Facebook is a really powerful tool, and it remains one of the top social media platforms. 2.96 billion people log on to Facebook every month. It’s the BIGGEST of a LOT of huge social media platforms. Oh, and it owns Instagram–the fourth largest–with 2 billion users a month.
Chances are, some of your ideal customers or members are on Facebook. But how can you reach them? How can you move people from Facebook fans or viewers to email subscribers?
In an enormous engine of content with everything from cat videos to your grandma’s Wordle scores, how can you cut through the noise and use it to build your list? In this article, we're going to talk about how to build an email list on Facebook.
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In this article…
1. Build your ideal subscriber
For the first steps to building an email list with Facebook, it's valuable to think about who you're actually trying to reach. You don’t want EVERYONE on your list. You want the right people for your brand.
Who's your ideal audience member? You can start to ask some defining questions and build an avatar for your ideal subscriber. Questions like:
- Where are they from?
- How old are they?
- What problems do they have?
- What type of searching did they do?
- What income or education level are they?
- Who are you most qualified to serve or help?
- Who most needs your product?
These questions and more are valuable for building your email list with Facebook.
Asking these questions is a really valuable branding exercise, of course. But they will also help you later if you start to get into paying for advertising–which we’ll get into below. Because Facebook lets you create campaigns for very specific groups of people. So it’s vital to know who those people are.
2. Get people off Facebook
We'll talk about paid advertising below. But growing your email list with Facebook generally requires one key thing: getting people off Facebook. Whether you’re reaching people through paid advertising or organically, you need to take them off the platform at some point.
That means you'll need to create content and the following, but then find a way to get people to go elsewhere - probably clicking on a landing page or website. This means that the first step is figuring out how to actually capture emails.
Okay, so building an email list on Facebook requires some sort of lead capture. And one of the easiest ways to do this is with the landing page.
Without building an entire website, you can build a simple landing page to direct your traffic toward. That page will usually have some sort of offer and an opportunity to put in your name and email.
Although a landing page is technically a one-page website, it's a unique beast. A landing page is first and foremost a sales tool, generally a simple page with clear copy, a compelling offer, and a call to action.
It’s not hard to make a landing page. But it can be hard to figure out what you need on your landing page to convert best. If 1 in 20 visitors join your mailing list, that’s cool. But if 1 in 10 join, that’s better.
How can you find out what works?
An A/B test! You can test different versions of any landing page to figure out which has the highest ROI. A landing page builder like ClickFunnels or Convertkit should help you do this.
Sending traffic off of Facebook and onto a great landing page is a tried and true way of building your email list.
If you have one already, you can drive your Facebook leads to a website. When you share content or posts, or when you pay to advertise, your call to action can bring them to your brand's page.
If you are looking for email subscribers, you'll need to choose a part of your website that makes sense to land them on. It should fit with the intent of your Facebook audience–giving them the thing they’re looking for–and offer an opportunity to leave a name and email.
It might be your homepage with an offer or a special page you build. It could even be a relevant blog post or video.
While a website is not as focused as a landing page, the nice thing about using a website to capture emails is that your subscribers can get a sense of your whole brand. A landing page is a very clear sales tool. But people might subscribe to your website because they see the value it gives, clicking around to great posts or a product that interests them.
Without driving people off of Facebook, it's tough to get their emails. But you could use a Facebook group to grow your audience, and slowly find ways to capture emails from that group.
There are a bunch of reasons why Facebook groups aren't ideal for list-building. They are fairly limited when it comes to reaching your audience, and they suck at building community or hosting real discussions.
But people do join them. And it's pretty easy for them to click a button and come into your group.
If you are nurturing a group on Facebook, you can include frequent posts with offers and opt-ins like we talked about above to get people out of your group and onto your mailing list.
A Facebook page
As limited as groups are, Facebook pages are probably even more limited. But, you can still get likes and follows on a page.
The problem is, posting on a page will get almost no engagement. The exception might be video, which seems to be doing well right now on Facebook. But video is limited in terms of capturing emails.
However, there are a few advantages to growing a Facebook page and getting likes. One of the first is that you can pay to reach your audience. Once people like your page, you can keep reaching them with paid ads. If you have an ad budget and a clear value offer, this might be worth it for your brand.
The other good thing is that you can let Facebook choose a look-alike audience when paying for ads. If you have enough people following a page, you can pay to advertise to people who are like those people.
