4 Tips to Leverage the Power of Instagram to Grow Your Email List Somehow the idea got around that Instagram isn't good for gathering email subscribers. Wrong!

By Lesya Liu

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

supershabashnyi | Getty Images

Social media provides a great way of discovering new customers and being discovered by them. The majority of your efforts on social media should lead to creating leads.

However, it's a bit challenging with Instagram because the network is pretty self-enclosed. You get only one organic live link and it's not easily tracked. However, there are still a lot of solid reasons to collect emails on Instagram.

Email lists have the best ROI, the strongest loyalty levels and it's the one marketing channel you own. Social media platforms can change rules and algorithms, but you have full control of your emails. If visitors give you their email, they show a sign of trust and interest in your brand.

If they haven't bought from you yet, they might in the future. They might be unsure about the value of your offering, they might not be at a purchasing stage yet, but they anticipate a need in your product.

The biggest value of your email list is that a lot of them are your raving fans. They bought your product and they signed up for your newsletter. That can only mean they love your product and want more of it.

Related: How To Grow Your Instagram Followers with User Generated Content

They want to know when you will offer new and related products, and if you're running any promotions they can take advantage of. These people are your pot of gold. They will continue buying more and more of your products.

Few people think of Instagram as a lead-generating tool, but it definitely is -- if done correctly.

1. Mention it occasionally.

The first, easiest way to start a list is to simply ask your existing followers to sign up but do it sporadically. Asking too often won't get a subscriber but might just lose a follower. Once in a while create a post highlighting the benefits of signing up for your emails. It could be insider previews, special promotions or unique content not found anywhere else.

Now that they follow you on Instagram and are also subscribed to your emails, it becomes so much easier for your company to stay on top of their mind.

Related: Putting Your Business on Instagram? Here's What You Need to Know.

2. Gradefully direct them off Instagram.

Your bio link should send them to a special landing page. Do not send them off wondering around your website. Create a special page that will continue a cohesive brand experience off the app. Here, you have control over your visuals, text, and any multimedia. Place a signup form on this page and give them a reason to join.

Remember, that Instagram is very visual, so these people expect a lot of visuals on the landing page as well. Plus, keep in mind that they're most likely on their smartphone, so make it mobile-friendly and lightweight.

Every time you change a landing page for Instagram, ensure you have a short form on it; this just might include their name and email address fields. If you ask your potential subscribers 20 questions before actually signing them up, they will leave the process.

Also, I would not recommend setting up popup boxes on that page. Remember, they're on the phone, so it's simply annoying when a form blocks the whole screen and distracts you from reading.

If you'd like to collect more information, ask yourself if you really need it to the point of running a risk of not getting any information at all. Don't forget that if you'd like to gain more insight into your audience, you can send them an occasional survey through newsletter.

Related: Instagram Rolls Out 60-Second Video Option for Advertisers

3. Provide them with a reason to leave the app.

How do you get people to click over to your landing page? Create an irresistible free offer for them for leaving the app to visit your website. Besides sharing your URL, explain in your bio what's in it for them.

It may be as simple as a free discovery call or a sample of your product. It can also be free resources, like e-books, checklists, whitepapers or any other resource your audience will find valuable. Let them download it in exchange for their email.

It can't be said enough that the content you put out should be worthwhile, otherwise, if readers are disappointed with an item they received for sharing their email, you're only hurting your reputation. Having a bait-and-switch tactic in place will only hurt you in a long run and decrease your chances of ever growing an email subscriber list.

Related: What Disney's VIP Treatment Can Teach You About Email Marketing

4. Employ ads.

Since Instagram ads are run through Facebook, you have a variety of business objectives as well as tools to target the right people.

This strategy is like email list building on steroids. Create a beautiful ad with a short description and a call to action to visit your website. Repeat the same steps for your ad's landing page as mentioned above.

Also, set up a thank you page to track how many people visited the page versus how many actually signed up.

Instagram can be as effective as any other "more traditional" platform for growing your email list and driving leads for your business. You just have to get a bit more creative in your execution.

Lesya Liu

Social Media Strategist at The Social Media Current

Lesya Liu helps entrepreneurs create a meaningful and profitable Instagram presence that feels right for their creative businesses. Born and raised in Ukraine, she is a social media strategist and a photographer. Her passion lies in combining art and marketing to create compelling storytelling, both visually and textually. Most days she roams the Interwebs, looking for fresh, inspirational ideas or testing things out on her own social channels.

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