How to Use Facebook Offers to Grow Your Email List

[The following is a guest post from Amy Porterfield.]

Earning likes and fans is critical to building your community of potential brand advocates. But you don’t own your Facebook presence; Facebook does. And when you post there, you’re competing for your customers’ attention — along with scores of other brands and messages.

People naturally multi-task on social media sites, watching videos, clicking on images, liking, commenting, sharing, you name it. You get their attention for a few short seconds at best.

That’s why list building is the most powerful activity you can do on social media.

Because when you move your conversation with a fan over to email, you’re no longer competing with a sea of noise. You control the message.

So with Facebook, along with creating a community, you can also move your fans into your sales funnel as leads. And my favorite tool to do that is Facebook Offers. Here’s how.

What Are Facebook Offers?

Facebook Offers are yet another Facebook ad type that goes into the News Feed. Previously, they were only available for local businesses (and they’re still a great way to drive foot traffic) and functioned much like coupons, but now you can use them to drive web traffic, too.

Here’s an example of a Facebook Offer in the News Feed:

Shutterfly Facebook Offer

They’re incredibly easy to set up — all you have to do is click inside your status update box (note: you need a minimum of 100 fans to use Offers) to get started.

When a user claims an Offer, they get an email explaining how to claim it. That’s right — email! Which is why Offers are actually a killer online lead generation tool. Unlike the other Facebook ad types, Facebook Offers don’t just stop on Facebook.  They move into the personal email boxes of those who click “Get Offer.”

(Note: Facebook does not give you the names and emails of the people who claim your Offer. You collect that info when you lead the user to an opt-in page from your Offer.  Keep reading for details.)

In addition, offers get 48X more viral impressions on average than photo or video, since users are more likely to share an Offer — and Facebook automatically creates a social story every time someone claims one (more here in this SocialCode analysis).

How to Use Offers to Collect Leads

Offers can be set up for anything, on or offline. Think bootcamps, webinars, e-books, discounted programs, etc.

But rather than use them to sell a $1,000 program for $20 off, I use them to get people to opt in for a content-rich, free giveaway offer, like my webinars. The opportunity to build my list is much more valuable than the sale at this stage, because non-fans and friends of fans don’t have a relationship with me yet and aren’t likely to buy.

So I can optimize my ROI by gathering leads now — and crafting great email content later. That’s what list building is all about: building a relationship and nurturing it over time, inside your customer’s inbox.

Here’s the two-step strategy overview:

#1: Create your must-have Offer. From the status update box, Facebook’s self-serve system walks you through the steps. Anyone who claims your Offer is sent an email with the Offer text. You can’t customize this, but you CAN customize the text of the Offer itself.

TIPS: Upload a compelling, SQUARE thumbnail. Write a great headline and insert your lead generating landing page link. You’ll also want to limit the time and the total number of Offers available to create some urgency.

Facebook Offer Setup

#2: Promote your Offer. You must do part two before Facebook will make your Offer live. I suggest that you don’t promote your Offer while you are creating it, but afterward.

To promote your Offer after you set it up, click the button to “promote later” and then go into your ads dashboard and set up a Page Post ad and drill down on your targeting. I usually focus on fans vs. non-fans (depending on who I want to reach), age, gender, location and Precise Interests (this feature allows you to target fans of other Facebook pages).

Once you pay to promote your Offer, it gets out into the News Feed and right sidebar on Facebook of fans, friends of fans and non-fans (depending on how you target it).

Promoting a Facebook Offer

To recap, rather than send people who claim my Offer to a sales page, I send them to a page that collects names and emails in exchange for something of value, like a free ebook, webinar, or exclusive discount.

But how do I make sure my Offer converts?

Optimizing Your ROI

Here’s a great example of this strategy in action from my friend David Wood, who got a whopping 600 opt-ins for just $40 bucks.

kickass life offer

He’s offering a free giveaway to premium self-help content — with a compelling thumbnail and clear, irresistible headline — and then he sends all the people who claim his Offer to a great landing page.

