[UPDATED: MAY 2020]
Some time ago, I’ve decided to shift gears, re-branded my website, focused on lead generation to grow my mailing list. Until that point, my website was a “parking lot for random content” with no particular goal for almost 10+ years. Yes, you’ve heard right! Yet, after investing in myself and learning all I could about email marketing, I’ve taken the plug and came up with a plan of action to do something with my web presence, including my email list. And while at it to educate others how it was done, especially with an interactive quiz – the latest hot trend in web design.
I needed to take inventory of what already was in place, what was required for future growth, and what measurable results I could expect. After all, while 100000+ subscribers in a month sound like a dream come true, is it really attainable? So my immediate plan of action looked something like this:
- Update current website + include several lead capture opportunities
- Find the right email service provider + set it all up (MailChimp vs ConvertKit)
- Come up with a plan of action to implement over the next months
With pen and paper, I sat down and created a road map to success for my website and mailing list. I selected a few channels to achieve my goals and started putting it all into action. Soon enough, my web analytics showed an increase in traffic, and my mailing list started to grow while. Surely, it took some time, but in hindsight, it was well worth the effort.
Hit & Run vs Engaged Visitor
But before I go over the different methods available to you to grow your mailing list, let’s take a look at why it’s so important to a) have a website with a clear focus & lead magnets and b) create an email marketing strategy in the first place.
Let’s assume you are a small business owner and have a beautiful website showcasing your offerings. You connected your site to all social media outlets to drive traffic to your website. You have put efforts to grow your community, yet you only “hosting the party at your acquaintances’ place” and not your domain. What I mean by that is, all your potential clients & leads are connected to you via social media. So if that platform is gone tomorrow, you would lose all your followers.
If you put the same energy into growing your mailing list, you’ll see soon enough its growth. And best of all, no one can ever take it from you. While having an email list is a must for savvy business owners, you can find information online on how to automate your email marketing. Now, let’s finally move on to how you can effectively grow your mailing list with lead magnets.
Best Ways to Grow Mailing List
Over the past months, I’ve tested several ways to drive traffic to my website, engage my visitors, and grow my mailing list. I have implemented all I am about to share with you and monitoring their performance with Google Analytics even if only for a short period of time.
About a month ago, I was approached by the team of Interact – a company which is a tool for creating online quizzes that generate leads, segment your audience, and drive traffic to websites – and was invited to try out the Interact Quiz Maker. I was glad to accept and created my first quiz in no time (see below the step by step instructions). Major plus, the easy setup, and way to connect the quiz to your own website make this tool a must-have. Create your own Interact Quiz and start growing your mailing list now.
Free Content Downloads
Everyone loves FREE! People come to your website and the moment they see the word free they are hooked. So why not take advantage of it and create a “freebie” which is connected to your mailing list. It’s simple, they give you their contact info in exchange for free content. Certainly, you may capture some people who are only out for freebies, but with email automation, you’ll be able to weed out the “freeloaders” from quality leads. Get busy brainstorming your next freebie and connect it to your mailing list. Btw, did you get my FREE guide to Website in Weekend?
Content Upgrade on Blog
Once you have your freebies in place, another great way to capture email addresses is on every single blog post you create. Of course, if you have written 100+ over the years, you can’t possibly implement it all at once. The trick is to look at your Google Analytics and select the top 5-10 posts which drive the most traffic to your website, add a link/banner for people to subscribe to your mailing list. Pick your top-performing blog posts now and add your lead magnets asap.
Free Resource Library
Another great way to capture emails is to create a resource library, which is only accessible with a password or secret link. Your visitors can opt-in on your website to gain access to your resources library by providing you their name and email, and in return, you’ll send them the link/password to a collection of useful materials for FREE. While it’s a great way to grow your list, in my opinion, it’s best to hold off with such an offer until you have created several freebies to add to your library. Collect all your freebies and create your FREE resource library now.
Social Media Traffic (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, …)
Of course, social media is huge and despite what I have said before, you should include it in your plan of action. My suggestion is to pick one or two social media channels, and consistently promote your offers and freebies. Surely, you should sign up for all the social media outlets, but don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s better to build a name for yourself slowly than be all over the place with no impact. Recently, I’ve focused solely on Pinterest to sky-rocketed my web traffic to 85+K visitors in a little over a month. So yes, it’s possible even if with one social media platform at a time. Select your favorite social media channel and create a plan of action to promote your content.
