Four lesser-known ways to build your email Published April 8, 2015 If you have been practising email marketing for a while, you are probably aware of the popular ways to utilise social media to build your email list: newsletter sign up tabs on Facebook, sharing newsletter sign up links, incentivising sign ups and running competitions. If you are new to email and social media and aren’t aware of these, then check out our popular whitepaper on how the two can be used together. In this blog I will cover the lesser known ways of building your email list with social media. Some have fallen under the radar as they are fairly new, others might be more work than simply sharing a link in a tweet; however all of them are innovative ways of harnessing the power of social media and a great way to build your list. Post lead generating content Many businesses will create content in the form of whitepapers, reports, eBooks and guides which offer invaluable information and are often a step up from shorter blogs, articles and news pieces. If you are creating this type of content then use it to help build your email list. Use an email sign up form landing page in front of these pieces of content so that the user has to enter their basic contact details to download. If your content offers particularly useful information, the user will normally have no issue with this. Once you have created the landing pages then get sharing! Offering downloadable content is a great alternative to just asking for a newsletter sign up via social media. Downloadable content normally suggests the piece is particularly useful and informative, giving the user an extra incentive to sign up. If possible include a visual element to the post to make it more eye catching, along with punchy and informative copy to draw the user in. You can even use Google URL builder to track which social network is bringing the most traffic to this source. Use Twitter lead generation cards Twitter recently made a new addition to their suite of Twitter cards, the lead generation card, which helps brands drive highly qualified leads directly from Twitter. Twitter cards let you bring rich experiences and useful tools to users within an expanded tweet, where it is easy for users to express interest in what your business offers. Users can then easily and securely share their email address with you and your business without having to leave Twitter or fill out any lengthy forms. When someone expands your tweets, they see a description of your offer and/or call to action. Their name, @username and email address are already pre-filled within the card. The user simply clicks a button to send this information directly (and securely) to you! Host webinars Webinars are fairly common nowadays; they allow your business to engage and share information in an informal way via a person in your organisation. Similar to posting lead generating content, consider promoting your webinars via social media to offer an alternative way for people to submit their email addresses to you. Another great way of utilising social media for webinars is to host a Google hangout; this is not only an innovative way to host your webinar but it also offers something a little different for your viewers. If you choose to host a Google hangout be sure to share links to resources that have sign up forms, as these are not in-built within Google like they are in popular webinar hosting programs such as GoToWebinar and EventBright. Build a community My last suggestion, and potentially the most long term, is to build a community on your social networks. Email is one of the most popular ways to communicate with your audience; however it may not be for everyone. Increase your chances of effectively communicating by collecting Twitter handles when you collect email addresses. Use these Twitter handles to follow your email list, communicate with them and build a community. Social media also offers a great way to make your email recipients feel special. By using social media monitoring tools such as Brandwatch or Radian6 you are able to identify users who interact and talk about you most often, as well as those who have the most influence over social media. Make a real effort with these people; consider tweeting them personalised content, responding to their messages publically or giving them a #FF every now and again. Building this type of relationship with your email list not only means that you will stick in their mind when it comes to making a purchase. You will also be the first brand that they retweet, share and recommend to friends, relatives and colleagues. Social media is an ever changing technology, for both marketers and social users. It’s ability to complement all types of marketing is only increasing over time, so make an effort to stay on top of the latest networks, software and capabilities. What once may have seemed innovative and ground breaking may now be used by all of your competitors, so stand out from the crowd and start using social media and email in the most unique ways possible.