How to Build an Email List Using Social Media
Email marketing is widely regarded as one of the most successful online marketing tactics for businesses of all types, offering a return on investment of $38 for every $1 and outperforming search and all of the social media channels when it comes to conversion rates.
But no business can hope for positive results from an email marketing campaign unless they’ve first managed to build a decent-sized email list. If no one’s receiving your emails, how do you expect them to do anything for you?
That’s why building your email list is so important. Only once you have a list can you consistently get in touch with your most valuable customers and promote content and deals directly to the people who most want to see them.
In short, much depends on building that email list. You should employ every marketing tool at your disposal to help you in that purpose, and social media provides a number of options for aiding in your efforts.
1. Include email signup CTAs on your profiles.
Surprisingly few brands take advantage of their main social media profile space to encourage people to sign up for their email list, but anyone likely to navigate to your main social media page is someone in the target audience for joining your email list.
For Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, this is as simple as adding a link to an email signup form to the bio in your profile. Take a cue from Content Marketing Institute: Create the signup form in your email marketing software and drop the link into the space available.
For Facebook, you can make it part of the menu that shows up on your page. Different email marketing software products provide options for this, each with unique instructions. Here’s where to find the instructions for several of the main email marketing providers:
2. Offer deals.
A little incentive never hurt anybody. Many businesses use promises of discounts or deals to encourage customers to sign up for the email list. In addition to promoting these on your website, share those offers on your social media platforms as well. You may capture some followers there who haven’t seen the offer on your website and are excited for the chance to take it.
3. Run a contest.
Another fun way to incentivize your potential customers is by using contests. Many brands have used contests to gain social media followers, but you can also employ them to earn email subscribers. Use posts on social media to drive followers to a landing page where they provide their email address to enter to win.
4. Promote great content.
Both social media and email lists are prime resources for promoting the high quality content you create (assuming you’re already doing content marketing, if not consider getting started sooner rather than later). That means there’s a high likelihood that your social media followers are the same people interested in getting updates about your content by email.
To take advantage of that, use social media to promote content that includes CTAs to sign up for your email list. If you create gated content – high value content (usually longform) that you put behind an email signup form – create a social media strategy to help promote it and increase the sign-up rate.
5. Use paid advertising.
There’s a lot you can do with social media for free, but the best way to expand your reach is by using paid social. Without including social ads in your strategy, everything else you do on this list will only ever reach your current followers. For any chance of reaching the people in your audience that don’t already know about your brand or social accounts, you have to invest in social ad campaigns.
The good news is that social media sites generally have really great targeting options, so you can use your ads to reach the exact people you know are most likely to be interested in signing up for your email list.
You can combine paid advertising with many of the other options on the list. Create social ad campaigns to make your posts about contests and deals and gated content go further. And Twitter even allows you to create lead generation cards that embed an email signup option into the ad itself.
Your email list enables you to accomplish so much more with your prospective customers. Use social media to push them toward the channel that will give you the chance to better interact with them and grow your relationship.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.