But let’s take a look at that landing page, too, so we can understand why David doesn’t just get claims, he gets opt-ins (that is, people who claim the offer actually give him their emails).

The structure and copy of the landing page is just as important as the Offer and giveaway:

Kickass Life Opt-In Page

There’s a reason David’s Offer worked. It’s powerful, but it’s simply not enough to get into your prospect’s inbox. You need to be strategic to get more eyeballs on the Offer AND encourage more people who claim it to take that next step and opt into your list.

So here are a few tips and tricks, culled from experts like David, that can help take your Offer to the next level:

  • Benefits-focused copy. My friend David (above) increased his opt-in conversions from 48 to over 75% just by making some copy tweaks to his opt-in page. Copy matters. Focus on benefits and answer the questions, “What’s in it for them?”
  • Clear landing page with bold call to action. David used a tool called Optin Skin to create his lead generating landing page. Do you have any confusion about where to opt in to get his free giveaway? I don’t. Creating a great landing page customized to your Offer is key.
  • Pin your Offer for additional clicks. You’re already paying to promote your Offer — why not leverage Facebook’s free tools too? By pinning your Offers post to the top of your Page, you can ensure it is the FIRST one fans, non-fans and other Page visitors see, right under your cover photo.
  • Get laser-focused with your targeting. As previously mentioned, set up your targeting inside your ads dashboard and focus on fans vs. non-fans, age, gender, location and Precise Interests.

Bottom line? For less than $100, you can start using Facebook to actively generate leads at a fraction of the cost of most advertising opportunities. If you have a Facebook community and great content, this is a no-brainer.

Have you tried Offers yet to promote a free giveaway? What results are you seeing?

Amy Porterfield

About Amy Porterfield
Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies and the creator and host of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. She currently creates online programs to teach entrepreneurs and small businesses how to leverage social media to gain greater exposure, attract quality leads and turn their fans and followers into loyal customers. To learn more, visit

  • makemyblogmoney

    I saw your update on Facebook about this Jon. I hadn’t seen this until you pointed it out. This is going to be a great way to build more followers!

    Amy-Very great post to show us what it’s all about! Any pointers for people that don’t really have a lot of money to throw at this right away? I write for the beginner blogger and wondered your opinion on what to do if you’re working with a budget.

    • Amy Porterfield

      Hi there. The great thing about Offers is that they are pretty inexpensive. If you already have a fan base on your Page and use Promoted Posts to run your Offer, that can be pretty inexpensive. It’s not the strategy I teach above, but if you have a solid fan page, and set up your Offer, and then right then choose the option to promote the post to your fans – you can set up a Promoted Post and just pay a set fee. That might be a way for you to use Offers and keep within a small, set budget.

      • makemyblogmoney

        Of course I am not as popular as you. I only have 600 fans and it seems that promoted posts ARE cheaper, and I can see that they do reach a lot of people, but when it comes down to it, am I wasting money using promoted posts to my friends when I could be paying a little extra and building a fan base?

        So many “little” things to consider in this equasion. But can you still use Offers with the $5-$50 promoted posts? I didn’t think you could? I may be looking at it wrong, but I thought Offers started at $40?

        • Amy Porterfield

          Hi there! My apologies – I did not realize that you can’t start out low with the Offers via a Promoted Post. I can’t figure out the lowest cose because for me it’s $80 on a example offer I just set up to test this. Great for me to know- I appreciate you pointing that out!

          But I am not sure what you mean by this question: “am I wasting money using promoted posts to my friends when I could be paying a little extra and building a fan base?”

          • makemyblogmoney

            Well what I mean is when I go to pay say $5 for a promoted post that only targets friends and fans, is it wiser to go with the least amount of advertising, which is $30 for the life of the ad that targets people and keywords that you want liking your page?

            I’m finding for myself that when I do fork over the money to pay for fan page likes ads I get a better result on my fan page. Now I know that these are two different things, but when I use promoted posts, I don’t get as much interaction.

            Granted I’m not paying $50 to reach the highest number of people that I can…I think the most I’ve ever paid for a promoted post is $15, but I see that I’m engaging more people with only $15 more, which totals the $30 for the ad, than I can with others…

            And I realize that this is apples and oranges, but what is your take on this?

