Invite Email Contacts to Like your Facebook Page with “Tell your Fans”

Facebook Page admins can now send all their email contacts an invitation to Like their Page through a new tool called “Tell your Fans”. Contacts can be imported directly from supported email web services or uploaded through a contact file. The tool is available to “admins of any new or smaller Pages”, and can help businesses convert their email database they’ve built for years into a Facebook audience.

Facebook added friend-to-friend Page suggestions in mid-2009. Earlier this year, Facebook began allowing users to send app and game invitations to their email contacts. Previously, Page admins could only manually select friends to send invitations to, and couldn’t send them to those not on Facebook or who weren’t their friends.

Now, Page admins can go to the Page Admin Interface, click the “Marketing” sidebar navigation link, and choose the new “Tell your Fans” tool. It’s currently unclear what Pages qualify as new or small enough to use the tool, but in our testing a Page with 21,000 Likes that has existed for years still had access.

Admins are given two options: Upload a Contact file, or Find Your Web Email Contacts. Upload a Contact File lets admins use a flash uploader to choose an Outlook, Constant Contact, .csv, or other contacts file. Admins then see a progress bar as the file uploads.

Find Your Web Email Contacts prompts users to enter the email address and password for their account on one of many supported email services including Hotmail, Yahoo, and apparently Google, despite Facebook’s recent clashes with the search giant over data portability and contact sharing. However, when importing contacts from Gmail accounts, we’re seeing the message “Everyone on this list is already associated with your Page”, despite having many contacts who don’t Like the Page. This could be an unrelated error, or Google could be blocking the feature. Regardless, Gmail contacts can still be exported and uploaded through the first option.

Once the contacts have been uploaded or imported, admins see a list of names and email addresses who “are not yet associated with [Page name].” All contacts default to selected, but admins can uncheck boxes to exempt certain contacts from receiving an invitation. The language in which the invitations are sent can be changed. To ensure admins know what they’re sending, they must view a preview of the invitation before being allowed to send the invitations.

Those who have a Facebook account associated with one of the selected email addresses will see a Recommended Page sidebar module. This is much less direct and prominent than the Page Suggestions users get from friends which appear on their Requests Page and the Requests panel of the home page’s right sidebar.

Those without a Facebook account connected to a selected email address receive an email stating “Check out [Page name]. [Page name] is inviting you to join Facebook.” When the included link is clicked, users are prompted to “Sign up to connect with [Page name] on Facebook.” When they complete the sign up process, they’re brought directly to the Page.

The Tell your Fans tool will make it significantly easier to start a successful Page from scratch. It should lower the apprehension of businesses and other organizations about making the move to Facebook because they will be able to use their existing contact resources. Admins of Pages often purchase advertising to further grow their audience, so each additional Page that’s created or grown large enough to advertise because of Tell your Fans represents potential revenue for Facebook.  By getting businesses to dump their email addresses in to Facebook, the social network gains valuable data about connections between email addresses which can be used to power friend recommendations and more.

Update 2/5/2011: Many users have reported that invitations sent through Tell Your Fans have not been delivered. We are investigating the issue, but for now, Pages should not count on the feature.

Update 8/7/2011: We’re still receiving reports that this feature is broken and invites are not being delivered. Again, Page admins should not currently count on the feature to help them grow their Like counts. If you try the feature, please comment on this story with whether your invites were successfully or unsuccessfully sent,

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Leave a Reply

32 Responses to “Invite Email Contacts to Like your Facebook Page with “Tell your Fans””

  1. Christian says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive look and overview of this new feature. “The Tell your Fans tool will make it significantly easier to start a successful Page from scratch… = …social network gains valuable data about connections between email addresses which can be used to power friend recommendations ” is spot on. For the average business entering the landscape, this is going to be huge advantage…at least for a while as the playing field evens out.

    What seemed as such a “no brainer” to offer is now here. Makes you kind of wonder how valuable that information is to FB, not to mention the whole privacy debacle:)

  2. Facebook: Adressbuchsynchronisation jetzt auch noch für Seitenbetreiber « In Sachen Kommunikation says:

    [...] Dabei kann man entweder ein existierendes Adressbuch (z.B. aus outlook) von seinem Rechner hochladen oder sich direkt in sein Webmail-Konto einloggen und das dortige Adressbuch verwenden. Mehr Details dazu bei insidefacebook.com… [...]

  3. Boost Your Small Business Thru the Power of Facebook and Email Contacts | Email Marketing Talk says:

    [...] Source: Invite Email Contacts to Like your Facebook Page with “Tell your Fans” Posted in Email Marketing News, List Building News, Social Media News Tags: email list, social media « Email Is Still Alive and Strong You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  4. Charity Hisle says:

    After reading the comments on Facebook’s announcement (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=468215154821), there is no way I would use this feature if I even had it.

    Here are some of the issues:
    1. Somehow when this was sent it automatically friend requested them as well.
    2. I am running test and emails are not coming through.
    3. The from address is “unknown sender” when Facebook sends the invite.

    Facebook should focus on what page owners want, instead of adding on functionality that isn’t reliable. What do users want? Notifications of comments, among other common-sense requests that are ignored.

