social media how toWant to know how to grow your email list?

Are you using social media to support your email list growth?

If you’re thinking of marketing tactics such as email and social media as two separate entities, you’re missing out on a lot of benefits.

In this article you’ll discover tips for using social media to improve your email marketing.

improve email marketing with social media

Discover how to improve your email marketing with social media.

Listen to this article:

What You Need to Get Started

There are two things you ideally need to make most of the tips in this article. In general, both will help you grow your email list.

A Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a freebie you offer people in exchange for their email address. The freebie can be an ebook, whitepaper, report, access to a tool, template, video, presentation, course, etc. You can see a lead magnet in action on the homepage of Social Media Examiner.

social media examiner lead magnet

Example of a lead magnet promotion at the top of Social Media Examiner.

You should create your lead magnet with your ideal email subscriber and customer in mind. For example, if you want CEOs interested in social media to subscribe to your email list, create lead magnets about social media geared towards CEOs instead of people who work for them.

If you decide to use more than one lead magnet, you may want to create a resources section, learning center or another similar area on your website to help people find all of your freebies., for example, offers several lead magnets in their content hub. When you download one of their lead magnets, you’re taken to a squeeze page—the next thing you need for your own email marketing.

A Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a landing page dedicated to converting visitors into email subscribers. Ideally, your squeeze page should include some information about your lead magnet and an opt-in form to capture your visitors’ information and email.

visually squeeze page

Example of a squeeze page for email subscriber opt-ins.

If you need to qualify leads for your products or services, you may want to include a couple of questions to find out who the subscriber is and what his or her needs are. But if your main goal is simply to grow your email list, fewer questions will lead to more subscribers.

Armed with the URL to your latest lead magnet squeeze page(s), here are some ways to use social media to grow your email list.

#1: Facebook Promotion Options

Facebook Page Short Description

You have the opportunity to share URLs in two places on your Facebook page. One of those is in the main website field for your page and the other is in your page’s short description. This is a great place to share the URL for your lead magnet.

The short description field is limited to 160 characters, so use them wisely to describe your business and get people to your lead magnet.

Facebook Page Custom Tabs

Custom tabs are applications you add to your Facebook page to create a specific functionality. For example, the Convince & Convert Facebook page uses a custom tab to house an opt-in form for their email newsletter.

convince & convert custom tab

Example of an opt-in form on a Facebook page custom tab.

Find out if your email marketing software provides a Facebook app to create an opt-in form on a Facebook page custom tab or you can use an app like Woobox Static HTML to display an opt-in form on your own website.

Facebook Page Call-to-Action Button

The Facebook call-to-action button can also be used to direct people to your squeeze page. Simply use the Sign Up text option and link it to your squeeze page.

call to action button set up

How to set up a call-to-action button on your Facebook page.

To encourage people to click on the call-to-action button, you can create a custom Facebook cover photo that promotes your lead magnet and points to the button.

Facebook Page Cover Photo

Speaking of the cover photo, you can also use the cover photo’s description to link to your squeeze page like Mari Smith does.

cover image with link in description

Example of a Facebook page cover photo promoting a lead magnet.

Even if you don’t use your cover photo to promote your lead magnet, you should at least update it to include a link to your website so people can click through to it.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook ads are a perfect way to promote your lead magnet and get your ideal subscribers signed up to your email list. Formstack‘s ad is a perfect example of promoting a free ebook, using a great image and a download button as the call to action.

formstack lead magnet in facebook ad

Example of a Facebook ad promoting a lead magnet.

Be sure to use the interests and demographics targeting options to go beyond age and location targeting to qualify the leads who see the invitation to your email list. The more qualified your leads, the better your email marketing will perform.

facebook ad targeting

How to use targeting options for a Facebook ad.

You can also upload your current email list as a custom audience and create a lookalike audience to target people similar to your current email subscribers.

facebook lookalike audience

How to create a lookalike audience from your email list.

Choose Lookalike Audience in your ad’s targeting options in the Custom Audiences field to promote your lead magnet to them.

Only use this option if you feel that your current email list is fully qualified for your business. Otherwise, you simply attract more unqualified email leads.

#2: Twitter Promotion Options

Twitter Bio

Similar to using the short description on your Facebook page, you can use your Twitter bio to promote your lead magnet and leave your website field for your main website URL.

link in twitter bio

Example of a link used in the Twitter bio.

Placing the URL of your squeeze page in your Twitter bio is particularly useful because only the link in your Twitter bio shows up in places like Twitter search results.

twitter bios in search results

Example of how a link in a Twitter bio appears in Twitter search results.

For maximum effectiveness, avoid including hashtags and other Twitter profile @username handles. That makes certain there’s only one clickable item in your Twitter bio for people to act on.

