How To Build an Email List on Facebook [7 Secret Strategies]

Written by Michael Cheney. Posted on 11th February 2021

How To Build a List on FacebookKnowing how to build an email list on Facebook is a must-know skill for every online business.

Too many entrepreneurs just throw money at it.

They think that buying ads on Facebook is the only way to build an email list.

It's not.

In this free guide I'm going to show you 7 secret strategies you can use, to build an email list on Facebook (without having to dip into your wallet).

Let's get started...

Getting Started

Build an Email List on FacebookBefore we dive into each strategy, I want to tackle the basics with you here.

So you have an understanding of what we're going to be doing.

We're going to take a look at how to build an email list on Facebook using free traffic. Getting prospects off their website and onto your mailing list.

You can find other content on the internet about this topic, but I want to focus on the FREE ways you can achieve this objective.

Rather than spending money on;

  • Paid Facebook ads
  • Building a website
  • Creating a landing page
  • Paying for an autoresponder

I want to show you how you can do this, and build a list from Facebook for free.

"How Do I Build My Email List?"

How Do I Build an Email ListFrom a process point of view, building an email list is very simple;

All you need is a freebie to offer, a way to capture people's email addresses, and traffic to send to the landing page.

We'll look at each of these things in turn in this guide.

But I especially want to focus on the getting traffic part, which is a stumbling block for many entrepreneurs.

Let's be honest;

Getting a website, or building a landing page can be done relatively easily.

You can even get them for free (as I'll show you in a moment).

Or, if you have a little capital available, you can pay somebody else, to build them for you.

However, getting traffic is a different proposition altogether.

This is where the rubber hits the road.

If you don't know the best ways to drive free traffic, especially from Facebook, you can end up in the hole, very quickly.

I'll show you exactly what to do.

"How Do I Get Email Subscribers on Facebook?"

How To Get Subscribers on FacebookYou need to offer something of value that people really want to get their hands on.

It needs to be so enticing and juicy, that they would be willing to pay money for it.

But this is only half the battle.

Telling somebody about this and getting your prospects warmed up about the idea of getting your freebie is one thing.

But actually getting a link onto Facebook, so people can click on it, is another thing altogether.

Facebook hates external links.

They do not want you to take their traffic away from their website.

It hurts their earnings, it hurts their response rates, and it hurts their retention rate.

All of this reflects on their ad revenue.

The more people that click on external links on Facebook, the more people are not on Facebook, using their platform.

Because of this;

Facebook penalizes you for putting an external link in your posts.

You may have experienced this yourself...

You can make a regular text-only post, and many of the people following your profile on Facebook will see it;

Text Only Post on Facebook
However, if you make a post, which includes an external link, hardly anybody gets to see it on Facebook.

This is no coincidence.

Facebook throttles back traffic that is sending people away from their website.

They just don't like it;

Posting a Link on Facebook
In this free guide I'm going to show you ways around this, so you can still get traffic from Facebook, without having to pay for it.

What Facebook would ideally like you to do, of course, is dip into your wallet and spend money to get the reach that you deserve.

This is why when you create a Facebook group or a Facebook page, you hardly reach anyone.

Facebook restricts your organic reach, to make you spend money on advertising.

Strategy #1. Power Up Your Profile Picture

Every action you take on Facebook has a different score.

This adds to the Facebook algorithm, or what they call EdgeRank.

Whether it's clicking a link, making a post, making a comment or sharing a video, each action on Facebook, results in a score which contributes towards your EdgeRank.

Power Up Your Facebook ProfileThe higher your EdgeRank, the more reach you will have on Facebook.

When your EdgeRank score goes up - the more important Facebook believes your post to be, and therefore;

The more people it wants to show your content to.

Increase your EdgeRank and you increase your reach on Facebook.

Here's the EdgeRank formula;

Facebook EdgeRank Formula

[Image Source]

While this isn't publicly spoken about, you can see how important it is, to have a good EdgeRank score on Facebook.

The more interactive your posts are the higher your EdgeRank.

So if you're posting things, which nobody is interacting on, then the next time you post, you will receive less reach.

This EdgeRank score works from one post to the next.

However, it is also accumulative.

It is based on all the posts and all the actions you've ever taken on Facebook.

And the responsiveness these posts achieved on the network.

Updating your profile picture is a high-scoring action on Facebook, so they reward you with a lot of reach.

Updating Profile Picture on FacebookYou may have noticed this, whenever you update your profile picture on Facebook, you get a lot of response.

