Hello there! Welcome to Episode 73 of Coffee Break Blogging. In this episode, we talk about several different tools to make this happen. One of them you’ve likely never heard of, but looks very promising. 🙂
In the last installment, we talked about how your blog content itself will be the area where you can get the highest opt-ins to your list – IF you use the content upgrade strategy.
But, how do you insert opt-in forms into a WordPress post or page without the editor screwing it up?
WordPress is designed to be a blogging platform, not a marketing platform. This means that the post editor will tend to strip out things that you may want to put in there, including opt-in form HTML code.
Today we are going to jump right in to how to easily insert opt-in forms inside of your actual blog post.
Why Talk About This?
Now first of all, why is this even a topic, really? In Episode 72 we did talk about how having something called Content Upgrades inside of your actual blog content is a really effective way to get people to get on to your list. So basically, you set up a lead magnet that goes right alongside the blog post. So you have a unique lead magnet for that blog post. It is a very effective strategy, actually. But the reason why we are doing Episode 73 here is because if you have ever tried to put an opt-in form inside the post editor of WordPress, you’ll find that it can really be annoying.
Essentially, what happens is… The post editor, that little WYSWYG interface that you type your blog post into; it doesn’t handle HTML very well. If you put in html; let’s say you go to Aweber and you get the opt-in form code that it gives you and paste it directly into the editor inside of WordPress, chances are it is going to screw up your code. It is not going to look right when you finally publish it. It is just the nature of it. I have said this before on the podcast and definitely in many aspects of Blog Marketing Academy; but the truth is WordPress was never designed to be a marketing platform. It is designed to be a blog platform.
So therefore, the editor and the functionality of WordPress, out of the box, are designed to write content in. It is not designed to put full-on html for opt-in forms in the editor. So you need to look at different ways of putting those things in there because we know this is an effective strategy.
Different Ways Of Making It Happen
Now, the first one, and I mentioned this in the last episode; is the Lead Boxes. So Lead Boxes is a function of the Lead Pages platform and you probably heard about Lead Pages in a lot of different places because they are just very well known in the whole internet marketing space. And Lead Pages is a great product. Like I said in Episode 72, I am not a big fan of their landing pages only because they are not that flexible. But the thing is, I also realized I am a unique breed in the fact that I come from a very geeky background and I know how to go on there and hack up the code and all that stuff. So I am probably not actually their ideal target market when it comes to their landing pages.
Their landing pages are designed to be super simple and pretty much impossible to screw up. But they have got this functionality of Lead Boxes which is actually really nice. It is a little overkill just to pay for Lead Pages if Lead Boxes is the only thing you want to use; and in fact there are other options I am going to mention here if you find yourself only one in the Lead Boxes functionality. But it is a very simple solution, very easy; it makes setting up these two-step opt-ins that you could integrate very easily into your blog posts; it’s just child’s play. It is super easy to do. So Lead Boxes is definitely a way to put nice opt-ins. The funny thing is they do not even look like an opt-in. They look like a standard hyperlink or a button or even an image; if that is what you want it to link to, but only when they click on it does it pop up the opt-in. So it is very effective on how it integrates.
Now what if you don’t have a Lead Pages account or… Do we need to get a Lead Pages account if all you really want is the Lead Boxes? And the answer is “NO”. There are alternatives. So I am going to mention a few. I am not going to get into a full on review on them; I just want to make mention of a couple of them.
One is Opt-in Monster. So if you check out Opt-in Monster you will realize it can pretty much do any kind of opt-in form that you want for your blog. It will do pop-ups, it will do exit pops, it can do onscreen opt-in forms and yes… it can also do two-stage opt-ins. So it can set up a system where you click a link or click a button and it will trigger the opt-in form. So the Opt-in Monster is perfectly capable of doing that. So if you have Opt-in Monster, you could actually use that as a Lead Boxes alternative. And if you do not have Opt-in Monster you can go and check it out.
Hybrid Connect/Thrive Leads
Another one I wanted to bring up… It used to be called Hybrid Connect. Now, Hybrid Connect was a plug-in that I have talked about in the Academy before. It was a very nice plug-in because it was flexible on what it did. Now, since I originally brought up Hybrid Connect, it now has been discontinued and replaced with one that they call Thrive Leads. Now I have not used the product since they re-branded it to Thrive Leads but I have checked out the sales page and it looks very effective. Now Hybrid Connect was able to easily put in opt-in forms inside of a blog post and do two-stage opt-ins in the whole nine yards and I highly doubt that they are going to take out that functionality out of Thrive Leads. So, Thrive Leads; definitely they might be an option to check out.
