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10 ways to find targeted subscribers on Telegram

In the article you will learn how to find targeted and live subscribers to a channel or group on Telegram.

10 ways to gain subscribers to your Telegram channel

According to Telemetr, Telegram is now used by about 800 million people a month, and the total number of subscribers of the 50 largest channels is 100 million users. Most of the audience is in the CIS countries, including Russia. After Instagram and Facebook were blocked, more and more people followed bloggers to the messenger. As usual, companies are following the audience, opening channels and chats for their subscribers. 

Unlike Instagram, Facebook, Zen, Telegram does not and has never had the opportunity to promote itself through organic mechanics, such as recommendation feeds. This means that it is impossible to find a channel by accident, just by scrolling through news or friends’ walls. This greatly narrows the opportunities for attracting new users without investing in advertising and special tools. 

Let’s understand how to gain subscribers for a Telegram channel or chat, what resources and advertising formats to use. – free and cheap subscribers, likes, views in social media.

Method #1: Adding subscribers to your Telegram channel manually

Forced addition is a conditionally honest way to recruit subscribers to a newly created Telegram channel or chat. You should use it only at the start of work to collect the minimum number of the first live subscribers. 

To add users to a chat or channel, open: “Channel Settings” – “Information” – “Subscribers”. Click the “Add” button and select contacts from the phone book.

Do not get carried away with this method – if you abuse the forced addition of participants, you can get into the ban. If you invite colleagues, friends, clients or partners, it is better to warn them in advance to avoid complaints.

An alternative and less painful option for adding free subscribers to your Telegram channel is an invitation link. It can be included in a newsletter, added to promotional posts or put on the site – when clicked, users will automatically be added to the list of channel or chat participants. 

You can create an invitation link in the “Channel Settings” – “Invitation Links” section. If necessary, you can create several different links for different resources – statistics will be displayed for each of them. – get followers, likes, and other social media promotion services for Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Telegram fast, cheap, and safely.

Method #2: Transfer from other resources

First of all, you need to collect the maximum of already existing subscribers and customers from your other resources. This is a loyal and warmed-up audience ready to read your content.

Install inviting links in the following places, they will bring subscribers who will go “gravity”:

  • in the header on the company’s website; 
  • on the banner on the blog and after the articles;
  • in the “Links” section of VK, community or account description;
  • on the buttons of social networks in the newsletter;
  • at the end of articles on Zen, and other UGC blogs.

To make it easier to transfer participants from one social network to another, you can hold a drawing among subscribers of the channel or offer them unique content that will be only in Telegram. In this case, you post, for example, in VK post “Now we have a chat room where we conduct free consultations” or “In the Telegram channel we will post the most interesting offers with hot tours – subscribe!”. 

Such integrations work great not only in your own social networks and resources, but also as promotional posts in thematic communities, bloggers and groups. 

To improve conversion and increase the number of free subscribers in your Telegram channel, you can use both the standard format “post + link to TG-channel” and special leadmagnets. You can create a chatbot for your Telegram channel and use it as standard email newsletter leadmagnets. For example, you can offer a free book or a nutrition program – after going to the bot and subscribing to the channel, the user will automatically receive them in the chatbot. You can use books, checklists, instructions and other exclusive materials as lidmagnets.

Method #3. Posts in other channels in Telegram

The most popular way to attract live subscribers in Telegram is advertising in other channels. There is already a relevant and loyal audience, which does not need to be dragged to the messenger by force – it is enough to offer interesting content. It’s simple: make a post with a cross-reference to your account and post it in a relevant channel. 

As a rule, it is more effective to search for channels and negotiate with authors manually – this way you can choose the most popular time for publication, discuss the message with the author and make the most accurate offer. 

It is best when the author of the channel writes or at least edits the post himself – he knows his readers and can choose a relevant message.

As advertising integration can be used: a standard post with a recommendation of the channel, reposts, contests and drawings for subscription. A great option – continuing stories, when the beginning of the text is posted in the community, and the continuation – in your channel.

The cost of advertising in Telegram channels varies from 500 to 50 thousand rubles – it all depends on the number and engagement of subscribers, as well as the topic. To derive your average subscription cost, make a seeding – place test ads in different channels and compare the cost of a lead or a participant. 

Channels with low efficiency and high cost should be weeded out, while successful campaigns should be scaled. You can run ads until the indicators do not decrease – it means that you have burned out the entire core of the audience.

How to choose a Telegram channel for advertising

When choosing channels for paid advertising, it is absolutely necessary to analyze their quality, content and audience. You can see analytics on any public community or chat room through services like Popsters or TGStat.

In Telegram, it’s easy to get caught by “bot” channels with inflated indicators, so you need to be sure to look at the percentage of live subscribers in the reports and evaluate activity by comments. 

When analyzing the channel for advertising, we must be sure to check:

  • the number of subscribers;
  • number of bots;
  • regularity of posts;
  • coverage of one post;
  • subscriber engagement, ER;
  • number of ads and frequency of posts;
  • coverage and engagement in advertising integrations;
  • citation index in other channels and resources.

You should not bet only on million-dollar channels, audience loyalty and relevance are much more important for a successful campaign. Try to start advertising with communities with 1 thousand subscribers.

In addition to metrics, it’s worth tracking the dynamics of reach. Since the Telegram feed is built in chronological order, in the first hours a post should gain more views than in the following hours. This is a simple check for the presence of bots and tweaking of metrics. 

All data on the channels are loaded into a table, and after – add reporting on campaigns.

