You’ve probably heard that growing your email list is important for your business. It’s not hard to believe when email conversion rates are 3 times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion.
So what about all that time you put into building your social media accounts, engaging followers, and crafting good content? How much is your follower count worth?
Here’s the great news: social media is not only good for building your brand and finding new fans, but it can also help you build your email list. The truth is, each social media channel can be leveraged to help you grow the number of email subscribers, and in this post I’ll show you how.
Before we dive into the specifics of using social media for building an email list, I want to show you a map. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the opt-in forms, pop-ups, content upgrades, and lead generation tools available. This map will help keep all things list-building organized in your mind.
List building overview:
- You can grow your email list on your website (read this post for ideas and tools)
- You can grow your email list outside of your website:
- Using guest posts (check out this resource for help with guest posting)
- Using social media (read on below)
In this post, I’ve covered 7 ways you can use social media to build your email list, plus there is a bonus tip at the end!
Give them a try and see how they might boost your list building game.
7. Collect email addresses on Twitter
You can collect email addresses on Twitter, and make it almost effortless for your followers to sign up if you use Twitter Lead Generation Cards. To set it up, you need to sign up for Twitter Ads and put a credit card on file. You credit card won’t be charged if you just create a lead generation card and tweet it. You will have options for paid promotion, but it’s optional.
To create your first lead gen card, go to ads.twitter.com, choose “Creatives” at the top, and select “Cards” from the drop-down menu.
Click “Create Lead Generation Card” button on the top right. On the new screen, choose the first option at the top, “Lead Generation” (it should be selected by default).
Now the fun part: create your lead gen card! Make sure your copy and image are eye-catching and descriptive, because, first, you want people to notice it, and second, you want to give them a reason to sign up. Many people will be just fine simply hitting a “follow” button on your Twitter profile, so you should show them the benefits of joining your list.
You can even create a lead magnet and give it to people who signed up on Twitter! To set it up, first choose where you want to host the freebie, because you’ll need a URL (I usually host freebies in my WordPress media library). When you have a freebie URL, go to card editing and open “Destination URL settings”. Paste your URL and create a “post-submit” message.
Twitter doesn’t automatically redirect new subscribers and instead offers a link to the file, so it’s good to add a message that explains where to find the freebie.
After you created your lead generation card, tweet it, and then pin that tweet to your profile, so it’s the first thing your visitors see on your Twitter page.
6. Create a call to action on your Facebook page
A) Add a “Sign Up” button to your Facebook page
If you have a Facebook page for your business, make sure you give your fans an option to subscribe to your list by adding a signup button at the very top of your page.
Here’s how to set it up: click “Create Call To Action” button on your FB page. Choose “Sign Up” from the drop-down menu, and add a link to your website.
The newly created CTA button will take users to your website, so either make sure that the signup form is front & center on your site, or create a landing page with the sole purpose of signing people up for your list (and link the “Sign Up” button to that landing page).
If you want the signup process to happen directly on Facebook, you’ll need to integrate your email service provider (ESP) with your Facebook page. Here are instructions for MailChimp. If you use a different ESP, google “[your ESP name] + signup form on Facebook page” and it should pop right up.
B) Add a header image description
Every image you upload to your Facebook page allows you to add a description, including your header image. Don’t waste this opportunity and add a short description of your brand and link to a signup form or a landing page.
5. Invite people to subscribe in your Instagram posts
Instagram doesn’t give as much list building leverage, but you can always find creative ways to grow your email list through this platform.
First of all, have a link to your website or a landing page in your Instagram bio. Next, feature images that promote your lead magnets, with an easy way (short links) for your followers to locate them.
I’ve even seen some Instagram influencers ask followers to leave their email address in the comments, so there are always ways you can convert more Instagram followers into your email subscribers.
