How To Build a Thriving Email List Using Facebook
By Jawad Khan
When you’re planning to build a new blog or an online business, creating a sizeable subscriber base should be one of the first things on your mind. With people on your mailing list, you can work on building relationships and converting subscribers into buyers. Some marketers believe that email lists are not as important as they were a few years ago because of Facebook.
But the stats suggest otherwise.
- In the last year, 66% of all US consumers below 15 years of age made a purchase because of an email.
- 91% of consumers check their email at least once a day.
- 64% of decision makers read their emails via mobile.
- Over 70% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by email.
This clearly suggests that email marketing is not only alive, but more relevant than ever before. Facebook, on the other hand, is the world’s largest social network. For many users around the world, it is more important than emails.
Every month there are
- 4 billion visitors on Facebook
- 700 million visitors on Facebook groups
- more than 700 billion minutes spent on Facebook globally
Every day there are
- more than 890 million people on Facebook
- 1+ billion searches on Facebook
- More than 3 billion video views on Facebook
- More than 7 billion post likes on Facebook
These are mind boggling stats.
But what if we combine the exposure of Facebook with the power of email marketing? It’ll be any marketers dream.
Why You Should Route Facebook Users To Your Email List
Although Facebook offers you extraordinary exposure and reach, relying on it for your long term business strategy is risky. No matter how many Facebook page likes you have, they’re still not your property and can be taken away from you by just one algorithm change. Facebook is also tightening the screw on page owners, and does not give you the same free exposure that it once offered.
Email subscribers, on the other hand, are your real online assets. You have complete control over your email lists and can use them for creating long term strategies. So instead of relying completely on Facebook, the intelligent approach is to use Facebook for building your email lists
Here’s how you can do it.
Identify Your Audience
When you’re building an email list, it’s not just the number of subscribers that matters. The quality and relevance of your subscribers is equally important. Your objective for list building is to convert subscribers into buyers. So you need people who are seriously interested in what you have to offer.
For this, you need to create the right buyer personas. Buyer persona is a sample profile of your ideal buyer, or someone who is genuinely interested in your offer.
For example, if you’re selling a weight loss product, your ideal buyer could be a 35 to 40 year old man, living in a major US city, earning at least $100,000 per year, and genuinely concerned about his increasing weight.
Until recently, buyer personas were used primarily by content marketers. But innovative social media companies like 99DollarSocial and Buffer have used them intelligently in creating more targeted social campaigns.
Create the Right Freebie
Marketers use different kinds of incentives to lure people to their email lists. In most cases, it’s a freebie like an eBook, a free course or a discount coupon. But to attract the right subscribers, you need to create a freebie that is in line with your paid offer.
This is important because you don’t want to attract subscribers who’re just looking for freebies. You want to attract people who’re prepared to pay you for your services in the long run.
For example, if you offer SEO and digital marketing services, your freebie can be a free website SEO audit or an SEO checklist.
Just make sure your freebie has some immediate value for your target users so that they subscriber to your list immediately.
For example, this is the freebie that Neil Patel offer on his blog QuickSprout.
You can see that it’s directly complementing the core services that Neil offers (SEO consultancy, traffic generation, conversion optimization etc.)
Create a Landing Page and Auto-responder Series
Once your freebie is ready, you need to create a clutter free and high conversion landing page. Conversion optimization is a broad subject and a lot can be written about it. But in summary, all the components of your landing page, including copy, images and your freebie, should point in only one direction – your opt-in form.
Here’s a great example from Noah Kagan’s blog.
Note: Here’s a detailed post on improving conversion rates on your website and landing pages
You also need to have an intelligent auto-responder sequence set up for your new subscribers. Just like your freebie, it needs to be aligned with your paid product/services.
I typically use a five email auto-responder sequence in which the first three emails deliver direct value in the form of actionable advice and resources. The last two emails are about my paid offer which my subscribers can get at a discounted rate.
There are several auto-responder and email marketing tools on the web, but I prefer GetResponse for my managing my campaigns (Neil Patel recommended it to me). Apart from email marketing, you can use it to create your landing pages as well.
Creating the landing page and auto-responder is important because you need to give immediate value to your subscribers so that they start trusting you and refer more people to your list.
Note: Here’s a list of WordPress list building plugins that you can use in combination with your auto-responder
Create a Facebook Ad Campaign
Once you’ve completed the ground work, you can now turn to Facebook advertisements to send you highly targeted visitors. While creating your ad, you need to keep your buyer persona in mind.
Facebook ads have a very precise targeting system. You can use it to zoom in to your target audience and attract the most relevant visitors to your landing page.
While creating your ad, keep the following points in mind.
- Use at least 4 to 5 high quality images for your ad.
- Test different headlines and content for your ad.
- Make sure your ad copy has a clear call to action.
- Start with a small budget for each ad and do test runs to find out the combination.
- Be as precise as possible in your audience criteria.
Once you start your ad campaign, monitor the results closely. If your Facebook ads are getting a lot of clicks and sending traffic to your landing, but the visitor to subscriber conversion rate is low then try making changes to your landing page content and structure. In my experience, Facebook ads have the highest CTR among all other paid advertisement tools.
Note: Here’s a detailed post on configuring effective Facebook ads
Wrapping it Up
As I said at the start, Facebook has millions of active members from all across the globe. By using the strength and exposure of this platform, you can attract highly relevant subscribers to your mailing list and convert them into an online asset. However, in order to benefit from Facebook ads, you need to build a solid foundation with your freebie, landing page and auto-responder sequence. If you get it right, you can build a thriving email list in just a few days.