How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Email List

Social Media

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Let’s face it, email marketing may not sound sexy but it is one of the only forms of marketing that has stood the test of time. It was around many years ago – long before social media, and I promise it will be here no matter what crazy new app gets created next. In this post I am going to be teaching you how to grow an email list using social media.

There are a lot of misconceptions about growing an email list and my hope is that I can bust some of those for you. And maybe just maybe, you will jump on the train and start your list today too!

Maybe you are here because you know you need to start an email list and you have just been waiting for one more kick to the booty to do it.

Or maybe you might be here because you don’t even really understand what an email list is, and you are always looking for a new marketing strategy.

You also might be thinking there is no way I am adding another thing to my plate. Emails are boring, and no one actually reads them, sound familiar?

No matter the reason you are here, I am glad you are and hopefully you will have some new takeaways by the time we are all finished.

Why You Need To Grow Your Email List

One of the first things I want to discuss is why you need an email list. 

Believe me, I have heard all the excuses and all the concerns. Heck, I used to have a lot of them!

“No one checks their email, emails feel like spam, my instagram is so much more on brand than an email will ever be”

Ready for some facts?

Did you know that only about 6% of your followers on instagram are actually seeing your content? That means if you have 1000 followers, only about 60 of those peeps see your content.

Thanks to the good ol’ algorithm, we are extremely limited on serving a wide range of people because our posts are hidden.

Another thing we don’t think about is that our instagram is not owned by us. Mark Zuckerberg actually owns your Instagram and should he choose to just randomly delete instagram one day, you are screwed.

If you don’t’ think something like that would ever happen, think back to Vine. The app that was popular in 2014 and was similar to Tik Tok.

All of a sudden it just fell off the face of the Earth.

Instagram may be around for a while but just like Myspace, one day it may not be so popular anymore and everyone may move over to a different app and then what?

How are you going to reach all of those beloved followers?

You do not own your Instagram followers, but you do own your email list. 

There was actually a study done that shows that people are MORE likely to purchase things from their email than they are from social media.

Social media is intended to be social. Instead of trying to use it as your website or all in one platform, try using it to build a brand, have people get familiar with you, and then you can use that to your advantage and start getting those loyal followers to join you in other places too.

When people sign onto their email, they expect to be sold to.

It’s a lot harder for people to click off of Instagram but it’s easier to click out of your email inbox.

I would bet to say that you might be on a lot of email lists. You may have gotten put on them when you purchased something from somewhere, or maybe you opted in for something and now you are on a list.

I know for me personally, the email lists that I actually signed up for are the ones that I open and read every single day.

The ones I opted in for, are actually providing me with value on a regular basis.

My goal for you is to understand that there is a difference between just sending emails to sell vs. sending emails in a very thought about and curated way.

When you are intentional with your email sequences, you can find the people who actually WANT what you have to offer. Not just scream it out to everyone and hope someone finds it.

Instagram only allows you to speak to the masses. Essentially you talk to all your followers at the same time.

In an email list however, you can talk to specific people about topics you KNOW they actually want to learn more about because they signed up for them! 

Do not put all of your eggs in one basket and think that Instagram is the only solution to all of your marketing needs.

Instagram is popular now but email marketing is one of the only marketing strategies that has truly been around through it all.

How To Get People To Sign Up For Your Email List

How do you get someone to actually sign up for your email list?

One of my favorite methods is through social media.

It’s no secret that I love instagram. It has been the backbone to my business and clients for so long.

Start thinking of Instagram as the handshake to your business/brand.

It’s just the introduction where someone finds you and gets introduced to you and then they sit back for a while and observe. 

After they have been following you for a while, they may buy from you or take that next step. 

Let’s say you are a wedding photographer and someone who is engaged or stumbles across your page and they like your work so they start following you.

You know the importance of showing up on social media so you do that like a total boss. Telling your followers about what you do, about yourself, show your pretty work, and build your brand.

And maybe people will book you for that alone which is totally awesome!

However the challenging part of Instagram is you can only serve one chunk of your followers at a time or everyone all at once.

Have you ever heard the saying if you are talking to everyone you really are talking to no one?

A personal example from my own business is that I have brides, couples, and potential photo clients that follow me but I also have photographers and other business owners and people in the western industry that follow me.

When I make a post on Instagram I either have to talk to all of those groups or serve one at a time. But on my email list I can speak to them all individually at the same time.

The Breakdown Of Growing Your Email List


The first thing you need to do to start growing your email list is choose an email service provider.

There are plenty of options to choose from but my personal favorite is Flodesk.

I have used other providers but fell short because they were complicated and confusing.

With Flodesk, your emails can be on brand and fit your aesthetic but they are also so easy to put together. 

The platform of Flodesk is minimal and easy to navigate. It will also help you understand what all of the email marketing lingo means.

You can put your subscribers into categories and create workflows that are completely automated.

Flodesk also does not charge you based on the number of subscribers you have unlike a lot of other platforms that do.

You can get 50% off your subscription for LIFE if you go to


Once you have chosen your email provider, the next step to grow your email list is to create an opt in.

This is what people to actually sign up for. 

Here are a few things to consider when creating your opt in:

Your Opt in should be free. This will encourage more people to sign up for it because they won’t have anything to lose.

It should also provide some kind of instant gratification, meaning people should be able to see results almost immediately.

The opt in should also be something exclusive to those who sign up for it. People who are not on your list should not be able to access this.

Your freebie opt in could be a PDF guide, a private video, a template, presets, access to a group, stock photos, a checklist, and more. Get creative there are really endless possibilities.

Once you have created your freebie make sure there is a place for it on the internet.

That may be on youtube or on your website but regardless, there needs to be a place for people to click it and download it.

The nice part about Flodesk is you can upload things directly to the email for people to download.

Having a freebie is a better way of getting people on your list instead of saying something generic such as “sign up for our emails” or “join the newsletter” because those statements do not serve anyone. 

You also need to create a landing page which is the spot where people actually put in their email address and name to sign up for the freebie.

This can also be done very easily on Flodesk.

The link to this landing page is what you are going to be sending people to on instagram and social media to grow your email list. I suggest mentioning it at least once per week if not more. 

You could even make two freebies on two different topics and talk about both of them and see which one gets more sign ups so in the future you know to make more content on that particular topic.

After they put in their information, your email containing their freebie should immediately send to them so they can access it right away. 


The last thing you need to know is that once someone signs up for your list you need to continue to serve them and provide them with value.

Sending consistent emails bringing value on a regular basis. Ideally once a week or more.

You can have fun with this too! Send educational content, send life updates, news about your business, or give exclusive discounts to your email subscribers. Make your email list the cool place to be in your business.

I know email marketing is new to a lot of us, and it may take some time to really understand it, however, I promise that just like anything else, if you are willing to put in the work and stay consistent you are going to see an incredible return of investment. 

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I'm Sarah Elrod

The Podcast



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I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.

I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.

I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.

When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.

There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.

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