18 Smart Ways to Grow Your Email List With Facebook in 2019

Martin Zhel
Martin Zhel

Last updated on

February 15, 2024

Updated to reflect latest insights

Facebook is one of the best channels in 2019 to grow your email list.

With it you get good engagement rate, it’s cost effective and you can easily drive people to your offers.

Not to mention it tends to outperform other social networks – like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to use it effectively and as a result are not getting the results that they want.

In this post, we want to share with you some of the best strategies about how to use Facebook to grow your email list. Some of which you might not have heard of.

Use your Facebook page

You should always start growing your email list with converting your current fanbase on Facebook. You could run ads for it using facebook publishing tools.

Call-To-Action button to subscribe page – the Facebook page of The Marketing Tech Blog utilizes the call-to-action button to generate a massive email list.

Marketing tech blog facebook page sign up button

When you click on the Sign up button, you’re taken to a special subscribe page where you can opt-in to become an email subscriber.

Marketing tech blog subscribe page

To set this up, go to your page and click on the drop-down menu of the button and choose Edit call to action.

Productivity hacks edit call to action

Choose Sign up as your button type and enter the URL for your subscriber page:

Douglas karr growing email list with Facebook

Get the ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’ tab on your Facebook page – additionally to the sign up button. You can add a special Subscribe to newsletter tab, just like Litmus did.

Litmus Subscriber to Newsletter Facebook page tab

When you click it, there is a form so that people can easily opt-in to your email list without leaving your Facebook page.

Litmus Subscriber to Newsletter Facebook page tab 2

Offer content upgrade for each post you share – people that are following you on social media are already interested in what you have to offer. So why not provide them with valuable information that they want in the form of a lead magnet?

Zak Khan from Panduanim ran a test and found out that when he combines lead magnets and even content upgrades to certain information-based Facebook posts, people tend to subscribe more to email lists rather than random tidbits of personal opinions one usually shares.

Frank Kern usually shares some great educational free videos on his Facebook page. And within the description of them, there is a call-to-action to attend a more advanced, free training that is gated behind an opt-in.

Frank kern opt-in offer within video

You can also upload a part of the video training on your Facebook page and offer people to sign up to watch the rest.

This is what Frank Kern is doing on his page.

Facebook page using video

After the video is over, you can click on “Watch more: Here’s a sneak preview of…” and you’re taken to the following opt-in page:

Frank Kern opt-in page

You can also include a link to your opt-in page in the description of the video or in the comments (if you have forgotten to do that early).

Frank Kern video opt-in comment

You can do this not only with videos but with every other type of content you share on your page – images, blog posts, etc.

For blog posts, it's best if you offer the content upgrade when people click and go to your website.

You can do this using:

Feel free to use MailMunch to create all of these forms to maximize your conversions and grow your email list.

Grow Your Email Lists

In case you have a podcast, remember to post an update linking to your new episodes when you publish them. Each podcast should have an opt-in as a content upgrade (such as a transcription for example).

According to James Schramko from Superfast business, content upgrades can get 85% of the people who click on the button to get a PDF.

Across a blog you would see 2-5% conversions of Facebook traffic to an email list (assuming you have 50% repeat traffic).

Do Facebook live – Facebook live is a new function that allows you to Livestream video content to your audience.

Marketers use it to interact live with people where they usually share great tips and answer questions.

After the livestream is over, it will be stored on your Facebook profile as a normal video.

Here’s an example by Guy Kawasaki who occasionally uses live videos to engage with his audience.

Guy Kawasaki live

Additionally, it can also be used to promote opt-in offers in order to convert people into email subscribers.

You can offer everything from a free pdf, audiobook, or you can speak about future webinars you’re hosting, etc.

Use simple URLs that you can pronounce while you speak (yourdomain.com/webinar) or simply share the link to your opt-in offer as a comment on the livestream.

To broadcast a live video you should go to your Facebook app either on iOS or Android.

Then you should tap on your timeline and the ‘tap this’ button:

Facebook live button

You can write additional descriptions for your Livestream and then type Go Live to start broadcasting.

Use Facebook groups

Why use Facebook groups instead of Facebook pages?

Facebook groups tend to receive higher click-through ratesand subscribers in comparison to Facebook pages according to Zak Khan from Panduanim.

Spy on other groups to find out what people need – the first step is to check out other Facebook groups.

Make a list of the most common questions people ask and find out what people are not getting answers for – or they’re getting the same answers for over and over again.

This gives you a good idea of what people are needing help with, and if your email list can help them get that information.

For example: when you go to BigCommerce Community Group you see the following:

Facebook groups questions

Apparently, this person owns an eCommerce store and has a big problem with people using stolen credit cards with GC sales (90% of them).

This is someone with a strong demand looking for a solution. So if you have content explaining a possible solution, why not share it with him?

Your best option is to share a link to a blog post offering a content upgrade as an opt-in offer explaining things in further details.

Create and optimize your group – Last year I created my very own Facebook group called Productivity hacks and inside I shared tips about productivity and time management for entrepreneurs.

Surprisingly, the group grew organically by 66% in the last 4 months without me doing anything. Just because it was well optimized for people to find it.

When you type the name keyword “Productivity” in the search bar you can see that the group is easily findable.

Facebook group search

But how do you optimize a Facebook group for search?

Very easily – include your main keyword in the name of the group – in this case “Productivity” is part of “Productivity hacks”.

