This is part 2 of our 3-part series of how to grow your email list. If you missed part 1, you can check it out here.
Remember when receiving email felt exciting?
You’d log onto your account and expectantly wait for the “You’ve Got Mail” sound. Well, sadly, those days are long gone. Today, we are all inundated with emails and consumers are no longer itching to hand over their email addresses to a business.
But you know that there is “money in the list.” And that a bigger list can mean more opportunities to make money and build your business.
So how can you entice people to sign up for your list?
A lead… magnet? Yep, you read that right. This funky sounding tool is the key to building a massively engaged email list and we’re going to spill our secrets on how to create the perfect lead magnet for your business. (And don’t worry, we walk the talk. Our email list is well over 100,000 subscribers so we know a thing or two about lead magnets!)
First, let’s cover the basics and address what exactly is a lead magnet. Contrary to popular opinion, it has nothing to do with magnets! But it can attract a lot of leads, which is where the title comes from!
A lead magnet is an incentive that businesses offer to potential customers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, template, video training, etc.
The type of lead magnet doesn’t really after. What’s most important about your lead magnet is that it gives your audience something they’ll find valuable. Why should it be valuable? Because having someone’s email address is valuable to your business and so when they hand it over to you, you’re exchanging value. You want your audience to feel confident about their choice to give you their email address. They want to trust you’re going to continue delivering valuable information.
You might be thinking that you already give a ton of value. You probably share great tips on your social media pages, write extremely helpful and well-researched blog posts or share strategies and ideas in videos or audio recordings. Why do you need to give more value?
Well, as we mentioned in our previous blog post, getting someone’s email list is like inviting that person over to your party and in this crazy internet world, everyone is trying to invite people to their parties and you want your party to stand out. You want the best, snazziest, most interesting invitation.
If you received a party invitation on a post note and then you received another party invitation on a gold-embossed scroll delivered by carrier pigeons, which party are you more likely to want to attend? If someone put so much effort into their invitation, then you’re going to trust they are going to put just as much effort into the party, if not more!
That’s why you need a fantastic lead magnet. You’re inviting someone to your email list and you’re asking for space in their inbox. You want them to know that they are not going to regret giving you that space so you need to make that invitation really freaking compelling.
Your lead magnet also gives you another way to strengthen that know, like and trust factor among your audience. It gives you a shiny sparkling platform where you can showcase your knowledge and give them just a taste of what you and your business can do for them.
There are millions of lead magnets out there and you’ve probably downloaded your fair share of them. Some of them you may not have looked at twice and some you may have saved to your files and referred to over and over again.
The difference between a fantastic lead magnet and a so-so one is simple.
The best lead magnets will solve a problem for your audience.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If you can solve a problem in your free lead magnet, then your audience is absolutely going to trust you, they are going to be really excited to hear from you when you email them and they’ll be even more interested in what you have to offer. Think about it: if someone’s free offer is fantastic then you know they’re paid products or services are going to be even more valuable!
1. Know your audience
First and foremost, you need to know your audience. You’ve got to know who they are, what they want, how your product or service helps them and what information they desperately need (that you can provide).
And you can’t figure this out from guesswork! Making assumptions about what content your audience wants could cost you tons of time creating a lead magnet that no one’s really interested in.
Use the tools you have, like social media, to learn more about your audience. Use the poll feature on Twitter or Facebook or use the question sticker on Instagram stories to learn more about your audience’s wants and needs.
Check out relevant Facebook groups, join Twitter chats or go to local networking events where your audience might be and listen. Ask questions, keep an ear out for topic trends or if you’re hearing the same question over and over.
If you haven’t yet, create different ideal customer personas. These will give you a really clear idea of what your audience needs.
2. Ask yourself what is my audience trying to achieve and how does my product or service help them?
Now for every business, there will be some super sweet spot where what your audience wants and how you or your product can help them achieve it overlap with one another.
The important thing to remember here is that no one really needs another product or service. What they need is a solution to the problem. So focus on finding that solution.
For example, our users don’t really need a social media scheduling tool. What they need is more time in their day, an easier way to be consistent and organized with their social media.
So our content and lead magnets are not focused on our tool. They are focused on the problem our users have of trying to find the best ways to use social media to build their business without spending all of their time on it.
We identified the problem that our tool solves and we create content around those problems and solutions.
3. Ask yourself What’s the first step in solving that problem?
Of course, you definitely don’t want to give away the farm and start sharing everything you know for free as lead magnets! You still want people to buy your product or service. So instead of trying to solve all of your customer’s problems, try identifying the first step of their problem.
For example, here at MeetEdgar, we help people grow their businesses with social media scheduling. But we don’t hand out Edgar for free to everyone! Instead, we break that problem down into several steps because there are many different steps to growing a business with social media. Maybe one of those first steps is determining what content to share on social media so we’d offer an ebook or worksheet around figuring out what content to share on social media.
Let’s use another example if you are a health coach and you help people live healthier lives. Perhaps the first step in that is getting in the habit of working out so you could create a lead magnet around workout motivation and creating healthy workout habits. There are many other things you as a health coach do for your clients but this lead magnet is just the first step.
Another example is, let’s say, you are a realtor and the biggest problem you help your clients solve is buying or selling their home. Perhaps one of the first steps to solve that problem is to figure out how to stage your home for a sale or how to get your finances ready to buy a home so you could create a lead magnet around those steps.
The idea is to solve a small problem for your clients because you know they’ll need more help with the bigger goal and they’ll know they can trust you because you’ve already helped them solve one problem.
Once you know your audience, the problem that needs to be solved and the first steps to solving those problems, there are a few things you can do to make sure your audience can’t wait to download your lead magnet.
Your lead magnet title should communicate who it’s for, what it does or what solution it provides. You want to make it as clear as possible what your audience should expect from your lead magnet and if it’s right for them. It should also be specific.
Instead of “How To Start Your Business,” try “A 9-Step Checklist to Jumpstarting Your Freelance Business”
Or instead of, “A Guide to Growing Your Instagram,” try “The Easy Strategy For Gaining 1,000 New Instagram Followers”
Take One Part of who your audience is, add in One Part of what your audience once and pepper in some attention-grabbing phrases and you have a recipe for a fantastic lead magnet title
We know it’s tempting to want to give all of your best info to your audience because, after all, you want them to learn as much as possible! However, a powerful lead magnet should give your audience results and you want them to see quick results. So ideally, your lead magnet should be at a length where your audience can quickly consume it and start taking action on it. No one will have time to watch 10 hours of video training or read a 45-page ebook! Respect your audience’s time and get to the point as directly as possible (while still providing all that priceless value).
Is it actionable?
The last part might be the most important thing to remember when creating your lead magnet. Can your audience take action after engaging with your lead magnet? You want your audience to see results from your content so you need to include a way for your audience to take action after they’ve learned.
Let’s say you are a marketing coach for new entrepreneurs If you share every single thing you know about marketing, your audience is going to be completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. Instead, lead them to the path of action. That’s why specificity is an important key to your lead magnet. Lay out exactly what they can do to start seeing results.
These three keys will add up to a perfect lead magnet that your audience will be so excited about!
Truthfully, creating a lead magnet can be easy if you know the steps to follow and now you have them! Identify a problem of your audience, and get started solving that problem!
Next week, we’re going to be discussing how to promote your lead magnet using social media!