Create This Landing Page to Collect Email Subscribers

By Jessica Craddock | Marketing 101

In this lesson, I will show you exactly how to:

  • Create the landing page shown below using Squarespace
  • Link it to Mailchimp to collect email addresses
  • Create a page for fans to download a free print as a "thank you" for signing up for your email list
artist landing page with opt in

You already know how important having an email list is, you've set up a list in Mailchimp, and now you need a place for subscribers to sign up. If you don't happen to be a super tech-savvy artist, you might struggle with how to set up what you need.

Related: How to Create Your First Email List in MailChimp

This tutorial was created to hold your hand through the entire process so you can check it off your to-do list. Don't worry about creating a website just yet, you can add that on later.

A place to collect email subscribers needs to be your #1 priority!

Be aware that this project will cost you $12/month if you pay annually, or $16/month otherwise.  However, that price will allow you to create a website without any additional fees. The cost of your future website will be rolled in to what you are paying for your landing page. 

You will also pay $20 for a domain name annually if you don't already have one. A domain name is what someone types into their navigation bar to find your website.

Related: Why You Absolutely Must Have an Email List​

This will probably take you about an hour, but will give you huge returns on your time investment. Once you are finished, you will be completely ready to

  • Start growing your email list
  • Give subscribers an incentive to sign up
  • Put your art into their homes where they can be reminded of you everyday (you evil marketing genius, you).

So go get a cup of tea/coffee/juice and let's get started!​

What is a landing page?

Think of a landing page like a mini-website. It is a single page that you can send interested parties to that encourages them to sign up for your email list. It doesn't have a menu or navigation bar. There are no links to click or cause distraction. It has one purpose only - to collect email addresses. 

The most effective types usually offer a bonus in return for an email address. Do you give your email address to just anyone? Probably not. But if you are on the fence, a freebie might just convince you to hand it over. 

That is what we will be creating today - a webpage with a free art print download. It will not take you any additional time or money to deliver the print. The process will be completely automated if you follow the steps below. 

Get Started + Choose a Template

STEP 1: Go to Squarespace.com and hit "Get Started".

STEP 2: Choose a template. It really doesn't matter what template you choose now. This will only affect you if you create a full website with Squarespace in the future (which I recommend). Feel free to scroll through and look at all the pretty templates. I chose "Wexley" which was categorized under "Art and Design".

STEP 3: Once you have selected a template, choose "Start with (template name)".

Sign up for a Squarespace Account

create your site in square space

STEP 1: Enter your first and last name, email address, password, and check the "I agree to the terms and services box". Be sure to write down your login information in a safe place. Click "sign up and create a site".

STEP 2: Choose "start". When prompted to say who this site is for, choose "myself - personal site". We are not selling anything on this landing page so we can choose the cheapest pricing.

STEP 3: What will you be showcasing? "Art and Design". Next!

STEP 4: What are your goals for this site? "Showcase or create a portfolio of my work." Click next. 

STEP 5: Fill in a title for your website. I recommend using "Art by (Your Name)", "(Your Name) Art" or something more specific like "Monoliths by Jessica Craddock".

See related: "How to Create a Focused Elevator Speech"

Create a "Cover Page" (also known as a Landing Page)

Squarespace calls their landing pages "cover pages". Don't get confused - it's the exact same thing.

STEP 1: Create a cover page under the "Not Linked" section by clicking on the + sign.

STEP 2: Name your page. I called mine "Landing Page" for to keep it simple and straightforward.

STEP 3: Click on your new page.​

Choose Your Design

STEP 1: Scroll down to the template "Flash". You are welcome to choose any template you'd like, but to create the example at the beginning of this tutorial, we will use "Flash".

STEP 2: Click "Select", then "Save".

Add Your Branding & Text

STEP 1: Choose "Back" to go back to our landing page menu.

STEP 2: ​Scroll down to "Branding and Text".

STEP 3: ​Add your website title.

STEP 4:  ​In "Headline", write "FREE PRINT".

STEP 5:  Copy and paste the text from​ the file below for the body, or create your own!

Add an image to your Landing Page

STEP 1: Choose "Back" to go back to our landing page menu.

STEP 2: Scroll down to the "Media" button and click on the "Upload Images" icon. Then choose "Image". "Getty" is a collection of stock photos you can purchase, but for this purpose you will need an original piece of art by you. 

STEP 3: Locate the image you will be using for your free print download. Click "Choose" and wait for it to upload before clicking "Save" again. 

Create an Email Collection Form

STEP 1: Choose "Back" to go back to our landing page menu.

STEP 2: Choose "Action" and delete the existing button by click the trash can icon to delete the URL, then highlight the connected text and delete it using your keyboard.

STEP 3: Under "Form" add a title like "Join My Fan Club". Choose "Edit Form".

STEP 4: Under "Form Name" add "Join My Fan Club" again. 

STEP 5: Delete all of the existing fields, except email address, by clicking the trash can icon.

STEP 6: I like to collect first names with my email addresses because it makes me feel more connected to my subscribers. However, some studies show that it reduces sign ups by 50% or more. If you want to collect first names, click the + sign to add another field to your form. Choose "Text". Type "First Name" into the field. Scroll down and check the "Required" button." Drag the "First Name" field above the "Email" field. 

