Email is proven to be a highly effective communication channel –  it provides direct access to your customers at very low cost. Because of this, it makes sense to grow your email list and one of the best ways this can be achieved is through Facebook competitions.

In this article we will discuss how to massively grow your email list by using Facebook contests. 

Devise an attractive contest 

It may seem obvious but successful contests need to have a prize that is very appealing to your target audience. Free pdf downloads or tip sheets are not going to be enough. People are much more likely to enter a contest to win something with monetary value or a product or service that adds value to their lives.

Ideas include:

  • Free accommodation
  • An experience day
  • 1 years free membership package
  • Free product or service

Launching contests at specific times of the year can also increase participation. For example offering free valentine’s night accommodation is a great competition tactic for hotels or businesses in the travel industry. Free activities for families can be a good idea in the school summer holidays.

To optimise the number of email addresses you collect, view your contest as a worthy investment – after all, if you manage to collect hundreds or thousands of email addresses, these people can be marketed to on a long-term basis.

Spend time choosing a targeted prize that appeals to the people you want to attract.

Set up a GDPR compliant landing page

Since the GDPR regulations were introduced in 2018, all social media contests must ensure compliance in order to avoid potentially massive fines regarding the misuse of data.

This basically means making your contest totally transparent and gaining explicit consent from competition entrants that allows you to use their email address for marketing purposes. If you are using a landing page template, or opt-in form from one of the main email marketing companies such as MailChimp, then you can activate consent checkboxes which will demonstrate explicit consent to your marketing.

This proof of consent will be retained and will be visible in your email marketing account.

If you are designing your own landing page it is important to remember that you must be able to demonstrate that competition participants gave their permission for you to use their data. GDPR states that consent must be “specific, informed, unambiguous and freely given”

To satisfy this requirement, explain how you will use the email addresses in non-complex language. Make your consent box clearly visible and situated away from the other questions on your landing page (name, email address etc).

Here’s a good example of a kind of consent language to use:

I agree to my email being stored and used to receive news, offers, and other promotional material from [YOUR COMPANY NAME].

Use Facebook Ads to promote your contest

Although you may want as many people as possible to enter the contest, it’s essential that the people who do enter have some interest in your product or service. The best way to achieve this is to use targeted Facebook ads. 

Subscribers who care about your product/service will have:

  • A higher likelihood of conversion
  • Lower unsubscribe rates
  • Less spam reports

Target your audience through Facebook Ads Manager by selecting audience interests that are relevant to your business, and by the age groups and genders you are aiming for. This cuts out any marketing wastage and also lowers the risk of attracting ‘competition junkies’ who have no real interest in your product or service.

Alternatively, another good technique to use is to upload your existing email lists to Facebook and then create a lookalike audience who will have similar characteristics and interests.

Regarding the contest duration, 7-10 days is a popular timescale and provides enough time to promote the contest and secure a plentiful supply of email addresses. 

Create a welcome email for contest entrants

An email address is valuable and you should show your appreciation (and create a great first impression) by sending a welcome email as soon as a participant enters the competition.

Email Marketing platforms such as MailChimp enable you to use automation to make sure that every new subscriber receives welcome and follow up email messages.

It is good practice to send an email confirming contest entry and introducing your business, and then a second email when the contest has finished which may include a discount on your service.

Here’s two examples:

Welcome Email

Follow Up Email


A Facebook contest offers a real opportunity to significantly grow your email list. The following tactics will help to make the contest a success:

  • Choose a prize that appeals to your target audience
  • View the contest as a worthy marketing investment and budget accordingly
  • Use Facebook Ads to promote the competition – filter by your target audience interests
  • Ensure GDPR compliance on your opt-in form or landing page
  • Set up email automation to engage with contest subscribers
  • Offer competition entrants a discount by follow up email