Method #4. Mutual PR

Mutual promotion works according to the usual scheme of promotion through other people’s Telegram channels. It differs from the previous variant by its gratuitous basis and is suitable for already relatively developed channels with a minimum pool of subscribers. 

Everything is simple: we find a channel with a similar target audience and offer to exchange advertising. Usually it is supposed to be an exchange between approximately equal communities, but many authors are ready to work with less covered communities, if they have a really high-quality and engaged audience.

Method #5. Participate in picks

Lists of communities and chats can be posted both in the format of a regular article and in the posts of other Telegram channels. In the latter case, such integration will cost less than a full-fledged advertising post, although it will not allow you to make a point offer. The more participants in the post – the cheaper the cost.

Thematic lists of communities and channels are also placed by various blogs, media and online resources. Getting into the selections in the articles gives a large influx of organic subscribers to the Telegram channel from search. People often search for new and interesting resources with queries like “Telegram channels for parents / about marketing / about psychology”.

Unlike paid lists in TG-channels, to get into the selection of a major resource or media, the channel must have a certain weight and authority. This option is not suitable for those who have just started to develop their account.  

An alternative option is to order a similar list from the authors of relevant channels on Zen,, Dtf or Habr.

Method #6. Telegram Ad

Telegram Ad is the only official advertising tool of the messenger. Ads appear at the bottom of the screen when viewing public channels: the entire integration consists of a short text block and an active “Go to channel” button.

Initially, only native resources and communities within the messenger could be advertised through Telegram Ad. In August 2023, the administrators of the social network announced that in the advertising cabinet will be able to add links to external resources.

The targeting mechanism of the tool is imprecise – you can select only the topics of communities in which the ad will appear, country and language. Adjust to a specific CA will not work, but representatives of the site note the high clickability of integrations and the effectiveness of advertising.

Those who are going to customize advertising directly, you need to prepare for a high entry threshold. As the first installment will have to pay 2 million euros: one half will go to advertising, and the second will remain as a deposit. Only those who run €10 million worth of advertising within a year will be able to pay it back. 

Alternatively, you can apply to intermediary services such as Elama, OneSpot, Clickse and similar platforms to set up advertising. The entry threshold here will be about 3 thousand euros, excluding taxes.

Method #7. “Yandex Business”.

In “Yandex Business” – a relatively new “light” advertising tool of Yandex – there is an opportunity to promote Telegram channels.

In the advertising cabinet you connect your Telegram account to the organization. After that, you can select posts from your channel – they will be converted into cards and will be targeted in the Yandex Advertising Network. When users click on the ad, they will be directed to the link to the post.

As in all of Yandex Business, there are very few targeting options when promoting your Telegram channel. All settings are built automatically, and you can not adjust the CA manually. In practice, the algorithm of “Business” does not always correctly guess the audience – take this into account before launching test campaigns. 

Method #8. QR codes

A great way to move your audience from offline to Telegram is to use QR codes with an encrypted link to your channel. You can place referral links literally everywhere:

  • in your locations (office, venues, cafes);
  • on packaging;
  • on cars, corporate uniforms;
  • on banners, stretches and press-volleys;
  • on handouts and souvenirs;
  • business cards, booklets, leaflets and other marketing printing.

QR codes are especially good at converting participants of events, conferences and festivals into subscribers, where there is no time to exchange contacts and manually search for channels.

Any UTM can be sewn into the link to pinpoint the exact source of new subscribers. Besides, QR code can be made in corporate style and perfectly fit into any brand-book. 

QR codes can be generated through special services: Unitag, QRCode Monkey, Beaconstac and analogs. 

Method #9. Telegram advertising exchanges

Exchanges are an alternative for those who want to attract subscribers to their Telegram, but do not want to search for channels and negotiate with authors. The services are aimed at “contactless” purchase of advertising – this speeds up the process. However, due to a less accurate message, the effectiveness of integration may deteriorate.

To order advertising, register on the exchange, create a post, select channels from the list, the format of placement and send a request. When the owner of the community approves the proposal, you can agree on the time of publication. 

Payment is most often made through the service – you do not contact the author directly. And in your personal cabinet you can view and upload reports on all integrations.

You can order advertising in communities through the advertising exchanges, EpicStars (there are opportunities for inter-piar and barter), AdGram, Telegrator (inter-piar is available) and analogs.

Method #10. Catalogs of Telegram channels

In the catalogs of Telegram channels you can place a link to a public account or chat for free. In the services, channels are grouped by topic, and users can filter them by category, novelty, size and rating.

On the one hand, catalogs are a good opportunity for no-budget promotion, especially for large communities. Another issue is the effectiveness of such resources. The fact is that the top of catalogs are always communities with a large number of subscribers, so users rarely reach new and small channels. 

Large catalogs can be viewed on the services TGStat, Telegros, TgSearch, TeleTarget, Telegrator. To add your resource to the list, you need to assign the service’s bot as an administrator in the channel settings, and then fill in the information about it: country, language and topic.

What’s the bottom line?

Now Telegram is a great way of promotion for business in conditions when the cost of targeted and contextual advertising is growing, and some familiar resources are not available at all. 

Promotion in Telegram is different from VK or Zen – there is no recommendation feed that brings free live subscribers to your channel, and it is difficult for a user to accidentally find the channel inside the messenger. Therefore, for community promotion it is important to transfer loyal audience from third-party channels: social networks, newsletters, website, articles and offline events. You can start advertising in Telegram officially, through Telegram Ad or intermediary services, as well as with the help of integrations in other people’s channels, picks, catalogs and peer-to-peer.