Email marketing and SMM are two of the most popular internet marketing tools at the moment. Experts are vying with each other to praise one channel or another, measuring conversions and the speed of collecting leads. But why choose when you can combine both tools?
In this article, we’ll tell you how to combine newsletters and Instagram and use them in full force.
According to marketing stats on businessofapps.com, “66% of people said they deliberately used Instagram to interact with brands, [with] 53% [of them saying that] they would follow a brand on Instagram for the content alone.” Did you know that Instagram has 500 million daily active users? That’s crazy!
Additionally, 71% of brands are on Instagram and those numbers are projected to grow significantly in 2021. 90 of the top 100 brands in the world have an Instagram account.
Interactions with brands on Instagram are 10 times higher than those on Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. Post engagement has increased 416% in the past two years. In addition, Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and the engagement rate is 2.2% while Facebook only has 0.22%.
Instagram is most popular among 18 to 49-year-olds:
- 55% are 18-29 years old.
- 33% are 30-49 years old.
- 12% are over 50 years old.
Thus, if your target audience is 18 to 50 years old, Instagram is the right platform to retain and attract your customers.
By the way, the three most popular hashtags on Instagram are #Love (1.7 billion), #InstaGood (1 billion), and #Fashion (760 million).
Collecting Email Base Through Social Media
Some of the arguments against social media state that it’s hard to sell there. Although this can be easily refuted, people are actually used to looking at social networks more as entertaining platforms to browse photos, memes, and short videos. And there’s nothing bad about that – this way, companies increase their brand recognition and build a strong community around it.
Now, newsletters know how to sell. And this is an opportunity to turn your Instagram followers into subscribers using mass email services.
How to Get Subscribers from Instagram
The first step in optimizing Instagram to attract newsletter subscribers is to add a link to the subscription form in bio (the URL field). It’s essential to encourage users to click the link and fill out the form. Lead magnets like free webinars, promo codes, discounts, contests, product samples, online courses, and access to service functionality work well here.
Guides, author’s picks, and longreads work best in newsletters. While creative graphics, short summaries, invitations, and announcements are used more often in social networks. Different formats also help to interest more potential customers: some people like to read longreads, and some get to check the news from the newsfeed on social networks.
Instagram accounts with 10,000 or more followers can embed links in their Stories for free. You can use this to grow your subscriber base – choose an image/video, add a CTA, and place a link to the subscription form.
Instagram feeds by influencer content are crowded so some posts are simply skipped. Instagram Stories are a way to remind people about yourself and invite them to subscribe. Instagram Stories format is more popular with most users.
Some influencers use Stories Highlights, those that can live permanently under your profile bio, to attract email subscribers. They can, for example, provide a link to a lead magnet, e.g. a free email course, etc.
Top 11 Ways SMM and Email Marketing Help Each Other
1. Make Your Newsletter Instagram Icon Visible
One of the main goals of combining email marketing and Instagram is to inform newsletter subscribers of your Instagram presence. Add a custom Instagram icon to your newsletter so users can subscribe to the profile. Corporate-style icons will get a lot more attention and tell readers that you really work on your social media channel and there’s something really interesting waiting for your audience there.
“But we have social media icons,” you’ll say. Yes, emails often have icons in their footers, but those are quite inconspicuous. To massively attract subscribers to social media, you need to be more proactive. Thus, you can boldly add an Instagram icon right in the header of your email, right next to your brand logo! This is how it will not get lost in your creative newsletter, and people will definitely notice it.
You can add large and vivid icons right after you address your TA in the newsletter. When describing some important issue, invite them to discuss it and vote to continue the subject on Instagram. Or just offer to become friends on Instagram. The key is to make sure the icons are prominent and inviting.
2. Include CTA or Loud Phrase in Your Newsletter
People tend to skip everything other than a related topic. Help your subscribers by making your social media section more noticeable. Include an appeal or a neat phrase.
Your newsletters should be filled with impeccable jokes and written straight from your heart, with love for the product or service.
