One of the biggest challenges in emailmarketing is to grow a quality opt-in emaillist. A lot of companies now have different audiences and across social platforms like FaceBook, Linkedin and Twitter. These can amplify each other and your other channels.

Still only a few use the full potential and turn their occasional contacts into multi-connected media consumers. So lets talk practical: How can we use twitter to promote our email newsletter and get more opt-ins?

1. Link to your articles in the online version of your newsletter

You are free to link directly to content, but by linking to the newsletter it came in, you will give clickers the chance to see your emailings directly. Be sure to include a sign-up link in the online version of your emailings.

2. Mention your emailnewsletter and why it’s of value

That’s pretty easy, at least if your newsletter is valuable (and if it isn’t, it should be). As you are working on your newsletters mention some of the content on twitter, why you like working on and why it is interesting to your twitter audience.

3. Send a sign-up alert for email only deals and exclusive content

Your email is about to be sent, and inside it is an email-only deal or exclusive content. Tweet about it and include a link to the sign-up link. It is a concealed way of offering a signup incentive for your new list members while also offering it to your current members.

4. Send a “did you miss our newsletter” tweet.

The newsletter is sent, the new sign-ups are in. But what about those who missed it? Tweet you’re the “did you miss our newsletter?” A day or two after the newsletter was sent. To make it a full campaign, you could even offer to send them the copy of the last mailing if they sign-up now.

5. Promote your email sign-up and add incentives in a welcome DM

Now some of the hardcore twitter people don’t like auto DMs, especially if they contain a “commercial” deal. Great news for those people, you can make a DM as personal as you want and don’t have to automate it. Link to newsletter content you think would be helpful for your new twitter follower and make it a content + sign-up like tweet. Others might take the automation way and set up an auto-DM welcome tweet.

6. Mention the emailnewsletter in your twitter bio

Your twitter bio has 160 characters to explain what you do and who you are. A shortened link might take 20 or less of those. You could also make a separate “twitter landing page” and use that url in your bio instead of the standard link to #linkedin or a corporate website. But be sure to include the sign-up on that landingpage!

7. Send RTs and thank you tweets to people tweeting your emails

Its always nice to thank people and Retweet (RT) their messages. But if you retweet their mentions of your articles, that RT becomes an ambassador’s message. Thank you messages will encourage to tweet more of your articles and both retweets and thank you messages will add exposure to your newsletter. (and sign-ups).

8. Include social content in your emailnewsletter

Here is one you might not have seen before. By using twitter content in your newsletter and tweeting about it, with twitternames added (mentions), you will certainly catch the eye of the person that tweeted it in the first place. If they like the inclusion they might retweet it to their followers (and that is probably your target audience). A small caution though, in some cases your company, might oblige you to get consent of the original writer before putting it in your newsletter. That kind of ruins the surprise, but it could still be just as effective.

9. Make a separate #FF for newsletter sign-ups

Follow Friday is a generally accepted mechanism on twitter. On Friday some of the people on twitter nominate others that their followers should follow. It can be a tweet just for one person, or might include a list of people who they should follow. You can apply this mechanism for your new sign-ups. Did you capture the twittername of your new sign-ups? Tweet them out on Friday with a “we love our subscribers #FF”.

10. Put a sign-up form on all the pages you tweet about

It is as simple as that. If you have a blog or other places where you put your content and it doesn’t contain a sign-up form on each page yet, make it so! All contact points can be used to (cross)promote your newsletter.

11. Discuss and mention

There are so many discussion going on on twitter, it is hard to keep up. But by monitoring certain keywords (hashtags) and getting involved in the relevant discussions, you know that you are right in the middle of your target audience. By offering help, preferably with your own content and / or by mentioning your newsletter, you can interest them for newsletter sign-ups.

Note that people on twitter generally like personal helping them out, entertaining and informative tweeps. But they don’t like salesy types. So make sure to grow your emaillist using twitter, but keep a good balance and don’t overpromote.