Marketing experiments: First 11k traffic month + email shocker
To continue with my marketing experiments, I’ll be lifting the kimono on what we’re doing here at Bluewire — the good the bad and the ugly. Here’s my warts’n all report for the month of November 2013. Click to tweet this post!
Traffic was a record 11,000+ month
For the first time ever, we cracked the 11k mark with 11,823 visitors, with a real boost in numbers coming from the 10th onwards. This co-incided with the release of our first infographic called LinkedIn 5 Minute Marketing Plan. Thanks to Rob Mondolo for the design and Selina Power for the content. We are very close to 1,000 hits for that post. It has spurred the release of a subsequent infographic “Instagram 5 Min Marketing Plan for Beginners“.
The plan now is to submit the infographic to different websites. This is an experiment to see what impact it has on backlinks and visibility.
Online leads at 564
Whether you call them leads or new contacts is up to you, I find the lingo changes all the time. I prefer the word contact since all they’ve done is download a tool and these contacts become more qualified leads as they digest more of our content. Anyway, we are at 564 for November which is pretty stock standard. To be honest I didn’t submit my Startup Smart guest blog post last week because I was in book deadline mode, and that probably cost me 20-50 new leads.
Due to the extra 2,890 visitors to the blog this month, my conversion rate has dropped to a whisker under 5%. I don’t like seeing my conversion rate in the 4% realm but really gotta focus on the fact its due to the higher traffic. But this also poses the question, why aren’t the extra 2,980 people converting at my usual 6-7% rate.
I can only attribute it to my mistake of not putting a text call to action (CTA) at the end of the infographic. It would’ve been the perfect CTA because I’ve got printer friendly PDF version for each of the beginner, intermediate and advanced LinkedIn 5 Minute plans. Anyway the visual CTAs just don’t perform as well, for me.
131 referral leads
Even though we were all quiet on the guest blogging front, you can see we still got 45 leads from Smart Company/Startup Smart, and single figure leads from content that went live in previous months on Saasu, Australian Businesswomen’s Network, Social Media Today and Buffer App’s blog.
Good content is the gift that keeps on giving.
Blogging: 7 backlinks
I personally was a bit quiet on the blogging front but the team came to the party with the infographics.
Plus I did an expert interview with Andy Crestodina (the video itself, plus the transcripts make for good quality, easy to produce blog posts), and we had a few guest blog posts. As you can see the infographics were the best performers, on all front — views, comments and backlinks. Guest blogger Daniela Herrera Toro also delivered a great first post.
It send me this weird, broken “test email”, so I tested again, and it worked fine. I thought nothing more of it and sent for real to 8,693 people and it broke it. Argh..!!!
Weird thing was some people who replied to the riddle received the correct email, whilst the majority didn’t and I got an inbox full of .. “is that what you meant to send?” and “I don’t get it!”.
Real strange hey!
Turns out I accidentally didn’t close the bracket on the introductory “Hi [First Name]” which butchered it. This means anyone in my database without a record in the ‘First Name’ field got it fine. About 550 people. The remaining 8,123 got the butchered version.
Sam on our end, and the support team at Campaign Monitor both worked out the problem within minutes of each other, and I was able to send the correct version to the necessary 8,123 people within an hour. I explained what I’d done wrong to let the gremlins break my email, and most people were understanding. What was most unusual as a marketer is that there was no obvious cause, so I couldn’t take immediate action and send an “oops, sorry” email straight away.
Murphy’s Law also meant that this ‘gremlin infested’ email also got the highest open rate of 18.63%. I was able to send my weekend follow up email properly and it got an 8.95% open rate. (This is the same email with a different subject, send on the weekend to people who didn’t open the mid-week edition.) In total, 2,223 people read that week’s newsletter with combined open rate of 27.5%.
In my leads stats, I don’t include ‘offline sources’ of contacts, which I typically get from speaking engagements. In November, I spoke at three events and got 156 new opt-ins from that. I spoke at the Ashton Funeral Symposium, Hepatitis Health Awareness Conference Australia and at the AIM Hot Topic in Sydney.
I always do a business card drawer and offer to email resources to attendees who want to receive them and also opt-in the Bluewire News. I also say they can be in the running for the prize, but not get my emails – all they need to do is cross out their email address or put their name-only on a piece of paper.
You’ll see that open rates for this are usually over 50% with click throughs over 20%.
Confessions of a marketer
At Bluewire, we have a weekly screw-up section in our weekly meeting. I’ve usually got a few, and I’ve gotta put my hand up to the following:
– sending the wrong resources page to the Hepatitis Health Awareness conference attendees (I accidentally linked to the Funeral Symposium resources page)
– Not linking one of the book cover design options. My bad but more about that next month.
– Not closing the [square bracket] on Week 3’s Bluewire News which broke it!
– Not putting the text CTA at the bottom of the infographic posts
My plan is to keep you in the loop with my marketing experiments and take you behind the scenes at Bluewire so you can see the hits, the misses and everything in between. Next month, we’ll have a product launch, so we’ll share the results once they’re out. Plus I’ll tell you all about the book title and book cover design testing we’ve been doing.
Anyway, I’m still on book deadline and am just finishing the manuscript. Happy marketing until next time!
As for my call to action test, here’s the LinkedIn 5 Minute Marketing Plan PDFs I mentioned. They’re a free download ;-)