Using Twitter to Drive Email Subscriptions

In the very quick and fairly recent rise of social media, many marketers seem to be under the impression that social and email are mutually-exclusive. Unfortunately for those that buy into this belief, they’re missing out on a very important asset in their arsenal of marketing tools: the power of email and social combined.

Here at WhatCounts, we’ve delved into the topics of the power of email and social, incorporating social plug-ins to your email campaigns, and cross-promoting your social through email. But one of the most neglected, yet useful, tactics when it comes to building your email subscription list is to promote the option through your social channels. One of the more common ways is via Facebook, which is why we taught you how to include an email subscription button on your Facebook page. Now, how do you promote your opt-in via Twitter?

The perk of using Facebook is that it is typically more stagnant (less posts, more content, bigger profile), but it’s more limiting in that your reach will not typically be as great as Twitter. It’s easier to come across new people, brands, topics, and discussions on Twitter than it is on Facebook. Because of this, you can use Twitter to your advantage when it comes to increasing your number of subscribers. The method will depend on your product or service, as well as the demographic you are trying to market to. Here are a few things to keep in mind when strategizing how to promote your email list on Twitter:

1. Who are you trying to recruit to your list?
Much like with your email campaigns, it’s important to tailor the content you tweet according to who you are trying to recruit to your email list. Make sure the information you tweet is relevant to their interests and what they would like to know. Giving them a sample of information or juicy tidbit that you’d usually have in your newsletter will entice them to want to read more. Don’t use Twitter to promote your products or try to sell. Instead, use it to broadcast your brand’s culture, beliefs, and value to the consumer. If you build it, they will come.

2. Is it obvious who you are?
Does your Twitter have a profile picture and profile complete with a link to your company’s website? If not, Twitter users have no idea who you are and therefore have no reason to follow you. This goes hand-in-hand with building recognition and establishing value for those who could potentially develop a relationship with your brand. Also, make sure that your content is relevant to who you are or what you do. If you’re a company that sells tires and all you ever do is tweet about baseball, no one will know whether you’re an expert in your industry. Would people want to hear about baseball? Sure. But if you’re trying to sell tires, you want “tires” to be the first thing that pops into their head when people think about you (not baseball). I say this because if people sign-up for your newsletter through Twitter with a false idea of what your newsletters will be about, they’re more likely to unsubscribe and disregard your brand at disingenuous or spam. Feel free to tweet about topics other than your industry to break up the monotony, but make sure it’s not to the extent that your focus pales in comparison.

3. Do you make your opt-ins easily available?
If you’re going to use Twitter to build your email list, then you most certainly better make your opt-in readily available. In this case, I’ll use what we do here at WhatCounts as an example: We have roughly 15,000+ followers on Twitter. Our first tweet every morning is a welcome message that includes a link to a welcome page on our site that outlines who we are, what we do, and most importantly, our email opt-in.


It’s partially because of our 15,000 Twitter followers that we were able to amass well over 50,000 subscribers to just our newsletter. The key is, we made it a morning tradition to post this link (if you don’t want to sign-up today, there’s always tomorrow). This also allows our followers to quickly establish brand recognition and answer any questions about who we are right up-front. Consider having a welcome message for your Twitter followers or place a link to your subscription page in your Twitter profile. After all, the only way you can build your list of email subscribers through Twitter is by giving them a quick, direct method to opt-in.

Implementing these techniques may take a bit of time, especially if you’re still trying to ramp up your Twitter following. Give it time and test different methods of including your opt-in on Twitter, such as using Google Analytics or tracking links to see what works and what doesn’t. Also, make sure that you’re consistently updating your Twitter and posting regularly. After awhile, you’ll begin to notice your Twitter following and email list start growing exponentially.

Sarah Zibanejadrad
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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2 Responses to "Using Twitter to Drive Email Subscriptions"
  1. Nick Stamoulis says:

    Tweeting the right kind of content is essential. It’s important that all of your tweets are related to your business in some way or another. You don’t want to cause brand confusion.

    • Sarah Zibanejadrad says:

      I don’t know that 100% of your content has to pertain to your business, but definitely the majority of it. It’s a matter of where your brand currently is in terms of recognition: if people know your brand, tweet whatever works (i.e. Taco Bell on Twitter tweets all sorts of things to engage followers). If your brand is new or relatively unknown in the industry, don’t step too far away from what your purpose is.

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