Don't hit save quite yet...

Connect Form to MailChimp

STEP 1: Choose "Storage" at the top right of the form.

STEP 2: ​If you want to be notified of new subscribers via email, enter your email address and click "Connect." This is not mandatory.

STEP 3:  Click "MailChimp" to connect. Enter your username and password and choose "Log in". You will then be given a drop down of your lists. Choose the one you want your art fans to receive.

There's one more step before we hit save!

Related: How to Create Your First Email List with MailChimp​

Create "Thank You for Subscribing" Text

STEP 1: Click the "Advanced" tab. 

STEP 2: ​Thank your subscribers for their submission. I like to use this thank you note to ask for a follow on my social media channels. It isn't a necessary step, but hey, why wouldn't you?

STEP 2B: If you are asking for a follow, highlight the word Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/WhateverYouUse and click the link button (it looks like two chains linked). Copy the address to your social media in the "External" tab and choose the "Open in New Window" radio button. 

STEP 3: NOW you can hit "Save". :)​

Change Your Colors

STEP 1: Choose "Back" to go back to our landing page menu.

STEP 2: ​ Scroll down to the "Style" menu and click. 

STEP 3: Click on your "FREE PRINT" text to bring up the ​Headline menu. Click "Color" and choose a color that looks good with your print. Highlight and copy it. 

STEP 4: Click the "JOIN MY FAN CLUB" button to bring up the "Button" menu. Click color and copy the color you pasted from the headline menu.

STEP 5: Save!​

Create a "Free Print" Page

STEP 1: Choose "Back" to go back to our landing page menu. Choose "Pages" to go back to our navigation menu.

STEP 2: Click the "+" sign under "Not Linked". Click "Page" and title it "Free Print".

STEP 3: Choose "Blank" Layout, then "Start Editing".

STEP 4: Enter any text you would like on this page, including where they have permission to use your image. Highlight any headlines, choose the drop down menu that says "Normal" and then choose "Heading 1". 

Add Image to "Free Print" Page

STEP 1: Click the sideways teardrop above your text. Choose the "Image" content block.

STEP 2: Click "Add an image" and find the image you want to use as your free print. Before you upload it, make sure it is sized according to any specifications you may have promised. I recommend 8.5x11" as most people can print that size at home. 

STEP 3: Drag the image to the right side of your text. Make sure the line indicating where it will go is all the way up and down the right side of the page.  If it isn't, keep moving the image around till you get it.​

STEP 3: Save. ​

Link "Free Print" Page to Your Thank You Text

We need to go back to the form you created and add a link to your free print page. 

STEP 1: Choose your landing page again from the navigation menu.

STEP 2: ​Scroll down to the "Action" menu and click it. Then choose "Edit Form".

STEP 3: Under the "Advanced Tab",  write "Click here to download your free print" at the top. Highlight and bold it.

STEP 4: With it still highlighted, click the "Link" icon.​ Choose the content tab, find your landing page, and click it. Choose "Save".

Create a Temporary Homepage

At this point, we will need to create a temporary homepage in the main navigation menu in case anyone stumbles across your soon-to-be website. We are going to point them to your subscribe page from there.

STEP 1: ​Click "Pages" to go back to the navigation menu.

STEP 2: Under "Main Navigation"​, click the trash can icon to the left of all the example pages. Delete "Blog", "About" and "Contact". 

STEP 3: Under "Main Navigation", click the "+" icon and add a new page. Title it "Coming Soon". 

STEP 4: Choose the "Blank" Template then "Start Editing".

STEP 5: Write "Coming Soon".  Highlight it and choose "Heading 1" under the "Normal" dropdown menu.

STEP 6: Hit enter and type, "While you are waiting, please visit my Subscribe page for a free print!"​. Highlight "Subscribe page", click the link icon, and choose "Landing Page" under the "Content" tab.

STEP 7: ​Click the sideways teardrop below your text and choose the "Image" content block. Click the "Add an Image" icon and find add a smaller resolution image of your print. (I recommend a size around 800 kb. This can be done in Paint for PC users or Preview on Mac. Be sure to resize a copy of your image so you don't overwrite your original.)

STEP 8: If desired, move the image to the left or right of your text. 

STEP 9: Save.

STEP 10: Under the "Main Navigation" menu, hover over your "Coming Soon" page and slide your mouse to the right till you see a gear icon.

STEP 11: Scroll all the way to the bottom of the menu that pops up on the right of your screen and click "Set as Homepage" and "Confirm". 

STEP 12: Go back to your "Main Navigation" menu and delete "Portfolio" by clicking the trash can icon.

Make it Live!

STEP 1: Go back to the "Home" menu. Click "Settings", then "Domains". I am assuming you do not have a domain name yet, but if you do, you can find instructions to continue here

STEP 2: Click "Get a Domain". Search for a name you might link to use until you find one. I suggest using your name in the URL so people can find you easier in a search engine. Once you have found one, proceed to checkout, enter your contact and billing info. 

It can take up to 72 hours for your website to go live, but usually only takes a few hours.

YOU DID IT!! I'm so proud. 

Post a link to your new landing page in the comments below!

Create and launch a webpage to collect emails while I hold your hand.
Create a page to collect emails in exchange for a free print download

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