How to Build a Thriving Email List with Facebook Ads

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers.

Year after year it not only continues to grow, but also generate high ROI for marketers.

So it’s no surprise that 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation (Source: Mailigen).

And yet, so many businesses are either not taking advantage of email marketing, or simply not getting the most out of their email marketing efforts.

Part of that is likely due to the fact that they find it difficult to build their email lists.

Maybe they toss a little “opt in for weekly updates” email opt-in on their side bar, or create a sub-par lead magnet that doesn’t convert…

Whatever the case, visitors are not opting in to their email list.

So, what can you do? How can you grow your email list quickly and reap the benefits of email marketing?

That’s where Facebook ads come into play. With the right Facebook ad strategy, you can rapidly grow your email list without spending a ton of money.

With this in mind, let’s talk about how to build a thriving email list with Facebook ads.


Create Your Lead Magnet

Before you even think of creating an ad, you should have some sort of lead magnet. This is primarily what you’ll be promoting with your Facebook ads

A lead magnet is basically a free offer or “bribe” you provide in exchange for an email address.

Your lead magnet should be featured throughout your site – the sidebar, the footer, and perhaps even in an exit pop-up (more on this later).

Along with the lead magnet, you should have a short landing page as well. On the landing page, provide a paragraph or two explaining the lead magnet, along with a short list of benefits in bullet points.

Your lead magnet should be fairly simple and easily digestible. Here are some lead magnet ideas:

  • Cheat sheet
  • eBook
  • Recorded webinar
  • Short step-by-step guide
  • Checklist

Target the Right Audience

Once you have your lead magnet set up, it’s time to start building your Facebook ad. One of the most important elements of your ad is the targeting.

Even the best ad won’t be effective if it targets the wrong audience.

So, how do you target the right audience? Well, there are entire posts on how to do this. But here are a few tips to get you started:

  • In your Facebook ad creation screen, scroll to “Detailed Targeting”
  • Select 10-20 of the most relevant interests or groups you can find that are related to your niche.
  • Omit any demographic that doesn’t fit into your target audience.
  • Initially, aim for an audience size of less than a million people (otherwise, the audience might be too broad and that ad won’t be as effective.

Choose a High Quality Image

Your image is crucial – it’s the first thing your audience will see. If it’s not eye-catching, people will scroll right by it in their Facebook Newsfeed.

First off, make sure you have the right dimensions down (click here to see Facebook’s guidelines).

Now in terms of what to actually use for the picture, a picture of you can work well.

Check out this ad as an example:

A high quality picture of yourself will make the ad relatable and can generate more clicks.

If this isn’t possible for you to do (or you just prefer not to do it), you can use a high quality free stock photo from a site like Unsplash, or a simple picture of your actual lead magnet.

Write Compelling Copy

Every ad needs compelling copy. Your copy should include the main benefit of the lead magnet, a call to action to click/sign up for the lead magnet, and a short explanation of the lead magnet.

Here is another example:

Here, he explains the lead magnet (free ebook on creating a Facebook Fan Page), stresses the benefits (learn how to generate $5k/month from simple Fan Pages), and includes a call to action to download the lead magnet (download your free book now).


Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your audience. But in order to reap its benefits, you must build a thriving email list. Luckily, you can do so quickly with the help of these Facebook ad strategies.

What other ways have you grown your email list? Let us know in the comments below!

Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 will achieve record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership.

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  1. I’m working on building my email list right now, but I haven’t experimented with Facebook ads yet. Could be a good option though, and I’m guessing it’s going to cost less than using AdWords. Thanks for the info!

  2. Good content Parker, short and straight to the point. I would recommend using at least 5 different images for an FB Ad and split test those images to find a winner. I would go as far as even split testing the audience just to make sure I get a good ROI.

    Overall, good content :)

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