How to Grow Your Email List with Social Media

The Foundation for Social List Building

Are you sick and tired of hearing successful Internet gurus preaching to you that, "The money is in the list"? I thought so. However, the reason why an engaged list of email subscribers is so important to the success of your business is simple ... email marketing is consistently the easiest, drop-dead-simple, most inexpensive way to market your products and services.

And guess what? It works!

When you build a list of faithful email subscribers, you have been given permission to market to those individuals. Simply solve their problems, provide them with quality content that really helps them, and you just about have a license to print money.

The Basics

All you need to build a list is a free download, e-book, video, checklist or report. Then you need a landing page where web surfers exchange their email information for your freebie. Sign up to an autoresponder service like Aweber, MailChimp or GetResponse, and you are in business. Now that your list building system is in place, head to your favorite social media sites.
Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can help grow your list quickly ... if you engage your prospects in the right way. People on social media sites don't like to be sold to. They like to be engaged. They are there to "let their hair down" and relax. Approach them in that way, with a laid-back manner that is not selling to them, and you can effectively build your list quickly and inexpensively (without constantly asking people to “sign up to my mailing list!” – that doesn’t work). One of the first things you need to do is ...

Build a Landing Page

A landing page (also called a squeeze page or opt-in page) is where people "land" when they want to receive whatever free download or lead magnet you are offering. A sales page is sometimes referred to as a landing page, but in this instance, we are referring to a landing page as a vehicle for building your list. Freebies of any type (videos, e-books, special reports, checklists, etc.) work so well to attract the attention of social media users because everyone likes something for free.

They hit your landing page, sign up to your email list to receive their free product and you have a new list subscriber. So you will need at least one landing page to build your email list with social media. Then, whenever you post an update on Facebook or add a blog post to the LinkedIn Pulse blog, you can add a link back to your landing page to help grow your list.

Remember to keep your landing page as simple and clutter free as possible. You don't want a lot of confusing options, advertisements, graphics and videos, or even text for that matter. You want to give your prospects only 2 choices - 1) join your list, 2) leave. That's it.

Also, ask for minimal information. Research shows that simply asking for an email address, or a name and email address, works better than requiring a lot of information.

Content Upgrades

You can alternately create what is known in the Internet marketing community as a content upgrade. A content upgrade is when you add a freebie of some kind to a new or existing blog post on your site. You are upgrading the content by providing extra value with a free download. Somewhere in the middle of your blog post you offer your freebie, and those that click on that link are placed on your email list in return for your free value-rich report, checklist, etc.

In this case, you may want to try directing people from social media towards an “epic blog post” that contains one of these content upgrades.

They get awesome free value, you get the possibility of a new email subscriber. Win/ win!

* Advanced Social Media List Building Strategy: If you are just getting started building your list, skip this step. You want to get something up as soon as possible, so you can begin growing your list today. Eventually however, you will want different landing pages for different social media networks. This makes it easy to track where your social media list building efforts are paying off.

You also want to create different free downloads and opt-in bribes. What you will find is that one particular type of lead magnet may work better on a particular social network than another. For the time being, just create 1 value-rich free download and 1 landing page and get started building your list.

1) Create a Call to Action in Your Profile

Think about your most recent experience on your favorite social media site. No doubt you were asked to share, like, comment or take some other action after you read a particular post or status update, or watch the video. That is what social media sites are all about, socializing. People are there to share information.
Users on these social media networks enjoy when you ask them to take some type of action, because it makes them feel like they are part of the community.

You want to use this built-in quality of social media networks by telling your followers, and others, exactly what you want them to do. "Get your free report" and "Share this post for your free checklist" are very clear calls to action. They are not ambiguous at all. They tell people exactly what you would like them to do, and in return, they will benefit by your valuable free download.

Where should you include calls to action on social media sites? How about everywhere! Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Periscope and every other of the dozens of popular social media networks have multiple places where you can include a call to action. You want to link back to your landing page or content upgrade. This means that each one of your profile bio fields across all social networking platforms should include your call to action.

This creates several different opportunities to build your list, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year whether you are awake, asleep, working or playing.

Calls to action in your profile work extremely well. This is because people only look at your profile if they're interested in you. You have already developed some sense of engagement and interest. These people are looking for a way to connect with you, and when they see you are giving away a free download via a call to action in your profile, they are highly likely to take you up on your offer and join your list.

