“We’re finding Facebook to be less and less of interest to us because of the way they changed their algorithms for how our posts work…we found out that without paying for their marketing program, it doesn’t work for us.”
Like many small business owners, Chris Iousa is wondering if it’s time to call it quits on Facebook.
Chris has put in the work to grow his Facebook following to over a thousand fans. He regularly posts updates about brunch specials, new craft beers, and open mic nights at his café.
But recently, his posts have been reaching fewer fans than ever before.
Is Facebook still worth his time?
Despite the decrease in organic reach, Facebook is one of the best ways to make a great first impression on potential customers.
When someone searches for Chris’s café online, his Facebook Page serves as a visible online community, fully equipped with photos, business information, and a look at how the café communicates with its customer base.
But what about reaching existing customers?
When sites like Facebook make changes that limit your ability to reach your audience, you want to make sure you have another way to reach them directly.
That’s why it’s important to move your relationships beyond social media and use Facebook to grow your email list.
Email marketing gives you the power to reach your contacts on your own terms. You can send a message to your contacts directly and track your results to see which contacts are engaging with your content.
Want to try email marketing for your business? Sign up for a free 60-day trial.
So, how do you get people to take the next step and join your email list?
Here are nine simple strategies to try out:
1. Put a sign-up form on your Facebook Page
By adding the Join My Mailing List App, you can collect email addresses easily and they will automatically be added to your list within your Constant Contact account.
It only takes a minute to connect it to your Business Page, and you can customize the form with your logo and a quick introduction to let your audience know what they’ll receive.
2. Make it the theme of your cover photo
Start with one of these 15 ideas for your cover photo, and then add some text to let fans know they can stay in touch through email, as well.
3. Use the Facebook Call to Action Button
Facebook’s call-to-action button appears near the “Like” button on your cover photo and is another great way to encourage email sign-ups.
Add the “Sign Up” button and link to your inline sign-up form so your Facebook visitors can join your mailing list easily.
Here’s how Rebecca Coleman uses the call-to-action button to promote her “Blogging Mastery Tips” newsletter:
4. Run a contest
Give Facebook fans an incentive to share their email address by running a contest on Facebook.
Start by choosing a product, service, or opportunity you can give away — this could be anything from a coupon, gift basket, or free ticket to an upcoming event.
Then, make it easy for your fans to enter. You can simply collect names and email addresses to choose a winner at random, or ask your fans to provide an entry relevant to your business.
For example, a pet shop could run a photo contest and ask for photo entries for the “cutest pup.” You can even ask your audience to help you choose a winner by posting the photos and asking fans to cast their vote.
Here’s a look at one of the many Facebook contests that Door County Coffee & Tea runs on a regular basis:
5. Offer exclusive content
If your business doesn’t have a product to give away, think about what exclusive content you can offer instead.
Anything from a downloadable guide on cloud computing to a link to a top-secret recipe could be just the incentive your audience needs to give you their contact information.
6. Host an event
Whether you hold an event at your business or host an online webinar, an event is a great way to connect with your audience.
Make sure you’re collecting email addresses during the registration process.
Here’s how the Concord Cheese Shop promotes a month-long event through their Facebook Page.
7. Share your newsletters
What better way to persuade your Facebook fans to sign up for your list than to show them what your mailings actually look like?
With Constant Contact’s Social Share, you can share your email newsletters on your social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to customize the caption and provide a link to your sign-up page to encourage your fans to subscribe to receive all your future messages.
8. Promote Text-to-Join
A large portion of your Facebook’s user base will be accessing your page through a mobile device. While they’re on their smartphones already, let them know how they can join your list by sending a quick text.
Here’s how Lewisburg’s Downtown Partnership collected over 100 new email sign-ups in just two days.
If you’re a Constant Contact customer, here’s how to set up Text-to-Join for your account.
9. Run a Facebook ad
You don’t have to pay to promote everything you share on Facebook, but if you’re selective and promote posts that will drive action for your business you can see some great results.
Try promoting an email and including an easy way for fans to sign up — make sure you’re taking advantage of the Facebook Ad targeting features so you know you’re reaching the right audience.
Stop spinning your wheels on Facebook
If you’re wondering how Facebook can have a bigger impact on your business, make sure you’re giving your fans additional ways to connect with you through email marketing.
Pick two of these tips and try them out for your business today!
If you’re already a Constant Contact customer, you can access our email sign-up tools within the Contacts section of your Constant Contact account.
Not a Constant Contact customer? Try us free for 60 days!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2015 and has been updated for relevancy and accuracy.