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Newsletter Lead Generation: CDP Use Case

BlueConic CDP use case to increase customer acquisition and lead generationBlueConic supports your CDP use cases with rich first-party data capabilities. With BlueConic, you can increase customer acquisition by reaching more of the right audience and converting them with the right message.

Generate leads and acquire new subscribers and customers

Generate leads and acquire new customers and subscribers via your newsletter subscription signup. BlueConic provides the tools and process you need to configure newsletter acquisition dialogues and push these new subscribers to your email service provider (ESP) for email marketing campaigns.

Smarter customer engagement

In this use case, you assemble all the pieces that drive smarter customer engagement via newsletter signups. Follow the steps outlined here to communicate with your customers in smarter, more actionable ways that are both creative and dynamic. Building a lead generation use case drives smarter customer engagement. Learn more about how your CDP use cases support value-based outcomes with BlueConic

Value-Based Outcomes.png

Make the business case

Before embarking on any use case implementation, consider your organization’s goals. 

  • How critical is newsletter acquisition to support growth initiatives? 
  • What’s the current state of your newsletter acquisition campaigns? 
  • Are you able to target personalized newsletters to your readers today?
    Or are you using a one-size-fits-all approach? 
  • What is the dollar value of an email address to your organization?

Case studies

Hearst Newspapers: Gifting for Growth

  • 10X increase in signups
  • 50% increase in subscription starts

Advance Local: Scoring with Subscriptions


Before you begin

KEY STEP: Identify stakeholders and key resources

Before you begin, identify your key stakeholders and key hands-on keyboard resources:

  • Project lead
  • BlueConic power users
  • Email marketing team
  • Front-end development
  • Business intelligence/Analytics team

BlueConic Use Case Framework.png

KEY STEP: Use Case Discovery

Strategic questions for your team to identify and answer:

  • Objectives: Which newsletter subscriber list(s) do you want to grow first?
    Hint: Start with 1-2 lists and add more as you grow
  • Target audience: Define which readers qualify as ‘highly engaged’
    Example: Visitors who have 3+ visits 
  • Existing customer data: 
    • ESP data with email addresses and newsletter subscription info
    • Interests – How can you capture reader interests, keywords, NLP metadata, etc.
    • Identification – How can you recognize your readers? Logins, registrations, form input, query string parameters (recommend hashed values)
  • Customer data gaps: ID the additional information you need to collect
    BlueConic Listeners can fill this data gap (BlueConic Interest Ranker 2.0)
  • Segment definitions: Define your target audience
    BlueConic Segment definitions. 
    • Example: Unknown (email address= empty) + Highly engaged (3+ visits) + Top interests include Health and Science
  • Marketing program scope: Which teams do you need to stand up the use case? You may need help to:
    • Integrate with your ESP
    • Set up BlueConic Listeners to collect user interests
    • Set up Listeners to recognize known visitors
    • Set up Segments to target visitors
    • Creative content to present to visitors
    • Configure HTML/CSS in Dialogues
    • Create Dashboards and Insights to track KPIs
  • Measurement: Baseline KPIs to track success, measure ROI
    • Baseline KPIs: Current # of subscribers, Monthly growth rate of subscriber list, % of newsletter subscribers converting to paid subscribers
    • ROI: What’s the value of each email address acquired? Can you replace existing newsletter acquisition purchasing activities by using BlueConic to organically grow subscriber base?
  • Activation: BlueConic Dialogue options and considerations to recommend newsletter to visitors:
    • Lightbox: Highest conversion rates, less effort to configure
    • Notification Bar: At top or bottom of page, or inline (after 2nd or 3rd para)
    • Run on the whole site or key articles? Consider user experience where dialogue should / should not appear
    • A/B testing: Optimize conversion rates via BlueConic A/B testing on CTA


Newsletter Acquisition Use Case Configuration: Detailed Steps

We'll walk you through this use case using a sample newsletter lead generation workflow. In our example, a publisher called Taylor Times wants to increase the number of subscribers to its Health and Science newsletter. Subscribers to this newsletter have proven to be more likely to become paying, high-value subscribers. So instead of targeting all visitors with a prompt to sign up for this specialized newsletter, Taylor Times wants to target only those visitors most likely to subscribe (based on their content consumption). We’ll walk you through the steps you would follow to target visitors who read a lot of health and science content, and how to measure the success of this use case.

Example Use Case Goals

  • Create a lightbox dialogue for the Taylor Times news site to encourage visitors to subscribe to the newsletter.
  • Apart from collecting the email address of your visitor, you also want to know if visitors consume health and science content (which signals they are high-value customers for the newsletter). 
  • You only want to show the notification bar dialogue to users for whom the email address is unknown.
  • Collect email addresses and send to the ESP for activation.

