When creating a website it can be months before you see the benefits of email list building as a marketing strategy.
Establishing your blog as a credible info hub that gets repeat visitors is a marathon rather than a sprint.
Often at the start you will have to be content with just website views as opposed to conversions.
So, what if i told you there was a way to test you hard work out as soon as you get started? A way of getting immediate feedback on which of your articles are hot or not.
And why not give your email list a really solid boost at the same time?
Well that’s exactly what I did with this site. What’s great is that you can do it with yours too.
In this case study I will explain how I used an email marketing acquisition strategy to boost site traffic to this blog from the day I made the first post. Along with this I will show you how it took only three weeks to grow the email subscribers’ list from 0 to nearly 2,000.
By following the step by step guide and email marketing tips in this post you will be able to do the same with your blog. What’s more you can do it with a pretty small outlay.
It’s a strategy that will bring back conversions and valuable insights in the months to follow.
- Some Email List Building Statistics to Whet Your Appetite
- My Step By Step Guide on What You Need to Set Up On Your Site
- How to Set Up Several Lead Magnets
- How to Set Up the Right Infrastructure for Email List Building
- The Right Kind of Email Marketing Content
- How to Use an Email Data Feed
- My Three Week Progress Report
Some Email List Building Statistics to Whet Your Appetite
Before we dive right in, let’s take a look at a few stats that were from my mailing list. Here are some list stats from the first few days of sending:
Now here is a section of an uploaded list from one day at the start of this campaign. This is after following the email marketing methods that I am about to outline in this case study:
As you can see that’s quite a considerable increase in subscriber numbers for a brand new site.
So get your notebooks ready and brace yourself, there is a lot of valuable information about to come your way!
My Step by Step Guide on What You Need to Set Up on Your Site
#1 Set Up a Website
Before you begin, you will need to have a website.
There are many ways to do this and I recommend some of the best providers in my Affexpro resource page.
I got started by setting up a hosting account. Then using the One Click Install App set up a WordPress site.
Once that was up and running I chose a free wordpress layout and as if by magic my site was ready.
All of that in the time it took to drink a cup of tea!
#2 Install Some Plugins to Optimise Your Site
Once you have completed the first step, your site will look pretty bare.
It will have a header and a sidebar but there will be lots of empty space that you will need to fill to make it look like a functioning site.
This is called on site optimisation.
Don’t worry if you are a newbie because I am going to show you how quick and easy it is to get your site up and ready for conversions!
Here are some of the must have plugins that I use to get my site up and running quick –
- Mailmunch Opt In Form – Having a sidebar opt in form is essential. One of the best plugin for this is from Mailmunch. I also use it for the pop over opt in form and the in content opt in forms. It also integrates really easily with nearly all of the major email service providers.
- Sumo – This is a really handy plugin for additional opt in forms such as the Welcome Mat, for when a visitor arrives at your site for the first time. What’s also great about this one is the way it allows users to easily share a whole array of elements from text to images on social media.
- Info Boxes Shortcode Widget – For making sections of your content posts standout. This can help draw attention to inbound and outbound linking, or sign up forms.
- Rating Widget – Starting to build up those post ratings right from the off will help with your SEO.
In terms of what your site will look like this will provide a pretty good foundation for what is to come.
Now this is where the real meat of your site will begin.…
- Logo – Logo design has never really been my thing. If you are like me then take a look at some logos from around the web to get a feel for what you like. Then head over to Fiverr and get a professional designer to put something together.
- Content – The crown jewel of your site. No matter how good your site looks if the content isn’t of the highest order no one will be engaged enough to come back to your site. Start working on your content as soon as possible.
#3 How to Set Up Several Lead Magnets
One lead magnet is never enough right?
Especially so when you are getting started as you may not be entirely sure what your blog’s visitors are going to be interested in.
This is where setting up multiple lead magnets will try and cater for as many of your user’s interests as possible.
Here are a few sure fire lead magnet suggestions for getting opt ins:
- Free Tutorial Giveway – Every body loves something for free. Try to tap in to what it is that your potential sign ups will really need. We need this lead magnet to be kickass and over the top value. For this site the first opt in was Free Affiliate Marketing Tutorials.
