Email Marketing is a huge deal right now. You may have been hearing about growing your list and different strategies to do it, but let's take a step back for a moment and talk about HOW people are actually opting in. Obviously there is some type of form to fill in, but where is the form located? How does it look? Most importantly, are visitors directed away from your site to fill in their forms? I really hope not, because you are setting yourself up for lots of missed potential subscribers if so! It’s a proven fact that sign up interest decreases with each step that is added to the process (humans like convenience!). It's also known that readers are 30% more likely to opt-in when they can do it with a simple click and fill process (AKA two-step opt-in process). Ultimately you want to encourage visitors to sign up and make it as easy as possible.
You may have heard of Leadpages, a lead generating website that offers many types of opt-in forms to incorporate on your site. Unfortunately they don't have a free plan...or a cheap one at that (the standard plan ranges from $17-$37 a month depending on if you pay monthly, yearly or every two years). Fortunately after exploring Squarespace one day, I found out how to make a "Leadbox" type of opt-in form, which is a very popular option in Leadpages. Today I will be discussing how to use Squarespace’s built in features to set up 3 types of opt-in forms that will not direct readers away from your site. If you would like Leadpages functionality in a Squarespace environment or if you want to know how to set up some higher converting opt-in forms, read on!
1. Cover Page/Landing Page
Squarespace cover pages are pages that do not show your navigation bar/links or other site settings, so it’s pretty much a blank slate. This is great because you can set these pages up as sales pages or just as an opt-in page. I use a cover page as my home page and give visitors the option to sign up for my free resource library or to head to the blog. I have set up the button for signing up to link to a submission form that appears on the screen when clicked.
By connecting your email service provider details to this button, readers will be added to your list and you can choose to direct them to another page after submission. This is the only time that redirecting is acceptable because they have chosen one of the two options, so naturally they should be redirected to the other location after signing up.
2. Newsletter block
A SquareSpace newsletter block is such an amazing thing because it’s so flexible! You can use a newsletter block in various places on your site such as your sidebar, a separate page for simple opting in, and in between each blog post. Newsletter blocks can be customized to fit your brand in the Design Editor, so when inserting your newsletter throughout your site, they will all have a consistent look. The thing that I love the most about the newsletter block is that it’s a beautiful replacement for a generic opt-in form. For example, I use MailChimp as my email service provider and their embedded opt-in forms look less than desirable. Using the Squarespace newsletter block instead of the “blah” default form is better again because you can customize the colors and fonts
3. Form block
A SquareSpace form block is a hidden gem. It can appear two different ways- as a direct form to fill out (similar to the newsletter block) or as a button that opens an opt-in pop-up form on screen (similar to the button on the cover page). This is kind of a hybrid option so it's more versatile. The button opt-in is by far my favorite feature when it comes to list building because it statistically has a better conversion rate. It also functions similarly to a LeadPages leadbox but without the price tag! To do this, you will need to make sure that you select “Enable Lightbox Mode” on the advanced tab of the form block settings.
This is how the opt-in form will look after enabling lightbox mode:
When you do this, the form will change to a button and is MUCH less invasive. This is one of my favorite features of SquareSpace because it makes it so easy for readers to sign up.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a MailChimp account or use a different email service provider, you can still collect emails through the form by choosing the option to collect emails in a Google sheet. AND if you're really snazzy, you can set up a task in Zapier to add the emails from that sheet into your email list on autopilot without having to do any hands on work after initial setup! You know how much I love automation, right?
Since this is my favorite built-in opt-in form in Squarespace, I have created a step-by-step free training guide on how to create a form block with a button. Click below to sign up and get this free training, m'dear!
Do you use the built in Squarespace opt-in tools? Let me know in the comments!