We have all heard countless times that every successful blogger needs an email list. But there are email lists and email lists, some huge, some very small, some effective and others a waste of time.
Are you happy with your email marketing approaches?
And are you getting adequate numbers of people signing up for your email list? Perhaps a more important question to ask yourself would be:Why would someone want to sign up to MY email list?
How Can I Get People to Sign Up to My Email List?
If a blogger offers compelling content then perhaps the content itself can be an inducement for a prospective subscriber to sign up. However, the content would need to be truly unique and not offered everywhere else on the internet. Even then, people are more and more reluctant to ‘give away’ their email address for fear of inviting more email spam.
This is where a lead magnet comes in. In fact, most experienced and successful bloggers would say that a lead magnet is a must-have if we want to offer a truly compelling reason to sign-up to an email list.
A lead magnet is a free offer that you offer your readers as an inducement to subscribe to your list. It is only accessed once they have submitted their email address.
Pat Flynn from smartpassiveincome.com puts the absence of a lead magnet right up there as the #1 mistake that bloggers make when trying to grow their email list.
This is something that I have been very slack about myself, for all too long. I do in fact have a lead magnet on a niche site that I run and guess what? That site gets subscribers, end of story.
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The Value of an Email Newsletter Lead Magnet
Sure, you have researched the best email marketing companies, signed up with your preferred provider and now have an optin form on your blog. And your form clearly prompts the reader with a “sign up for our newsletter” message.
But what’s in it for your readers if they happen to sign up. If they like your content they can just as easily return to your site any time they choose, provided they don’t lose your URL.
And therein lies the danger. It can be so hard to attract each visitor to your blog in the first place. Why run the risk of these visitors going off to another site and never returning to your blog? In fact, some figures suggest that as many as 70% or more never return to a site they have visited.
This is where the ‘carrot’, or lead magnet, comes to your aid. It provides a way to capture email addresses and thus a means to bring visitors back to your blog.
A lead magnet is perfectly named. I like the word ‘magnet’ as it sums up, very nicely, the function of your free download.
Readers should look at it as an enticement to sign up but you should look at it as a reward to your reader for having done so. In other words, you want your reader to think “Wow, so much value for free. Imagine the value that I can get from other content on this site.”
Adding a lead magnet can double your opt-in rate –
Lead Magnet Ideas
The lead magnet needs to have a high degree of perceived value. It needs to offer real value to the subscriber, something that is of such use that your reader simply has to have it. It should be such that when they download it, they are not disappointed and left with the feeling of wanting more of what you have to say or write or offer.
A lead magnet could be any number of different types of offer such as:
- A report based on your findings
- A free eBook
- In pdf format so that people can easily download it
- Downside: takes a little while to create
- Jim Edwards provides a how-to guide: How To Write Your Own Ebook(r) In 7 Days! – Click Here!
- A guide based on your own experience
- A Blueprint – a how to guide
- A Checklist
- Can be presented in bullet form – easier to write
- Faster to create than ebooks
- Potential subscribers are not confronted with a lengthy book to wade through before they get to the gems.
- Can have huge potential perceived value for your reader.
- A List of your recommended tools that you use.
- Must-read books that have helped you grow your business
- A Video that you have created with your webcam
- A little more work involved here
- A free mini course
- a number of emails sent out over a course of days.
- A free trial of Software
- A software application that you have written
- An infographic that provides actionable ideas
- An excerpt from your larger eBook
- A mind map that lays out the path to a solution
The video below, by Pat Flynn, provides some excellent examples of many of these magnet ideas from various blogs:
Grow Your Email List
It’s a no-brainer that we want to grow our email lists to grow.
But what can we expect by doing so?
The many advantages of a growing email list include:
- You can establish an ongoing relationship with your readers.
- You can become the authority that your readers turn to for information.
- You can monetize your blog through your email list.
- You can secure a source of traffic that can lessen your dependence on search engines, namely Google.
- Via your mail outs, you can prove that you have expert knowledge in your field, that you are one to be trusted. If people trust you, they are more likely to buy from you.
How to Create Your Own Lead Magnet
If you plan on creating a lead magnet that is too complex or too long, you will keep putting off the task or dumping it forever in the too-hard basket.
Ryan Deiss even goes so far as to say:
In fact, a long and complex Lead Magnet will likely convert poorly.
The link above offers some lead magnet templates.
If you are revising your offer and revising it until you have the absolute perfect mini-eBook then you will never reach the point of actually publishing it. It will never be good enough.
Think specifics. Zero in on a specific problem or hurdle that your typical reader might have. Then provide an actionable solution.
People want instant gratification. They want instant answers to current problems.
The Must-Have Mindset in Generating More Subscribers to Your Email List
The trick is to offer a lead magnet that your readers simply ‘must have‘. What information or tips or guidelines can you provide that will have your readers chomping at the bit to download.
The wording on your eBook cover should build that sense of wanting to find out more, that sense of:
The only way I can find out about this solution is if I download the report.
And then of course they need to submit their email address in order to get it.
The Instant Gratification Mindset to Encourage Sign Ups
You really want to have a lead magnet that will provide instant value, the moment it has been downloaded. Your new subscriber should be so pleased about the free download that he/she is happy that they have joined your newsletter.
Offering Real Value
I like Steve Scott‘s rule of thumb:
Create a lead magnet that could easily be sold. Then give it away for free!
You might think that the information that you can provide already exists. Yes, of course it most likely does. But there is a huge ocean of information out there. You can save your readers the trouble of trying to uncover it by providing it in a concise and easy-to-read manner.
What do you have to offer that on-one else is offering?
What have you learned about your niche that your readers could really benefit from?
Create a mental picture of your typical reader. If this someone you know, then all the better.
What information would that person want from your website?
At what level of understanding should you pitch your guidelines?
The Length of a Written Lead Magnet
According to Steve Scott, about 10,000 words is a good length to aim for if it is a free report.
But if you are creating something like a checklist it most certainly would be a good deal shorter.
Where Should I Place My Newsletter Signup Form with My Free Carrot?
There are many different ‘prime real-estate’ locations on your blog for an opt-in form:
- A Sidebar
- Feature Boxes
- At the end of a Post
Spend some time making the cover of your lead magnet absolutely inviting and compelling so that it stands out regardless of where you have placed your opt-in form.