In short, it lets you start to develop a demographic and psychographic profile for your brand based on the people who already follow you. And that can be valuable for a paid ad campaign.
Okay, so we talked about some of the organic ways to grow your email list from Facebook above. But we've also hinted at something. True success on Facebook often requires paying for ads. It's one of the limitations of the platform.
If you do have some budget and you decide you want to use ads to reach your ideal customers, great. Here are some of the things to think about when building ads.
Build an audience
On Facebook, building ads means building an audience profile. We talked a bit about this above. You can advertise to people who already follow or who look like the people who follow your brand.
But there are other alternatives. You can get very specific about crafting a Facebook audience. You can choose people by age. You can choose people by location–which can be really valuable if you run a local business. With a reasonable ad spend, you might be able to reach most of the people in your town.
One of the best ways to do audience building will probably be based on interests. You can use keywords or competitors' names to target people who really do fit your brand well.
For example, let's say I'm a coach. Let's say you want to use Facebook to build an email list of people looking for coaching services who are teachable and ready to grow.
Here are some of the things you might look for in building this audience:
- People who have X amount of disposable income
- People who follow personal development gurus like Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins, or Rachel Hollis.
- People who follow the pages of other coaches or speakers in your niche.
- People who Facebook identifies as interested in the subject of “Personal Development.”
Add a c2a
Every advertisement should include a Call to Action. In some cases, you might just want traffic to your web page or landing page. But Facebook does also let you add custom calls to action and buttons with your ads. You can include things like "book an appointment" or "call us"
Invite them to like
As you get traction and likes on your ads, don't just ignore that. If people like a post or an ad, invite them to like your page! Facebook makes this easy. Click the people who have “liked” a post you’ve made. There’s a little button next to their face that will say “invite.”
This invites them to like your page!
Help them take the next step on their value ladder with your brand, and don't be afraid to invite them.
It's a good idea to keep your ad spend low at first until you find the right balance, until you find an ad that works. Spend $10 a day when you are getting started and pay attention to how much your email leads cost.
If you find that $10 a day gets you 4 new email leads, it's reasonable to expect that $100 a day with the same ad would get you 40. $1,000 should get 400. If you were offering a high-ticket coaching service, 40 new email subscribers a day would probably do amazing things for your business.
You'll need to decide how much your email subscribers are worth to you. But you can usually develop a clear idea of your cost per lead and scale from there.
Tools to get email subscribers from Facebook
As you are building your reach on Facebook, we've covered the how. But we should talk quickly about the what.
Once you invite people, how do you get them value? Here are a couple of proven opt-ins to get people onto your value ladder and onto your list.
- Webinar. A webinar is a tried and true way of delivering value. When you get on video in front of somebody, you build trust quickly. And you can quickly show that you are the right person to help them with their problem.
- Community. Using a community as your opt-in is totally underrated. If you can get people into a community that's not on Facebook, on a modern community platform, you can get them a ton of value and build a relationship from day one. Plus, you get the value of the network effect from your existing members.
- eBook. Ebooks are still a thing, and they can work really well for an opt-in. If you offer a free ebook in exchange for an email address, it feels like people are getting something substantial - even if it's just a 20 Page PDF you built. Make it good. Make it professional.
- Email sequences. Okay, offering people regular emails is an obvious way to build an email list. But a lot of brands offer some sort of structured email program or course. If you see things like "Get our 7-Day training in your inbox," you're looking at an email sequence opt-in, and it’s really easy to set up with any modern email software.
- Virtual event. Live events can make fantastic opt-ins. They feel so real and valuable, and many of your potential subscribers will get excited by the chance to show up.
- Downloads. Downloads are still a thing, although we've seen a drop in popularity. If people let you download a worksheet or a free guide in exchange for your email, you're looking at a download opt-in.
Any of these tools could work, and you won’t need all of them. Pick the one that lets you add the most value to your ideal customers and go from there!
We hope this article has given you a ton of value as you think about growing your email list on Facebook. Remember, it takes time and effort to grow your brand and figure out what works for you.
And if you want to build a course or community, come build with us! Our cultural software platform lets you mix courses, community, content, and commerce. And our flexible spaces mix in live events, member profiles, discussion boards, live streaming, and more. It's an awesome platform for adding value to would-be email subscribers.
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