Autofill Ontraport Form Fields with URL Parameters

What’s up guys. Now obviously I’m a big fan of just how much you can do with Ontraport’s built-in features and the way they’ve designed it to be an almost endlessly customizable tool for us to maximize its impact on our businesses.

That’s why I’m always scrolling through the group posts to see what everyone else is using the system for to see if I can pick up any good ideas or lend a helping hand if possible.

Awhile ago I saw a post from Akilah Pitts talking about a case where she wanted to offer an easy way to offer an upsell to someone a few days after they purchased a product.

Her idea was to pre-fill a form to make it simple for the prospect to complete the purchase.

Simple right?

But there’s just one problem.

Order forms are secure so there is no way to pre-fill those.

That means you need to use a smartform (OntraForm) instead.

Which is cool, but what if we want to use some of our fancy new Ontraport Pages v3 checkout pages?

So, I called up my go to OntraNinja Thomas Tgbx Gobeaux and we got busy figuring out if there was a workaround.

Long story short, the months in the lab paid off again because we managed to get Ontraport to play nicely with URL parameters that auto-populate form fields.

Like this

Obviously that’s a hard coded link, but if you were sending this from an email you could use Ontraport’s merge fields to dynamically insert those values…

And Presto-Change-O!

You’ve got yourself a simple way to pre-fill forms on your landing pages even if they’re using HTTPS.

Besides order forms, can you guys think of any other way to use URL parameters to supercharge landing page experiences?

Welcome & Whitelist Email

Welcome & Whitelist Email

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In today’s ClickFix, we’re going over how to set up your dynamic Welcome & Whitelist Email.

So, what is a whitelist email and why should you care?

Regardless of the invention of new social media networks and communication apps, email still remains one of the most reliably profitable channels to communicate with your prospects and customers.

In fact, according to PPC powerhouse WordStream, 64% of companies still rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel. A study by Kissmetrics puts that number at 52%, but when you line it up next to other channels in terms of both effectiveness and difficulty of execution, it’s still easy to see that email is still something you should focus on getting right.

As you probably already know, the email that is likely to have the highest open rate, or percentage of people who actually open an email sent to them, is the first email they ever receive from you. The best marketers take advantage of that email to do 2 very important things.

First, they set the expectations of the prospect about what type of content to expect and how often they’ll send it to them. This is the email where they start to build trust. Hopefully that goes along with a lot of goodwill to convince the prospect they’re not just someone they should listen to, but also someone they should like.

It’s also a great time to invite the person to connect with them on more channels like social media to increase the odds of marketing messages being seen and more opportunities to have meaningful conversations at different points during the customer journey.

But perhaps even more critical is the second goal of this welcome email, the instructions on how to whitelist your messages. Many people spend a ton of time trying to figure out how to write killer subject lines and profit pumping email copy.

But none of that matters if your prospect never sees the email because it ends up in their SPAM folder or their Gmail promotions tab. That’s where “whitelisting” comes in.

Each email provider has a different process for marking your emails as desirable and it’s worth taking the time to show your subscribers how to do it on their particular system whenever possible.

But who has time to go research all of that, let alone put together a way to put them all into an email designed to gain their trust, connect with them across different channels and give them easy to follow instructions for their particular email client?

That’s why we took the time to give you not just a sweet welcome email template, but also a dynamic Ontraport campaign that will detect which email provider their using and insert instructions specific to them.

Let’s jump into Ontraport and take a look.

After clicking on the import link located in the member’s area of our website below this video, follow the steps to add the custom campaign to your Ontraport account. Once that’s done, find the “Messages” link in the top menu and then open the “ClickFix – Whitelist Email” so we can go over the template first.

Feel free to customize this however you want or even just grab the text and put it in your own template if you have a different style that you prefer.

You’ll see instructions on where to personalize the email bolded and in all caps between brackets. These tell you exactly what information to fill in to make this reflect your brand’s messaging.

NOTE: There are 2 mail merge fields in this email that SHOULD NOT be changed if you want to keep the dynamic personalization to work!

The [First Name] merge field will do exactly what it says, replace that field with your contact’s first name.
The [Whitelist Guide] field is where the real magic is though. This will automatically insert the instructions for your contact’s specific email platform without you needing to do anything else. We will take a look at those a bit later.

The last thing you’ll want to do here is customize the subject line under the settings tab and click the “Copy From HTML” button to save the changes you made to the plain text version of the email. When you’re done, click the Save button and you’re all set.

