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How to Use Social Media to Build Your Email List

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Email has a long-standing reputation as one of the most valuable assets an online business owner can have. And rightfully so. It’s one of the few things that you actually own. What I mean by this is you don’t own your tweets. A great social media campaign is important, too, but it’s always a good idea to put the majority of your effort into something that — at the end of the day — you can walk away with owning one hundred percent.

Since you need to be on social media, it’s a good idea to leverage your time spent there for building your email list. How is this possible? Not to worry, we’ve put together a few easy-to-implement tips for you that’ll get your social list building started off right:

Integrate Sign-up Forms Into Your Social Profiles

If you’ve got a decent social following, it’s time to use that fact to your advantage. This means prompting your followers to sign up for your list. Of course, coming outright and stating it that way — especially over and over again — can be downright annoying. A good approach on Twitter and Google+ is to simply include a link to the sign-up form in your bio. It’s non-intrusive but still present, which gives people who genuinely like what you have to say the opportunity to keep tabs on what you do.

Lead Cards

articleimage379Lead Cards

Another way you can encourage more email list sign-ups on Twitter is to use the Lead Generation Cards. These do cost some money to implement, so you’ll need to dip into your advertising budget a bit. But the potential here is massive. You see, the card allows your followers to sign up for your email list without having to open a new browser tab, leave Twitter, or leave your profile. The Card expands down to reveal a sign-up button — much like Multimedia Cards expand to reveal videos or images. Just focus on crafting a really compelling call-to-action in the accompanying tweet and you’re golden.

Facebook Tab Apps

Facebook displays a series of tabs across the top of your Page. These often say things like Photos or Notes. However, you can actually add more apps here to customize what appears on your Page. There are several apps for integrating your other social profiles into tabs on your Facebook Page. But you can also add an email sign-up form into one of these tabs. Pretty cool, right? With some rearranging, this tab can appear right at the top of your Page for as long as you want, always offering a prompt to sign-up to interested visitors.

Several different newsletter services offer Facebook Signup Apps, by the way, so your options definitely aren’t limited. We’re talking MailChimp, iContact, and ConstantContact to name a few.

Include a Sign-up Link on Every Page of Your Site

No, it’s not technically on your social media profiles, but that doesn’t change the fact that you absolutely need to include a link to a sign-up form on every single page of your site. When you’re engaged with people on social, they’re more likely to click through to your website. And if they happen to miss that sign-up form link in your Twitter bio, they’re definitely not going to miss it on your website. If you make sure it’s there, that is.

Much of the time, your social media traffic will point to internal pages on your site. Your followers will click links that you post. They usually aren’t going directly to your homepage. So, if you only have the sign-up form on your homepage, these social followers are going to miss it. Don’t let that happen! It’s easy to integrate a sign-up form into your sidebar or directly within your blog posts.

Share Exclusive Content That Links to a Landing Page

Another way to get some email sign-ups out of your social following is to link directly to a landing page that includes the sign-up form. You should do this in your bio section as described above, but you also need to link to it directly within your social content. No, I don’t mean post, “Sign up for my newsletter!” every day. That would just be annoying. What you can do, however, is offer something to your followers in exchange for their email addresses.

Free giveaways and exclusive content are an excellent way to encourage people to sign up. We’re talking free ebooks, infographics or premium article series here. This kind of content captures people’s attention and makes them want it — so much so they’re willing to input their email address to get it.

Once you’ve created this outstanding content. Share tidbits of it on your social channels. Think of it as a teaser. Then, make it very clear that your followers can gain access to the entirety of the content if they sign up. You should see a significant boost in sign-ups, especially if your content is really good. At the end of the day, people love to get stuff for free, so it’s in your best interest to take advantage of that fact.

Offer Discounts and Coupons for Sign-ups

articleimage379Offer Discounts and Coupons for Sign-ups

Again, people like to get stuff. And the less it costs them, the better. So, you can always bait people into signing up for your email list by offering discounts on your products or services or coupons to use at their convenience in your social posts. It’s a quick way to get people engaged with your brand, too. Of course, this isn’t something you can offer all the time as it’ll lose some of its power. Still, it’s a good option to boost sign-ups quickly.

Hold a Contest on Your Social Channels


Contests are one of the best ways to build your email list on social media. It’s a really great way to boost your subscribers quickly, especially if you’re still in the early stages of a marketing campaign. You’ll simultaneously increase sign-ups, improve brand visibility, and expand your reach because people love to share contests with their followers.

You can host a contest in any number of ways. On Facebook, you can include a contest app in a tab. You can also promote it directly in your timeline. Several great apps exist that actually make signing up to your email list as a method of contest entry. Such apps include Rafflecopter, Fan Appz, and Offerpop to name a few. You can cross-promote these contests on your other social networks as well like Twitter and Google+.

Another way to enter the contest — you can often opt to allow people to enter multiple times — is to allow people to share your contest with their followers. That way, your followers will sign up to your list, then share the contest with others, who will then sign up and share, and so forth. It’s a really great way to get some attention for your brand and build a subscriber base quickly.

A word of warning here: There are some people that create social accounts for the explicit purpose of entering contests and giveaways, so be mindful that not every subscriber will be a prospect. But there’s safety in numbers here. The key is offering a really great prize that’s directly related to what you do.

And don’t forget to cross-promote the contest. That is, you can tweet about the contest, even if it’s based in a Facebook tab. Spread your reach as wide as you can for the best effect.

All of these above strategies work well for making use of social media to build a healthy email list. You’ll likely find using them all in conjunction works best. Just make sure your primary focus is creating and sharing high quality content. Your list building efforts will be best received when you offer something of use to your target audience.

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James Parsons

I'm an avid blogger on SEO, social media, and design. When I'm not working with the awesome guys at AudienceBloom, I'm writing for my personal blog at or working on my next big project.

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