Pinning Your Web Form On Pinterest – Yes or No?

By now, we’re all aware of Pinterest (and if you’re not, it’s an up-and-coming social network that doubles as an virtual bulletin board that lets you save and share images from across the ‘Net).

Online marketers have, of course, jumped on board and started pinning their images, their sites, their blog posts and their offers, all the better to attract the Pinterst’s main demographic, women aged 25 to 44.

In a business’ ideal world, everyone would love to consume their marketing content. However, these posts, sites and offers aren’t necessarily what these Pinteresters want to see.

Which brings us to the point: should you try to collect email subscribers on Pinterest by pinning your web form?

For our first point, let us consider…

Why People Use Pinterest

The format of the site itself invites users to use it for three reasons:

Knowing that’s what consumers are looking for, the question is…

How Can A Brand Best Use Pinterest?

Rules for Brands Using Pinterest

- It must be beautiful

- The value must be in the picture itself

- It must not be all me, me, me.

Scores of writers have buzzed about the site’s fresh marketing potential. Advice has abounded in the form of infographics and enormous lists.

Distilled, they all recommend the same thing. Businesses can attract new fans and followers by:

  1. Catching their notice them with attractive, interesting pictures
  2. When they click the picture, bringing them back (Pinterest automatically adds the link for you) to a well-constructed site chock-full of appealing content
  3. Once the reader is pleased with the site and looking for more, making the sign up option clear (either with a big, bold inline form or a popup form set on a delay (to give the reader a chance to fall in love with the site first)

Coming back to the original question, we now must ask:

So Where Does That Leave Your Web Form?

Are You On Pinterest?

Follow AWeber here for more email marketing inspiration!

Answer: back on your site where it started.

Hitting your Pinterest followers with a web form before they know what you’re all about isn’t only ineffective, it’s off-putting. They’re looking for images to pin to their idea boards, not trolling for email subscriptions.

To reiterate one more time, the flow of attracting subscribers is this:

  1. Catching interest with pictures
  2. Impressing with a site full of valuable content
  3. Inviting to sign up for more

Seem like this approach might take a bit more time than popping your web form in front of someone’s face and hoping they’ll realize they must want to sign up?

Yup.

Seem like this approach might actually draw in some hard-core fans and loyal subscribers who are going to talk up your business and buy from you?

Yup.

Want to make sure your Pinterest followers end up subscribing to your emails? (That’s your turn to, “yup.”)

Try Jennifer Wilson’s strategy here – she hid her content behind an opt-in form so when folks clicked through to her site from Pinterest, they had to subscribe to see anything else. And boy, did it work.

But The Rules are Still Being Made

A new marketing platform (which Pinterest can be considered to an extent) calls for new best practices that are being developed right now.

Weigh in: how do you feel about web forms pinned on Pinterest?

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By:
Amanda Gagnon is the former Education Manager for AWeber and has started a number of small businesses.

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9 Comments

  1. got some good thoughts from your post and was wondering if Aweber has a way to …” she hid her content behind an opt-in form so when folks clicked through to her site from Pinterest, they had to subscribe to see anything else. ” When I click on the hyperlink for Wizard in Jennifer’s post there is an error page. So just wondering if one could do this with aweber.

    8/23/2012 1:11 pm
  2. Susanne,

    Sorry about that! The link to the post is here: http://www.createmoremedia.com/why-my-aweber-bill-doubled-in-two-weeks/

    This is called “gating content.” What you could actually do is set your gated content as your thank-you page for your web form. Just make sure it’s not linked to from anywhere else!

    8/23/2012 1:47 pm
  3. Chad Hopkins

    The more we can condition people that they need to opt-in to content and then in many cases pay for good content the better off everyone will be – both as marketers and consumers of the internet.

    More images on pinterest should be sales funnels.

    8/23/2012 4:31 pm
  4. Excellent information Amanda! Shared it in my blog! Thank you!

    8/23/2012 8:16 pm
  5. Pat

    The link comes up as a 404 … was the article deleted?

    I notice the site doesn’t make me fill out anything before going on it … so I’m wondering if this strategy didn’t work so well after all and it was removed.

    8/25/2012 2:54 pm
  6. Wonderful ly informative article and right on point. Give good valuable content and they will be glad to opt in for more but do not lead with the opt in form.

    PS I tried the link to see Jennifer Wilsons strategy but got 404 error.

    Thanks great article

    8/25/2012 6:01 pm
  7. You guys can try Popup Domination if you want to hide your content from incoming Pinterest traffic.

    The only other idea I can think of for the web form is to just have at least one web form on each page (i.e. above the fold, sidebar, footer….maybe all 3 :-))

    8/28/2012 11:11 am
  8. Pinterest users have special characteristics! Obviously it would be wise to take these into consideration when determining website marketing strategies for success. For example, who would have thought that users were so overwhelmingly women? It’s always best to gradually build relationships with them first, and earn their trust, instead of bombarding them with buying links at first ‘like’.

    9/7/2012 1:50 pm
  9. I’m still trying to get on the Pinterest field. I’m usually too busy with Facebook and Twitter, but i did read somewhere that there’s a guy getting 200,000 hits per month using Pinterest alone. So I guess it’s something that’s worth looking into.

    11/2/2012 3:50 pm

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