How to Use Social Media to Build Your Email List
Your email list is gold! Social media channels are a great way to get initial engagement and distribution but in the end the interested prospect should land in your email list.
The campaigns on social media sites should be used to engage people and lead them to make the next step in the funnel. The best goal would be to make the potential customer buy your products or services, but this may not always be possible. In this case, you should strive to get more information and permission for future communication.
Building your email list through social media campaigns
When you launch social media campaigns, it makes sense to integrate newsletter subscriptions as a condition to entry. Asking for email will really help you grow your mailing list. Whenever people participate in your campaigns, give them an incentive to sign up for further information by email. Make sure that the terms and conditions of the campaign state clearly that you intend to actually use the email in future but add the information that they can opt-out any time.
To avoid any misunderstanding send a welcome message immediately after they sign up. The first email helps you weed out those people who are not interested enough and want to unsubscribe immediately. You may see a few percent unsubscribe rate, but the remaining list will be of higher quality.
Tip: In the welcome email don’t forget to tell them to share your content. Forward to a friend, share on Facebook or Twitter. Tell people what to do, and they will do it.
Drip emails after signup
Depending on what kind of a campaign you are running and the content you have available it may be useful to send out a sequence of email messages after the initial welcome email. Space these email a few days apart
Statistics show that new subscribers are most likely to take advantage of the offers shortly after they sign up for your mailing list. Include some of your most attractive content and offers in the first welcome email and follow up with even more goodies in the next emails.
Drip campaign initiated from social media can deliver very different messages. It can be information in the form of articles, online courses or reports. It can be series of offers that you send out at a set interval. Or you can combine information with offers so that one supports the other. For example, a car dealer can send out information about routine maintenance and add an offer for an oil change.
Use your newsletter to launch social media campaigns
The other way to integrate social media with the email is to use your existing mailing list to kickstart the social campaign. If possible design your campaign so that the people already on the list have a little advantage over the other participants. This way you will remind your subscribers that being an email subscriber has its perks (get exclusive deals, earlier information, etc.).
If you have a mailing list, then the people in it should have above average engagement with your brand. Using the mailing list will help you limit the budget you would otherwise need to spend on the paid advertising to get the ball rolling. Using email does not have to be limited just to start the campaign. In the case of longer campaigns, you can activate participants with emails about the progress of the campaign.
Example: We used an existing mailing list to launch a Christmas campaign for the travel agency. Our main goal was to grow that mailing list.
It may seem counter-intuitive to use the mailing list to get more email addresses. It works because the people coming from email to participate in the social campaign create enough buzz to get the word out to people who are not yet on the list. In that particular case, we got about 16,000 people to sign up with their email addresses. Approximately 8,000 of these addresses were new to the database.
We launched a Christmas calendar campaign on Facebook by sending an email to existing newsletter subscribers and asked them to participate. Using our list helped to keep the advertising costs on Facebook relatively low.
Tip: You can personalize the Facebook app page for the people coming from email.
Always include newsletter in campaign planning
Finally, when making a tactical plan for your social media campaign make sure that you include the people responsible for your brand’s email marketing. Give them the general schedule for the planned activities and specific mailings you need them to make.
Tip: Provide the email team with the information to include the ongoing campaign in all regular emails that are scheduled to be sent during the time of the campaign.
The scheduled emails for the campaigns should include the initial launch message and the final email where you announce the results of the campaign. In between those two email plan a sequence of messages that give participants information about the progress of the campaign and add incentives for the readers who don’t yet participate to take action.
Integrating your newsletter with social media campaigns will start a positive feedback loop that will grow both your email list and your following on social media channels. The integration will make the audience to connect with your brand on multiple platforms and increase the number of touchpoints you have with them.
Tip: Adding additional data to your newsletter subscription database….
When you are creating a Facebook campaign to collect email addresses, then it would also be a good idea to get additional information about the people who sign up.
In general, you can ask them for any information you want. You will not be able to access the information without user permission. You need to ask for permission when they start using the campaign app. Users will then get a notice in the form of Facebook confirmation popup to grant you the rights. Most people just click on that confirmation and give you the rights to access their data.
