How One LeadPages™ Customer Used Facebook Ads + LeadPages™ to Get 17,800 Email Opt-Ins in 6 Weeks

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.

The headline came in a tweet from Ramsay Taplin of, and the link took me to a case study he had just published.

This case study featured one of his readers, Marina De Giovanni, who had in fact launched a fashion blog called 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.

NOTE: Be sure to grab the Quick-Reference PDF of Marina’s Facebook Ads + LeadPages™ Email List-Building Strategy at the end of the post.

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 LeadPages™ and Facebook ads.

Piece #1

Marina came up with a big “beauty giveaway” worth $300 and created a Facebook ad to promote it.  


Piece #2

People who clicked on the ad were then taken to a landing page like this:  

marina page
Marina used the Brian Moran Facebook Page template inside LeadPages to create this landing page for her giveaways.

Note: When Marina ran ads for these pages, she had published each landing page as a Facebook tab using LeadPages’ 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.  

Piece #3 

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.

Piece #4

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:  


Piece #5

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.”

To use the Power Editor, simply select it from the left sidebar inside your Facebook ads dashboard.

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™

You can set up the same page Marina used in her campaigns inside LeadPages™ in just a few minutes. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to customize:

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.

If you’d like a 3-page “quick-reference” PDF version of this strategy for easy implementation, click the button below and get a free copy:

What’s Your Strategy?

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.

  • Planning to implement this strategy for our upcoming European Launch of our Age-Reversal Transfusium – Look 8 years younger in 30 days or your money back!

    • Awesome, J! Be sure to come back and let us know how it works out for you.

  • Jeff Wenberg

    Will, this post is awesome. I don’t have anything to implement this strategy with, but if I did this would be what I would start with. Great information and a thorough breakdown of how to set it up. Thanks man!

  • @jeff_wenberg:disqus, I like the new radio button option for subscribing to email updates daily and weekly. How did you implement that in LeadPages?

    • Jeff Wenberg

      Hey Christian, that’s a great question. I believe it’s set up in your autoresponder and then when you create the LeadBox™ it pulls those in from your autoresponder. This would be a great question for @WillHoekenga:disqus. I believe he set it up.

      • Hey Christian! When you go into your email marketing service (like MailChimp, Aweber, etc.) to create an email form, any type of field you add to that form can also appear on your LeadBox that you integrate with that form.

        So all you would need to do is create a form field in your email marketing service that features radio buttons. You can do the same for dropdown menus, etc.

        If you need any assistance our fine folks at will be more than happy to help.


  • Mohammed Aaser

    This is good…I’d be interested to know what she was able to get her CPA down to…and also what type of conversion she is able to get off her list!

    • Thanks Mohammed, glad you enjoyed. I can’t speak to all the numbers, but I know Marina’s CPC was $0.04 in April and $0.06 in May.

      • Mohammed Aaser

        That is very very good…. I did a primer on this a few years ago but that was years before leadpages –

      • Mohammed Aaser

        Also I’m assuming shes targeting folks in Australia or US? If you target other countries it can be much cheaper but conversion for purchase may not be all that great….

        • Hi Mohammed, I am mostly targeting US, CA, AUS, NZ, UK and I agree with you 100% about conversion for purchase. And the numbers Will provided above are correct. Thanks for your comments, let me know if you need any further info. Best, Marina

      • Will, im new to leadpages but can leadpages set up as facebook tabs be able to perform A/B tests? I remember while back I tried running google content experiments and iframed content run javascript that runs the A/B tests.

        • Hey Taewoo, yes you can absolutely perform A/B tests on pages you publish as Facebook tabs using LeadPages’ built-in split testing system (available to Pro and Enterprise customers).

          And yup, you noticed correctly — Facebook tabs don’t work on mobile. We’ve set up a redirect feature that sends mobile traffic to a standard version of your LeadPage. You can check out a video about this feature here:

  • Chris Fuchs

    thanks for the tip… Didn’t know that you can lower the cost of the ad when your drive traffic to a facebook tab. The question I have is, what option in facebook do you use to create an ad? Do you choose “Click to website”optin to a your tab url?

    • Hi Chris, thanks for your comment and glad you got some value from this post. Will posted a very helpful video about how to use LeadPages in a Facebook landing page in the post above. I pretty much just went off that when I was first setting it up. From my experience the conversion increases when you keep your landing page within Facebook. I have tested linking to a landing page on my website and it did end up costing me more per lead. So I tend to keep it within Facebook now most of the time.

      • Chris Fuchs

        Thanks for the feedback.. Little confused on what type of ad you would use on facebook. Is this a like campaign or click to website campaign. Let me know

        • Hey Chris, I always do “website campaign”. You can also track cost per lead this way by adding a Facebook “conversion pixel” to your website. For example, if you were tracking email opt-ins you could add a conversion pixel to your LeadPages “Thank You page”. That way you can easily calculate the cost per lead. Here is a quick video about conversion pixels Let me know if you get stuck, happy to help =)

          • Jeff Moynihan

            Hey Marina, I sent you a message to your site asking you a question about the power editor. If you didn’t see it yet can you respond to me here please. . Thanks Jeff

          • Eric Chen

            how can you drive traffic to a tab page with website campaign? Chris was asking for which type of ad you were running, and you didn’t seem to answer that question. The only option to drive traffic to tab page is by like campaigns if i’m not mistaken.

      • Hey Marina.
        1) Did you do single or double optin?
        2) If double optin, did you set up the conversion pixel on the final thank you page or the page that says “check your inbox for double optin link?”
        2) Did you bid cpc, cpm, or some other method?
        3) Did you do a/b tests? if so, can you share the losers and the winners?

  • Jman32183

    Aren’t these “contests” and “giveaways” frowned upon by Facebook? I know a few buddies of mine who tried giving away jugs of protein powder every month … but their ad was denied. (And yes the followed the rules … no claims, no images that are “too provocative”) Thoughts?

    • Hey there, I have seen a lot of “spammy” contests in the past and FB has definitely cracked down on this type of unethical behavior (I’m talking about those “Win an iPad type contests). But I think if your contest is genuine and you present your content in an organic way, and people can visit your website and see your a real person, then FB shouldn’t have a problem. I run giveaways all the time and I’ve never had an Ad declined by FB, they are usually approved within an hour. Hope this helps, thanks.

  • I love the simplicity of using Leadpages for this but I wonder if it would have been more effective if you used a contest platform like Contest Domination, Heyo or King Sumo. All encourage organic social sharing by providing incentives to contest entrants when they share with peers and they in turn enter the contest.

  • Apologies if this was mentioned and I missed it, but it’d be good to get an idea of how much she spent on FB advertising per day to get this result in 6 weeks.

  • Any stats on how much she spent per optin / overall?

    • Hey Sweeney, I don’t know how much was spent per optin, so I’ll leave it up to @marinadegiovanni:disqus if she wants to reveal that or not. 🙂