5 Tactics to Convert Social Media Followers into Email Subscribers

Your email and social media channels may be united in cause, but not always in strategy. Both are powerful tools to have at your disposal, but the real results are seen when you’re able to combine the two.

5 Tactics to Convert Social Media Followers into Email Subscribers. Source: dotdigital
5 Tactics to Convert Social Media Followers into Email Subscribers. Source: dotdigital

That’s why we’ve produced this new best practice cheatsheet – to help you use the power of social to drive visits to your site, and to convert them into email subscribers.

Read on this article for 5 tactics you can use on social media to get your followers into your email lists, and you’ll be able to:

  • Learn how to best promote your email subscription forms
  • Discover the best way to get your followers to opt into receiving your email communications
  • See which types of content work best for promotion via email
  • Leverage social media tools to grow your mailing list
  • Utilize social ads as part of your strategy

Content Summary

Introduction
The impact of social media
Pair the channels, harness the data, unlock the value
Promote email sign-up in social environments
Request followers to opt-in as part of a social campaign
Exchange exclusive content for email addresses
Leverage the social tools at your disposal
Utilize social ads

Introduction

The power of email and social is jaw-dropping! Both channels are extremely potent and warrant full attention from marketers like you. Why? Their direct and wide-reaching capabilities make it super-easy for you to connect with your subscribers and target your online audiences. And the ROI speaks for itself – £32 is returned for every £1 that’s invested in email, while social network advertising in 2017 generated staggering revenues of $41 billion.

As email and social contribute greatly to business growth, they’re likely to take up much of your outbound marketing activity. Both channels aim to supercharge your brand’s digital presence and convert any feasible opportunity into a win.

Email and social may be united in cause, but they’re not always united in strategy. Many brands that struggle to break out of the silos continue to view both channels as separate rather than complementary; the net effect can produce imbalances that ultimately weaken your marketing potency. For instance, investing more time, energy and resource in one channel over another can isolate audiences and abate cross-platform engagement opportunities. Remember – there are few consumers that attribute their buying decisions to one single medium.

However, employing a game plan that’s more holistic will drive better results; as you’ll find out in this cheatsheet, co-ordinating social with email adds fuel to the fire, helping you maximize your brand’s online reach.

The impact of social media

The potential of social media – as a melting pot for consumer discovery and activity – is huge. 2.31 billion social media users globally! From user-generated input and interaction to content sharing, social platforms help us define who we are and how we act.

What’s more, cognitive phenomena such as social proof provide brands with a means to influence followers, define market trends and shape consumer behavior. The end goal is to identify, capture and nurture your perfect target market to levels that will grow your business activities and keep you afloat.

Social media’s diverse and extensive landscape helps deliver the essential goods. There are plentiful opportunities to be had; you can cement a powerful word-of-mouth, hype up some buzz around a particular event or product launch, as well as increase your mailing list to all-new heights.

Pair the channels, harness the data, unlock the value

If marketers wish to leverage the full value of email and social, they need to make a concerted effort to tether them together. To work in unison, both channels need to lean on their respective merits; email communicates exclusivity to switched-on subscribers and social media can reach audiences on an immense scale.

For example, email marketers can directly push subscribers to social channels with special incentives in their communications, while social marketers can widely promote email sign-ups on their platforms and in their campaigns

This co-ordinated activity maximizes engagement and conversion – and remember, the latter doesn’t always mean a purchase. It could be an Instagram follower entering a prize draw they noticed in their inbox, or a simple email opt-in as part of a Facebook competition.

The lure of converting social followers into email subscribers is in the data. Social followers have a wealth of insight – both implicit and explicit – that can enrich marketers, helping them to build a single profile of their customers and drive relevant communications. These could be based on gender, geolocation or online browse behavior, for instance. But chiefly, it’s their email address which acts as a unique identifier and unlocks the door to the inbox. It’s too good an opportunity to miss!

Promote email sign-up in social environments

Having a brand page on social media is key in today’s digital environment. Facebook has a monthly audience of 2.13 billion, so you’d be mad not to!

For your social presence to be highly effective – so that it drives your followers to act on impulse – it’s crucial to link through to other revenue-generating channels such as email. Offering a simple sign-up on your Facebook page can drive enrolments into a welcome program or newsletter series, helping you nurture new subscribers into loyal customers.

House of Hackney asks for key actionable data on its Facebook page: gender, date of birth and location. With this level of insight, the brand is able to segment social followers and deliver super-relevant and contextual content over email. This could be tailored feature products, a birthday voucher or a flash sale/event promotion. Source: dotdigital
House of Hackney asks for key actionable data on its Facebook page: gender, date of birth and location. With this level of insight, the brand is able to segment social followers and deliver super-relevant and contextual content over email. This could be tailored feature products, a birthday voucher or a flash sale/event promotion. Source: dotdigital

Request followers to opt-in as part of a social campaign

Social campaigns – like competitions, contests and prize draws – are proven to generate buzz and hype around a brand. What’s more, they’re super-effective in reaching the desired audience thanks to the practice of social sharing.

