If you weren’t on a serendipitous sailing adventure or living under a rock, you might have noticed that Facebook and its entire suite of apps were down for more than 14 hours on October 4th. The global outage is a major reminder to brands that you don’t own your data, followers, or content on social media.

With millions of companies relying on social media to fuel their marketing funnel, this may scare many marketers. And it should. Even without an outage, there’s little protection of your assets and following if your account were to be deleted, banned, or hacked. That’s why at CBC, we’re big proponents of going all-in on email marketing and first-party data collection. With third-party cookies going away, it’s more important than ever for brands to collect their own data from customers who willingly opt in to sharing it.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, you’d benefit from doubling down on your email marketing strategy. But sending one-off emails or promotional offers alone isn’t enough; here’s three tactics to follow to convert your “likes” to email subscribers:

1. Offer Exclusive Content

We hear from brands often that they don’t devote many resources to email because users don’t open them. Which brings us to ask: what are you offering in your emails? Is it something you personally would click on?

Consumers are protective of their inboxes. For decades, brands have misused this communication channel to spam subscribers with incessant marketing, touting the same messages and content over and over. The simple fix? Provide content they can’t find anywhere else.

Entice users to subscribe by offering something of value – exclusive discounts, products, or early access to new launches. Alternatively, provide rich, useful information in your emails that you don’t share on social media. Offer a deeper dive into topics your audience cares about, exclusive tips, and the like to signal to users that your emails are more than just marketing – it’s a community.

For example, Verb Energy retains a strong subscriber base by always offering their list a first look at new flavors, exclusive discounts, and even offers subscribers an opportunity to share what they want to see next.

2. Make It Personal

One of the features of Facebook and Instagram that makes it so successful is that it is highly curated. Users elect to follow brands and engage with posts that speak to their interests. If your audience is diverse and you don’t acknowledge those differences in demographics, behavior, and interests, you’ll fail to increase your email open rate and retain subscribers. Your email marketing messages need to be tailored to unique audiences.

You can start by using a merge tag to include their name in your emails, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To really offer a personalized experience, make sure you’re segmenting your list. How you segment your subscribers will largely depend on your business, but consider the following criteria to split your list:

  • Past purchases
  • Amount spent
  • Age, gender, location
  • Email engagement (did they click to read your blog in your last email? That could indicate interest in a certain topic.)
  • Website behavior
  • Quiz results
  • Position in sales funnel (new subscriber or long-time customer?)
  • Personal interests (add some boxes to your sign-up form to allow users to indicate what content they’re interested in receiving.)

From there, build out email sequences that speak directly to these unique audiences.

For example, if you find that there was a large group of users who clicked to read a whitepaper on your website, you could assume that this group was interested in more in-depth and scholarly content. Now that you know who these users are and what they prefer, you can send them similar content they’re likely to engage with and/or frame your messaging to speak to them more personally.

3. Convert Followers to Subscribers with a Content Upgrade

You’ve promoted your email list and have provided truly valuable and exclusive content that’s personalized to their unique persona – but your followers aren’t biting. What’s next? Give them more value. One of the best ways to do this is through a content upgrade, sometimes also called a lead magnet.

Content upgrades or lead magnets are typically a piece of content that can only be accessed once they’ve signed up for your email subscription. They can come in many forms, from e-books and PDFs to quizzes, videos and webinars, but the most important aspect is that it’s content your audience really wants.

For example, at CBC, one of our core offerings is our experiential House programs. To entice users to subscribe to our email list, we’ve offered a PDF checklist for successful experiential marketing campaigns on our website. Once users complete the form and sign up, we email them the checklist. It’s likely many users wouldn’t be willing to provide their personal or company information without this offer, making it an effective tactic for growing your subscriber base.

Just as you would personalize your email list, you should personalize your content upgrades too. This will allow you to capture a wider array of users by tailoring your offers to what piques their interest. To illustrate this point, visit HubSpot’s blog. You’ll see that in almost every blog post, they have a content upgrade tailored specifically to the blog in question – making the offer relevant and valuable to the website visitor.

It’s worth repeating, you do not own your social media followers. If social media were to dissolve overnight, you’d lose arguably some of your most loyal customers and prospects. Converting your social media followers to email subscribers is critical in protecting your brand’s most valuable assets and setting your company up for longevity in the digital space.

Need help building effective email marketing campaigns? Let us do the heavy lifting – contact us.

We don’t need to tell you that every brand needs to be on social media. Now more than ever, consumers are turning towards digital outlets like Facebook and Instagram for new products, inspiration, and information. What many brands forget is that social media is just that – social. Engagement should be at the forefront of your social media strategy.

