Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about turning your blog posts into e-books. And at the end of the blog post, I had a special workbook that people could download to help them get started. In order to get the workbook, people had to subscribe to an email list about my own upcoming e-books.
This is not a new tactic – a sign up for a freebie. But this time, I used a cool new tool called an opt-in lock:
The lock is different from a typical sign up because the reader can subscribe right on the page, and once they click the confirmation link in their email, the workbook is available for download on that same page. It’s magic!
The process is more streamlined and requires less clicks/screen changes for the reader.
But the exciting part? I got wayyy more subscribers using this bad boy. 93% more subscribers, to be exact.
It may have to do with the fact that the content was appealing to readers, but I think the power of the opt-in lock was very great as well.
So this week I’m going to show you how to set up an opt-in lock on your blog posts.
NOTE: This is specifically for WordPress blogs!
Purchase the opt-in lock. The one I use is $22. I know many of us are on a budget, but hey, if ONE person on my email list buys an e-book from me, I’ve more than paid for the opt-in. Absolutely worth it.
Download + Install. Once you purchase, you’ll be able to download the plugin from your downloads page at Code Canyon (you’ll get an email explaining this). After you download, go to your WP Dashboard > Plugins > Add New. Click Upload Plugin at the top, and upload the plugin.
Choose which lock you want. Once you’ve installed, you’ll see that Opt-In Panda now appears as a menu item on the left in your WP Dashboard. You have two options for getting people to access your content: email sign-up, or social share. We’re going to focus on the email sign-up.
Integrate with your email service. Click on Opt-In Panda > Global Settings > Subscription Options and connect your email service with Opt-In Panda.
Customize the email locker. On the Opt-In Panda main page, there is a default email locker already set up – we’re going to edit that one, so click on the Email Locker (default) title.
- Edit the title to make it really compelling. If it’s actionable, seems easy to digest (such as 3 tactics instead of 100), and concise, it will be much more appealing.
- Add a brief description. Here is where you tell people how the process works, and/or give a brief description of the item they’re about to access.
- You can customize the text on the button to say Sign Up, Let’s Go, Let’s Get Started, etc.
- Choose the theme and how the content will appear (you can blur the content they’re trying to access, make it more transparent, or block it all together).
Set up subscription settings. Make sure the lock is connected to the correct email list.
- Choose the opt-in mode – Opt-In Panda recommends double opt-in, and I do too. You only want high quality leads signing up for your list.
- Decide how many form fields you want. The less, the better. I included first name, because I like customizing the emails I send.
BIG IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are have any required fields on your typical email sign up form, those fields need to be included in the opt-in lock. I had a field that was marked as required in Mailchimp, but I did not include it in the opt-in lock. So the first person who tried to subscribe got an error message, because they didn’t fill out a required field. #embarrassing. Don’t make that mistake. If you don’t want that field to be added to the opt-in lock, mark it as unrequired in your email provider settings.
- You can also choose to give people the option to subscribe to one of your social accounts to access the locked content.
Choose additional settings. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see even more settings. Opt-In Panda is great, because it explains what each setting is. The ones I do recommend turning on: hiding the lock from current subscribers (they deserve content ASAP), and making it mobile-friendly.
Add the opt-in lock to your blog post. You’ll see on your blog post editor that a cute little panda now appears. When you click on that guy, you’ll have the option to add the shortcode for your email locker. Add it into the blog post, and put the locked content in between the open and close tags.
TEST IT OUT. Because you don’t want anything to go wrong and keep you from getting subscribers.
And that’s it! If you decide to use the opt-in lock, let me know how it goes in the comments!
H/T to Halley Gray, who showed me the opt-in lock way.
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