4 Ways to Build Your Email List With Facebook Timeline

Your brand’s Facebook page is changing tomorrow. On March 30th, Facebook will switch all brand pages to its Timeline layout. This might create some unique challenges for your current list building strategy.

Don’t worry – you can still use our Facebook web form app like you always have. But Timeline does not allow brand pages to set a custom landing page. That means it’s time to get creative in drawing attention to your email sign up form.

We’ve got a few ideas to help you prepare for the switch.

Arrange Your App Tabs

Facebook Timeline relocates the tabs in your sidebar to right below your cover photo. Your first four tabs are visible and the rest are hidden under a drop-down arrow.

Rearrange the order of your tabs to make sure your web form is one of the first tabs visitors will see. It’s easy: just hover over the “edit” button and select the tab you’d like to swap with from the menu:

Placing your sign up form in the top row makes it visible to everyone who views your Timeline. You can also edit the name and image associated with a tab to make it stand out more:

Use Your “About” Section

Facebook Timeline displays the first 150 characters of your business’s “About” description in a box to the left of your app tabs. Take advantage of this space to direct visitors to your sign up form. Kate Spade New York uses the “About” area for their customer service contact information:

…and their full biography is on the separate “About” page:

Leverage your own “About” introduction for list building: Point visitors to your Facebook web form. Mention the perks of signing up. You can even link to a hosted web form in your description to give visitors an extra opportunity to join your list.

Pin a Special Status

Timeline allows page admins to pin a status at the top of the page for up to seven days. Pinned posts are marked with a small orange flag and stay at the top of your Timeline for a week.

Take advantage of pinned posts to build your list. Post a status about your newsletter and encourage people to sign up through your Facebook web form. When your pinned post expires, post a new one.

Get Creative

Mashable recently wrote about bigger national brands that are already using Facebook Timeline. Some of them have created a fun interactive experience for their fans. Most notably, Fanta started a scavenger hunt that requires fans to hunt through the brand’s Timeline for clues.

Get creative with your own Timeline to promote your email list. You could even direct fans to sign up for special clues or other insider info related to your game. And you get the added benefit of creating a fun, memorable experience for your followers that showcases your brand’s personality.

A Note About Cover Photos

When we first started adjusting AWeber’s Facebook page for Timeline, our first thought was to use the cover photo to direct fans to our web form app. But this is against Facebook’s guidelines.

In the FAQ on cover photos, Facebook explicitly states that calls to action are not allowed on your cover photo – things like “Like this page!” or “Tell your friends!” or even “Sign up to our mailing list!” Because your cover photo can’t be promotional, it’s important to use other features of your Timeline to bring attention to your email list.

Are You Prepared?

Are the pieces of your brand’s Timeline in place and ready to go for tomorrow? How are you using Timeline to tell your brand’s story?

Learn More About Email Marketing and Facebook