An effective way to drive engagement is to include a call-to-action (CTA) in your social media post. A call-to-action is a brief phrase – written or visual – that asks your audience to perform a specific action.

The effectiveness of CTAs can be statistically proven. According to QuickSprout, adding a CTA to your Facebook page can increase click-through rate by 285%. In general, research has found time and time again that if you want something, you must ask for it.


Source: TrackMaven

CTAs are an important piece of social media copywriting because attention spans are short; you need to quickly make it obvious what action you want a user to take if you expect to see a potential customer follow through. More importantly, they need to be motivated to do so as well. That’s why nailing down the art of creating compelling CTAs are essential. Read on to hear out five tips for drafting CTAs that convert.

Understand Your Goals

The very first step in optimizing your CTA is making sure you understand your goals. Do you want to drive users to your website? Is increasing your visibility through comments and shares most important? Your CTA should be laser-focused.

What does this look like? Check out the below post from Lonely Planet, a travel guide company. To boost brand awareness and engagement, they run a user-generated content (UGC) campaign where customers share their product and tag the brand online. This post works well in driving towards their goal – shares – because they keep the caption simple, show what a successful share looks like, incentivize users with a repost, and clearly outline the next steps they want a user to take.

In another example, retail brand 12th Tribe calls for users to shop with a simple, one-sentence CTA. Why does this work? It’s short while coupling clear directions (“tap”) with an enticing offer (“best selling jeans”).

Only Include One CTA

When writing social media copy, you should avoid including more than one CTA. Having multiple CTAs in a single post can lead to confusion and less engagement – if you give your audience too many choices, they won’t know which one to take. By having one distinct and clear CTA, you can increase the likelihood of a user taking action.

For example, say you’re drafting a post to promote an event and you want to lead users to a blog post to learn more but, at the same time, you also want them to go to the registration page to sign up. Rather than point to both webpages, consider which action most aligns with your goals and build a compelling case for users to click towards that action. You can always create follow-up posts with more information or to register!

Make it Easy, Make it Urgent

Social media is a fast-paced environment. Users are constantly scrolling through their feeds and only stopping to read things that are engaging and that they care about. When drafting a CTA, make sure that the action you’re asking your audience to take is straight-forward and simple to understand. Take the below example from Dove- it’s backed up by context that highlights its importance and clearly outlines what action the reader should take.

Not only should the CTA be easy to understand but, for best results, there should be some sense of urgency. Limiting the time an action is eligible, even if it just appears to be time-constrained, can entice a user to engage. For example, “Sign up today” suggests immediacy more so than “Sign up.”

Some tips to keep in mind when incorporating these elements:

  • Choose strong action words: compel the user to click. Phrases like “Download your free guide” or “Shop trending sweaters” is more intriguing than “Download” or “Shop”.
  • Be concise: Can you say the same thing in fewer words?
  • Ask a colleague to proofread: does it make sense to them?

Make the Value Clear

Does you CTA encourage users to take action on something they actually care about? Like most aspects of copywriting, every CTA should pass the “so what?” test. In the words of The Godfather, when framing an action, you’re proposing a user to take, give them “an offer they can’t refuse.”

Take this example from underwear brand MeUndies. In their effort to collect email subscribers, they clearly announce the benefit to users in doing so – a discount.

Value doesn’t just have to be monetary, emotional appeals can be highly successful as well. Another way to think about the value you’re providing is to use the phrase “So that…”. For example, instead of saying “Download our whitepaper,” you can write “Download our whitepaper so that you can stay informed of the latest industry developments.”

Consider the following questions when describing your offer:

  • What will they learn?
  • How will the offer impact their career, relationships, health, life?
  • How will this offer make them feel?
  • What do others value about this offer?

Don’t Bury the CTA

An important note to remember is that simplicity is key. You want to make engagement easy for your audience so that they won’t just ignore what you’re saying. To ensure this, you want to make sure that your CTA is “above the fold”, meaning that they don’t have to click to read more or expand the post. If your CTA isn’t up front and can be immediately seen, you might miss out on potential conversions.

For example, take a look at the below tweet from Shaw Academy, an online education platform. They make the CTA immediately known and don’t include so much copy that the post would have to be expanded. The use of strong action words and an emoji emphasize the action that readers should take.

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing great results from a social strategy you put so much time, energy, and thought into. With these tips, you’re sure to see your social audiences covert to customers.

Looking for a partner that can help bring your social media engagement and success to the next level? We’d love to chat.