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Using an Instagram Giveaway to Build Your Email List


So, you’ve built a happy little Instagram following that responds to your questions and loves the posts you share and engages with you on a pretty regular basis. Maybe it’s 100 people, maybe it’s 1,000, maybe it’s more. What’s next?

How in the heck do you sell to these people? Here’s the trick: you’ve gotta get ‘em off of Instagram! The next step is getting your new online BFF to make the leap from Instagram follower to email subscriber. How do you do it without being annoying and asking them to subscribe to your list every other day? By bribing them, of course! Let’s talk giveaways.

Giveaways on Instagram are one of the easiest ways to start building a list. Now, most giveaways you’ve seen are all about getting new followers – typically by having your current followers harass their friends for a chance to win whatever you’re giving away. Giveaways like that work, when done well. But, I want to talk about something a little different – it’s a technique I use to get my followers super engaged and grow my email list at the same time. And it’s so simple to put together – you’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it yourself.


5 Easy Steps to Turn Instagram followers into email list subscribers


Step One: Pick something to give away. I suggest you pick something that your ideal client will find irresistible. Hopefully, you’ve already put in the work and built a following of people who are genuinely interested in you and purchasing your goods or services. Now, think about what these folks would want to win from you. Maybe it’s a mini-session, or a coaching call, or one of your products. Maybe it’s something you’re going to order from Amazon and send to the winner – something the folks you like to work with would appreciate. The prize is super important because you want to attract the right kind of folks to enter the giveaway – people who are going to engage with YOU, not just engage with the chance to win something. Have something in mind? Good!

Step Two: Post about it on Instagram. Now, you’re going to craft a post for Instagram that tells your followers that you’re giving away this thing, whatever it may be, and all they have to do to enter to win is watch your Instagram Story. Yep, that’s right, we’re using Instagram Stories, people! Why? Because Instagram Stories is the easiest place for your followers to message you directly and it uses video – one of the best tools for deepening the relationship you have with your followers. So, brush your hair, trim your beard, find your lighting, slap on a teeth whitening strip (but don’t forget to take it off), and get ready to show your pretty face to the world.

Step Three: Post an Instagram Story. Don’t fret, my friend – this is going to be easy! Your story is going to have three parts: 1. saying hello and introducing yourself, 2. introducing the giveaway (what it is and why you’re doing it), and 3. telling folks how to enter to win. Our goal is to make entering to win as simple as possible. Here’s what you’re going to say: “All you have to do to enter to win is direct message me your email address right now.” That’s it! You can practice for your hand modeling career by pointing to where the direct message button is (it’s on the lower left-hand side of the screen when you’re watching the story), add some emojis pointing to the direct message button, draw a circle around it…whatever you want to do. If you want a gold star, you can post one last picture at the end of your Story that recaps the giveaway and how to enter. Your goal is to get the message about your giveaway across in five videos or less – that’s it! People don’t have time to watch you ramble on all day!

Step Four: Wait. Let your giveaway run for at least three days – post a new Instagram Story each day that talks about the giveaway and how folks can enter to win. Make sure you post a reminder on your Instagram feed on the last day of the giveaway. When people message you their email address, message them back with this simple message: “Thanks for entering. I’ll add you to my mailing list and announce the winner on DATE at TIME via email.”

Step Five: Pick A Winner + Email Your New List. Now, pick a winner and email them letting them know they’ve won and what you need to get them their prize! Put all of the email addresses you collected into your email marketing tool (bonus points here for tagging them so you know where in the heck they came from) and send out a broadcast email to everyone congratulating the winner. You should also use this first email to let folks know who you are, what types of emails they can expect from you, and give them an easy out if they want to unsubscribe (oh yeah, we want people to unsubscribe sooner rather than later – no sense in harassing folks with emails who don’t care about what you have offer in the first place).

And that’s it! A fun and easy way to add some engaged folks to your email list. The reason this works so well is because we’ve made the entry process as simple as possible. All people have to do is send you their email address. That’s it! You can use this same system to giveaway lead magnets or content upgrades (think templates or mini-trainings or challenges), offer to send people a link to your latest blog posts, and much more.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Better yet, send me a message before you run your first giveaway so I can enter to win – I love free stuff!


Want more tips like this? Get our ultimate guide on how to use Instagram for business.

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