social media how to Do you want more email subscribers?

Are you looking for ways to move social media fans and followers to your email list?

In this article, I’ll show you 5 ways to use social media to build your email list.

Why Email?

At least 91% of consumers check their email every day.

One of the most heavily used communication channels to date, email marketing is considered the third overall most effective channel for lead generation for marketers in 2013, producing 13% of all leads.

To grow your email list, there are ways you can make use of the engagement you have with your social media audience to turn your followers into subscribers who’ll become long-term customers.

Here are five tips:

#1: Use a Simple Sign-Up Form

Businesses of all sizes should set up a simple email sign-up form on their social channels to make it easy for your most invested fans to easily subscribe to your list.

On Facebook, dedicate a tab at the top right-hand side of your page for an email form. Then, people simply have to click on the icon to visit the sign-up form.

Make sure to use an image and call to action in this tab to incite people to click and subscribe.


This tab can live at the top right of your Facebook page to make it easy for fans and non-fans to subscribe to your list.

There are many different app options to add and set up an email sign-up form to your Facebook page. Typically, email clients have a custom Facebook app that syncs with your list from Facebook.

Some suggested email sign-up apps are:

To add one of these apps to your Facebook page, visit the top right app banner and click on the drop-down menu indicated by a number with an arrow pointing downwards.


Click on this drop-down menu to view your other added apps and to install more.

From here, select the plus sign to reveal a drop-down menu. Then click on Find More Apps to search for an email sign-up form app to add to your Facebook page.


Once you’ve expanded your app banner to reveal other apps by clicking on the + sign, choose Find More Apps to add more email apps.

Follow the step-by-step instructions provided by most of the apps when you first install them on how to best integrate them on your Facebook page.

It isn’t possible to host a landing page with an email sign-up form on Twitter or Google+. To encourage your followers to subscribe, I recommend that you add a link in the bio and/or About section on Twitter or Google+ to the email sign-up form you host on your website.


Amy Porterfield is an entrepreneur and Facebook expert who links to her landing page and website from her Twitter bio to help drive more traffic.

Your Twitter bio has limited space, but there’s room to add a shortened link to your email sign-up form and a link to your website.

Your Google+ page has an extensive About section where you can include a shortened link to your email sign-up form at the top of your description.

#2: Preview Premium Content on Your Social Channels

Many businesses create premium content they offer for free once a person signs up for their email list.

If you have eBooks, white papers, infographics, long-form articles or other premium content you give away, gate each one with an email sign-up form landing page to generate subscribers from that content.


On their Facebook page, HubSpot posts engaging copy, a visually appealing image and a link to their eBook to help drive traffic to the resource.

Tweet, post and share excerpts of content from your premium resources on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ to drive interest and traffic to the landing pages that gate them. Always include a visual component to these updates to ensure you’re receiving the most clicks, engagement and traffic possible.


Marketo uses Twitter to drive traffic to their premium content using relevant topics and hashtags that match the interests of their audience to help drive email subscribers.

Use concise, intriguing and informative copy in your social updates, as well as a link tagged properly with Google Analytics UTM parameters to track which social media networks drive traffic to your lead generation resources.

#3: Share an Incentive for Newsletter Sign-Ups

Incentives often help when it comes to driving more email sign-ups for your list. A little push is the only thing some people need to take action and subscribe.

Social media will draw further attention to your incentive.


H&M incentivizes its customers to sign up for email with an exclusive discount on their next purchase, which is engaging content to share on Facebook or Twitter.

Many ecommerce stores give shoppers 10-20% off a purchase when they sign up for their email list. A discount, exclusive content, a free sample, a special thank-you, a coupon, etc., are all things your business can share on social media to encourage people to subscribe to your email list.

Be sure to include an image and a strong call to action when posting about one of these incentives.

#4: Host Webinars to Gain Subscribers

Hosting a webinar about your business or industry is an engaging way to share the human side of your business by presenting a person from your organization to discuss a relevant topic with your audience.

One of the goals of a webinar for your business is to capture leads in the form of email subscribers.


Wildfire is a B2B company that uses both Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to their landing page for their Google hangouts on air, as well as sign-ups for the hangout itself.

