Welcome to another how-to post, where our Integrated Solutions team shows you how to make the most of your online systems. This post is the second in our series on automating your book launch communications. In the first post, we used ConvertKit’s Automations feature to set up a workflow for automating our pre-launch email communications.
In that post, we discussed offering your readers a pre-order bonus; that is, offering some kind of digital bonus (such as a downloadable workbook, a video series, or access to an online course) to members of your audience who order your book in advance of its launch.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to determine which members of your audience actually pre-ordered the book. To do this, we’ll use one of our favorite tools, Typeform (affiliate link).
Note: Typeform launched a brand-new design today. (Hah!) Until February, you have the option to switch between the new design, which they call V2, and the old design. This post contains instructions for the old design; in the next few weeks we will update our screenshots to reflect the new design.
If you have already opted in to the new design, you can switch back to the old design in your account settings. Click on your avatar in the upper-right and select My Account. Go to Typeform V2 Beta and flip the switch to return to the old version.
Let’s get started!
How Pre-Order Bonuses Help You: A Brief Discussion of Email Segmentation
At Winning Edits, we believe that you should get to know your audience—what they care about, what struggles they have—as deeply as you can. This is an easy task when you’re first starting your business; with a small audience, you can reach out to each individual personally, have one-on-one conversations, and develop an understanding of how you will be able to help that person.
But as your business and your audience size grows, you lose the ability to communicate with each person individually. So how do you get to know your audience members? One easy way is through email segmentation—the process of splitting your large group of email subscribers into smaller sub-groups (or segments). When your email subscriber takes an action (clicks on a link or buys a product), you add that information to their account in your email service provider. Over time, this information allows you to build an idea of what is important to your email subscribers.
Each email service provider will handle the process of tracking this information differently. For our example, we’re using ConvertKit, which keeps track of subscriber actions using tags. ConvertKit’s tagging system is a big reason why we love and recommend ConvertKit. With ConvertKit, you can add an unlimited number of tags to your users to keep track of their preferences and purchases.
Here’s an example of segmentation in action:
Non (email@example.com) has been on my email list for six months. In that six months, I have given him the following opportunities:
- To download a free guide on editing. If he does, I add the tag “Editing Guide” to his account.
- To buy my book on publishing. If he does, I add the tag “Publishing Book.”
- To purchase my course on publishing. If he does, I add the tag “Publishing Course.”
- To watch a free webinar on beta readers. If he does, I add the tag “Beta Webinar.”
At the end of six months, I take a look at Non’s account, and I see that he has two tags, “Editing Guide” and “Beta Webinar.” What do I know about Non?
- He is actively reading my emails and is willing to click on links.
- He is interested in my free products.
- He is interested in editing and in finding beta readers, but he may not be ready to publish yet.
- I have not yet convinced him to buy something.
By keeping track of this information for all of my email subscribers, I start to understand segments (sub-groups) of my customers:
- I am able to see which customers will buy my products, no matter what. These are my super-fans. I could start creating special opportunities just for them, like private coaching groups or in-person events.
- For subscribers who haven’t made a purchase yet, I can see which free items they have downloaded. This may point to an opportunity for a new paid product (such as a course on finding beta readers), or I could send these subscribers a survey to gauge interest on a list of topics for my next product.
- I can determine which topics are popular with my audience and which ones fail to gain traction.
Pre-order bonuses are an excellent segmentation opportunity; they allow you to identify who has purchased your book. You are also able to collect additional information, such as how many copies they have purchased and/or which of the pre-order topics interest them.
Over time, segments will help you make better decisions about the products you create and which audience members you market those products to. If you’d like to learn more about email segmentation, one of our favorite clients, Pat Flynn, has an excellent in-depth primer on the topic here.
How to Collect Book Pre-Order Information
When you are selling a product directly on your site, keeping track of which subscribers purchase is easy:
- At the time of purchase, ask for an email address.
- Add that email address to your email service provider, and
- Add a tag such as “Book Purchase” to the subscriber’s account.
Tracking gets significantly more complicated, however, when someone else (like Amazon or Barnes & Noble) is selling your book. Because you’re not involved at the point of sale, you have no way of collecting that email address.
So how do you know if your email subscriber has purchased your book? You incentivize them to tell you. This is where pre-order bonuses come in.
For our book launch example, let’s say that we have promised to give any audience member who pre-orders the book a downloadable bundle—a file containing a workbook PDF and several videos. We know that there’s a lot of value in this bundle, and that it will be appealing to our audience.
To collect pre-orders, you need two things:
- A landing page or blog post describing your pre-orders. This page needs a “claim your bonus” button or link that your customer clicks after they purchase the book.
- A form where your customer submits their receipt as proof of purchase.
Here’s an annotated example from the post on the Smart Passive Income blog announcing Pat Flynn’s pre-order bonuses for paperback copies of Will It Fly?.
In this example, the “REDEEM BONUSES” link leads to a form where buyers submitted their name, email address, receipt, and number of books purchased. Here’s how to set up that collection form.
Setting Up Typeform to Collect Responses
While there are a lot of survey and form-building tools available (Google Forms, Wufoo, SurveyMonkey), we like and recommend Typeform. Typeform is easy to set up, is visually appealing, and will allow your customers to upload copies of their receipts, which is something you can’t do with Google Forms.
Here’s how to set up your collection form:
- Log in to Typeform.
- Click Create a new Typeform.
- Choose Start from Scratch.
- Name your typeform, and click Start Building.
The Typeform form builder has seventeen different field types, along with Welcome and Thank You screens. We will use the Welcome and Thank You screens, along with four of the field types.
