How to use TikTok to grow your email list [7 tips, A freebie & podcast episode included]

If you want to follow along with audio, enjoy this special podcast episode that expands on these 7 tips:


Tiktok has become a powerhouse for marketing with brands of all sizes. I’ve seen mega corporations use TikTok to retarget customers, run ads, work with creators and influencers, and further personify their brand. Two great examples of this include Scrub Daddy & DuoLingo.

Checkout out some of my favorite videos by them to see what I mean:

@scrubdaddy I mean... how could we not?? 🌽 #scrubdaddy #smile #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #americasfavoritesponge ♬ Corn but it becomes a song and unites world - schmoyoho
@scrubdaddy I will rue this day if it ever comes. #scrubdaddy #smile #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #americasfavoritesponge ♬ locked up - Coinyes
@duolingo my brain these past 48 hours #Duolingo #corn #DulaPeep #itscorn #cornsong #itsgotthejuice #trend #comedy ♬ Corn but it becomes a song and unites world - schmoyoho
@duolingo ⚠️ Warning: emotional #actingchallenge #dualipa #duolingo #comedy #trend #emojis ♬ Ambient-style emotional piano - MoppySound

Both brands have managed to master multiple components of content creation that TikTok users love, including:

  • Short-form content that maximizes each clip and second to be engaging and humorous.
  • Avoid shoving their product or service down people's throats, but instead, get them to fall in love with the brand, their personality, and their efforts to connect with them.
  • Scrub Daddy, ESPECIALLY, harps on the “underdog” story from when they went on Shark Tank and were told, “Scrub Daddy is a one-line product.” They use this clip to show how they proved them wrong and grew a multi-million-dollar brand with variety in their product line.
  • Duolingo is committed to the humor approach with its brand mascot. They don’t talk much about language translations. Instead, their page is about showing the mascot's personality to make their brand more relatable. In their bio, they state, “Just an owl tryna vibe,” and include the link to their app. Doing this keeps their page interesting and not viewed only as a source to learn from but also to have fun with.
  • Both brands' main goal is to create engaging and fun content that attracts attention to the link in their bio without saying “Link in Bio.” Their website and sales funnels handle the rest once they get people off the TikTok app.

But why is this important if you only want to use the app to grow your email list? It’s simple, the more eyes you get on your content, the easier it is to drive traffic to your website. The more website traffic you drive, the more people can see your website pop-up, offers, and freebies to sign up to your email list.

You need to learn the basics of using TikTok for content creation before you worry about how to make money or drive traffic. If you never learn how to grow a following and get views AND genuine engagement from the right people, what’s in your sales funnel won’t matter.

My brief analysis of these accounts show that successful brands using TikTok aren’t begging for sales, website visitors, email subs, or views. When content “flops,” THEY KEEP CREATING & that’s the exact mindset you will need too.

I’ve seen small businesses take different and often more creative approaches with their content, but the fact remains that all who are successful avoid the same things as large corporations. Before you dive in, I want to share 7 practical tips to grow your TikTok account and email list simultaneously.

7 tips to help you grow your email list using TikTok (summarized):

  1. Tip #1: Accept that you have to participate in using trending sounds and video formats to grow. 
  2. Tip #2: Get creative with your CTAs & how you tell people to get to your website
  3. Tip #3: Invest in a ring light, record in direct sunlight, and change your scenery often
  4. Tip #4: Don’t try to use TikTok like Instagram; it is not Instagram.
  5. Tip #5: Go live regularly & go live with others whenever you can
  6. Tip #6: Plan out all your video hooks; you have 3 seconds to get their attention.
  7. Tip #7: Get creative with your email list offer. It’s about more than just offering 10% off - what else can you give them that provides a transformation? 


Now, if you're ready to take notes, let’s dive into 7 tips to help you grow your email list using TikTok.

Tip #1: Accept that you have to participate in using trending sounds and video formats to grow. 

You may feel self-conscious about showing up on camera, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your brand on TikTok. Your entire feed shouldn’t have only products showing; we should also see your face and personality regularly. And sure, sometimes we see brands blow up without ever showing the owner's face. 

