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Sending emails

How to grow your email list and social fan base

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postedApril 6, 2021

Here’s a staggering, mind-blowing statistic: For every $1 spent on email, you get $38 back. Imagine the potential.

Yet for many marketers, the biggest challenge to tapping into the awesomeness of email is getting enough people to subscribe to your list. It’s totally a numbers game. If you only have 19 people on your list, that won’t cut it!

Growing your email list with the right people can be tricky. Oh, sure, you could buy a list, and many people do. Yet it’s hard to build a relationship from a stone-cold list.

Imagine being able to grow your e-list with people who really want to get to know you and do business with you. Here’s the secret: You can also use your email list to grow your social fan base. More about that later.

Two quick ways to grow your email list 

1. Invite people to an event

Back in the day, we travel and tourism pros hosted wine and cheese open houses or travel nights and invited people to attend a live session to learn about a destination or upcoming group tour. Remember how easy it was to collect contact info simply by giving away a prize at a live event?

Now things have changed, but the strategy is still valuable. Instead of hosting an in-person event, host a livestream broadcast and invite people to sign up in advance. Not only do you get their contact information, but you also get to be front and center hosting the live video. Many consumers perceive this as high-value and high-touch.   

An obvious way to do this is to invite a business development manager to go live with you on your favorite social site. Check out the tools you’ll need. Just like the in-person event, you can show video, have a giveaway, and answer questions from your guests.

The thing is, you’ll need to ramp up your video session to stand out in this crowded space. So how about doing a cooking demonstration or partnering with a charity to add some zing to your event?

2. Give something away

Try to come up with an irresistible freebie, called a lead magnet, that people just have to have—something so irresistible that they’ll gladly give you their email address in exchange for your freebie!

Tune in for three irresistible lead magnets you can create today as well as a marketing roadmap. 

Now that you have ideas for your lead magnet content, here’s how to promote it and grow your email list. But why else do you want to grow your email list?



Email list + Social ad audience = Success 

Growing your email list will also help your social ads get seen by the right people.

Did you know that you can show Facebook ads to people on your email list? That’s right, by uploading your email list to your Facebook Business Manager account, you can create an ad audience of those people.

When creating ad audiences in Business Manager, choose Custom Audience, then Customer List.

Facebook ad audience
Figure 1. Upload your client email list and create a custom Facebook Ad Audience.

Once you upload a .csv file of your client email list, Facebook automatically matches up your list with Facebook users’ email addresses and builds the ad audience for you. Check out these examples.

But wait, there’s more. You can also create a look-alike audience from your original email list. This new group will have some of the same attributes as your original list and may provide you with an audience that will also be interested in your services.

You must have a Business Manager account to access this feature. (Here’s how to set up a free Business Manager account. And here’s another helpful guide to set up your account.)

For example, when you upload your entire client list to Facebook and create an ad audience, you have the opportunity to show ads to these “super fans” of yours. Combine that with your traditional marketing, email marketing, and an online event, and you’ve increased your marketing touch points with only a few keystrokes!

The bottom line is this: Get creative and your email list and business will grow.

Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at and socially.

Top photo ©oleg_chumakov/Adobe Stock