How To Build Your Email List For Free With Instagram

In any email marketing strategy, list growth is always a prerequisite. 

After all, even if you treat your subscribers like a group of prima-donnas & give lots of value, unsubscribes are still bound to happen. It’s an unavoidable metric that you must account for. 

If you don’t have a plan to grow your list consistently, it’s just going to get smaller. This is not a position you want to be in, as it will completely standstill your email marketing efforts. 

Considered, Instagram is a very powerful platform that you can use to grow your email list. But did you know, with the right strategy, you can actually grow your email list using Instagram for free? 
This short guide will walk you through a simple process you can start implementing today to start growing your email list using Instagram.

Leveraging Time vs. Money

First things first… 

Excuse the cloak & dagger here, but nothing is ever FREE. Someone is always paying for it. 

Further, something has always got to give. Either time or money. 

If you don’t want to spend time, you will have to spend money to save time. If you don’t want to spend money, then you will have to spend time to save money.

The reason we bring this up is that if you want to grow your email list for free using Instagram, there is going to be something spent here. Since you want to do this for free, money is off the table. This leaves one other option – time. 

How do you spend your time growing your email list with Instagram? 

The most effective way to do this is by offering some form of value in exchange of exposure. 

There are two methods primarily that you can use for this: 

  1. Scrape emails from Instagram pages. Most Instagram business accounts have email accounts associated with them that you can reach out to. After you have the emails, you would then send a cold email campaign driving traffic to one of your landing pages… ideally with some kind of freebie, discount, or value add that is relevant to the email user. 
  1. The second method is using shoutouts from influencers. 

Option #1 is extremely time-consuming if you do not have a scraping tool to do this at scale [which requires money to use this tool]. Plus, not all of these emails are with verified decision-makers either and are mostly info@ or support@ email addresses. Therefore, those aren’t your subscribers. 

Thus, option #2 is highly more effective, and a much more feasible option for us. 

Let’s walk through how to use shoutouts from influencers to grow your email list using Instagram. 

Finding Your Dream 100

If you have ever read the book, Dotcom Secrets by Russel Brunson. You probably have heard about something called the dream 100. 

It’s basically a collection of 100 people of influence (i.e. influencers) that you’d like to work with. These 100 share your values and wouldn’t mind communicating those values to your’s and their’s prospects and customers.

You will want to start building this list immediately. 

To do this, find the influencer’s Instagram Page, as well as their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

If you’re curious about how to find these people, go to your favorite influencer in your niche. 

Once you visit their profile, click the little down arrow by their name: 

This will show a group of related accounts (this is the fastest method in our opinion). 

You will also see this same list if you follow the account too. 

You can also go to their posts, click on the likes, and scroll through and see who liked their posts.

Furthermore, another method is to check out the best-performing posts they’ve done. These are posts, that have around 3x the engagement (likes, comments, etc.), than their usual posts. Now go through and see the comments, see if there is any low-hanging fruit there. 

Next, see what hashtags they used, and follow those. 

If you want to follow trending hashtags in your niche, two very good tools are’s hashtag tool and 

Again, please remember to check out these influencers’ engagement and make sure it is good and with verified comments. Meaning, they didn’t buy their likes and comments, etc. Don’t be misled by a high follower count, do your own due diligence on the other metrics too to make this worth your while. 

Another quick hack you can use… 

Is if you know other companies that are vetted (you might get hit up by them all of the time selling you IG growth). 

QUICK NOTE: These people who are selling growth, make sure if you respond to them, ask what methods they are using and if it involves shoutouts. 

Then you will want to make sure it’s with accounts in your target market, i.e. people who will actually be engaged subscribers for you. 

When you locate these influencers and accounts, you will want to add them to some kind of CRM or spreadsheet to keep track of them. 

You can grab a free template using this link here! 

Making Your List Work

You now have a strategy for locating targetted influencers in your niche who have access to your followers (or soon-to-be email subscribers). 

The next step is to go like, follow them, and comment something valuable on their posts and content. Make sure it’s at least 2 sentences each and relevant. Bonus points if you can add a unique view that is valuable. 

Also, share their content with your own lists, on your IG story, or wherever you have some audience, and tag them. 

For example, if you are constantly resharing someone’s posts, stories, content, and telling everyone it’s really valuable and that they should go follow this influencer, and then you tag them too… it’s not too hard to get noticed after you do it enough times. 

