9 Powerful Ways to Explode Your Email List with Social Media

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social media and email marketing

Do you want to get more email leads from your social media platforms? Want to know how to convert your social media following into potential leads?

Social media is a great tool to attract an online following. But unless you get those followers onto your email list, you risk losing them all if your account is suspended or deleted.

And even if your account remains active, not converting your followers into potential buyers is a wasted business opportunity.

In this post, I’ll share 9 ways that you can use social media to grow your email list.

The Relation Between Social Media and Email Marketing

Most brands fall into the trap of growing their social media following while ignoring their most valuable asset: their email list.

It’s so easy to get carried away with the idea of thousands of X.com (formerly Twitter) followers and Facebook fans.

But how many brands know what to do with all that fan following? How much do these numbers actually affect your bottom line?

Unless you have access to their inbox, marketing to those leads and making sales is going to be a lot harder.

But the worst part? Facebook, X.com, InstagramPinterest, or any social media platform has the right to suspend or even delete your account at any time, for any reason, without prior notice.

Social media is great for improving brand awareness and maintaining your online presence. But since it’s an earned media channel, you can lose control of all your hard work in a heartbeat.

On the other hand, email is an owned media. Once you have the customers’ email addresses, you don’t have to worry about any platforms’ algorithms ruining your chances of reaching your customers.

You can talk to your customers on a 1:1 basis directly in their inboxes, personalize your communication, and improve your sales and marketing metrics.

Of course, you have to ensure that you play by the rules to improve your email deliverability rate, conversion rates, open rates, and click-through rates.

Running effective email marketing campaigns also offers a much higher return on investment (ROI) than a social media marketing strategy. More specifically, email gives you an ROI of 4200%, or $42 for every $1 you invest in an email campaign.

On the other hand, calculating the ROI of social media campaigns is a bit more complicated.

You can read more about the nuances between the two channels in our email marketing vs social media marketing comparison post.

The point is, if you aren’t running campaigns to convert your social followers to your email list, you might lose every single one of your leads. Ouch!

Next, let’s go over 9 effective strategies that you can use right now to turn your social media followers into email leads.

Related content: How to Create a Winning Email Marketing Strategy

9 Ways to Grow Your Email List With Social Media

  1. Host Twitter Chats
  2. Create Facebook Ads
  3. Promote Your Gated Content
  4. Leverage LinkedIn Groups
  5. Run a Giveaway Contest
  6. Create CTA Cards on YouTube
  7. Capture Leads on LinkedIn
  8. Host Webinars with Google Meet
  9. Leverage Instagram Stories

1. Host Twitter Chats

Posting and reposting social media content online isn’t necessarily the best way to generate leads for brands. But running a Twitter chat session is an exception to that norm.

A Twitter chat is a discussion on X.com, usually related to a particular topic in your niche. A Twitter chat about how to use a particular software, for example, may bring quite a few would-be customers looking for answers or support.

When you host a Twitter chat, you can start a conversation to build your social clout and engage with potential customers. This can help you encourage people to sign up for your email content and nurture them into leads.

Generating leads on Twitter comes down to offering value. I recommend creating a free lead magnet that you can give away during a Twitter chat.

Here’s how Hive, a blockchain-powering app, leverages Twitter chats. It hosts chat sessions every month to discuss topics related to cryptocurrency and blockchain:

social media email marketing

Other brands, like Semrush, invite experts to answer questions people ask during the chat session:

tips to generate leads on X.com

People interested in the chat topic are more likely to like and repost the replies. Many users engage in the chat and follow other accounts that are interacting in the chat.

But how do you find Twitter chats to take part in? Try Tweet Reports or TwChat.

While you can take part in Twitter chats on X.com itself, it’s a lot easier to use a dedicated Twitter chat app like the ones mentioned above. They allow you to only see posts related to the topic and easily identify between hosts, guests, or participants.

If your Twitter chat sessions succeed in intriguing your target audience, you can get a steady flow of subscribers to your email list from X.com.

Related Content: How to Make Money on Twitter: 9 Twitter Monetization Tips

2. Create Facebook Ads

One of the quickest ways to get email leads from your social media platforms is to invest in social media advertising.

With Facebook Ads, for instance, you can target specific demographics. Its powerful targeting features allow you to get dramatic results almost immediately. Plus, Facebook Ads are cost-effective since they let you control how much you want to spend in each campaign.

But running social media ads is not as easy as putting up an ad on Facebook and expecting people to click. You have to carefully optimize your ad, your copy, and your image in order to convert email leads.

