Challenges for optins are popping up all over the place. And I learned from a blogger during my last blogging conference a little bit more which I plan to implement one in my own biz this quarter!
What is it?
A way to grow your email list by having your audience sign up for some type of ‘challenge’ in order to learn more on a specific topic and to direct your audience into purchasing a product from you.
Join my 10 Day Challenge for Organizing Your ____ (fill in the blank).
Join my 10 Day Challenge for Setting Up Your _____ (fill in the blank).
Join my 10 Day Challenge for Becoming A ______ (fill in the blank).
Join our 5 Day Challenge for ……whatever you know your audience craves.
So for me, I’ll have a 10 Day Challenge for Building the Perfect Wreath. Why this? It will hit on topics my audience wants and it will lead them to a larger product to purchase either an ebook or video to purchase.
Pros of a Challenge Funnel:
Your followers get free content on that specific topic delivered to their inbox.
Amazing marketing strategy because it teaches your audience to open and engage with your emails, which then trains their email (gmail, etc.) not to put your emails into the promotions tabs.
When you incorporate a ‘trip wire’ into your challenge, you can also make money with it. (More on trip wires later).
Guides your audience towards a larger product you offer.
Cons of a Challenge Funnel:
It does take longer to set up.
You must have an email service provider that handles autoresponders or drips (mailchimp, aweber, convert kit, madmimi, infusion soft, etc.)
You’ll need to map it out before creating the challenge. See the homework sheet below for help in planning.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works…
Your audience gives you their email address to learn more about your topic.
You immediately send them email 1 with something of value on the topic. In this email, you also give them a call to action. For example, head over to our free group and let us know ____ or head over to our group and upload a picture of ______, or go to our Facebook page and _______. The call to action can be anything and tells the reader what to do getting them used to interacting with you and to build a relationship with you.
On Day 2 you email them something else of value on the topic of choice and give them another call to action. Maybe to head to a blog post and comment or to a specific FB post and comment.
On Day 3 same process/format as day 2.
On Day 4 same process/format as day 2
On Day 5 same process/format as day 2
On Day 6 same as day 2 but instead of a call to action, you give them a chance to purchase a sample product for just the fraction of a price of a typical product. This is called a ‘trip wire’ in the industry. You trip up the reader into wanting to buy without sounding pushy. If you’ve given great content in your emails before the trip wire, sales are very easy.
On Day 7 same process/format as day 2
On Day 8 same process/format as day 2
On Day 9 same process/format as day 2
On Day 10 a review/conclusion and an opportunity/pitch to purchase the product you’re funneling them to.
The product you’re ultimately leading them to buy must match the content in the challenge. For example, you can’t have a product on a cookie decorating ebook and the challenge be about decluttering your pantry.
Not all challenges have to be 10 Days. You choose the challenge length 5, 7, 10 or even 30. Depending on the topic and the amount of free content you have to offer. If you drag it out too long, I think people will get either bored or distracted. Me personally when I sign up for a 10 day challenge..after 3 days I forget about it and stop opening the emails.
But here’s a great idea. Offer them the option of purchasing the challenge up front instead of having to wait for the great content. So for example, they opt in to your challenge and the very next page they see is an option to purchase the whole challenge for say $7 or $10 or whatever you set the price at. Trip wire.
First and foremost, you have to know your end game. What is your purpose for having them join in on the challenge?
Is it to get them to buy a product like an ebook or an e-course?
Or is it to have them become a member in a service based business such as a subscription site or even for one on one coaching?
In order to create the challenge, you absolutely have to know what your purpose is because you want to provide them valuable information that they are interested in so that the natural next step would be to purchase your product.
Your content needs to be valuable and you want them to think, “If she’s/he’s giving this away for free, I can’t even imagine how good the paid for content must be.”
And you need to make sure the above statement is true.
What to Name your Challenge?
So you have your product and purpose, now come up with a name for the challenge. This could be left until the end too, sometimes it’s easier naming things after you’ve created them.
You’ll want to use the word “challenge” somewhere in the name.
Don’t name it the same name as your product. For example, if you create a Candle Making Training e-Course you wouldn’t want to call it the Candle Making Challenge.
As you start to develop and grow in your business, you’ll probably end up with a bunch of different forms, sequences, tags and products. You want to be able to quickly know the data involved with a challenge (i.e., open rates, click throughs, etc.)
If you struggled with naming your challenge, don’t worry because as you write your content it will come to mind quickly.
The best way to structure a challenge is to give a mini lesson and then homework or a call to action.
The lesson should be simple, but also informative. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Plus, you want them to read the entire email and not feel exhausted by the end of it that they don’t even know where to start.
Example Product: Pinterest 4 Profits Training Course
Challenge: 10 Days To Start Pinning for Your Business
Day 1: Setting up a Business Pinterest Account
Day 2: Completing your Pinterest Bio
Day 3: Keywords and Why Use Them
Day 4: Creating A Board
Day 5: Brand Matters
Day 6: Daily Pin Strategy
Day 7: Anatomy of a Pin
Day 8: Top App for Helping with Your Pinterest
Day 9: Pinterest, The New Search Engine
Day 10: How to Pin a Week’s Worth of Content in 20 Minutes
Now, you might be thinking, “Did you just give away the whole product?” Well, that depends. It depends upon the product. This is just an example.
With each of these emails sent, you’ll ask your readers to interact by hitting reply or going to a FB group to leave a comment. This is called a call to action or task.
You want this call to action to be super easy. No more than hitting one button and writing a comment. And only one call to action per email.
You want to teach your audience to interact. When readers read your emails, you have to type out exactly what to do. Click Here, Comment Here, etc. If you don’t spell it out, they won’t do it.
How to Get People to Sign Up
If you already have content that is already on your blog and future content you’ll write about, then go back and add the challenge so that new readers to those articles can opt into it. Do this by creating an image and or a link via your email service. Going forward start writing more posts on your blog that would direct people to the challenge. The idea is to give people free content via posts then get them to jump on the challenge so that they ultimately buy the product. Do you see a funnel forming? See funnel diagram below.
Email the list you already have telling them you have an exciting and fun challenge to share and invite them to join in.
Post about your challenge on social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Tip: the more photos you have that are different but link to the same challenge the better. This way, it won’t look like you are posting about the same thing even though you are.
Find Facebook groups that are relevant to your challenge and in a roundabout way mention it when someone asks a question where your challenge might benefit them.
Technical Side of a Challenge
There are many, many options to use. But for the most effective way, you’ll want a webpage that has a place for people to give you their email with a form.
Once they give it, this triggers your emails to start as well as take them to a new page on your website to give them an option to purchase the whole challenge for a few bucks. For those who do want to purchase it, I suggest creating another page on your website that is password protected for them.
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