Click HERE to get access to a special free trial from Constant Contact (no credit card required). Enter your name, email and some basic info in order to get signed up.
Once you sign up you will be taken to the Constant Contact dashboard. On this page, you will see the three-step process for getting started (I promise it is not as hard or confusing as it looks).
2. Set Up Your First List
First, click through the “Set up your first list” prompt. You will then be asked to set up your test list.
Give this list a simple name, such as “Subscribers.” If you already have an email list, you can cut and paste the names in under “Add some email addresses”.
If you do not yet have an email list, I recommend entering your own email address and perhaps a few friends’ email addresses to serve as your test group.
3. Add Your Organization Info
Now that you have set up your first list, you will need to “Add your organization info.”
The CAN-SPAM act legally quires you to enter this information if you will be sending outbound marketing emails. Once you enter your information, click save.
4. Create Your First Email
You are now ready to create your first email. Constant Contact offers a number of well-designed templates that you can select and then customize to meet your needs. I highly recommend using a template. Using email templates is a super simple way to make sure that your emails are visually interesting and that they look professional.
Once you pick a template, click “Select” and you will be taken to the drag and drop editor.
This screen allows you to customize your email. You can add your own images, text, and branding to give your emails a personalized touch. I recommend playing around with the different options that Constant Contact makes available to you.
Once you have finished customizing your email, click continue to be taken to the final options page.
Perhaps one of the most important decisions on this page is selecting a subject title. Select something short and descriptive. You want people to open your email so make sure the title is catchy. This is also where you will select the email list you that you want to send your email to.
You are also able to edit the “from” and “reply to” email addresses that your recipients will see, as well as schedule out when the email will actually be sent. This is one of my favorite features since it allows you to plan ahead and schedule emails to be sent at the most strategic time possible. I recommend sending emails during regular business hours M-F.
5. How To Collect Email Addresses From Your Blog
The best way to get email addresses from your subscribers is to prompt them to provide you with their email address when they visit your site. One of the best ways to do that is by using a default Constant Contact signup form in WordPress. To get started with this feature click on the “List Growth Tools” tab on the header bar at the top of the page in your Constant Contact dashboard.
From there, you can click “Create a Sign-Up Form” to be taken to the sign-up form creator.
Give your sign-up form a name using the “Form Name” field. This name will only be seen by you. I recommend using a descriptive name so when you come back to it you know what it is. Your readers will actually see the “Form Title” and “Description” fields. This is a good place to invite them to sign up for your email list.
It also helps to have a call to action such as “Sign up to receive exclusive content” or “Stay in Touch”.
Once you have completed your sign-up form, click “Continue” to move to the “Contact Fields” tab.
This page allows you to select what information you are collecting from your subscribers. I recommend keeping this as simple as possible. A first name, last name and email address are fine. The more information you request the less likely someone is to fill out a form.
Once you are finished, click “Continue” again.
In the “Form Appearance” tab you are able to edit the font and background color for the sign-up form. You can also load up your logo. Select your preferences and click “Finish” to continue.
6. Adding Your Constant Contact Sign-Up Form to your WordPress Blog
In order to add your Constant Contact sign-up form to your WordPress blog, you will need to click on the “Actions” drop-down next to the sign-up form that you created on the “List Growth Tools” page.
From that drop down, select “Embed Code.”
A pop-up provides you with embeddable HTML code that you can use to add a sign-up form to your blog. Copy this code and then login to the Admin area of your WordPress blog.
From the WordPress Admin panel dashboard, select “Appearance” and then “Widgets.”
You will need to select the “Text” widget and then paste the copy provided to you by Constant Contact into the text box.
Click “Save” you will be able to view the sign-up form where you placed it on the page.
7. Adding WordPress Posts Into Constant Contact Emails
In order to add a WordPress post into a Constant Contact email, you will need to go click over to the Campaigns page.
Click “Create” and then “Send an Email.”
Choose a template for your email. Once you are at the email design screen, click “Add-Ons” and then “Read More.”
Enter in the URL for the WordPress post that you want to promote in your email. Constant Contact automatically pulls in an image preview for your article as well as a quick content summary.
Once you have finished with this step, you can move forward and send the email out to promote your content.
Email is the first step in generating qualifying leads. Keep an eye out for our next article Creating a Sales Funnel.