Use social media to build an email list

1. Create a business or advertising account on your chosen social media platforms.

Facebook or Twitter is an excellent platform for ecommerce, whereas LinkedIn is more suitable for B2B campaigns.

2. Determine what offer or lead magnet you'll use to engage potential subscribers via social media.

If you are unsure what to offer, a discount on products or services is a good lead magnet to start with. Discount offers, free content, new product launches, and competitions are excellent incentives. Whatever incentive you use, ensure it provides enough value to your target market to get them to sign up to hear more.

3. Create a data capture page where users can submit their email address to get the lead magnet.

When you are setting up your ad, use the URL of the form or capture page as the link they are taken to when they click. If you don’t already have a lead or data capture form, or pop-up set up you may use applications Jotform or Sleeknote.  It’s important to make the form as easy to use as possible. Limit the required fields to name, email address, and location. For B2B marketing, include company name & company.

4. Create your advert artwork based on your incentive and platform choice. Adhere to guidelines for each platform.

Check guidelines on size, word count, and content. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have separate ad guidelines.

5. Write copy for the ad with limited text and  a clear call to action that will include the benefit from signing up.

For example, “Sign up now and get 20% off your first purchase”.

6. Upload the captured contacts email addresses into your email marketing database.

If you are using an email provider with built-in data capture, this will happen automatically. If not, you will need to put your new subscribers into a CSV spreadsheet ensuring that your column names match the column names in your email marketing database. Include a column labelled Source and populate this with where they signed up from.  It’s important to tag your contacts with where they sign up, so in the future when making decisions on where to spend your advertising budget you can direct more resources to the most successful social media platforms.