Depending on the type of business you’re running, a social media section can be discreet but entertaining (but never boring), keeping the overall atmosphere of the newsletters intact.
3. Use Hashtags in Emails
Hashtags in your newsletters do not necessarily have to include your brand name. Their main goal is to be recognizable and reflect the mission of your company.
For example, Virtus Outdoor produces tactical and sportswear. The company’s target audience is young people and adults who lead an active lifestyle and are keen on extreme sports.
The company actively promotes its pages in social networks and often reposts its subscribers, finding them by custom, “branded” hashtags that are widely used in their newsletters, whether in the email subject, text, or footer.
4. Email Campaign to Promote Your Instagram Page
If your Instagram page plays an important role in your marketing strategy, then launch an email campaign dedicated to promoting your Insta account. Connecting MailChimp or any popular automation tool with your instagram can help you to maximize the customer reach and engagement.
As mentioned earlier, you can also add a subscription form in your Instagram bio at no extra cost and also in the Stories. This is probably the easiest thing to offer in a company’s social media.
Your newsletter subscribers are sort of already loyal to your company. But you still have to increase your credibility in them and create a separate newsletter wisely. Clearly highlight all the benefits of your Instagram, what exactly your subscribers will receive there, and why they need to follow you there. Do not skimp on design – the newsletter should be eye-catching.
5. Announce Contests in Your Newsletters
Arrange a lottery on Instagram and invite your subscribers to take part in it via emails. Also, make sure your lottery conditions are transparent and clear for all your readers.
You can also throw a promotion or contest to attract even more subscribers to your company’s Instagram account. For example, the Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop has held a promotion that said: “Follow us on Instagram and get free shipping on purchases over $50.” They put a photo collage with a giant Instagram icon in their promo emails.
MudPie (lifestyle brand) simply sends their subscribers emails inviting them to get closer on social media. They also invite their readers to follow them on Instagram on the homepage, showcasing some photos from their feed.
6. Add Your Instagram Feed to Newsletter
Images inspire, foster loyalty, and most importantly, increase sales. They make people want different things, inspire them to travel and look for adventures, offer lifestyle changes, etc. It is for vibrant and inspiring photos that 500 million users visit Instagram every day. And where there’s live interaction, there’s always fun!
Thus, if your company has some flashy photos on Instagram, you can add the feed into your newsletter (like MudPie did). Instead of one picture, your subscribers will see a live feed. This way you can share your Instagram feed in real-time. Once your subscribers open the newsletter, they will see your latest profile updates. This is a way you can attract more followers on Instagram. An easy way to do that is to use NiftyImages. Sign up and follow the next steps:
- Select the Live Instagram Feed tool;
- Select your Instagram feed you want to add to your newsletter;
- Set the number of photos in your collage;
- Click Save and name your feed;
- Copy the HTML code and paste it into your email template.
You can also add a section with the best content from your Instagram.
7. Add Share Buttons to Your Newsletter
If your newsletter is helpful and attractive, why not let people share it? It’s a great chance to give virality to your content.
So why share your newsletter?
- Just because. Your subscribers simply want their friends to see your amazing content;
- Self-expression. They have their own opinion on a certain issue. Thus, they repost your newsletter and add their thoughts to it;
- Giveaway condition. You know how it goes: “Share this with your friends and win a laptop!” Yay!
The company benefit is quite obvious – the “friends” see the newsletter, learn about the company, some subscribe, and some go to the site and check the product/service features.
8. Create a Dedicated Newsletter
As a rule, all contests are held on social networks. To keep newsletter subscribers from getting bored and joining the activity, you can support it with a dedicated newsletter. This way you will solve two problems at once – this is another reason for a newsletter and an opportunity to stir up interest in the company in social media.
9. Offer Instagram When They Unsubscribe
In case someone decides to unsubscribe from your newsletter, they still might be active Instagram followers, “consuming” all your content there. In this case, you can try the following tactics: offer an Instagram subscription on the Unsubscribe page to stay in touch on the popular photo-sharing app.