However, many factors determine why they were successful this way:

  • They make content that visual-oriented social media users find aesthetically appealing and naturally binge-worthy
          • (EX: Cleaning, cooking, a hobby, travel, soap cutting, Mukbangs, Fashion hauls, art, etc.)
    1. They run ads and drive traffic to the product.
            • This means the people who follow them come from ads and not organic growth; in this case, their focus isn’t necessarily on personifying their brand but on scaling it.
      1. They work with influencer's.
              • The influencer's have helped people fall in love with the brand and everything it does - including not showing the owner's face much. But that doesn’t mean the owner didn’t show their face initially.
        1. They were already an established brand before TikTok
                • It is possible they already had a following on other platforms or had a strong community via email or a brick-and-mortar store.
          1. They do voice overs on nearly every video using story times.
                • They’ve found a different way to personify their brand and bring it to life without showing their face but still making their audience feel connected to them. 

              Now, you don’t need to do every trend, dance, and use every trending sound possible.

              Here’s an easy-to-follow strategy I like to use:

              Share 2 - 3 videos a day, 7 days a week. (You can schedule videos 10 days ahead on TikTok, here’s how: How to use the Tiktok scheduler) Your goals should be to: Teach, nurture, make them laugh, & drive traffic to your website. If you do this right, you’ll have diverse content that shows your personality, value, and expertise and doesn’t feel salesy.

            1. Share 1 short educational video daily teaching your audience how to do something.
              1. Share fun videos that are informative but have movement and use a trending sound.
                      • This is the perfect time to dance to a trending sound and use a POV caption. & please don’t worry if you can’t dance, I CANNOT DANCE. But I still show up and get active because that’s what the algorithm is pushing.
                  • Here are a few examples:
                  • POV: How I dance to alien superstar knowing I created email campaigns that made $800 (Generated $2,000)
                    1. All your videos incorporating movement don’t have to be of you dancing or using trending sounds. 
                              • They could have different camera angles and scene cuts that keep things interesting but informative. 
                              • They can also be fun and goofy content to enjoy with a subtle call to action.
                              • Lastly, If you vlog and have movement in them, use them with text and tweet screen overlays, and repurpose your content as often as possible.
                        • Here are a few examples:

                            Please remember that your videos won’t necessarily look like mine, especially if you don’t work in a similar niche. But the concept and flow of how I make content can also apply to your small business. You can create content on a similar schedule that’s helpful, fun, incorporates trending sounds, and is entertaining regardless of what you sell.

                            To learn more about how I make a content strategy, set goals, and research, download the Content Marketing Guide.

                            Tip #2: Get creative with your CTAs & how you lead people to your website

                            Creating an appealing offer for your audience is not always easy, especially if you can’t afford to give major discounts or free products like big brands.

                            Falling into the “10% off” email sign-up gimmick seems like a no-brainer, yet you might be surprised that this just isn’t enough to reel people in.

                            What are you promising to their inbox after they ultimately claim their 10% off? - This is what matters most to people now.

                            The same applies to call-to-actions used in your TikTok videos or captions. Telling your audience to visit your website for a discount may land a few sales, but it won’t generate the traffic you need to stimulate long-term brand engagement or repeat clients.

                            The strongest brands use short-form TikTok content to inspire, educate, and connect with their audience. These videos serve as ‘sneak-peaks’ of even more inspirational, educational, and personable content on their websites, ultimately leading to sales.

                            For example, Scrub Daddy may be a scrub company, but they even share recipes on their blog! You may be wondering why a scrub company thinks to offer such content, but there’s some science behind the odd decision:

                                1. They know their audience is mostly women. In reality, millions of women are still very domestic-oriented; they take care of their homes and cook for their families; and women are the main demographic working in domestic positions like housekeeping, which requires cleaning tools such as scrubbers. So Scrub Daddy’s content is geared towards the interests and needs of domestic-minded people (which happens to be mostly women).
                                2. A recipe getting used means a kitchen potentially getting dirty, leading to cleaning. And guess who has the perfect solution? Scrub Daddy! (or at least this is how they’ve positioned themselves).

                            So through a short TikTok video, Scrub Daddy may showcase the recipe result, or fully cooked food, with the promise of a full recipe on their website. Their call to action is to view the recipe by going to their website.

                            Once the visitor lands on the website, whether they choose to use the recipe is not something Scrub Daddy can control. But the primary intention was to get them on the website so other methods could be further employed to keep engaging the visitor. These methods could be ad banners on the sidebars, popups with new products, or newsletter sign-ups.

                            In short, strong content appeals to your audience, encouraging them to trust you enough to let you in their life (whether by phone via SMS marketing, email via newsletter sign-up, or even via mail with a magazine trial).

