Of all the plugins available in the WordPress eco-system, GravityForms is my favorite. It’s a really key plugin to have on any site because it’s so flexible, and is essentially an out-of-the-box prototyping platform. So what does that mean?
Well, it means that if you have an idea for a product or service you want to sell on the Internet, then you can use GravityForms to quickly get to testing to see if anyone will actually buy what you’re selling. You may also remember when I talked about using GravityForms for scalable content generation. That was pretty awesome, but this is even better.
In this quick GravityForms tutorial, I want to share a few ways to do just that!
5 Ways to Make Money with Gravity Forms
- Premium Email List – This is a trick I used recently on a pretty big project. After we built the bulk of the e-commerce site and let users in to start beta testing, it turned out that there was a large segment of customers who wanted custom or individualized items. To accommodate them, we setup a form where they could tell us exactly what they wanted to buy, upload sketches, etc… From there, we setup GravityForms to allow for premium email list subscription to the custom-product providers. I created two forms to accomplish this. The fist allowed the custom-product providers to create a recurring subscription, the second (which I setup to only show people who get redirected to the site after paying) is a form which automatically subscribes them to a mail chimp list. While this is a hack (meaning paying customers aren’t automatically subscribed if they don’t confirm on the second form) GravityForms saves their info from the fist so we can check for those who don’t complete the process. In under two hours, we had a very user-friendly premium email list subscription service within WordPress.
- Pay-For-Posting – This is an obvious one that has a lot of potential applications. Aside from allowing paid posting on your site (if you’re a blogger looking to monetize, you can automate the paid posting process!) you can create a very basic etsy-like store in hours. Just create a new form that add the post to a custom “products” post type after successful payment and you are good to go. Bonus points for using a custom post template to create a nice layout, complete with “buy now” button.
- Subscription Service Builder – One of the best things about GravityForms is how easy it makes creating new Paypal subscription payments. Instead of going through the trouble to build a custom web-app, you can mix Paypal subscriptions with the user creation tools in GravityForms and have an instant membership site. You can even set different membership levels with a rolls-management plugin. Goodbye to complicated membership software for your minimum-viable-product!
- Sell Your Leads – This is probably my favorite use-case for GravityForms. There are a deluge of people looking to buy leads. If you have an even semi-popular site in a niche market, you can easily setup a sidebar lead gen form to capture customer information. From there, with the magic of GravityForms routing, you can automatically sort and send the captured leads to joint-venture partners. Because of how well GravityForms makes tracking input (which is to say, brain-dead easy) you know exactly how much business you’ve generated for the month, and can invoice accordingly. If your monetization strategy for your site consists of just AdWords, here’s your secret weapon. Go from a few pennies per click, to what can be hundreds of dollar per lead, depending on the market.
- Instant Digital Downloads – As I did with the premium subscription form, creative hacks can greatly expand the power of GravityForms even more. In this case, create a GravityForm using the Paypal add-on. Once the payment is complete, you can have GravityForms automatically email the customer with a link and password to a password-protected page on your site. For a small library of digital downloads, that’s the easiest and cheapest setup you’ll ever do.
Why Should You Rapidly Test Ideas?
The ideas I mentioned above aren’t ideal solutions if your site is pulling in 10,000 unique visitors a day. Managing those implementations on a big site would quickly become very management intensive. But, luckily for you, that probably is not the case. More likely, you’ve got a site with a few hundred to thousand visitors a month, and are in need of a low-cost way to start seeing some ROI from your site. The best way to do that, is to sell things. Advertising is nice, but doesn’t do most site owners any good at small scale.
By using GravityForms, you can try out a large number of ideas until you find something that resonates with your customers. This is your minimum viable product. Think of it as on-the-job market research to find out what people really want to buy.
The fastest way to find out is to try to sell them something and see how they respond. And GravityForms is how you do that.
That’s O.K! This whole Internet thing can be overwhelming. If you have questions, post them in comments below, or drop me a line by visiting my contact page. I’m happy to answer your q’s and (shameless plug) always make myself available to consult on interesting projects. Just get in touch!
The Next Level
So I’ve shared my clever uses for GravityForms. What ways have you used it to quickly start monetizing your projects and sites? Anything counts, so long as you were able to make a sale (even 1!) from it.
And oh yeah — be sure to check out the other gravity forms tutorials as well.