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

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23 Comments

  1. Great guide, the new Timeline is a bit of a challenge when our old pages use a custom landing lead generation page…. thanks….

    3/29/2012 8:27 am
  2. very useful, thank you. Plenty of work to do.

    3/29/2012 9:31 am
  3. We did a quick and dirty update to Timeline, but this article gives me some ideas for planning on the slow and clean upgrade I need to do. Thanks!

    3/29/2012 10:40 am
  4. Excellent tips, like Stormy Knight above we did the quick and dirty update, now it’s time to fix that and create the proper one… Thanks for the tips.

    3/29/2012 12:45 pm
  5. Laura

    Thank you! I just did everything on your list!

    3/29/2012 2:14 pm
  6. Thanks for the tips. It would be great if you could change your Aweber logo on facebook to say something like “Sign Up for email” and then have your logo under that. I know you can change the title of the navigation button underneath but the picture draws more attention. A lot of people don’t know that Aweber means ‘sign up’.

    3/29/2012 2:34 pm
  7. Annie-

    Are you talking about the image associated with the web form app? You can change that image to whatever you want in the same pop-up window where you change the app tab’s name. If you look at the screen shot in the post, you’ll see “Custom Image” right above “Custom Tab Name”. You can change the image there.

    3/29/2012 3:50 pm
  8. Thank you Rebekah! That is what I meant and it was easy to change. Now I see where you mentioned it in the article.

    3/29/2012 5:10 pm
  9. Great tips! I’m still learning my way through with the Timeline. Heading off work on all these tasks.

    3/29/2012 6:30 pm
  10. Thanks so much for the great timeline info. I put it off til the last minute! This was very helpful.

    3/30/2012 11:53 am
  11. I’m having problems finding that EDIT BUTTON! You mention:

    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:

    But I can’t for the life of me locate that EDIT button. Any insight for me?

    Thanks in advance.
    Stephan

    3/30/2012 3:48 pm
  12. Stephan,
    It’s the little box that looks like a pencil at the top right corner in the screen shots. You’ll have to expand the whole app section first, then when you hover over the individual boxes, the pencil icon should appear in the top right corner of the box.

    3/30/2012 3:51 pm
  13. ahhh ok… man, Facebook is not very intuitive with their edit/ setting pages/ options. Thanks for the info…

    3/30/2012 5:32 pm
  14. I have a problem with the cover photo. When I upload a picture from iPhoto it comes up huge and doesn’t fit, I even tried to resize the width to 400 pixels and it still doesn’t work. Anybody have any suggestions?

    4/2/2012 12:20 pm
  15. Hey Rebekah,

    Thank you for the amazing tips for Facebook.

    I’m not really targeting Facebook right now but I know I’m missing a lot so I’ll make these changes ASAP.

    Sergio

    4/2/2012 7:30 pm
  16. Rebekah,

    I haven’t started with email marketing, but I am using Facebook quite a lot. These are some great tips to integrate your email marketing with your FB marketing. I will probably start with AWeber in May.

    Thanks for the great advice!

    4/3/2012 7:09 pm
  17. I am so confused! How do I get the web form app? How do I collect email addresses with this new format. I’ve read the article 2x & still don’t get it. Can you walk me through it step by step? I know how to create a web from, how do I get that on the new timeline?

    Thanks.

    Jonathan

    4/9/2012 4:18 pm
  18. This is a great idea. I didn’t think to add the same apps I’d had on my custom tabs before to my timeline tabs.

    4/9/2012 5:19 pm
  19. Hi Jonathan,

    The beginning of this article links to instructions on using our Facebook web form app. Here’s the link if you missed it: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/awebers-api-and-forms-on-facebook.htm

    Watch the video at the end of the post for step-by-step instructions for installing and using the app.

    4/10/2012 8:19 am
  20. It worked great for me on my fan pages of ‘American Food Lies’ and ‘Eat Meat Sparingly’ sites. Thanks!

    4/17/2012 6:16 pm
  21. Thanks for the tips! I had no idea about many of these features, and I’m very pleased with the results I’ve been getting since implementing them. Please keep posting tips and tricks, you’re doing a great job!

    4/18/2012 2:44 pm
  22. Thank you! I just did everything on your list!

    8/23/2012 2:04 pm
  23. Thank you it is very good

    http://www.hopygame.org/

    10/18/2013 10:51 am

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