                            Having a strong CTA first starts with strong editorial content. And strong editorial content can only be created when the brand:

                                1. Knows their audience’s interests and problems
                                2. Knows the desired result/goals of their content
                                3. Is willing to stop talking about their products/services for five minutes to educate, inspire or connect with their audience

                            The best rule for them is to first offer something that costs nothing, such as a resourceful freebie, a full-length tutorial, or access to some exclusive content. And THEN follow up by pushing your product or service (alongside more editorial content).

                            Here are 7 types of CTA text to add to your video towards the end:

                                1. Comment __________ to get ________

                                2. Comment __________ to get rid of _________

                                3. Drop a (emoji) for access to ________

                                4. Ask me about ______ if you want (transformation)

                                5. Watch the _________ playlist to learn more

                                6. Follow me for a chance to win __________

                                7. Hit up (website) for the (product)

                            No matter what, ALWAYS avoid saying “link in bio” on your videos. Almost every creator I know swears TikTok will stop pushing or even take down your videos for using this phrase. 

                            Using these types of CTAs instead drives comments, followers, more video views, and a chance to see just how many are engaged with your brand. Besides, if they want to click the link in your bio, they will do it without you telling them to in every video.

                            If you’re unsure what type of free content you can offer, Checkout the free resources within the Freebie Library. There are tools like 25 free content ideas, 6+ lists of free content ideas for different niches, and more!

                            Tip #3: Invest in a ring light, record in direct sunlight, and change your scenery often

                            You don’t have to record content like you have a full production company, but you need to consider lighting and environmental factors for your videos. If your videos are recorded the same way, with the same lighting, and in the same room, it’ll get boring fast.

                            Once your content becomes stale, your views will drop, and your frustration from lack of eyes on your content will begin. You can minimize this likelihood by regularly changing these small factors.

                            For example, in my videos, I try to record content when I visit new places, outside in different parts of my yard (being careful not to show my neighborhood or house), in the car, with different backgrounds in my office, and more. It doesn’t require that much extra effort to make these small changes.

                            If I were you, I’d pick 10 consistent backgrounds to alternate between. I’d do 5 videos in each location and consistently repurpose them while adding real-time content as you visit new locations. Try it out, and let me know how it goes!

                            Tip #4: Don’t try to use TikTok like Instagram; it is not Instagram.

                            Instagram has become very vain over the last few years with influencer culture. It used to be like a personal time capsule where you could just share your day-to-day free of judgment. It was a space to keep up with friends and family you didn’t chat with daily.

                            Instagram is about who’s the richest, the most fly, and the “clean girl aesthetic.” And whenever people try to bring that energy to TikTok, TikTok users complain or don’t engage with it altogether. 

                            Recently, I’ve seen an influx of users saying, “every vlog on tiktok is starting to look the same” or “Why does everyone's content feel the same now??” and they’re talking about the cookie cutter copy and paste methods used on Instagram for years.

                            You must create authentic content for yourself, your brand, and your viewers. The views will come and be worth it if you avoid using standard cookie-cutter practices from Instagram.

                            Tip #5: Go live regularly & go live with others whenever you can

                            To be clear, you need 1,000 followers before you can go live on tiktok. To my understanding of TikTok, you also need 1,000 followers to join a live. I’ve joined and watched multiple lives, and everyone who’s joined so far has had 1,000 followers. (If you can join with less than 1,000 followers, please comment below). 

                            You can gain your first 1,000 followers by creating a content strategy, showing up daily, and engaging with others. Though it may take some elbow grease and creativity, you can do it! Over 50% of TikTok users had 1,000 - 5,000 followers in 2021, so working towards this isn’t an outlandish goal because everyone had to start with 0.

                            Going live allows viewers to engage with you, ask questions, and fall in love with your brand in real-time. I know several small business owners who go live daily, if not multiple times a day, on TikTok, and it drives sales and website traffic and boosts engagement on their feed content.

                            Millions of tiktok users prefer going live over making feed content because it’s less editing time and more time spent connecting directly with potential customers.

                            A good rule is to go live every time you go viral. Users with large followings often swear by this rule and believe it pushes their page and videos more because more accounts engage with them.

                            If you’re unsure of what to do on live, here are some ideas:

                                1. Be personable: have a normal conversation, share your opinion on a topic or elaborate on a recent video you shared.
                                2. Go live doing an activity. It could be something simple like making products, cleaning your workspace, yoga, cooking, reading, and playing music for them to join you. 
                                3. Create a space for viewers to debate a topic relevant to your brand.
                                4. Ask your users about them and collect the data. Find out where they’re from, their interest, age, what they do for a living, and the tv shows they like and use that to curate content for them later.
                                5. Get ready for an event, and take them through the experience with you.