Melyssa Griffin of The Nectar Collective routinely invites her Instagram followers to join her newsletter or webinars in a beautiful way on Instagram:
4. Turn Periscope into an email signup funnel
Periscope is the fastest growing social media channel of all times, so you might want to think about how to incorporate it into your marketing, if you haven’t already. It’s one of the best places to connect with your audience and engage with them on a deeper level. Here is the formula for growing your list through Periscope:
- Deliver valuable and actionable content during your scope;
- Ask viewers to share the scope with their followers;
- Talk about a freebie that relates to your scope;
- Invite your audience to download that freebie.
Make sure it’s super easy for your followers to download the freebie. Create a simple link, like yourwebsite.com/periscope and put it in your Periscope profile. To make it even easier for the viewers to locate the freebie, use props like a piece of paper with the handwritten link during your scopes.
If you offer valuable info in your freebie and make it easy to get it, signing up will be a no-brainer for your viewers.
3. Ask for email addresses on Snapchat
Snapchat is another fast growing channel that is very addictive with certain demographics. If you’re using Snapchat as one of your primary channels, make sure you post stories regularly (at least every other day). Make them truly interesting and share a bit of your personal self in them, because that’s why people like Snapchat — it’s real.
Your followers can comment on your snaps, so make sure to talk about your freebie and ask them to comment with their email address if they want to get it. This approach will work only if you’re new on Snapchat, but as the number of your followers grows, this technique won’t be scalable.
Then you can simply share a link and invite your followers to sign up for your email list if they want to get more of your content or stay in touch and be the first ones to hear updates from you.
PRO-tip: If you’re having people comment on your snaps with their email address, create a special welcome email for those subscribed through Snapchat. In the welcome message, mention how they were subscribed, since they’ll be checking their inbox at a later time and might have forgotten that they’ve given you their email address.
2. Drive traffic to your opt-in freebies via Pinterest
Pinterest is amazing for directing traffic to your blog.
To grow your email list through Pinterest, you need to consistently share your blog posts on Pinterest, especially the ones that include content upgrades.
For each blog post that you want to share, create a vertical image that describes what your post is about and mentions your freebie. That will direct traffic to your blog, and if your content upgrades are irresistible, that traffic will convert to email subscribers.
Here is an example from Olyvia:
PRO-tip: Join group boards and start posting there consistently. Your pins will get exposure in front of much larger audiences, which will give a boost to your blog traffic. To make pinning almost effortless, try BoardBooster, which can schedule your pins and refine your boards.
For example, I have 100 followers on Pinterest. I’m also a contributor to Blogging Boost Board, which has 11,000 followers. Where do you think my pins have a higher chance of getting seen?
1. Turn your slide decks into email collectors on SlideShare
SlideShare is a very specific channel, and will only suit you if you make lots of slide decks / PowerPoint presentations. If you do, post them on SlideShare and start collecting leads through their lead generation tool, which lets you ask for the viewer’s email address after a certain slide.
The conversion rates on SlideShare are astonishing, so do make use of this channel if SlideShare is a good fit for your brand.
Bonus: add a signup link to your email signature
Now, this is not a social media channel, but that’s what I mean by ABC (always be collecting)!
Put thought into crafting a catchy email signature, because you can set it and forget it, while it will reach hundreds of people every month (think of how many emails you send daily).
Here is an example:
Want to make your signature stand out with beautiful design and photos? Check out WiseStamp, a free and easy email signature solution, with lots of email apps and services, an easy-to-add browser extension, and fast email signature generator.
PRO-tip: Add a tracked link and record how many site visits / email signups your signature brings. EXTRA BONUS: Consider adding a promo code and tracking that. There’s value to capture in your email signature, so play around and see what you can come up with.
Over to you
We’ve talked through a lot of techniques for growing your email list, but don’t spread yourself thin over all of them, there are so many other techniques such as using webinars or paid search for example. Start with optimizing your primary social media channel and maximize that channel’s potential for your email list growth. Then move to the next one. Test different approaches and watch your email list grow faster and faster.
What tools outside of your website are you using to grow your list? Lets chat in the comments.