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March 2

How to Grow Your Email List with YouTube


If you’re investing in video marketing content (which you should!), you need a strategy to convert viewers into email subscribers. As you’ll see, there are several things you can do to grow your email list with YouTube.

Video marketing is a powerful way to woo visually motivated Gen Z students to your brand.

I’m glad to see many private colleges, universities, and independent schools getting onboard with this rich content format. 

(If you want to see some good examples, check out this list of video marketing content I like.)

However, I’m sad to say that while schools are jumping into the warm waters of video marketing content, many education marketers don’t go far enough.

Social media channels like YouTube are great, but they’re not the end goal.

While growing the number of your YouTube channel subscribers and number of views is important, growing your email list is vital.

Everyone uses email. Even those in Generation Z. 

While it might not be their heaviest patrolled social channel, Len Shneyder of MarketingLand says email is still the world’s number one method of communication – even those between the ages of 10 and 22.

Social media fans, followers, and subscribers are important, yes. But they’re not nearly as valuable to your marketing goals as your list of email subscribers.

Email subscribers are much more likely to read your content, click on your links, and eventually enroll at your school.

Besides that, with an email list you have higher chances of being able to continue marketing to those who don’t end up enrolling at your institution…

…and all for an insanely lower cost than reaching them through social media ads and PPC.

So how do you grow your email list with YouTube?

1. Grow your YouTube channel.

If your YouTube channel has low views and low numbers of subscribers, you’ll only be able to convert low numbers to your email list. 

So the first thing you need to do is to attract more people to your YouTube channel.

Of course, attracting more people to your YouTube channel could be a future post, but let me throw out a few effective strategies in brief here in this post. 

Create your marketing personas.

Like any other marketing channel, the first step is to think through who your target audiences are.

Marketing personas are extremely helpful tools to keep your messaging strong and persuasive.

When you know who you’re going after, everything from copy and design to publishing is laser focused.

Think through your video keywords.

YouTube is more than a social media channel. It’s the second most-used search engine on the Internet. 

As with any search engine, create a list of video search keywords that your marketing personas are likely to use when looking for your video content.

Keywords like “choosing a college,” “things I need for college,” or “choosing a career” are some examples of the kinds of keywords you might use. 

One of the first places to get keyword phrases is from YouTube’s autocompletion feature.

Grow your email list with YouTube by using YouTube's autocomplete feature.

Start typing in some of your best keywords, and YouTube will suggest searches for some of the most popular keywords.

There are other ways to grow your YouTube audience, but these are two of the quickest tactics you can implement to improve your YouTube channel’s reach. (I’ll leave the rest for a future post.)

2. Place calls-to-action in your endscreen.

At the end of your videos, you can place links in the endscreen. 

The endscreen is the screen that appears in the final 10 to 30 seconds of your YouTube video.

Grow your email list with YouTube by placing links in your endscreen like this one from Dave Ramsey.

This is the perfect place to place links to your other video content and ask your viewers to click on them to watch more of your content. 

Think of it as if you were saying to your viewer, “Did you like this? Then, you’ll like these too!” 

This will drive more views to your video content, which will improve your chances of growing your email list with YouTube.

YouTube also has an option where you can place a video link directly to your sign-up page. This is called a “subscribe element.”

3. In your video content, ask viewers to sign up.

The adage, “You have not because you ask not” is true here.

If you want more people in your YouTube channel to sign up for your email list, simply ask them to do so in your video content.

The narrator or the person talking in the video can always ask viewers to go to the landing page and sign up. 

But you can also place lower third titles at the bottom of the screen with your landing page URL prompting viewers to sign up. 

4. Feature your lead magnets in the video.

Offering a lead magnet in your video is an effective way to add value to your viewers. 

In your video content, recommend a longer or desired piece of content that viewers can download by signing up for your email list.

It could be a white paper on how to choose a career, how to choose a college, how to pay for college, or preparing to go to college.

But don’t just think of white papers! 

Lead magnets can be ebooks, infographics, documentaries, polls, checklists, or magazines. Really, anything that solves a problem, answers a tough question, or provides direct guidance for your viewers.

In the video, ask your viewer to sign up to your email list and download the lead magnet – and don’t forget to put the landing page URL link in one of your lower third titles.

5. Place links in the video description.

One more thing to add to your conversion checklist is to add URL links to your video description.

Place links in the description asking viewers to sign-up to receive emails announcing future video content or simply to go to your website.

Be careful not to go overboard with your links, though.

When reading descriptions, viewers expect to see an honest description of the video content they’re about to watch. 

Don’t disappoint them by making your description a complete sales pitch.

I recommend that after you’ve sufficiently described the video content, place one clear call-to-action with the corresponding link in the description. This way, you’ve respected what your viewer is looking for while asking them to go further with you on their student journey.

Conversion is a long-term strategy.

Motivating prospective students isn’t a one-time or one-trick strategy. 

Approach it with a number of tactics, and over time, you’ll be able to grow your email list with YouTube. 

If you’d like to know exactly where you are in regards to conversions, contact us today for a digital marketing audit.

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