Have you been struggling to build up your email subscribers with Facebook?

You’re not alone.

As we’ve said before, Facebook is like a customer concert – and emails are the backstage passes. It’s important to find a way to encourage fans to sign up for your email list, but thinking of ways to do it can be a challenge.

Enter online retailer Smocked Auctions. The Dallas-based business hosts Facebook auctions for children’s clothing every Tuesday and Thursday.

The auctions have driven the Page’s fan count to over 66,000.

By using Constant Contact’s Join My Mailing List box on Facebook, Nicole and Amy have boosted their email subscribers to over 20,000 people – that success won Smocked Auctions the 2011 Constant Contact Award for growing their list size the most through Facebook.

But how did they do it? Let’s take a look:

Creating a reason for customers to subscribe

When Smocked Auctions was founded in 2010, Nicole and Amy started using email marketing  just a few months later.  They wanted to a way to drive people to their Facebook Page when the auctions were happening.

On the Smocked Auctions website, potential customers are told exactly what to expect from emails: “Sometimes we have surprise daytime and weekend auctions… so go to the Join My List tab on our Facebook Page and we’ll send you an email so you’ll never miss a thing!”

This is the kind of incentive that was bound to get a customer’s attention. After all, people know that best way to find out about some auctions would be to join the email list. The new Timeline set-up helps, too.

With Facebook’s new timeline, it’s easy to make a great-looking JMML box.

Emails also give Nicole a chance to work around Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, which can especially be useful if posts from Smocked Auctions don’t show up in a fan’s Newsfeed.

“Email is another way for us to contact people who may not be looking at our Facebook Page on certain days,” Nicole says.

The Takeaway

It’s the feedback that sums up the Smocked Auctions Facebook Page the best. Nicole says that one customer’s husband said that his wife “hangs out on Facebook every Tuesday and Thursday” with Smocked Auctions

That goes to show how the business has grown a strong community with Facebook. So strong, in fact, that fans are more likely to subscribe to the email list, too – because, otherwise, they may risk missing one of the next big auctions.

Stumped on how to incentivize Facebook fans to join your email list? Try starting small: showcase something special from your business and organization, then offer exclusive information or rewards for those who subscribe.

How do you get Facebook fans to subscribe to your email list? Share your suggestions below.