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Email marketing is the number one channel for ROI, but building an email list of interested contacts can sometimes be tricky. Since social media offers the opportunity for genuine interaction with potential customers, why not use that to your advantage?

Let’s explore the potential to grow your email list with two of the most popular social networks: Twitter and Facebook.

Dealing the cards with Twitter

Twitter cards are a kind of expanded tweet that allow you to communicate with more than 140 characters. They work by adding text descriptions, photos, videos and call-to-action buttons to a regular tweet. Most of them are available by adding metadata to your website.

While all of them can be useful to an everyday strategy, the ones we are going to talk about are Twitter cards with CTA buttons. These are the Lead Generation Card and the Website Card, and they are only available with advertising accounts.

website card twitter

Website Card

The Website Card

This offers a text preview to the linked content, a thumbnail image and a CTA button (read more about it, or learn how to setup one – login to Twitter is required to access the second link). It’s great for promoting a point of data collection, like a competition or a whitepaper hidden behind a form. One caveat is that the button text can only be selected from the following options:

Lead Gen Twitter Card

Lead Generation Card

The Lead Generation Card

Its major advantage: one-click sign-up. By pressing the CTA button, users can sign-up to your database (login to Twitter is required to access this link. Alternatively, read more here.) without ever leaving the platform. The data you receive is the name, Twitter handle and email address. This can be downloaded at any time from Twitter, or an export can be setup to your CRM system.

In terms of design, it has a wider image and a bigger CTA button.  B2B businesses with a lead-qualifying process might not find it suitable , but it can still be a good way to grow newsletter lists.

Know what you pay for

As these cards are part of Twitter’s advertising offering, you can specify a target audience for them and exclude your followers if you wish. But keep in mind that the tweet will appear as a ‘promoted tweet’ in your audience’s feed, and it will only appear on the website, official desktop and mobile clients.

Explore more complex media options with Facebook

There are three main ways you can use Facebook to gather email addresses. Make sure you take advantage of the unrestricted text and media opportunities in this channel, to really entice potential subscribers.

1. Create a newsletter sign-up tab – this will keep the incentive at the top of the page and it’s simply a form for your contacts to subscribe, although some companies call it an Email App.

Facebook Email Sign-upTab

Newsletter Sign-up Tab


2. Hold exclusive competitions or sweepstakes – use the function of accessing their details straight from the users’ profile, but keep in mind that this might deter privacy-conscious users from entering. Alternatively, ask your Facebook fans to enter their details and email address for a chance to win. That way they know exactly what data they are handing over.

Bonus tip: asking for their birthday will allow you to send a ‘Happy birthday’ email with a discount code for an extra incentive to purchase.

Facebook Competition no form

Facebook Competition with in-built data collection

Facebook Competition Form

Facebook Competition with form

3. Promote your gated content – make sure to share any whitepapers, eGuides or reports and lead users to the form page. If you’re a B2C company, for instance a fashion outlet, share your magazine.

Keep in mind that consumers might forget that they’ve entered your competition and given you their details. So ask for their permission to email during registration, and then send a confirmation email, to be on the safe side.

Do leave any questions or comments you have below. Otherwise, happy list-growing!