Anyone who’s done customer outreach via email marketing understands that the bigger your subscriber list, the more people you can reach with any given email campaign. That means more leads and sales. An additional benefit of a large readership: the ability to segment those readers into groups based on demographics, buying habits and other factors. Targeting your readers with messages they want also increases your leads and sales.
In other words, increasing your email list is all upside. Yet many business owners don’t utilize all the tools at their disposal. One of the most powerful ways to grow your email list is with social media. Here are four ways to put your social media accounts to work:
1. Use a Facebook sign-up button
A business page on Facebook is essential in today’s digital landscape. Assuming your business already has a Facebook page, you can add a call to action button to your business page, and set it to collect sign-ups. When you create the button, point it to a page on your website where the visitor inputs his or her contact information. A VerticalResponse landing page or plugin makes this information especially easy to collect. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, now is the time to get one.
Here’s VerticalResponse’s sign-up button on Facebook, along with a few other examples:
2. Offer exclusive content, but keep it gated until followers provide their email addresses
If you want something from your social media visitors — in this case, their email addresses to add to your subscriber list — offer something in return. Handing over premium content (rich information that isn’t easily accessible elsewhere online) in exchange for an email address is a tried-and-true practice.
This exclusive content could be, for instance, product-specific tips and tricks, thought leadership related to the services you provide, downloadable white papers or ebooks, or a link to a video not yet available to the general public. Be sure it’s something of value or interest to your followers and visitors. If it’s not enticing, they won’t trade their email address for it.
Our partner company Deluxe recently offered exclusive early access to Small Business Revolution videos in exchange for email sign-ups:
3. Use Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are extremely effective at narrowing in on your target audience and enticing them to take the action you want, thanks to Facebook’s wealth of data on its users. Use a low-cost Facebook Ad campaign to put your advertising in front of the people most likely to want and need your services. You can control the call to action in a Facebook Ad, so take this opportunity to solicit email sign-ups.
For more on Facebook Ads, download our free eBook.
4. Create a contest or giveaway
Everyone loves contests and freebies. Create a contest or giveaway to promote on your social media channels. Advertise that you’re giving away a free product or service, and consider asking users to submit photos or videos of themselves using your products. Or simply allow anyone willing to provide their email address with a contest entry. Direct your social followers to a landing page you’ve created to collect the entries. Make sure your website is updated to send visitors to the entry page as well. Capture participants’ email addresses and make it clear that entering the contest also entitles them to receive your email campaigns.
Don’t forget to create a fun and catchy hashtag to go with the contest, so you can promote it across your social channels. Encourage your followers to share it with their own networks, possibly offering them additional entries for helping spread the word.
Prolific romance author Marie Lavender recently ran a contest offering a whopping 164 prizes, but required an email address in order for people to participate:
Bonus tip: Show potential readers what they’re missing
Another way to encourage people to sign up for your email list is to show them what they’re missing by not subscribing. Publish your past newsletters, or parts of them, on your social channels. This gives your followers an idea of all the useful news, information and specials they’re missing by not being on your list.
For more than 100 additional ways to grow your email list, check out these can’t-miss tips and ideas.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.
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