9 Tips to Rapidly Grow Your Email List Using Instagram


Victoria TaylorDigital and Content Marketing Consultant

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Instagram provides a wide variety of tools and features marketers can use to their advantage. It's all just a matter of being creative, strategic, and consistent. With a variety of in-app features, it's easier than ever to grow your email list on Instagram.

Article 7 Minutes
9 Tips to Rapidly Grow Your Email List Using Instagram

When it comes to email marketing, website pop-ups aren’t the only lead generation tools, sometimes they can come from the most unlikely places, like Instagram.

Instagram is used by over one billion users every month, with almost 63% of users logging in at least once per day. Approximately 69% of web customers are influenced by email to purchase from their smartphone. Therefore, using Instagram to grow your email list seems far more feasible than expected.

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Let's go beyond posting aesthetically pleasing content and dive deep into the best marketing tactics you can use to utilize your brand's Instagram account to the fullest.

With over 200 million Instagram users visiting at least one business profile daily, you can capture potential leads with the tools you have at your disposal. After all, if an email is read on mobile, and then read for a second time on desktop, that consumer has a 65% higher probability of clicking through allowing you to solidify your brand loyalty and increase purchases.

Let’s dive in.

1. Create exclusive offers and gated content on Instagram

The first step in growing your email list is to create a lead magnet. Emails are something that consumers aren't willing to hand out because they know their inbox will be flooded with promotional emails. To win them over, you'll need to give them an incentive or exclusive offer that's gated.

Gated content can only be accessed once users have submitted their information, for example, an email address. This is usually a discount, freebie, webinar, or loyalty program. You should be familiar with this on websites and even from some of your favorite brands on Instagram.

Skin Laundry using gated 'premium' content in their Instagram to offer incentives for memberships

If you already offer freebies or discounts on your website, you'll need to share that lead magnet or gated content by adding a link in your bio to start capturing leads.

2. Add UTM parameters to URLs

By using UTM parameters in Google Analytics (GA), you’ll have a better understanding of your traffic and conversions across your landing pages. As a result, you’ll be able to determine your social media ROI.

For example, no matter where people visit www.MyInstagramGatedContent.com, it’s all grouped together in GA. Google won't tell you where exactly people are coming from to visit your link, whether it's on the header, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

To track Instagram visitors, you need to add ‘utm_source=instagram’ at the end of your URL, www.MyInstagramGatedContent.com?utm_source=instagram.

GA will know the difference between your website and Instagram visitors. Without it, you won't be able to track specific data and results to grow your email list effectively. If you'd like to learn more, check out Hallam's Guide on "UTM Codes: How to Track Campaign URLs in Google Analytics."

3. Use your bio to drive customers to your link

Once you've created your gated content or exclusive offer, let your followers know that it's live. Add the gated content link in your Instagram bio so that followers have instant access. Then add a CTA to let viewers know what your link has to offer.

If you're not sure how to phrase your bio, here are some real-life examples of brands using their Instagram bio to grow their email list:

3 examples of Instagrams using bios to draw attention to gated offers

4. Direct followers to your email list in the captions

Don't take it for granted that the "build it and they will come" concept will work. You have to guide your target audience to the action/task you want them to complete. Leaving it to chance won’t help improve your conversions.

A link to an email subscription signup in the caption of a Pinterest blog post on Instagram

One of the best ways to boost conversions is to use "Power words" or "CTA's" in your caption. Power words can trigger a psychological or emotional response.

On the other hand, a CTA can prompt customers to take action. This could be as simple as "Click the link in the bio" or "Sign up now!"

5. Use the swipe up feature in your Stories

Around 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and 62% of people say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. So make sure you take advantage of the swipe up feature to directly drive sign-ups to your email list.

You'll still need CTAs, but instead of posting content and hoping viewers will take the extra step to click the link in your bio, viewers will be able to move from content to landing page effortlessly.

Bali Body making use of the 'swipe' feature in Instagram stories to draw people to a signup sectionImage source: Wishpond

But to access the swipe up feature or "add a link to your story" you'll need to ensure that:

  • You have more than 10,000 followers
  • Your Instagram account is verified

At the moment, there's no workaround for this feature. If you can't access the swipe up feature, then guide your followers to your bio with GIFs, Stickers, and CTAs.

An alternative to the swipe up feature - using stickers and GIFs in stories to drive people to signup to mailing listsImage source: Process Street

6. Add a story highlight to keep your email list evergreen

Keep your email list evergreen by creating an Instagram story showcasing all your gated content, the CTA to drive people to swipe up, or click the link in your bio, then making it an Instagram story highlight.

Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours. However, when a story is highlighted, it'll appear below your bio so followers can easily access them:

Notebook Therapy using an instagram story highlight to drive people to a signup list

You can curate your gated and exclusive content that lives permanently on your profile until you choose to delete it. Be sure to create a cover for your highlight. This allows your story to look professional and aesthetically pleasing.

7. Collaborate with influencers to increase reach

Use influencer marketing to help spread the word about your gated content, discount, or subscription to supercharge your email list.

You can partner with celebrities, customers with a high following, or micro-influencer for your next Instagram or email marketing campaign.

For example, Seventh Generation worked in partnership with a blogger Joy Green who promoted their VIP trial:

Seventh Generation collaborating with influencer @joyfullygreen to drive people to sign up to their email list

When working with an influencer, make sure you organize your content and links. Then provide them with a personalized code or UTM link so you can track ROI.

When it comes to influencer marketing, having a massive following doesn’t mean your brand will get enormous growth. Instead, focus on the impact, connection, and attraction that the influencer brings when they share your content.

Once they start sharing your content, take a look at their convent's overall engagement, and email sign-ups to determine your influencer marketing success.

Instagram influencer @itslittlelily collaborating with the watch brand MVMT to drive people to engage with their brandImage source: Buffer Stories

8. Remember to segment leads and personalize content

The best email marketing tactics use personalization and segmentation tactics to retain and engage their email list. Make sure you record your analytics and ROI to strategize the best methods to create content and exclusive deals that’ll encourage new followers to subscribe to your email list.

Once you've grown your email list with Instagram, remember to send highly targeted emails to different segments of your Instagram subscribers. Make your emails mobile-friendly and share UGC from Instagram to tempt them to visit your site and make a purchase.

9. Provide Instagram customer service via email

Around 90% of users use social media to communicate with brands, which is great for simple questions. For brands, this is an opportunity to initiate a conversation without annoying followers.

However, for complex or detailed queries, you might have to redirect your Instagram followers to your online customer support.

Take the initiative to invite followers to send an email for further assistance. Once their issue or question has been resolved, feel free to add them to your email list or send them a gated offer to help encourage purchases.

Domino's responding to customer complaints via Instagram comments


Victoria Taylor

Victoria Taylor is a Jamaican Digital and Content Marketing Consultant who helps eCommerce brands increase sales, global awareness, and branding.


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