On Facebook, there’s even a call to action button that can be configured on your profile. Link this to one of your freebies to grow your list!

Do It the Right Way!

On Facebook and some other social media platforms, you are allowed to build business and personal pages. LinkedIn and other social networks allow you to create and manage groups. These are excellent places to provide calls to action…. But only in the description areas or pinned posts. You need to provide useful information the rest of the time!

Just make sure that your tweets, status upgrades, updates, posts and other social media engagements are interesting and engaging. Don't try to sell anything, and don’t keep asking people to buy or subscribe in the updates themselves.

Just provide lots of graphics, video and other attention-getting information in your posts, and include a call to action that leads back to your landing page.

2) Let Technology Work for You by Hosting a Giveaway

As mentioned before, the traditionally successful freebie method of list building is very effective. It builds a sense of trust and respect when your free download is full of value, and technology makes it easy to do. A landing page, autoresponder service and freebie is all you need to build your list.
That "something for free" mindset can also be harnessed in another wonderful way. You can take advantage of relatively recent advancements in technology to get other social network users to build your list for you. The KingSumo Giveaways plugin helps you build your list, and rewards social network users when they share your link.

Here is how it works. Someone runs across your call to action to enter a contest on a social media site. When they click on your link to enter in the hopes of winning a prize, the KingSumo Giweaways software takes over. They are told that if they share your contest link with others, they will be rewarded extra entries depending on how many times and where they share your information.

This is an extremely powerful way to harness the power of social networks to compound your list growing efforts. If I want to enter your contest, I know that I can simply share your contest information with others to improve my odds by getting more entries. Those that I share that information with you the same, and you can create a viral and successful list building campaign using this one tactic.

The KingSumos Giweaways application is just one of many pieces of contest software that seamlessly integrate with popular social networks.

What to Give Away?

Have a search online in your niche to get an idea of what you could give away for free. Most commonly, bloggers tend to give away one or more of their digital products as the prize. The benefit of doing this is that it doesn’t require any upfront cost.

If you do have some money to spend, though, think about some items that would really appeal to your target market. Think Amazon vouchers, Kindles, iPads and so on.

3) Why Not Take a Survey?

SurveyMonkey is not a poll-taking chimpanzee, as much is a sounds like one. It is a wonderful, free piece of software (who knows where they got the name from) that allows you to take surveys. In case you are unfamiliar with building a landing page, SurveyMonkey handles that for you.

You can ask several questions of your audience. You can have them fill in their response, or choose from multiple choices. There are several ways you can customize your surveys. Why does survey taking work so well on social media sites? It's simple ... everyone loves to voice their opinion, something that is done vehemently and regularly on social networks.

How Does This Build Your List?

When you create a survey with SurveyMonkey, you are given a URL that sends Web surfers to your poll. You can ask them one question or a series of questions, and their email addresses are captured. However, you do not automatically have permission to email everyone who answers your survey.

Make sure you include a checkbox asking whether they’d be happy to be added to your regular mailing list.

One tip here that works really well is to offer a free download in return for taking your survey. This will dramatically improve the number of people who actually take you up on your call to action.

There are other pieces of software which also allow you to grow your list by taking surveys on social media sites.

4) Add Sharing Links to Let Your Subscribers Do the Sharing for You!

I just mentioned how you can use contests and surveys to let your list members build your list for you. Another great way to do this is by adding social media sharing links and buttons to your Thank You page.

What is a Thank You page? This is where someone is taken immediately upon signing up to your email list in return for a free download or some other freebie.

It is appropriately titled the "Thank You" page, because that is what you should be doing. You take a minute to think that person for having enough trust in you to join your email list. It is often a good idea here to over-deliver by offering some extra freebie you have not mentioned. This builds an extremely high level of trust. Then when you add clickable text, social media buttons and sharing links, there is a great chance that they will share that information on their favorite social networks. There are free customizable plug-ins available that allow you to add any or all of the major social network sharing buttons to your website or blog quickly and easily. 

Obviously, you want these links heading back to your opt-in page, webinar registration page or landing page. Don't be afraid to accompany these sharing links with an outright call to action where you ask them for help. You have just given away something valuable for free. 