OK, now let’s make sure your Ontraport has that merge field ready to go.

Head over to your Contacts > Settings page and click on the “Default Merge Fields” option.

Depending on when you’re following these instructions, your Ontraport import process may have already added the merge for you automatically. If not, you’ll need to add the merge field in manually.

To do that, go back to the Contacts > Settings page and click on “Field Editor” this time.

Once that loads, you’ll need to click the “Add Field” button in your desired tab area. We chose to put it in the Lead Information tab, but you can put it wherever you’d like. You need to make sure to enter the Field Name exactly as it is shown (Whitelist Guide) with a capital “W” and a capital “G” or it won’t work for you. Select “Long Text” from the drop-down menu and then click the “Save” button. Complete the process by clicking the blue “Save” button in the upper right corner.

Besides the email template and custom field, you’ll probably notice that a new Campaign has been added to your account. Let’s take a quick look at that so I can explain how it works. Don’t worry, you won’t actually have to do anything, but it’s worth checking out so you understand the process.

Who knows, maybe it will give you some other ideas of how to leverage Ontraport in even more exciting ways. Or better yet, maybe it will give you some ideas you can send into us and we can make for you!
If you’re not there already, head over to the Campaigns page and click on the “ClickFix – Welcome & Whitelist Email” campaign.

So, let’s go through it step-by-step.

At the top you’ll see the “Contact is updated” trigger which is set to fire when the contact is first created.
From there, we take the contact through a series of conditions which checks to see if the email domain your contact used has something recognizable like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. If so, it automatically populates the [Whitelist Instructions] merge field for you. If they are using a custom domain or one that isn’t recognized, it populates the field with a set of fallback instructions which allows them to choose the one they need.
Make sure to “Save & Publish” the campaign to activate it and Ontraport will take care of the rest.

Now let’s take a look at what the final email looks like. I’m using the Mac Mail client so there may be a slight difference depending on what they are using, but it should be similar.

I won’t show you all of them for the sake of time, but here’s what Gmail looks like. You can see that we’ve given them some written instructions along with some animated GIFs. That should be enough for most people, but we’ve also included a link to a YouTube explainer video for those who prefer that type of tutorial.

Now, here’s the fallback version. Since we weren’t able to detect the right client, we’ve instead given them links to various animated GIFs and YouTube videos to help cover the widest possible audience.

So, that’s it!

Now you have a fully functioning, dynamic welcome & whitelist email which will hopefully get your message to land in more inboxes. That means more opens, more clicks and more sales with no extra effort.

Upsell Abandonment With FB Retargeting

Upsell Abandonment With FB Retargeting
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In today’s ClickFix, we’re going over how to set up your Upsell Abandonment with Facebook Retargeting campaign.

I’m going to assume that you’ve already connected your Facebook account to Ontraport. I you haven’t you’ll definitely want to check out the official knowledgebase article on Facebook Custom Audiences for the step by step instructions.

By the way, if you haven’t connected your Facebook account, that means you haven’t deployed our “ClickFix – Facebook Custom Audiences” campaign either! You’ll definitely want to check that out as soon as your finished with the set up here.

The idea behind the “Upsell Abandon with Facebook Retargeting campaign” is to allow you to target people who have taken one step in a funnel, but haven’t made it all the way through to the end goal. In our case, we’re looking at a snapshot of a top of the funnel or TOFU series of steps which starts with opting in for a lead magnet and then finishes with someone purchasing the self liquidating offer.

This is a very basic funnel used by many marketers to help offset their marketing costs. A prospect is normally driven to an opt-in page where they are enticed to join your list in exchange for access to some desirable piece of information or even a product which is often referred to as a lead magnet because it “attracts” people to join your list.

Immediately after opt-in, those people are then offered the chance to make a purchase, normally something under $100, sometimes called a tripwire. If the person makes the purchase, then the profit helps bring down the acquisition costs. In some cases, a great lead magnet and tripwire combination can get you the leads for free or even at a small profit.

When that happens, you’ve got yourself a “self-liquidating” offer because now you don’t have to spend any money out of pocket to grow a list of buyers who you can then market backend offers to.

The campaign we’ll look at in a second is based on this type of front-end lead generation funnel. However, you could very easily extend this all the way through a longer funnel with multiple upsells or use a different initial trigger step based on which part of the funnel you want to target. It can of course also be duplicated for each of your lead magnets or other entry points as desired.

Hopefully that will all make more sense once we’ve gone through this basic use case.

Let’s jump into Ontraport and take a look.

