With more than 2.9 billion total visits per month, Instagram is the seventh most visited website in the world.
After Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube, it is also the fourth most frequently used social media platform, as of 2022. More importantly, over 60 percent of Instagram’s userbase is made up of 18 to 34 year-olds.
This is key demographic data for marketers and business owners.
If you own a business that caters (primarily) to individuals between the ages of 18 to 34, then you absolutely have to be on Instagram. Especially because nearly half of Instagram users say they have discovered new brands through the platform. Two out of three users say that Instagram can help foster meaningful interactions between brands and their customers.
This means that you (and other small business owners catering to millennials and older Gen Z-ers) can easily use Instagram to build brand loyalty among their existing customers while also reaching out to new prospects.
The Limitations of Instagram Marketing
The benefits of Instagram as a marketing platform are probably quite clear to you, by now. However, it does have certain drawbacks, that business owners and marketers need to be aware of.
To start with, Instagram (like most other social networking sites) is governed by an uncrackable algorithm that prioritizes and promotes things seemingly at random.
Various people have, over the years, tried different strategies and tactics to “bend” the algorithm to their will. However, most of them have had precious little success. The Instagram algorithm is designed to be unpredictable, to keep users from ‘gaming the system’, so to speak.
The upshot of this – for marketers and small business owners – is that the success of any Instagram marketing campaign depends quite a bit on luck.
In fact, various surveys and studies have indicated that only a small percentage of your audience on Instagram might actually be seeing your posts on a regular basis.
While the Internet is overflowing with the latest Instagram ‘growth hacks’ and ‘strategies’, none of them can really guarantee that all your followers will see your posts, reels, stories, and the other such promotional content you’ve created.
This can be a major problem, if you’ve spent years building a large following on Instagram and now generate most of your leads and sales from there. After all, you do not want your income – and your business’s revenue stream – to be dependent solely on the whims of an unpredictable algorithm.
So, how do you ensure that your marketing content reaches your Instagram followers every time, whether or not the algorithm is in your favor at the moment?
The answer is simple. You have to take your relationship with your Instagram followers one step further – to their email inboxes.
Can You Collect Emails from Instagram?
Yes, you can.
Scraping the email addresses of your Instagram followers will not be easy (especially if you have a large following), but it can certainly be done.
You can scrape the publicly available email addresses of your Instagram followers and add them to your email list. To do this, you will need to use an email scraping API that you can find on GitHub, through several open-source libraries. You can also draw from your marketing budget to use one of the paid Instagram email scraper tools available online.
These will help you completely automate the process of collecting email addresses from your Instagram followers. You can also use these tools to scrape the email addresses of some other groups of people on Instagram, such as:
- The followers of your competitors
- Relevant influencers whom your followers follow on Instagram
- People who used a specific hashtag in their post
These are some of the ways in which you can find your target audience on Instagram, before scraping their email addresses to take your message directly to their inbox.
Research has shown that email marketing has a conversion rate that is about three times higher than the conversion rate of social media marketing. More than 60 percent of all consumers prefer to receive promotional messages in their email inboxes, rather than on their social media feed.
Hence, there are certain undeniable benefits to contacting your Instagram followers via email.
- As a platform, email allows for more in-depth and personalized communication than Instagram and other social media sites.
- People are more likely to pay attention to a well-crafted message that lands in their inbox, rather than that same message jammed in amidst the photos of their friends and family on Instagram.
- You can add more links, text, CTAs, and other elements in your email, which could not be added into an Instagram post.
- When you send an email, you can be almost completely sure that the recipient will see it (unless your deliverability is poor and it lands in the spam folder).
- However, it is quite likely that most of your followers on Instagram will not see all your posts, reels, and other promotional content.
So, now that you know that it is possible to scrape the email addresses of your Instagram followers – as well as the benefits of doing so – the only question that remains is…
How Do I Turn My Instagram Followers into an Email List?
The first and most obvious way to scrape the email addresses of your Instagram followers is through the manual method. This method is also completely free, albeit quite time-consuming.
Manual Email Scraping
Here are the steps you will need to follow, in order to manually extract the emails of your Instagram followers:
- Visit the profiles of your Instagram followers, one by one.
- Check their bio, to see if they have their email address listed there. If so, copy and paste it to the spreadsheet containing the rest of your email list.
- Those with a business account on Instagram will have an email button on their profile. Clicking on this button will get you their email address (the one linked to their IG account).