There is a psychological principle called The Law of Reciprocity which means that people generally want to do something for you if you have done something for them. 

This is just another reason why it is crucial to make your free download rich in value and applicable content. The person who just joined your list may know very little, or nothing, about you. Raise their eyebrows with a valuable freebie and they will be happy to click the sharing links on your Thank You page with their friends, family and social media followers.

5) Group Sharing … The Right Way

This is a tricky one. As you probably know, a lot of social media networks allow you to create and join groups. If you have a freebie entitled "The Top 21 Tips and Tricks for Happy, Healthy German Shepherds" then joining a Facebook group about German Shepherds just make sense.

List Building Option Number 1:

Once you have been approved to join that group, contact one of the administrators. Tell them that you have compiled a special report that the members of the group could really benefit from. Send your freebie to the group administrators, and tell them that you would be happy to make this report free to all of the members in that particular group. 

One of 2 things will happen. Most group administrators understand that you will be using this report to build your list. They may politely decline your offer, and that is entirely fine, it is their group to run and manage. But what you will find is that a lot of smart Facebook group admins will happily allow you to build your list on their group in this fashion. 

You are providing them with a resource which really can make a difference to their group members. You have saved them the time that it would take for them to create such a resource. They are more than happy to allow you to benefit by growing your list in return for this report. Just remember, always ask before posting a link to your squeeze page if you did not create the group.

List Building Option Number 2:

If the first method isn’t for you, or isn’t allowed by the group you’ve joined, then you can try the less direct method. This involves being super useful in the groups you’re a member of, and letting the list building happen a bit more naturally.

Here’s how it works:

·         First, make sure you have a link to your website in your personal Facebook profile. When you’re being super useful, many people will click over to your profile to find it.

·         Then, use the search function of the groups to find questions related to your niche. Answer them without promoting your business. Just be useful.

·         If it comes up naturally, or if people ask, tell them you actually have a freebie that could help them.

Be careful of sharing the link at this point – some groups are very strict so you may simply have to ask the person you’re helping whether they’d like you to send it in a direct message.

It may seem like this method is very time-consuming, and it actually can be! But that’s not a bad thing. You do need to put time and effort in to establish yourself as a go-to person in your niche. When you do this with groups, people will start noticing your name. They’ll start clicking through to that link in your profile. And you’ll grow your list by providing amazing free value, which helps set you up with an awesome relationship to your list members!

6) What Are Promoted Posts?

Promoted posts can be very powerful. After you have added a post, tweet or update to one of the big social networks, you can promote that content. For a fee, and a specific number of days, weeks or months, your post will be promoted by that social network. This is a form of social media advertising. Please be very careful with this list building approach. 

When first starting out, it is probably better to steer clear of promoted pins, tweets and posts. It is very easy to burn through some serious money very quickly if you don't know what you're doing.

If you do decide to attempt this form of paid social media advertising, here are a few things you should know:
  • Obviously, you will not be promoting a regular post. These posts need to have tons of value, and really engage and connect with a social media audience. 
  • You’ll either want to link directly to a landing page with an awesome freebie, or to one of your epic blog posts that contains a content upgrade.
Many social networks which offer promoted posts, tweets, etc. allow you to streamline who will see your offering. Take advantage of this. If you are offering a free report on meditation to build your yoga-based email list, you would be wise to target women between the ages of 25 and 60 as opposed to men who show bass fishing as an interest. 

Done correctly, this form of advertising can be very powerful. Again, start off simply and inexpensively. Most social networks will allow you to spend as little as $5 per day or a few cents per click when you run a promoted post campaign. Direct this traffic back your landing page, and build that list.

7) Share Every Free Download You Create ... Consistently

You probably know that you need social media sharing buttons on your website or blog. These are so commonplace that they do not have the viral sharing power that they did when they first appeared. People are used to seeing them, so in some cases they are virtually invisible, even though they are right there in front of your reader's eyes.

How can you ensure that every one of your content upgraded blog posts and free downloads draws the most possible attention? Share them all, consistently and relentlessly.

How to NOT Annoy Your Followers

This doesn't mean that your social media accounts should be nothing but "join my list" posts. At the beginning of this report we reminded you that people go to social networks to hang out and socialize, and have fun.

