Guest Post By John Haydon
If you’re like most nonprofits, Facebook is your top social network to engage supporters and increase awareness about your nonprofit.
However, like most nonprofits, you’ve probably had your fair share of frustrations with Facebook.
Dramatically declining reach is the biggie. Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away.
Here’s the thing: Facebook and (Instagram) are where most of your supporters hang out and talk about the causes they care about. You need to be part of those conversions, but it shouldn’t stop there.
If you’re engaging supporters on Facebook but NOT inviting them to join your email list, your marketing strategy is woefully incomplete. It’s like you’re building a house on rented land.
How important is email? Very.
- Email is a marketing asset that you own and control.
- Email contacts have more skin in the game. They’ve permitted you to take up precious space in their inbox, which says way more than a Facebook like.
- Email analytics helps you understand which topics engage supporters the most, and who’s interested in those topics.
- Email segmentation is a superpower! Email allows you to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Facebook can’t match the awesome personalization of email.
- Email converts the most online donations. Completion rates via email consistently dwarf those of Facebook by 4X.
How to Grow Your Email List with Facebook
So how do you use Facebook to grow your email list with Facebook?
- Use these Facebook Page features: Make joining your list simple and easy with these default Facebook Page features:
- Add a call-to-action button: People visiting your page will see this button displayed prominently below your Facebook Cover (on desktop and mobile)
- Add a subscribe link in your Page’s short description.
- Use your Facebook cover image: Create a Facebook cover that visually sells your email offer, including a link in your cover description.
- Market your marketing: Sell the value of your joining your list. That value needs to outweigh the pain and cost of joining. “Join our email list” offers no value (who needs more emails?). “Join the community” at least offers the value of belonging.
Additionally, bullet-point the benefits of joining, like insider news, event notifications, useful tips, impact stories, etc.
- Remove the friction: When someone decides that they want to join your email list, make that joining as easy as possible. Removing the need to fill out a name and email is one way to do this.
The Lead Ads feature (within your Facebook page) pre-populates a users information, making joining your email list as easy as a thumb tap. Yes, you have to invest in Facebook ads to use this feature, but the cost of acquisition is much lower than sending traffic to your website.
- Market multiple magnets: If your email newsletter is your only offer, your list growth will reach a point of diminishing returns. Offering super tactical e-books, action alerts, or petitions create the diversity you’ll need for consistent list growth over the long term.
- Post content upgrades: Your highly useful ebook won’t sell itself. Take useful tips and snippets from the ebook and repurpose them in Facebook posts, Facebook stories, and of course Facebook Live broadcasts. And don’t forget to include a link to your ebook landing page!
- Invest the dollars: Once you develop a list-building strategy, invest more in Facebook ads. Again, most people will not see your organic content, including your creatively enticing email offer. One of the best list building strategies for Facebook is to create a lookalike audience based on your current email subscribers!
Bottom line: Facebook is an excellent place to engage your community, but don’t limit that engagement to Facebook. Instead, invite supporters to take that next step by joining your email list.
This post originally appeared on John Haydon.com and we reprinted it with permission.
John is one of the most sought-after digital marketing experts for nonprofits and charities. He has helped hundreds of nonprofits realize their best marketing and fundraising results. John has spoken at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, New England Federation of Human Societies, New Media Expo, BBCon, Social Media 4 Nonprofits, AFP New Jersey, and various regional conferences throughout the United States and Canada. He is is the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies and Facebook Marketing All-In-One, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and npEngage.