If you’re starting out with a new business you have to have everything in place before you can start collecting email subscribers right? Wrong!
In this post I’ll show you how to get a landing page designed and built so people can sign up and you can start growing your list even if you haven’t got a website yet. That’s right, you can do all of these steps either with or without a website!
Why would I want to collect email signups before I have a website?
Because the two things don’t have to be intrinsically linked! Yes you’ll have an email sign up form on your website when it’s ready but it is totally possible to direct people to a sign up form that’s not on your website.
This is a great idea if your business is brand new because you can start to build traction with growing your list. And that email list can be busy growing whilst you get on with other things, such as developing your product range or service offerings, creating content or designing your website.
I’ll be showing you how to set up a landing page to do just this.
What’s a landing page?
Landing pages aren’t just for people or businesses without a website. They’re ideal for and often used by established businesses that want to direct their audience to a specific product, service, free or paid offering in a distraction free and focussed way. Whilst your logo may appear on the landing page, the visitor will not be shown any website navigation (so no top menu or footer menu) which can otherwise mean they get distracted and head off somewhere else on your website without signing up for whatever it is being promoted on the landing page.
This is an example of one of my landing pages:
And if you’d like to see this landing page in action and/or get the Refresh & Review workbook that it’s promoting, you’ll find the landing page here.
So the steps in this post can be used to set up a landing page whether or not you already have a website.
What do you need in advance?
I’m assuming you already have the following:
- a business name
- a domain name (if you don’t have yours yet it’s worth checking prices on Namecheap and GoDaddy)
- an email address attached to your domain name. For example, mine is louise @ everyseptember.co.uk. To set this up I recommend using GSuite – the basic plan is all you need.
- a clear idea what you want people to sign up for – it can be as simple as ‘sign up to be the first to hear about X’ or you can send them something in return for signing up – a freebie or lead magnet as these are usually called. There’s more on this at the end of this post.
1. Set up an account with Mailerlite or Flodesk
These are two brilliant email marketing platforms that I love, use and recommend. You only need an account with one of them! These two platforms are quite different from each and I always recommend you to check out a couple of options when deciding on a new software or system. But don’t overwhelm yourself with options! That’s why I’m just giving you two here.
Mailerlite is excellent, full of features and is free for up to 1000 subscribers.
Flodesk is a paid platform but it’s 100% worth a look if you’re prepared to pay for your email marketing and you’ll be able to create the most beautiful emails. This is my affiliate link but will get you 50% off for life ($19 instead of $38 per month for unlimited subscribers) after your 30 day trial. Use this link: https://flodesk.com/c/LOUISE or the code LOUISE to get your 50% discount.
As part of the set up process for Mailerlite or Flodesk you’ll have to connect your domain to your account and verify it (see below for more on this).
2. Build your landing page
3. Share your landing page URL
4. Start building your email list
It’s that simple!
Landing page setup in detail: Mailerlite
- Set up your account
- Connect and verify your domain – go to your account name at the top right of the screen > domains > sending domains > add domain. Follow the steps.
- Go to Sites in the top menu
- Click create landing page and give it a name
- Choose/create a group for the new subscribers who will sign up via your landing page (eg “biz launch landing page signups”)
- Choose from one of the 30 landing page templates
- Make it your own – customise, delete any content blocks you don’t want and add new ones. You can keep it really simple or make the page as long and as detailed as you like! If you want to start from a blank canvas click ‘actions’ at the top right and choose ‘remove content blocks’.
- Add a success page – click ‘success page’ at the top of the page and customise your thank you or success page that appears after a subscriber has submitted their details.
- When you’re done, click save and publish.
- On page settings, you can customise the url of your landing page (or add your own subdomain if you want to publish the landing page on your own domain). Add a favicon if you want to and follow the instructions to optimise the SEO settings of your landing page.
- Click save and continue.
- Your landing page url will display on the next page – share this to give people access to your landing page!
Landing page setup in detail: Flodesk
- Set up your Flodesk account (you’ll have full access to all features even during a free trial)
- Click the circle at the top right of the screen. Go to email setup and domain setup – follow the instructions for each.
- Click back and then choose Forms from the top menu. Then ‘create new’.
- Choose ‘full page form’ from the list on the left. Hover over the form and click customize.
- Create a name for the segment where the people who sign up via your landing page will be added (eg “biz launch landing page”).
- Customise your landing page by adding an image, changing the text, fonts and colours. Click on different sections of the landing page to see the options you can customise.
- Preview your landing page on desktop and mobile (click the icons towards the top right). When you’re happy click next.
- Answer the next two questions and click continue.
- You’ll be shown the url for your full page form/landing page. Share, share, share!
- You can check and copy the url at any time by going to forms > hover over your landing page preview > click the 3 ellipses at the top right > choose publish.
Sending a welcome email and/or a freebie
At its very simplest a landing page can be used to collect email addresses for you to use in the future. You can make it clear that your subscribers won’t hear anything from you just yet but they’ll be the first to hear when your exciting new product/service/website launches.
That said, it’s recommended to send your new subscribers a welcome email and this usually happens as soon as they have signed up. If you want to do this and/or send them a freebie in return for signing up, you’ll have to do some more set up inside your chosen email marketing platform. There’s a video below showing you how to do this in Flodesk and the Mailerlite video is on its way!