How Did We Get First 100 Newsletter Subscribers?

Nedim Talović

by Nedim Talović on 26th February, 2017

Since you probably found this blog post on Google search, you are familiar with the importance of email marketing.

Nevertheless, here’s a short explanation to those who don’t know why email marketing is important, here’s

Email marketing has the largest ROI which makes it as the most useful marketing channel.

It’s well-known that for every $1 invested in email marketing you should see a revenue of $40.

Email Marketing ROI

In this blog post, I’ll explain you how did we get first 100 email subscribers in THREE simple steps.

So, here’s the way how to get first 100 subscribers.

Step #1: Write a Blog Post

The first thing you need is to write an outstanding piece of content. Otherwise, it can be VERY hard to drive enough traffic to your site.

You simply can’t expect to capture subscribers without writing amazing blog posts.

It’s a fact that B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those who don’t.

B2B companies that blog generate more leads

Furthermore, the blog is the best channel for generating new leads because it has the lowest cost per lead.

This shows us the importance of blogging in acquiring new leads.

Below average cost per lead

It’s obvious that marketers are interested in capturing new leads in a cheap way.

Social media and SEO come just after the blog. As for me, it’s very hard to separate these channels and watch them as a single unit.

I’m telling you this because once you write a blog post, you’ll need to promote it, and social media is really great way to do it.

Also, link building may help you a lot, but since this blog post about capturing the first 100 email subscribers, I won’t talk about SEO because you probably don’t have enough organic visitors.

We didn’t.

However, the first step in writing the first blog post is generating a content marketing idea.

What should you write about?

Our blog post was about content marketing quotes.

I found the idea on Quora because there was a question where someone asked about content marketing predictions in 2017, so I thought why shouldn’t I interview influencers.

So, I created a simple spreadsheet where I entered 156 influencers.

Content marketing influencers

Finding top influencers was easy. I just entered the query (content marketing influencers) on Google search and there were so many articles about content marketing influencers to follow.

If other bloggers suggest them to follow, why wouldn’t you interview them?

In case you don’t want to find influencers by entering a Google search, maybe you would like to use Followerwonk.

Specifically, open the app and click on Search Bios in the menu.

Followerwonk

After that, type content marketing in the box and click on Do it.

Search for "content marketing" influencers

There, you’ll see the list of Twitter users with “content marketing” in their profiles. You can sort them by the number of followers or even social authority.

Content marketing influencers

For example, interview with Jeff Bullas might be interesting since he has more than 480,000 followers.

The hardest part was finding an email address.

I mean, it’s not so hard, it’s just too much boring, but you don’t have other solution unless you have enough money to capture leads using Facebook Ads.

I used a tool called Hunter where I just needed to enter a domain name and I was able to find influencers email address.

For example, I’ve contacted Rand Fishkin, so I just entered moz.com and I found lots of Mozzers emails.

The following image shows you what happens when you filter email address by the name.

Rand Fiskin Email

This way, I found almost all emails.

Also, I knew that if I’m not able to find someone’s email address, then I should ask myself if the person whose email I’m searching is actually an influencer?

I’m not contacting Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. Content marketing influencers is easier to contact, a lot.

Rand didn’t answer me but I know that’s because when I was writing the blog post they fired 28% employees.

However, I collected 25 content marketing quotes which is enough for writing an outstanding piece of content.

Keep in mind that some people will be very busy, but still interested in participating.

Do you have a deadline email?

and some people (such as Dr. Pete Meyers) will be very polite, but they’ll decline.

dr. Pete Meyers Email

Anyway, once you collect the quotes, the only what you need to do is to publish it.

Here, I’d like to tell you that I made a mistake because I didn’t use Google Forms. If I did, I’d easier copied quotes to the WordPress post.

The way I did was wrong. I needed to open every single email and copy it, and the problem was that I didn’t bookmark the emails so I lost a couple of hours.

Step #2: Add Lead Magnets

Once you publish your blog post, you should add lead magnets.

Personally, I added a content upgrade which usually brings awesome results.

The idea is to offer additional content in exchange for an email address.

Here’s how it looks.

Content upgrade example

When someone clicks on the DOWNLOAD button, a modal dialog appears.

Content Upgrade Dialog

People are curious. They want to see which sentences are the most important.

I could also offer a secret quote exclusively for those who sign up.

For example, if Rand Fishkin answered, maybe I could make his thoughts as an extra content since he’s really a top-notch influencer.

Now, the trick is to optimize your content upgrade. There are so many ways, and one particularly interesting to me is using magnet words.

Magnet Words

Magnet words will surely affect the lead rate. As you could see, I didn’t leverage this feature but I should have.

However, these days I’m adding content upgrades to all posts I’ve published, so I’ll definitely try with magnet words.

A/B tests are a true hero for optimizing conversions, but I’ll talk about it later.

Firstly, let’s firstly see how to drive traffic to your blog post since without that, you won’t have anything to optimize.

Step #3: Drive Traffic

Since we were interacting with influencers, it seemed obvious to shoot a message to them.

Yes, I asked for a tweet.