This is a prime time to ask for an email address! When launching a competition for example, you can integrate a newsletter subscription as a condition for social followers to enter. Or, it might cause more of a storm to inspire feelings of one-upmanship – give email subscribers a kickstart over non-subscriber entrants, incentivizing those in a less advantageous position to sign up.

Remember: it’s prudent to be completely transparent about T&Cs when urging social followers to opt in, making it clear what they’re signing up to. Sending a triggered welcome email would also reinforce the action and – in driving some context – dispel any uncertainty.

Bhu Foods invited Instagram followers to enter a competition for a chance to win a 6-month supply of vegan protein bars. Source: dotdigital
Bhu Foods invited Instagram followers to enter a competition for a chance to win a 6-month supply of vegan protein bars. Source: dotdigital
Bhu Foods invited Instagram followers to enter a competition for a chance to win a 6-month supply of vegan protein bars. Source: dotdigital
Bhu Foods invited Instagram followers to enter a competition for a chance to win a 6-month supply of vegan protein bars. Source: dotdigital

Exchange exclusive content for email addresses

Content is becoming a key driver of brand engagement – leverage it to your advantage! Social followers want more and more content, and – as they seek to unlock its value – there’s a chance they’ll act positively by sharing, interacting or buying.

Tapping into this trend, you can effectively increase your email database by making content you share on social media – such as Twitter for example – exclusive to those who’ve signed up to emails. Gatekeeping your content for an exchange of email address is a win-win – followers engage with your piece and convert into email subscribers. Ensure the content you do gatekeep is enticing: think product-related tips and tricks, how-to guides or some rich media, such as audiobooks, podcasts or videos.

Mesosphere promotes its ebooks on Twitter, prompting followers to download a ‘gatekept’ piece of content in exchange for their details. Source: dotdigital
Mesosphere promotes its ebooks on Twitter, prompting followers to download a ‘gatekept’ piece of content in exchange for their details. Source: dotdigital

Leverage the social tools at your disposal

Posting
Sharing snippets of in-email content – that people are missing out on by not subscribing – is an effective means to increase sign-ups on social media. You could post exclusive blogs, offers and competitions – even a newsletter sample that you know will tickle your audience’s fancy.

To get their hands on subscriber benefits, followers will need to exchange their email address. But remember, it’s better that any incentive you do employ is tailored towards loyal followers, as opposed to the one-time deal hunters that generate less value in the long-run.

Sharing
Those who opt in on social media are likely to be the most engaged segment of your audience, interested in the products and services you offer – ideal subscribers! And, once these key influencers are on your list, ask them to share content with best friends and family members – this will further maximize your sign-up opportunities.

Direct messaging
While posting and sharing on social media are compelling methods to increase sign-ups, neither is one-to-one – or rather, brand-to-consumer. A more direct and persuasive way of growing your email database is through hyper-targeted messaging.

For instance, imagine one of your social followers gives you a positive shout-out on Facebook. With the right tech stack in place, you can slide in a direct message – off the back of the social mention – requesting sign-up. I.e. “Thanks for the love. Let us send it back to you – sign up for 10% off …” Contextual or what?

Barista Bar uses Twitter posts to prompt followers to “join the club” for daily coffee deals. Source: dotdigital
Barista Bar uses Twitter posts to prompt followers to “join the club” for daily coffee deals. Source: dotdigital

Utilize social ads

Paid media – if you’ve got the cash to splash – is a viable option for you to increase newsletter sign-ups. Advertising is tried and tested, capable of reaching audiences outside of your social sphere. On Facebook you can generate powerful ads to collect subscriptions; they open a form pre-populated with already known data – such as name and email address – which makes the sign-up process quick and simple.

Adding some customizable fields also gives you the opportunity to ask for the data that matters most to you. But, be sure to err on the side of caution, as asking for too much information can be a disincentive. You can always ask for more – i.e. through use of a preference center – once followers have opted in.

Ads can be used in a variety of ways to increase your mailing list: they can target audiences based on an exclusive sale, event or rich editorial content. Likewise, they’re an effective means for B2Bs to fill their pipelines with high-quality leads: job-profile ads on LinkedIn and software pitches on Twitter are just some examples.

Widen your net
The consumer landscape is shifting on an unprecedented scale; greater accessibility to products and services has fast-tracked technology innovation, as a means to widen company reach and brand visibility.

What’s more, brand loyalty is no longer a guarantee and – with $6.2 trillion in near-constant play within the marketplace – marketers need to adapt their go-to-market strategies in a bid to stay competitive.

Integrating your email and social activities can be the ultimate manoeuvre to cement your brand’s sphere of influence – so decisive in driving your customer acquisition and retention.

Lonely Planet uses lead ads to discover people on Facebook who’re interested in guidebooks and hearing about its getaways. Source: dotdigital
Lonely Planet uses lead ads to discover people on Facebook who’re interested in guidebooks and hearing about its getaways. Source: dotdigital

Source: dotdigital