A few weeks ago a headline caught my eye on Twitter:
“How to Launch a Blog and Get 17,800 Email Subscribers in 6 Weeks”
Getting 17,800 email subscribers is an achievement regardless of the circumstances. . . but getting that many within the first six weeks of launching a new blog? That’s a feat I had to learn more about.
This case study featured one of his readers, Marina De Giovanni, who had in fact launched a fashion blog called NotAModel.tv and built an email list of 17,800 in six weeks (she had the photos to prove it).
But here’s what immediately caught my eye when reading the original email she wrote to Ramsay to tell him about her case:
“At the moment I’m using a $300 giveaway + Facebook ads + Leadpages and getting a 53% conversion (this is pretty much all I’ve been doing to get subscribers).”
When I saw that all 17,800 of those subscribers had been collected on Leadpages™ landing pages, I knew I had to find out more.
I wanted to see the specific pages she used, how she set up her ad campaigns, and how she was turning her rapidly growing email list into a new revenue stream for her business.
That’s exactly what I’m about to show you. In this case study, you’ll see how to replicate the Facebook + Leadpages system that Marina used, so you can use the same proven strategies to grow your email list.
Update 2017: Leadpages now has an Integrated Facebook Ads feature that lets anyone create ads with a simplified ad manager inside of the app.
It takes a tactic once reserved for the most sophisticated marketer and makes it usable by even the greenest solopreneur. Head into your account right now to dig in, or sign up for a free 14-day trial of any plan level and give it a whirl.
The 2 Main Ways to Grow Your Email List
Before we get into specifics, it’s important to understand how the tactics in this case study fit into your overall list-building strategy.
Although there are all kinds of list-building techniques and strategies, they generally fall under two categories:
Category #1 techniques don’t cost much money, but involve a large investment of your time.
For example, guest posting would fall under his category. It doesn’t really cost you money to guest post, but it does require a ton of time to pitch websites and write quality posts.
Category #2 techniques do require a monetary investment, but they take less of your time. Sending Facebook ad traffic to an opt-in page would fall under this category.
A complete marketing strategy usually utilizes techniques from both of these categories.
While the technique you’ll see in this case study falls under Category #2, Marina, the marketer behind today’s case study, also implements Category #1 strategies (like blog posts, resource guides, etc.) that aid her continued growth. Without further ado, let’s dive into Marina’s Facebook Ads + Leadpages strategy.
Marina De Giovanni’s Step-by-Step Process to Grow Your Email List with Facebook Ads and Leadpages
To start, let’s take a look at all of the pieces of the exact opt-in funnel Marina created using Leadpage and Facebook ads.
Marina came up with a big “beauty giveaway” worth $300 and created a Facebook ad to promote it.
People who clicked on the ad were then taken to a landing page like this:
Note: When Marina ran ads for these pages, she had published each landing page as a Facebook tab using Leadpages’s Facebook publishing option (which allows you to publish any page as a Facebook tab in just four clicks).
To give you an idea of what this looks like, here’s an example from another Leadpages customer who published her customized version of the Enterprise Lead-Gen page to Facebook:
If you’re running Facebook ads, driving ad traffic to a landing page inside Facebook like this one can boost your conversions and lower your ad spend. Here’s why:
1. Higher Opt-in Rates:
When sending Facebook ad traffic to a landing page, you can often get higher opt-in rates if that landing page is published as a Facebook tab.
The reason why is simple — people trust Facebook. When you drive Facebook ad traffic to your site, you’re asking a person to leave the comfortable Facebook environment they trust. But if you drive ad traffic to another page inside Facebook, you can benefit from that trust. This leads to higher opt-in rates.
2. Get Cheaper Ads and Lower Your Cost-Per-Click:
You’re also often charged less per click when you link your Facebook ads to a Facebook tab instead of a regular landing page.
In fact, Leadpages customer and Facebook superuser Brian Moran (who created the template Marina used for her landing pages) paid about 40 cents less per click on one of his recent campaigns simply because he drove ad traffic to his landing page inside Facebook.
3. Better Ad Approval:
Facebook wants users to stay on their site. That’s why Facebook is often more likely to approve your ad when it points to a Facebook tab instead of a landing page on your site.
Marina created a simple, to-the-point 30-second video introducing herself to visitors, explaining and showing what they could win, and telling them how to enter her contest.
Once visitors reached the page, they had the option to opt-in for Marina’s contest, “like” her Facebook page, or both.
To enter the contest, they simply had to click the “Enter in Seconds” button, which triggered a LeadBox™ opt-in form where they could enter their contact information:
Again, they also had the option of clicking the “Like” button to start getting updates from Not a Model on Facebook:
To give you an idea of how effective this template can be for Facebook traffic (when combined with a great offer and compelling video like Marina’s), this page converted at 50% during the month she used it:
Last but not least, the most critical step of all — Marina monetizes her email list.
