By Josh Roberts, Product Manager

As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we’ve been in ongoing conversations with a number of publishers about opportunities to extend the business value of Instant Articles. Across the board, publishers want to have more direct lines of communication with their readers and drive the conversions that matter to their business.

Given that feedback, we’ve worked closely with partners to create and test Page Like and Email Sign-Up call-to-action units, prompts for readers to like a publisher’s page or sign up for an email newsletter from within an Instant Article. Since the beginning of the year, we have on-boarded over 100 publishers globally into the call-to-action beta program.

We’re excited to announce that next week we’ll be rolling out these call-to-action units to all publishers on Instant Articles. Publishers will be able to set these up through a simple, self-serve creation flow, and access insights on the performance of their call-to-action units.

Build Direct Relationships

Starting next week, you will be able to set up the following call-to-action units directly from your page:

  • Email Sign-up call-to-action unit: Readers share their email address and agree to receive email newsletter updates from a publisher. Flexible design options allow publishers to customize messaging and clearly represent their brand.

  • Page Like call-to-action unit: Readers that Like the publisher’s Page are eligible to receive updates and posts from that publisher in News Feed.

Some of our beta partners have shared early results:

For Slate, the Email Sign-up call-to-action unit has accounted for 41% of their total email newsletter list growth over the past two months:

“We currently use the Email call-to-action unit for Instant Articles to drive signups for our daily newsletter list. Over the past two months, the CTA has accounted for 41% of our total list growth. That is a meaningful number and we’re looking forward to partnering with Facebook to continue to grow the program from here.”

Chris Schieffer, Senior Product Manager at Slate

For The Huffington Post, the Email call-to-action unit has made Instant Articles one of their highest performing acquisition channels for driving email newsletter subscribers:

“Facebook Instant Articles is now one of our highest performing acquisition channels for driving email newsletter subscribers. Over the last three months, IA CTA’s generated 29% of the HuffPost Morning Email signups. We also found that signups acquired via Instant Articles are just as likely to stick around as signups obtained from our own sites. We’re excited to work with Facebook to figure out how to drive other actions that help us build deeper relationships with readers, like mobile app downloads.”

Mark Silverstein, Head of Business Development at The Huffington Post

And we’re just getting started…

We recognize that publisher business models are diverse, and we’re continuing to collaborate with the industry to identify and develop new call-to-action units to deepen relationships and form new connections between people and publishers. Some examples already in the works include:

  • Testing Free Trial call-to-action unit: We are currently testing a quick and easy way for people to sign up for a free trial to a publisher’s digital subscription through Instant Articles with a small group of publishers.
  • Testing Mobile App Install call-to-action unit: Many partners have asked for a way to drive adoption for their mobile apps. So, this week, we officially launched an alpha test of a new Mobile App Install call-to-action unit with a handful of partners.

We are continuing to collaborate with our partners to drive value through call-to-action units in Instant Articles. We’re grateful for the participation and partnership to date, and we look forward to identifying additional opportunities to drive deeper engagement and build relationships between publishers and their readers on Facebook.

Learn more about new Instant Articles call-to-action units.