How To Use A Contact Form To Build Your Email List
Want to grow your email list faster? No problem.
There are a huge number of list building strategies you can implement but one of the easiest is to use your contact form.
So, how exactly can you use your contact form to get more email subscribers?
In this post, I’m going to share a step-by-step tutorial that walks you through the process from start to finish.
We’ll be using a fantastic WordPress plugin called Kali Forms for this tutorial.
Note: This tutorial requires that you are using the self hosted version of WordPress, or WordPress.com (business plan or above).
Why contact forms? And why Kali Forms?
Why should you use a contact form to build your email list exactly?
It’s one of the quickest and easiest to grow your email list. It’s particularly effective for those offering services who are encouraging visitors to use their contact form.
Ok, so why should you use Kali Forms? There’s no shortage of WordPress contact form plugins on the market. But I’m especially fond of Kali Forms because it offers such a great balance of simplicity, affordability, and functionality.
And most importantly, the integrations with email providers are available on the lowest paid plan. With most other plugins they are locked away behind higher plans.
Just to give you a heads up, Kali Forms will integrate with the following email providers regardless of which paid plan you have:
- Campaign Monitor
Note: Don’t have an account with any of these email service providers yet? ConvertKit offers a free plan and is super simple to use.
Step 1 – Install Kali Forms
You’ll need to head over to the Kali Forms site and purchase a license.
Once you have your license, you’ll need to install & activate the free version of the plugin from WordPress.org.
Just search for Kali Forms in the plugin menu like this:
Now, click the button to install, and again to activate the plugin.
Next, you’ll need to download the Kali Forms Pro plugin that you just purchased and upload it to your WordPress website. As before, install it and activate it.
Next, we need to activate our license. We do this by going to Kali Forms → Licensing. Then we login with our account details.
Now, we need to activate our license. Towards the bottom, you’ll see the option to activate your license.
Once the license is activated, you’ll see green download symbols appear to the other add-ons in the screenshot above.
We’re now going to need to click the download button next to the Kali Forms Newsletter extension.
Step 2 – Connect your email service provider
Now, we’re going to connect Kali Forms to our email service provider.
We do this by going to Kali Forms → Newsletter. You’ll then be able to see what information you need:
Generally, most email providers will require a single API key. In some cases they may need an extra piece of information like an API secret key.
This information allows the plugin to send subscribers to your email provider.
The exact steps to getting the API information depends on your email provider.
I use ConvertKit and I can see there’s an API key and API secret required.
This information can be found by going to my account profile:
Next, I just paste this information into the plugin settings and click save.
Step 3 – Create your form
Now, we’re ready to create our contact form.
We create our form by going to Kali Forms → Add New. Click the Add New button at the top and you will see a number of templates:
You can create your form from scratch but we’re going to select the Contact Form template to speed things up. We have the option of choosing styling for the form, we’ll select the default Theme Styling then click Import.
Note: You will see a prompt about setting SMTP. This is an optional step that we’ll cover at the end so you can skip this.
The form template you’ll see will look fairly basic so you can tweak this as necessary:
Now, we need to add a new field – a checkbox. This is because people will need to opt-in to joining your email list.
Click on the Checkbox field and drag it to the bottom of your form.
Now that the checkbox is on your form, you can click on it and it will open up a settings panel on the left hand side of the screen.
We’ll need to set our choices. Since this will be a simple tick box allowing people to consent to receiving your newsletter, you only need to add one choice.
Click the Options dropdown menu to reveal more settings.
Then click Add Choice. You’ll then need to type something into the Label box.
I’ve gone for something simple “Join the Blogging Wizard newsletter.” for the purposes of this tutorial but you may want to write something more compelling.
Next, you may want to customize more elements of your form. Change certain fields, add a captcha to block spam if you want to.
You may also want to click on the Notifications tab at the top to customize how you receive notifications for your form.
Note: Be sure to use the Save button in the top right corner as you work through your form.
Step 4 – Connect your form with your email service provider
Now, we need to click on the Settings tab at the top and select Newsletter, further down the page.
I already added my ConvertKit API details earlier. I just need to click a tick box to confirm I want to use ConvertKit for this particular form.
The options I see next will vary slightly depending on the email provider you have connected with.
When we select the ConvertKit form, we see several more options.
Now, we just need to select the relevant information for each field. So, under email address, we’ll select the form field data we want to send to our email provider. In most cases the form fields will match the type of data you send. For example, select the email address field for email and first name for the name field.
There is the option of using the tag selector field as well but we’re going to keep things simple for this tutorial.
Last up, we need to set our consent settings.
User consent field will be the checkbox unless you customized the label when creating the form. And the user consent value will only have one option for you to select.
Lastly, click Save in the top right corner.
Note: There are a number of other settings you can change from within the settings page. These are completely optional, but you may want to go to the General settings and select the option to hide the form name. And you may want to configure your anti-spam settings as well.
Step 5 – Add the contact form to your contact page
When creating your form, you will see the Embed button in the top right corner next.
Clicking this button will copy a shortcode ready for you to paste into your contact page.
You can also view the shortcodes for all of your forms by going to Kali Forms → All Forms.
Now, you can go ahead and add the form to your contact page and it will look something like this:
A nice simple contact form that makes it easy for people to subscribe to our email list.
Step 6 – Accessing submitted forms and optional SMTP set up
Earlier I mentioned an optional step about setting up your SMTP information.
This is all about how email notifications are sent.
By default, notifications will be sent by the built-in WordPress mailer.
However, you can choose to integrate third-party tools or enter SMTP email credentials. These will improve email deliverability.
You can also enter a failure email to get a heads up when email sending fails and send test emails to make sure everything is working.
Ultimately, the right option depends on your needs. Most people tend to stick with the default option. The main thing is to use the test email feature to make sure it works as intended.
However, it’s worth remembering that you can always access and form submissions from within WordPress. They can be found by going to Kali Forms → Form Submissions.
Note: It’s also worth testing your form to make sure the integration with your email provider is working properly.
Opt-in forms vs contact forms
What’s the difference between a contact form and an opt-in form?
A contact form makes it easy for people to get in touch with you – without having to reveal your email address.
Opt-in forms cannot be used as contact forms because they’re not designed to allow submissions of messages.
Opt-in forms are designed purely with the purpose of lead generation and email list building. You’d use these forms within your blog posts or by overlaying them as a popover, for example.
It’s also important to understand that it’s not a case of using one or the other. If you want to build an email list, opt-in forms are the most common option.
Contact forms, however, are just another tactic you can use to grow your email list faster.
Wrapping it up
And that was how to use a contact form to grow your email list.
By now, you’ll have a great looking contact form that will build your email list for you.
If you haven’t picked up your copy of Kali Forms, click here to get your license. If you want to learn more, check out our Kali Forms review.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.