BlueConic features and examples

BlueConic Feature Examples created in this use case
Profile property
  • Email address
  • top20interests
  • [HealthScience] - INTEREST RANKER
  • [HealthScience] – Has Email
  • [HealthScience] – LEAD GEN – Health & Science
  • [HealthScience] – No email & Health Science
  • [HealthScience] - LEAD GEN - Health and Science Subscribers
  • [HealthScience] - LEAD GEN
Dashboard Insights
  • [HealthScience] LEAD GEN Campaign


STEP 1: Define target audience and use case scope

For newsletter signups, you want to target all visitors to your site who:

  • Do not have an email address in their profile


  • Are interested in health and science content

Determine the best way to capture email addresses and how you plan to activate this data.

In order to target these visitors, you’ll want to check first whether you already have their email address. Let’s start by creating a Listener to collect email addresses on site.

STEP 2: Gather data: Listeners 

BlueConic gathers data based on visitors’ actions and interests on your site. For this use case, you’ll use Listeners to collect key information on the audience you’re targeting:

  • Capture user interests based on the content they’ve read
  • Increase the number of subscribers who read health and science content

Configure a Visual Form Listener

You can use a BlueConic listener to collect email addresses when subscribers log in.

  1. Select Listeners from the BlueConic navigation bar.
  2. Click Create Listener and from the gallery select the Visual Form Listener.
  3. Give the listener a name: LEAD GEN – FORM LISTENER
  4. Specify the site and page where the listener will run:
  5. Next, click ‘Add form’ and in the Visual Picker, enter the URL where the form is located ( Hover over the Account Login form and select the ‘Selector form’ button.
  6. A new window pops up. Change the form field to write to the 'Email address' profile property. Note that BlueConic provides an out-of-the-box profile property you can use to store email addresses: 

    Congratulations – You’ve set up your first BlueConic Listener!

STEP 3: Create a Profile Merging Rule 

Now that you’re listening for an email address when someone is on the site, you’ll want to configure a merge rule to tell BlueConic to merge two profiles that have the same email address.

  1. Select Settings > Profile merging from the BlueConic navigation bar. 
  2. Click Add rule > Email address to add a rule to merge two profiles if their email address contains the same value. 
  3. Set the IP check to ‘Regular IP check’.
    Profile Merging Rule BlueConic.png
    It is always suggested to use IP checking when merging profiles, to help make sure the profiles belong to the same individual.
  4. Save your changes.

STEP 4: Use Listeners to collect interest data

Next, in order to target visitors interested in health and science content, you’ll want to collect data on the types of content your visitors are reading. With the Interest Ranker 2.0 Listener, you can listen for the meta keywords in each article that someone reads. You’ll want to have tags somewhere in each article that indicate the categories it’s associated with. Our example site, the Taylor Times, uses meta tags. To see these tags, open an article in Taylor Times, right-click and choose Inspect. From the Elements, search for “keywords” to see the keywords associated with an article.

Let’s start by creating a profile property to store interests and then configuring a listener to collect them.

Create a profile property to hold readers’ interests

To collect interests, create a profile property to hold visitors’ top 20 interests. 

  1. Select Properties from the BlueConic navigation bar.
  2. Click the Add profile property button, give it a name (for example, top20interests), and define the following fields:
  3. Save your changes.

Configure an Interest Ranker 2.0 Listener

  1. To configure the listener, select Listeners from the BlueConic navigation bar and select Interest Ranker 2.0 from the gallery.
  2. Give your listener a name. For example: [HealthScience] – INTEREST RANKER
  3. In Step 1 under ‘Select channels’, specify that you want to listen on
  4. In Step 2, keep the default setting: ‘detect any interest’
  5. In Step 3, click the ‘Front-end detector’ button. Enter an article URL into the detector:

    You’ll see five methods for collecting interests. By default, the Meta tags method retrieves interests from the meta tag called keywords. The other methods don’t look like they’re picking up valuable interests. 
  6. Turn on the ‘Meta tags’ method and leave the others off.
  7. Once you click ‘Continue’, you’ll see that BlueConic will add 2 points on page load for each interest found in the meta tag “Keywords.”
  8. In Step 4, you specify that you want to store the top 20 interests in the profile property created earlier (top20interests). Set a decay rate of 60 days. If someone hasn’t engaged with a particular interest, the number of points assigned to it will gradually decline.
  9. In Step 5, click ‘See collected interests.’ Navigate around Taylor Times. As you view articles, you’ll see the interests collected from the meta tags.

