Grow Your Email List Using Mailerlite
Hey everyone and welcome to Part 2 of my Email Marketing with Mailerlite series. If you didn’t catch it yet, head over to Part 1 to find out how to get started with Mailerlite. Today I’m going to introduce you to the different features of Mailerlite that will help you start and grow your email list. These are your tribe, your people, and hopefully your ideal customer and/or reader.
This is a really long post and it’s packed full of useful info. I get it you’re a little busy but I’ve got you covered. Click this button and you can download a PDF version of this post!
Where to Find Your Forms & The Different Forms
When you get yourself set up in Mailerlite, you may come to a pretty blank screen with menu options for creating Forms, Automation, and Campaigns. Now when I started with Mailerlite I had to click around to learn the ins-and-outs of the program.
But I don’t want you doing that.
This is why I’m going to walk you through everything. I want you to succeed, and much faster than I did. No one should have to start blogging with zero help.
When you log in, you’ll land on your dashboard. With a new account, you’ll have some welcome links on the screen and there will be some steps you’ll have to take in order to start sending emails. One of these being your domain verification (this is how you’ll set-up your domain email and verify your Mailerlite account).
For now, when you log in you’ll see a screen that looks like this.
At the top of the screen, you’ll see your menu. We’re going to hop over to forms because this is where you’re going to grow your email list. Once you start using your email marketing account, your dashboard will show some stats and recently sent campaigns. Kind of like this.
Now onto the good stuff. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to create a form with Mailerlite and incorporate it onto your site.
The Forms You’ll Need to Grow Your Email List
When you get to the Forms section of your Mailerlite account, you’ll see three tabs. These tabs are Pop-Ups, Landing Pages, and Embedded Forms. The Embedded Forms is the tab you’ll head to in order to create forms that you can pop into your sidebar or inside of your blog posts (just like this one).
After you select the Embedded Forms tab, you’re going to click on the orange button at the top right of your screen. The Create Embedded Form button will allow you to create a brand-new form from scratch.
Just a sidenote, if you want to recreate a form you’ve already created you can click on the arrow that will show up next to Edit and select Duplicate. This way you can have the same formatting for your form but you can link it to different opt-ins or lists.
You can name your form anything you’d like. But my suggestion is to give it a name relevant to its purpose. So if it is your main sign-up form, just name it sidebar or in-post. The next page is pretty self-explanatory, but I’m going to touch on it anyway.
Mailerlite gives you the option to create forms and buttons. I love the buttons sometimes. It’s an easy and attractive way to add an opt-in without having to slap a subscribe form into your post.
Right now I want you to create your first Embed Form. This is the form you’ll be adding to your sidebar (towards the top) so you can grow your email list no matter what page of your site they are on.
Creating Your First Embed Form on Mailerlite
After you choose to create a new Embed Form, you’ll get to a screen just like this.
This is where the magic happens. ; )
The Double Opt-in option is totally optional. I don’t often use it unless I’m promoting something that would require me to send a lot of emails. Chances are, they intended to type their information in the box, they want to sign up.
If you do keep the Double Opt-in on, be sure to go to the Confirmation Email and Confirmation Thank-You Page tabs to match the formatting to your sign-up form. Mailerlite typically has green buttons and what-not which don’t match everyone’s sites. You want to keep the same colors that you use on your website and blog in your forms so that people get a familiar branding experience.
Formatting Your Embed Form
Sounds self-explanatory but I’m going to show you what you should definitely change, and what you can change if you want. This way you should have 0 questions. Don’t worry if you do though, comment your question and I’ll help you out!
To grow your email list, you don’t want forms that say Newsletter and Sign up for updates or blah, blah, freaking blah. That’s boring and to be honest no one really knows what newsletter means to each specific website. Some may have coupons and tons of free stuff, while others are just focusing on selling you something.
Spice it up a little. Try out something a little more creative that is full of your personality like this:
P.S. There’s no checklist, it’s just a screen shot image. Just in case you try to fill it out & it doesn’t work.
Onto the next step. This is IMPORTANT. If you chose to turn Double Opt-In off, which is what I suggest, you will be using the box on this page called THANK YOU MESSAGE OR REDIRECT URL to send your subscriber whatever your opt-in incentive is (if you have one). If you’ve ever signed up for any of my freebies, you’ll see that once you enter your info into the box you are automatically redirected to the content you signed up to get. No waiting, no checking your email, nada.
