How to Build an Email List with Instagram (with Examples)

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Pete Davis

CEO, Ampjar

27 Jun, 2019

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Building an email list with Instagram is a great way to take your customer communication to the next level. Not only can you continue to broaden your reach via social media, but you can also leverage a channel that you own and interact with them whenever you want.

What’s the deal with email lists?

In spite of the ever-growing popularity of social media, email marketing is still going strong.  In fact, email audiences are growing and delivering an incredible median ROI of 122%.

Source: eMarketer

The benefits of an email list are significant: the channel is fully owned by you, it costs next to nothing to engage your list, and your reach is typically greater than social media given recent algorithm updates.

Related: 9 Email Marketing Tips to Boost Revenue

Check out these stats for more proof:

  • 40% of Americans check their email as soon as they wake up
  • More than 4 in 5 people expect to use email just as much in five years as they do now
  • More than 65% of Americans check their email on their mobile device

Email can also help increase conversion rates with companies seeing a 20% boost when sending an abandoned cart email within an hour.

Source: Barilliance

Email and Instagram working in harmony

While it’s hard to beat email when it comes to targeting your current users, social media is still king when looking to reach a new audience.  If you can get these two channels working together, you’ll have a pretty powerful tool for attracting, converting, and marketing to your users.

Want to do more with your email list?  Ampjar helps you share and be shared by your favorite brands so you can get in front of more customers automatically.  Get the details here!

Instagram is the platform of choice when it comes to getting more eyes on your brand. In fact, the average Instagram engagement rate runs more than a minute longer than Facebook and even YouTube falls short when it comes to holding someone’s attention.

Source: YOTPO

As we mentioned before, the biggest issue brands run into with social media is reach.  For example, even though Facebook has more than one billion users, the average organic reach is just six percent.

Enter email – having an engaged list allows companies to reach their users whenever they want and with open rates averaging nearly 20%. The magic happens when you combine your email list with social media – not only are you able to reach potential users with ease, but you can entice them to signup with their email so you can market to them forever.

Let’s take a look at how it works!

Growing your email list with Instagram

It’s all about the bio

At just 150 characters, your Instagram bio is a pretty small and often-neglected piece of the platform.  However, with a bit of work and optimization, it can be your most powerful conversion lever when it comes to growing an email list with Instagram.

Kevin Hart’s biography is a great example of keeping it simple and making the most of the limited space.

His biography consists of a simple, common phrase and a handful of social media handles. He’s also included several hashtags that relate specifically to him and a link that takes readers to a product website.

Even with such limited space, Hart managed to advertise a product, comedy tour, production company, and his other social media pages. 

Leverage offers

One of the best ways to get more emails from Instagram is to put an offer in your biography. Coupon codes require updating, so it’s best to give away something that doesn’t need your constant attention like an ebook or guide.

However, sometimes listing a freebie in your biography isn’t enough. If you really want to up your game, you’ll need an effective call-to-action (CTA) that’s direct and to the point.

“Free shipping” is pretty obvious here and also lends a bit of context to what users can expect when they click on the link.

Create a landing page

Once you’ve got an offer in mind it’s time to set up a custom landing page designed specifically for your Instagram followers. After all, if you’re going to ask your followers to leave Instagram for a website, it’s important to make the process as streamlined as possible.

Keep your landing page simple and make it easy for your leads to enter their email.  Take our current landing page at Ampjar as an example:

We have multiple CTAs on the page as well as an easy way for visitors to enter their Instagram handle and get something of value (in this case it’s a free email preview based on their current Instagram content).

Run amazing contests

By now it should be clear building an email list from Instagram requires offering something desirable in return and everyone loves a good giveaway contest.

Running a contest on Instagram is like using a cheat code to get exposure – there aren’t many easier ways to boost engagement, get more followers, and grow your list. 

There are a few simple steps to making your contest a success:

  • Set a clear goal – in this case, it’s likely to be collecting as many emails as possible
  • Set the rules and make sure to include them in your post – you can reference other contests for examples but make sure to minimize the risk that someone will complain and state when the winner will be announced
  • Create a dedicated landing page that makes it obvious that the user is in the right place 

Make your Stories worthwhile

The Stories feature has been a slam dunk for Instagram and has given businesses another way to connect with followers and drive them to their websites.  The Swipe Up feature, in particular, allows companies to couple content with a CTA in order to encourage users to take the next step towards conversion.

Because Stories fade over time, you can insert discount codes and other temporary incentives to get people to your landing page. If you don’t want your temporary discounts and freebies available for 24 hours, you can always delete the Story after a few hours.

Making your Story stand out from advertising can be difficult, especially if you’re promoting a product. Simple Instagram editing apps like Quickshot can make an immense difference in how everything looks and we definitely recommend taking the time to customize as much of the content as possible.

Related: How to Improve Your Social Media Productivity

A successful Instagram Story is like a recipe – it should draw people in, showcase your product or brand, and make a user want to see what you publish next. If all of this is done right, you’ll build up trust over time and your users won’t hesitate to leave Instagram for your website.

Kevin Hart’s Stories are a great example:

If you’re not seeing the results you had hoped for with Stories, take a step back and work on building some trust.  Using Stories to answer questions about your product, company, and staff is an easy way to relate to users and reinforce what your brand stands for. Once you see your engagement start to increase, then you can go back and try a more direct Story campaign.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can also collaborate with influencers to create a standout Story that reaches both your followers and theirs! An “Instagram takeover” is not simple to pull off, but it can have tremendous benefits like increased exposure, sales, and credibility.

Don’t be afraid to collaborate

Collaboration extends beyond influencers and you can build a loyal following by working with other awesome companies.  Finding companies that work in your industry or have users that can benefit from your product is an easy way to reach new audiences.

Brand collaborations are especially beneficial if you’ve got a small budget – if you both agree to promote each other’s product then the cost is nothing and you gain a marketing partner if everything goes well.

To get started, simply browse popular hashtags in your niche and see who is posting – 30 minutes of this should result in at least a few potential partners.

The last piece of the puzzle

By now you’ve probably got at least a few ideas on how to grow (or start) an email list with Instagram.  The last thing you need to worry about is tracking – without the ability to measure results, whatever work you do will be hard to understand and interpret.

There are two main data sources you need to worry about:


Instagram has a great analytics dashboard that allows you to visualize and track and most of the important metrics.  We recommend starting by looking at website link clicks and follower growth rate but you explore other KPIs in the guide we wrote.

Your website

If the goal is to build an email list away from Instagram then you’re going to need to be able to track signups on your website.  The easiest way to do this is with Goals in Google Analytics but you can also take a basic approach and just track new emails in your email software.

In our experience, using Instagram to help grow your email list is a hugely underused tactic and we’ve done our best to explain how you can implement it into your marketing efforts.

Let us know how it’s working on @ampjarcom on Instagram!

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