It’s vogue to think of social media and other new channels as the way to go with marketing these days. Indeed, Instagram marketing is on-trend due to the platform’s one billion active monthly users – it’s simply not possible to ignore those kinds of numbers. And most businesses have responded by upping their social media efforts – more than 200 million business accounts are active on Instagram right now. 

But this doesn’t mean you can ignore other marketing channels like email. In fact, email marketing may be more important than ever before – 78% of marketers in 2020 said email is important to overall company success, compared to 71% in 2019. Almost 100% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking multiple times in one day – drastically increasing the odds of your email marketing actually being seen. 

In fact, these two approaches to marketing don’t have to be in opposition – indeed, they can be synergistic, with Instagram becoming the gateway to growing your email marketing list. Instagram is special because its users are deeply connected to the brands they follow. Instagram has also made it easier and easier to use the platform to promote your business, with various features to help you get email signups. 

It would be a mistake to not maximize these opportunities. Today we’ll show you 5 ways you can use Instagram to grow your email marketing list.

Use the contact button in your profile

Today’s Instagram users are much more savvy and sophisticated than in the platform’s early days. Businesses have flocked to the platform, and the standards for communication with users has risen as a result. It used to be fine to simply post your brand’s photos and videos, then let the users figure out how to get in touch with you. 

Nowadays, your audience wants their experience with you to be as seamless as possible. They want it exceedingly clear how to contact you, and once they’ve reached out, they want an almost immediate response. This is why it’s vital that you have the contact button on your Instagram business profile – a clear sign of how to get in touch with your brand. Adding your email address to the contact options is a must, especially if you aren’t devoting the manpower to monitoring your Instagram direct messages. 

This has the added benefit of giving your audience options for how to contact you. With an email address option, we have seen that more people will opt to send an email rather than engage in real-time chat. It’s an easy win – they’re happier having multiple options to reach out to you, and you get them to share their email address with nearly no effort involved. 

Maximize your Instagram bio

Your Instagram bio is a small space, but it’s the only place where you can actually put a link. You have to make the most of that opportunity. It’s not enough to simply put a link in the bio and then leave your audience to figure out what it’s for – direct them to a sign up form for email alerts or newsletters, and you’ll see that many of them will gladly click through and sign up. 

It’s not difficult at all to put a call to action in your bio. Something simple such as “join our newsletter” is sufficient for most situations; however, if you want to go the extra mile, you can even plug the benefits of joining your email list. Discounts, special offers, free shipping – whatever makes the email list more enticing, you can mention in the bio. You just have to know what your audience is looking for so you can make the most out of your 150 characters and one clickable link. 

Use the Swipe Up feature 

An account with 10,000 followers gets a special feature on Instagram Stories called the Swipe Up feature. This adds another clickable link for your account, and it’s one of the best ways to get email signups. You can redirect people from your Instagram Story content to a specific page on your website. Doing this lets you make use of Instagram Stories, one of the most powerful tools Instagram has to offer. 

The ephemeral nature of the Instagram Story content means that users are incentivized to click the link now and not later. Add in a call to action within the story itself, and most users who actually follow through with the Swipe Up action are primed and ready to give you their email address to get their reward. 

Post about the benefits of your email list or newsletter

Anyone who actively follows your brand on Instagram is, at the very least, interested in your brand. As part of your Instagram marketing strategy, you can mix in the occasional post about the benefits of joining your email list or newsletter. 

Of course, the caveat here is that these types of posts need to be spaced out with other great content so that it doesn’t seem spammy or overbearing. As with the Instagram bio text, your job is to entice your audience to willingly give you their email address. You can’t very well do that if they’re annoyed by seeing the same type of content over and over again. 

One approach we like is to add a call to action to join your email list to other types of high-value photo or video content. That way, users are already getting something valuable from you before you ask them for something in return – this makes them much more likely to actually follow through. The challenge here is to be able to write a great caption that flows naturally into your call to action, while plugging the benefits of the email list. 

Don’t do it alone – use influencers

While you may have an established following, there’s always more people out there who haven’t heard of you. Spreading the word about your brand can be brought to the next level with calculated collaborations with influencers – and that doesn’t just mean big names with millions of followers. Even micro-influencers, users with 5000 to 10000 followers, can give you a huge boost to your email marketing efforts. Such micro-influencers know how to use various Instagram tools to get the most out of the platform that leads to better engagement.

The approach we like with these micro-influencers is to enlist their help in promoting special offers, discounts, and events that can be accessed through the email list. Even contests and giveaways can be promoted with the same approach – requiring an email to join such giveaways is the norm, and users are usually more than willing to oblige. 

What this gets you is an immediately engaged audience who trust your micro-influencer and are more likely to respond to a call to action. You get more participants without spending nearly as much money as you would on a big-name influencer. 

One thing we find useful is to have a creative brief on hand for any influencer we contact – it ensures that the influencer is on the same page as the rest of the marketing team and makes the messaging consistent. 

Final thoughts

The important thing to note with all these tips is that you have to be giving your audience a very good reason to give you their email address. Follow the principles we’ve laid out today and we believe you’ll be able to make Instagram and email marketing work really well together. But once you have their email addresses, make sure to keep your audience engaged – this has knock-on effects as word of mouth is still an important part of marketing. Once other users hear about the special benefits of being on your email list, it’ll make your email marketing campaigns all the more successful.