Make sure to add your own thoughts and stories, and relate it to their content if you can. Don’t forget to tag them too!!

(don’t do it once or twice… keep doing it and it will work). 

The idea here is to put yourself on their radar.

Now, you already have their Instagram account, and likely found their Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles. 

What you don’t have, is their email address. 

To get that, you will want to go find a scraping tool and get a free trail. 

Viola Norbert or are two very good options. 

Register for a free trial and install the extension. 

Now use these tools to pull emails from their social profiles, whether that be Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even their website. 

Plotting Your Outreach

After you have gathered your list of influencers, began engaging with their content to get on their radar, the next step is to reach out to them directly. 

Now, remember what we said that “something has got to give” right? Either time or money. 

Ask yourself: 

What is the most valuable use of your time that you can provide to these influencers? 

Likely, it is the highest-value skillset that you have. If you are a service-based business, offer a free service for a certain period of time, such as a 2-7 day trial, depending on what makes sense for your service.

Don’t feel leery doing this either. It’s a common business best practice. 

Not even in business to business, but even person to person. 

Whereas ordinarily, you would have to pay for someone’s services, instead of doing this, you just do a value exchange. 

Ask yourself, what does this person need most, that you, your skillsets, your knowledge, your resources, your network, etc. can help them with? 

How can you add significant value to this person’s life right now?

If you’ve ever read the book, Influence by Robert Cialdini, one of the first principles in his book is reciprocity. 

It’s very hard to ignore this psychological trigger. 

(Or, weapon of ‘mass influence’). 

If you build reciprocity with this influencer, they will want to pay you back. 

And if not, they suck. You probably shouldn’t work with them anyways. 

To get you started with the outreach process, we’ve included some done-for-you scripts that you can copy.

These are written as email scripts, but you can send the same message on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Done-For-You Scripts


Subject Line: Would love to work with you {{FIRST_NAME}}


Hope you’re doing well in these crazy times mate. Been following you for a little while and loving your IG stories lately ha

You’ve prob never heard of me but I’m [your name] and I’m [Your UVP Statement describing what you do and who you help].

I did a little stalk of your account hehe and it looks like we have a similar audience in terms of interests and demographics. Also looks like you have solid engagement and a genuine connection with your followers which is rare these days lol

Just wanted to reach out and see if you’d be interested in doing a shoutout in exchange for some free emails?

I usually charge my clients $200 an email but would be happy to write 3 of them for your most recent offer at no cost. All I ask for in return is a post and story on your IG with a CTA to follow me.

(I’ll even provide you w the content for the post coz I’m a nice guy like that)

Just trying to grow my following and brand and I think this is a cool win-win way to help you out as well cuz I’m a big fan of what you do.

Looking forward to hearing what you think and please lmk if you have any questions

Have a terrific day 🙂

[Your name]

NOTE: change ‘free emails’ to whatever makes sense for you to offer. Or for bigger accounts, you can ask them how much they’d charge for a shoutout. If they’re more expensive than they should be then try and negotiate them down.


Subject Line: Re: Would love to work with you {{FIRST_NAME}}

Hey {{FIRST_NAME}}, 

Hope you’re well dude!

Just wanted to follow up to see if you were still interested in working together?

You can check out some samples of some of my past work for clients here so you know I’ve got the sauce: *google drive link w “everyone” sharing settings”

Lemme know if you have any questions and if you’re not interested that’s totally cool too.

[Your name]


Subject Line: Everything ok?


I know you’re super busy and this email might’ve gone off your radar. I promise this will be my last reminder to see if you’d be interested in working with me! 

If not that’s totally fine, just lemme know and I’ll go away with my tail between my legs.

Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂 

[Your name]

If they don’t answer, remember to keep adding value, and following up. 

Remember, give, give, ask. 

You can keep following up with them, and will not annoy or turn them off, so long as you are continuously adding value and showing up for them too. 

So in summary: 

  1. Begin building your dream 100 list using the prospecting strategies we discussed
  2. Start engaging & adding value to your dream 100 to get on their radar
  3. See what kind of service/resource you can give to them that will add the most value to their lives
  4. Reach out to them and offer the exchange of service for a shoutout
  5. Don’t forget to followup! 

Follow these steps and you have a foolproof plan to build your email list for free using Instagram. 


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