Even if you're just reverting to a previous profile picture you've already used.

The profile picture update gets a high score in the eyes of Facebook.

You can capitalise on this, by featuring your landing page alongside your profile picture.

So here's how to update your profile picture and include the web address for your email capture page...

By the way;

I strongly advise against using a business logo or generic image.

Use a real, actual photo of you.

After you've uploaded your profile picture, click on to it and click Edit.

Then, add your URL and a short call to action, along with the photo;

Edit Your Facebook Profile Photo

Click the camera icon first.

Then select the option to upload a new photo;

Update Facebook Profile Photo

You can then edit the description text associated with your photo.

This is where you add your URL;

Add Link to Your Profile Picture

This way, everybody who is notified that you changed your profile picture, will also see the description of the picture.

Many of them will click your link.

This is a great way to get free traffic when you update your profile picture.

But it also stands the test of time because;

Whenever anybody clicks your profile picture in the future - there's your link;

Facebook Profile Photo

Okay, Let's move on to the next strategy...

Strategy #2. It's All About the Traffic

If you want to learn how to build an email list on Facebook, then you need to know how to edit the about section on your profile.

Editing your profile on Facebook is one of the simplest ways to get traffic for free.

Here's how you do it, first, view your Facebook profile;

Go to View Your Facebook Profile

Then, click "Edit Details";

Edit Details on Your Facebook Profile

Next, make sure your Profile is set to Public, so you can show a website link;

Set Facebook Profile to Public

You can now add a website to your profile - choose your landing page where people can subscribe;

Add Website to Facebook Profile

Make sure you only have one call to action.

If you give people multiple options, different social media profiles and multiple websites to choose from, they are likely to choose none of them.

The more choices you give people, the less likely they are to choose any of them.

Just drive all traffic to the same website address - your email landing page.

Send everyone to your opt in page or squeeze page that you have to build your email list.

And if you don't have a website - don't worry.

You can build an email list from Facebook, without even having a website.

Here's how...

You don't have to pay up front for an expensive autoresponder.

Forget about techie stuff, codes and getting your own website built.

Get Your Free Trial of GetresponseYou can just use this 30-day free trial of Getresponse instead.

Getresponse is a market-leading autoresponder.

I've personally been using them for over 20 years (and they rock).

Once you've got your free trial, you can then start building your list - you can even build a landing page using Getresponse, without having a website.

They will host the landing page for you.

With their easy point and click software, you can build a landing page, right from inside your Getresponse account.

The interface is easy to use.

You just point, click and choose the elements that you want on your landing page;

Landing Page Templates

After you choose your desired template you can then edit it quickly and easily;

Create Landing Page DesignYou then get a URL that you can share online to start building your email list on Facebook;

Thank You Page GetresponseIf you do things the right way, and follow the strategies and lessons we teach here on the blog you will be up and running quickly.

Make sure you learn the best time to send marketing emails, model some of the best landing page examples, and so on.

You will then be generating more than enough income to pay for the very modest subscription price of Getresponse, after the trial ends.

Okay, let's move on to the next strategy...

Strategy #3. Leverage the Virtual Real Estate of Your Header

Use Your Header Image on FacebookThe header image on your Facebook profile really is the most valuable piece of virtual real estate on your Facebook profile.

This is why you need to leverage its power to the maximum.

When people ask me how to build an email list on Facebook, I tell them - start with your header!

Just like your profile picture - if you update it, lots of people will be notified.

This is not something you can do on a regular basis.

But you can use it at periodic intervals for maximum effect.

Watch out, because Facebook gets snooty about you using your header for commercial or marketing purposes.

This is okay.

I'm not talking about putting marketing language, text, or a URL on the header image itself - but rather behind it.

As you can see from my header image, I have my company logo;

My Facebook Profile and Header

When you view the image, you get a simple call to action, and a direct link to my website.

You can do this too.

Make sure your header image is professional, interesting, and evokes curiosity.

You want people to be curious enough to click the image, so they then click the link.

Make sure you create an image with the correct dimensions, which are 820 pixels x 360 pixels;

Facebook Cover Size

[Image Source]

And the width which will display on mobile, is restricted to 560px wide, so make sure you test out what it looks like.

If you need a professional logo created, I can recommend which is the company I use.

Alternatively, you could use Fiverr, or even run a logo contest with LogoContest.

Okay, now let's move on to the next section...

Strategy #4. Use the Secret Link Method

Secret Link Method on FacebookIf you post a link on Facebook, they are going to slap you down.

