It’s been 8 weeks since I launched my book, website, and blog. It’s been an amazing learning experience. In particular, I’ve learned how to build a following and tactically market a new business.
For now, I haven’t monetized the business at all. That isn’t of interest to me yet, but, I’ll eventually sell my second book. (If you want to preregister for a free copy of the book, which I expect to release later this fall, you can do that here). And in the latter part of the year, I might release an online course, but in the meantime, I’m learning and enjoying the experience.
For now, my goal is to share as much knowledge as I can with other entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses. On that note, I want to share some of my findings with you about how I grew my email list to 5,000 addresses within 8 weeks of launching.
I launched my book and website in late May 2018. I initially wrote a large book that I was going to sell, but quickly learned that it would be difficult to sell a paid book without a platform and audience. With that in mind, I took a subset of my large book, created a smaller book, made it available for free, and created a number of landing pages to measure the success of the various marketing mediums. I gathered this information from a book course, your first 10K Readers.
What I’ve Learned
First and foremost, I can’t reiterate how important it is for entrepreneurs to measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) across the entire business. Although I’m going to share some of the marketing tactics I used with you and go through some of those KPIs, it’s equally important to find similar KPIs in other areas of your business, and monitor them.
Here’s what you’ll notice: A small change in one area of the business can produce a large result. It also goes without saying that what you focus on will improve.
“Where your attention goes, energy flows.”
Let me provide an example:
I created a unique landing page for each advertising platform on my website TheKickassEntrepreneur.com.
For example, I created a page called:
TheKickassEntrepreneur.com/LANDING PAGE 1 (Facebook)
TheKickassEntrepreneur.com/LANDING PAGE 2 (Instagram)
TheKickassEntrepreneur.com/LANDING PAGE 3 (Quora)
The purpose behind creating these various landing pages is to measure the traffic to each page. That way, if I do $100 of Facebook advertising, I can see how many leads I received on that particular page, and for that particular ad.
My Facebook landing page wasn’t working very well. Here’s an example of what the Facebook landing page looked like:
The Facebook landing page was only converting at 28.46%. In other words, for every 100 people that visited the page, only 28 people provided their email addresses. That’s a really poor performance for a free book.
Let me illustrate how bad this result actually is.
Let’s assume I spent $1 per Facebook ad. (NOTE that it was actually much lower, but more on these results later.)
If only 28.46% of the people that visited the page converted (in other words, provided their email addresses), then the $1 ad now costs me $3.50 per email.
I was determined to fix this landing-page result.
On July 16, I signed up for a new landing-page platform, Leadpages.net, and created a new landing page. See the illustration below:
My conversion rate leaped up from 28.46% to 70.3%, which is a 147% improvement in conversions. That’s outstanding!
Even better, let’s assume each Facebook ad was costing me $1. With my new conversion at 70.3%, my cost was now $1.42 per email, instead of $3.50 per email. WOW.
A new landing page lowered my per-lead cost by 59%.
Landing-Page Test Results
Figuring I was onto something, I was now determined to improve my landing page conversion rate, so I made some changes.
I tested multiple variants of the new landing page with varying results. I made the following changes, but none of them worked.
Added Testimonials: I pasted 4 testimonials about the book on the bottom of the landing page, and my conversion rate went down to 63%.
I was quite perplexed that adding testimonials to the landing page negatively impacted my conversion rate. I suspect people got distracted by the additional text on the page, spent time reviewing the testimonials, and forgot they were there to download a book.
Needless to say, I removed the testimonials.
Changed the Button Color to Blue: The landing-page conversion rate stayed at 63%.
Changed the Button Color to Green: The landing-page conversion went up to 65%.
Changed the Button Color Back to Red: The landing-page conversion rate went back to 70.3%.
All tests had at least 500 hits, so the results were statistically significant.
Next week, I intend to create an entirely new landing page to see if I can get the page to increase to 75%.
Hopefully, you’ll learn a few lessons from the above information. First and foremost, it’s important to measure, test, and compare everything. This rule applies across the entire business. Small changes can produce large results, so you need to measure everything, especially as it relates to marketing and sales.
The Road to 5,000
It’s obviously easier to pitch a free book than a paid book, but there’s still the challenge of getting the word out.
So I bet you’re wondering how I got 5,000 email addresses in 8 weeks?
