Your email list is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. No matter how many followers you have on your social media channels, you are still chained to one thing: the platforms and their algorithm.

What if Twitter goes under and you lose overnight the only way you had to reach your audience? Can’t happen? Vine and MySpace were two of the most popular video social media platforms in the early 2000s but they’re not around anymore. Hundreds of businesses and influencers lost all the social capital they had accumulated for years.

But even when platforms do thrive, you are still at the mercy of their algorithm. It decides how many people will see your organic posts on their feed, and it’s always a tiny percentage of your followers. After that, it’s pay-to-play –boosting posts, ads, etc. With new algorithm changes, business pages will have an even lower reach percentage.

That’s where having an email list comes in handy, and why over 73%  of marketers invest in it. Email is different from social media because you actually own your list. You know that every email you send will show up on their inbox for them to read. Now, they can decide whether to open it or not, but no algorithm will stop you from contacting them.

“Great, but I don’t have an email list. How can I get started?”

Building a list with social media is a great way to transition followers into email subscribers. Here are some practical tips to build an engaged, profitable email list:

Link to your landing page in all your social media bios

Your bio is your piece of real estate on social media. It is a place for you to tell other people who you are and what you do. Every platform also offers the possibility to link a website to your profile, and that’s a great opportunity to redirect them to your list.

All you have to do is set up a simple landing page where visitors can submit their email address. It gets even better if you offer to “bribe” them with something special in exchange for it –ebooks, cheat sheets, email courses, etc.

Give them a taste for more.

We all know how important it is to add value with your social media posts. A great strategy to grow your list is to stop halfway through the post and offer the second half for those that join your email list. You can also introduce a topic and tell them that you will talk about it on tomorrow’s email.

Run viral contests and giveaways.

Viral contests and giveaways are perfectly fitted for social media’s focus on word-of-mouth. If you have something you know your audience wants –samples of your products, a one-hour coaching session, gifts, or even cash dollars – you can offer them for a winner through Sumo or ViralLoops.

Every participant will then submit their email address and share it with their social media network for additional entries – which gives you even more exposure.

These are three social media strategies that will skyrocket your email list numbers. What have you tried? What’s working? What’s not? Let us know in the comments!

Marti writes about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Find him with coffee and a laptop while traveling back and forth between Barcelona and Charlotte. Connect with him on LinkedIn.