This is a guest post from Hugh Beaulac, a content strategist at MC2 who also works as a social media manager. With over 6 years of digital marketing experience, Hugh helps small and medium businesses grow online and likes to share his tips and tricks with top-notch marketing blogs like Wordstream, CrazyEgg, and Semrush. Follow him on Twitter to read his latest articles on Instagram marketing.
It’s no wonder that more and more brands use social media platforms to promote their products and services as their target audience is active on these channels.
But here’s the thing: Although email is one of the oldest messaging channels, it still matters.
Why? Because nearly all social media users have active email accounts.
Recent Hubspot report claims that email marketing is still effective: 99% of customers check their email every day, 73% of people claim that email is the preferred communication channel to receive branded news and offers, and 59% of customers say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
For marketers, this means that combining social media and email marketing is a must. And with the growing popularity of Instagram marketing, there’s a perfect way to connect with engaged users and get more email list subscribers.
In this Process Street article, we’re covering:
- Why use Instagram to get email list subscribers
- Make the most out of your Instagram bio
- Give your customers a reason to share an email
- Use Instagram Stories to promote sign-ups
- Reach potential subscribers who don’t follow
- Benefits of Instagram marketing
- The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing
Why use Instagram to get email list subscribers?
The days when Instagram was a simple photo-sharing app are far behind us. Over the last few years, Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool to acquire new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones.
Today, more than 25 million businesses of all sizes and shapes use Instagram to build brand awareness, increase ecommerce sales, drive website traffic, and stay ahead of their competitors.
What is more, Instagram is a perfect place to get email list subscribers for four main reasons:
- Your target audience is definitely on Instagram: According to Business Instagram, the platform has over one billion active users and 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. No matter who your target audience is, you can connect with your potential customers on Instagram.
- Instagram is the most engaged social network: As specified in one report by Social Bakers, Instagram has the highest user engagement rate in comparison with Twitter and Facebook. It’s also proven that brands can generate over 4x more interactions on Instagram.
- People want to interact with brands on the platform: When it comes to Instagram, the majority of users are ready to interact with brands on the platform. As reported by Adweek, 80% of users follow at least one brand on Instagram which means you have higher chances to start a conversation with your potential email list subscribers.
- Instagram has many business-specific features to make the process easier: Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to a powerful marketing tool. Today, Instagram provides business-specific features that help both brands and users make the most out of the platform. From adding contact information to using clickable links in the bio and Instagram Stories, there are many ways for businesses to collect customer emails on Instagram.
If you don’t use Instagram to get more email list subscribers, it seems you’re making one of the most common Instagram mistakes.
4 effective ways to grow your email list with Instagram
#1. Make the most out of your Instagram bio
Do you know that it takes just 2.6 seconds for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand?
When it comes to Instagram, your bio is your visit card that tells visitors about your brand, products, and key principles.
What is more, you have just 150 characters and one link to entice your visitors to follow your brand on Instagram. If you want to get more email list subscribers with Instagram marketing, you need to make the most out of your bio.
Include a call to action
Here comes the ugly truth: it’s nearly impossible to grow your email list unless you spur users to share their emails with a call to action (CTA) copy. And if you want to get more email list subscribers with Instagram, use your Instagram bio to encourage your visitors to sign up. Moreover, many brands use this tactic to grow email lists.
Let’s take a look at FabFitFun. The company knows that free stuff is irresistible, so it offers special gifts for its first-time subscribers and promotes it via Instagram bio. To encourage visitors to click on the link in the bio, the company uses a strong command verb. Here’s how it looks like:
Although FabFitFun uses a call to action to encourage Instagram visitors and followers to learn more about the offer, some people still wonder how to sign up and they ask questions in the comments. Once the company gets a request, its customer service team replies to the comment, explains the process, and offers assistance.
The above-mentioned example shows that the company is ready to go the extra mile to get more email list subscribers. Not only does this customer-centric approach prove that the company takes care of its customers, but it also encourages interested people to sign up immediately.
