We’ve talked in the past about engaging your email opt-in list. Today we are going to dive into how to build your list. We are continuing the conversation in our Mastermind group. Head over there to share your two cents and hear what others are saying: www.growwithusmastermind.com.
This definitely isn’t the first time that we’ve mentioned email lists on the Grow with Us Podcast. We’ve talked in the past about email sequencing, which you can find in the following episodes:
- Setting Up Angie’s Email Sequence – Episode 5
- What We Send to Our Email Lists – Episode 6
- Email List Building with Guest Jennifer Findley – Episode 15
On this episode, we are going to dive head first into email opt-ins. We had Sarah from Biz Template Babe on the podcast and discussed everything from what you should include in your opt-in to how to create templates to make it even easier. You need to be able to get people on your email list in order to have the rest of it matter.
For email, both Angie & April use ConvertKit. If you’d like to sign up using our link, it costs you nothing and we get a small commission. We offer all that use our links some exclusive videos to help you get started and set up on ConvertKit.
For pretty opt-ins, we both LOVE Thrive Leads. Click here to check them out and use our affiliate link.
Who is Sarah and What is Biz Template Babe?
I recently came across a Facebook ad that mentioned templates for email opt-ins. It definitely caught my attention. Creating opt-ins can be incredibly time consuming and the idea of a template to help me out was enough to make me click the ad. The ad was from Sarah at Biz Template Babe. I ended up buying her templates. Now Angie and I both use them and want to let all of you know about them.
Like most entrepreneurs, Sarah did a few things before arriving at her current business. She started out doing interior design and eventually moved into blogging a few years back. As she worked on building her own blog and business, she saw how long it was taking her to create things like sales pages, landing pages, Facebook ads, and other content. Even with the experience she had doing graphic design work from her time as an interior designer, it was still overwhelming and time-consuming.
She noticed that there were a lot of pros online that had templates they used within their business, but she didn’t really see much on the creative side as far as layouts and design. When she did this in her own business she found that she was saving 50-60% of the time that she previously spent doing this kind of work. That’s when the idea came to her that she could create these templates to help other businesses as well.
It’s a lot like what we do as TpTers. We originally created resources that helped us in our classrooms and then found we could help other teachers by selling them as well.
The templates that Sarah creates and sells are created in Canva. She found that many small business owners don’t have the graphic design software to use. If you aren’t familiar with Canva, it’s an online graphic design tool. It’s a website that makes it super easy to design everything from an Instagram image to a printable flyer.
Sarah found that Canva allows you to do the majority of the things that you’ll need to do for the creative side of your business. And, the best part is–it’s free. There is a paid version, but most of what we discussed in the podcast, and Sarah’s templates, can be used with a free account.
I’ve personally found that Canva makes things really easy and super quick to get stuff out. Everything looks pretty good and the templates are really helpful too. Angie also uses Canva and loves that she doesn’t have to use it from a computer. She can create the graphics she needs from her iPad Pro while waiting in the car at her kids’ practices.
Why templates are so helpful
Creating designs and layouts takes a long time. When you try to do it at the same time that you create the content you need to fill those layouts it can be incredibly overwhelming. So, if you have templates in place you can simply choose what one you want to use and focus on writing valuable content.
On a side note, Sarah also mentioned how helpful it is to have your brand design created as well. Know what colors your brand use and what types of fonts. When you have these things established, you don’t have to think about them again. It makes it a lot faster to create something because you don’t have to think about either one of those elements.
What to offer email subscribers
As TpTers it’s easy to get stuck in thinking the only opt-in we have to offer is a free resource that’s from a larger product line. While these can be great opt-ins, they aren’t the only ones that we can use.
Sarah suggested that you work on reverse engineering your opt-in offers. She uses what she calls the value ladder. You start with your freebie, which leads them into an entry-level product that’s in the $7-$47 range. Then you lead them to one of your core products which are around the $97 range or higher. Some businesses have a level above this which is usually for high-end products or things like custom work that costs in the thousands. You may not have every step of the ladder and that’s perfectly ok because you can use whatever you have.
Your goal is to look at whatever the bigger thing is that you’re trying to get them to buy and then choose your smaller items from that. Think about what you can offer them that will lead them up the ladder towards buying that final product.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Resource guide
I personally stumbled upon this a few years ago. When I first started I was using small resources as my freebie opt-in, but I tried a guide for project-based learning and it performed really well. People were looking for guidance and by offering it to them I was also able to lead them towards my resources.
Consider creating more than one opt-in
Amy Porterfield is a great example of an online marketer that knows how to get people on her list in the best way possible. When you arrive at her website you’re presented with a few options right off the bat for her opt-in. They are very different selections which makes it easy to choose what one fits you. Then, you sign up for her list while also letting her know something about yourself.