Above is the first quiz I’ve created with Interact Quiz Maker.
But what is interactive quiz?
To put it in simple terms, an interactive quiz is a tool you can use as a lead generator in your marketing strategy. There are different types of quizzes you can create and connect to your lead generation/sales funnel strategy. Basically, it’s the next “it-tool” to have as part of your marketing strategy. Don’t believe me? Read what the experts at Interact are saying about interactive quizzes.
How to set up Interact Quiz
Th first step to get the quiz off the ground is to decide what your goal is, and how you can connect it to your niche and the type of subscribers you wish to engage. For me, it was clear right away as I wanted to capture and pre-qualify leads for my design business. So the question I had to ask myself was: What does your web presence say about you?
Template vs From Scratch
Interact Quiz provides you with two options to assemble your quiz: Templates or Build from Scratch. Since I was not really interested in using any of the templates available (mainly because there wasn’t one for my specific category), I have designed it from scratch. There are three different types of quizzes you can select from: Assessment Quiz, Personality Quiz, and Scored Quiz. For obvious reasons, I went with the personality version built from scratch for my quiz.
The next step is to design the cover for your quiz. Easily available are images in the picture library for free, or you can upload or link your own files to match your quiz to the brand identity of your business or website. My advice try to match the look and feel of the quiz with your branding to tie it all together.
Questions + Answers
Next, I created 5-7 simple yet relevant questions with a set of corresponding answers to be able to come to one of the five results. There are a few different ways of displaying your questions and answers. You can select one main image for the question and list your answers, you can keep it simple with text only, or go all out with the main image for the questions and a different image for each of the answers. As always, my approach is to less is more: Capture with one leading image and well thought out answers.
I’ve decided on five possible results and matched each with a call to action to be displayed on the result page. My call to actions would guide the quiz taker to a resource page, free WordPress course, or to an option to schedule a discovery call/request a free quote for a future design project. While redirection is an option, I thought Call To Action under each result is more engaging for those interested in learning more.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp – the debate is long and pretty much endless. I have tried both and recently decided to go back to MailChimp. So, I needed to connect my quiz to MailChimp which was done with a few simple clicks. And while segmenting it was a bit confusing at first, I quickly managed to add the proper merge fields to my MailChimp account. Now, I have created a segment for each result and can easily send out tailored email campaigns.
For starters, I’ve added a pop-up to my website, and also created a quiz page where it is embedded: Click to see my quiz in action. That way, I can link to the quiz directly via my social media channels or include it in emails. In the future, I may entertain a link in the notification bar or other embedding options, but for now, I don’t want to overdo it.
Lastly, yet most importantly, analytics. I’ve learned to focus all my marketing efforts with ROI (return of investment) in mind. The quiz may have a FREE option, but how much time do you really spend to create and promote? Hence, the inclusion of analytics insides the dashboard is what really sold me on the Interact Quiz. With one click I can see how my quiz is performing and what steps I could take improve it.
My Conclusion: Engaging Content All The Way!
If you take the time to outline your goals with corresponding results, questions, and answers, implementing a quiz can be a great tool for growing your mailing list. In addition, if promoted on various social media channels, it can increase your web traffic and even bring you more paying clients in the process.
I must admit, being on the tech-savvy side, to create the quiz is super simple, even for a tech-shy person. The design, layout, and sequencing are logical and easy to follow, as is the integration with email service providers like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and many others.
And as you see from the analytics screenshot above, you may wonder why I am so excited about this quiz. My outcome may seem to be rather low with only a few leads generated. Well, take a look at the date, my quiz What type of website should you have? has been live for only two weeks now, and I have not yet fully promote my quiz yet on my social media profiles (Pinterest, Tailwind, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook here I come) as much as I will in the coming weeks. Stay tuned on updates if you’re interested to hear more.
Above is another quiz I’ve created with Interact Quiz Maker.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. In addition, I believe in transparency. If you use my referral links above, then I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you.