Here’s another example from Shaesby Jewelry. The company also uses its bio to promote email sign-ups by writing about the benefits of being on the email list which gives its visitors a reason to take the desired action:
In short, a well-written CTA phrase can give wonderful results; especially if you write it from your potential customers’ point of view and tell your subscribers how they can benefit from this subscription.
Add your email as a contact option
It’s no secret that 90% of people use social media as a way to communicate with brands. Today, it’s easier for customers to discover information about your company on social media and contact you within the app than call your customer service.
Thus, it’s important to allow your Instagram page visitors to contact directly on the platform.
If you want to make it easier to contact you quickly and conveniently, switch to an Instagram business profile to get access to key features such as contact information. Moreover, it’s a proven way to get more email addresses from your visitors.
For example, Made Well provides its followers with two contact options – phone number and email.
Since the majority of modern users avoid making calls, it’s more likely you will receive an email from your follower or visitor which means having an amazing opportunity to establish a connection and grow your email list without being pushy.
#2. Give your customers a reason to share an email
Brand loyalty plays an important role in growing your email list. If people love your brand, they will be more likely to sign up for your email list to stay up to date with the latest news and products. The more customers love your brand, the more email subscribers you can get.
If you use Instagram for increasing brand loyalty and trust, that’s great.
And if you want to turn Instagram followers into email subscribers, you need to give them a solid reason to be on your list. Let’s find out what can work well.
Run a giveaway
No matter the size and shape of your business, running an Instagram giveaway is a great idea for a variety of reasons. It’s psychologically proven that giveaways trigger social media engagement and most followers are ready to enter your giveaway for a chance to get something for free.
If you want to grow your email list, running a giveaway is a great option as it’s you who decides on your “how to enter” requirements—just ask participants to sign up with their emails.
Luciana Nitu, a marketing specialist at Planable, proves that this strategy works:
“Giveaways on Instagram can be a logistical nightmare — but it’s doable nonetheless. When people hear giveaway, they instantly think about products, but there is so much more you can offer as a company. For example, we recently launched an entire video Academy based on content marketing workflow. And we’re giving it away for free. But our audience has to enroll with their email address. That’s where the relationship only gets started.”
And here’s how Live Love Pop uses this strategy in action:
At first blush, this contest has simple participation requirements, so it won’t take much time and effort to enter it.
But here’s the thing: Not only does this contest help to boost user engagement and attract new followers, but it also helps to increase the number of email subscribers.
Why? When it comes to the last step and you tap on the link in the bio, you will be redirected to a form to submit your email:
Here’s how Match Pewter uses the power of giveaways to get straight to the point and get more email list subscribers:
The company runs a giveaway for the email subscribers, so people see the subscription as gold because they get a chance to get a $599 gift card for nothing.
Use email for customer support
With the growing popularity of social media platforms, customer expectations have changed and it’s highly important to manage customer service requests on Instagram: 55% of users want to get responses or solutions on social media and 43% of people use social media for service-related needs.
Simply put, providing customer support on Instagram is a must.
But: If you’re a large brand, it’s more likely you receive a lot of questions on Instagram and some of them can get buried in your inbox or newsfeed.
To boost customer satisfaction, you need to solve their requests quickly without sacrificing the quality. Thus, it’s a good idea to collect customer requests on Instagram and provide further assistance via email.
Take Made.com, for example. The company replies to comments to ease the minds of worried customers and ask them to share their emails to get assistance:
When you invite Instagram followers to communicate via email, you show them that you take care of them and protect their customer data as you want to connect personally.
Share exclusive discounts and deals
Who else loves discounts and exclusive deals?
According to one research by Optinmonster, 60% of consumers subscribe to an email list to receive promotional messages from brands and 44% of people check their email for a deal from a company they know.
In other words, people want to receive discounts and deals via email, and promoting your email list on Instagram is a smart choice.
Here’s how Earth Shoes does it:
The company offers a 20% discount and it looks like a good deal for customers. And if you need to properly set discounts, you can always get math assistance to choose an optimal discount that will attract more customers and help you make your discount campaign profitable.
