How to Put Your Opt-in on Autopilot
You know you need an opt-in offer to help build your list and generate interest in your paid services, courses, or products. You’re going to set your Mailchimp list to deliver it.
But how do you deliver the darn thing?
Setting up an opt-in sequence in MailChimp isn’t too hard. But people tend to get bogged down in the details of automation. With my favorite not-so-secret superpower, Gravity Forms, you can get things set up in a few easy steps—including testing!
Get Your Opt-in Set Up
First things first—create your opt-in. While you’re at it, write a sales and thank you page for it. Truthfully, the writing/creation is the most time consuming part of this process. Here are some great resources for deciding what to create for your opt-in:
- Our very own Krista Smith has The Ultimate Guide for Creating Opt-ins Your Clients Crave
- Nathalie Lussier’s 30 Day List Building Challenge is free, and includes a fabulous worksheet for working out what your opt-in offer could be
- Every post on Lacy Bogg’s website is a wealth of information, including this one on content upgrades
Once you have your content, you can set up the technology in minutes.
(First time around takes the longest.)
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Mailchimp “Growing Business” account so you can use their automations tool (which is not available for free account users)
- Gravity forms WordPress plugin Business License so you can get their add-ons (a.k.a. plugins) including the Gravity forms plugin for Mailchimp
Set up a new hidden group in MailChimp under manage subscribers, groups.
Set up (a) sales page and (b) thank you page on your website. When people sign up, they’ll get redirected to the thank you page where they can instantly download your free gift.
Using your newly installed Gravity Froms plugin, create a new form to capture contact information (and anything else you want to know) from new subscribers. You’ll get first name and email address. If you like, you can ask a question, like “What is your most pressing question about <xyz topic> right now?”
You can use that information to inform future campaigns or service or you can use it to personalize future messages. For example, after a webinar, you could send a message that says:
Your most pressing question about <xyz topic> was:
Insert their answer here
How did we do?
Follow it with a quick poll to gauge satisfaction. It’s certainly not required, but it’s an option.
In your Gravity Form’s settings you can update the text of the submit button to be unique, such as download now, or register here, or save your seat.
Update your confirmation settings in your Gravity Forms to go to your ‘thank you’ page.
Sync with Mailchimp! After you have installed and set-up your Gravity Forms MailChimp add-on, you can now update the MailChimp settings of your Gravity Form to direct all subscribers to your form to a specific list, and your new group within that list.
Get Your Opt-in Automation Sequence Set Up
Now you’ve got all the pieces in place. It’s time for automation!
In MailChimp go to Automations, and click Add Automation and select List Activity / Joins List Group if you want to send a specific message to just subscribers in the new group; or choose List Activity / Welcome Message if you want to send an automated email to everyone who joins your list, no matter what group they’re in
In your automation’s settings, make sure you give your automation sequence a clear name. Once you have a number of them, you’ll wonder what each one is for if you haven’t labeled them well.
For the trigger select the list group you created with the form.
Now this is important: check the timing. You want people to get your first message right after they sign up. To do that, set the timing as immediately.
Then you create your email. Again, give it a strong title and clear subject line. Choose a template or create the design. Update the text.
Hit confirm, and start the workflow. Now as soon as somebody is added to group, they will get the automated email.
Test it all to make sure it works. Use one of your non-Wordpress admin email addresses to test the Gravity Form sign-up form on your sales page.
- Make sure you are re-directed to the ‘thank you’ page
- Make sure the email address you added received the the automated email
- Go into your MailChimp list and to the group you set-up to see if the email address has appeared. (Sometimes it takes a little while to show up, but if it doesn’t recheck your settings and try again.)
- You can also search for your email address and check the user profile to see if they are added to the correct group, and then check the activity tab for that user to check that they received the automated email
That’s all there is to a simple opt-in automation!
You know you SHOULD automate your emails, but can you really do THAT with MailChimp? Absolutely. You can do that and more. MailChimp and Gravity Forms can handle much more sophisticated automations too!