Twitter Lead Generation Card

The Twitter lead generation card is a feature that lets you collect email addresses directly from within Twitter. You’ll find it in the Twitter ads section and the setup will look like this.

twitter lead generation card

How to set up a Twitter lead generation card.

Additional configurations for specific CRM software (like Salesforce) can be found in the Twitter Help Center’s guide to setting up a lead generation card.

Otherwise, you download the list of email addresses from users who opt in from your card and upload it to your email marketing service. You can find your leads by going to your cards and clicking on the Download Leads icon (the one with the right arrow).

exporting leads

The location of your Twitter lead generation card submissions to export.

To get exposure for your Twitter lead generation card, simply tweet it to your audience or promote it using Twitter advertising.

Twitter Advertising

To promote your Twitter lead generation card or tweets with links to your latest lead magnets, you can use Twitter advertising. Just like Facebook ads, you can target qualified audiences. On Twitter, you do this with interests and followers of other Twitter accounts (like your competitors).

twitter ad targeting

How to target specific audiences for a Twitter ad campaign.

As with Facebook, you can market to custom audiences on Twitter. Start by uploading your current email list to Twitter’s audience manager. Choose your email list as a tailored audience, and then check the box for targeting users similar to your tailored audience. Then select your email list as a tailored audience again to exclude these users from ad targeting (since you don’t need them to sign up again).

You can also create a tailored audience from your customer list to ensure qualified subscribers by targeting your ad to a similar audience.

#3: LinkedIn Promotion Options

LinkedIn Publications & Projects

On your personal LinkedIn profile, you can add a Publications section that allows you to link directly to your ebooks, whitepapers, etc. You can also use this to link directly to your lead magnet squeeze pages.

linkedin publications

Example of the LinkedIn Publications section linking to a lead magnet.

If your lead magnet is a tool, like a free calculator, add a link to your tool in the Projects section of your profile.

linkedin profile editing

Where you can find the Publications and Projects sections to add them to your profile.

You can add both of these sections to your profile by using the guided profile editing option.

For more visibility, add your best lead magnet to the website links in your Contact Info. This adds it to the top of your public profile so visitors who aren’t logged into LinkedIn can still see it.

LinkedIn Advertising

For businesses looking to target specific professionals as email subscribers, LinkedIn advertising offers the best professional ad audience targeting options to help you get the ideal email subscribers on your list.

linkedin targeting options

How to target specific audiences with LinkedIn advertising.

Additional Opportunities on Social Media

Additional ways to promote your lead magnets and grow your email list with social media include the following.

  • Pin a great image of your lead magnet to your Pinterest profile and link that image to your lead magnet squeeze page.
  • Share a great image of your lead magnet to your Instagram profile and tell people to click the link in your bio. Temporarily (or permanently) change the link in your Instagram profile to point to your lead magnet squeeze page. Be sure that your squeeze page is responsive, since most people from Instagram will be viewing it on their mobile device.
  • Create videos on Vine and Snapchat telling your fans to download your latest lead magnet. Make sure your URL is short, easy to say, and easy to remember, like

#4: Make Sharing Easy

You don’t have to rely solely on your own promotion tactics to get more people to your squeeze pages. You can enlist the help of people who’ve already downloaded your free ebook or report.

Let’s say you offered a free ebook as a lead magnet. Simply create a landing page that thanks people for reading your latest ebook and add social sharing buttons that allow them to share the squeeze page for your lead magnet with their own audiences.

To get people to share on Twitter, pre-populate a Twitter Share button with custom text and the URL of your squeeze page. Make sure the URL being shared is the squeeze page of your lead magnet. Otherwise, you’ll end up with people sharing your thank-you page.

tweet button set up

How to set up a Twitter Share button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Now, the tweet automatically points to your squeeze page!

sample tweet

Sample tweet configured in Twitter Share button setup.

You can configure a Facebook Like button in much the same way.

facebook like button set up

How to set up a Facebook Like button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Add a LinkedIn Share button.

linkedin share button set up

How to set up a LinkedIn Share button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Include a Pinterest Pin It button.

pinterest button set up

How to set up a Pinterest Pin It button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Put It All Together

Once you’ve begun collecting your high-quality leads, there are a number of ways you can use social media to impact your email marketing campaigns.

For example, you can use your Twitter audience to split test email subject lines. If you send your experimental tweets through Buffer, you’ll get the following analytics for each tweet.

buffer metrics

Buffer analytics for a tweet.

The tweet with the most engagement can be considered the best headline, and the best headline should be used as the best email subject line.

Or you can get more traction for current email campaigns by targeting your email subscribers with social ads on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure the campaign and your social ads use the same images, call to action, etc., so your subscribers are presented with a similar message no matter where they see it.

What do you think? Have you learned a few ways social media can help grow your email list and reach your email subscribers? Do you have additional tips? Please share them in the comments!