For most lead generation campaigns, this means offering something useful for free in exchange for an email address.

To create your ad on Facebook, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Log in to Facebook and go to the Ads Manager from the Facebook page. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one.

Step 2: Next, choose your objective. Facebook offers various advertising objectives such as brand awareness, lead generation, traffic, leads, or sales. Choose the one that aligns with your campaign goals.

social media and email marketing

Step 3: Define the desired audience persona you want to reach. Specify the demographics, interests, behaviors, and other criteria for your target audience. This helps in reaching the right people with your ad.

social media email marketing

Step 4: Set your budget and ads schedule. Determine how much you want to spend on your ad and the duration for which you want to run it.

email marketing and social media

Step 5: Select ad placements. Choose if you want your ad to appear on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or a combination of these platforms.

email marketing & social media

Step 6: Write your ad creative. This involves designing the visuals and writing compelling ad copy. Ensure that your creative elements are engaging and relevant to your target audience.

email marketing vs social media

Step 7: Include a clear call to action (CTA) button that tells people what action you want them to take after seeing your ad. Common CTAs include ‘Shop Now,’ ‘Learn More,’ or ‘Sign Up.’

how to use social media to grow email list

Step 8: Finally, review and publish your ad. Double-check all the details of your ad including targeting, budget, creative elements, and scheduling. Make sure everything looks good before proceeding.

how to use social media for list building

Once you’re satisfied with your ad setup, submit it for review. Facebook will review your ad to ensure it complies with their advertising policies. This process usually takes a few hours to complete.

As a rule of thumb, set a low budget initially to test your ads’ targeting and performance. Use tracking pixels to follow the leads you are generating.

Give each ad at least 48 hours to run before you analyze the results. Then you can start to tweak and test your ads, and you should be running an effective lead generating campaign in no time.

For more information on this strategy, check out our detailed tutorial on Tips to Optimize Your Facebook Ads for Conversions.

3. Promote Your Gated Content

If you’re not leveraging gated content in your marketing strategy, you’re missing a very simple and easy method of lead generation.

Gated content is a piece of content that is hidden behind a paywall or a subscription wall. This includes:

  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Online courses
  • Industry reports
  • Exclusive articles
  • Webinars or events
  • Downloadable templates
  • Access to members-only communities

Readers can access the content only after they sign up with their email addresses.

Here’s what it looks like:

tips to use social media to grow email subscribers

Here’s how gated content helps you generate email leads with social networks.

  • As the first step, follow tip #2 to create an ad on Facebook so that you can attract visitors to your site.
  • When they land on your site, block their way with a ‘gate’ requesting their email addresses before they get to the good stuff. It’s a low barrier to entry, but a worthwhile one for you.

But don’t just gate any content for this purpose. Make sure you give one of your best content away for free. Ideally, the content you are gating should be worth $50-$100.

This way, people can justify accessing the content in exchange for their email addresses. This is the secret to leveraging a high-quality gated article.

OptinMonster makes it easy to create a gated blog post. Here are the steps you can follow to create a gated content with OptinMonster:

Step 1: Create your gated content campaign

First, click Create New Campaign from your OptinMonster dashboard.

how to grow email list with social media

On the next page, select Templates:

social media for email growth

Next, choose a campaign type. OptinMonster offers different campaign types, such as:

  • Popup
  • Floating bar
  • Fullscreen
  • Inline
  • Slide-in

Select Inline Campaign to create a content lock campaign and choose a template. OptinMonster offers 100+ templates, and all work beautifully across all devices.

In the search bar, type in ‘gated content’ to easily find the Unlock Gated Content template:

social media to get more email subscribers

Once you click Use Template, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign and choose the website you want to display it on. Click on Start Building:

how to use social media to get more email subscribers

Step 2: Design Your Campaign

Changing anything about your content lock campaign form is easy in the OptinMonster. Go back to the Design tab to go to OptinMonster’s drag-and-drop editor:

social media and email marketing

Click on any part of the campaign to change it:

For example, click on the text to edit it directly in the editor. This will bring up the editing tools, and you can change the font, copy, color, and alignment:

Editing a content locking campaign in OptinMonster

You can also change the images and button colors, or add or remove blocks.

Be sure to use the tabs at the bottom of the page to edit the Success View. That’s the message users will see after signing up for your email list, informing them that they can now access the gated content.

social media vs email marketing

Step 3: Activate the Content Lock

First, you’ll need to activate the content lock feature.

