Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Drew Bernard, founder and CEO of ActionSprout, an easy-to-use Facebook App that gives organizations new ways to engage supporters on Facebook — through engaging social actions. ActionSprout easily integrates with your Constant Contact account. Learn more. 

It may come as a surprise but over the past two years, Facebook has quietly become the most effective email acquisition channel for many nonprofit organizations, campaigns, and small businesses.

The days of Facebook being a channel for just “building awareness” are long gone. Today, we all recognize that awareness alone is not enough to achieve the results we’re looking for.

Impact is the result of action, action beyond like, share or comment.

Today, organizations like Sierra Club, UNICEF and thousands of others are posting content to Facebook that is designed not only to reach and engage people on the social network, but also get their most active supporters opted into email communication as well.

Make It Work on Facebook

You know the old saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do?” Well, the same is true on Facebook. The key to acquiring email supporters from Facebook is using tools that are built and optimized for Facebook.

That’s why we created ActionSprout.

ActionSprout is an app that was built from the ground up to help organizations engage people on Facebook in new and highly social ways. The tool gives page managers 27 new ways to engage with supporters directly in their newsfeed. These actions range from “Thank” and “Congratulate” to “Sign” and “Pledge”.

ActionSprout ImageThrough our integration with Facebook, when a Facebook user completes an action, they also agree to provide important contact information like their email address. This information is collected by ActionSprout from Facebook and then automatically added to your email list within Constant Contact, making it incredibly easy to grow your email list.

Rather than sending fans to a different webpage, ActionSprout allows your supporters to take action right where they are — on Facebook.

As a result, more than 50 percent of people who land on ActionSprout-powered social action pages on Facebook complete them and provide their contact information. That’s 2 to 3 times more than an off Facebook form!

And because ActionSprout takes advantage of all the sharing power Facebook gives app developers, every person that completes an ActionSprout action generates more than 1,000 impressions across their friends’ newsfeeds. That’s what Facebook is all about!

Editor’s Note: When a new contact joins your list through ActionSprout, you will have implied consent and will be able to start communicating with them right away. We also recommend following up with new contacts to obtain express consent, especially if you have contacts based in Canada which will be subject to the new CASL legislation. Learn more

Mobile First

I was at the Facebook headquarters a few weeks back visiting the Facebook team members that work to support nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. As we were walking around the campus, I couldn’t help but notice an interactive map of the world that displays Facebook user activity across the globe.

Did you know that in the United States 74 percent of the internet populations uses Facebook every month, and that 83 percent of those visit the platform on a daily basis?

In the upper right corner of the map, there are two numbers: the total number of monthly Facebook users — currently about 1.3 billion — and the number of those users that were on mobile devices: already over 1 billion.

When was the last time you were perusing your Facebook feed on your mobile device, clicked through to a form and took the time to fill out the fields with your two little thumbs?

Facebook is a mobile-first platform. And the tools you use to engage and acquire supporters from Facebook must be mobile-first as well.

ActionSprout is mobile friendly, and it takes just two clicks to complete an action. Over 65 percent of our actions are now completed on mobile devices. And that number keeps growing each month.

Be Social & Build Lists

If you’re actively investing in Facebook to reach new supporters, make sure you’re also working to convert those people effectively to your email lists.

Try using ActionSprout on three to four posts a week and you will find yourself capturing contact information from a large percentage of your supporter network — the people that engage with your content — just like Sierra Club and others are doing.

With ActionSprout’s Constant Contact integration, each person that completes your social actions will be automatically synced to your Constant Contact lists to save you time and make it easy to start engaging your new email supporters right away!

Learn more about ActionSprout’s integration with Constant Contact.

ActionSprout is an easy-to-use Facebook App that gives organizations new ways to engage supporters on Facebook  through engaging social actions like signing petitions, pledging support, etc  all without leaving Facebook.

The app has helped thousands of organizations around the world post better content, cultivate deeper relationships with supporters and acquire contact information so they can reach them directly both on and off Facebook.