So you should definitely be posting 2 to 5 entertaining, engaging, insightful pieces of content for every list building call to action. However, every time you develop a new free download or other type of freebie, your followers deserve the opportunity to take advantage of the valuable gift you are offering. This means every different content upgrade, landing page and free download you develop needs to be shared on your social media accounts.

When you first get started, you want to focus on creating 1 valuable freebie and 1 landing page. Share these across all of your social networks. However, you eventually want to experiment with different types of content and different landing pages so you can see what approach works best to build your list. When this happens, develop a consistent plan for sharing your new freebie offers at least once on all of the popular social networks.

And remember, people may not have seen your previous freebies. If you created a list building freebie 6 months ago, share it again, and share it regularly! Your new followers will probably even be glad that you continue to share.

8) Make Your Content More Shareable!

It’s time to think beyond the basic social sharing buttons that everyone has on their website, and make it easier and more fun for your readers to share your content for you.

This doesn't mean you should remove the social media sharing buttons from your site. It just means that there are other ways to drive social networking engagement that not everyone is using. And the more methods you employ, the more chance your content will get shared, and that people will sign up to your freebies!

Get People Sharing Useful Info From Your Blog Posts & Webinars

Website plug-ins that allow your readers to "Click to Tweet" and share your information dramatically improve the chances that your content is getting shared.

Basically, the idea is that you take a memorable quote or summary of advice from a great blog post, and put it into a little, noticeable box that says “click to tweet”. The plugin makes this really easy, and the result is that your followers don’t just share a boring link to your post, they share a really useful nugget of information with their followers that leads back to your site. Another win/ win!

And if you’re running a live webinar or workshop, don’t forget hashtags! Ask your viewers to use a specific hashtag for your workshop and share any useful nuggets they’ve learned. This is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your brand and to encourage even more people to sign up for your webinar!


Visuals matter more and more, so you want to make sure that you have really shareable images. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all, frustratingly, require different image sizes to get the best results. The good news is that software like Canva makes it easy to create a good looking image for every blog post you create, and save it in all the correct sizes. You can then use the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure that the correct image gets shared depending on which social media site your followers post to. Pretty nifty, huh?

Smarter Social Updates

Of course, this guide is about growing your list from social media, not a complete guide on what you should post on social media. But the golden rule is that, the more useful you are on social media, the more people will share your stuff. Buffer lets you share your blog or website content to multiple social networks at once. You can even schedule your post or tweet deliveries well in advance, to save you time. increases your Twitter conversions by letting you create short, customizable links rather than long URLs that look ugly, and eat up your character limits on Twitter. Window Resizer will check your tweets, posts and updates on any screen size. This guarantees your content always looks good, regardless whether it is being viewed on a smartphone, laptop or desktop PC.

Don’t forget hashtags! On Google+, Twitter and Facebook, adding a "#" before a word or phrase helps drive viewability. Your post that includes #BlueberryMuffinRecipes will show up higher in social media search requests than posts about blueberry muffin recipes that do not use that hash tag. This is a great idea if you are trying to attract attention locally or regionally. Place the hash tag "#" before your city name to attract local attention.

If you want to understand the analytics behind your hash tags, Ritetag provides instant analysis of the hash tag you Tweet.

And, to see how it’s all working out, Social Analytics provides a breakdown of your share statistics on any page of your website or blog. Awesome Screenshot lets you "capture, annotate, and share your screen" quickly and easily. All of these strategies, plug-ins and pieces of software ensure that you are creating the most shareable social network content, and that means building your list quickly and easily.

Conclusion – Get Building Your List!

You want to get your message across in as many ways as possible whilst still providing amazing value.

So get rid of the idea that the only way to build your list using social media is to constantly spam followers with links to your downloads. Instead, include links to your downloads as part of your valuable content.

You simply want to make sure your followers know about your freebies, that they know they can be shared, and that you make them more attractive and easy to share.

This doesn’t have to involve spamming them. In fact, it involves a whole of just being useful and awesome so that people end up naturally wanting to follow you (with the odd free bribe here and there!)

Are you ready for learn more? Follow me on Facebook and subscribe on my list on the right hand side and learn How To Make Real Money Online!


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