After clicking on the import link located in the member’s area of our website below this video, follow the steps to add the custom campaign to your Ontraport account. Once that’s done, head over to the Campaigns tab and open the one called “ClickFix – Upsell Abandon With FB Retargeting.”

At the top we see that the campaign is triggered when someone either submits a form for our lead magnet or is added to a tag that represents that same lead magnet. You don’t necessarily need both, but we like redundancy.

Be sure to change the submits form to your desired OntraForm and the tag to the one you use to tell you someone has expressed interest in that lead magnet. If you’re not using an OntraForm for your lead magnet, you’ll want to delete the “Contact submits” option and just use the tag and/or whatever other means you can tell Ontraport someone has opted-in for that specific asset.

Once your contact has opted-in, they proceed to a wait element which pauses their flow for at least 24 hours to give them a chance to have achieved the goal for this downstream. In our case, that’s purchasing our self liquidating offer.

Because we’re using a Goal element, if a purchase is made at any time during the process, the contact will automatically skip the other steps so they aren’t receiving marketing messages for something they’ve already purchased. This will give them a better customer experience and, because we’ve linked this to your Facebook custom audiences, save you marketing dollars by only showing ads to the right people.

If the contact hasn’t completed the goal by the time the wait element’s limit has been reached, they’ll be added to a special custom audience which tells Facebook to begin showing them ads for the self-liquidating offer. They’ll also get the first in a series of emails designed to convince them that if they are serious about getting the results they were after when they requested the lead magnet, getting the self-liquidating offer is the next logical step. We’ll take a closer look at the emails a bit later.

This process is repeated until the third day after opting-in for the lead magnet. At that point, we’ve included a split-test so you can see if scarcity boosts your conversion rate with a variation on the email body copy. Ontraport will then wait an additional 8 hours to see if the prospect completes the desired action. Either way, they’ll be removed from the Facebook custom audience so you can stop showing ads to them. If they purchased, a tag will be added to say that they purchased the offer so you can use that information down the road.

We’ve set the flow to run between 3-5 days depending on the time of the initial opt-in. But you can adjust those times as you see fit depending on how aggressive you want to be.

Now, let’s go take a look at those email templates we included for you.

Head over to the “Messages” page and locate the ones called “ClickFix – Upsell Abandon #1-3”. You should see 4 emails since the last one has to variations; one with scarcity and one without.

Click on the first one to open it.

This entire email series is based on the Gain > Logic > Fear sequence invented by Digital Marketer back in 2014 and it’s literally made millions for businesses all over the world selling everything from music lessons to gun oil. So, we thought it would be a great addition to your arsenal if you don’t have it already.

All you need to do is go through and change the information in brackets to match your lead magnet and the self-liquidating offer. If you’d prefer to use your own layout, feel free to copy and paste the text wherever you’d like. But, if you do, you’ll need to go back to the campaign and change the emails being used or your contacts will receive this template instead of what you really want them to get.

Once you’ve customized the email to your liking, click the Settings button. Here you’ll need to click the “Copy From HTML” button to make sure your plain text version matches the changes you just made. You do have the option of also changing the subject line of course, but if you’re going to do that I’d suggest you consider doing a split-test to make sure you’re not lowering open rates.

Speaking of open rates, if you haven’t already set up our dynamic Welcome & Whitelist Email, you’ll definitely want to do that now to help keep your emails out of the SPAM folder and give yourself the best shot at maximizing your chances of successful email marketing.

Once you’re happy with everything, click the “Save” button in the top right. Repeat the same steps for each of the 3 remaining emails and your campaign is ready to start sending profits your way.

At the beginning, I mentioned that you could use this campaign to branch out in several different ways. Take one more look at the campaign map again. Perhaps you’ll be able to see some of the possibilities now that you understand how all the pieces fit together.

Let’s take a real world example of a situation where you’re running a membership site. Depending on what you offer, not everyone will join for the same reason. That means that you’ll want to produce different lead magnets for the top of your funnel, but you can quite easily duplicate the downstream and the emails to always lead people to the same self-liquidating offer.

In fact, that’s exactly how successful membership sites like Digital Marketer Labs grew to over 10,000 members.

Top of funnel (lead magnet) offer > self-liquidating offer (tripwire) > $1 30-day trial to DM Labs (core offer).

They used a process called splintering to reach out to people in need of solutions to specific problems like how to write good blog posts, then sold them a product on how to get blog subscribers and then offered to teach them more about blogging and everything else they needed to run a successful online business in the form of a monthly membership.