Another thing you can do is include your main keyword in your description. You can see what I did with my group:

Facebook group description

I also included “Productivity” as a tag so Facebook knows what the group is all about.

For more ideas on how to promote your Facebook group, check the blog post How to Market and Fill your Facebook groups by Sarkemedia.

Include a link to your opt-in page in the description – Besides including your main keywords, your description should have these 2 main purposes – state who is the group for and include a link to an opt-in page so people can subscribe to your list.

Spend the time to explain how this group will be of value for your target persona. What are you offering so that he will want to become a member?

Many marketers and business owners fill this section with “rules.” This section is eminently searchable so don’t “waste” it on the rules, instead share who would love this group.

In the top of your description, include a link to your website, preferably to your main opt-in offer.

Make the group free and open to bring more people – if you want to get as many people as possible to your group then you should make it public. That way everybody will be able to see the group, who’s inside and their posts.

Closed groups are excellent for support groups for your products, but don’t increase your influence or visibility in order for you to grow your email lists significantly.

To make it public go to Edit Group Settings.

Facebook group edit group settings

Then click on Change Privacy Settings

Facebook group privacy settings

And finally, make sure to choose Public and click confirm.

Facebook group edit group settings 2

For membership approval, it’s also good to choose “Any member can add members, but an admin must approve them”.

That way if people like that content that you share within the group they will be able to easily invite others and that will allow you to grow your members even more.

Utilize the pinned post – pinned posts are the ones that are always on the top of the group so they can be seen by everybody.

That’s why this is a great opportunity to include another link to your opt-in page here.

Make sure the opt-in page has an attractive, eye-catching featured image that’s pulled through to Facebook. If it doesn’t pull through an image or the right image then use a photo.

Welcome members and direct them to the opt-in offers – when new members join your group, welcome them with a message and direct them to the pinned post.

When you welcome members you’re giving them some of your personal attention and this makes them feel special.

According to Sarah Arrow from Sarkemedia, welcomed members are also more engaged group members and they will be more likely to subscribe to your list.

Be sure to let them know the email list has additional bonuses for them like any type of premium content that you don’t share in the group like video trainings, webinars, blog posts, etc.

Promote content with paid ads

Facebook provides you with one of the most cost-effective advertising solution on the planet. That also convert really well.

When experimenting with ads our friends from Litmus found that their cost per conversion is much lower on Facebook than on Twitter.

Target the right audience – it doesn’t matter how good your offers are if you’re targeting the wrong people.

The first step to this is to have a super clear buyer persona so you know how to target your ads. To do that, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where does your target customer live? What is his gender and age?
  • What’s her job?
  • What languages does he speak?
  • What are her interests? What kind of pages would she like?
  • What are his demographics – education, ethnic group, single or married, with kids or without

The targeting options of Facebook are so powerful that you can target people based on their behavior and life events – such as having a new job, being a parent of a baby or recently moving to a new city.

Run ads on various lead magnet ideas BEFORE you actually create them – this is the best strategy that Karl Kangur from MonetizePros uses to maximize the success of his Facebook ads.

By testing different lead magnets ideas, you will tend to find out which one your target audience will be most likely to have an interest in. And then you can spend the time to actually create it.

If a certain lead magnet idea doesn’t convert well – there is no point spending resources to make it. Better invest them in something that people actually want.

As a result, find what people want the most and your engagement rate with the ads will increase and your cost per click will drop. That way in the long term you will spend less to acquire an email subscriber.

Upload your list and target lookalike people – a great option that Facebook provides is to upload your current email list and choose as an option to target lookalike people.

That way you can reach a new audience that is very similar to yours – which will improve your conversion rates and decrease your advertising costs.

To do that, go to Audiences, click Create audience in the top left and from the dropdown menu select Lookalike Audience.

Facebook lookalike audience

Then choose your Source (current custom audience) and the audience size. It ranges from 1% to 10% of the total population in the country you choose, with 1% being those who most closely match your source.

Facebook lookalike audience 2

Facebook Lead Ads – this is a new solution that Facebook created a few months ago to make it easy for you to convert mobile users into email subscribers.

You can target them with normal ads with the difference that when people are interested in your offer they opt-in straight from Facebook (without the need to go to your website).

LeadAd Forms are highly customizable so you can create all the info that’s important to your business.

When someone clicks on your ad they will see the form that is already filled with the info they shared with Facebook – like email addresses or phone numbers.

Which makes it easy to subscribe and increases conversion rates.

Sendloop created a great guide on using Facebook Lead Ads to grow your email list.

Retargeting – be sure to install Facebook tracking pixels or use retargeting solutions like AdRoll or Perfect Audience to be able to reach people who have visited your website.

With more advanced strategies you can even segment people who haven’t opted in to your email list yet.

To do that simply target the people who have visited your webpage but haven’t reached the ‘thank you’ page.

Check out our guide on increasing your conversion rates with behavioral targeting to learn how to maximize your results from retargeting.

Jordie van Rijn from Email Monday suggests you try retargeting the people that you know through Facebook custom audiences.

Final words

Facebook provides you with limitless options to drive traffic to your opt-in offers and grow your email list.

You can use your page, your group or simply use ads to reach the people that will be interested in what you have to offer.

How you use it – it’s up to you.

Do you currently use Facebook to grow your email list? What are the strategies that you’re using? What would you use from now on?

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