My fave way to grow my email list using Instagram

I’ve been developing and testing organic social media strategies (that work) to help you grow your social media platforms. I’ve found 3 that have been effective for me time and time again, and after sharing them with my What The Heck To Post community, I’ve received some tremendous feedback with some super exciting results!

So today, I decided to share my favorite one.

As I’ve mentioned before, DMs are pretty favored by the algorithm but also, they’re a FANTASTIC way to build a more personal relationship with your audience.

So when you work the DM, it’s a #WinWin.

(FYI: If you don’t have a freebie, I urge you to create one! A freebie or “opt-in” makes it possible for you to collect email addresses and social media is a great support system in that process. But for now, you can use this strategy to increase traffic to your blogs and podcasts, too.)

Here’s what you do:

You’re going to create a YES OR NO poll on Instagram story asking your audience if they’ve struggled with the pain points that your freebie / blog / podcast solves. Everyone who says “yes” will get a *DM* from you with the link to your freebie.

**Not a “go to the link in my bio.” A DM!**

Sending your link personally via DM will create a more intimate relationship with your audience, building your know-trust-like factor. It also almost guarantees more downloads because people are hearing directly from you, they feel more accountable and also — appreciative! You took the time out of your day to help them. That’s very different than directing everyone to a link in your bio, it builds TRUST and trust is the foundation of your business. 

So here’s a step-by-step:

  1. Take out a pen and paper.
  2. Look at your freebie / blog / podcast / etc.
  3. Write down the biggest pain point or problems that your freebie / blog / podcast solves. (If there is more than one, that’s great!)
  4. Now, open up your IG story and make a YES or NO poll addressing each.
  5. Everyone who votes “yes” gets a DM at the end of the day with your freebie and a generous message saying something like, “I saw that you said you struggled with _____. I have helped so many people through this so I created something to help! It’s totally free. My gift to you. Let me know how you like it!”

Does this take more time than just telling people to click a link?


Will you get more interest by going the extra mile and making a personal connection?


Here’s an example:

Let’s say my free offering is a step-by-step guide for creating highly engaging content and adding 10k followers in the next year or less.

I created my free offering for someone who was struggling to grow on Instagram.

So, to tap into their pain points or what they struggle with, I might post a poll (or 2. No more than 4.) on Instagram Story that looks something like this…

Followed by….

Followed by…

Then, everyone who votes YES, gets DM’d my freebie.

Give this strategy a try and let me know how it works for you! One of my clients added 100 new email subscribers last month with the help of 2 super simple polls like the ones here.

Now, let’s say you give this a try and you don’t see the results you want.

When you put a freebie out there and your audience doesn’t jump at it, it usually means it’s not a meaty pain point for your audience. I can’t tell you how often I’ve created something because I struggled with it once so I just assumed everyone else did. You can’t make assumptions like that! You have to actually ask and LISTEN to your audience before putting in time to create your freebie.

Here’s what I do…

  1. Use a resource like Survey Monkey to survey your audience. So for me, I might say something like… “When it comes to social media marketing, what’s the thing that keeps you up at night? If you could solve this one thing, you’d feel like you were truly taking steps forward when it comes to your social media.”
  2. I’ve also used the same survey strategy on Instagram Story! Use the question box feature.
  3. And lastly, I record every single question that I get asked by my clients, during my Q+A Thursday, and during my discovery calls. Eventually, I start to see some overlaps. The overlaps tell me what people are struggling with. For example, I wrote this blog because 7 out of 20 people who asked me questions during my Q+A Thursday last week asked about growing their email list, so I know this blog is needed.

If you don’t create content based on what people WANT vs. what you feel inspired to share, you will consistently feel disappointed with your results. Yes, this will take more time. But it will pay off.

Alright love bugs.

Do you like me sharing strategies like these? Let me know in the comments.