Facebook dwarfs all other social media platforms. It’s a social sharing powerhouse. I’m tempted to say “if you can make here, you can make it anywhere.” But Facebook is so huge that if you can make it on Facebook, you won’t need to make it anywhere else.
What if you could take this 800-pound gorilla of social media, and use it to build your email list? Well, you can. There are more than dozen different ways to do it. So without further ado, let’s start building your email list with Facebook:
Optimize your Facebook page
1) Add an opt-in form “tab”, or app to your Facebook page
This is easier to do than you’d think. It takes less than 20 minutes to set up. Here are the steps:
Log into both your GetResponse account and your Facebook account. Go to this URL and you will see this:
Click the blue “Add to Fan Page” button. You’ll see this:
Choose the Facebook page you want to add the opt-in form app to from the pull-down menu.
Once you’ve selected the page you want to add the tab to, click the blue “Add Page Tab” button.
After you’ve clicked the tab, it will look like nothing’s happened. You’ll just see the same gray box with “You’re almost there!” that you saw before you selected a page.
Don’t worry – the change has been made. Go to the Facebook page you added the opt-in tab to. You’ll see a link to your new opt-in form in the tabs. You may have to go to the “More” tab pull-down menu to see the “Sign up” link.
When you click your new tab, you’ll see this:
To get your API key, go to your GetResponse account dashboard, then into the “My account” pull down tab in the upper right hand corner of the screen. From there, click “Integrations”.
Click “GetResponse API”.
Copy the API key (it’s that long string of numbers and letters), and paste it into the API Key field in your Facebook opt-in page. Then click the orange “Login” button.
You’ll see this:
Choose the correct campaign from the pull-down menu. Then, in the “Webforms” pull down menu, choose one of the opt-in forms you’ve created before. It’s optional to add a message. If it makes sense for your page, add a message. If not, you can leave it blank.
Web form alignment refers to how your opt-in form will be positioned on the page. I like forms to be left-aligned, but you should do whatever looks best to you. You can control where the message you write will appear in the “message” position row of controls just above the green “Save” button.
After you’ve clicked “Save”, you’ll see a blue “preview” link next to the save button.
You may have to log out of your Facebook account and your GetResponse account to see the new opt-in form the way your page visitors will see it. Test your form to make sure it works properly, and then you’re done.
Extra credit: You can rearrange the order of the tabs on your Facebook page by going to the “More” tab, then selecting “Manage tabs”
Rearrange the tabs to look the way you want:
Now the tabs are rearranged, and everyone can see the Sign up tab easily:
2) Add a coupon or a lead magnet to sweeten the deal.
This is just like any other opt-in form or prompt to join your list. If you offer a lead magnet, a coupon, or some other kind of sign-up incentive, you’ll get more subscribers.
3) Add a landing page and opt-in to your site page link.
Most people use their site link to send people to their home page, and that’s fine. But if you’re really committed to getting more subscribers, make the most of that incoming traffic to your site and send people to a squeeze page (http://blog.getresponse.com/8-ux-tips-boost-landing-page-conversion-rate-infographic.html) specifically designed for Facebook traffic. You’ll get far more subscribers than just sending them to your site’s home page.
4) Include a call to action to join your list in your About descriptions – both the short description and in the long description.
You won’t be able to add a hyperlink, but you can still add a URL:
5) Add an email-gated or “form-gated” resource to your Facebook page.
We can’t do like gates on Facebook anymore, but we can still gate content and require an email address. Third party Facebook apps like Wishpond, TabSite, ShortStack, and Pagemodo all offer this functionality.
Remember that you don’t have to add just one piece of email-gated content. You could add two, three or four.
Optimize your Facebook cover image
6) Add a link to your Facebook cover image.
And, of course, send people to a squeeze page to opt-in. Do this by editing your cover photo, then adding a description to the photo. The description should include a call to action to join your list, and a link to the squeeze page.
Bonus: You can do this with your profile photo, too.
7) Add a call to action to join your list on your cover photo.
Use your Facebook updates to build your list
8) Post updates promoting your lead magnet and prompting people to sign up for your list a couple of times a month.
Don’t do this every day – that would be over-promotional. But reminding people about signing up for your email list two or three times a month wouldn’t hurt.
9) Announce your upcoming newsletters and include a prompt to join your list.
This is especially effective if you’re offering some content in your email newsletter that’s not available anywhere else. It’s killer-effective when the email-only content is something like survey or content results.
But no matter what’s in your email, it’s legit to let your Facebook fans know about it. Even if they don’t engage with that particular post, you may get their attention enough that the fans who are already email subscribers will get their interest piqued. Because of your pre-announcement post, they might be more likely to open and reading your email when it arrives in their inbox.
10) Add a call to action button.
These are simple to set up. Most Facebook pages will show admin users a button that says “Create Call-to-Action” if this feature is available. Once you click that button, you’ll see this:
When you’re done with all the steps, you’ll see something like this:
Call-to-action buttons also work on ads and on organic posts. For ads, you can also use buttons that say “Learn More”, “Download”, “Shop Now” and “Book Now” in addition to “Sign up”. This is an interesting, and somewhat neglected feature. Make the most of it.
11) Run a contest, giveaway or a sweepstakes.
For some marketers this is the #1 way to build an email list. It works well, but you need a great prize. The prize has to be valuable, but it also has to be something unique that only your ideal subscribers would really want. For example, if you’re a fly fishing equipment affiliate, offer a fly rod as a prize, not an iPad.
Contests, giveaways and sweepstakes tend to work best if you’re got a lot of Facebook fans. If you’ve only got a couple hundred fans, you may end up adding only a hundred or so new subscribers to your list with a contest.
If you’re still interested in doing a content, look into a third party app like Heyo, or any one of the apps I mentioned for form gates.
12) Create an offer that includes signing up for your email list.
Offers are created as if they were an advertisement, but they’re a bit different than a typical Facebook ads. There’s even a way to create them and not pay to use them, though Facebook will try to guide you into actually advertising your offers.
Denise Wakeman recently created a Facebook offer to promote a new ecourse she was offering. She got some pretty good results with her offer, plus a bunch of new subscribers. She outlines exactly what she did and the results she got here.
13) Create an action with the 3rd party app ActionSprout.
This is an interesting app that’s designed for non-profits, but could be used for all sorts of things. ActionSprout doesn’t create opt-in forms per say, but it does give you a way to prompt people to do things on Facebook, like asking them to pledge to support your cause. Some actions result in you capturing people’s email addresses. I have not actually used this app, so I’m a little cautious about it, but it looks very promising.
Here’s one ActionSprout action from UNICEF. It’s set up to automatically add people to UNICEF’s email list when they click on the “Demand” button.
14) Use your email list to create a custom audience.
Email is a simple way to create a custom audience. Then advertise to lookalike audiences who resemble your current subscribers. Jon Loomer has an excellent tutorial on creating and using lookalike audiences here.
Use Facebook to retain your subscribers
15) Include a prompt for people to like your Facebook page right after they’ve just subscribed for your list.
You’re sending them a welcome email already, right? So make that welcome email just a little bit better. Use it to prompt people to follow you on Facebook. And while you’re at it… suggest they follow you on your other social platforms, too. This way, when (or if) they unsubscribe from your emails, you’ll still be able to keep in touch with them through Facebook.
Those are the ways I know of to build an email list with Facebook. I’m sure there’s more. If you know of one I’ve missed, will you share it with us? Maybe it’s an app, or a way to optimize updates, or some new Facebook advertising trick. Tell us about it in the comments.