This is what we call ego building tactic.

Those people are presented as INFLUENCERS in my blog post and it’s absolutely logical that they will be interested in tweeting/sharing the blog post.

In fact, lots of influencers were asking when I’m going to publish the post because they want to share it across different social networks.

Alex Mail

In our case, Twitter was the most important. Marketers usually prefer Twitter over Facebook.

Here, you should be careful about the day of sending a request for tweet because CTR day of the week when users tweet really affects CTR.

Twitter Activity by Day

It appears that tweeting on a Saturday is much better than tweeting on a Friday.

This is exactly what I did. I sent all the emails in the Saturday morning and the most influencers tweeted the same day.

Here’s what influencers say when I ask them for a tweet.

Shep Email

This is surely a great way of promoting the blog posts.

Furthermore, influencers are tweeting the article even months after I published it.

Cleary's Tweet

But not only influencers.

If you carefully read the blog post, you’ll see that some sentences are in blue (Twitter style) color.

Larry Kim Tweet

Thanks to that, other digital marketing experts are still tweeting.

Content marketing quotes tweets

This way, I try to maximize the number of visitors this article get because some small percentage of visitors will always tweet.

Now, I’d like to discuss other FREE ways of driving visits to your article.

Quora

Quora is not only good for generating content marketing ideas. Quora is absolutely terrific for increasing the number of visitors by answering questions.

Here’s what you need to do.

Firstly, in the search box type content marketing.

Quora: Content Marketing Topic

Next, choose the right topic. I think you can click on Content Marketing topic and you’ll see its statistics in About section.

Content marketing about

Content Marketing topic has more than 3,900 questions and 59,400 followers which is a definitely amazing opportunity.

Simply said, start answering questions one by one and linking your blog post where appropriate.

But, that’s not the only interesting topic since there are related topics as well.

Related topics

With Quora, you can generate thousands of visitors. Honestly, we didn’t leverage this so much because our team is still small, and we are focused on other channels.

Keep in mind that as long as you provide quality answers you won’t have any problems. If the quality of your answers is poor you might be banned.

LinkedIn Groups

First of all, you have to be careful. If you share spam and horrible content you will be penalized.

Now that I warned you, I’d like to say that your first step is to find LinkedIn groups where you can promote your post.

In the search box, write content marketing and you’ll see something such as the following.

Content marketing Linkedin search

Next, click on Groups about Content Marketing.

There, you’ll see a lot of companies related to the content marketing.

Content marketing groups on Linkedin

Content Marketing Institute has more than 35,000 members which means that it might be an amazing source of traffic.

I haven’t tried this personally because just as I said, my team is still small so I’m focused on other channels.

However, a friend of mine gets more than 1,000 visits every month.

The trick is that you should engage with other group members. You can’t join the groups and share links. Getting involved in discussions is a key.

Whenever someone needs a help you should be there. This way, you’ll build the authority.

Another idea is to creating your own group which is much better (but harder) because you can create your own rules.

Results

You can use different WordPress plugins for adding content upgrades to your site.

Some people claim that they got lead rates up to 10 - 15%. We didn’t see such a high lead rate, but it wasn’t below 1% anyway.

Specifically, our lead rate was 2.73% which means we needed at least 3,680 visitors to get first 100 subscribers.

Lead rate conversions

Surely, if we decide to optimize it, then these numbers would be higher.

Again, keep in mind that if you don’t see the traffic increase, there won’t be anything to optimize.

A/B Test

A/B Test is a type of test where you compare two different versions (original and alternative) and measure which brings the best results.

A/B Test

For example, you can test different magnet words and see which works better.

Currently, I don’t have an example with a content upgrade but here’s an example of optimizing conversions.

CTA Decrease

Content Verve changed the button text and increased conversions for 10.94%.

Always keep in mind that your A/B tests must be statistically significant.

Getting statistically significant results requires a large sample which means that you can’t expect to have a few visitors and think your results are statistically significant.

You can even use a Google Spreadsheet where you simply have to enter how many visitors and leads one version got, and how many another version.

A/B Testing Significance Calculator

If not, there are free calculators such as Get Data Driven.

Get data driven

For example, if one content upgrade gets 1500 page views and 40 lead rates, your lead rate will be 2.66%.

If an alternative gets only 200 page views and 7 leads, your lead rate will be 3.5%.

Now, you might be thinking that second (alternative) version is better, but the truth is different.

We don’t know it yet since this data isn’t statistically significant. We’re only 73% certain that the changes in test B will improve your lead rate.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post.

Some marketers say that email marketing is the past and social media is where your focus should be, but they are unquestionably wrong.

Email marketing is still very important and you need to capture as many as possible subscribers and send the newsletters.

Never forget about email marketing ROI.

I don’t know if you have an investor, but if you don’t this is the only way how you can get new leads without spending a dollar.

Promoting by email outreach, Quora, and Linkedin groups.

Probably much better option would be promoting your blog posts through paid channels such as Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

Need Help With AdWords or Facebook Ads? Hire us.

We can help you grow revenue and achieve positive ROI.

Your data is safe. We won't spam you.