Today, I’m going to go through what you’ll need to get an opt-in page set up with or without your own website.
If you’ve been following my blogs posts in order, your opt-in page is be the page that links your email leads to your autoresponder. We covered email marketing platforms here:
Do Ugly Opt-in Pages Still Work?
Over the years, opt-in pages have become a bit more sophisticated because of the user experience that certain advertising platforms impose on us. Most of the time, they’re pretty straightforward.
Sure, best practices change from time to time. Should we use ugly pages with a huge headline? Do we just need graphics that look nice on the page? Does double opt-in work better than a static form?
Over the next few days, I’ll share some of our best practices for generating leads and setting up opt-in pages. Meanwhile, we’re going to take little baby steps so that we reach people at all levels of expertise.
Let’s begin by talking about the tools you’ll need to start getting leads!
The first thing is whether you want your opt-in page hosted on your own website or hosted by an external web application.
Own Website for Hosting or External Sources?
There are two different ways to set up your opt-in page, either on your own domain with your own web hosting (self-hosted). Or using an external web application where you can build pages and they host the pages for you (web application hosted).
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and you’ll have to decide for yourself which you’re more comfortable with. After all, the leads that you get will be going into your own email marketing software, so those are yours for good.
First, let’s talk about self-hosted opt-in pages or setting up and maintaining your own website….
Self-Hosted Opt-in pages
To create and host your own website, you obviously need two things:
A domain name and website hosting.
The easiest and fastest way to get set up is to let us know the domain you would like and we’ll setup your domain and hosting for you! Click here for further details.
Let’s talk for a minute about a plugin to set up your opt-in pages. There are quite a few ways of doing it because the WordPress platform is so awesome, but I’ll keep this simple.
WP Profit Builder is a plugin that makes creating opt-in pages and sales pages easy. For each license, it can be installed on up to 50 websites. You can build your page on any WordPress site you have the plugin installed on. You also have the option to export your design as html. You can then upload the files anywhere you like! It’s very well done and is an easy way to keep track of all your opt-in pages as you can upload them into a dedicated folder on your server. Furthermore, the training is fantastic and you’ll be up to speed with how to use it in hardly any time at all. Highly recommended.
The other option is Optimize Press. This is a very popular WordPress plugin and theme that we started to use as well as still using WP profit builder. We mainly use both to test out the conversion rate. You'll be amazed at how the slightest of changes can make a huge difference in conversions. You can either install the Optimize Press theme or just the plugin, you can't use both Optimize press plugin and theme at the same time of course. It creates incredible opt-in pages quickly and it ties in with our email marketing platform Active Campaign. On top of opt-in pages it can create sales pages, webinar registration pages, membership site pages and lots more. I think it's harder to get your head around than WP profit builder and the cheapest package only allows 3 installations on sites you own whereas you get up to 50 installations with WP profit builder.
If, for whatever reason, you would like another way to collect leads on your site, there are plenty of other options out there as well and we highly recommend Optin Monster. With Optin Monster you can:
- Add an email collection box in the sidebar of your site
- Add a ‘sign up for more’ box at the bottom of your articles, also with Optin Monster.
- Add an exit-intent popup, this basically means that as someone is just about to leave your site they’ll get a popup enticing them with an offer so they do not leave empty handed. Again you can do this with Optin Monster.
Now, this was only a quick overview and I'll will get back to this in later posts.
First though, let’s cover the opt-in pages hosted externally.
Web Application Hosted Opt-in Pages
At the end of the day, setting up and maintaining a website is difficult (however, it's a very valuable skill if you take the time to learn it!)
Due to the learning curve, the software industry have created applications that make setting up opt-in pages and sales pages much easier.
Here is an example…
One of the biggest software tools for building opt-in pages is LeadPages. It’s a great service.
So, let’s look at a LeadPages in more detail..
Everyone was talking about LeadPages over the last couple of years and lots of people invested.
Nowadays, they do have stiff competition.
LeadPages is a drag and drop page builder and is very effective. Every single part of their templates are easy to edit. You just click and type in the text you want in place of the template, hide the things you don’t want, then voila!
They’ve got hundreds of great templates that you can just start using without any difficult set up all. It’s very good.
(We have discovered that LeadPages don’t convert as well as Profit Builder and Optimize Press pages we've tested with some good split testing).
Advantages & Disadvantages
At the end of the day, there is no one definitive answer as to which one to use. Whether you build your own opt-in pages using one of the plugins or themes mentioned above or rely on an external service that you pay a monthly fee for, is entirely up to you. There are some points I would like you to consider though.
Self Hosted opt-in pages:
- Having everything set up on your own website, with your own hosting is definitely the safest option in terms of having complete control over your data. This is because you can add additional features on your own website that will increase the conversion rate of your pages that web applications might not allow.
- It'll take some time to get set up, as learning to build, maintain and manage WordPress takes some time.
App Hosted opt-in pages:
- Since the learning curve is so much lower, it’s a lot quicker to build your first opt-in page using a piece of software like LeadPages.
- You get proven templates and designs immediately so you spend less time testing.
- You will spend more per month for both the software and the hosting than if you pay for a domain and your own hosting.
- Your hands may be tied if you want to add things to your opt-in pages. If you want something outside of the chosen templates, you'll be stuck.
What Do You Use?
Let us know in the comments below, do you run your own website? Or would a hosted page building application work better for you?