Guest Post: Getting Smart with SmartForms

Creating products and features to help our publishers thrive is our mission here at FeedBlitz HQ. After being contacted by today’s guest blogger and told of her great success using our SmartForms, we were more than happy to feature her on the FeedBlitz Blog. Read on for how this publisher used our SmartForm Subscription Forms to increase her signups and her sales!

I’ve been a FeedBlitz client for about 8 years, and while my business as a full-time author and writing coach has changed drastically since I first read Phil Hollows’ Listbuilding for Bloggers and signed on, it’s been awesome to discover that each time I need a new feature, FeedBlitz already has it in place.

Coincidentally, FeedBlitz’s recent “Growing Your List” blog post series launched around the time I hired a consulting firm to restructure my business and redesign my website. While the firm’s professionals worked behind the scenes on tech details far outside the bounds of my skill set, I was able to keep pace on a parallel track using FeedBlitz’s blog to grow my list and increase accessibility to my blog, seasonal newsletters, and income-generating autoresponders.
When restructuring my business first began, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed – I confess to getting lost down the rabbit hole of business webinars, lunch hour online chats about IT features beyond my understanding, and even enrolling in a few e-courses that just weren’t right for my business needs at the time. But one take-away from all that self-guided learning was that everyone seemed in agreement about at least one thing: getting a person’s email address via a pop-up form on your website would be essential for continued, successful online marketing and engagement.
Cue, Feedblitz’s blog post on SmartForms, which I’d been aware of for quite some time but hadn’t yet made time to understand. Within minutes of creating the form, I had a customized template set to my liking, and within hours, new subscribers were signing on. Thanks to additional blog posts in FeedBlitz’s series, I also understood I ought to offer an incentive to folks for sharing their email address, and thanks to pro tips from folks like Janelle at Zen Courses, I was finally starting to understand that my archive of over 2,000 blog posts in 10 years was a gold mine waiting to be upgraded, shared, re-linked, and properly tagged.
So I customized my SmartForm to match my new branding, then tied it to a brief autoresponder that starts with a free downloadable PDF titled “Top 5 Tools that Changed My Life as a Self-Employed Writer.” My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady. Some of these subscribers were readers who had followed my blog for years, and had simply never seen or opted to enter their email address into the sidebar widget I used for subscriptions. Now—they’ll never miss a post, AND I can assure they get “first dibs” on discounts or limited time offers I only make available to this select group.

“My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady.”

More importantly, new visitors to my site get to meet me first and foremost through the positive experience of a free PDF. They opt-in, so there’s nothing SPAM-like about it, and after a few messages from me about what I do, plus links to several free trials, the autoresponder finishes. They don’t hear from me again until my seasonal newsletter goes out, and click-through rates on those have also doubled.

How does it all add up, you might wonder? SmartForms helped me expand my audience, first and foremost, and that’s priceless. They also help me gather key information about my clients and audience, via custom fields. But more than all of that, this self-running feature helps me generate income.

Because of the positive experience folks are having getting a free PDF and a tasteful, SPAM-free set of emails linking them to free trials they’re interested in, eventually a handful of those subscribers become paying clients. And it all started with the SmartForm…

Katey Schultz is an author, writing coach, and founder of Maximum Impact: Precision Courses for Writers, Artists, & Trailblazers. Learn more at www.kateyschultz.com.

Thank you, Katey, for taking the time to talk about your experience with FeedBlitz SmartForm Subscription Forms. If you are a FeedBlitz Publisher and would like to share your experience and possibly be featured on the blog as a Case Study or Guest Post, please send us an email and let’s get the conversation started.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 2

On our mission to help you grow your list of subscribers, we covered in greater depth the value of customized subscription forms in our earlier post this week. (Need a refresher? Check it out here). Your homework from Tuesday’s post was to start creating a new (or reevaluate your current) SmartForm. Now that you’ve worked with our editing program and are on your way to creating a sleek, customized SmartForm subscription form to capture new readers, today we are going to talk about the various ways you can add your forms to your site.

What form will your subscription form take?

FeedBlitz SmartForms offer a variety of display options. We walk you through these below:

  • Sidebar Widget - Arguably the most popular placement for a subscription form, the sidebar widget can be as simple or complex depending on what you desire for your site.

 

Did you know? Our FeedBlitz SmartForms automatically sense who’s a subscriber and who’s not. That means the sidebar widgets collapse and the popups do not appear to those who are already subscribed.

  • Subscription Page - A separate subscription page is ideal for those interested in adding additional text such as your company’s Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, additional fields (date of birth, company, website, etc.), or you would prefer to have a subscription page link.

  • Popup - You determine how many page views and how many seconds (20-30 seconds is average) before the Popup appears, as well as the number of days the popup appears again to non-subscribers. This form option is also great for opt in offers or grabbing a reader’s attention.

  • Post footer - How many times have you read a blog post and at the end you notice a line or a box that reads something along the lines of: Like what you read above? Subscribe to get our updates direct to your inbox! Imagine someone who hasn’t been to your site stumbles upon your post. If they make it all the way to the end, odds are high they’re interested and wouldn’t mind hearing a bit more. A subscription form in the footer of your post is an ideal place to capitalize on new readers and capture their information.

Choose as many or as few forms as you’d like and create them to be as simple or complex as your site requires. The most important step is having at least one customized subscription form that fits your branding, that’s easily visible for your readers to use. This one step is incredibly valuable in establishing the tools to grow your list over the coming months.

Next week we’ll show you how to fully optimize what happens after a reader enters their email address and hits Subscribe. Hint: It’s a goldmine of customization points which many don’t apply!

As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Do you have a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it and your site may even be featured on the FeedBlitz blog!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!