I publish two blog posts on my website every week. At the end of every blog post, there’s a link to subscribe to my blogs.
I republish this unique content either in full, or, in a micro platform appropriate manner, on multiple platforms, such as LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.com. At the end of each of the posts, I provide a link to a unique landing page on my site, and (of course) I measure the results for each page. I try to push as much of my content back to the original source, and to my landing page to download my book.
For example, if someone reads one of my Medium blog posts and clicks “Download Book,” they will go to a unique landing page that was specifically designed for Medium. You can visit that page here:
BTW, I’ve learned that it isn’t appropriate to have the name “medium” in the URL, so new landing pages have an abbreviation that only I understand.
Let me provide another example of how I achieved these results. Last week, I answered a question on Quora. At the end of the answer, I provided a link to download my book.
You’ll notice that this Quora answer has 32,200 views and 318 upvotes.
82 people clicked the “Here” button, which went to the unique Quora landing page. So I know that this answer provided 82 email addresses.
I send all of my traffic—from all of my posts—to my free book.
I also embed links to other posts in all of my blog posts, and readers that like my content subscribe to my blog.
My book has consistently been in the top of the Amazon charts since it was launched. In fact, on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week (July 29, 30, 31), my book was number 1 in both the business section and non-fiction section on Amazon. In those 2 days along, many many thousands of books were downloaded. My book has been at the top of the Amazon charts since it was launched.
So you’re wondering how I get the email addresses of people who download my book. Well, on Page 5 (titled “You can get the book here”), I have a reader magnet that looks like this:
This magnet directs people to this landing page:
This page also converts at 70%. Since the book launch, the magnet has contributed approximately 900 email addresses. In addition, I’ve spent about $200 on advertising the book on Amazon. From those ads, I’ve received approximately 200 email addresses, so the paid Amazon emails are costing me $1 per email address.
All in all, Amazon has contributed approximately 1,100 email addresses.
I’m currently paying between 6 cents and 9 cents for each Facebook click. In the past, I’ve paid as much as $2 per click. So when I find an ad that works, I stick with it. Here’s my advertising for one day (July 25, 2018):
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I intend to study the Facebook pixel and figure out how to optimize Facebook advertising, retargeting, and landing page optimization. All total, Facebook ads have contributed approximately 2,800 of the total number of email addresses. Since I’m paying about 10 cents per click with a 70% conversion rate, each email address through Facebook advertising costs me approximately 14 cents.
What I’ve Learned
I’m having fun doing the tactical work and learning a lot about landing pages, Facebook, social media, and blog posts. I could have hired someone to do all of this marketing work for me, but it’s been extremely helpful to understand the nuances of building a personal platform. And now that I have the knowledge, I can hire people to do specific parts of the marketing.
Today, I understand what’s worked, and what hasn’t. And that knowledge has been invaluable.
I’ve always known that the most important part of marketing is measuring results, so doing A/B testing is extremely important. Without that information, it’s like throwing darts in the dark. You might get a bullseye, but you won’t know why.
For me, the cherry on top has been how many people I’ve helped with my book and blog posts. Even though I just started writing, I receive at least 5 to 10 emails a day from people thanking me for inspiring them. I’ve heard many entrepreneurial stories, and I’m so grateful that I can help so many people.
I have three goals:
- Grow the email list to 75,000 addresses by the end of 2018. If I do manage to accomplish this goal and multiply my email list 15 times, I’m not sure how I’ll handle reading and replying to 30 to 50 emails a day. But in the meantime, I’m learning.
- Help as many entrepreneurs as possible, by teaching them how to run a better business.
- Over the next few months, build a business, and put it on autopilot. This process will include figuring out how the marketing, pixels, optimization, landing pages, and conversions work.
I’ll continue to share. Hope this helped.
P.S. In this blog post I mentioned four social media sites. You can connect with me on LinkedIn.
Want to know more about me and read some of the other interesting small business growth, profit and wealth stories I’ve written.
Here’s one of the first articles I wrote: My Journey Post Business Sale as I Sail Into a New Harbour.
Are you a younger entrepreneur? Here’s another interesting article I wrote:
My goal is to help entrepreneurs scale their business, improve profitability, and then, use those profits to create massive wealth. Subscribe to my blog to receive my latest thought on scaling your business and creating wealth.
Download my book and Amazon bestseller (number 1 in business, number 2 in non-fiction). You can get your FREE copy here.