How to Grow Your Email List With Instagram

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Does anyone even read emails anymore? <<< Probably what you’ve thought recently. In an era where everyone tells you that you have to create short-form video content—it can seem like no one would take the time of day to read a newsletter that you’ve sent them. BUT these email marketing statistics will tell you otherwise. I personally love reading newsletters from businesses that I buy from or people that I like following more than I’ve ever liked Instagram (unless it’s cute highland cows cause that’s a different story ;P)

Unlike dealing with the temperamental algorithm that is Instagram (aka. Planet Zuckerberg) people who’ve subscribed to your email list *actually* want to hear from you—and if you use an email marketing system that has a high deliverability rate you’ve got a way better chance of people actually seeing your newsletter. <<< Again this is very different than the typical Instagram post that lasts maybe 48 hours if you’re blessed.

How to Market Your Business Without Social Media

While you don’t own your Instagram followers and your account can be taken down at the drop of a hat—you can’t one day decide “Oh I’d rather reach these people on my LinkedIn instead!” because Instagram owns them. But with your email list, which you *actually* own—you could (in theory) move your list around to different platforms every month if you wanted.

Which Email Marketing System is Right for My Creative Business?

Now obviously, I don’t recommend switching email marketing systems every 5 seconds ^^^ BUT my pointe still stands that you have greater reach and more flexibility with an email list than you ever will on Instagram.

The good news is if you’re not quite ready to say “bye-bye-bye” to Instagram forever (<<< which I’m *THIS* close to doing myself)—you can and should grow your email list with Instagram. AND it’s way simpler than you think to get started.

This is why in this blog post I’m going over how to grow your email list with Instagram.

So that you can reach your ideal clients directly from their inboxes without having to fight for a space on social media.

Email Deliverability Tips

Because if you don’t grow your email list now—you’re guaranteed to regret not focusing on it sooner. <<< If you’re already in that place don’t worry and *high five* welcome to the club. You’re in the exact right place to fix it!

Step #1: Have at least one irresistible lead magnet

Okay before I get going on this—let me first answer your question “What is a lead magnet?”

A lead magnet, or sometimes also called an opt-in or a carrot, is a free resource that you’ll offer in exchange for someone subscribing to your email list. Your freebie can be anything from a PDF checklist, a discount code, a private podcast or anything in between.

The key to a successful freebie is that it needs to solve a specific problem for your ideal client. <<< It also needs to provide a quick win for whoever downloads your freebie. So if your lead magnet is starting to feel like a mini-course that’s a big sign that it’s too much.

You need to have at least one lead magnet but three is better. Of course, if you can do even more than three be my guess but that’s probably going to be too overwhelming

In addition to your lead magnet, you should also just simply promote your newsletter content. Gone are the days when it was equivalent to The Scottish Play to dare even utter the word newsletter. You need to promote your newsletter with and without a freebie. <<< Because no matter how great your lead magnet is, some people will still only want to get on your email list and won’t care about your freebie.

Step #2: Setup your email marketing system

Once you’ve got your lead magnet ready to go, if you haven’t already you need to sign up for an email marketing system—so that you can create a form for people to fill out to get your freebie.

TL;DR I recommend using ConvertKit for your sending emails. It’s easy to use and set up so that when someone completes a form it’ll automatically send them your freebie. ConvertKit is the one email marketing system that I’ve tried (and currently use for my business) that does a stellar job at balancing, including enough features that the platform can grow with your business for when you need to have robust workflows in place BUT also makes it simple enough that people brand-new t marketing can use it also.

Which Email Marketing System is Right for My Creative Business?

ConvertKit also prioritizes email deliverability—which is a vital feature that you need for your emails. <<< Other platforms like Flodesk don’t focus on this enough currently which is why I don’t generally recommend anything but ConvertKit. Because if your emails aren’t showing up in your subscriber inboxes there’s no pointe in sending them in the first place.

Step #3: Promote your lead magnet & newsletter on Instagram

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at this pointe—don’t worry step #3 is the easiest.

All you need to grow your email list with Instagram is to TALK ABOUT IT over and over again.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your freebie and newsletter ^^^ too much! Only about maybe 10 percent (if not way less) of your Instagram followers see your posts. So while you might think that you’re talking to much about it—your followers probably didn’t even see the last post that you mentioned it in.

Bottom line: Promote, promote, promote!!!

Mention your freebie in your static posts, reels, stories and dare I say lives (do people even do those anymore…???)  AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!

Optional Step #4: Be consistent

You need to be consistent with your email marketing efforts if you want to be successful—not only with how often you send out email broadcasts with your newsletter content. BUT also in how often you promote your email list on Instagram.

So the better question might be “How do I be consistent with my email marketing?” or “What even is being consistent with my email marketing?”. <<< Both good questions BTW.

Here’s how to be consistent with your email marketing:

  • Commit to how often you’ll send out newsletters to your subscribers. This can be anything from twice a week to once a month (<<< I wouldn’t do anything less than once a month). Just pick a number and stick to it. If you’ve never sent a newsletter before you it’ll probably be better to start with less often. BUT if you’ve dabbled in emails and just need to be consistent—I highly encourage you to do at least once a week.
  • Promote your email list on Instagram just as often as you send out emails—if not more often. Because so few of your Instagram followers are seeing your content you “almost” can’t talk about your email list enough—but I did it at least once a week at the bare minimum if not twice.

Bonus tip: If you ever run out of content ideas—poll your Instagram followers and ask them what they need help with. This can give you ideas for all kinds of content for newsletters and freebies.

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