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How to Grow Your Email List with Instagram Marketing & Tools

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

When it comes to email marketing, website pop-ups aren’t the only lead generating tools, sometimes they can come from the most unlikely places, like Instagram.

Instagram is used by over one billion users every month, with almost 63% of Instagram users logging in at least once per day. With billions of eyes glued to their screen combined with the fact that approximately 69% of web customers are influenced by a company's emails to purchase from their smartphone, using Instagram to grow your email list seems far more feasible than expected.

Let's go beyond posting aesthetically pleasing content and dive deep into the best marketing tactics you can use to utilize your brand's Instagram account to the fullest.

With over 200 million Instagram users visiting at least one business profile daily, you can capture potential leads with the Instagram tools you have at your disposal. After all, if an email is read on mobile, and then read for a second time on desktop, that consumer has a 65% higher likelihood of clicking through allowing you to solidify your brand loyalty and increase purchases.

Let’s dive in.

1. Create Exclusive Offer & Gate Content on Instagram

The first step in growing your email list is to create a lead magnet. Emails are something that consumers aren't very willing to hand out because they know their inbox will be flooded with promotional emails. To win them over, you'll need to give them an incentive or exclusive offer that's gated.

Gated content is content that can only be accessed by the lead once they submitted the requested information in most cases; this is an email. This is usually a discount, freebie, webinar, or loyalty program. You should be familiar with this on websites and even from some of your favorite brands on Instagram.

If you already have freebies on your website or your offering discounts, you'll need to share that lead magnet or gated content on Instagram by adding your gated content's link to your bio so you can start capturing leads.

2. Add Tracking UTM to Your Links & Landing Pages

Before we talk about sharing your exclusive offer, let's discuss how to track it and the importance of tracking your links.

Adding a UTM code is an essential factor in determining your social media ROI. The UTM codes paired with Google Analytics helps you to clearly understand your conversions and traffic going to your landing page.

For example, no matter where people are visiting, it’s all grouped together on Google Analytics. Google won't tell you where exactly people are coming from to visit your link, whether it's on the header, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Your UTM link ( on Instagram Google Analytics will know the difference between your website and Instagram visitors. Without it you won't be able to track specific data and results that will help you to know how to use Instagram effectively to grow your email list. If you'd like to learn more, check out Hallam's Guide on "UTM Codes: How to Track Campaign URLs in Google Analytics."

3. Use Your Bio to Drive Customer to Your Link

It goes without saying, that once you've created your gated content or exclusive offer, you'll need to let your followers know that it's ready for the taking. Add the link to your gated content to your Instagram bio so that followers have readily access. Add a CTA or link of text in your bio to let viewers know what your link has to offer.

If you're not sure how to phrase your bio, here are some real-life examples of brands using their Instagram bio to grow their email list:

4. Direct Your Followers to Your Email List in the Captions

Don't take it for granted that the "build it and they will come" concept will work. In marketing, you have to guide your target audience to the action/task you want them to complete. Leaving it to chance will not help to improve your conversions.

One of the best ways to do that is to add directions in your captions is using "Power words" or "CTA's." Power words are words that smart copywriters use to trigger a psychological or emotional response.

On the other hand, a CTA (Call to Action) is a text that prompts your customer to take action. This could be as simple as "Click the link in the bio" or "Sign up now!", by combining your power words and CTA to create a more persuasive offer to sign up for your email list.

5. Use the Swipe Up Feature in Your Instagram Story

Use your swipe up feature in your Instagram feature to directly drive sign-ups to grow your email list. Around 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.

It's become a must-use Instagram feature for brands, which is why 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.

You'll still need to use CTA's but instead of posting content and hoping your viewers will take the extra step to click your link in your bio. You make it easier for your viewers to move from content to landing page effortlessly.

There is a drawback to this feature. To access the swipe up feature or "add a link to your story" you'll need to ensure that:

  • You have more than 10,000 followers

  • Your Instagram account is verified

At the moment, there's no workaround for this feature. If you can't access the swipe up feature, then guide your followers to your bio with GIFs, Stickers, and CTA's.