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  • Very helpful! With email marketing, you can successfully reach a much larger audience for substantially less money than with traditional marketing campaigns. Making your campaign effective depends entirely upon how aggressively you attract new clients, how you treat existing clients and how you brand your company as a loyal, trustworthy business that values its clients.

  • Thanks GoPromotional! 🙂

  • Shai Geoola

    Great article and tips Kristi. Thanks for sharing! Cheers

  • Audrey Gotto

    This post is a KEEPER!

  • Sara

    Great ideas! How do you put a link in your Facebook cover photo? Does FB automatically hyperlink a URL?

  • Hi Sara! You just add it to the photo’s description. If you type in, then that would be hyperlinked automatically. 🙂

  • Thanks Audrey! 🙂

  • Thanks Shai! 🙂

  • Another great post, Kristi (as always). The social ad how-to’s are super helpful for list building. Hope you’re doing well. Cheers!

  • Great tips Kristi! Indeed email and social media marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly when used correctly. Unfortunately, I think most people see them as totally separate tools and miss so many opportunities to really get targeted in their efforts. I’ll definitely be sharing your great post.

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: Amazon Launches Home Services, Mobile Email Marketing Report & Trada Closes Its Doors()

  • Thanks Hunter! I am – I hope you are too. 🙂

  • Thanks Alice! 🙂

  • Ozzie Ohl

    Can you pin a pinterst pin on a Facebook page,
    Can a like s on Facebook icon be created and inserted into the signature line of an email?

  • Nicely explained Kristi 🙂 it could be more awesome if you included Pinterest in the list too

  • nice sort of articles, really admire me a lots.

  • Email Marketing though not strongly recommended they are very helpful. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin helps widely in email marketing. Since people now a days believe in quick and easy approach this methods are very beneficial. Thanks for share.

  • Richard

    Some great ideas. I am running a 5 day Kindle freebie from today and would really like to optimise on number 4 but I am being a little slow. If I add a page to my website, how do a make this a ‘landing page’ drawing those freebie downloaders back to the site ‘to thank them’. Sorry, I might be missing something fundamental.

  • Hi Ozzie! You can share a pin from Pinterest on a Facebook page, but I don’t think you can pin images from Facebook to Pinterest.

    The like button works off of scripted code, so I’m not sure you could put it in an email. That would be nice though!

  • Thanks Salman! There is a little tidbit on how to add the Pin It button to your squeeze page to get others to share on Pinterest. You can also create a great graphic for your lead magnet and pin it from your squeeze page to get it started. 🙂

  • You’re welcome John! 🙂

  • Hi Richard! #4 is in reference to a thank you page that you send email subscribers to after they opt-in to your list. If you are doing a Kindle freebie and have a link in the book that directs readers to a page where they can opt-in to your list, you should be able to have the form on that page send them to a specific thank you page. I’m not sure if you can redirect people who just download the Kindle book though.

  • Thanks Bradley! 🙂

  • Yup that can work too 🙂

  • Harendra Gusain

    Nice information shared by Kristi . One more thing you can use for social lead generation is YouTube video and YouTube advertising.

  • Thanks Harendra.

  • Ammeyjon

    Natalie . even though David `s posting is really cool… on friday I bought a new Chevrolet after bringing in $4637 this-past/5 weeks and even more than $10 thousand this past munth . without a doubt its the most financialy rewarding I’ve ever had . I started this 8-months ago and pretty much straight away startad bringin in at least $72.. p/h . use this link…][][

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  • Hi Kristi,

    I already knew about Social Media Marketing through Facebook
    or LinkedIn. After reading your article, I got ideas about promotion through
    twitter. It is very informative post. Thanks for sharing this kind blog, really this blog very helpful for me.


  • You’re welcome Vikas! 🙂

  • Dj

    Any free software for an optin/lead page? Or Any you recomend?
    Any free software for an optin/lead page? Or Any you recomend?
    Thanks,i really love this site.

  • Thank you so much, Kristi, for a thorough article on how to use social media to enhance our email marketing. It’s tough to keep up with all the advances in social media and having writers who gather and package all the new information is so appreciated. I especially like the Twitter and LinkedIn options and will be implementing them right away.

  • You’re welcome Jeannette! 🙂

  • Thanks for posting helpful information.. A report issued by the email services company Return Path, as of mid-2008 email deliverability is still an issue for legitimate marketers. According to the report, legitimate email servers averaged a delivery rate of 56%; twenty percent of the messages were rejected, and eight percent were filtered.

  • ingvar88

    I wanna thank you very much for it! I’m using GetResponse and now I know much more about using social media to improve email marketing!

  • ingvar88

    I wanna thank you very much for it! I’m using GetResponse and now I know much more about using social media to improve email marketing!

  • Well , this is very helpful . most of the digital marketers don’t give importance to email marketing . But i agree with this article . But the thing is from where can i get bulk email data base? without a huge database these plans wont work out i guess. 🙁