Go to the Display Rules tab at the top of your campaign design screen:

grow email list with social media

Next, select the Actions tab at the bottom of the screen:

how to grow email marketing with social media

Click the Enable Content Locking toggle so it turns blue:

improve email marketing with social media

From the dropdown menu, choose if you want to blur your locked content or remove it completely.

And that’s it!

Step 4: Save and Publish Your Campaign

Click on the Save button at the top-right of your screen to make sure you don’t lose the changes you’ve made so far:

social media marketing and email marketing

Next, go to the Publish tab:

social media email marketing

Under the Publish Status section, click on Publish.

social and email marketing

And that’s done!

To be sure, you can enter one of your connected websites under the Live Site Inspector to check how the popup appears. Or, you can preview the popup by clicking the Preview button in the Websites section.

how to create a contact form

Related content:What Is Content Marketing Strategy and How To Create One

4. Leverage LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is a professional network designed to bring potential employees and employers together. So why not leverage your professional network to bring would-be customers to your site?

LinkedIn Groups is an excellent opportunity to market and speak directly to others who value your knowledge and skills and build additional professional networks and referrals as well.

Here’s an example of what a LinkedIn group looks like:

email marketing and social media marketing

To get email subscribers from LinkedIn groups, start with an optimized profile that is in line with the audience you’re trying to reach.

Next, create your own LinkedIn group and take some time out every day to invite people to join the group. Post articles of your own and great articles from others, and encourage discussion among the members. All of this helps you lay the groundwork for when the real efforts begin.

To get members for your group, use the built-in advanced search feature on LinkedIn to find similar groups that are popular among your target customers.

Compile their information in a spreadsheet and send them invitations to join your group.

Initially, you’ll have to work hard to build the group and make it active with articles and discussion. But once you gain momentum, you’ll be in a better position to make an offer to join your subscriber list in exchange for something valuable and free (like a lead magnet).

Don’t forget to make 1-on-1 connections with your group members. If you include a link to join your email list on your LinkedIn profile, those people might just subscribe voluntarily. These personal connections are the warmest email leads and often make the best clients.

Paul G. McManus has a great tutorial on how to create a clickable lead magnet right on your LinkedIn Profile:

Not sure if LinkedIn is for your business? Check out how (and why) you should create a LinkedIn business page.

5. Run a Giveaway Contest

Customers love a good giveaway offer. You might have seen these more in ads from mainstream companies because they work, and they are perfect for small business owners too.

Here’s an example of a giveaway contest on Snapchat from Kiss The Brides:

use social media for email marketing

Want to know how to create a contest to drive your social media followers onto your email list? Follow these tips:

  • First, come up with a hashtag specifically for your contest. Use a descriptive and catchy hashtag that markets your offer with a bit of fun and personality.
  • Next, take a quality photo of the product or incentive you are giving away (if you sell physical products, use one of your own to give away).
  • Finally, announce your contest on your social media profiles along with the photo of the prize, your hashtag, and a link to a landing page that requires them to enter their email address in order to participate.

You can use a social media marketing tool to set up and promote your giveaway. I personally recommend RafflePress:

social media and email marketing

RafflePress makes it super easy to create a viral giveaway and grow your email list.

With RafflePress’s bonus entry actions, you can reward users with extra giveaway entries for performing a specific action, like signing up for your email newsletter:

social marketing email marketing

There are also entry actions like submitting an image, which you can use to run a photo contest. And, you can reward users for sharing your giveaway on social media channels, which is a great way to attract an even bigger audience.

Whatever the contest, make sure it is fun for people to participate. The more people you can get in the contest, the more your organic reach and the more opt-ins you will get.

During your contest, make a point of encouraging your participants to keep going by retweeting and sharing their posts. Let them know that you appreciate their posts, and your contest will have a much better chance of going viral.

6. Create CTA Cards on YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is the most widely used video marketing platform with 90% of video marketers trusting the world’s #1 video site.

With over 2.49 billion monthly active users, or 47% of internet users across the globe, YouTube is not just a social media network. It’s the world’s 2nd-largest search engine, next only to Google.

Virtually everyone with a computer has benefited from a tutorial video at one point or another. Your video tutorials can be a lifesaver for someone trying to figure out how to do just about anything.

By creating video tutorials and then ranking them on YouTube, you can quickly build a strong following of those interested in what you’re offering.

Plus, since Google owns YouTube, having a YouTube video helps you rank higher in Google’s search results as well.

The first step to getting traffic from your YouTube videos is to find the ‘how to’ keywords that people are actually searching for.

