Pre-Holiday Acquisition: Using Instagram to Drive Email Channel Growth

Last week, a client asked me to draft up an action plan to acquire as many email subscribers from Instagram as possible during the month of November (Instagram is their most subscribed to channel with ~80k followers, but you can use the guide below interchangeably depending on the reality of your channel mix). I delivered the below plan to them and I’m sharing it because I can’t imagine that they are the only brand with this sort of initiative at this exact moment. In fact, the other day I sent out an email on this topic to a list of 5,000 and the below content garnered a 39.3% open rate with a 8.8% click through rate so?

The plan is tactical?the quick-and-dirtiest version of a campaign like this?due to the last-minute nature. Bringing in partners and giving ourselves a longer runway with storytelling would be better. But making a play now is a worthy investment for both short term results and long-term benchmarking and goal-setting.

Goal:?Acquire as many emails as possible in November, transferring our fans from social media to our email list (our most profitable channel for holiday sell-through).

In November, our objectives are:

  • communicate clearly and simply
  • present the juiciest offer to date
  • benchmark performance for the future


  • $1500 grand prize

This could be: $500 to our online store, $500 for partner brand?s online store, and a $500 donation to charity in the winner?s name.

(Regardless of the details, the offer should be simple to communicate and very appealing to our target).

Execution: Content & Budget

  • Build a SIMPLE landing page that captures email addresses. Needs to be very easy to use: 1 click, enter email, click submit and done. ViralSweeps is a great solution
  • Social: 2 in-feed Instagram posts explaining the offer and the call-to-action. Sample Messaging: “Join our email list during November for a chance to win xx.? Secondary messaging: “Our email subscribers also enjoy exclusive promotional events throughout the year and our most thoughtful content.”
  • Boost each post with $250 dollars (can be more according to budget and goals)
  • Share daily IG/FB Stories with a reminder and link to the email capture page
  • Support with an IG Story advertisement – all month long


  • Share first post on November 1st, second post November 15th, and select winner on Black Friday November 29th
  • Announce winner over email. 12 hours before choosing winner and sending email, post a third in-feed asset announcing that we are choosing winner over email in 12 hours to drive final hour conversion.

Measuring success

  • Total number of emails acquired / Cost per acquisition. Benchmark against current email acquisition costs via social advertising and we’ll be able to compare (whatever we spend on the sweeps/prize versus ad spend).

Questions, concerns, or thoughts on what could be better? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to direct message me or?book a call?to chat about your brand’s content and social media program.

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