Guest post by Megan Totka
While networking on Facebook is important to small businesses,email marketing is, in most instances, exponentially more valuable. Your Facebook updates are seen by a fraction of your audience while your email marketing is delivered to 100 percent of your audience. The good news? You can use Facebook to grow your email marketing list. Eighty-nine percent of businesses owners say email is “important” to their organizations, so if you aren’t yet using email, now’s the time. Of course, email newsletters aren’t effective unless you’ve cultivated a subscriber list—and your Facebook fans are a natural place to start. Wondering how to convert these fans to email subscribers? Here are five ways your Facebook page can help you grow your email marketing list.
Mention Your Newsletter and Share to Your Timeline
When you send an email newsletter, try mentioning it on your Facebook page or give a teaser before you send it. Many email newsletter programs offer the ability to share after sending via your social media channels. Give your casual Facebook followers a reminder that they can connect with you outside of Facebook to increase your newsletter subscription rate.
Add a Sign-Up App in a Facebook Page Tab
The Facebook Timeline affords many options for building apps, which allow you to connect with your followers in a myriad of ways. And when it comes to your newsletter, you can create a custom Facebook business page tab to invite your readers to subscribe to your newsletter. And once you do that, be sure and remind them about it on a regular basis. Remember that while the main cover photo and front page cannot include promotional language or email sign-ups, the tabs will allow you to get immediate subscribers. As an added bonus, all new opt-ins are automatically placed into your subscription database!
Optimize the “About” Description on Your Facebook Page
The Facebook Timeline page gives you the opportunity to add a description of your business below the cover picture. This location is prime Facebook real estate, so take advantage of this space and write a full description (up to 150 characters) and include the link to your email sign-up page. Use these characters wisely to set the tone and feel of your business. With a whopping 74 percent of consumers relying on social networks to guide their purchases, it’s essential to make your page work for you to secure long-term subscribers.
In an ideal world, your newsletter content will sell itself—but with so much content screaming for our attention, your subscribers need motivation to give you access to their inboxes. Incentivize your future customers by offering a compelling reason to subscribe. Run a contest to encourage people to sign up for your emails or provide a coupon for a discount. Offering free gifts to new subscribers is a great way to build your list, so consider creating a white paper, e-book, or digital product as a thank you for subscribing. One additional tip? Once you’ve enticed subscribers to sign up for your email newsletter, keep them interested. Send out thoughtful content that informs them and helps them solve problems. You may not send out emails as often as you post Facebook updates (and that’s a relief), but your email subscribers are still part of your digital community. Value their time, give them information and resources they can use and offers that are attractive. You’ll not only grow your subscriber list, you’ll have happy and satisfied customers who contribute to the profitability of your company.