One of the things we’ve committed ourselves to this year is extreme scrutiny of digital tools.
I know we’re not alone in the thought that business would be that much better if we bought into a new piece of software.
It’s why we tried four different email systems before coming back to ConvertKit.
I cringe thinking about the various ways we could have better spent the time it took to adopt one platform after another.
But my point isn’t to use ConvertKit. In fact, use whatever email makes it easy for you to communicate with your list at least once a week.
My point is that mastery in a smaller set of tools allows you to … well, have a smaller set of tools.
Let’s start by eliminating the pop-up
I don’t love pop-ups myself, but I know they work. In 2021, we had a membership to OptinMonster but stopped using it because we couldn’t get it to match our branding. Plus, the UI was just a little too hard.
Emma knows ConvertKit better than I do, so she added a site-wide exit intent pop-up from the ConvertKit platform itself.
It was on our site for a month, which included the two slowest weeks of the year for our business, so it might not be a fair comparison, but it only brought in three subscribers and it was annoying, so I axed it.
I read Matt Giovanisi’s Gazillion Dollar Sales Funnel Experiment and decided to adjust the layout of our blog posts according to what he suggested in phase one.
He uses LeadPages, but I wondered, “could I create what I wanted using Beaver Builder?”
Instead of a pop-up, make really obvious/obnoxious opt-ins using a global row
In redesigning his site for maximum conversion, Matt wanted to avoid pop-ups, which aligns with how I felt.
- An opt-in at the top of all blog posts
- That same opt-in at the bottom of all blog posts
- And an ad in the middle of the post
He wrote about his experiment that he was running on an affiliate site about swimming pools, and I noticed that on his business website, he has a button instead of a form.
Here’s a fun hack: follow people who do all the techy SEO split test marketing tests and mimic what they’ve decided to do. That way, you can implement the winning strategy without having to do split tests yourself.
What that meant for me was that I was more interested in having my opt-ins look like his business blog than I was in having mine look like his swimming pool site.
Top of the post: An opt-in
As of this writing, the opt-in at the top looks like this:
It’s full width, with a link to the landing page.
It stands out because it’s in our brand’s “obnoxious yellow” color, and you can’t read any part of any blog post without scrolling past it.
We have this at the top of every blog post as well as the top of every archive section.
The point isn’t for it to blend in seamlessly and beautifully.
The point is for someone scrolling to stop and say, “Hey! I want to opt in!”
Bottom of the post: Another chance to opt-in
The bottom of the post opt-in looks a little different from the top of the post one.
Why did I make it look different?
Because Matt did, and like I said, I’m using the results of his test instead of doing my own.
So the bottom one looks like this:
Admittedly, it’s not that different. But it’s not full-width, and it has rounded corners.
Middle of the post: A mid-content “ad”
This was the one piece that made me think I might be at the limits of what my existing tech stack could do.
But then I found out: every saved Beaver Builder module, row, and column have shortcodes!
And the WordPress editor allows you to insert shortcodes into posts!
You can use an HTML block in Gutenberg, copy your shortcode from Beaver Builder, and plop it right in!
This is what my “in content” ad looks like:
The downside? That’s a manual insertion, not something that can automatically be injected into a post.
Which, honestly, is fine.
It’s part of the process moving forward, and it didn’t take Jessie very long to go back in and add it to older posts.
An automatic insertion would have, inevitably, added the in-content ad somewhere weird, so this is better anyway (though doing the work to insert the ad is tedious).
The tech stack
Here are the essential pieces of our tech stack for this project:
- Beaver Builder (although you can use other page builders with Ultimate Addons)
- Beaver Themer, which allows you to adjust the look of all your theme pages (blog post, archive, 404, header, footer)
- Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder (not exactly required, but not expensive, and adds a lot of modern functionality)
The ONE thing that makes this easier moving forward: Global rows
If you haven’t used Beaver Builder much, you may not yet understand the power of global rows and modules.
I know I didn’t until I’d been using these tools for more than a year.
When you go to the work of manually inserting a shortcode into all existing posts, you only want to do that work once.
But that’s the beauty of using global rows.
