In the previous module, you went through all the steps needed to set up your ActiveCampaign email marketing system, so you should now be ready for the next step.
Acquiring new contacts from your website.
First, a few words of caution about building your email list.
In the email marketing world, the number one rule is to only add people to your email marketing system who have given you their express permission to do so.
For example, you can’t just add folks manually to your list simply because you share connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, or some other social network.
You can add or import your existing customers to your email list without any legal problems, but I recommend letting them know via email as a courtesy to avoid any possible confusion further down the road.
Technically, you can also add people who have previously enquired about your services in the past by email, but I don’t recommend it because they may not remember you or want to be on your list. In such cases, it’s best to email them and ask them if they want to join your new list. If so, they can visit a signup page where they can subscribe in the correct way.
Clearly, the best method for building your email list is through your website where there’s no confusion about who they’re subscribing to and why.
Therefore, before you can get people onto your email list, you’ll need to create a form where they can supply you with their email address and any other details you want to collect about them.
This is referred to as your opt-in form.
There are several ways to create your form, depending upon which platform your website is built on:
- Using a form-building plugin within WordPress…
- Creating your form within ActiveCampaign…
- Using a 3rd party form system…
#1: Using A Form-Building WordPress Plugin
This is the preferred method because it gives you the greatest degree of control over your form, and provides you with some valuable usage data to help monitor your form’s performance over time.
The best plugin I recommend for this task is Gravity Forms.
It’s not free, but this is one WordPress plugin I would not be without.
Gravity Forms comes in 3 versions.
The one you need is referred to as their “business license” because it includes the basic add-ons needed to hook everything up correctly.
The “personal” version doesn’t include any add-ons, while the “developer” version has more than you probably need.
Once you’ve purchased the plugin, download the zip file, and install it as you would any other WordPress plugin.
Simply go to your WordPress dashboard, click “Plugins -> Add New -> Upload Plugin”.
On the next page, browse to the location of your Gravity Forms zip file and then click on “Install Now”. Remember to activate the plugin once you install it.
Inside the Gravity Forms settings, you’ll need to input your support license key to fully activate the plugin.
Next, you’ll need to connect your ActiveCampaign account to Gravity Forms to allow Gravity Forms to send subscriber information to ActiveCampaign.
Here’s a short video that shows you how to do that.
Creating Your Opt-In Form Using Gravity Forms
Next, you’ll create a form you can later add to your landing page. All the forms you create are stored centrally within the Gravity Forms section of your WordPress system.
Every form has the following components:
- Basic form settings, such as the title and description. This also includes the button text, and general layout settings.
- The input fields. For an opt-in form, you’ll always have a field for their email address. You may also want to capture their name. Any other fields you add beyond this will increase the amount of friction and result in fewer signups.
- Confirmations, notifications, and ActiveCampaign feed settings. You can specify a thank you page URL, create email alerts to be sent to you, and send the form data to ActiveCampaign via a feed.
Here’s a short video where I show you how to set up a basic form.
#2: Forms Within ActiveCampaign
If your website is not built on WordPress, the next best option for creating your opt-in form may be to use the form-builder within ActiveCampaign itself.
Most of the native form-builders provided by the email marketing companies tend not to be as aesthetically pleasing as they could be, and are often spoiled by the presence of branded links pointing to the email marketing company’
But, that said, this is still a workable option.
Here’s a quick video for you where I walk you through the process of creating a form using the ActiveCampaign form builder:
#3: Using 3rd Party Form Systems
The final option, if you’re not using WordPress and your website template system doesn’t allow you to add the form code created by ActiveCampaign (or, whichever email service you use), is to use a 3rd party system.
There are quite a few options available, so you’ll need to do some research to find the best one for you.
For example, Leadpages is a popular option, which also allows you to create landing pages, so you might find this a good fit in your case.
I personally don’t use any 3rd party form creators, so I can’t offer any advice on how to use them, but you should be able to find a lot of information on YouTube and other websites to steer you in the right direction.