This is a great thing to think about doing while building your own email list. If you sell things for multiple grade levels it can be helpful to know what grades your customers teach. You can accomplish this by offering a couple of different opt-ins that are geared towards specific grades. You could also use the same opt-in product but have separate places for them to sign up based on what grade level they teach. Once they sign up you’ll be able to segment them so you can get them in the right funnel.
Tips on using Canva templates to create an email opt-in
If you create something that already has the layouts, flows, and designs done it allows you not to have to think about it each time you want to create a new graphic. This can make it feel like you have a whole team of people working for you, even if it’s just you. This allows you to focus on creating the actual written content instead of having to focus on that along with the creative design each time. If you burn yourself out on the layout, your content might not have the punch that you want it to.
Sarah also recommended creating the content in something other than Canva. When you’re working on the written part of the project you’re creating you need to do it in something like Microsoft Word or a Google Doc. Then, when you go to Canva after that you can choose one of your templates that most closely fits the content that you’ve written. It becomes really easy to copy and past it in the template.
What to include in your opt-in
Cover page – You want to find a headline to use that resonants with your audience. If you find that your opt-in really isn’t converting than Sarah recommended that you try choosing a new headline before you scrap the entire thing and make a new opt-in. You want to change only one thing at a time similar to a science experiment.
About style page – This allows people to get to know you. It allows them to understand the person behind the business which helps them to build trust. Make sure that you show a little of your true self. You don’t have to share a lot, just a little bit about yourself and why you created whatever it is they signed up to receive. It’s also helpful to include a picture of yourself.
This section can also be about the download such as what they can expect to get out of it and how to use it.
Opt-in – Whatever your opt-in is that you chose to create.
Closing page – This is where you want to recap what they just learned, include a call-to-action along with links to your social media pages. And, don’t forget to include a ‘thank you’.
Marketing the opt-ins
There are many different ways that you can get people to find your opt-ins including the following:
- Pinterest – This is more of a search engine than a social media platform. Sarah recommends testing out two different pins to see what works better. You can create one pin that goes directly to your freebie and another that goes to a blog post that has a link to your freebie embedded in it.
- Advertise it on the sidebar of your website.
- Share it in a Facebook group. But, be careful on this one especially if it’s not your own group.
- Other social media – Find out where your audience is hanging out. If Instagram is a good place to be than you can place a link to your opt-in right in your profile. Or if you like creating video resources then you can create a short and sweet video that includes a link to a freebie and opt-in. Google displays videos in the search results now so if you have a really specific niche and create a video about it you can get on the first page of Google results pretty easy.
- If you have a podcast you can mention the freebie during the show and then include a link to the opt-in right in your shownotes.
- Outside of social media there are a few old school methods that can be good for TpTers. You could create a business card of flyer that includes the link to your opt-in. That way when you are out in public meeting people or at a teaching conference you can simply hand them the card or flyer and mention the link for the free resource on it.
A few more tips
The paid version of Canva is totally worth it. Y
ou don’t need the paid version to use the templates that Sarah has and you can even make your own templates on the free version. One thing I like about the paid version is you can easily resize graphics you create for other purposes. What I usually do is create the pin for Pinterest and then resize it for my other social media sites. I have to do a little tweaking but within several minutes I can have all my graphics ready to go.
The paid version also allows you to input and save your branding preferences like colors and fonts. This makes it even easier as you are creating your graphics.
Keep your opt-in short
Sarah mentioned that people love to create huge resources for their opt-in. They get excited and want to add a lot of value and end up with something massive. However, most people that opt-in aren’t going to make it through the whole thing.
You want to keep it short. It shouldn’t be any longer than 10 pages and it can be as short as 3-5 pages. You want your subscribers to be able to get quick and easy wins. You don’t have to give them everything right now, that’s what your products are for. Instead, you want to give them something that allows them to succeed easily. It’s a great way to build trust with them.
Don’t get caught up on making it perfect
Make it easy on yourself and don’t strive for perfection. It’s okay to tweak your opt-in later. You can go back and change colors, add things, or take things out. You just want to make sure it adds value to your subscriber and then get it working for you.
Check out Sarah’s templates
If you love the idea of having templates to make it easy for you, but don’t want to take the time to create them, we encourage you to check out the templates that Sarah has to offer. You can use the link here to see her email opt-in templates. But, you might also want to check out her other templates. She has plenty to choose from that will make it easier on you.
Then, hop over to our Mastermind Group and share your ideas and experiences with using templates.