How to Grow Your Email List

Double Your List Growth Rate With a Call to Action on Your Social Media Profiles... Let me show you how!

I believe there are three main ways potential customers could hear about your business or blog for the first time. First, could be a direct recommendation from a friend. Secondly, a search engine. Or thirdly, through social media.

If a new customer finds your business through referral or a Google search, it’s highly likely they have a specific goal in mind. “I need a realtor and Sarah recommended you” or “I need a realtor in my city, so I googled Langley Realtor.” However, what’s interesting about social media is new customers may find your business when they aren’t even looking. They are spending time on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook already… and come across a realtor’s name. Eventually, they are thinking about selling or buying (perhaps in a few months) and if your social media profiles have a clear call-to-action, you could gain a new customer instantly.

So my question to you today, is, when an individual finds your instagram profile (or facebook or pinterest) for the very first time, do they know what to do?

Here’s a secret: you have to tell them.

So, what do you want?

In a perfect world, how would a new customer respond to your profile? Would they inquire about setting up an appointment? Would they visit your online shop and make a purchase?

Once you know what you want them to do… how do you get them to follow through?

The solution: giving.

Content Creators Are Leaders

The creators of free, quality content will always stand out from the crowd as leaders worth following. In my post called Why You Need an Email List (And How to Start One) I mentioned the concept of a lead magnet or an opt-in offer. A lead magnet is a quality piece of content you offer freely to potential customers in exchange for their email. A call-to-action is literally telling individuals to take a specific action, for example: “Take my FREE Course: 5 Days to Build Your Blog Following” is a call to action!

Creators of free, quality content will always stand out as leaders worth following. Click To Tweet

Having an opt-in offer/lead magnet is essential if you want to grow an email list of dedicated individuals interested in  buying what you have to sell. When I first created an opt-in offer for my blog, I placed the lead magnet throughout my posts strategically as well as a pop-up window (made with LeadPages) that appeared once a week, thirty seconds after a new user clicked onto my page.

The results were amazing! Easily fifty times the growth rate of email subscribers compared to only having a sign-up form in my sidebar that said, “Subscribe here!” The results were staggering… but how could I capture the attention of my social media followers, some of who may not check my blog that frequently?

I got it! I need to be sharing my opt-in offer throughout all of my social profiles.

Let’s walk through a scenario. A small business owner, from Arkanas is browsing through instagram one evening. She has never heard my name before. She has no specific question about blogging or social media. She’s simply browsing the explore page and sees one of my images.

*Click* She’s on my instagram profile. She skims the bio:

Vancouver Wedding Photographer + Biz Blogger/Coach. Working with purpose, creativity + joy.

Thinks, “Hm. Biz Blogger and Coach I wonder what kind of business owners she likes to coach or what kind of specific things she blogs about.” It’s not a bad bio – if she’s really interested in coaching or blogging she’ll click my URL but there’s no call-to-action and it’s easy to get distracted and head back to the Explore page.

Let’s try something new.

Vancouver Wedding Photographer + Biz Blogger/Coach. Working with purpose, creativity + joy. ❤️ FREE 5 day challenge:

Now, the new user thinks, “Biz Blogger and Coach. Cool. Free challenge? Something to do with blogging… I’ve been wanting to get better at blogging.” When a user clicks the link they are taken to a page asking for their email address in exchange for the information. We turned a late-night instagram browser into a new email subscriber, all because we changed a few words around in my bio and incorporated my lead magnet.

The best thing about this? Not only does it encourage new users to subscribe to your list (which is great) but it also increases your street cred. If you stumbled upon a profile and saw something like “Free Build Your Blog Course” wouldn’t this lead you to think (even subconsciously) “Wow, this individual has it going on! They’ve written a course and they are kind enough to give it away for free!?”

Even if a Blogging Course isn’t something the new reader isn’t interested in… by offering an e-book you’re seen as a leader.  And this social proof may be what that new user needs to hit Follow.

Double Your List Growth Rate With a Call to Action on Your Social Media Profiles... Let me show you how!

My Hypothesis in Action

Last year, I set out to prove my hypothesis by placing a call-to-action on my Instagram profile. I watched my stats carefully. In the week before I added my call-to-action, 32 subscribers joined my list: an average of 4.5 subscribers per day. When I added my call-to-action (to download my free blogging e-book) I had 64 new subscribers over 7 days: an average of 9 subscribers per day.

Let’s recap: adding a call-to-action to my instagram doubled my email subscriber growth.

Double your list growth with a call-to-action on your instagram profile. Click To Tweet

how to use a call to action on Instagram

Here’s the deal, Instagram only allows hyperlinks in one place in your profile. Therefore, if you’re wanting to include a call-to-action users can easily click, you’ll have to decide – what’s more important to you? a) Users being able to click directly to your website or b) your call to action/opt-in offer.

Recently, I decided to switch my main URL to my opt-in offer: my FREE 5 day challenge called 5 Days to Build Your Blog FollowingAny casual browsers to my instagram profile will be attracted to the free offer right away – I want them to easily click the link and subscribe. However, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to share my blog URL with readers – where they can actually find my wedding photography and business blog.

Instagram is different than Facebook because the developers have encouraged users to stay on the platform – which is why we haven’t seen links in photo captions yet. If a user is going to leave their feed to visit a link (say, to my latest post) I’m assuming they’ll be committed already to stop, pause, read and think, I’d like to read that. The extra work of visiting my blog in their browser won’t be an obstacle as they are already a follower of mine.

It’s the new casual customers on Instagram I want to reach. If you were new to my profile and saw “Free Blogging Challenge” but had to remember and type it into your browser on your iPhone, what are the chances you’re going to do that? I’d say slim. But would you click a link? Yeah.


Oh Twitter, you make life so simple! ‘Clickable’ links are allowed in Twitter bios, making it very easy to include your opt-in offer in your bio with a link while still having your blog/website URL underneath. Want to take it one step further? Try designing a custom Twitter header photo that encourages users in big, bold letters to download your opt-in offer and join your list.

Double Your List Growth Rate With a Call to Action on Your Social Media Profiles... Let me show you how!


Pinterest works similarly to Instagram as you’re allowed only one hyperlink on your profile. I’ve chosen to leave my blog as my official  URL and include a call-to-action link in my bio. If a new user is interested in my offer, they can copy and paste the link to join.

(It’s my ‘hunch’ – I don’t necessarily have facts to back this up – that Pinterest users are on Pinterest to find new websites. Clicking a link to leave Pinterest is more common than clicking a link to leave Instagram. Hence my strategy here.)

Double Your List Growth Rate With a Call to Action on Your Social Media Profiles... Let me show you how!


I’m not going to fool you all, I don’t implement my opt-in offer very well on my Facebook page. However, my Facebook page is mainly used for my photography business – and I know the majority of traffic is not from my target market for small business and social media blogging.

If you had a more defined niche, I’d recommend you include your call-to-action on your Facebook cover photo. When the user clicks the photo you can share the opt-in link in your description and turn ‘social media browsers’ into email list subscribers that way.

Yay! We made it to the end, friends. I hope this post helped you and you’re able to take away some key changes you’d like to make on your social media profiles. Comment and let me know below if you’re planning to implement the changes and even more so, if you did and accordingly saw an increase in email subscribers!


This free guide will help you set profitable prices, provide new marketing ideas to earn consistent income in your off-season, as well as how to raise your prices and communicating all things pricing with clients.


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Jamie Delaine Watson