Are you part of the Instagram revolution? If so, have you harnessed your Instagram platform to fuel email sign-ups? Email sign-ups are key to growing your business and Instagram can fuel that growth.
How can you do that? And what does this mean for businesses? Hopefully, you're already using Instagram as a platform to grow your brand awareness, get active and engaged fans, and spread the word about new products and services. But there's one additional perk to using Instagram that is often overlooked, and that’s email sign-ups!
Email sign-ups and conversions are big business, and those who use the platform wisely can see more of their messaging in email inboxes everywhere.
So, how do you get started?
7 ways to drive email sign-ups from Instagram
From the most common strategies to those that take a little more finesse, use these seven tips and tricks to grow your email list and enhance Instagram lead generation:
- Optimize your Instagram profile page.
- Make use of video.
- Sell your brand culture.
- Provide instant gratification.
- Give stuff away.
- Use star power.
- Send them on a treasure hunt.
By tackling all of them, you’ll be best positioned to get highly-qualified contacts added to your permission-based email marketing list. Let’s take a look at each below.
1. Optimize your Instagram profile page
How do you make the most of your bio or company description? While it’s tempting to use a standard description of your company and what it offers, your feed can say this better than words.
Use those character limits to entice Instagram users to join your mailing list, and don’t forget to point out what they can gain by doing so.
It's up to you if you want to make the link in your company bio go to a newsletter sign-up page or your website, but savvy businesses do a bit of both.
You’ll either want to have a sign-up form prominently displayed on your home page or choose the link to go to a custom landing page that appears just to Instagram users.
Avoid pop-ups, if possible, since these are frowned upon by some social platforms (including Pinterest and Google) and may someday disqualify you from showing up prominently in the Instagram feed.
2. Make use of video
A 2018 report found that 95 percent of Instagrammers also used YouTube. This insightful stat tells us that video may be the way to reach this audience, which is already programmed to consume video on the go. Since Instagram offers a few ways to display video, it makes sense to try these out and see which ways will convert the most users to your mailing list.
You might choose to include short videos in your Instagram stories, with a call out to visit your profile for your website link (which would, of course, greet users from Instagram with a custom landing page, complete with mailing list sign-up form.)
Videos in feeds
You can also try a video in your regular feed. Conversions will range from what you see in your stories, so be sure to pay attention to both to know which works best. The upside to posting videos in your normal feed would be that, unlike Instagram Stories, the video will stick around until you choose to remove it.
Another option is to do Instagram Live posts, where you share a video from employees or customers eager to talk about the company's news or exciting changes for customers.
You can mention that you are looking for email sign-ups and direct viewers on how to be placed on the list.
Connecting with your viewers on a more personal level using live video can help establish a rapport with your audience and drive email sign-ups.
3. Sell your brand culture
Since Instagram is a visual medium, focus on creating expectations around color, mood and thematic elements.
How can this translate to an email list, you may ask?
By promising to deliver more of the same branded content that your audience is already familiar with.
Be deliberate in your Instagram feed and stick to a tightly developed set of brand parameters.
Use well-established style guides to set everything from the color palette, font and even photo composition.
Visitors should be able to easily identify your brand posts from among the thousands that show up in their feed. Use this same concept to drive email subscribers. A simple “to see more of this, be sure to sign up here,” can give those who are fans of your aesthetic another way to enjoy your visual delights.
Once you have them on your landing page (which should share that same visual culture), keep that theme throughout your messages.
Your emails should be a natural extension of what your Instagram fans love most about your company.
Make that first welcome email a confirmation that they’ll be getting more of the same.
4. Provide instant gratification
People need a little motivation to take an extra step, especially if it will pull them out of scrolling through their Instagram feeds.
If your post asks people to sign up, make sure they know what’s in it for them — not only after they receive their first email newsletter, but immediately upon subscribing.
Will they get a discount code? Have access to a members-only shopping hub? Get information about a new product or see a celebrity interview?
You have the task of not only getting them to click over to your email subscription page but to have them provide their email and click "sign up." That's a big ask if you can't give them something right away.