Because every single time you create a new opt-in using a global row, swapping out the:
- Top opt-in
- Bottom opt-in
- And mid-content ad
Will take just a few minutes, instead of hours.
As long as you overwrite the existing global rows.
How to create and deploy global rows
Creating an opt-in using a global row is just like creating a regular row, only you click the box that says global once you’ve got it the way you want it, and you’re ready to save it.
Note: It’s easier/better to get the row the way you want it before saving it as a global row. You can edit global rows, but doing so adds another step, so make sure you have it the way you want it first.
So, if you’re following my example, you’re going to want three global rows.
- Top of post
- Bottom of post
- In-content posts
So, repeat this process until you’ve saved all three.
Then, once you’re ready, it’s time to deploy.
Let’s start with the hardest one: in-content
Above, we discussed adding an in-content ad to our posts, and that there wasn’t an elegant way to do this one automatically.
But depending on how many posts you have, adding this could take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
Set aside that time, or send someone on your team these steps.
Step 1. Find the short code
Navigate to Beaver Builder → Saved Rows
Find your global row:
You’ll see the orange checkmark that indicates it’s a global row, right next to the shortcode itself.
Step 2. Copy and paste the short code somewhere you can easily grab it
In fact, perhaps now’s the time to start writing up your SOP for shortcode insertion.
Paste your shortcode into the process.
Step 3. Add it in the middle of every post
For us, this was two separate steps in the process.
The first was to insert it into past posts. The second was to include it in our SEO checklist for publishing new posts.
If you only have a handful of posts, this can be done quickly.
But if you have dozens, it’s more of a job.
But now that you’ve created it, you or someone else on your team can deploy it and you can move on to the easier ones: top of post and bottom of post.
Add your opt-in to the top of your blog post archives
Back to Beaver Builder, but this time, navigate to Themer Layouts. This is why I asked you to buy Beaver Themer.
We’re going to adjust the way archives and singular posts look.
So if you don’t already have a Themer Layout for those pieces, create those, then come back.
If you want help creating those layouts, here are two excellent tutorials:
- Archive layout type | Beaver Builder Knowledge Base
- Singular layout type | Beaver Builder Knowledge Base
Add your opt-in global row to the top of the archives
Click on “edit themer layout” here:
Make sure you have it set to show up across all archives.
Once you’re comfortable with this process, you can go in and create separate layouts for each category of posts, but don’t overcomplicate it at this point.
Now, click “Launch Beaver Builder” from within this screen, and you’ll get to your post archives.
Ours looks like this:
Now, simply add your global row to the top of this page.
Now, let’s move on to the next piece: individual blog posts
Add your opt-in to the top and bottom of each blog post
This is a very similar process, only instead of the archive post, we’re going to edit the singular post layout.
Here, make sure your ‘singular post’ layout shows up in all singular posts, but exclude it from all pages, since you’re not going to add any opt-ins to things like landing pages or sales pages.
Add your top global row to the top of your individual post after you’ve launched Beaver Builder.
You can see by this screenshot that the top row is global (that’s the orange cue in Beaver Builder).
Now, scroll down to the bottom of your singular post layout and add your bottom of post opt-in down there:
And you’re done!
Now you can test to see how many people are clicking on your opt-ins and in-content ads.
Then, when you’ve finished creating your next opt-in, simply edit the global rows, and thank your past self for making it all easier on you.
This isn’t as elegant as an all-in-one solution like HubSpot or similar, because there’s not really a dynamic way to swap out opt-ins.
But you can, in the future, get fancier, simply by adding new Themer Layouts.
I mentioned above that you could easily have different opt-ins based on the archive category.
You could also make a category (or tag, if that’s your style) specific singular post.
You could create and test different in-content ads.
Honestly, you can get really granular. You can set up split tests to your heart’s content.
But start here.
Every post, every archive, gets the same treatment.
Swap it out every couple of months or so.
And now you’ve done a great job connecting people who land on your posts from a Google search or some other way to your email list.
All while using the tools you were already using.
If you want access to these opt-in templates, you’re in the right place.
We’ve just added them to the vault!
Check out The Vault options here: https://amplifiednow.com/the-vault/