  10. Finally, Save your settings and turn the listener On to start collecting data.

STEP 5: Create Segments

We’ve now configured two listeners to support the newsletter acquisition use case. Next, let’s create segments to target the audience for this use case. As a reminder, here’s our target audience:

Target all visitors who:

  • Do not have an email address


  • Are interested in health and science content


Let’s begin by creating a segment of every visitor who has an email address.

  1. Select Segments from the BlueConic navigation bar and click the Add segment button.
  2. Give your segment a name. For example: [HealthScience] – Has Email
  3. In the segment definition, select the email address profile property you created earlier. Click ‘contains any of’ and select ‘must not be empty’.

    Next, let’s create a segment of all profiles who don’t have an email address. To do this you create an inverse segment. From the dropdown next to the ‘Save’ button, click ‘Create inverse’.
    BlueConic automatically creates a new segment based on the inverse logic of the original segment that you created.
  4. Our first segment is complete. We can now target visitors who don’t have an email address.

Next, let’s create a segment of all visitors who are interested in health and science content.

  1. To create a segment based on visitor interests, start by browsing the sample site so BlueConic can listen and collect data.
  2. Open the BlueConic Simulator, go to and browse articles under the Health and Science category. As you browse, you’ll see ‘health and science’ as one of your interests.
  3. Next, go to Segments and create a new segment. You can call it [HealthScience] – LEAD GEN – Health & Science
  4. Select the profile property we created for the Interest Ranker 2.0 Listener (top20interests). Then select ‘health and science’ from the collected interests. (Hint: if you don’t see health and science in the list of interests, view a few more health and science articles in the BlueConic Simulator. There could be a small delay.)

Use the BlueConic Simulator for testing

You’ve now created two segments to support this use case. You can use the BlueConic Simulator to confirm that the segment logic is working as expected.

  1. Go to the Simulator and in the lower left-hand corner, click ‘Show all segments’. In the window, find the two segments you just created and pin them by clicking the spectacles icon. You should see a green check mark next to both segments. This indicates that your profile is associated with these segments.

We can now confirm that our first segment identifies profiles who have an email address, and our second segment identifies profiles who engage with health and science content. However, we want to target visitors who don’t have an email address, right? Let’s create a single segment for this use case.

  1. Select Segments from the BlueConic navigation bar and create a new segment. Name it [HealthScience] – No email & Health Science
  2. Under ‘Select Condition’, pick ‘Segments’ and then search for the inverse segment created earlier. Add this segment. Then add the ‘Health and sciences’ segment. This new segment will only target profiles who are associated with both segments.

STEP 6: Create a Dialogue

In previous steps, you’ve created listeners and segments to identify and target individuals who don’t have an email address and are interested in health and science content. 

Next, you add a BlueConic Dialogue to the site to prompt visitors to register for the health and science newsletter and use the dialogue to capture their subscriber information.

  1. In the BlueConic navigation bar, select Dialogues. Then click Add dialogue and create a Lightbox dialogue.
  2. Name the dialogue, for example: [HealthScience] - LEAD GEN - HEALTH & SCIENCE NEWSLETTER.
    When creating the dialogue, you must identify the “Who” -- which is the segment to deliver this to. 
  3. In the dialogue’s Who tab, select the segment you created earlier.
  4. In the When tab, leave the default settings. The example site, Taylor Times, will likely set the views per visitor to 1 time per day. For now, leave the default system settings.
  5. In the Where tab, add our sample site, Taylor Times. Plan to show the dialogue on any page on the site.
  6. In the What tab, click Load examples in the right-hand panel and select the ‘Collect email address’ example dialogue.
  7. Click the Edit button in the dialogue, go to the rich text editor, and change the text to read ‘Subscribe to our Health & Science newsletter.’
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Double-click in the email address field. A new editor pops up where you can edit the BlueConic form. When the end user submits the form, BlueConic writes their email address to a profile property.
  10. Change the profile property to the Email address profile property you created earlier.
  11. Click the Optimization link to the far right.
    By default, BlueConic sets a 5% hold-out or control group that will not get the experience in the primary dialogue. For this use case, Taylor Times wants to target all visitors, so set the control group to 0%.
  12. Turn the dialogue On and Save your settings.