Similar to the tactic in #2, if you host your webinar on a Google hangout on air, be sure to share links to resources that have a landing page sign-up form to collect emails from your efforts.


Glamour magazine hosted a Google+ hangout to chat with their fans, encouraging them during the discussion to stay connected for future tips by subscribing to their email list.

If you host your webinar using a program like Any Meeting, GoToWebinar, PGI, Ready Talk or, many of them feature a sign-up form to collect emails from viewers before they enter the webinar.

Use social media posts to drive traffic to these sign-up forms and your email list will grow.

#5: Hold a Contest, Sweepstakes or Giveaway

One of the most effective ways to build your email list using social media is by using contests, sweepstakes and giveaways. Many marketers’ host contests and similar promotions to grow their following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere, but one of the main goals of these promotions should always be to increase your email subscribers.

Facebook contests are the most predominantly used promotions in social media as compared to other channels, since the platform is the most customizable for promotions.


Sephora consistently uses Facebook contests with sign-up forms to build their email lists with quality subscribers.

Your business can host a Facebook contest either on an application tab or on your Facebook timeline. However, if you’re hosting the promotion on your Facebook timeline, it’s next to impossible to collect emails. Hosting your promotion from a Facebook app is the best approach for the purpose of increasing email subscribers.

Try one of the following Facebook apps to run your contest, sweepstakes or giveaway (some of these companies feature apps for other social channels as well):

Be sure to choose one that offers a sign-up form as a type of entry for participants. This is how your business generates emails from a contest on the Facebook platform.

Once you’ve chosen a Facebook contest app that’s right for your business, decide whether you’ll be hosting a contest, sweepstakes or giveaway and what messaging you’ll use to drive visibility and interest in it.

The prize you decide to give away to a select group of winners for your contest is important, and it helps incentive genuine fans, and therefore quality email subscribers.


Bon Jovi’s Facebook page uses engaging contests that allow fans and non-fans to sign up for email from their desktop or mobile device.

Similar contests can be run on Twitter with platforms like Offerpop, Binkd, Woobox, OneKontest and Wishpond that allow participants to submit their email as a form of entry.

Pinterest contest platforms like Piqora or Curlate also allow you to host a variety of different contests that generate emails for your list.

After you’ve published your contest, promote it on all of your social media accounts to drive new traffic to the contest and increase sign-ups to your email list.


Continued growth of your email subscriber list plays a vital part in the success of your business. The tips in this article will help you reach out to the people who already follow you on social media to increase the rate of new subscriptions.

What do you think? How do you use social media to build your email list for the long-term? Share your comments and questions in the comments box below.

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  • Very useful article! If brands are looking out for long-term customers then this is a must read article. This perfectly describes how a brand can collect email database just by following simple techniques or ways. One of the main point made is to include the sign-up link in the Facebook short description, Twitter bio & even Google+ about section. I think we shouldn’t forget that one of the key aspect of marketing is Email Marketing. And with brand pages in place, one can easily collect email ids for further use.

  • Thanks Dave, I appreciate the feedback! I couldn’t agree more. Social media is all craze but we can’t forget to use these marketing channels to fuel our growing email list. Happy holidays!

  • John Waghorn

    Good post Brian. Social media is a great
    way to bring in more traffic and at the same time collect user email addresses through various means too.

    As social is a quick paced interactive environment, I like the idea that you’ve mentioned about using a simple form. You want to make it as easy as possible to collect the information you need without your customers becoming frustrated.

    The incentive for email sign-ups is another good point as people will always be drawn in by a deal or exclusive offer.

    Gaining people’s email addresses makes it easier to target future campaigns too, so it’s something that all companies should work on.

  • Thanks for the kind words John and for the follow on Twitter! It’s much appreciated. Incentivizing email sign up via social media is certainly way to go when it comes to building your business for the future. Happy holidays to you!

  • Great post, Brain! I completely agree and definitely think that contests and sweepstakes are a fabulous way to increase e-newsletter sign ups.

    I am not sure what you think of this, but I have found that more than half of all sweepstakes entrants on our platform will sign up for the newsletter. I wonder if that is because most people feel that might “secretly” increase their odds of winner? Might be a superstition, or maybe people feel that those choosing the winner will select based on touch points with the brand. In my opinion, ss long as the prize of the sweeps or theme of the contest is aligned with your brand, this should get some very qualified sign ups! What do you think?