- eBook Giveaway – An ebook is one of the best lead magnets for visitors that enjoy reading your content. Something bitesize is preferable. Again try to tap in to what your users are missing out on, something that will fill the gap. PDF ebooks are easily accessible and even easier to set up, so this one really is a must have as a lead magnet.
- Another Free Giveaway – Like PDF ebooks, you need something of value that can be put to use instantly by your site’s users. In my case, as much of my blog is concerned with email marketing, I opted to give away a series of Free Email Autoresponders.
It’s entirely up to you how you set these up and position them. What I did was put the Tutorials up date and the free ebook offer in the sidebar. Then the free ebook went into the exit pop up for tempting users into signing up just before they leave for the first time. My in-content opt in was for the Email Autoresponder giveaway. As an added magnet I placed another Tutorials opt in form sign up to appear at the end of each post.
For More Info on Lead Magnet Examples and How to Set Up a Kick Ass Free Giveaway Check Out My Article : Tips On How to Grow Your Email List From 5 Of The Best Bloggers On The Web
All of these can be set up really easily with the plugins I mentioned above.
#4 Write Some Amazing Content
The only way for your site to rank well is for it to contain some truly outstanding and valuable content.
This point must be stressed over and over again. If your content strategy doesn’t centre around amazing copy no one will be interested in what you have to offer.
The content will provide the back bone of your email follow up series that will be sent out to your mailing list.
How to Set Up the Right Infrastructure for Email List Building
At this point your site should now resemble a working blog.
Now we need to take a look at the sending infrastructure for our email marketing methods of choice.
For this you will need the following –
- VPS Server plus Interspire – We are going to be sending out a lot of emails. For that we will need a good, reliable VPS correctly configured for email sending. Then Interspire will need to be installed with PMTA for rotating IPs. There’s a lot of talk about what to do here, but this is my sending set up of choice because it can be fully automated and is really user friendly.
- Landing Page with Opt In Form – For the leads that we will be acquiring we will also need a cool landing page with an opt in form. Again here you will need to offer something that is highly beneficial for the potential sign up.
- Email Autoresponder Series – These are going to be uploaded into your VPS server with Interspire and will be set up to send on automatic. Together with your landing page, your email autoresponders need to be clever and designed for high open rates and click throughs. Luckily I have provided you with a series of autoresponders as my free giveaway – all you need to do is opt in to the yellow form to get your hands on them.
- Email Marketing Software – aWeber – This will be the software that we actually use for the mailing list. With your first content posts you will already be able to organise a follow up series of 4 or 5 emails. These can be sent out at 5 day intervals for which to start bringing repeat visitors to your site.
For a more detailed explanation of how to set up an email sending infrastructure for email acquisition check out my post How to Build an Email List for a Huge Online Income.
How to Use an Email Data Feed
Now the hard stuff is taken care of we need to work on the gold!
We need to source out the best email data that has opted in for third party offers and begin sending our emails to it.
Remember that with data, only the best will do as only the best data will bring us conversions.
For this I always use an email data feed. An email data feed is a source of fresh email data provided by a data aggregation service.
Now there are good and bad data providers and I make a recommendation of what to look out for here in my article on How to Build an Email List for Huge Online Income.
I also go into more details on what a Data Feed actually is – so for more info on this please check out my article Instant Way to Increase Website Views and Conversions That’s Overlooked by Almost Everyone
The best data feed providers will be able to inject the data straight into your VPS. That way it comes as a direct feed to your email sending application. The main advantage to this is that the process will cut out the arduous work of sorting and uploading lists manually into your sending application.
Then this entire process will run on automatic in the background, leaving you to focus on making your site even better!
While I was getting this Blog up and running I had a full automation process for my follow up series of emails running. Each day a direct feed of data went into my VPS. Thanks to Interspire and it’s automation tools, my series of email autoresponders went out and began working the data.