Image source: Process Street

6. Add a Story Highlight to Keep Your Email List Evergreen

Keep your email list evergreen by creating an Instagram story showcasing all your gated content, the CTA to drive people to swipe up, or click the link in your bio, then making it an Instagram story highlight.

Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours; however, when a story is highlighted, it'll appear below your bio so followers can easily access them:

You can curate your gated and exclusive content that will be kept permanently until you choose to delete it. Be sure to create a cover for your highlight. This allows your story to look professional and aesthetically pleasing.

7. Collaborate with Influencers to Increase Reach

What would an Instagram article be without mentioning influencers? Use influencer marketing on Instagram to help spread the word about your gated content, discount, or subscription to supercharge your email list.

You can partner with celebrities, customers with a high following, or micro-influencer for your next Instagram or email marketing campaign.

Let's take the Seventh Generation, for example. In partnership with a blogger Joy Green who promoted their VIP trial:

When working with an influencer, it's best to be organized when it comes to content and links. Provide your influencer with a personalized code or UTM link so you can track your influencer ROI.

When it comes to influencer marketing, having a massive amount of followers does not mean your brand will get enormous growth. Instead, focus on seeing the impact, connection, and attraction that the influencer brings when they share your content.

Once the influencer starts sharing your content, take a look at their convent's overall engagement, and email sign-ups to determine your influencer marketing success.

Be sure to give them a custom UTM code. If a UTM code seems too much you can create a customer discount code to track sales and sign-ups as your influencers your brand:

Image Source: Buffer Stories

8. Remember to Segment Leads & Personalize Content

The best email marketing tactics use personalization and segmentation tactics to retain and engage with their email list. Make the time to record your analytics and ROI to strategize the best methods to create content and exclusive deals that will help to encourage new followers to join your email list.

Once you've started to grow your email list with Instagram, remember to send emails segmented for your Instagram subscribers than you would for your website subscribers. Make your email's mobile-friendly and share UGC from Instagram to tempt them to go to your website for purchases.

9. Provide Instagram Customer Service via Email

Around 90% of social media users use social media to communicate with brands. Most users prefer to direct message brands, which is great for simple questions. For brands, this is an opportunity to start up a conversation without annoying followers.

However, for complex or detailed queries, you might have to redirect your Instagram followers to your online customer support for more complex queries.

Take the initiative to invite followers to send an email to offer further assistance. After their issue or question has been resolved, feel free to add them to your email list or send them a gated offer to help encourage purchases.


With a variety of in-app features, it's easier than ever to grow your email list on the platform. Here are the main principles of collecting emails on Instagram:

Instagram has grown into one of the most powerful social media marketing tools for business owners. It's allowed brands to connect with their ideal buyers on a global scale.

Instagram provides a wide variety of tools and features marketers can use to their advantage. It's all just a matter of being creative, strategic, and consistent.

Likewise, if you're interested in growing your email list with Instagram marketing here's a quick recap of the nine effortless methods you can try below. Give these tips a try and see what works best for your business:

  1. Create Exclusive & Gate Content on Instagram

  2. Add Tracking UTM to Your Links & Landing Pages

  3. Use Your Bio to Drive Customer to Your Link

  4. Direct Your Followers to Your Email List in the Captions

  5. Use the Swipe Up Feature in Your Instagram Story

  6. Add a Story Highlight to Keep Your Email List Evergreen

  7. Collaborate with Influencers to Increase Reach

  8. Remember to Segment Leads & Personalize Content

  9. Provide Instagram Customer Service via Email

About the Author

Victoria Taylor is a Jamaican Digital and Content Marketing Consultant who helps eCommerce brands to increase sales, global awareness, and branding with her expertise, skills and creativity. You can find her on LinkedIn sharing the latest on digital marketing while sipping coffee.

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