Once your form shines with your personality and you have everything filled out in the Details tab, you’re going to click on Design. This is where you’ll be able to use your own brand colors and change the fonts and size of the form.
Just by clicking around you can mess with the form so that it looks how you want it to look for your site. If you want to use the exact colors that you used for your website all you need is the hex code(s) which is the number that looks like this #f38181.
Don’t go crazy with colors and fonts. I’d suggest matching the background and border to the background on your site, and the button color to your main brand color. Also, try to find a font that best matches your website’s font to flow the form into the branding of your website.
Get the info you need…
Generally, just asking for a Name and Email is sufficient to grow your email list successfully. When you start asking for more details, people get a little freaked out as to your motives for collecting the info.
The Fields tab is where you can add or remove required fields from your form.
Picking the right list…
If you’re just starting out, you likely only have one list or group that your subscribers will go into. As you advance your email marketing strategy, it’s possible that you’ll have quite a few.
When you select the Groups tab you can add or remove lists that the subscribers will be added to when they submit the form.
Linking Mailerlite to WordPress
Mailerlite has a handy plug-in that you can download for WordPress so that it will only take two clicks of the mouse to add a form into your blog posts.
Once you have the plugin installed and active, you’re going to go into the settings. You can find this on the left menu bar of your WordPress dashboard.
Once in here, you’ll see a text box that says Enter an API Key. To get this you’re going to go back to your Mailerlite dashboard. In the top right corner, you’ll see your blog name and picture, click on it and select Integrations.
The very first option will be Developer API, so you’ll click on use. This is where you’ll get the API key to copy and paste into your Mailerlite plugin.
Once you copy and paste the API key into your Mailerlite plugin (don’t forget to click save this key) you’re going to set up your plugin to grab the form from your Mailerlite account. To do this you’re going to go back to the left side of your WordPress dashboard and hover over Mailerlite. Click on Sign-Up Forms. In this dashboard, you’ll click on Add New. Don’t worry, you don’t have to recreate your forms.
The only option you need to select is Forms Created Using Mailerlite. If you select the other option you’ll have to actually create a brand-new form. So select Forms Created Using Mailerlite and click create form.
You have to title the form again, but you can use the same title that you used in Mailerlite for the form. Then click on the drop-down menu and choose your new form that you already created.
Again, don’t forget to click Save Form.
The tool shows you a preview of the post so if you don’t remember what you named it, don’t worry you’ll be able to easily find it.
The last couple steps…
Now that you know how to add your shiny new forms into your WordPress plugin, I’m going to show you how to insert that form into your blog posts and sidebar so that you can use them wherever you’d like!
When you’re writing your blog post in WordPress, there will be a Mailerite button on your toolbar. All you’ll have to do is click on it when you want to add a sign-up form to your post
A small pop-up will appear and you’ll see a drop-down again where you’ll be able to choose the form you’d like to use.
Adding your form to your sidebar…
This part is a little more inclusive than adding the form to your posts. When you go to Appearance –> Customize in your WordPress Menu you’ll be able to add the form to your sidebar.
Just a note though, your form may not show up. I have a couple of tickets in with Mailerlite support because it happened to me and a couple other people I know. But I suggest trying it because it may just be the themes we’re using.
Once on your customizer, you’re going to go to the Widgets tab. Your options may be different than mine and that is just something that differs from theme to theme.
If your theme supports a side bar, you’ll be able to change it in Widgets no matter the theme you’re on. When you get to your sidebar customizer, you’re going to select Add A Widget.
You’ll see the widget show up, and you’ll be able to preview as you make changes. When the widget shows up, you’ll select your form from the drop-down once again.
I suggest making a wide form for the inside of your blog posts and a narrow form for your sidebar. This way nothing gets cut off when you insert the widgets into your site.
A Couple Last Things So You Can Go and Grow Your Email List
I suggest having your sidebar form near the top (if not at the top) of your sidebar. This way it’s visible early to the reader. You can also add more than one to your blog posts themselves.
The point is, you want there to be a form close by so that when someone decides they want to hear from you again, the form isn’t difficult to find.
Lastly, don’t get discouraged. Learning to grow your email list takes time and the actual growth takes time and a lot of experimentation.
I can guide you through the steps I’ve used, but unfortunately, I can’t personally get you the sign ups.
Did I miss anything?
If I skipped a step or you’re still stumped drop a comment below. Heck, drop a comment anyway and let me know if this guide was helpful!
Ready to move on to the next step? Head here to learn about creating your welcome email series.