Type keywords related to your niche, products, or services into YouTube’s search bar to see the suggested results that come up. You can also use one of the keyword research tools to find relevant keywords.

These are search terms that a large number of people are looking for. Then, create a video targeting each of those keywords.

After you upload your video, write at least 300 words of content in the description box below the video. YouTube relies on the description, file name, and tags to determine what your video is about, and what keywords it should rank for.

Now that your videos are getting some traffic, create a strong call-to-action (CTA) that will make viewers want to subscribe to your email list.

One of the easiest ways to add a call to action to your YouTube videos is by adding CTA cards to your videos.

To add cards to a video, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Sign in to YouTube Studio.

Step 2: From the left menu, select Content:

use youtube to grow email list

Step 3: Click the video you’d like to edit. From the left menu, select Editor:

how to use youtube for list building

Step 4: Select Info cards and select the card you want to add. You can add up to 4 cards to one video:

tips to use youtube for growing email subscribers

Step 5: Click Save on the top-right of the screen:

youtube for email marketing

And that’s it! Your viewers will now see an overlay with your CTA right on your YouTube videos. You will also be able to view your cards report to get data on how well your CTA cards are converting.

Also, try embedding the YouTube tutorials on your website for maximum exposure. It’s the perfect way to engage website visitors and encourage them to subscribe too.

You can easily add a YouTube feed anywhere on your WordPress site using Smash Balloon.

social media & email marketing

Smash Balloon’s Feeds for YouTube Pro lets you seamlessly integrate your YouTube channel content on your website, including live-streaming videos:

Best of all? Users can interact with your YouTube videos right from your site and you can create custom pause and end actions, like displaying a link to a specific landing page, when a video completes.

7. Capture Leads on LinkedIn

Many marketing and sales professionals use LinkedIn to write social media posts to promote their brands or network with other professionals.

But did you know that you can use LinkedIn to research prospects, generate qualified leads, and build an effective sales outreach plan?

LinkedIn has useful social selling tools like Sales Navigator that can help you improve your sales and marketing efforts to generate more leads.

Sales Navigator is an automation tool that offers advanced search filters, lead recommendations, and personalized insights to help you find and engage with your target buyers.

With its advanced search filters and lead recommendations, Sales Navigator helps you identify prospects who match your ideal customer profile and reach out to them directly.

Another way to use LinkedIn to generate email leads is to run targeted ads on the platform. LinkedIn offers various ad formats such as sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and text ads. These ads let you tailor your message to specific demographics, job titles, or industries.

use linkedin ads for growing email list

8. Host Webinars with Google Meet

Webinars, short for ‘web seminars,’ are online events that online businesses organize to communicate with a virtual audience. They are live and often include a presentation, an interactive discussion, or instructional online session.

Webinars and live-streaming videos are excellent ways to grow your email list. And Google Meet is one of the best tools to host live webinars because it’s completely free to use with your Google Workspace account.

webinars to grow email list

Offer a free webinar on a topic related to your products or services, or one that you know many prospective customers will be interested in. Promote your webinar, and collect the email addresses of those who sign up to participate in your free session.

You’ll want to promote the webinar ahead of time to make sure you have enough people interested in attending the event. It’ll also help you generate buzz around the event and prepare for the interaction. Once you have a sizable audience signed up for the event, start the show!

When you’re finished with the presentation, you can use the YouTube Video Manager feature to edit and enhance your recording. You can even download this as an MP4 to use in the future.

To learn more about making the most of webinars in your marketing, read our guide on Webinars for Lead Generation: Tips and Strategies for Success.

9. Leverage Instagram Stories

Instagram is an often overlooked digital marketing channel to generate leads and increase sales. However, Instagram offers plenty of business possibilities even for B2B brands.

On Instagram, you can create short promotional videos, clever marketing slogans, entertaining or silly videos ‘brought to you by [your company].’ The possibilities are limitless once the creative bug bites.

Here’s an example from OptinMonster’s reels on Instagram:

instagram to grow email list

Whatever you do, just be sure to always include the most important thing: a call to action. You can’t generate email leads if you forget to ask people to subscribe!

Related Content:How to Make Money on Instagram (Without 10K Followers)

Ready to Explode Your Email List with Social Media?

When used correctly, social media can easily take your business to the next level of profitability.

The key is to continue to grow your social media following, but make sure that you are always converting those followers into email leads. This is the step that separates the amateur marketers from the pros.

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in the following resources:

Want to add a popup to your website to persuade visitors to sign up for your email newsletter? Join OptinMonster today!

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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