  • Great post Brian (and thanks for the Wishpond shoutout)!

    i defintely agree with Chris that contests are great as long as the prize is aligned with your business. I’ve seen far too many businesses giving away IPads!

    One method I’d like to share, that we’ve found successful, (similar to #2) is to promote email-gated content (such as ebooks) using Facebook Exchange retargeting ads. Facebook is a tough place to sell directly, even when targeting people who have recently visited your site. So we have found that generating email leads with our ebooks is a much easier step for a person to take from Facebook.

  • dave kenny

    is offering a quality alternating prize ( $300 retail value) every month for e mail sign up
    a little over the top?

  • The asset of the future is not Likes, or retweets, but how many people want to hear from you tomorrow. And exactly why email marketing works.

  • Great stuff! Especially about the Google Analytics parameters. People often ignore that data and end up investing in the wrong places and missing out on other opportunities.

  • Cool! Thanks for sharing, Nick!

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great tips Brian!

    This past year, I’ve been studying how to build, develop and launch webinars. My goal in 2014 is to begin using webinars to not only build my email list, but to build my blog and client list. I may even start a podcast, too.

  • No problem Cindy!

  • Good idea! Social media could be extremely helpful for building your list of webinar attendees. Thanks for the kind words!

  • Thanks Craig! GA parameters are often ignored. Glad we are on the same page.

  • Exactly! It’s not how many people follow up, but how many people who follow you actually care about your business.

  • You’re welcome Nick! Big fan of Wishpond. 🙂

    Couldn’t agree more, social is a tool to help fuel other actions as opposed to landing the final sale on products or services.

  • I think it could be if overdone, it’s all about having a relevant prize related to your company’s offerings. Too many companies give away iPads even though they have nothing to do with their business. Thanks for reading Dave!

  • Hi Chris,

    I agree. I relevant prize can certainly help bring more quality sign ups. I think you’re lucky to have more than half of sweepstakes contestants sign up for email, so keep up the good work. Too many people today give away iPads and that my friend often draws the attention of the wrong kind of people.



  • For real. As long as you have your segments set up in a way that are easy for you to digest then it should be simple and valuable to your efforts. You can get lost in the sea of data if you don’t know what to look for.

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  • Terri Holley

    I also agree that contests and sweepstakes are a great way to increase e-newsletter sign ups. One thing social marketers needs to keep in mind is the legal aspect of running a sweepstakes or giveaway as an incentive to build an email list. I ran into an issue with a client recently and found this post to be extremely helpful:

  • I agree Terri, thanks for sharing! Creating legally sound terms of service and rules for your contests is extremely important.

  • Very interesting article on list building via social media networks.

    Its one of the best way to capture emails from social networks, however i think on social networks we should prefer to build relationship with our followers and give them more than what they are looking for then they will surely keep on visiting us and keep on reading our blogs.

  • Definitely!

    Thanks, I’m flattered 🙂

  • Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for reading Steve. Happy New year!

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  • Feedburner doesn’t allow https so I can’t insert a tab on facebook for newsletter subscribe :(( One question does Mailchimp require people to confirm subscription to newsletters?

  • Nik

    I love the idea of giving an incentive for newsletter sign-ups. Great article, thanks!

  • I’m definitely adding the MailChimp app to my fan page! Thanks for the tips, you guys and gals rock always!

  • Emeley Dcruz

    very usefull

  • Michael

    Looks like a very old article, but still very useful and helpful for those who is starting up with social media journey. Thank you for sharing!

  • Nathan Elward

    Great read, almost all is covered Nothing more to say. Usage of iframe version code is one of the effective ways to grow our email lists automatically. With EasySendy Pro I have got great results. Best, Nathan

  • Nathan Elward

    This covers almost everything needed to be done on social media to bring in subscribers! Now email marketing cos are just pushing the envelope forward to bring in aware prospects. My vendor email marketing co. EasySendy Pro allows me to use iframe version code on my website which helps grow the email lists automatically. Thanks, Nathan