How to Grow Your Email List with Instagram

With $38 ROI for each $1 spent on email marketing, growing your email list is an important marketing strategy. Many eCommerce businesses have different CTAs on their websites, but still struggle to encourage people to submit their email addresses. On the other hand, Instagram is a platform that has gained a billion monthly users by now, and this number is expected to continue its meteoric rise, 5% each quarter. So, why not take advantage of this and use Instagram to grow your email list?
In this post, we will go through both simple and more advanced methods on how to use Instagram to attract new subscribers.

Make People Want to Submit Their Email Address

Start by creating valuable content that will be used as the lead magnet for your company. This can be in the form of a detailed e-book, discount codes, an upgraded version of existing high-value content, or webinar.
For example, if your company is focused on healthy food, you may offer a free e-book with detox smoothies recipes in exchange for their email address.
The lead magnets can also be different challenges, discount coupons, contests, or giveaways.

Create a Customized Landing Page

The second step is creating a custom landing page that only your Instagram followers will land on. This is important because you don’t want your potential subscribers landing on the homepage and getting lost, or forgetting why they initially clicked on the link.
This page should have a clear value proposition and CTA, like “sign up for your e-book”. Make sure you decrease the number of touchpoints for your potential customers, and then watch how your email list starts growing.
The more touchpoints they have to go through, the less likely it is for them to end up subscribing.

Place CTA in Your Instagram Bio

Instagram allows hyperlinks only in the profile bio, and only one link per profile. It is important to clearly explain what the link is and why people should click on it, and to have a clear CTA instead of just placing it in your Instagram bio.
The less new people need to figure out what they should do on your Instagram profile, the better.

Promote Your Free Content with Instagram Posts

Free, relevant, and high-quality content is the best approach to growing your email list. The more people know about your quality content – the more people will sign up for it.
The simplest way to spread the word is through daily Instagram posts and stories. This is a non-aggressive and organic way to remind your customers what they are missing out by not getting the content you have prepared for them.

Use the “Swipe up” Feature in Instagram Stories

If your Instagram account has over 10k followers, you can use the “Swipe up” feature to attract email subscribers. For example, for a healthy food online store, the beginning of an Instagram story can provide several different detox smoothies recipes. At the end of the story, you can tell people that if they want more healthy food recipes, they can “Swipe up” and subscribe to your mailing list.
If you are sending a newsletter, it is a good idea to take a screenshot of the newsletter parts they would find interesting and useful, and tell them to “Swipe up” in order to sign up for your newsletters.
Instagram stories can also highlight the value of your products or services by featuring customer testimonials or recent publicity placements.
In case you don’t have enough followers (10k+) to be able to use the “Swipe up” feature, you can still use Instagram stories to grow your email list. In that case, you will provide the same quality content and convince them to click the link in bio in order to sign up for your mailing list and receive more good stuff from you.
Whether you can use the “Swipe up” feature or not, your stories should be quick, engaging, useful, and relevant to your audience.

Use the “Swipe up” Feature in Instagram Stories

Considering the fact that around 70% of the Instagram posts are not seen, it is important to notify your followers about any contests or attractive content you create. A simple way to do so is by sending Instagram direct messages.
This method can be very time-consuming if you have thousands of followers, but there are tools with which you can automate your messages and send them in bulk.

Grow Your Email List with Instagram Ads

Since Instagram ads are running through Facebook, you have many different tools that you can use in order to target the right people.
Employing ads can be a very effective method. Start by creating a simple ad, with short and precise CTA to your landing page. You can also offer something valuable for free to your customers, an e-book, a coupon code, or a free sample. When running ads, there will be people that visit your brand for the first time, so make sure it is memorable.
Additionally, create a thank you page on your website to track how many people visited the page vs. how many people signed up. This way you will be able to improve your ads and landing page.
Note that your Instagram profile should be set to an Instagram Business Profile. This way you will have the ability to link it to other social media accounts and share your Instagram posts across other platforms, too.

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  • Heath Weaver

    Managing Director, Principal

    Heath Weaver has almost two decades of eCommerce digital marketing experience. He has run multiple agencies, headed up Search Engine Marketing for the consumer electronics division of Sony, and served as a Vice President at Trilogy Software. He enjoys working day-to-day with clients to level up their retention marketing game.

  • Xiaohui "X" Wang

    Founder, Principal

    Xiaohui "X" Wang is a veteran of the email marketing industry. In the last decade, he has led the strategic and tactic retention marketing efforts for over 300 ecommerce brands ranging from small mom & pops to IR500 retailers. He's passionate about all things eCommerce, email, and SMS.