A truly great lead magnet is literally worth its weight in gold because of what it can do for you.
Done correctly, lead magnets are irresistible bribes that offer a specific value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.
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The better the lead magnet, the more subscribers you can get.
The more subscribers you get and the better targeted they are, the more money you can make promoting to those subscribers.
As you can see, your entire funnel rests on your lead magnet.
Without it, you have no subscribers; and thus no one to sell anything to.
Your goal as a lead magnet creator is not just to maximize the number of targeted leads you receive…
…it’s also to get the BEST leads possible.
For example: If your lead magnet is the chance to win a free house, you could potentially build a list of thousands of people in just a few days.
But unless your niche is ‘home giveaways,’ your new leads won’t be targeted to your specific niche.
However, if you gave away a lead magnet that promised to reveal “50 Subject Lines That Received The Highest Open Rates,” you would be building a highly targeted list of email marketers.
And that smaller list of email marketers would likely be worth more than the larger list of freebie seekers.
How do I choose a topic?
Because targeting is crucial, you’ll first want to decide who your customer base is.
Who is your ideal customer and what are their biggest problems, needs, wants and concerns?
How will you find them on the Internet? Where do they hang out, what are their fears, and what do they desire most?
While keeping these things in mind, make a list of challenges your target market faces.
What are they trying to accomplish? What is standing in their way? What problems are keeping them away at night?
Your ideal lead magnet:
- Gives great information that your visitors can quickly put to good use.
- Covers one problem and offers one viable, real solution to that problem.
- Is easy to consume.
What a lead magnet should do:
- Give succinct, impactful information that people can quickly put to good use.
- Make a bold promise with on your squeeze page and fulfill that promise with your lead magnet.
- Solve a specific problem your audience has with a specific solution, you’ve got it.
- Remember, your lead magnet needs to be consumed or it won’t have any impact.
- Give the reader some idea of what the author is like – a sneak peek into their thoughts and personality, much like when you meet a new friend
- Make them want more of what you offer
- Introduce your next call to action and even set it up with a link at the end
Is length important?
Contrary to what you may have heard, lead magnets don’t have to be lengthy.
In fact, shorter is generally better.
Some think a lead magnet should be 200-300 pages long, to show just how amazing the author is and to demonstrate s/he is an absolute authority on their topic.
There is a bit of truth to this. Offering a really big lead magnet can increase conversions in some cases, and it can definitely demonstrate authority.
For example: You have a book selling on Amazon, and you give away copies to build your list.
People can see your book is indeed on Amazon. Hopefully it has at least 20 positive reviews and is selling well.
Then yes, this can be a tremendous list builder.
But what if your book isn’t on Amazon, or it’s not selling well?
Then your best bet is to offer a highly targeted, compelling report – something that solves a nagging, irritating problem for your target market.
Why shorter is usually far better
Have you ever downloaded a free report or book, but you never got around to reading it?
It happens all the time.
How much impact did that lead magnet – which you never read – have on you?
And this is vital – Did you remember the author when s/he sent you follow up emails?
And even if you did, the author still had very little credibility with you because you hadn’t consumed the report.
That’s why quickly giving them the solution to one of their problems is your best bet. They will open your report, see it’s short and to the point, consume it and hopefully use the information.
But even if they don’t, they now realize that you know what you’re talking about.
You’re someone they should listen to.
And that’s what you want – a list full of people who pay attention when you send them an email.
That’s where you profit is made.
But there is one more thing to consider…
How do you stay front and center in your new reader’s brains until it’s almost impossible for them to forget you?
They sign up for your lead magnet.
They read it. They love it. They forget about it.
Life. People are busy. They’re distracted. They’ve got a million things on their plate and even though you sent them that great lead magnet…
…many of them will still forget you within a few days.
But there is a simple solution – one that other marketers will tell you to avoid.
How to be truly unforgettable
First, you give them your dynamite, targeted, to-the-point lead magnet.
THEN as a bonus you send them your free course via email.
This course can be delivered in 7 to 30 segments, with one segment arriving per day.
With this method, you’re giving immediate value to your new subscribers, as well as staying in the forefront of their brains for the next 7 to 30 days.
Here’s how that might look if you’re building a list to sell your course on traffic generation for online marketers:
For your free report, you take your #1 traffic method and put it in the report.
You tell them exactly what to do in that report.
But you don’t exactly tell them HOW to do it step-by-step.
At the end of the report, you let them know you’ll be sharing more traffic tips with them for the next 30 days.