So, now it’s your turn. How are you going to use this model to increase your bottom line without breaking the bank?

Automated Facebook Custom Audiences

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In today’s ClickFix, we’re going over how to set up your Facebook Custom Audiences.

If you’ve done any marketing on Facebook, you probably already know just how powerful retargeting and lookalike audiences can be.

But just in case, here are a couple of facts to get you up to speed.

Leaving aside all of the awesome things you can do with just regular old run of the mill website visitors, did you know that some studies show that as much as 41% of overall revenue comes from repeat customers? Or, how about the stats that put the average revenue per visit for repeat purchasers in the US at around 497% higher compared to regular shoppers?

But it’s not just buyers who are prime targets for retargeting, those who have opted-in for a specific lead magnet or similar offer have also raised their hands as being willing to receive more from your brand. AdEspresso cites “free trial & freemium users” as one their “9 Facebook Audiences With Extremely High ROI” because while only 15-20% of your free trial customers and probably only 5-10% of your lead magnet consumers will turn into buyers, that number goes up exponentially when you target them with specific ads to nudge them over the finish line.

But marketing directly to Facebook Custom Audiences are just a part of what you can do when you really get this dialled in.

Once you have a good number of people on your various custom audiences, preferably 1,000 or more, you have a great chance of leveraging a Lookalike Audience into lower costs per lead and per sale. As Neil Patel says in his step by step guide to creating lookalike audiences:

“You have a 60%-70% probability of selling to an existing customer, so why not find more people like them?”

But what are lookalike audiences?

A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a way to target new customers who are highly relevant to your business due to their similarities to your existing customers. This is determined via Facebook’s algorithm which compares a number of data points spread between likes, demographics and online behavior to produce an audience of people as similar as possible to the group of people you specify.

In other words, if you give Facebook a group of your buyers and ask it to produce a lookalike audience, it will create a target audience as similar as possible to those people which should make them MUCH more likely to also purchase something from you than a random set of people you choose to market to based on just one thing in common such as liking a certain website.

Hopefully that will all make more sense once you’ve seen how we’ve set up the campaign.

Let’s jump into Ontraport and take a look.

After clicking on the import link located in the member’s area of our website below this video, follow the steps to add the custom campaign to your Ontraport account. Once that’s done, head over to the Campaigns tab and open the one called “ClickFix – Facebook Custom Audiences.”

From this point on, I’m going to assume that you’ve already connected your Facebook account to Ontraport. I you haven’t you’ll definitely want to check out the official knowledgebase article on Facebook Custom Audiences for the step by step instructions.

What you see are 4 basic use cases for creating custom audiences automatically based on lead and purchase behavior.

The first tells Ontraport to assign a contact to a general custom audience called lead when someone becomes a contact on your list for anything other than a purchase. This is a great set of people to target with low ticket offers that help them move down your funnel and hopefully become buyers. You shouldn’t have to do anything here besides creating a custom audience called “Leads” in your Facebook account and then adding it to the custom audience element as explained in the notes section.

Next to that, we’ve given you a template for adding people to custom audiences for specific lead magnets and tagging them at the same time. This is extremely powerful, but completely optional. If you don’t use lead magnets and just need a “leads” and “buyers” audience, feel free to delete this downstream.

In our opinion, it is worth the time and effort to create a downstream for each and every one of your lead magnets. Doing so will serve two very important functions.

The first is to give you the ability to laser target your Facebook ads to be shown to people who have expressed interest in a specific topic AND who have traded their real email address in exchange for that information/offer. That means that they should be very responsive to future ads for additional free or paid opportunities that offer more/better products that run in the same vein or which are highly relevant.

The second, is that you’ll also be able to create lookalike audiences which will find even more prospects to help fill your funnel by responding positively to the lead magnet that you put in front of them. Depending on how you set this up, you could even create a self-liquidating offer loop which will fill your funnel for free. This means less time spent on trying to think up new targeting angles when your original audiences begin to run out and more time spent cashing checks.

On this downstream you’ll need to edit a couple of things.

For the trigger, be sure to adjust the form, page visit and tag options to match your specific lead magnet. We chose to use all 3 because we like redundancy, but you can get away with just one depending on how you’ve set up your Ontraport instance. For example, if you aren’t using an OntraForm, you’ll want to delete the “Contact submits” option.