Setting Up Your Emails and Lists for Working the Data Feed
For this email list building method to work effectively it is essential that you set up Interspire correctly.
For this you will need to create 4 contact lists:
1 – A Master Upload List
2 – An Opens List
3 – A Clicks List
4 – An Inactive List
Now, using the Autoresponders, Advanced Triggers Addon and the Re-Engagement Tool we can organise an entire series of emails to run on automatic.
It will then get to work separating our openers and clickers from the data feed.
What’s so great is that with this method the whole process will trigger automatically as soon as the direct feed of data comes into the system each day!
Here is how I set up my email autoresponder series –
Email #1 – Master Upload List and Introduction Mailer
When you have setup a Master Upload List create an autoresponder with the first email in the series (Introduction).
Then we can set up the data feed so that it will go into this list and the First Email (called Introduction) will send right away.
The advanced triggers addon available with Interspire will then separate all of the users that open the first email. It will move them automatically to the Opens List.
Email #2 Follow Up
You will now need to set up a series of autoresponders to go out on the Opens List. Then, as the openers arrive from the Master Upload List they will now receive the next email in the series – the Follow Up.
It is best to set this email to send out 24 or 48 hours after they opened the first email.
Email #3 Thank You
The third email (called Thank You) will now send another email to the openers in the Opens List 24 hours later. That would be 48 hours after the user joined this list.
Email #3 will be the first in the sequence to contain a link which should direct to a landing page that is hosted on a separate domain from the main business.
Because Email #3 contains a link we have a second trigger set up which will move all of the clickers to the Clicks List.
In the Clicks List we will set up Email #4 to send 24 hours after the user has joined list. Now would be a good time to introduce the users to an offer, such as an ebook, a webinar or a video.
I would recommend here that you talk about whatever offer you want to promote. However, save the actually link to the offer for the next email….
This will contain a link to your promotional offer. If you have followed all of the previous steps this will send only to the users that clicked on the link in the third email.
You will now start to see your email list numbers growing. Now you can add more offers to the clicks list and play around more with the opens list.
A good tip is to mix up your email follow up series with some promo emails. Mixing up offers and free information will keep your users interested. If you continually blast them with sales pitches they will soon lose interest.
Use a ratio of 3:1. That is, 3 relationship emails vs 1 promo email. That way you will keep your users interested in your mails whilst keeping a good reputation on the sending server.
Re Engagement List
The Re Engagement email List is built around a ReEngagement campaign. It will remove the users from your lists that haven’t opened an email for 10 days.
This is your churn list and functions for two reasons
- To prevent you from repeatedly emailing users that have stopped opening your campaigns.
- It allows you to set up an offer mailer to re-activate them before they go fully inactive.
Depending on the size of your VPS you may need to also to set up an Inactive List.
This is set up using a trigger. It will remove users from the master upload list that didn’t opened the first mail. This is purely a technical function to prevent the server from filling up with inactive data and slowing down. Delete the contacts on this list every few weeks.
If you’re unsure what content to use in your Emails Download My Free Series Of Autoresponder Emails.
My Three Week Email List Building Progress Report
Let me show you how my stats panned out for that initial starting 2/3 weeks.
Day 10 of Email Sending
Here are my aweber upload stats on the third day of exporting clicks from my VPS. At this point the campaigns in Interspire had been running already for 10 days. That should be enough time to build up some good numbers in my Opens and Clicks Lists.
This is my third upload into aweber:
Day 15 of Sending
And here are my aweber stats two weeks after the start of the campaign:
Not a bad increase in the size of my email list. Especially considering that it’s a brand new site.
Now take a look at the open rates on my Follow Up Series of Emails in aweber:
Google Analytics Audience Overview
And here is the overview of visitors for this first 2/3 week period from Google Analytics. Small numbers, but remember that the site isn’t ranking yet. Plus I only began optimising for SEO in the third week.
These numbers can be pushed by using additional data feeds and subscribers lists. You can, of course acquire more data and scale up the whole email list building exercise.
If you like what you have read, or have another email strategy that you use please leave a comment below!