Email Acquisition Case Study for Blog Email List Building

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.

website views

  • 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:

website traffic estimation

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:

aweber email marketing

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 – aWeberThis 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!

email marketing tips

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:

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:

website traffic estimation

Day 15 of Sending

And here are my aweber stats two weeks after the start of the campaign:
aweber email marketing


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:

aweber website views

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.

inbound marketing

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!

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