Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

5 ways to use social media to build your e-mail list


E-mail marketing continues to be hugely productive.  Considering 95% of online consumers use e-mail, and that businesses are estimated to generate 10% of their sales through e-mail marketing*, clearly this is a vehicle that should not be ignored.  And, even if you don’t sell online, e-mail (even more than social media) is proven to create action; getting a customer to call, come in or buy.

RDI-Crystal-headshot-JulyTo leverage e-mail marketing, you must have an e-mail list.  As they say, “the money is in the list.” So we need to focus on finding quality e-mail addresses and ways to continually build your database. The higher the quality of the list, the higher the number of conversions you’ll have, and the more sales you’ll see.

One of the best ways to build your list is to use social media. It’s important to know that e-mail and social media go hand-in-hand when it comes to marketing your store.

Here are five tips to help you build a quality list using social media:

1. Make it easy to join. First, you need to make sure you have a way to collect the leads sent from social media. There are a few places you should have an opt-in box, one being your website.

If you use a third-party e-mail service provider like Constant Contact, SnapRetail, MailChimp, iContact, etc., to operate your e-mail marketing, they’ll most likely have opt-in forms you can access and add to your website. You can either use their designs or create a custom design to match your brand. The advantage of using your e-mail service provider’s opt-in form is that the e-mail address and any other information you collect, like first or last name, will automatically be added to your list.

What should you ask for on these opt-in forms? Make sure you don’t ask for too much information and be clear on the form what the consumer is opting in to (e.g. to receive exclusive deals).  I suggest asking for the e-mail address and first name at the very least.  You could also ask for their birthday if you do any special promotions during a birthday month, or a phone number if you call leads.  But keep in mind that typically the more information you ask for, the fewer opt-ins you’ll receive.

The majority of these third-party e-mail marketing sites also have forms you can add to your Facebook page. The good thing about having the form on your Facebook page is that if the consumer is new to your brand, they might not trust going to your website. Or your website might be dated and hard to use. If either is the case, opting in from your Facebook page is good because they know and trust Facebook and likely use it daily.

To do this you’ll use a free custom app, provided by your e-mail service provider. These apps can be found in your e-mail platform or by searching for the application in the Facebook search bar, such as in this example:


An example of a simple form can be found on RDI Diamonds Facebook page, allowing RDI to collect e-mail addresses of jewelers directly on our page.  After someone subscribes to our list, their e-mail address will automatically be added to our MailChimp account so we can market to them in the future.

2. Promote.  Just because you have the opt-in form and e-mail list doesn’t mean that anyone knows about it. You need to get the word out by inviting people to subscribe and telling them why they should join. Common reasons to sign up are to get exclusive deals, private event invitations or to be the first to know about new product arrivals.

Schedule posts to go out on all the social media outlets you use, like Facebook or Twitter, or pin images of a past e-mail you sent and link to your opt-in box. I suggest promoting your e-mail list at least monthly on all of the platforms you use to market.

Another way to promote your list using social media, specifically Facebook, is by asking people to join via your Cover Image.  You can include text on your cover image that says “Click to be the first to know about upcoming events and product specials.” And then in the description of the Cover Image you can include a link where people can opt-in, whether it be on your website or the custom app on your Facebook page.

3. Give an opt-in offer. Having exclusive offers, like a % off for e-mail subscribers only or inviting them to private events, will increase your opt-in metrics. Clearly communicate your offer on your opt-in form, website and social media outlets.

The offer doesn’t always have to be a discount; it could also be a free consultation or a service like free jewelry cleaning or repair. Another option is teaming up with another local business like a restaurant, gym or home décor store, and offer a gift certificate. Make sure you’re providing an offer in which your customers would find value. For example, if you’re targeting brides-to-be, offer a chance to win a trip or free catering through a local business.

Bonus tip: I strongly suggest you have in-store signage promoting your e-mail program. Anyone in your store would make for a perfect candidate to be on your e-mail list. Make sure your staff feels comfortable asking for an e-mail address by showing your staff the value of being on the list (for example, being the first to know about new products, receiving exclusive deals only offered via online, or invitations to private events).

4. Host a contest. To see a higher conversion rate of people joining your e-mail list, host a contest or sweepstakes where the consumer needs to give you their e-mail address to enter to win something - whether it be product, a gift certificate, local sporting tickets, concert tickets, a trip, etc.

When running a contest on social media, you’ll want to use an application so that you can collect the e-mail addresses. One app suggestion is www.woobox.com, which is featured here in an example from the Facebook page for Angie’s Boomchickapop.


5. Run a Facebook ad. Finally, you can run an ad that links to your opt-in form on your website or Facebook page (or both). Facebook only shows your posts organically to about 3-5% of your likes, so if you want to reach the other 90+%, you’ll want to do so using ads.

One ad should focus on building your list and encouraging consumers to opt-in. Just be sure that you clearly communicate why someone should join - what’s in it for them?  You can also advertise a contest post to gain additional exposure and entries.

RDI Diamond’s marketing and social media experts have worked with thousands of independent retailers nationally and are dedicated to driving traffic into their doors. Connect with RDI Diamonds at www.facebook.com/rdidiamonds and sign up for their e-mail list to continue to receive marketing tips designed specifically for independent retail jewelers. 

*Sources: Exact Target and Econsultancy.com