Today's internet user is accustomed to having immediate gratification and quickly grasping the ROI of sharing their email address.
Even if your offering is small, make it available as soon as they sign up.
Your welcome email should include the promised perk and not leave them hanging.
5. Give stuff away
While sweepstakes rules vary by state (and you’ll want to get clear on any legalities before you start), offering prizes is a very effective way to get newsletter sign-ups.
Letting people know that you’ll be selecting winners from your newsletter every month to take home products or other prizes can get you a large volume of sign-ups in a small amount of time. One thing to carefully consider, however, is how qualified those sign-ups will be.
If the giveaway is advertised on any sweepstakes or freebie websites, you’ll surely have hundreds or even thousands of people signing up just for prizes. They may not be your target audience at all. If your email subscriber program charges you per email, you could be out big bucks for little return.
So, what are your options for making a giveaway worth your while? There are two ways to look at it.
Choose a prize geared toward your ideal customer
A product of your own is a good start. While cash prizes and gift cards will attract everyone, a very specific product for just your customer will narrow it down some. While this helps, understand that you'll still get entrants looking to sign up for the opportunity to win a prize they may eventually sell or give away.
Target your giveaway Instagram post as an ad or promoted post
With this option, you’ll want to use the targeting from your Facebook and Instagram ad accounts to show the post only to those who would buy your product anyway. If you're seeking an Instagram user with a certain demographic, who only likes certain things, you can choose to show the giveaway to just them. This won't keep people from spreading the word to those outside the targeted users, but it's a start that can save you time and money down the road.
It’s important to note that, whichever option you choose, you make sure to adhere to Instagram’s rules for sweepstakes.
6. Use star power
You don’t have to hire a Kardashian to get some traction from your Instagram account to your email subscription list.
You could benefit from getting help from an influencer, however.
While budgets limit most of us from promoting our products and services through big-time influencers, micro-influencers are proving to be just as instrumental (and maybe even more).
A study showing that micro-influencers get just as much engagement as big influencers should have you considering this campaign strategy.
Need some ideas to get these influencers to share your mailing list? Here are a couple of options.
Have the influencer record an ad or Instagram story that you can share on your page. The content of these videos can feature any of the video options mentioned earlier. In those videos, have them share your email newsletter with their own followers on their own page.
Any influencer-driven sign ups should have their own unique landing page, with a form that acknowledges that the visitor was recommended by the influencer.
Put these sign-ups in their own funnel, or indicate where they came from with list tags or other indicators.
When sending out the welcome email, make sure you greet them as being part of the influencer’s inner circle. This helps promote goodwill with the influencer and gives the subscriber a place within a community.
Pay the influencer per subscriber
For extra traction, pay your influencers not just for their time spent promoting you, but give them a bonus payout for the number of sign-ups they generate. You could pay per sign up, or issue tiered thresholds. For every 100 new email subscribers, for example, they could earn extra cash, a gift card to your store, or a product gift.
No matter which route you choose to go, remember to have your influencers follow the rules on endorsements of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They must disclose their relationship to their audience — and yours if speaking to them directly.
There should be no question that they are being paid or gifted to recommend your brand.
See the FTC endorsement guide for clarification before you begin.
Related: How to work with brand influencers
7. Send them on a treasure hunt
One final, simple way to gain subscribers is to hint at something secret that only your subscribers will discover, and tease it from your Instagram page. This could be a series of photos that feature products from a certain line, with a final yet-to-be-launched product pixelated or crossed out.
To see the final product, shoppers must sign up for the list.
Remember to harness that desire for instant gratification we mentioned before. Don’t leave them waiting after they give their email info.
Other considerations and next steps
There are some legal considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind when applying the tips above. Email software services should already require you to know who your emails are going to, but if you don’t, now’s a good time to do so.
Given that Instagram users tend to be younger and global, familiarize yourself with the rules of COPPA and GDPR, which dictate how you can engage and collect info from minors and those living in the EU.
Ready to really dive into Instagram to drive lead generation? Check out our exclusive guide for small businesses. With these tips, you should find your Instagram email sign-ups growing in no time!