Maximizing Email Subscriptions with Facebook Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide
Boost Newsletter Sign-ups With a Facebook Ad Campaign
Every newsletter creator who has “made it” hits a point where their email list growth seems to stall. Nothing seems to work, and their creativity wanes week after week as they frantically try to ‘fix’ the problem.
Many agree that this happens after your first thousand subscribers. But if you have gotten the list to one thousand, how do you get it to ten thousand without dying in the attempt?
Leveraging Facebook Ads is one of the most effective ways to acquire email subscribers and increase your reach.
Contrary to popular opinion, the truth is that you can also do this without breaking the bank.
This blog post will detail how you can use targeted strategies with Facebook Ads campaigns to grow your list of email subscribers, maximize ROI, and achieve your newsletter goals.
Can You Collect Emails With Facebook Ads?
First, let’s clarify: you can’t collect emails with Facebook ads directly due to Facebook's Ad Policies.
What’s the point, then?
You could then use an email marketing platform to manage the list and interact with those subscribers.
FB Marketing 101: How Do Facebook Ads Work?
Let’s start with a global view of how Facebook ads work. Then, we’ll focus on the most significant aspects you need to master in order to run them specifically for newsletter growth.
With Facebook Ads, companies can create and display relevant ads to their desired target audience on platforms like Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.
In a nutshell, here's how it works:
Advertisers use the Ads Manager to create ad content, pick their target audience, and decide placement/budget/schedule.
Facebook leverages its user data to show ads that match the criteria most likely to be of interest to their demographic.
People who see the ad can interact with it - by liking, sharing, or clicking on it, etc.
Advertisers track performance through Ads Manager regarding clicks, impressions, and conversions, etc.
Optimizing targeting, creativity, and messaging based on results should improve performance over time.
These ads allow companies to reach the right people with engaging content that could improve brand awareness, website traffic, and conversions!
Here's how to craft a successful Facebook Ad:
Begin by logging into your Ads Manager account.
Click the 'Create' button to get started.
Select an ad objective, such as increasing website traffic or promoting a product/service.
Target your audience with age, interests, behaviors, and more, or use Lookalike Audience for similar customers.
Select where you'd like the ad to appear (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, etc.).
Set a budget and schedule for the ad before creating the creative - images, videos, text, and call-to-action buttons are available elements.
Review everything and make adjustments as needed before submission to Facebook for review.
Once approved, it runs according to your chosen schedule. Keep in mind that constant testing and optimization will get you better results over time!
Looking for more help? Here’s another article on running Facebook ads for list growth.
How Do I Target Facebook Ads to Email Addresses?
How do you replicate this in your marketing newsletter?
While targeting and budgets vary widely depending on your newsletter size and niche, three things will always be present, and they function around the same patterns.
The landing page
Let’s break each down in detail.
Ads must be “love at first sight,” or they won’t convert.
Research suggests that an ad's first 3-5 seconds are critical for capturing a viewer's attention.
Due to that, you need to master the two core parts of your creative: the graphics and the copy.
The rule here is that there are no rules.
You need to develop a combination of images and words that DO grab your target subscriber’s attention.
You can do this in whatever way you want as long as you stay within Facebook ad policies.
As I said, you have seconds (or less) to grab your prospect’s attention–so, like a hunter fighting for his food, you can’t fail.
You don’t need to write formal, “salesy” copy, or use hyper-aesthetic images. You need to find a combination of copy and imagery that fulfills its purpose: convincing people to click your ad link and visit your landing page.
Since we could write a whole book on mastering advertising copy and graphics, I will leave you some inspiration ads below before we jump into the next section.
These ads will also teach you suitable lessons on the principles you need to follow when running Facebook ads for your newsletter.
300k+ subscribers joined The Hustle through this ad.
This meme ad drove 20k+ subscribers for Milk Road.
These iPhone notes images/videos also added tens of thousands of subscribers for Milk Road.
As you can see, getting started doesn’t require being a world-class marketer.
It’s more about understanding what resonates with your target audience and being open to experimenting.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
How Do I Get Email Followers on Facebook?
Significantly linked to the copy and graphics, we have “the incentive.”
People won’t feel motivated to read your ad and, more importantly, click on your links, unless they believe it offers value.
As we saw earlier, in the examples of creatives, most people just set up simple but relevant ads that invite people to learn about a newsletter that could interest them.
In most cases, if you do proper targeting, that’s enough. However, if you want to maximize your ROI, I recommend doing more than “informing” your prospects.
You can ensure they subscribe if you craft an irresistible offer in return for their sign-up. This “offer” can take a lot of different forms. It can be access to a free course, a pre-recorded webinar, an ebook, a PDF report, a Notion template, or anything valuable you can give users for free. This asset is usually called a “lead magnet” or “freebie.”
The best part is that you can give something valuable to your prospects while keeping your costs near zero. Properly-targeted users will perceive this offer as precious without costing you a thing. That’s the nature of digital products.
A good question at this point would be, how do we put these two puzzle pieces (the creative and the incentive) together?
You do this by setting up an ad that describes your “incentive” in a way that the right person cannot ignore. For example, if you have a productivity newsletter, you can offer a mini-course on the latest productivity tool for free in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter.
While it's true that many people will grab your free offer, unsubscribe, and run, you have to remember that the lead magnet is costing you nothing.
If the person is truly interested in your niche or topic, you will not only win a new email subscriber, but an engaged fan. It has happened to me, and I have made it work many times. That’s why I know this technique is a no-brainer when growing your list.
How Do You Get Subscribers on Facebook Ads?
The Landing Page
Finally, since I mentioned that you cannot collect the email directly on Facebook, you need to set up a landing page for this purpose.
A landing page is a website page created specifically for your ad clickers to “land” on. Usually, it’s optimized for one single purpose (in this case, having them subscribe to your newsletter).
So, interested people will click a link set up on your ad, and the link will take them to your landing page.
You can achieve this final step in many ways, but I must mention that beehiiv does a great job doing this for you.
Send ad-clickers to your beehiiv site or subscribe page, and then have beehiiv automatically send these new subscribers a confirmation email with a link to the lead magnet
Use a different service as your landing page (you are probably using a different one for your website), embed your beehiiv subscribe form, and provide the lead magnet automatically after they confirm
My top suggestion for landing pages is to keep them very simple.
If you want them to subscribe to the newsletter, make that very clear. Don’t give them several links and options on this page. Giving them too many calls to action will diminish the effectiveness of your sign-up page, because people may follow other links and forget about subscribing.
Please take a look at this simple, polished, and focused landing page.
Growing an email list beyond the initial one thousand subscribers can be challenging for newsletter creators.
However, Facebook Ads can be a powerful tool for acquiring new email subscribers and expanding reach without breaking the bank.
While Facebook Ads can't directly collect emails due to Facebook's Ad Policies, they can drive traffic to landing pages where visitors can provide their email addresses through a lead generation or opt-in form.
The success of Facebook Ads campaigns for newsletter growth depends on three critical elements: the creative, the incentive, and the landing page. By mastering these elements, newsletter creators can create effective Facebook Ads campaigns that help achieve their email list growth goals.
beehiiv, the top newsletter platform in the market, is ready to make your ad-to-newsletter strategy work seamlessly.
Learn more about beehiiv here.