- About 30 to 40 percent of Instagram users have an email address publicly available on their profile.
- If you have less than a thousand followers on Instagram, then it shouldn’t be impossible for you to scrape their emails manually, in this way.
The problem with the manual scraping method is easy enough to figure out. It requires a huge amount of time and energy, and it is not at all scalable. In fact, too much manual scraping will get your account banned by Instagram, for visiting too many user profiles within a short period of time.
Automated Email Scraping
If you don’t want to spend your precious time manually scraping email addresses from Instagram, you should consider using a paid tool for automated email scraping.
There are plenty of good ones available on the Internet, or (if you have some coding skills) you can also make your own tool.
- Verified Emails
One of the major benefits of using a specialized email scraper tool is that it will not only find you the email addresses of your IG followers, but also verify and validate those addresses.
A high-quality, verified, and validated email list is pretty much the best marketing tool any small business owner can wish for. Verified emails will increase your deliverability, improve your sender reputation, and minimize the risk of your domain being flagged for spam.
Hence, if you operate a B2C business with a substantial following on Instagram, then investing in a reliable IG email scraper tool will bring you excellent ROI.
This is because IG is typically used for B2C prospecting and sales, with LinkedIn being the preferred venue of B2B marketers. You can click here to learn how to scrape the email addresses of your connections on LinkedIn.
- Prospect Targeting
Some of the best Instagram email scraper tools will also offer useful targeting options, such as gender and location. So, if you own a small business selling sustainable, handmade jewelry to customers based in New York City, then you can set up your email scraper to only extract the emails of IG users who fit those parameters.
This is a useful feature, since Instagram is a global platform with users from around the world. Even if you are running a relatively small, local business, you can have IG followers from across the planet.
That’s a wonderful thing, but you don’t want to annoy your followers with marketing emails, if they live in an area where you don’t yet ship your products.
So, an email scraper that helps build a targeted email list, containing only the email addresses of those followers who can easily turn into paying customers, can help you immensely in the process of growing your business and making more sales.
Precautions to Take When Building Your Email List
Building an email list from your Instagram followers has one major advantage – people who follow you or your business are already warm leads. Nobody follows a brand on social media unless they are at least slightly interested in the product or service being sold.
Hence, if you email one of your Instagram followers with an offer, there is a high likelihood that they will at least open and read the email – since they have already shown an interest in your brand – if not make a purchase.
At the very least, their engagement with your emails (opening, reading, replying, etc.) will keep your sender reputation high and improve your email deliverability, even if you don’t immediately make a lot of sales.
But, if you’re going to scrape the email addresses of your Instagram followers to build your email list, there are certain important points you should keep in mind.
- If you’re building your own IG email scraper, then you should hire a trusted and skilled developer for the task. Otherwise, you can pay for a reliable Instagram email scraping tool, such as ProfileMate, Botser.io Instagram email extractor, or ScarpingBee. The best part of these IG email scraping tools is that you do not need any technical knowledge, in order to use them effectively.
- Spend some time on building your ideal customer profile (ICP) which will help you target prospects more effectively. Filter your followers by location, hashtags, gender, and any other parameter you think might be relevant to your business, before scraping their data for your email list. Effective targeting will increase your cold email engagement rates, as well as your conversion rates.
- Do not use your personal IG profile to scrape email addresses. This will get your account banned by Instagram, sooner or later. Create new IG profiles for email scraping, but don’t start the scraping activity as soon as the account is created. Use it normally for a few days, for organic engagement, before you start the scraping. Ideally, you should have phone numbers with which you can validate the new Instagram accounts, or they will be banned by Instagram quickly.
- Once you’ve collected the email addresses of your IG followers and built your email list, be sure to verify those emails before you start your cold outreach campaign. Approximately 15 percent of all the emails you’ve collected will probably be invalid, abandoned, or spam traps. If you send an email blast to such invalid addresses, your email account will be blacklisted for spam.
- If your Instagram email scraping tool does not offer a reliable email verification feature, then you can use a third-party email verification tool like ZeroBounce, Pabbly Email Verification, MailerCheck, etc. These are relatively cheap, easy to use, and can help keep your promotional emails out of the spam folders of recipients.
- Before you send out promotional emails to your Instagram following, make sure to personalize your message. Scraping data from Instagram will provide you with a number of data points, apart from the email address of the IG user. These data points include interests, age, location, used hashtags, gender, and more. You can use this information to personalize your email copy for each and every prospect, in order to increase engagement and conversion rates.
