Mailing lists, newsletters, webinars, whatever – you’ve got something you want people to opt in for, but where do those people COME from?
You’re not the only one wondering. One of the toughest parts about creating a successful opt-in is actually getting people there in the first place! Doesn’t matter HOW convincing your landing page is if you can’t get anyone to visit it, right?
That’s why today, we’re taking a closer look at how you can use social media to drive more traffic to your opt-in. (There’s a whole heck of a lot more you can do than tweet out the occasional link!) So, how are some majorly successful businesses using social to turn followers into subscribers and customers, and how can you borrow their tactics to do the same thing?
Your blog posts
We know what you’re thinking.
“My blog isn’t social media – that’s my website!”
The thing is, though, your blog actually IS an integral part of your social media plan. Or at least, it should be.
Every time you publish a new blog post, you have a place to direct social media traffic toward. Something you can promote on social, and perhaps even more importantly, something your followers will want to share, too – they’re more likely to retweet a link to an interesting or helpful blog post than a link to a promotion. (No matter how much they love a good landing page.)
A new blog post means hundreds or even thousands of hits to your website, so why not give every one of those visitors the opportunity to opt-in right then and there? If they’re on your website, they’ve already demonstrated interest in what you have to offer – this is just your way of providing them with a Next Step.
We’ve used the Magic Action Box WordPress plugin to implement opt-in forms on our own blog posts – this plugin is particularly useful because it allows you to upload and save a variety of opt-ins, then use a drop-down menu to choose which one you want to display on each blog post. The one pictured above, for example, gives visitors to the LKR Social Media blog a one-click way to sign up for our weekly newsletter.
There are other ways to do it, too, like in this example from KISSmetrics:
Or in pop-ups, like the ones used by Copy Hackers (the effectiveness of which you can learn about in this brilliant breakdown – a must-read for anyone interested in a better opt-in rate).
No matter what type of form or opt-in you add to your blog posts, doing so is an easy way to get the most out of the traffic you already attract.
Your own social media
But hey, let’s be honest. Sending traffic from social media to your blog posts is easy. Your blog is where fresh content goes – it’s always changing and growing, so you always have something new and exciting to offer.
That can make your landing pages feel more than a little stale by comparison.
The static nature of a landing/sales page – even a well-made one – can make linking to it over and over feel boring and repetitive.
Fortunately, you can make the links to your landing page a lot more interesting – and over time, a lot more effective.
Every time we run a promotion, we create a wide variety of status updates by varying things like:
- The different benefits we’re focused on
- The images we’re attaching (if any)
- The tone (funny/serious/optimistic/etc.)
- The style (does it ask a question or make a statement?)
- The specificity
Posting promo updates in a variety of styles doesn’t just keep them from being too repetitive – it enables us to test and see how our audience responds to those styles
Don’t forget to take advantage of the space every social network gives you in your profile, either. Take a look at how Marie Forleo uses her website to drive opt-ins:
Is it unique to her social media? Nope – it’s the same website you’d see if you entered the URL directly into your browser. But Marie knows that she’s going to link from her Twitter profile to her website anyway, so why not create multiple opportunities for visitors to opt in right at the point of entry?
Whether your social profile links directly to your homepage or to a separate landing page, anyone who clicks through should be given the chance to opt in to what you’re offering as soon as they get there.
Other people’s social media
We already focused on how you can use shareable blog posts to put your opt-in in front of a bigger audience, but that’s not the only way you can encourage others to spread the word.
Integrating a click-to-tweet with your opt-in gets your followers in on the action. Sites like HubSpot have been doing this for years in blog entries like this one:
Using a tool like Click to Tweet makes it easy to add these to your blog posts, so your readers can share the highlights (and your link) with just a few clicks.
You can even create action-specific click-to-tweets, so that your fans and customers can share specific milestones on social.
A few milestone-related opportunities might include:
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Reading a newsletter
- Enrolling in (or completing) a course
- Watching a webinar
- Downloading an ebook
You might be surprised by what your site’s visitors are most eager to share – and the number of new people that can direct toward your opt-in pages!
You see that header. So first things first – we need to dispel a myth here.
Using social media is free. Reaching your full marketing potential on social media is NOT.
Sure, Facebook is free. So is Candy Crush. But when you get stuck on the same level for days on end and still can’t figure out how to beat it, shelling out a few bucks in exchange for a competitive advantage doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
So learn your way around Facebook ads. (Don’t just pay indiscriminately to boost posts here and there, either – those are the slot machines. You want to be James Bond at the Baccarat table.) Determine which of your landing pages are worth spending money to advertise, and which ones aren’t. We don’t pay to advertise our newsletter or our individual blog posts, but a promotion like a sale or a webinar – even a free educational webinar – is worth the cost.
Alright, let’s review. You’ve got the opt-in you want to promote – so where do you do it?
- Your blog – Add opt-in forms and links to every blog post, so when you promote those posts on social, you’re also promoting your opt-in
- Promotional status updates – Break up the monotony and make your promotions more successful over time by experimenting with different styles
- Other people’s updates – Encourage shares with click-to-tweets and image-sharing plugins that make it easy for your fans to spread your content far and wide
- Paid ads – Learn the basics of social advertising and determine which pages and promotions are worth paying to promote, so you can get more bang for your buck
A strategy that combines a few of these tactics – or ideally, all of them – will give your opt-in a way bigger visibility boost than a few sporadic social updates!