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How to Build Your Email Marketing List With A Paid Ad Giveaway

Mailbox - Photo by Davide Baraldi on Unsplash

This article was written by Gavin Hewitson, founder of

My name is Gavin and I am the founder of In-box. We specialise in helping businesses generate revenue and meaningful connections with the readers through email marketing. Now part of that process involves making sure you actually have a database of people you can email in the first place!

Social media and email marketing dovetail perfectly when it comes to growing the size of your email list.

So without any more fluff, here is my step-by-step guide to running a paid giveaway on social media to help build your email marketing list:

Set Clear Goals for Your Giveaway

Outline specific objectives for your giveaway. Determine the number of new subscribers you aim to gain, the engagement level you want to achieve, and the duration of the campaign. Doing this will help you figure out exactly how much money you should be putting towards a campaign like this and help you optimise this same campaign down the road. The bigger the budget and the longer the time frame, the faster your email list can grow.

Choose the Right Social Media Platform

Select a platform that aligns with your target audience and campaign goals. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are popular choices for giveaway campaigns. An easy way to figure out where you want to market this giveaway is by choosing the platform that your current audience is already on. For example, if you are a B2B service provider, odds are your existing audience is already on Linkedin. If this audience is converting well for you, just leverage that and run the campaign on this same platform, albeit to new prospects rather than existing ones.

Define Your Target Audience

Now admittedly, this point is largely similar to the above with one important caveat. Sometimes targeting a similar audience to your current audience is not the best move, especially if that existing audience is not converting, or is reflective of the direction you want to take the business. For example, if you have a new product launch, consider a slightly different demographic to your existing one.

Plan and Prepare Your Giveaway

Create a detailed plan, including the giveaway mechanics, entry requirements, and duration. Ensure the giveaway rules comply with the social media platform's guidelines. Most of all the technical stuff relating to email can be set up within a platform such as Klaviyo. This is how I typically set things up:

  1. Have a lead generation ad that captures people’s email in exchange for an entry into a giveaway
  2. Any entrants captured should be put through a giveaway welcome series. This can be a modified version of your existing welcome series. Check if your email marketing platform can directly sync to your advertising platform, i.e. Klaviyo to Facebook
  3. Within that welcome series, ensure you introduce your brand to your readers, omitting any discounts
  4. At the end of the giveaway, announce the winner with a campaign. Ensure you offer a discount in the campaign as a consolation prize

Create Eye-catching Graphics and Content

Design visually appealing graphics and captivating content to promote your giveaway. Use high-quality images and persuasive copy to attract participants. Personally, I am a big fan of User-generated content, or videos that look like user-generated content. See if you can incorporate these into the context of your giveaway but also ensure you split test these variables as well.

Launch and Promote Your Giveaway

Launch your giveaway and promote it across your social media channels. When it comes to your paid ads, ensure you are split testing a bunch of variables such as audience, copy and designs. The longer you run these ads, the better you can get with determining which variation is most effective when it comes to the ads

Select and Notify the Winners

Randomly select the winners and announce them publicly. Send personalised emails to the winners and thank all participants for taking part via a campaign. As mentioned above, I like to include an email that offers a consolation prize to any entrants who didn’t win, such as 20% off their first order. This helps convince people who were otherwise just entering for the prize to then make their first purchase.

Follow-Up and Engage with Participants

Stay connected with your new subscribers and engage them with valuable content. Provide exclusive offers to encourage further interaction. This can obviously be done through the welcome series but should also be done through regular campaigns on an ongoing basis.

Measure the Success of Your Giveaway

Analyse the results of your giveaway by tracking metrics like new subscribers, website traffic, and social media engagement. When measuring the total ROI, I recommend waiting for three months before evaluating the total ROI from people who subscribed as, even with regular campaigns, converting these new subscribers can take some time.


Running a paid giveaway on social media can significantly increase the size of your email marketing list. Remember to adjust your approach based on your unique audience and goals, and always monitor and optimise your campaign for the best results. Happy giveaway hosting!

If you have any further questions in regards to your email marketing, feel free to reach out on my website just here:


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