1. Click here to get access to a special free trial from Constant Contact (no credit card required).
This will take you to the registration page, where you will need to enter your name, email and other information to sign up.
Now that you are registered, you will be taken to the Constant Contact dashboard page. On this page, Constant Contact offers a very easy three-step process to get started.
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 checklist.
Give this list a simple name, such as “Blog Readers”. If you already have an email list, you can paste it in the second field.
If you don’t have an email list yet, just enter your own email address and maybe the email addresses of a few friends to be your test group.
3. Add your organization information
Now that you’ve set up your first list, you’ll need to move on to step two: “Add your organization information.”
This step requires you to enter your organization information to ensure that you are on the right track of the CAN-SPAM legislation passed by parliament.
By law, you must enter this information if you plan to send marketing emails abroad, but Constant Contact makes it easy to comply with the law.
Once you enter your information and click save, you can move on to the third and final step.
4. Create Your First Email
Now that you’ve completed the first two steps of the process, it’s time to click “Create your first email.”
This step takes you to a page where Constant Contact really shines: customization.
You can choose from a large collection of beautifully designed templates when creating each email you send. This is a simple way to ensure that your emails have interesting visuals and that they look professionally designed.
When you click “Select”, you will be taken to the drag and drop email builder.
This screen will allow you to set a custom header for your email, as well as make edits and use all sorts of add-ons.
I recommend using this designer to experiment with the different options Constant Contact offers you. You can even add your own images, text, and branding to give your emails a personal touch.
Once you’ve designed the email to your specifications, you can click continue to be taken to the final options page.
This page allows you to create all sorts of final specifications for your email before sending it out. Chief among these is allowing you to choose exactly which email list you want to send your emails to.
You can also edit the “from” and “reply to” email addresses that your recipients will see, and schedule when the email is actually sent. This is one of my favorite features because it allows you to plan ahead and schedule emails to be sent at the most strategic time possible.
How to collect email addresses from your blog
Now that you have a clear understanding of what Constant Contact is and how to use it, the next step is to make sure that you are putting yourself in a position to collect as many email addresses as possible.
The best way to get email addresses from your subscribers is to prompt them to give you their email addresses. And the easiest way to do that is to use the default Constant Contact signup form in WordPress.
To do this, you need to click on “Growth Tools List” on the title bar at the top of the page in your Constant Contacts dashboard.
From there, you can click “Create registration form” to be taken to the registration form builder.
First, you will need to name your registration form using the “Form Name” field. This name will only be seen by you, so make sure you give it a name that will help distinguish it.
The “Form Title” and “Description” fields are what your readers will actually see, so make sure you’re inviting them to sign up for your email list.
I also recommend that they let them know that your email list is the best way to stay in touch with your blog and also potentially offer exclusive content to entice them to sign up.
Now that you have created the basics of your registration form, click “Continue” and switch to the “Contact Fields” tab.
This page will allow you to choose what information you will actually collect from your readers when they sign up for your email list.
I recommend keeping this section as simple and straightforward as possible. The last thing you want to do is prevent someone from signing up for your email list because it’s too complicated or time-consuming.
Once you have selected the information you will collect, click “Continue” again.
This will take you to the “Form Appearance” tab, where you can edit the font and background color for the registration form.
Once you’ve designed the form to your specifications, you’ll need to click “Finish” to continue with actually setting up the form on your blog.
Add your persistent contact signup form to your WordPress blog
To add a Constant Contact signup form to your WordPress blog, you need to click on the “Actions” drop-down menu next to the registration form that you created on the “List Grower” page.
From that drop-down, select “Embed Code”.
Next, a pop-up will give you an embeddable HTML code that you can use to add a subscription form to your blog.
You will need to copy this code and then login to the Admin area of your WordPress blog.
From the dashboard of the WordPress admin panel, select “Appearance” and then “Widgets”.
You will need to select the “Text” widget and then paste the copy given to you by Constant Contact into the text box.
Once you click “Save”, you will be able to see the email list signup form you have placed it on the page.
Now that we have set up Constant Contact and added a subscription form to your blog, let’s talk about how you can use Constant Contact to promote your WordPress content.
5. Add WordPress Posts to Persistent Contact Emails
To add a WordPress post to your Constant Contact email, you need to click on the Campaigns page.
From there, click “Create” and then “Send Email.”
From here, simply choose a template for your email. When you are at the email design screen, click “Add-Ons” and then “Read More”.
This screen will allow you to enter the URL for the WordPress post that you want to promote in your email.
Even better, Constant Contact will automatically get an image preview for your post as well as a quick content summary.
This gives your email recipients a cool intro to what’s coming, which increases the likelihood that they’ll click through to check it out for themselves.
Once you’ve completed this step, you can go ahead and send out emails to promote your content.
Now you have a better understanding of the value of email marketing, and understand how Constant Contact can help you create and manage email lists for your WordPress blog.
Remember that the best way for you to take advantage of this tool is to create the best content possible. Constant contact is ultimately just a great way to ensure your blog is viewed by as many people as possible.
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