But if they’d like the full, in-depth info on every method you teach, they can check out your course.
It’s a low key sales effort with no hard selling.
Done correctly, you will make a few sales from people the day they join your list.
Then over the next 30 days you send out emails talking about different traffic methods and how well they work.
You are providing great info.
But you always talk about what to do, not how to do it. After all, you only have so much room in an email. You can’t cover everything, which is why you offer your course.
And each day, you gently remind them they can get all the help they need by simply grabbing your course.
At the end of 30 days, what do you have?
A list of people who are very familiar with you, your name and the fact that you are THE traffic expert.
Not to mention sales of your course.
After the 30 days, what do you write about in your emails?
Naturally, you stick with your traffic topic, since that’s what your list is interested in.
And you promote other traffic courses and tools that are a great fit for your list.
This stuff is POWERFUL – but only if you use it:
- Determine who your ideal customer is.
- Find out what problems they’re having that you can solve.
- Solve their biggest problem with your lead magnet.
- Follow up with an email course so they don’t forget you, and to establish yourself as THE authority in your niche (at least in their minds.)
One last thing – solving your prospect’s biggest problem with your lead magnet is just one option.
Yes, it’s a great option – and in my opinion one of the very best that almost any niche can use.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the many other types of lead magnets you can offer, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites along with tips here:
- Offer a free trial of your digital product: Perhaps they get to use your software free for 21 days, or join your membership for a week.
- Offer them a free sample: It could even be the first 3 chapters of your new book or the first 3 lessons in your course. As long as you can deliver the free trial or sample electronically, this will work.
- Offer readers a ‘content upgrade: This could be additional information or more in-depth information. For example, if you write a blogpost about 5 ways to get traffic, at the end of the post you can offer to send them another 10 traffic generating methods. Or give them in-depth step-by-step diagrams, information and so forth.
- Offer readers a PDF version of your blogpost: Let’s say you write an in-depth post that covers a lot of ground and either teaches something valuable or could be used as a reference. Offer to send them a PDF version in exchange for their email address.
- Use a quiz or survey as a lead magnet: Once a user takes a quiz, a high percentage of them will give their email address to see their results.
- Use an exit pop: Yes, they can be a little bit annoying, but they flat out work. When your website visitor is about to leave your website, a pop-up offers them your lead magnet.
- Doing a course? Use video: If you’re offering a course delivered via email over a period of days, why not put your course on video? It makes your lead magnet seem more valuable, and if you make the recordings yourself, it gives your new subscribers a chance to get to know you.
- Give away a discount or free shipping: This is a really simple lead magnet that doesn’t even require you to write or record anything.
- Run a giveaway: Let people enter to win one of your products for free.
- Run a competition: See who can come up with the best question, idea, product use, etc. Winner gets your product for free.
- Use social media contests: Instead of promoting on your website, you can promote your contest through social media. Entrants get extra entries when they refer others to your contest. NOTE: Give away a prize that your ideal customer would love – not something generic like an MP3 player. Otherwise you’ll wind up with super UN-targeted leads.
- Offer a checklist: Rather than a full-blown report, sometimes all you need is a powerful checklist. For example: “The 12 Point High Converting Squeeze Page Checklist.”
- Offer a swipe file: This will only work in certain niches, but it can be quite effective. For example, 52 Proven Subject Line Swipe File, or the Ultimate Social Media Swipe File.
- Offer a webinar or live training: This one can be super effective when done correctly – and it can bring in immediate income as well. Offer a webinar (live or recorded) that gives GREAT and USEABLE information. At the end, make a pitch for a relevant product that will take their results to the next level.
- Offer a Case Study: People love case studies – seeing how someone else or another business managed to get a result they are looking for. Example: “How I went from 122 subscribers to 45,938 subscribers in two months, and made $65,784 in the process.”
- Offer a Tool Kit: This can be as simple as a list of best resources. For example, “The 9 (Dirt Cheap) Tools I use to Research, Write and Sell a New Bestselling Book every 14 Days.”
Obviously, you don’t need to create all of these lead magnets.
Choose the ones that are right for you and your target audience.
If you’re not sure which one to create first, start with the one problem, one solution lead magnet.
You can knock that one out in a relaxed afternoon.
And don’t stress out. Creating lead magnets can be fun and it doesn’t need to take a lot of time.
Once you have your first lead magnet, create a second and test it against the first to see which one brings in more targeted customers.
Eventually you’ll want several targeted and tested lead magnets all working for you around the clock to continually build your lists.