Testing your dialogue in the Simulator

  1. Open the BlueConic Simulator to test the dialogue. Notice that the dialogue doesn’t display because your profile property already has an email address. 
  2. You can activate the ‘Show all segments’ field and confirm that you are not part of the dialogue’s target audience because you have an email address associated with your profile.
  3. Delete your profile. Click the Clean up button so your profile will be deleted.
  4. Browse some articles in the Health and Science category. You should see the subscription dialogue pop up. Submit your email address and confirm that it’s stored to your profile.
  5. Next, create a segment of all profiles that have submitted their email address.
  6. Name the segment, for example: [HealthScience] - LEAD GEN - Health and Science Subscribers.
  7. Search for the profile property called ‘Variants converted directly’ and select all profiles that have converted on your new dialogue.

STEP 7: Configure a Connection to your Email Service Provider

Once someone signs up for the Health & Science newsletter, Taylor Times pushes these new subscribers to your email service provider (ESP). 

Next, you configure a connection to push signups to your ESP. To export data from BlueConic, you create and authenticate your connection, add an export goal, and follow the steps laid out in the goal to select data to exchange and specify how data should be mapped between BlueConic and your ESP. 

  1. From the BlueConic navigation bar, select Connections. Click Add connection, and from the connections gallery, choose your ESP. For this example, we’ll use the Sailthru Connection.
  2. Name your connection, for example: [HealthScience] - LEAD GEN.
  3. In the connection, under Set up and run, authenticate your connection to the ESP. In our Sailthru example, we can enter the API key, which can be retrieved in Sailthru via Settings (gear icon) > Setup > API and Postbacks > API Key and Secret. Click the locker icon to see API key details. 
  4. Enter an API secret, which can be retrieved in Sailthru via Settings > Setup > API and Postbacks > API Key and Secret. Click the locker icon to see API secret details.
  5. Enter your Time zone, which can be retrieved in Sailthru via Settings > Business > Timezone.
  6. Add an Export goal and in the first step, add the segment you just created containing all the profiles that have converted on your dialogue. You’ll see one profile is available to be exported (your profile).
  7. Next define a linking identifier to match email addresses from BlueConic to your ESP's stored email addresses. In the BlueConic side of the mapping, select the Email address identifier you created previously.
  8. Map the email address field from BlueConic to your ESP. In the future, you can map additional fields such as interests collected, etc. In this example, we match BlueConic fields to the Sailthru custom field name the value from BlueConic should be written to.
  9. Activate the checkbox in Step 4 to create new profiles in the ESP.
  10. Finally Save your settings and check the box next to the export goal in the left-hand panel. In the Set up and run page, click Run now to run the connection.
    In the Run history, you’ll see that one record was created in the ESP for this export.
  11. As a final step, log in to your ESP and confirm that your subscription record was successfully created.

STEP 8: Create an Insights Dashboard to measure your success

As a final step of this use case, you’ll want to report on the success of your campaign. For this use case, the KPI you’ll want to measure is the number of email addresses acquired through this campaign. 

To do this, we can create a Dialogues Table Insight to track performance of your dialogue.

  1. Select Dashboards from the BlueConic navigation bar and give the dashboard a name, for example: [HealthScience] LEAD GEN Campaign
  2. Click Add insight and choose the Dialogues Table Insight.
  3. In the Text filter section, enter the word ‘health’ to show dialogues with the name health.
  4. The Insight table will show the number of views, clicks, and conversions for your use case dialogue.

Additional ways to measure your success 

  • Ratio of conversions/views 
  • Number of new email subscribers added per month (segment size over time insight)
  • Engagement of those newsletter subscribers (do they have a higher open and CTR in emails? Do they have a higher number of visits, page views, time on site, etc.)

Using BlueConic dashboards and insights, you can generate visualizations of your key indicators. For example, you can visualize the number of new email subscribers added per month in the Segment Size Over Time Insight. 

With the segment of new subscribers, you can measure whether this audience has a higher open and CTR rate for emails, higher number of page visits, views, time on site, etc.

Try using the Dialogues Table insight to see these key results:

  1. Increase in leads (for example, the number of leads per month, quarter, year)
  2. Increase in lead capture conversion rate
  3. Increase or improvement in segmentation by lead type
  4. Lowered CPA for defined target audiences

Use insights and dashboards to discover what percentage of your customers are known vs unknown and work to gather more identifiers. See Measuring your customer recognition ratio for details.

Next steps

Now that you’ve tackled a lead gen use case, you’ll want to move on to other use cases to deepen and measure engagement. Media and publishing organization typically tackle use cases such as:

  • Progressive profiling: Refine audience segments by asking subscribers to provide small bits of information about their interests.
  • Personalized content recommendations: Deliver dynamic, individualized content recommendations onsite or via email based on user interests and other data.

Vertical Use Case Ideas

Media and publishing CDP resources and user stories


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