Now, we are going to go into some more specific opt-in form tools for WordPress coming up in Episode 75. So you can basically hold to for about a week and we will be covering more specific WordPress plug-ins for this purpose.
Global Content Blocks
I want to jump into one that is more of a generic. Because it is not designed for opt-in forms, per se; however you can certainly use it for that, and it is called Global Content Blocks. Now the cool thing about the Global Content Blocks plug in is that, A: It’s free, so you know, people like that. But the other thing is that you can put anything that you want; any kind of code… I think you can do PHP code in there. You can do all kinds of things and basically it will not get screwed up by the editor and on top of that you can insert it anywhere you want on your site by using a simple short code.
So it could be a banner ad code, it could be a call to action to one of your products that you want to integrate into several different places across your content, but modify to one single location, you can use Global Content Blocks for that. But you can also use it for opt-in forms; so any solution out there that would give you an opt-in form. Even if you just go on inside your MailChimp account or your Aweber account and build one with their system and get the html, you can set it up as a blog inside of Global Content Blocks and then simply insert it into the middle of any content you want using a simple short code. It’s nice and simple, it basically means that the editor is not going to screw up your html and it’s a beautiful thing.
Lastly, I want to make mention of one that I have only played with a little bit but I had never heard of it until recently and it is called Engagifire.com. Now, what this is… and I actually played around with it because I went ahead and bought it. It is actually really powerful in terms of creating all kinds of different pop-up forms. It could be exit pops; it is just incredible with what it can do but the cool thing that it does is that you basically have a drag and drop interface to design any type of pop-up form that you want.
So imagine taking the Lead Boxes functionality and instead of taking just the template and all you can modify is the image and the text; engagifire allows you to basically build anything you want and put it inside that box. So it is very, very powerful. And the way that it works, the drag and drop interface for it is actually incredibly easy to use; very intuitive, very fast. It is actually a really cool product and I am going to experiment with possibly replacing some of my pop-ups at the Blog Marketing Academy with some stuff that is powered by engagifire. And if it actually works out the way that I hope, I might actually explore cancelling my Lead Pages account only because I am one of those people that is primarily only using it for Lead Boxes. And because there are so many options out there, I don’t think that I have to pay a monthly rate for just that one function. Engagifire is not monthly. It is a one-time thing.
So those are a few options that I have come across; it allows you to very easily integrate various types of opt-in forms into your actual blog content.
Now it is a really good strategy to look into. You want to have a way to do this because your content on your blog is going to be that area that gets the most attention. It really is that. The people are not going to see your sidebar, not going to see your header nearly to that degree that they are going to go right in to your content because that is why the people are there. That is pretty obvious, right? So because of that; because that is where everybody is naturally navigating, any content that you put inside the content itself is going to be highly effective. And if you double that up with a very targeted lead magnet you are going to get your highest opt-in rates that you would ever get with your blogs by doing that. Very targeted lead magnets and putting the option to opt-in right inside the blog content itself… extremely powerful strategy. Okay?
Your Favorite Plug-in
So again, we talked about Lead Boxes, we talked about Opt-in Monster, we talked about Thrive Leads, Global Content Blocks plug-in and we talked about EngagiFire… And obviously I would love to hear your favorite solution. I know that there are other ones out there that I didn’t mention but the Coffee Break Blogging is not designed to be long and it would be boring if I just talk about every plug-in out there. So I would love to hear what you are using if you are using something different.
So you can pop-over to coffeebreakblogging.com and you could pop into the blog post to this episode, Episode 73 and you could post a comment right there on the blog. And let me know what you are using. But while you are over there at coffeebreakblogging.com you can also download the 7 Stages to Building an Online Business and the 7 Stages Graphic; it is basically an Infographic, a chart… And it happens to be the exact roadmap that we are following with this podcast. We are currently in Stage 3 of our overall business building venture here. Stage 3 has to do with building our email list so obviously that is very important to the overall functioning of our business and that is why we are spending the next several episodes on various aspects of this topic.
So again, if you want to get the 7 Stages to Building an Online Business, head on over to coffeebreakblogging.com and opt-in, and we will keep you notified on new updates to the Academy but we will also send you that 7 Stages.
Thanks for listening and I will see in a few days with Episode 74 where we are going to talk a little bit more about the idea of a squeeze page. 😉
I’ll see you then!