Tackling audience development for a start up ecommerce project
Over the past year, I have worked on a ground-up build of a brand new eCommerce company in the Motorsport industry. My business partner Scott and I have taken the site from nothing to net revenue positive and a thriving community in 12 months.
One of our biggest challenges was to drive audience growth, yet with little initial momentum on a brand new domain, classic retail SEO (gaining traffic from product pages and category page rankings) was not the answer.
What we did have was the capacity to build content. And lots of it. But if we did, there’d be almost no traffic at first. This post looks at how we solved that problem.
Starting at the top of the funnel
Our solution was structured like this: build a 20 part video course, hosted on Youtube (with video embeds and a transcription on multiple pages on the main site). Paid promotion using Facebook Lead Ads and organic promotion / seeding at Reddit (Read more about Reddit here) and various relevant Motorsport resources.
While you could sign up for the course on the site, the best performing source of sign-ups was Facebook Lead Ads.
Our targeted audience would click ‘Sign up’ in the ad below and have their details sent to MailChimp via Zapier immediately.
Set up correctly, Facebook Lead Ads is amazing.
Create an ad, create a lead form, choose your targeting and that’s basically it. While I’m not going into the technical setup of Facebook Lead Ads, we felt the cost per lead (and the click through to the website on the back of a successful signup) was well worth the investment.
Once you’ve got the ad running, you need to get the email address over to Mailchimp. For this, we used Zapier:
By creating a Facebook Lead ad to MailChimp “Zap”, the email address is sent to an automated MailChimp list and the user receives a welcome email followed by a weekly course instalment.
Each step in the automated queue looks something like this:
Over the space of a 1-month campaign (on an extremely limited budget) targeting Canada, the UK, rest of Europe and Australia, we grew our email subscriber list by a very respectable 3,500 emails.
I think a similar model can almost certainly be used for a number of different types of businesses. Have a think about the potential to re-purpose your content into a 10 – 20 part course and have a look at using Lead Ads to get that precious initial momentum.