- Properly using the data points obtained by scraping the profiles of your Instagram followers will also help you build an email campaign targeting the individuals who are most likely to become paying customers. For instance, if you sell cross-fit equipment, you can use an IG scraping tool to get the emails of followers who fall within the ‘fitness trainer’ category, and have used cross-fit keywords or hashtags in their bio.
How to Use the Emails Scraped from Your Instagram Followers?
Successfully scraping the email addresses of your Instagram followers is a huge achievement, but it is only the first step in a much larger marketing strategy. You now have to use this newly-built email list to generate sales and enhance your bottom line.
Cold Email Campaigns
To make the most of the scraped email addresses, you must know how to properly launch a cold emailing campaign. Cold emailing is the process of reaching out to prospective customers who don’t know about your business and did not opt in to receive any communication from you.
The good thing about building an email list from your Instagram followers is that they already know something about you and your business, since they follow you on social media. So, the risk of being ignored or marked as spam is lower, when you reach out to them via email.
Since they’re your followers on Instagram, this should also make it easier for you to personalize the emails to suit their interests, tastes, and preferences.
For instance, if you post mostly fitness-related content on Instagram, then you already know that your followers are interested in that type of content. In your email, you can dive deeper into those topics and include more information about your products, a CTA to sign up to your free fitness course, links to your website or online shop, etc.
To avoid being flagged as a spammer, start out by sending small quantities of cold emails, to no more than ten people at a time. If your engagement rates are high, keep sending emails in a similar format, to more and more people every single day, until you’ve reached the volume you desire.
If, on the other hand, your engagement rates are low (or your emails are often marked as spam), then this might be an indication that you need to change or modify the email copy.
Sending out small batches of cold emails helps you pinpoint any errors, or edit the boring and irrelevant bits of your copy, as you gain more data about what your prospects are interested in and what they don’t care about.
Facebook Ad Targeting
A verified and valid email list can also be used to create custom audiences for Facebook ads. Most people who are on both Instagram and Facebook use the same email address to sign up for the two platforms.
Hence, if you scrape the email addresses of your followers from Instagram, there is a high likelihood that they would have used the same email to create their Facebook account. The match rate, therefore, is often as high as 90 percent.
After you’ve built an email list by scraping the email addresses of your followers on Instagram, you can import this list to your Facebook ad account, as custom audiences.
A custom audience is an ad targeting option provided by Facebook, which allows you to specifically target an existing audience through Facebook ads.
For instance, if you already have a customer list (or a list of people who use your app, visit your website, etc.), then you can upload this information to Facebook. The Facebook algorithm will then use this information as ‘identifiers’ to find those people on Facebook and show them your ads.
Email addresses are one of the most important identifiers used by the Facebook algorithm to create custom audiences and target them for advertising. Other common identifiers include phone number, location, first name, last name, date of birth, and age.
To create a custom audience, you can simply upload the list of email addresses of your IG followers to Facebook, as a CSV or TXT file.
After creating a custom audience, you can also use the scraped emails of your IG followers to create ‘lookalike audiences’ to target via Facebook advertising. A lookalike audience is simply a list of prospects on Facebook who are similar to your custom audience, and should therefore be shown your Facebook ads.
Combining the Two Methods
If you want to make the most of the email list obtained from your Instagram followers, you can combine the two above-mentioned marketing methods – i.e., cold emailing and Facebook custom audiences.
First, you will have to use the email scraper tool to extract the email addresses of your Instagram followers. Then, you can compile these emails in a CSV file and upload them to your Facebook ad account. Using this CSV file, you will be able to create a customer list custom audience.
For a week or so, you can warm up your audience with targeted Facebook ads, in order to make them aware of your brand, products, and services. Since they already follow you on Instagram, this will help expose them to your brand on multiple platforms, thus increasing the level of familiarity and brand recognition.
Finally, you can blast the list with a sequence of well-crafted and personalized cold emails. Since the people on your email list already have a certain degree of familiarity with your brand (through Facebook and Instagram), they will be more inclined to engage with your marketing emails at this stage.
Track the conversion rate of this cold email campaign. Compile a list of the email recipients who converted into paying customers, and use it to create lookalike audiences for Facebook ad targeting. Then, you can repeat the process all over again, until you have hit (and surpassed) your revenue goals.