Growing a valuable email list with high ROI is a patient process. But, let’s be honest, most of us aren’t that patient. Part 2 of this 3 part series with Mailjet’s friend and client Loïc Le Meur, successful entrepreneur and founder of Leade.rs and LeWeb, explores how he Growth Hacked his Leade.rs email list to optimize subscriber engagement and gain more followers, fast.

Psst – Did you miss Part 1? Le Meur reveals why he went email-first, how he jump-started an email list from 0 and the content strategy that turned subscribers into big-time fans. Head here for the full story.

Facebook Lead Ads – Le Meur’s Weapon of Choice

In 2016 Mailjet launched an integration with Facebook Lead Ads and Le Meur immediately jumped on it. It’s understandably why. Le Meur had a newsletter signup widget embedded on his website for Leade.rs so that his visitors knew right away that he had a great newsletter that they should signup for.

Loic Le Meur Sign Up

The problem was that it meant his newsletter sign up form was only getting in front of people who already knew his site. What about his social following or those who didn’t yet know Le Meur? This is exactly what Facebook Lead Ads lets you do: gain new subscribers by putting your newsletter subscription right in front of your target audience.

“I love filling out forms” – said no one. Which is why Lead Ads are Facebook Ads that, when tapped on, instantly display a form whose fields are pre-populated using their Facebook profile information. In the case of Le Meur, he created Lead Ads that enticed people to join his newsletter and, in one click, they would be signed up without ever leaving Facebook.

Here’s an example of what the process looks like:

Facebook Lead Ads Example

In terms of Lead Ad Targeting, Le Meur chose two audiences:

  1. People who currently liked the Loïc Le Meur Facebook page
  2. Friends of people who like his Facebook page.

The value of this first target group is often overlooked. People who like the Loïc Le Meur Facebook page do not always visit the page directly. They instead rely on receiving news from Le Meur’s page directly in their Facebook feed. That being said, Facebook’s algorithm does not diffuse every post into the newsfeeds of every Le Meur fan (a main reason why Le Meur moved his strategy to focus on email in the first place). By targeting his existing audience, he got his newsletter subscription form in front of those who already showed interest in what he had to say, but maybe didn’t realize he also had a newsletter.

So what were the results? Shortly after kicking Lead Ads off in 2016, Le Meur gained over 1500 new subscribers for an average of $2 per signup! An excellent cost per acquisition for Le Meur, as it’s this audience whom highly converts when he promotes tickets to attend his event Leade.rs. And, thanks to the magic of the Mailjet integration, the new contacts were directly added into the appropriate contact list in Mailjet. No need to export/import.

Making a great first impression – Le Meur’s Welcome Series

Now that Le Meur was investing ad dollars into gaining new subscribers, retention became even more critical. Marketing automation in the form of an email welcome series was the answer to this.

When you enter a store or a restaurant, the way the staff welcomes you can make or break your experience. The digital world is the same. After signing up for a newsletter, the customer will judge the value of the newsletter subscription based on the initial emails they receive. It’s for this reason that an email welcome series can be crucial to subscriber retention, especially considering they tend to have a much higher interaction and click-through rate than a regular newsletter.

Le Meur himself is not a developer. So to avoid complicated coding, Le Meur used Mailjet’s email marketing automation tools to easily design an email welcome series that was activated upon signup. Welcome series can include a string of different emails that are deployed one after another. Le Meur decided to keep his simple, one email that is written as a very personal message; sharing Le Meur’s own email address and explaining details that can avoid his newsletters hitting subscriber’s SPAM or Gmail Promotions tabs:

Loic Le Meur Welcome Email

Does it work? You bet it does. Compared to the already excellent performance of his regular newsletters, Le Meur has a slightly higher open and click rate on this Welcome Email showing that new subscribers are eager to receive and take action to what Le Meur has to say here.

Jumping

Up Next

The email list that Le Meur grew from 0-32,000 subscribers in 1 year continues to yield a higher ROI than social media and Search Engine Marketing. For example, this recent Paris-based event Leade.rs was completely sold out, and with a large part of this success thanks to his newsletter. For this reason, Le Meur will continue his concentration on email-first and soon add a number of other list growth and retention hacks including:

  • Email List Segmentation – to reach out to his most engaged subscribers with special updates and additional offerings.
  • Cross-promoting his upcoming platform with other highly successful email based businesses.
  • Testing email ambassador programs where perks, presents and deals are given to those subscribers who convince others to signup to the newsletter.

To be continued.

Stay tuned on the Mailjet blog for the final blog post in our series that will dive into the tech side of how Loïc Le Meur has been able to accomplish such success with email. In the meantime, stay up to date on Le Meur’s journey, follow him on Twitter, Medium and, of course, his seriously awesome newsletter.