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This is a guest post from Elevation Marketing.

Getting more followers seems to be the name of the game on Instagram, but the platform is actually perfect to grow other parts of your business, too. In fact, one of the best ways to use Instagram to grow your business is to take your relationship with those followers off Instagram and into their inboxes.

Even in today’s social media-heavy landscape, email is still one of the most valuable ways to build lasting relationships with your audience. Why?

Because email gives you direct contact with potential customers. Instead of hoping they see your post while they’re aimlessly scrolling through social media, sending them an email guarantees your message will land directly in their inbox.

Add to that the fact that social platforms can close up shop at any moment (just look at what happened to Vine), and you have an incredibly strong argument for email marketing.

But let’s loop back around to Instagram.

Even if you have tons of Instagram followers, the chances are that some of them will miss your daily posts thanks to the new algorithm. If you have their email addresses, you can send important information like new products, launches, and latest posts straight to their inbox.

Why Instagram is a great platform for generating more subscribers

Building a following on Instagram is a high priority for many businesses today – and for good reason.

Instagram is the most engaged social platform, beating the likes of even socially-geared Facebook.

According to research, around 2-7% of followers interact with each post, putting it way ahead of Twitter, which sees less than 0.2% of followers engaging with each post. Users also spend longer on Instagram than any other social media platform, giving you more chance to connect and build relationships with them.

Image Source: YOTPO

Now that you know why Instagram should be an important part of your list building strategy, let’s dive into a few key ways you can use the platform to superpower your email list.

How to use Instagram to get more subscribers

1. Bring out the competitive nature of your followers

Everyone loves a competition. When we see the chance to win something incredible, we can’t help but put our name in the hat. And Instagram is the perfect platform for you to host a competition.

In fact, posts on Instagram that are related to contests get 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes than those that aren’t. This shows you can reach more people with a competition and use that leverage to promote your email list.

Watchmaker MVMT hosted a competition on Instagram that asked followers to tag two friends and follow the brand for a chance to win a watch.

You can switch up the rules in your competition by asking people to sign up to your email list instead of asking them to follow your account in order to help you grow your subscriber count.

Even if you don’t ask followers to sign up, the increased engagement on your competition posts will make them more visible to new customers who you can then guide towards your email list in other ways.

2. Get your followers involved

User-generated content (UGC) is all the rage at the moment. Sharing the photos, videos, and reviews of your customers is a surefire way to boost engagement as it acts as a digital version of word-of-mouth marketing.

Research shows that posts containing or featuring UGC have a 4.5% higher conversion rate than non-UGC posts.

Not only does it boost conversion rates (that means more subscribers on your list), it also gives you access to tons more content that might have otherwise taken you time and money to create.

The simplest way to do this is to create a designated hashtag and encourage your followers to add their photos and stories.

You can then use any UGC you’ve gathered in Instagram ads to build your email list. Research shows that ads featuring UGC have a 4x higher click-through rate than those that don’t, giving you the chance to direct people to your sign-up page.

Botolino Gelato, for instance, regularly shares content posted by its users.

3. Incorporate calls-to-action

It might be obvious to you that you want your Instagram followers to sign up to your email list, but is it obvious to them?

Actively asking people to take the next step and using calls-to-action to encourage them to click, buy, or sign-up might seem like an incredibly simple tactic, but it’s also incredibly effective.

Image Source: Wistia

In fact, using words like “sign-up,” “register,” and “download” significantly boost conversion rates, so why not make the most of these power phrases?

Use calls-to-action in your Instagram bio to guide followers toward your freebie, or incorporate them in your post descriptions to capture new followers that find your posts via hashtags or other means.

calls to action

Smoothie brand Green Blender put a call-to-action at the front and center of the Instagram bio to encourage followers to download a free ebook in return for their email addresses.

4. Use the power of stories

Instagram isn’t just a portfolio of pretty pictures anymore. In fact, their Stories feature has proven to be a massive hit with businesses and individuals alike.

There are more than 300 million active users of Instagram Stories every day, making it the perfect way to connect with your audience in an authentic, in-the-moment way.

The interactive nature of Stories has much more scope for conversion than regular Instagram posts because you can add text to your images, create “swipe up” links to take followers to designated landing pages, and create calls-to-action that literally dance on the screen (thanks GIPHY).

instagram stories

The brand furthermore uses Instagram Stories to promote their weekly newsletter. Users can swipe up to sign-up and receive workout routines and recipes via email.

Wrap up

It’s really no secret that Instagram is a hot commodity at the moment. As well as being a great platform to build your brand and reach new audiences, it’s also the perfect place to generate more leads and grow your email list.

Because it’s such an engaged platform with more people logging on every day than any other platform, it is ideal for promoting freebies, competitions, and starting conversations.

It’s easy to leverage the engaged nature of Instagram to encourage followers to sign-up to your email list either through a competition, via user-generated content, by incorporating choice calls-to-action, and by tapping into the new power of Instagram Stories.

After all, while social media and email marketing are both effective individually, an integrated approach can drive revenue and build your following far better than either channel alone.

Ryan Gould is the Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing. From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.

Ryan is known for taking complex marketing and business challenges and developing solutions that simplify processes while driving customer outcomes and business value. He also thrives on guiding Elevation teams toward execution of strategies that help companies succeed in new verticals, while staying true to core values and brand integrity.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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