Next, edit the “Change Tags” element to suit your needs. If you’ve set up a different tagging system somewhere else, then you can also just delete this element to clean up the map. All you need to do here is click the “X” to delete the example tag and then click the Add button to select the proper one from the drop-down menu.

Finally, we come to the Facebook Custom Audience element itself. Here you’ll need to select the proper custom audience and change the description to match the lead magnet that you’re targeting. Remember, depending on when you’re following these instructions, you may need to create the custom audience from inside your Facebook account before it appears as an option on the drop-down menu.

That’s it!

Once you’ve completed this process for all of the lead magnets & products you want to track or have deleted any of the unused downstreams, just click Save & Publish and you’ll be good to go.

But, are lead magnet opt-ins and product purchases the only types of FB Custom Audiences you should create?

No way…

With a bit of outside the box thinking, you can duplicate this same campaign to create all sorts of automations that can be used for retargeting your prospects as they move through the funnel.

  • Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
  • Visits to certain pages
  • Opening specific emails
  • Clicking on certain links
  • Drop-offs in the upsell process
  • Good candidates for cross-sells
  • X amount of time passing between events
  • Doing something X times

Remember, once someone becomes a lead in Ontraport you can and should leverage anything & everything you can to personalize their journey. Over time, you’ll begin to optimize your ideal customer profile to identify the types of behaviours that separate high lifetime value buyers from time wasting tire kickers. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be able to shift your marketing dollars to where they’ll give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Shortcodes: Dynamic Year Insertion

Shortcodes: Dynamic Year Insertion

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In today’s ClickFix, we’re going over one of our custom shortcodes for Ontrapages.

Let’s jump over to Ontraport to take a look at how [TheYear] shortcode works and a few of the use cases we’ve used for our enhanced landing pages.

Have you ever made a killer landing page that leveraged specificity triggers in the headline like including the year to make it super relevant to your target audience?

If not, you should definitely test it because no matter how ‘evergreen’ your service, information or product may be… people are magically drawn to the “latest & greatest”.

That’s one of the places our [TheYear] shortcode comes in handy.

I can’t tell you how many landing pages I’ve made that worked like gangbusters and then all of a sudden suffered a huge drop right after New Years.

I’d go back, see that I hadn’t set a reminder to change the year yet so people were automatically assuming that the information was outdated and therefore no longer and was not worth trading their email address or paying for the product.

Even though you and I know that 1+1 was 2 in 1999 and is still presumably going to be the same in 2099, assume your prospects are looking for any excuse to leave your page without taking the desired action.

Sure enough, once I changed the date to the current year, the numbers almost always rebounded back to where they were.

Now, I’m not telling you to lie.

If your offer was only worthy of someone’s time last year and is no longer relevant or effective, it’s time to create something new.

But if you have something evergreen, then by all means use this shortcode to save yourself the hassle of having to go back and manually change the dates on ALL of the landing pages that mention a year.

If you split-test like we do, that’s potentially a couple of hours saved…

So, how does it work?

If this is the first shortcode you’re using on the page, then you’ll need to enable our shortcode library.

First, navigate to the page you want to use and then click on “Settings”.

Copy and paste the code snippet from the code box below this video on our blog into the “Custom header code” area.

After that, click the “Design” button to go back to your page layout.

Now, it’s time to decide where we want to use the shortcode.

In my case, I wanted to make it part of the main headline so I simply typed [TheYear] at the beginning and added ‘S to make make it possessive.

The shortcode is case sensitive, so be sure to use a capital “T” and a capital “Y” or it won’t work as expected.

That’s it!

Click the “Save” button or the “Publish” button if you’ve never published the page before.

Now click “Preview” to see the results.

Here you’ll see that our Ontrapage’s headline now inserts the current year so that the headline reads “2018’s Unfair Advantage” (unless you are reading this in the future of course).

Now, as soon as it hits January 1, 2019, the page will automatically say 2019’s Unfair Advantage and I don’t have to worry about going back to old pages ever again.

In other words… more time for mojitos my friend.

So, where else can this be used to potentially save you some time from tedious tasks?

Well, even if you’ve never used date specific language in your headlines or sales copy, I bet you do put that pesky little copyright message at the bottom of your pages.

Guess what, so do I and so do my clients, some of whom are real sticklers for wanting those suckers changed because they think it reflects poorly on them if it has a date from the past.

Now, I have a way to keep them happy and save myself the headache of having to go back to each landing page I make JUST to update the year.

Less busy work = happier start to the year in my book.

How else can you think of to use [TheYear] to save yourself some time or to enhance your Ontrapage’s messaging?