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Step By Step: Produce Your Email List With Twitter!

Twitter is a micro blogging platform that has taken the business world by storm, 140 characters per post. The purpose of Twitter is to post short updates (not to exceed 140 characters) about what you’re doing at the moment. You can read the updates of others whom you’re following (in a non-stalker way) and comment and reply on what they’re doing.

All kinds of applications have been developed for Twitter, and I’ve discovered that people either love to tweet (i.e. submit a Twitter post) or the whole concept drives them crazy. I admit that seeing all the tweets exchanged among those I follow can be overwhelming (like being in a big instant message universe where everyone can see everyone else’s messages), but I am having success in getting to know my fellow Twitter peeps and in getting the word out about my business and in growing my list.

As I became accustomed to tweeting daily, I began to wonder if I was missing a key business marketing strategy in the process, and then a colleague told me about her strategy of sending a direct message, or DM (this is a private message that goes directly to your Twitter pal via email and can’t be seen by others) thanking them for following her, as well as a short introduction to her business. I thought that was a wonderful idea, began to implement that strategy, and saw results immediately.

Then I read a great post by Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad on building your list with Twitter, and knew I had to incorporate this idea into my marketing strategy. Here are the steps I took to maximize my use of Twitter to grow my email list:

1. Create a Twitter account. Your Twitter ID can be your given name, or you may want to use your Twitter ID to brand yourself, i.e. Organizing Queen. Just get the basics set up at this point. In the setup, check both options of “Email when someone starts following me” as well as “Email when I receive a new direct message.”

2. Have a freebie to give away. You may want to create a unique electronic giveaway just for your Twitter followers, or you can use the same giveaway that you already use on your site. Once you’ve decided what to give away, create a squeeze page and insert sales copy and an opt-in form so that you can direct your Twitter followers to this page for them to join your list and receive your free giveaway. For tracking purposes, you may want to set up a unique page to see just how many subscribers join your list from this invitation.

3. Twitter bio: You have 160 characters to describe your business as a part of your Twitter bio. Describe yourself and your call to action. Here’s a sample: “Houston Professional Organizer. Follow me for free e-book to learn how to clear your clutter in 30 days.”

4. Set up Tweet Later account and welcome message. The aspect of this service that you’ll be using is the ability to send an automatic message to new followers, which you should turn on as a part of setting up your account.
For can visit to: You can choose a public or direct (private) message. Choose to send the private message. This message is limited to 140 characters, as it’s a tweet, so here’s a sample along the same lines as the sample mentioned earlier: “Thx 4 following. Get free e-book to help clear clutter in 30 days" I have also turned on the ability to automatically follow new followers.

6. Twitter email address. When you create your Twitter account, use an email address that is attached to an account or software that will enable you to forward all new follower notifications that you get from Twitter. My email software doesn’t offer that forwarding capability, so I changed my Twitter email address to my Gail address, and used the filter capability to create a Twitter label and to forward all of my follower notifications to my Tweet Later account.

As a part of the account setup, Tweet Later gives you the email address to which you forward those notifications as well as instructions on setting up your rules for your email forwarding. What happens when this is set up correctly is that anytime anyone decides to follow you in Twitter, they automatically get your direct email message to join your list without you having to do anything.

7. Test your setup. To ensure that this setup was working for me, I set up a “fake” Twitter account just for testing, using one of my free account email addresses. In my “fake” account, I found my “real” Twitter profile and clicked “Follow”. Within minutes I got an email message that my “fake” account is following my “real” account, and then at my “fake” account email address, I received my Tweet Later direct mail message about getting my free e-book, and a second email that my “real” account is following my “fake” account.


This is a great way to use Twitter to grow your list. I would love to hear how well this works for you.


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