How to Build an Email List for Free with Social Media Marketing

04.30.2020 2 comments

“If Social Media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel.”

Erik Harbison (Renowned Marketing Enthusiast & Career Coach)

Reaching out to potential customers has become difficult in the competitive business landscape where the prospects get ample of options every day. And, the worst thing is that many of these alternatives could be one of your key competitors!


As quoted above, social media and email marketing are two of the most powerful channels that can be the game-changer when it comes to building your email list for free.

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. can help in building a loyal base of followers who can add value to your email list. Also, such a list can let you connect with people who find your brand relevant.


Image Source: ThinkStock

Building a relevant business email list isn’t that easy, as you need to do research and come up with relevant strategies on how social media channels can be used to build a useful email list.

The article can provide you with the insights needed for leveraging the dedicated social media audience to grow your business email list but before that, a little basic knowledge is important, right?

How About Beginning With Getting An Idea Of The ABC Of An Ideal Email List & Why Is It Important To Build One At The First Place?

A business email list comprises the email addresses of your targeted prospects whom you can reach out with relevant marketing messages for promoting your products or services.

Maintaining an email list for sending messages to random people won’t serve your purpose and hence having a precise communication template is mandatory for any business. It helps you to:

  1. Define your targeted audience in the best possible manner.
  2. Building an end-to-end communication strategy for delivering relevant messages via emails for driving positive outcomes for your business.

Along with having a solid communication plan strategy it’s equally important to keep an eye on your email deliverability rates. According to Marketing Charts that quoted the 2020 Email Deliverability Benchmark by Validity one in every six messages from the senders misses the inbox. Let’s look at the placement rate of emails as per the study:


These rates are disturbing as no matter how much effort you put into drafting an eye-catching subject line or email body if the message isn’t delivered to the inbox of your desired recipient then it’s of no use.

Along with adding emails to grow your business list, it’s equally important to build a precise and relevant email list for which you need to tweak your email marketing strategy a little bit. 

One of the best ways to do it can be by using different social media platforms. Want to know how? Let’s roll in then:

Why Social Media Platforms Can Be The Ideal Places To Find More Potential Customers For Your Business Email List?

As per the Digital 2020 report published more than 3.8 billion users are there on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Also, according to the Sprout Social 2019 Index, 66% of surveyed users say they Like or Follow a brand on the SaaS platform. 

The potential that social media channels carry is immense and if you aren’t focusing on them then you are losing the opportunity to convert so many followers of your business into buying customers! 

Hence, without further ado, let’s focus on some of the most effective ways of using these social media channels for growing your business email list:

1. Create Groups On Facebook & Join LinkedIn Communities To Build A Loyal Network

If you have a dedicated community on these social media platforms, grabbing prospects from there and turning them into leads by sending customized emails would be much easier. These groups allow you to build relationships with your potential customers by fostering personal engagement and interaction.


Image Source: Wedevs

Once your Facebook business group is built, you can start interacting with prospects and keep the ones that look interested in your radar. Later, you can add them to your email list and start sending them customized emails to boost your marketing efforts.

On LinkedIn, you can also join many relevant groups that have similar interests aligned with your business objectives and grab email subscribers for your list from there. 

For example, if you are operating in the marketing niche, search for groups in your LinkedIn and a variety of relevant groups will be shown in the results:


Once you have filtered a couple of relevant LinkedIn groups, start taking part in conversations going on and expand your reach to get in touch with targeted people and start emailing them. Also, you can create your own LinkedIn group to grow your network and grab some quality email leads for your list.

2. Consider Adding Social Buttons To Your Emails & Integrate Links On Your Social Profiles To Your Specific Website Pages


Image Source: Pinterest

One way of growing your business email list could be adding buttons in your emails directing users to your social media profiles that have the following perks:

  1. This would encourage your existing email subscribers to share your content on their social profiles which will be then exposed to their followers and network as well.
  2. Many people from their network might start following your brand and from there you can motivate them to be your email subscribers.

Moreover, you can add buttons on your social channels for growing your business email list such as:

  1. Add a sign-up or opt-in button at the top of your Facebook page and encourage more prospects to subscribe to your mailing list. 
  2. Integrate an email sign-up button to your Facebook business page and reach out to those who would like to know more about your products, services and the offers you have in your bucket.

3. Hosting Contests & Giveaways On Social Channels Can Never Go Out Of Fashion

Whether you believe it or not but almost every person loves free stuff and hence the social media contests or giveaways could be one of the most effective methods of growing your business email list. 

As per ConvertKit, by giving away copies of an audio editor Sublime Text the contest organizer observed an increase of 3,418% in his email list in just 11 days:


Image Source: ConvertKit

But it’s not that easy to host social media contests or giveaways and hence we have curated some tips to help you do the same with minimal efforts:

  1. Keep the idea behind your contest basic and not complex. For example, ask your targeted prospects to share their videos or photos of what they would do if they win the contest.
  2. Facebook could be the best place to host these contests as it allows customizing your contests to a great extent in comparison to other social media platforms.
  3. Consider leveraging some social media apps like Strutta, Fanappz, and Votigo that helps marketers in collecting the email address of prospects by running these contests directly on the timeline of their social profiles.
  4. Include quality images of the prizes and use engaging headlines to promote your contests and giveaways. Also, never forget to add a creative hashtag and link the same to your website’s landing page where the prospects can feed their email addresses.