10. Make Newsletter Posts on Instagram
To attract and fuel interest in your newsletter, you can create regular posts about your newsletters on Instagram. These posts can cover your newsletter topics, frequency, benefits, examples, etc.
You can also offer various bonuses for subscriptions, e.g. useful content. For example, newsletter subscribers can get an excursion as a gift when they buy a tour, 10 healthy lifestyle habits, and more.
You can also offer a discount on the first purchase or make it free. The main thing is not to outweigh the value of the newsletter itself. Try to motivate your followers to subscribe in such a way that receiving a bonus remains a pleasant addition. Or find another way to make them commit to your brand, for example through a referral or affiliate program. Otherwise, the loyalty of the audience you receive will be out of the question.
11. Instagram Lead Ads
Use Instagram Lead Ads to invite your followers to subscribe via Stories and in the feed. Lead Ads can be set up in Facebook Ads Manager to collect a base of subscribers without directing them outside the platform. The Ads, which lead to the form page, will help learn more about customers, improve direct marketing campaigns, and ask set questions for prospecting. You can download Lead Ads from Facebook in .csv format or through CRM integration.
Redirect users from Instagram not only to the built-in form of Instagram Lead Ads but also to the site or landing page. The latter is known to be 40% more effective at increasing a subscriber base than a website. And there’s nothing surprising about that since it has nothing superfluous on it – just a short description and contact form.
Why Interaction Between Email Marketing and Instagram is Important
Newsletters and Instagram offer new tools and opportunities for business promotion. Both channels help establish communication with potential and real customers. But the goals and tools are different.
Newsletter services advantages:
- Personalize email offers and increase conversions;
- Segment the audience to prepare accurate and useful offers, resulting in high conversions;
- Automate newsletters, using triggered emails to convert subscribers into customers and drive repeat sales. That is, newsletters work for sales and customer retention.
Social media advantages:
- Connect with your audience through visual content;
- Promote motivation, life energy, and passion in your photos to provide more audience engagement;
- Invite followers to events, hold contests and giveaways, encourage them, share company news and promotions, collect feedback, and hold discussions;
- Promote your brand and maintain an emotional bond with your customers.
Gain greater audience reach. People unsubscribe every day – it’s natural. With multiple channels, you have a better chance of staying in touch with your audience if they unsubscribe from one of them. Those who aren’t on Twitter will see our post on Instagram or get an email.
Even at the stage of acquaintance with a potential client, you can offer different channels to follow the company. You give your audience a choice – thus, some will choose Instagram or Facebook, and some will type in their email address in the subscription form. Such an approach increases audience loyalty and helps build an equal customer base across channels.
Communicate with your audience through different content. Post entertaining content, jokes, memes, short stories from the company’s life, how-to tips, recommendations, and important company news. Newsletters can offer more complex content with longreads, infographics, etc. All brands do this!
Email marketing and SMM have their own advantages.
- Email marketing allows you to reach each customer directly, deliver a more personal message, and offer people exactly what they are looking for.
- Social media is perfect if you want your brand to become recognizable and well-known among your target audience.
Thus, email marketing helps a person find what they are looking for and social media grows an audience of loyal fans around your brand.
Let’s summarize all the benefits of both SMM and email marketing one last time:
- More potential customers will see your message;
- Users can choose a preferred channel to follow the company, which is convenient;
- Different formats in social networks and newsletters help attract more customers;
- SMM and email marketing work at different stages of the sales funnel. Combining them, you have bigger chances that users will do what you want them to do;
- Email addresses can be used for social media targeting;
- Users who follow you through multiple channels are more valuable. You can “convert” them more easily and they place more orders;
- Social networks are a source of free and attractive content for newsletters.
The overall beauty of both channels is that they complement each other and can easily be integrated together. The main thing is to do it wisely.
Good luck with your conversions!
Dmytro Sokhach is an entrepreneur and the 6-Figure Flipper Club member. Founded Admix Global (web agency) that builds websites, makes them profitable, and sells them as business.