog (details)

Published on April 17, 2019  

It is no secret (if you’ve read much of my stuff) that I am not only a fan, but also a heavy user, of Thrive Leads. This is THE plug-in that I recommend for all of my customers and readers for managing opt-in forms on a WordPress site.

But, I thought I would share with you how I manage my own opt-ins here at BMA. I’m going to write it up with more detail (and screenshots) for the main blog, but let me walk you through the basics here.

The most effective way to build your list from your blog is by offering up a lead magnet which is tightly related and in-context with the blog post the person is looking at.

So, for instance, if a person ends up on any of my own blog posts on membership sites, they’re going to be greeted with the opt-in form for the Membership Site Planner.

Now, Thrive Leads has the ability to map “Lead Groups” to specific categories and tags. And it works nicely. However, I wanted to have more fine-tuned control than that. As with most blogs, sometimes you’ll have a post in more than one category, or assigned multiple tags. And you can end up having things not show up the way you intend.

I do it a little differently. But first…

Let me clarify what a “Lead Group” is in Thrive Leads. I do find that people still get a little confused by those groups.

A Lead Group is simply a set of opt-in forms. So, typically, you would have one lead group PER LEAD MAGNET. Each lead group contains opt-in forms for that particular lead magnet.

Each lead group has it’s own set of display criteria so you can choose when and where those forms will be triggered. If a lead group is triggered, then all forms in that group will be shown. So, for instance, I have a lead group for the Membership Site Planner. Inside that lead group, I have the forms that offer up that particular lead magnet. It could include any kind of form, such as sidebar, slide-in, welcome mat… you name it.

One last thing… but Lead Groups are prioritized top to bottom. So, when you’re inside of Thrive Leads, you will see all your lead groups listed. And you can reorder them around. The top groups are given priority. If the top group doesn’t apply to a particular blog post or location on your site, then it moves down to the next one and checks. And so on.

So, you set up a DEFAULT lead group at the very bottom. That lead group will trigger whenever one of your more specific lead groups do not apply.

OK, so here’s how I have done it…

I set up categories for my blog posts specifically for mapping them to specific lead magnets. Typical categories would be:

  • [CTA] 45 Lead Magnet Ideas
  • [CTA] 90 Day Plan
  • [CTA] Membership Worksheet
  • [CTA] Pre-Publish Checklist

I have more of them, but you get the idea. I have a category for each lead magnet. I put that “[CTA]” prefix on each one so that it shows up easily in my list of post categories.

Each of those CTA categories is then mapped to a specific lead group in Thrive Leads.

So, for instance, the Membership Worksheet lead group has criteria that says to activate those forms whenever the post is in the category of “[CTA] Membership Worksheet”.

One last thing…

If your theme shows categories on the front-end, then you’d want to modify it so that it will not show these particular categories. These categories are only so that I can easily select specific opt-in form sets for each post. They don’t need to be used for visitor navigation. I don’t use categories for navigation, so it’s no problem for me. I only use categories for internal purposes.

So, the result of all this is that I can publish any blog post and then hand-select exactly which lead magnet best fits that post. I simply choose the CTA category and it will automatically trigger that lead group.

Once you got this setup fully in place, you’ll have a pretty darn effective opt-in strategy happening on your blog. It’ll blow the snot off what most people do… who just put one global opt-in in their sidebar.

Thrive Leads will help you get it done. And yes, I am an affiliate for Thrive. You know the drill. 😉 But, I am also a heavy user of it myself.

In fact, I just cancelled a $99/month tool I was testing out to see if it might be better than Thrive Leads. In the end… I decided I didn’t need it. Thrive Leads does what I need quite nicely. A $99/month tool… and I didn’t need it because Thrive Leads accomplished what I really needed.
– David Risley

In your corner,
David Risley
Founder, Blog Marketing Academy

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