Social Mail: How To Use Email Marketing To Build You Social Following


In modern day digital marketing, utilizing one or two communication channels won’t cut it anymore. You’ll need to make the different channels you’re in work together for you. So while it’s easy to think that email and social media are two different entities, there are a number of ways you can complement your social media strategy thru email marketing.

Below are tips on how to grow your social following with email marketing – all of which could help not only expand your reach, but improve conversion rates as well.

Why the usual approach doesn’t cut it

As alluded to earlier, looking to grow your following solely within the platform you’re in isn’t the optimal way of going about it. You can promote your page, boost posts, or even implement sketchy tactics like mass following and buying followers, but it still won’t be as effective as using your other channels to promote your social channels.

Email marketing not only has the highest ROI of all digital channels, it’s also excellent at spreading the word about your social channels. This is simply because the people on your list already know you and have an ongoing relationship with you.

So if you already have a robust email list, here’s how you can translate that to more social media followers:

Improve your list building strategy

Of course, before you can leverage email to grow your social reach, you’ll need to have a healthy email list. And you don’t want just any list, you want a robust list of people who will actually engage with you. One way to do this is by having easy-to-fill subscription forms on web pages you identify as frequently visited by potential subscribers.

Make sure you keep your forms short and simple, asking only for the most basic information. If there are two things people don’t like – it’s filling up long forms, and giving up too much information.

Include social media links in your emails

One of the most straightforward ways to go about it is to simply ask your subscribers. They’ve opted in to receive content from you, so you can entice them to get similar content on the platforms they’re already on.

As you can see below, Crate & Barrel has a small “Get Social With Us” section at the bottom of their emails. In it are social buttons of all the social channels they’re in, letting their subscribers follow them on whichever platform they prefer.

Alternatively, you can straight up send an email encouraging subscribers to engage with you on social media, as McDonald’s does below.

It even has a great two-fold call to action (more on this later) – “Keep us in your pocket with our mobile app. Or follow us!” This approach is also a great way towards becoming an integrated mobile driven business.

Weave social media into email campaigns

Here are some of the ways you can do this:

  • Upload your subscriber list to social networks – Following your subscribers on different social channels gives you an idea of their interests, preferences, and the types of content they engage with. This also lets them know that you’re on the platform, so if they find your content interesting enough, they just might give you a follow back.
  • Add a live social feed in your emails – Third-party tools like Zapier allows you to include live Twitter and Instagram feeds in your emails. So when a subscriber likes a post, they can click on it and be redirected to the social account, making it a great way to get organic engagement and following.
  • Retarget active email subscribers with social media ads – These days, it’s all about multichannel marketing, and a great way to go about it is matching intent and interest with targeted ads. For example, if a subscriber showed interest in a particular product, you can keep showing that same product on their social feeds with Facebook advertising. This way, you’re not only keeping the product in their minds, you know you’re reaching out to qualified prospects.

Incentivize subscribers who engage on social

For example, you can send an email offering a 10% discount for subscribers who like your page and share a particular post. You can even give an additional 5% for every one of their friends that does the same. Additionally, you can also host the incentive on your website, enticing more traffic along the way.

Add more calls-to-action

Sometimes, your subscribers just need to be told what to do. This is why you need to add compelling calls-to-action whenever you can. Whether it’s following you on social media, sharing a link, or reposting content, entice your subscribers to engage by telling them exactly what to do. As well, explaining what they get in return for following up on your CTA also helps in convincing them to oblige.

It also doesn’t have to be all about your social media, as you can see below, where multiple CTAs are placed.

Incorporate a social media contest

Everybody loves contests, and you can leverage users’ affinity for contests (and prizes) by making yours fun and engaging. Alternatively, you can just make it easy for people to join as Diamond Candles did with their contest below.

Every week, they ran a sweepstakes on their Facebook page. This created a habit, excitement, and expectation – turning those who were merely aware of their brand to fans. In less than six weeks, the brand was able to generate 30,000 leads and 148,000 Facebook followers.

Come up with a plan and stick with it

Building your social media following takes time regardless of how sound your tactics might be. The important thing is to come up with a solid plan and practice enough patience in thoroughly implementing it. Now, sticking with a plan doesn’t mean you can’t tweak a few things. See what works and what doesn’t and adjust your plan accordingly.


The good thing about using email marketing to build your social following is that subscribers are already aware of what you do and what value you can potentially bring. Getting them to engage with you is just taking your relationship to the next step.

But before you begin to think about growing your social following thru email, make sure you have a healthy list that’s actively engaging with your content. Once you have that, it’s easier for you to grow your followers.

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