They will throttle your reach. So the question is;

How to build an email list on Facebook without posting links?

Facebook does not want you sending people away from their network.

This is why they will do everything in their power to stop you from posting a link to an external website.

They may say it goes against terms and conditions.

Or that the link is dangerous or harmful.

They might let you post the link, but they will just kill the organic reach for that post.

Either way, posting links directly onto Facebook, is not a good idea.

The alternative, however, is to use the 'secret link method'.

Here it is, in action;

Facebook Secret Link Method
As you can see, all I do is use the full web address for the link I want people to go to.

But then I include a space before the dot, followed by the domain extension.

Then, in brackets, after the web address, I give people an instruction of what to do.

Most people, who have at least two brain cells to rub together, are able to understand these instructions, and get to the web address.

Sadly, it is not a clickable link, but this is actually good, because it means Facebook cannot recognise it as such.

Therefore, your organic reach remains intact.

Using this method maximizes your reach on Facebook without being penalized for posting a link.

Click The LinkThis does take time to master, because you will need to teach your audience to a certain extent, to get used to this way of posting links.


If people really want something, they will take the extra step to get it.

The success of this tactic depends on the value you are offering for people when they join your list.

If you just say;

"Go to this web address and join my newsletter".

It's not going to work.

What you need to do is;

Massively over-deliver with your freebie and people will jump through hoops to get it.

If you say;

"I've created an in-depth free video, which gives you seven steps on the best way to achieve ABC" (that is specific for your niche)

Then it likely will work.

There are other workarounds to be able to post a link on Facebook, without getting penalised for organic reach.

You can try posting the link as the first comment like this;

Link in Comments
In my experience, from doing this for several years, I found the secret link method, which I mentioned first, to be the most effective.

However, it can be worth mixing these methods up, to change the nature of your posts.

Facebook loves variety.

This will help your EdgeRank score.

Okay, excellent.

Now let's move on to the next strategy...


Strategy #5. Get Prospects to Raise Their Hand

An excellent way to get more engagement with each post you make, as well as get more traffic for free, and more subscribers from Facebook, is to use the 'raise hand method'.

To do this, you make a curiosity-evoking post.

It needs a powerful subject line.

It needs to draw people in, perhaps including some enticing bullets of what they're going to learn or receive.

You should ideally include some form of story, to draw people in, and keep them interested.

The combination of a powerful headline, story and enticing bullets hooks people in...

Ask Prospects to Raise Their HandAnd then, rather than posting a direct link, or even a secret link, you just ask people to metaphorically, raise their hand if they're interested.

For example, using the phrase;

"Comment 'Yes' below" or

"Comment info below to get this information."

What happens is people then reply in the comments to your post, using the word you've asked them to.

The more enticing your offer, and the more curiosity you can evoke with your copywriting, the more people will respond.

And the more people respond, the more responsive your post is seen to be, by Facebook.

This in turn, means they give it a wider reach, and show it to more people.

This results in more people responding, and so on...

The Raise Hand method is very powerful, and can help you go viral quickly.

You can end up with a post that gets masses of comments from people desperate for the information you are offering.

You then need to give them the information.

This is where it can get tricky...

If you're giving a direct link, you cannot reply to each comment with that link.

Otherwise, Facebook will think this is spam.

Neither can you send a Direct Message to each person using Facebook Messenger.

This will also be flagged as spam.

What you can do, however, is;

Mix up the way that you send the information to people who raise their hand - use DMs, direct link replies and the secret link method.

Comment on Your Own Facebook PostYou can also make a comment on your own post, once you receive enough replies.

This too can have the direct link.

And you could even edit the original post once you receive enough comments.

You could even include this in the instructions.


"If you want this cool thing just comment 'Info' below.

When we reach 20 comments, I will edit this post, and give you the cool thing.

And make sure you turn notifications on for this post, so you don't miss it."

This strategy works best when you've really invested a lot of time and thought into creating the best freebie possible.

Your freebie should be something that resonates so strongly with your niche, that they simply must have it.

It needs to be irresistible.

Think of it as the same value as a paid product, but you're surprisingly offering it for free.

Your freebie has to tap into the pain points of your audience, and give them something they truly desire.

Okay, let's move on to the next strategy...

Strategy #6. Leverage Your Live for Lots of Leads

Leverage Your Facebook LiveThere are very few things which get as much organic reach on Facebook as a Facebook Live.

The moment you hit that red button, many of your followers will receive a notification.

It's a great way to reach your audience quickly, and for free.