The Welcome screen is what your visitors will see first. Adding a welcome screen is optional, but we recommend it. Click on Welcome screen.
- Image Upload: Use the image upload to include a picture of your finished book.
- Text: Write a welcoming statement that tells the visitor what the form is for, so they know they have arrived in the correct place. We used “Thanks so much for pre-ordering BOOK!”
- Description: This is an optional text box. The copy you put in this box is smaller than in the Text box. We used “Fill out this form to claim your pre-order bonus.”
- Button: Typeform’s default button text is “start.” We changed it to “Get Started.”
When you’re finished editing, click Save to return to the field list.
Question 1: Collect their name
First, we want to collect the customer’s name. From the field list, click on Short Text.
- Question: Ask for the user’s name. Because ConvertKit’s default is to collect first name only, our question is “What is your first name?
- Required: Click the switch to make the question required. Users will not be able to submit the form without answering this question.
Click Save to return to the field list.
Question 2: Collect their email
From the field list, click on Email. When you use this question type, Typeform will only accept responses in the form of an email address.
- Question: Ask for the user’s email address, such as “What is your email address?” or “Enter your email address.”
- Description: Include a brief statement reminding users that this is how they will receive their bonuses, such as “This is where I’ll send your bonus files, so make sure it’s an email you check.”
- Required: Click the switch to make this question required.
Click Save to return to the field list.
Statement: How to find an Amazon receipt
Before we ask our customers for a receipt, it’s a good idea to tell them how to find it. In this example, we’re assuming that all our pre-orders are taking place on Amazon, and our screenshot only addresses Amazon. If your book is available for sale on multiple online platforms, create a composite screenshot that shows each platform.
From the field list, click on Statement.
- Statement text: Give instructions for looking up a copy of their payment receipt. We used, “Next, I’ll ask you to upload a copy of your receipt. You can find this on Amazon by going to Your Account → Your Orders. Find the order for the book and click Invoice.”
- Image/Video: Upload a screenshot with instructions or a brief video demonstrating how to pull up a copy of their receipt.
Click Save to return to the field list.
File Upload: Collect their receipt
From the field list, click on File upload.
- Question: Enter a statement asking the user to upload their receipt. We used, “Upload a copy of your receipt.”
- Description: Use this to add any extra instructions.
- Required: Click the switch to make the question required.
Click Save to return to the field list.
Optional Questions: Collecting pre-orders for multiple tiers
At this point, you’ve collected the minimum amount of information you need to confirm pre-orders. However, you may wish to use this opportunity to collect additional information. Here are some questions you might wish to ask:
- Number of books purchased:
If you’re providing bonuses based on the number of books purchased, you can use the Number field type. Ask, “How many books did you purchase?”
- Pre-order bonus tier:
If you have created several bonus tiers (again, based on the number of books pre-ordered), you can use Multiple choice to allow the user to pick the correct tier. List all options under Choices.
- Ask a yes/no question:
Take a quick poll, such as asking whether or not they would be interested in purchasing an audiobook or giving them the opportunity to join a special email list. Choose Yes/No from the field list.
Thank You Screen
The Thank You screen is what your visitors will see after they submit the completed form. Adding a thank you screen is optional, but we highly recommend it. Click on Thank You screen.
- Image Upload: Use the image upload to include a picture of you, the pre-order bonuses they can expect, or of your finished book.
- Text: Let the user know when and how they can expect to receive their pre-order bonuses. Often you’ll deliver them on the same day that your book launches. In this example, we’re delivering them on January 1 from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reload/redirect button: Typeform’s default button will give the user the opportunity to fill out the form again. We don’t want this; instead, redirect the user back to your website, social media, or another relevant landing page. Change the button text and select onClick redirects to URL. Enter your website, social media, or other landing page URL.
When you’re finished editing, click Save to return to the field list. Your form is now complete.
Finish Form Setup
Now that you’ve added your questions, we’ll finish the setup and test the form. We’ll be working from the menu in the top middle of the screen: Build | Design | Configure | Share | Analyze.
Click on Design. In this menu, you can customize the form colors, fonts, and background. It’s worth the extra time to update the form colors to match your brand’s style guide. While your website’s exact font may not be in the list, find a font that is as close as possible.
Click on Configure. We will return to the Integrations section of this menu in our next post, when we’ll connect Typeform to Zapier. For now, let’s focus on Self notifications and Respondent notifications. Self notifications allow you to receive an email each time someone completes your form. They are turned off by default, and we recommend keeping it off so that you don’t get overwhelmed with emails.
You may wish to set up respondent notifications, which send an email to your user after they complete the form. Fill out the email you wish the user to receive, then click the switch to turn notifications on (above image, red circle) and click Update settings (above image, red arrow).
Click on Share. Here is where you’ll get the URL to use for the button on your landing page.
Click on Copy to get the URL for your form. You also have the option to embed the form into your web page, but some landing pages may be inconsistent in loading embedded Typeforms. We recommend using a button linked to the share URL instead.
Once you have your Typeform set up, it’s a good idea to test the form to make sure everything is working as expected. Send the URL to a friend and ask them to fill out the form. After you’ve run a couple of tests, click on Analyze to view the results.
In the Analyze screen, select Results from the left-hand side.
You can scroll through the results here, or click on the Download button to download an XLSX or CSV file.
In our next installment, we’ll teach you how to connect the results from Typeform to ConvertKit using Zapier, automatically adding anyone who fills out your pre-order form into ConvertKit and tagging them to receive the pre-order bonuses. Look for that post next month!