  5. GroupMail Blog » Blog Archive » Invite Your Email Subscribers to Become Your Facebook Fans says:

    [...] more information and instructions, read Invite Email Contacts to Like your Facebook Page with “Tell your Fans” by Inside Facebook. Tags: export email lists as a .csv file, GroupMail, import email lists to [...]

  6. Matt Lawrence says:

    Agreed, Charity.

    Another example of Facebook completely missing the ball on small business. How is emailing your personal friend list at all relevant to growing your small business. It’s spam, clear and simple.

  7. Andrea Johnson says:

    This feature does not work. I tried uploading my contact and I sent it out and no one on my email list received it. Also There is something wrong with the “Suggest To Friends” option on all fan pages. Can you let me know if there is a bug on facebook?

    Thank you

  8. Ted Rheingold says:

    Thanks for the post.

    I saw the email go out and show it was from us, but I really don’t like that it’s written as an invite to join Facebook. Yes, once they joined they are auto-subscribed to the Page, but the email seems more like a Facebook spam-friends email, then an email a business would send to their customers to follow their online activities.

  9. Josh Constine says:

    @Andrea: There can be a significant delay on the email invitations.

  10. Andrea Johnson says:

    @Josh,

    Ok, I’ll Follow up on that. What about the “Suggest to friends” button. Do you have any idea if there is a bug with that? I was on every facebook help site and everyone is having the same trouble but no answer. see here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?question=846643

    I know you have connects at FB, let me know..

    Thank you!

  11. “Tell Your Fans”: Facebook’s Newest Email Integration Holds Great Potential | Capture the Conversation says:

    [...] to be serious issues surrounding its effectiveness and functionality. After analyzing the tool, Inside Facebook has found that any Google email address prompts the error, “Everyone on this list is already [...]

  12. Diana says:

    I had a huge database of 15,000 emails of my good customers which I split into 5 files. Uploaded each one with no problem….at least I thought so. I check marked the right boxes, etc. Nobody got an invitation…My page didn’t get a spike in fans, which is odd because I should have seen movement.
    So I did a small test with a 10 name list and nobody on that list got the invitation to be a fan either. What’s up?????

  13. How to Avoid Wasting Money when Running Your Facebook Ads! « Wildfire Social Media Marketing Blog says:

    [...] exciting bonus! Facebook introduced a feature just last week called “Tell Your Fans,” where Fan Page administrators can now import sets of email contacts (like the ones you got from [...]

  14. John says:

    I too tried to upload a list of current employees, about 2,000, and no one got the invite, no spike in traffic. I tested it out and sent an invite to my wife, who I know is on there, and she never received it either. Doesn’t work. Josh mentioned their is a delay…I don’t know how long the delay is. I sent it out last week.

  15. Derek says:

    I used the import constant contact feature, and sent them to 316 emails. But the email has still not been sent, because I do not have it in my email, I am one on the list. IS there a delay in the sending??

  16. Josh Constine says:

    @Derek: We’ve heard reports of delays and send failures.

  17. Tobi says:

    I have tested and the email was not received nor was page request. Great idea but lousy execution. Please let us know when it is functional.

  18. Bev says:

    What would be more useful is if Facebook would create a module from which we could export a csv of our Facebook page followers so we can use them more pro-actively in our own CRM camapaigns – including by the way driving them back to Facebook pages aswell.

  19. Hedwig says:

    The same. There is no delay. It just doesn’t work.

  20. Jake says:

    I sent out 22K invites through this tool and have seen NO results whatsoever. How does a person know if its working??

  21. Hedwig says:

    it doesn’t

  22. Mike says:

    Seems this ongoing problem has yet to be resolved.. Whats up FB?? you gonna fix the problem? i sent out 147 requests to friends to be a fan of my page and no one has received a email notification…

  23. Robert says:

    This does not seem to be working as I’ve uploaded thousands over the last couple of weeks! I’ve seen no evidence that it is working,

  24. Biresh says:

    My marketing page doesn’t even show the Tell Your Fans link.

  25. Liz says:

    Please keep us posted! We also uploaded thousands of names (seeded with a few test emails to our accounts) and the invitations were not sent. Thanks.

  26. Emily says:

    So, any updates on this? >.<

  27. Robert says:

    Having the same problem myself – since they allowed the “Tell your Fans” feature I’ve tried 10 different permutations of lists to upload, from csv to .txt and others and they all show up fine but then when I go to submit the invite email it just says “An Error has occurred” and that’s it.

    Someone please let me know if they have any luck.. I haven’t even been able to get a list of 10 people to work (it shows up fine), but then I just get “An error has occurred”.

    Frustated,
    Robert

  28. Touseef says:

    I tried this and found that people who are not in facebook receive a mail but people who are on facebook neither get the recommended pages thing nor the mail….any latest updates ??

  29. Dave says:

    This so called feature is a waste of time. Don’t use it.

  30. José says:

    Not working.

  31. Dennis says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried altering the csv file, uploading the same contact list from different email accounts…nobody on FB receives the notification and no emails get sent…even though FB says the notifications were sent. Seems like they should remove the feature or temporarily disable it with some kind of notice. I wasted HOURS trying to get this to work!

  32. Off the Pass: week of December 6, 2010 | theblackboard.net says:

    [...] If you have a large email database but want to transfer people to follow your Facebook Page instead, you can now use a new tool to identify and invite people to your Page by uploading a file with all your contacts. [...]

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