When you share discounts and deals via email, you invite people to join an exclusive group of people that receive special treatment. As a result, you entice them to become your email list subscribers and it gives wonderful results.
#3. Use Instagram Stories to promote sign-ups
If you’re on Instagram, it’s more likely you know about Instagram Stories, short-lived content that is available for 24 hours.
The concept of disappearing content isn’t new, but it has gained in popularity over the last few years. Today, 500 million people create or watch Instagram Stories daily and Instagram Stories grow 15x faster than feed-based content.
Since Instagram Stories create a fear of missing out (FOMO) effect, they encourage viewers to take action faster which means more opportunities for brands to get email list subscribers.
Include a link to your landing page
The popularity of Instagram Stories is on its rise, so using short-lived content is a perfect way to hook the attention of engaged users and grow your email list.
And if you have 10k+ followers on Instagram, you can make the most out of the Swipe Up feature to include a clickable link to your landing page that helps to collect email subscribers.
Need proof? Nick Dimitriou, head of growth at email marketing software Moosend, believes in the power of Instagram Stories and claims that short-lived content can help to get more email list subscribers when done right:
“Users can make their favorite stories immortal by saving them as Highlights and having them appear on their profile. It helps to engage both your followers and Instagram visitors who want to learn more about your brand. For example, you can promote unique and useful content through Instagram Stories and share access to it in exchange for email sign-ups. That’s where Swipe Up comes in. Instagrammers, through a simple swipe, get access to your premium content (and enter their email address to get it!). Want to know the best part? It works well!”
Here’s a little case study of this strategy in action from Tailwind. It is not just another social media scheduling software; it’s a company that educates its customers, so Tailwind uses its Instagram account to share tips and tricks about Instagram marketing.
The company knows that Instagram Stories Highlights make it easier for users to discover short-lived content any time they like. Whether you’re a follower or visitor, it’s easy to watch the best Instagram Stories to find out useful insights.
Tailwind uses one of their Instagram Stories Highlights to offer tips on how to use Instagram Stories and they are ready to offer exclusive content in exchange for their email addresses. With the swipe-up feature, it’s easy to learn more about the offer without leaving the app.
Instagram Stories offer new creative ways to interact with your followers. When you use the swipe-up feature, you make it easier for your followers to take your desired action faster as they are taken directly to the URL you specified after clicking on the link.
In other words, it gives your followers an opportunity to sign up for your email list without getting distracted.
Collect emails with the question sticker
Instagram introduced the question sticker in 2018. This interactive feature allows users to type out a prompt which gives another easy way to start a conversation and get closer with followers on Instagram.
Once you start receiving replies, you will be able to see who submitted each response in your viewers’ list which is private, it’s a perfect way to collect email addresses as you protect customer data.
If you want to get email subscribers fast, here are a few questions you can ask:
- “Would you be interested in receiving exclusive offers and discounts?”
- “Would you like to join our email list?”
- “Do you want to become our VIP?”
- “Would you like to receive promotional messages via email?”
But if you want to understand your followers better, collect business ideas, and establish a connection with your potential subscribers, learn from Hubspot. The company often uses the question sticker to organize Q&A sessions around different areas of their expertise.
Want to know the best part? Analyzing the responses is a perfect source of market research as it helps you understand your customers’ pain points.
Once you have collected enough replies, you can repurpose Instagram content for email marketing to provide your subscribers with valuable answers.
Not only does it help to generate content ideas, but it also helps to collect email addresses from customers. Since you’re able to see who submitted the responses, you can contact these people and start a conversation.
#4. Reach potential subscribers who don’t follow you
Let’s be honest: It can be daunting to reach your target audience on Instagram, convince users to follow your brand, and turn your followers into email list subscribers. Doubtless, the process is difficult and time-consuming.
But if your primary goal is to build your email list, there are some ways to reach potential subscribers even if they don’t follow you on Instagram.
