How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet To Grow Your Email List

“I get a lot of visitors to my website but not many of them are signing up for my newsletter.”

Does that statement sound like you or your business?

The problem is that the internet is inundated with businesses offering newsletters and coupon codes and the competition is fierce for the coveted email address.

So how do you get website visitors to leave you their email address and not just any visitor, but the RIGHT visitor, your target audience?

You need to offer them something in exchange. Something more than just a coupon code.

Don’t get me wrong, coupon codes are great, who doesn’t love a good deal? But what if the person isn’t ready to buy yet but could be nurtured into a lead? Or what if they just grab the code and unsubscribe immediately? I’m totally guilty of that.

You need to do something more targeted to grab their attention. Something where you can get quality leads instead of freeloaders just looking for the coupon deal. And you need to do it in a way that provides value. Because that’s how you build loyalty. By showing your customers that you can help solve their problems.

You need to offer an irresistible lead magnet.

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer in exchange for the website visitor’s contact information – usually an email address.

It goes by other names like opt-in piece, a bait piece, a bribe to subscribe.

Lead magnets are one of THE BEST ways to increase subscribers, leads and ultimately, revenue.

Examples of lead magnets would be a checklist, cheat sheet, quick-start guide, video lesson, or worksheet.

Lead magnet for inbound marketing

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you land on a really useful blog post. As you read to the bottom, you’re asked to sign up for “updates” or a “newsletter”. Let’s say you land on a different site’s blog post and at the bottom you’re asked to sign up to receive a free PDF that just happens to address the very problem you were trying to solve for yourself.

Which offer would you be more compelled to take? Which one do you think would get more email signups?

If you said the second one then you are correct!

While ranking high on Google’s search result page may bring you lots of website visitors, you need to have an irresistible lead magnet in place to convert those visitors into subscribers so that you’re not leaving money on the table.

So I hope you have been thinking of things you can offer as a lead magnet? Yes, no? If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking what’s for lunch. So let me help you out here – click here for 25 lead magnet ideas and examples.

Create a lead magnet that makes sense for your business. If you’re pressed for time, choose something you can create in a day – like a PDF of top tips. Or if you have a blog chock full of top tips, you could package a bunch of them into an eBook.

But no matter what you choose, you have to keep the following 6 things in mind.

6 Key Elements of an Irresistible Lead Magnet

Ask yourself: Do you want your lead magnet to attract any old customer? Or do you want your lead magnet to attract your IDEAL customer who will actually buy your product or service?

Attracting your ideal customer right off the bat helps to convert them into customers.

A visitor will give up her email if there’s something she wants in exchange. Something valuable. Not just any eBook or checklist or top ten tips, but something RELEVANT to the niche of your website. So if you are selling meal delivery, don’t offer an eBook on how to improve a website.

There are 6 things that make for a successful lead magnet:

  1. It has to Solve a Problem to your target audience. It has to speak to a pain point that they’re experiencing.
  2. It has to be Specific. The lead magnet would only be of interest to a narrow market, your customer avatar.
  3. It has to be Simple. It promises a quick win and can be applied right away.
  4. It has to be Scannable and quick to digest. Don’t give something that will take 30 minutes to read. Make it more like 5-10 minutes or even less. You don’t want to overwhelm your reader (remember #3?).
  5. It has to Show your expertise in the service that you are offering. You want your readers to think of you as an authority in your field so that they buy your services and recommend you to their friends.
  6. It has to be delivered to their inbox Straight Away. We all love instant gratification.

Think of something catchy that will pull in your audience and highlight its benefits, like “5 Easy Honey Recipes to Improve Digestive Health,” or “7 Ways to Monetize Your Brand That You Can Implement Today.”

Here is a lead magnet example from my food blog where I incorporated the 6 elements:

Lead magnet from Ginger and Scotch blog

Now, how do we go about creating a lead magnet?

How to Create and Design Your Lead Magnet

If you have a graphic designer, great!

If not, you can create your own on Word or Google Docs (then print as PDF), on Canva.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to deliver value.

I love using Canva because it easily turns words into something that looks professionally designed, it’s free, and has a ton of templates already pre-built that you can customize to match your branding.

Okay, so you’ve created your lead magnet, now what?

How to Offer a Lead Magnet on Your Website

Oh there are so many ways to offer your lead magnet.

Personally, I think the most important thing to remember is to not be obnoxious. Nothing turns a reader away faster than having to close a million popups just to read your website.

If your lead magnet is created with the 6 elements above, then your target audience should fall all over it and be more than ready to give you their email address in exchange.

Ways to offer your lead magnet:

  • on a header bar
  • on a footer bar
  • as a customized pop-up that shows when the readers has scrolled down to 70% of the web page or when the user is about to close that desktop tab. (And you can set it to not show again to the same reader for 30 days).
  • interspersed within your blog posts
  • at the end of every blog post
  • on your about page
  • on your sidebar (but keep in mind that mobile uses don’t usually see the sidebar until they scroll to the very end of your page)

Now many of these settings are offered as a paid service through companies like Opt-in Monster but there are also free ones. They don’t offer as many options but are still good options.

Try a couple different methods for a few weeks or months and keep the one that converts the most.

Lead Magnet Options

Oh and for your opt-in form, don’t go overboard and ask for their name, business, city, etc. The only 2 things you need are first name and email address. Some would even argue that first name isn’t necessary because the more fields you include, the higher the chance a user may abandon the form.

But I argue that you might want to customize your email to make it more personable so first name would be a great field to require.

Final Tips – Don’t Forget to Maximize Your Onboarding Process

After your site visitor signs up to receive your lead magnet, don’t just leave them with a simple “Thank you, your download has been sent to your inbox.”

If you’re using Mailchimp like me, the “thank you” message is on their website, not even yours.

A more advantageous onboarding path would involve a dedicated landing page for your lead magnet offer. This page has no distractions – no header, no footer, no menu, not sidebar. Nada. Just the option to enter the email address and hit submit. Less diversions leads to higher signup rate.

After the user signs up, send them to a thank you page on YOUR website and suggest other useful pages on your site.

I have a lot more to say regarding the onboarding process and how to build one but that’s a whole other post for the future.

email marketing strategy

Finally, what do you do with your subscribers once they’ve joined your list? Are you emailing them regularly?

A well-nurtured email list is proven to lead to more sales and referrals. So don’t leave your subscribers hanging. Email them something valuable every week to keep your business at the top of their mind.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

If you’d like my help in brainstorming and creating a lead magnet as well as the corresponding email nurture sequence, contact me today and let’s strategize.

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