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Ecommerce, Instagram, Marketing

How to Grow Your Email List with Instagram

Growing your business with Instagram isn’t limited to gaining followers and getting more likes on Instagram. In fact, one of the best ways to grow your business using Instagram is to take your relationship with your followers off Instagram and into their inbox. Even in the age of social media, email is still one of the best ways to establish an ongoing relationship with your audience. Why? Because it is the most direct contact you’ll have with potential customers. Here’s why (and how!) you should use Instagram to build your email list:

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 10.09.03 PM

Image by Krista Bauer

When you send an email campaign, not everyone will open your email, but at least you know they got it! With social media, and specifically the new Instagram algorithm, you don’t have control over how many of your followers will even see your posts. So, if you’re trying to leverage Instagram for business, capturing the email address of each person that comes across your Instagram feed can help you build your community and, ultimately, grow your business.

Since it’s likely that your Instagram followers will miss some of your daily Instagram posts with the new Instagram algorithm, you can easily send all of your important info like upcoming product launches, new arrivals, and your latest blog posts straight to their inbox.

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3 Ways to Grow Your Email List with Instagram

Having a lot of followers on Instagram is great, but if you can also collect their contact information, you’ll now have the power to reach out to them whenever you want. That being said, these days people are pretty careful about who they give their email to to avoid spam. Your followers aren’t going to just hand you the keys to their inbox simply because you asked them nicely. This is an exchange, not a free handout.

So what’s in it for them?

In order to capture those precious email addresses, you’ll need to ensure that you’re trading something that your ideal audience finds valuable. Here’s how to grow your email list with Instagram with 3 easy steps:

1. Create an Irresistible Opt-In

Think about your ideal customer or client.  What can you offer them that they wouldn’t think twice about signing up for? This is called your Lead Magnet. It should be something of value that relates to an end-result that your business offers. For example, Ashley Alexander from Gather and Feast offers a free recipe eBook via her Instagram account, and Green Blender offers something similar with a free smoothie detox eBook.

Gather and Feast Free Opt In example

Your lead magnet doesn’t need to be an eBook, some other examples of free opt-ins are:

  •    a coupon or special offer for subscribers
  •    a free download or worksheet
  •    a challenge
  •    a mini-course
  •    a free sample
    how to grow email list with instagram

2. Create a Custom Landing Page for Your Instagram Followers

Once you’ve decided on your free offer, you’ll want to create a custom landing page for the action to take place. Since you’re asking your followers to leave Instagram to sign up for something, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.  If you offer your followers a free perk, but direct them to your home page, they might have to search for where to sign up, get frustrated, and leave your site quickly. You can easily lose leads by not having a landing page!

grow email list with instagram

A custom landing page that is only linked from your Instagram bio also let’s you communicate better with your message and your audience, since you know they’re only coming to that page from Instagram! You can learn how to drive traffic to Instagram with a trackable link in this blog post.

By creating a simple landing page for this one specific lead magnet, you can easily direct your followers to where they should enter their email, with a clear explanation of what they are getting in return. For example, when you click on the link in both Gather and Feast or Green Blender’s bio, you are then taken directly to a beautiful landing page where you are prompted to sign up for their free offer.

Green Blender Landing page example

You can also use the new Linkin.bio feature from Later to link to your opt-in offer from various Instagram posts. After a visitor clicks on your link, they can select the image where you mention the offer, and be taken directly to your special landing page to sign up!

Once you have your Instagram followers on your email list, the possibilities for ongoing communication through newsletters, email blasts, and sales funnels are nearly endless.

3. Insert a Call-to-Action in Your Instagram Bio

Even if you have the most amazing opt-in offer, you could still be missing sign-ups if you don’t have a well-written Instagram bio with a strong call-to-action, or CTA (you can learn more strategies about how brands can use Instagram bios here).

how to grow email list with instagram

When someone checks out your Instagram feed for the first time, Your CTA should clearly communicate why they should click on the link in your bio, and what they are going to get when they do. You only have 150 characters to get to the point, and you should use direct sales copy to convince them to take action. 

I used a strong call-to-action in my own bio to get followers to sign up for an Instagram challenge e-course (and when they click the link, I send them to an Instagram-specific landing page!).

grow email list with instagram

Social media platforms like Instagram will continue to evolve, and the fact is that we can’t control them (or algorithms)! But by leveraging these platforms to collect email addresses, you’ll ensure that you won’t need to sweat it when those inevitable changes to algorithms force us to, once again, rethink our strategies.

Later let’s you easily plan, schedule, and manage multiple Instagram accounts for business. The best part? It’s free!

Free Instagram Scheduler

Written By


Stephanie Gilbert is the CEO of Small Talk Social, a boutique social media agency for lifestyle brands & the founder of CEO Yeah!, which provides IRL (in real life) adventures for online bosses. You can follow her on Instagram at @stephjgilbert


Her mission is to empower creative entrepreneurs to build a life + a business that they love– via online business mentorship + in-person retreats. Follow all of her adventures

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