Run Instagram lead ads
Instagram ads help brands connect with their target audience and achieve results fast. When using ads, you have advanced targeting options which helps you reach your potential customers with ease.
Moreover, 75% of users take action on Instagram ads. When done right, Instagram ads help to collect email addresses.
Just look at what happened to Homesnap. To help their real estate agents to find home buyers, the company created the lead ad form to capture the contact information of the person who clicked the ad (emails, phone numbers, etc.).
Homesnap’s lead ad campaign achieved a 6X return on ad spend and a 7X decrease in cost per lead.
To stand out from hundreds of other brands who hope for the attention of your target audience, it’s important to use Instagram advertising templates to create eye-catching ads that encourage users to take the desired action.
Collaborate with niche influencers
In the era of paid ads, customers crave authenticity more than ever, so it’s no wonder that 92% of customers seek peers’ recommendations before making purchase decisions.
Thus, influencer marketing is gaining in popularity.
For brands, this means another opportunity to increase brand awareness, promote products, or even collect email addresses. If you work with an influencer who reaches your brand’s target audience, you can get wonderful results.
Case in point:
American Fighter worked with Reymundo Hernandez, an Instagram influencer who has over 162k followers. In partnership with Hernandez, the company was able to enter an already-established community of loyal followers to promote their email list:
But if you’re not a large brand, consider working with micro- or nano-influencers as they don’t charge much for shoutouts. To go the extra mile, think about encouraging your customers to promote your product – just offer referral rewards to motivate them.
If you want to grow your email list, think outside the box and find out new creative ways to reach your potential subscribers even if they don’t follow your brand on Instagram. Moreover, Instagram influencers can help you promote your brand and email list without being too sales-y.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of Instagram marketing
Instagram marketing is not just about boosting brand awareness, promoting your products, and increasing ecommerce sales; it can also help you grow your email list.
If you want to get more email list subscribers, you need to do the following:
- Keep a focus on your customers’ needs
- Give them a reason to be on your list
- Promote email sign-ups on Instagram
There’s a lot that goes into Instagram marketing; you can’t just expect to start an Instagram account for your brand and hope to see any reliable results.
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing
Instagram’s explosive growth in recent years offers a unique opportunity to build your following and sell your product.
If you’re interested in marketing on Instagram, check out our guide below.
It’s got everything from getting started, to case studies, to getting more followers, to optimizing your Instagram account. Don’t miss out!
If you want to take full advantage of the process above, be sure to sign up for a free trial of Process Street!
What is Process Street, I hear you ask? Well, it’s basically a tool to help you do more work, with less effort. There’s a name for this kind of tool: BPM software.
It’s all about the process; save time and money by automating manual tasks, and reducing confusion with a clear, step-by-step checklist.
Here’s a video breakdown of what Process Street is all about:
With a free Process Street account, you’ll gain access to all of the templates mentioned in this article, as well as even more like:
- On-Page SEO Checklist
- Technical SEO Audit
- Product Launch Checklist
- UX Audit
- Social Media Manager Daily Checklist
- Influencer Outreach Checklist
- Keyword Research Checklist
- Affiliate Onboarding
- Advanced Content Promotion Checklist
- Find Almost Anyone’s Email
- Submitting Content to Social Bookmarking Sites
- Daily Mention Tracking for Content Promotion
- Creating a Database of Influencers using Buzzsumo
- Scraping Broken Links with SEOSpider and Ahrefs
- SEO Checklist: The Keyword Research Process
- Accepting, Formatting, Editing and Publishing a Guest Post
What are you waiting for?!
Oh, and while you’re here, you might like to check out these other articles on social media marketing:
- 3 Ways to Repurpose Instagram Content for Your Email Marketing
- Building an All-powerful Influencer Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Process Toolkit: 10 Checklists to Crush Your Competition
- The Must Have Social Media Management Tool for Any Business
Have you used Instagram to get more email list subscribers? Did you succeed? We’d love to hear your stories—feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!