                            Regardless of what you do on live, just relax and have fun. Stay on live for 30+ mins and give people a chance to warm up to you. Even when viewers are low, stick with it and keep showing up for those who show up for your brand. Keep changing your strategy and content for lives; something will eventually work that helps position you with the right people.  

                            Tip #6: Plan out all your video hooks; you have 3 seconds to get their attention.

                            A “hook” is what you say at the beginning of a video to grab the user's attention. Because of how fast-paced the FYP moves and how accessible other creators' content is, you must prioritize having strong hooks in every video.

                            A hook isn’t always what you say, it can be how you say it and any movement you add to it. Your tone, excitement, and body motions also contribute to how others respond to and engage with your content. 

                            Let’s take @Tony.Nagy, for example. She uses energetic bursts of energy and wild contemporary dance movements in most videos. This immediately draws in users because it’s entertaining and easy to follow. 

                            While dancing, she also talks about things like politics, corporate corruption, constipation, and bodily health. She doesn’t have a “niche”; her content is just fun, engaging, and quirky. There’s no one else who makes content like her, which also makes it so binge-worthy.

                            If you aren’t sure how to create hooks for your videos, here are 6 tips:

                                1. Make it about the viewer and accomplishing their goals, not yours.
                                2. Use vanity when selling beauty-related products.
                                3. Appeal to the viewer emotionally when possible.
                                4. Say a sentence, pause the clip, take a deep breath off camera, and then record to say another sentence. This helps your video flow better without sounding rushed or having to do much extra editing.
                                5. Time yourself practicing before you start recording.
                                6. Leave asking them to join your email list for the end of the video.
                                7. Start the video by promising a transformation or positive outcome
                                8. Address a struggle they have and then promise the solution
                                9. Immediately open with text on the screen to let them know in 1 second if the video is for them

                            Tip #7: Get creative with your email list offer. It’s about more than just offering 10% off - what else can you give them that provides a transformation?

                            Everyone offers 10% off or a discount to sign up; what can you offer that no one else is? 

                            It could be a freebie, guide, how-to resource, list-based resource, ebook, private videos, access to exclusive blog articles, etc. What it is, it should teach the viewer something new and walk them through a transformation.

                            You can also offer a discount with the freebie and hint at a gift being included with your new free resource. Also, people who only sign up for discounts won’t be as interested in your community-building and nurture-style content. And unless you sell something they need to rebuy every month, they’ll eventually get tired of sales-based content and unsubscribe. 

                            Taking the value-based route also gives people on social media an incentive to visit your website besides buying something from you. It gets them excited to leave the app because they know they’ll get something more valuable than scrolling and watching videos can offer.

                            You will also have more things to make content about than buying your products, which makes content creation manageable long-term and easier to create. So, I encourage you to experiment with your email list sign-up offers for 6 months to determine what works best for your audience.

                            Try these 6 pop-up offers:

                                1. Claim your free __________
                                2. We are releasing ________ at (time); sign up now to be the first to know!
                                3. Download the _________ to get (transformation)
                                4. Let’s be (company moniker)!
                                5. Don’t leave without the ______!
                                6. How does (offer) sound?

                            You should also take some time to research what your competitors are doing for their email pop up. Try to find 5-10 similar brands and then use Semrush to analyze their website traffic and traffic sources. Use this data to recreate your popup and try to drive traffic from similar sources to begin testing the effectiveness of your new popup.

                            Did you find this article helpful? If so, share it on Twitter or Tiktok and share what the most helpful tip was for you. Tag me too, @MarketingBully_; I’d love to see how I’ve made this seem like a realistic goal for your business.

                            And if you want to learn more, follow me on tiktok and take notes! Here's 2 of my favorite and helpful tiktok video you'll enjoy:

                            @marketingbully_ Let’s talk about it bestie, because you can get better results! #emailmarketingstrategy #ecommercehelp #emailmarketingstrategy #shopifystoreowner #emailmarketingsolutions ♬ original sound - Tyllah - E-com Email Marketing
                            @marketingbully_ If your blog announcement emails ONLY announce a new article and tell them to read it, you’re doing it wrong. Your blog announcement emails should be engaging, insightful and make them excited to click! Let me show what I mean. #fashionbloggertips #blogmarketing #howtomarketmybusiness #blogadvice #emailmarketingstrategy #Shopifyemail #shopifyhelp #shopifytipsandtricks ♬ LoFi(860862) - skollbeats

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