The trick is to leverage the power of this, to build your list.

You can do this in a number of ways...

You need to sign off every Facebook Live with a call-to-action to get your freebie, and join your list.

You should do this verbally, as well as visually.

You can use simple software such as ManyCam or OBS to overlay a lower third, which has your web address on it.

ManyCam Video Streaming Software

You can also do a simple live Q & A, where you invite your prospects to fire questions at you, about your niche subject.

You can periodically inject your URL, as you are giving answers, almost like short ad breaks in between the content.

You can even dedicate a live, specifically to building your list.

This works well if you're using a very short video, that grabs people's attention, right from the outset.

One example I used of doing this was when I dressed in shorts and and Hawaiian shirt and went out into 30 centimetre deep snow in my garden in bare feet;

My Facebook Live

There needs to be a promise of something about to happen, right at the beginning of the video.

In this video, it was clear;

I was about to do something stupid.

So the promised "event" that helped to keep people watching the video, was mainly about me being a bit of an idiot.

It was a funny, jokey video, but it did have the URL at the end and this got traffic - people visited the website.

And this was just done verbally, with me telling them the web address in the video.

After the Facebook Live had started to get traction and people had reacted to it, I then posted the direct link as a comment underneath.


Email Your List About Your Facebook Live or VideoWhen you post something on Facebook that you want to get a lot of traction - be simultaneously ready to broadcast any existing mailing list you already have.

If I'm doing a Facebook Live, that I want everybody to know about, (or if I'm posting a video I want to go viral on Facebook), I will write the email to promote this item before I go live.

Then, the moment I go live or the moment the video has been published, I take that URL, and put it into the email broadcast, and hit 'Send'.

This way, you're getting the maximum number of people seeing that content as soon as possible.

The quicker people start reacting to your content on Facebook, the higher your EdgeRank score.

And the more reach Facebook will give you.

Getting good organic reach on Facebook can happen organically, but giving it a kickstart by mailing any existing list you have will explode your results.

Let's move on to the final strategy...

Strategy #7. Get Viral Traffic with Shareable Memes

An Example MemeNothing goes viral as quickly as a meme.

What is a meme?

A meme is simply a visual or video-based depiction of something, with a humorous angle which conveys a brief message.

One of the best things about using memes to get traffic from Facebook, is you don't have to necessarily create them.

Of course the best results will come if you can create the memes specific to your niche, and ideally include your web address on the image for the meme.

This is a lot more work.

But it can get you the best results.

You can use simple meme-making software on an iPhone, such as Mematic;

Mematic Meme Making Software

You can also join Facebook groups that share the funniest and most up-to-date memes, to get ideas.

The best way to do this, to start with, is just post a meme on your personal profile.

As with anything on Facebook;

You need to follow the 90/10 rule...

90% of your posts should be non promotional. The other 10% can reference your website itself.

It's the same with memes.

You don't want to plaster your website address on all the memes.

And you certainly don't want to include a direct link in each of your main posts, either.

Memes Compilation

But over time, as people come to expect funny memes from you, you can start incorporating your web address onto the image itself.

And occasionally even include a direct link in your posts.

This can offset the throttling-back that Facebook puts on direct links, because memes get shared so much.

A word of warning;

Using memes is a bit of a grey hat area because almost all memes use some form of copyrighted material or previously created image.

There is technically a risk - someone could hunt you down.

While this risk is infinitesimally small, I do feel legally obliged to tell you about it. 🙂

Ethically, I do not recommend you take other people's memes, and claim them as your own.

Don't remove watermarks.

Tech Entrepreneur Meme

Don't add your own text or image on top of an image, which has already been created.

You can add a direct link together with the image post, of course,

You will get the best results with the strategy, if you can link the meme-theme to the theme of your freebie, opt in page and niche.

If there's a big disconnect between what the meme is saying and what your freebie is about, it is likely to be flagged as spam.

Once you've had some success with this on your personal profile, you can then expand this and accelerate the results you get, by setting up a Facebook page.

This will attract people who are specifically interested in memes around your niche.

This will increase your reach.

You may then wish to consider an automatic Facebook post-scheduling tool, such as OneUp.

You can use OneUp to pre-schedule posts far in advance, and even bulk upload images, hundreds at a time.

This is a great way to semi-automate your Facebook group and free traffic efforts.


You now know how to build an email list on Facebook.

I hope you enjoyed these seven strategies and will start applying them right away.

And make sure you grab this free training, which shows you how to turn email into money;


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