          • Amy Porterfield

            I think the way you are doing it is the smarter way for you – it’s working and I would keep working at it. Meaning I would not use the Promoted Post options as much as I would the more targeted options. I hope this makes sense – I think I might be confusing things more than helping! In short, keep doing what’s working for you! :-)

          • makemyblogmoney

            Well, thanks for taking the time to try to help me. I have recently discovered your Facebook Ads Insider and am taking a look. Hopefully that will shed some light.

  • Shane Johnston

    I love this strategy Jon & Amy! Wow …very refreshing way to use FB offers. I recently ran an offer and was disappointed to discover I had no way to follow up with people who claimed the offer to ensure they actually redeemed it …now I have a new way to do this …thank you!

    • Amy Porterfield

      It’s such a great way to make sure there is follow through – and you get to communicate with them outside of the Facebook News Feed – so that’s always a plus!

  • Mary Vanzo Chevalier

    This is a great idea, Amy!

    We’ve been frustrated before that we couldn’t follow up with those who had claimed Offers. Problem solved, and Offers become that much more valuable when you’re using them to grow your list.

    • Amy Porterfield

      So happy to hear that, Mary! Thanks for taking the time to check out the article.

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  • Nicola_Els

    Love this idea! Thanks!

  • Tommy

    This is absolutely brilliant! Thank you Amy! T :-)

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  • Sam Taha

    ShopZooky is an app that is working to bring Facebook Offers to local merchants and local shoppers using geo location based Facebook Offer search with integration with Passbook.

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  • Dez Futak

    Hi @amyporterfield:disqus – interested to know if you’ve used the Power Editor with this strategy for tight demographic targeting – probably what I’ll try, as using an Offer is a killer idea! What I really like is what you mention about Offers being shared more than photos – lightbulb moment for sure!! Thanks for sharing.

  • David Foster

    WOW Amy! This is a great article!! I am going to try this.

  • Hayley

    Hi Jon / Amy,

    Great article BTW!

    It’s prompted me to create my first FB offer…. however this is what happened…

    I set my targeting using the Ads Manager & when I hit “Pace order” it takes me to a screen that says:

    “Your advertising account has been closed. To resume advertising, please reactivate it.”

    So I click to ‘reactivate’ – and it tells me I must “Reactivate Ads Account” and also “Add Funding Source” and that my account could be shut down if I don’t comply to their guidelines ??

    Is this what’s supposed to happen?

    I’m using an account I have live ads running in right now and been using for 3 years…

    I’m wondering if you could shed any light on what’s happened here….

    Many thanks!

    • Jon Loomer

      Not what is supposed to happen, Hayley! Sounds like you need to contact Facebook.

      • Hayley

        Thanks for your response Jon. Thankfully this didn’t affect my advertising account! I’ll tell you what happned just in case this happens to someone esle…I added in my funding source again however it made no difference.

        The problem arose when I was going directly from creating the fb offer to the ads manager to create the ad. This same message kept appearing after setting up my ad. So I tried going back, creating the fb offer again, and instead of going directly from the offer to the ads manager, I opted to create the ad later. Then I opened the ads manager separately and selected my fb offer via the ‘page post ad’ option, created my ad again and all went through successfully. So the offer is now running, and my account is ok… Pew! :)

  • Timothy

    Hello, I chose to “Promote Later”. How do I do that? It hasn’t appeared inside my ad manager.

  • Rodrigo Brito

    Do I set up the landing page in my website or inside Facebook?

  • Amanda Smyth

    Hi Amy and John, I wonder if you would consider updating this post to reflect the changes that Facebook has made since February. I don’t think the “promote later via Facebook ad” is still an option.

  • Karl Rooney

    Great post Amy, thanks.

    Just wondering if there is any way to customize the email that is sent out to customers. If you are an e-commerce only store then the message is a bit mis-leading as it says “to use the offer in-store, visit ***** and show this email”.

    It would be great to be able to customize this message, and also the one that pops up on the screen when they first click ‘get offer’.