Do you have a great e-newsletter program? Looking to build your list of email subscribers while you offer more valuable content to your Facebook fans?
Facebook and other social media are great tools for building connections and community for your business and its customers. But Facebook isn’t always the best outlet for communicating your most important updates. Newsfeeds are busy places, and it can be hard to get the attention of fans as easily as a newsletter or email update can. But how can you convert your fans to email subscribers and get them onto a list you can segment, target and own?
If I’d written this blog a year ago, many of the recommendations listed below would be quite different. But Facebook is ever-evolving, and the introduction of the new Timeline in March this year has changed the way page managers and brands use Facebook. For example, many marketers relied on the once ubiquitous “Welcome” tab as a tool for welcoming new fans and signing them up for newsletters – that feature is now gone.
So, in the new world of the Facebook Timeline, here are seven ways you can use your page to grow your email list.
1) Find a Home for Your E-Newsletter Content
Before you do anything to your page, make sure you have a home for your e-newsletter archives and a clear sign-up page (both hosted on your website). This gives you both the opportunity to extend the life of your content, and a URL you can share via social media, and clearly shows fans what they can expect if they sign up.
2) Consult Your Email Marketing Tool/Software
Chances are that you are sending your e-newsletters out with the help of an industry email marketing tool or software. Check what features your provider offers. Many include apps you can customize and add to your Facebook page to help you drive email sign-ups. They show up as boxes underneath your main cover photo. Plus, they automatically integrate new opt-ins to your subscription database.
Many email marketing providers also let you build custom email sign-up forms or pages within Facebook.
3) Add a Sign-Up App
Before you embark on any DIY app building, consult the tools you may already have in your armory. If you don’t have access to custom apps or you just want to build your own, the good news is that the Facebook Timeline offers many more options for building apps (such as an email sign-up box and page) than the old format did. The options for incorporating your brand look and feel are also limitless.
To see an array of these apps at work, check out social media guru Mari Smith’s Facebook page. Mari uses boxes and apps in many ways to communicate content and link to resources. Mari herself offers lots of advice and options on how to create these apps here. This blog post from ProGravix explains the step-by-step process of creating a custom Facebook business page tab for the new Timeline layout.
Once you’ve added your email sign-up app or box, be sure to make it more prominent. Just hover over the “Edit” button and select the tab you want to swap it with from the drop-down menu.
Tip: A very important point to note about calls to action in the new Timeline is that you can’t add any promotional language or graphics to the main cover image (this includes email sign-ups).
4) Optimize Your “About” Description
You probably noticed that the new Timeline page lets you add a 150-character description of your business underneath your profile picture. Use this real estate to add a link to an email sign-up page, or if you have a sign-up box or app, post a link to it here.
5) Highlight or Pin Updates About your E-Newsletter
It’s always been a good strategy to remind your Facebook fans about your e-newsletter and encourage sign-ups using regular page updates. But now you can get more exposure for these posts by pinning them to the top of your update feed for seven days. Alternatively, you can showcase them using the highlight tool (where the post expands to the full width of the page).
6) Offer Incentives
Ideally, your newsletter content should be compelling enough to sell itself, but why not run an occasional contest to encourage sign-ups via Facebook?
7) Be Proactive About New Sign-Ups and Make Your Content the Best it Can Be
Now that you’ve got the attention of your Facebook fans, make them feel welcome and keep them interested with great content.
Set up automatic welcome emails to new subscribers with a link to your latest newsletter, your blog, and so on. Add social sharing features to your newsletter so your content is constantly being spread virally. Don’t forget: if your content isn’t valuable or worth looking forward to, your time is better served investing in other outreach strategies.
For more tips for making your newsletter the best it can be read: 7 Tips for Getting More from your Customer E-Newsletter.
- What Your Small Business Needs to Know About The Facebook Timeline
- 8 Ways to Develop Online Content for Your Business – Even if You Hate to Write
- Five Tips for Building an Email Marketing List for Your Small Business
Posted in: Social Media