Make sure you don’t ask for too much. Ask for basics, such as gender, age, location, etc.
You can also collect more specific information if it’s related to the campaign. Bear in mind that the more information you ask for, the more there is people who will deny you access and thus not participate in the campaign. Always ask yourself: “If this data will cost me contacts would I still want it?”
Tip: Ask the participants for additional information….
Another way to get the information that you can later use for segmentation is just simply ask the users. Add the questions you want to be answered to the campaign signup process and you are done. This method will get you data that is not on Facebook.
Example: We used this in tactic in a campaign for a local ferry line (EckeröLine) and asked the participants to answer the question about what is their main reason for using the ferry. We gave them multiple choice answers as check boxes on a signup form.
As a result, we got more than 15,000 people to like our client’s page, and we added 11,000 new email addresses to the database that is our client’s main sales tool.
Tip: Add the source of the sign-up to your email database….
The channels may include Facebook, website, blog, Twitter, etc. Different channels will help you target messages and segment your audience.
Promoting your newsletter in social media
Use your social media channels to direct the followers towards your mailing list. Social media activity will help you get the more engaged part of your social media audience. Here are some ways you can use to build the list from the social media side.
Subscribing to a newsletter
Ask your Facebook fans and Twitter followers to join the newsletter. Doh! They are following you for some reason. Use that reason and add the value you provide to your mailing list subscribers, and some of them will take the next step.
For example, you can tell your audience that from Facebook and Twitter they get the daily snippet of information, they are interested in, and it’s easy to miss important stuff. If they sign up, they will always get the digest of best material. You can also create email only promotions that give your potential customers an incentive to sign up.
For example tweet something like this: “Make sure that you will not miss the steepest discounts and best tips! Get the best information in your inbox now LINKTOSIGNUPPAGE.”
Newsletter signup page in Facebook
In the case of Facebook you can add the newsletter signup as a page/app and direct people to that address. In other channels you can use the link in your profile to point to newsletter signup page. Be sure to include a call to action that gives your audience the reasons for joining the newsletter.
Sharing links to great content in social channels
When creating content you can make some of it accessible after signing up for the list. Post links to that content in social channels. One great example of this method is Hubspot that mostly builds its list by getting people sign up for content. If the content you are providing is truly valuable to your audience then they will sign up to get it.
If you have a lot of information behind the signup form, then make sure that people already on the list are not forced to re-register multiple times. Hubspot used to do this a lot. I have signed up for their list dozens of times, and when the autofill option of the browser doesn’t work, I sometimes enter garbage by randomly typing on the keyboard. However, it seems that they have fixed the problem and now their site remembers your data.
The great content you are sharing does not have to be information, how-tos or tips about your field. Great prices, discounts, and free offers are also incentives that make people sign up for the list. To get real tangible value is the reason most people follow brands on social channels and sign up for email newsletters.
Experiment with different tactics and find out what works best for your target audience. Use the material that works in one channel to engage people in other channels and build your mailing list and social following.
Post links to current newsletter to social media
Every time you send out a newsletter let your social media followers know about it. Dedicate a section of your website to newsletter archive and always share that link shortly after sending out the newsletter. Graphicmail.com has found that sharing email newsletters on social networks can get you 150% more clicks on your messages!
Newsletter only offers
Similarly to social media only offers [read about social media only offers] you create attractive deals only for the email newsletter. These deals are meant to make the part of the audience most interested in that particular product or service to signup for your newsletter.
To get the message out, let the people following you on social channels know that they are missing out on something great if they do not sign up.
The good thing about these new signups, generated by the attractive deals, is that most of the people are interested in making that purchase right now. However you should make sure that you don’t lose a lot of money by discounting prices too much and attracting only bottom feeders.
Tip: Try to come up with deals that are better suited for loyal customers and repeat shoppers than one-time-deal hunters.
Bottom line: Give incentives to your target audience in social channels to take the next step and become a newsletter subscriber. Read about the 11 reasons why newsletter beats social media.