If you’re going to spend money on Facebook ads to build your list, it’s important to have a plan in place to generate a return on your investment.
Marina creates revenue from her email list through a variety of services and partnerships, such as:
- Personal fashion and style coaching: Marina offers 1-on-1 style or beauty coaching sessions via Skype for $225 each. According to her private coaching page, she’s completely booked for the current month.
- Sponsored collaborations with brands on her blog, email list, and social media platforms.
- Fashion and beauty products she promotes as an affiliate.
She’s also working on an information product that she hopes to launch next year.
And that’s it! Seems simple enough to set up, right? However, I want to dive a little deeper into how Marina set up her Facebook ads so you have 100% of the details on how to replicate this funnel in your own business. So let’s take a look.
Marina’s 3-Step Strategy for Effective Facebook Ad Campaigns
Marina was kind enough to walk me through the exact step-by-step process she uses to create effective Facebook ad campaigns. Here it is, in three steps:
Step #1: Use the Facebook Power Editor
Marina’s Facebook ads strategy begins with using Facebook’s “Power Editor” tool rather than using the “Boost Post” option. In her words:
“Not using Power Editor is by far the biggest mistake people make with Facebook ads in my opinion. Prior to Power Editor I just used to “Boost Post” and watch Facebook eat all my money.
“But with Power Editor you have so many more options: such as Ad placement (e.g. Desktop only, Mobile only, News Feed only etc); better Targeting; Bidding; Bulk Ad creation; you can track conversions; do split testing and more.
“With the “Boost Post” option you simply click a button and hope for the best, so it’s really not effective at all. For anyone planning on using Facebook ads, learning how to use Power Editor is a must.”
Step #2: Target a Specific Audience
Once inside the Power Editor, Marina targets a very specific audience based on who she thinks would be interested in the particular product she’s giving away.
Her method of choice? Lookalike Audiences, which allow her to find Facebook fans who are similar to the fans following her Facebook page.
Marina also creates lookalike audiences based on custom audiences she creates by uploading her email list to the power editor. Additionally, she targets fans who are interested in other pages similar to her Facebook page.
Because the above filters allow Marina to get pretty specific, she doesn’t get extremely narrow with her demographics. She only targets women ages 18-35 in select countries. A few examples of segments she’s used are:
- Lookalike fans, Desktop Only, age 18-35 from US, AUS, CA, UK, NZ
- Lookalike fans, Mobile Only, age 18-35 from US, AUS, CA, UK, NZ
- Lookalike fans, Newsfeed Only, age 18-35 from US, AUS, CA, UK, NZ
- Lookalike fans, Right side-bar Only, age 18-35 from US, AUS, CA, UK, NZ
Step #3: Split Test, Split Test, Split Test
Split testing is a cornerstone of this strategy, and Marina credits it with keeping her conversion rates up throughout the month-long period she runs an ad. Here’s how she does it and why, in her own words:
“I select 3 images and run them for 24 hours to see which one does the best. Then I choose that one and run with it until the frequency is around an average of 4 (this is about 3-4 days).
“I also test each ad placement separately e.g. ‘Desktop only,’ ‘Mobile only,’ ‘Newsfeed only,’ ‘Right side-bar only.’
“When I first started doing this I used to click the “All Facebook” tab (meaning each ad would be seen on Desktop, Mobile, Newsfeed, and Right sidebar). But this was a mistake because I wasn’t able to accurately measure which ads were performing the best. (Desktop or Mobile? Newsfeed or Right side-bar?)
“So it’s important to separate these Ads and test them individually.
“After testing, I then change the copy slightly and the image and repeat for another 3-4 days. I repeat this process for the whole month.
“It can be a bit of work to continually change the image and copy, but I find after about 5 days the conversion rates drop significantly if you don’t change them. So I feel this is a really important step not to overlook.”
How to Set Up the Landing Page Marina Used with Leadpages
In addition to the Brian Moran Facebook Page, you can send Facebook ad traffic to any landing page you create with any of the other 80+ landing page templates inside Leadpages.
For example, you may want to try one of our other Facebook-specific landing pages, like the Made for Facebook Giveaway Page from James Schramko.
Once you have the page ready it’s as simple as following Marina’s Facebook ad process to implement the strategies from this case study in your business.
Ready to start using the latest Integrated Facebook Ads feature inside of Leadpages? Check it out now and get targeted traffic clicking right to your landing pages.
Are you currently using Facebook ads as part of your marketing strategy? Are you planning on implementing any techniques from this case study? Leave a comment below and let us know.
P.S. Click here to check out the original case study from Blog Tyrant that inspired this one.