Killer Lead Magnets

As I promissed in my previous post I continue the subject of email marketing tips (not only) for affiliates. Here you are with set of intriguing tips on creating a "Lead Magnets" that do their job and bring you these so much wanted leads(!).
Want more email subscribers – and more leads? The single best way to get them is to offer a lead magnet – a free incentive for joining your email list. Lead magnets are also called “sign up incentives”, “sign up offers”, “ethical bribes”, “freemiums”, “content upgrades”, and many other terms. They can be a report in PDF format, a series of emails (aka an autoresponder), a coupon, or even a free half hour of consulting – though we’ll get into all that in more detail later. For now, just know

  • Lead magnets can come in many forms and formats
  • Adding a lead magnet can double your opt-in rate
  • Lead magnets don’t have to take a month to create

The more, the merrier

Already got a lead magnet? Don’t stop reading! For those of you who already have a lead magnet on your site, the next best way to grow your email list is to add a second lead magnet. You can use the second lead magnet to test against your current lead magnet, or use your second lead magnet near related content. For example, say you have a lead magnet about the best tools to use near a blog post about tools, and you have a lead magnet about strategies near a post about strategies. Relevancy is everything in marketing, especially online marketing, so adding these related lead magnets can significantly increase your opt-in if you do them right.

How to choose the topic for your lead magnet

The first thing to do is to choose the right topic for your lead magnet. Get that right, and half the battle is won. There are three essential questions you have to answer to choose a topic for your lead magnet.

  • What topics do your ideal customers or clients want to know about?
  • What topics would be easiest for you to create a lead magnet about?
  • What content format would be the best way to deliver that information?

Figuring out what your customers really want to know about is a big topic, but don’t let that scare you. It’s actually pretty easy. You can find out what your ideal audience wants to know by asking them with surveys. Or you can see how they behave on social media (what they like and don’t like) with tools like BuzzSumo. Or you can visit forums and LinkedIn groups and other places online where your audience gathers. Even one or two hours spent listening in on what your ideal audience is saying about your niche will give you plenty of ideas for great lead magnet topics. Look for problems they’re really struggling with, common questions, new areas of interest, or topics that are controversial.


BuzzSumo will show you which pieces of content have been post popular, either via a keyword search or for a website.

The next step is to take that list of potential topics, and choose just one that you can easily make into a lead magnet. Many of you will immediately think of writing this lead magnet, but if you’re not so big on writing, I’ve got really good news: Lead magnets don’t have to be written. They also don’t have to be long.

Longer is not better

Some of us have made the mistake of thinking that hundred-page ebooks or detailed, lengthy online courses would work best as a lead magnet. Often, they don’t. I once spent nearly six months working on a detailed, highly valuable research project that I later used as a lead magnet. It did not do any better than a different lead magnet I wrote in two days. Ugh. Spend no more than a week creating your lead magnet. Don’t get sucked into making it into a massive, month-long project. Give yourself at most a week, and just knock out that lead magnet in a week (or better, in 2-3 days). It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to get done. This also definitely applies to those of you who have a lead magnet, but aren’t getting the conversions you want. If your opt-in rate for your site is less than 5% (and you’re using a pop-up, aka a “lightbox”), then it’s time to test a different lead magnet, or to try adding one or two content related lead magnets, as mentioned above. Anything less than a 5% opt-in rate on your site means you either need a better lead magnet, or you haven’t added opt-in boxes in the right places.

The best lead magnets deliver value

Follow the value. That’s often what makes for a high-converting lead magnet. What can you show, teach or give to your potential subscribers that will give them unbelievable value – an piece of information or something else so good they will rush to finish typing in their email address? That’s a winning lead magnet.

Be specific

Don’t promise something general like “How to Make More Money”. That’s not specific enough to make someone’s heart skip a beat. But “5 Ways to Make $500 This Weekend With No Upfront Costs”? That’s specific enough to stop people in their tracks. The #1 place to be specific is in the headline of your lead magnet. Don’t buzz by this: Spend at least 15 or 20 minutes writing several different headlines. Then go with the one that is the most specific and the most emotionally compelling. To get a score on how emotionally compelling your title is, try the Emotional Marketing Headline Analyzer.
The title or headline for your lead magnet is really important. Use a tool like the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer to see if you’ve got a title that will get people’s attention.

Optimize your opt-in button copy

You want something better than just “Subscribe” on your button. The copy on the button is called a “call to action”, and it’s super important. Get the button copy right, and you could see twice as many subscribers than if you just use “Subscribe”. Ideally, you would test the button copy, but if you’ve got less than 2,000 unique visitors to your site a month, you may not have enough traffic to test. The next best thing is to just give the button copy your very best shot. You can try the classic copywriting trick of repeating the headline copy on the button; this can work very well. Or you can shorten it a bit and have the button say something like “Download the report” or “View the video” or “Get tickets”. Basically, the construction here is verb (“view”, “download”, “get”, etc) plus the short name for your lead magnet (your “report”, your “video”, your “course”, etc). That’s a great start until you can get enough traffic to run an A/B test.
To be continued...