[Case Study] The KISSmetrics Checklist to Email Marketing

Article written by Claudiu Murariu

The journey from visitor to customer

KISSmetrics – one of the best web analytics platforms out there

Used tools:
PadiAct – a platform that converts visitors to email leads
AWeber – the email service provider of choice for major blogs and web publishers

Use targeting and segmentation to convert as many visitors into email subscribers. Implement a top notch email marketing campaign based on a mix of autoresponders and regular newsletters to engage subscribers.

300% increase in email subscription from day one


Start-ups do it, blogs do it, even social media companies do it. Yes, we all do it: email marketing.

No surprise there, but some do it much better than the others. One such example is the well known company with one of the most popular marketing blog on the web: KISSmetrics.

They are also one of the most creative and efficient users of Padiact, a product that we have built for increasing subscribers and email leads. That offered us an insider’s look into one of the best email marketing strategies we have seen out there.

Here it is, with their permission, the KISSmetrics Email Marketing Checklist: from visitor to customer.

Great content: checked

KISSmetrics publishes on average 4.5 articles a week. Day to day articles get an average of 300 social media shares (tweets, likes, etc) while their top articles have more than 5000 share signals.

Every 10 minutes there are 5-10 tweets mentioning @KISSmetrics, one of their blogposts or one of their 50 infographics. They are the envy of any software company when it comes to social media sharing and generating traffic.

So yes, KISSmetrics does an amazing job driving people to their blog via social networks. However, that traffic comes to the website to read an article not to buy a B2B product… not right away at least.

Lesson learned from @KISSmetrics: Don’t ask blog readers to buy a product. Ask them to subscribe to your email program! (tweet this)

Target engaged readers: checked

People can subscribe to the blog via a widget in the sidebar, but KISSmetrics decided to get one step ahead and target different segments of traffic with specific messages to get them to subscribe. A targeted visitor is asked only once: if they have decided not to subscribe, their decision is respected.

To do this they used PadiAct, that allows to set up different campaigns for different segments of traffic.

People are targeted based on the topic of the content they are reading. They have run 3 different targeting campaigns:

  • new visitors, marketers interested in Facebook advertising (identified by the articles they are reading)
  • new visitors, marketers of SAAS applications (identified by the marketing campaigns that brought them to the website)
  • new visitors, marketers that are reading other specific articles (identified by the articles they are reading)

After more than 20 adjustments made to the texts in the pop-ups, these are the final variations that assured the highest subscription rates:

1. The Facebook related campaign (the most successful one)


2. The SAAS Marketers campaign


3. The generic campaign


Lesson learned from @KISSmetrics: Target the right people, with the right message and get their email address! (tweet this)

Nurture them: checked

Each time a person is subscribed, they are sent directly by PadiAct to AWeber, the email service provider used by KISSmetrics for this project.

The moment users confirm their subscription, they receive the download link with the promised content. Easily done with the help of the auto-responders setup from AWeber.


KISSmetrics offers subscribers a very easy to read 20 page guide, written with a personal tone, full of insights, ideas and tips on Facebook marketing. They raise to the expectations of the subscribers and they deliver.

They invests resources in such a strategy to make sure that at least one of the following scenarios will come true for subscribers:

  • when needing an advanced web analytics platform, KISSmetrics will be on the table
  • when somebody else needs a recommendation for such a platform, KISSmetrics will be offered as a suggestion by subscribers

Lesson learned from @KISSmetrics: If people subscribe to an insane offer, give them an insane offer! (tweet this)

Convert them: checked

Engaged visitors are converted to subscribers, they are nurtured so what is left is to convert them to customers.

When visitors confirm their subscriptions, besides the premium content, they are also offered the chance to get a free trial of their product.


What I love about this strategy is that they take advantage, in a good sense, of the fact that you already said Yes when you subscribed and confirmed, so you are more likely to say Yes to their next offer as well: a free trial of their product.

Lesson learned from @KISSmetrics: Add value to every action of visitors, subscribers, users and customers (tweet this)

What have we learned from KISSmetrics?

It starts with top notch content
Sharing free and great quality content is a proven way to increase the number of people that come to your website. Top KISSmetrics articles get thousand of shares on social media websites.

Segmentation and targeting can increase subscription rates by 300%
Converting visitors into subscribers is much easier than converting them directly into customers from their first visit to the website. Using segmentation and targeting, KISSmetrics managed to increase the subscription rate by 300% landing them a 4digit number of new monthly subscribers.

Autoresponders work great for starting a relationship with subscribers
Raising up to the expectations of subscribers and nurturing them with further great content. By doing this, KISSmetrics maximizes their chances that their subscribers will become customers or recommend their product to a friend.

[Case Study] The KISSmetrics Checklist to Email Marketing by

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