You can encourage your prospects to promote your contests on their social media channels and in return, you can offer them some incentives for example extra entries to increase the chances of their winning the contest.

4. Get Ways To Boost The Exposure Of Gated Content On Social Platforms

Well, first let’s be clear about what’s gated content? Any form of content that’s not completely visible to the reader until he or she feeds the email address is gated content. Let’s take a look at how to do this:

  1. First, you need to show the sneak peek of such content on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with a link to your landing page.
  2. When anyone will try to go through the information it will demand their email address for letting them access the same.
  3. Think of offering different types of such content on social platforms like podcasts, webinars, infographics, free templates, video tutorials, ebooks, online courses, etc. 

For example, Shopify offers online workshops featuring eCommerce experts and grows its email list by asking the prospects to join the same by filling a registration form where they are required to feed their email addresses.


Image Source: Social Media Today

  1. Host free webinars and run live video tutorials via Google Hangouts that wouldn’t cost anything and keep promoting these events across all your social channels. 
  2. Once you have some leads who want to join the same just grab their email addresses and your job will be done!

It’s obvious that managing so many social channels and content ideas could be tedious and time-consuming. So, to spare you the trouble there are many tools that can be leveraged for better project planning and social media marketing. 

For example, Coschedule, Buffer, Asana, Deskaway, etc. are some of the key platforms to let you manage your social media content calendar and keep an eye on the analytics of your marketing efforts.

5. Try Creating Facebook Ads & Host Chats On Twitter To Get Quality Leads For Your Business Email List

Facebook ads can help grab more subscribers for your email list! Yes, it might need some investment but the results are amazing. For example, see the kind of ad Design Pickle has created:


Image Source:

The best thing with Facebook ads is that you get a chance to focus on the exact demographics you would want to reach by adding filters like country, interest, gender, interests, etc.


Image Source: Social Media Examiner

Once your ad is all set up usually after 48 hours you can start to analyze the results and tweak the ad to get better leads.

6. Is There Something You Can Do With Instagram, YouTube, & SlideShare For Growing Your Business Email List?

There are ample of ways in which you can find subscribers for your email list through Instagram and YouTube. Let’s look at both of these platforms separately:

  1. The first thing that can be done with Instagram or Snapchat could be linking your newsletter in the stories you publish on both of these platforms.
  2. You can showcase some unique behind the scene stuff such as a new product launch or some exclusive feature. Adding a link to your newsletter in such stories will allow the prospects to be updated about your offerings and this will boost their interest in your brand.
  3. Host live shows on Instagram where you can give expert tips on a particular topic and create a handout for the same and for downloading the handout a prospect would be required to provide his or her email address.
  4. Use DMs on Instagram which might not be a very apt strategy for every type of business but in case you are comfortable with going a little personal and fun with your targeted audience then it could be your thing for sure.  For example, in return for a fun fact, joke or compliment you can ask your prospects to give their email address via direct messages.
  5. Leverage the multiple-image post feature of Instagram where you can showcase the entire process of how your prospects can sign-up for your newsletter. But don’t forget to add a link in your bio directing to the desired page of your website.
  6. As far as YouTube is concerned, you can create engaging YouTube tutorial videos and add Call-To-Action cards to make it even more relevant. These cards act as buttons that direct your viewers to outside pages and can lead them to your desired destination easily. 

Want to learn how to add cards to your videos. If yes, see the below tutorial:

  1. Just before making a YouTube tutorial make sure to research the relevant “how-to” keywords that people are using to look for more information in your niche. Following these steps will help you to master the YouTube space and your tutorial will be ranked higher.
  2. Once your video is created add a 300 words summary to describe the content in the best possible manner. Once the tutorial is up and people start watching the same gradually your email subscriber list will start growing!
  3. SlideShare is also a powerful social platform when it comes to growing your email list for free. Yes, you can share your PowerPoint presentations here and use the in-built lead generation feature to grab more email subscribers but yes some costs might be associated with the process. 

For this, you need to first click on collect leads on the navigation bar on SlideShare and cherry-pick a presentation. Next, you will be given with a form that has to be filled:


Image Source: Option Monster

Besides, you can take a call about the order in which you want the sliders to appear and by filling all the details you might turn your SlideShare presentation into a lead magnet.

Wrapping It Up!

By walking through the above pointers it’s clear that social media and email marketing go hand in hand and if you learn how to leverage the social channels for growing you have won half of your battle already!

Written by:

Dhruv is a Digital Marketer. He likes reading up on the latest digital marketing and social media trends. When not sleuthing for tips, he is chiseling his fitness-goals and traveling around the world.


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