The most important thing you can have on your website is not your store or products. It’s not your blog or about me page or your company bio. And it’s not your contact page, phone number or social media links.
The most important thing you can have on your website is your opt-in form.
You see, none of those other pages are going to build your list. Yes, you can get an opt-in from your blog once in a while. And yes, you can get opt-ins occasionally from social media. And you can add customers who buy from you to your list.
But none of these things are designed specifically for the purpose of opting in new, interested prospects. That job goes to the opt-in form.
The opt-in form is what collects the email address and, usually, at least the first name of interested prospects. This is the only function of an opt-in form – to gather the contact information of people who aren’t ready to buy from you yet, but who might be willing to do so in the future.
However, People won’t give you their email address just because they’re interested in what you or your company have to offer. But, they will give you their email address to get something in return – something they believe will have value for them.
That “something” is called a lead magnet.
Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes – from short infographics to detailed white papers. But, with so many lead magnets to choose from, how can you know which one you should use?
Consider Your Market
The first thing you need to do before deciding on a lead magnet is consider your market. While some lead magnets might work better than others generally speaking, some lead magnets won’t work at all with a particular market while another will pull in subscribers to your list like gangbusters.
For example, a teenage market might not respond well to a lengthy white paper but would definitely opt-in to get access to an app. And a market of blind people won’t be interested in an e-book but might love an audio book on the same topic.
Think about your market. Do they like to read or would they prefer to listen to an audio? Or do they like video?
Video is the big thing online these days but it’s not for everyone. I, personally, prefer reading over video because I can scan what I read but, with a video if I skip ahead I might not understand what’s being discussed or what I’m seeing.
Just knowing the format your market prefers is a big step in figuring out the best lead magnet to use with your opt-in form.
Of course, you still need to know what information to put into your lead magnet that will be of value to your audience.
What Do They Want To Know?
You can’t create a video, audio or written work on just any subject. You need a topic that will grab your market’s attention, make them curious, and get them to opt into your list.
But, how can you figure out which subjects are most important to your market? How do you know what will get their attention?
You can easily find this out by doing a little research.
If you’ve already got some people on your list a great way to find out what they want most is to ask them using a survey.
You can sign up for an online survey tool like surveymonkey.com and create a survey to send out to your list. The key is to keep the survey very short in order to get people to answer it. One question is best, but don’t ask more than five. People generally don’t like answering survey questions so the more questions you ask the less people will participate.
Another way to find out what your market wants to know or needs help with the most is to look at the blogs of your competitors. Look at the blog posts that get the most comments. These are the ones that grabbed the attention of your market.
Also, look at the comments themselves. Read them and see what people are saying. Often people will comment about a problem they are having, but even general comments about a particular post can be very helpful.
Online forums and message boards are another good place to look to figure out what your market wants to know or what kind of problems they need to solve. Just scanning down the post titles will give you a really good clue. Click on the ones that really stand out and read them, and also read their comments.
The forum and message board posts that have a lot of comments are the ones your market really cares about most. Look for a connection between these. Are they about the same subject? Do they revolve around a particular problem? Try to see the bigger picture to find a common theme.
Social media and discussion platforms such as Reddit are also great places to see what your market is interested in and needs help with.
The internet has made this kind of research cheap and easy. It can be time consuming, but it’s worth spending a few hours to get this information so you can create content your market will want.
Once you know how your market likes to receive content and you know the kind of content they want, it’s time to create your lead magnet!
10 Lead Magnets That Aren’t Overdone
The best lead magnets are quick to get to the point, solve a problem, offer significant value to your market, and provide instant gratification.
With all of these things in mind, here are 10 lead magnets you can use to get more opt-in subscribers to your list:
1) E-course: E-courses make great lead magnets because they’re easy to set up and deliver to your opt-in subscribers. All you need to create an e-course is an autoresponder service such as Aweber. You can create a series of emails to go out to your subscribers at scheduled intervals, and once you’ve created the series it will continue to go out to new subscribers with no further work from you.
Shorter e-courses tend to work best for getting people to opt-in – such as five or seven days. I’ve personally used this particular lead magnet in the past, and I originally used a 15 day e-course. I found I got twice as many subscribers when I cut the e-course to 7 days.
The nice thing about using an e-course for a lead magnet is that it’s easy to make a sale at the end of it. You just craft one last email letting your subscribers know that they can get more information from your product and provide a link to your sales page.
E-courses work best for those who like to read information, although you can offer links to other media such as videos and podcasts, and they work well for businesses marketing to consumers as well as businesses marketing to other businesses.
2) Quizes: You can create a quiz on just about any subject imaginable. The key with quizes is they need to be short (10 questions or less) and fun.
Quizes are great for getting attention and people seem to find them irresistible. Once someone takes your quiz, they will need to opt-in to your list to get the results.
It’s best to create a quiz related to your business. For example, if you own a travel agency you might create a quiz people can take that will tell them the best place to take a vacation on a tight budget. The destination would vary depending upon the quiz taker’s answers to the questions.
Quizes are entertaining and work best for businesses that market to consumers. They don’t require much reading and appeal to most markets.
3) Membership: Everyone wants to belong to an exclusive group where they get certain privileges and/or information nobody else gets. And, if that membership is free it makes this deal even sweeter.
There are a number of ways you can use a membership as a lead magnet. It might be a membership to an exclusive Facebook group, or it might be a special area on your website that’s for members only.
Once people are a part of your group, you can create different levels that require people to pay for those higher levels of membership in order to have a access. If people like what you’re offering for free and they know others are getting something they’re not, they’ll want to move to the next level too.
Membership lead magnets work well whether you market to consumers or other businesses. And because you have so many choices in how you create your membership and what kind of platform you use to deliver content, it will work regardless of whether your market are readers, listeners or watchers.
4) Webinar: Webinars are really popular and you can create it once and have it replay over and over again. People are used to giving a name and email address to attend a webinar so it makes a great lead magnet.
The catch with webinars is that your content has to be really good. Most webinars last about an hour, and to get someone to sit through it until the end your content needs to be engaging and either solve a problem or entertain.
Webinars work great whether you market to other businesses or to consumers. They appeal to listeners and watchers, but you can have written content in your webinar to appeal to readers. I’ve seen webinars that contained nothing but written content.
5) Info-kit: The info-kit is a physical package that is sent to a home or business address. The big advantage here is that you get a physical address.
Another advantage to using the info-kit as a lead magnet is that it has a high perceived value. You can tell prospective subscribers that they’ll receive an info-kit worth $29.00, $250, or more just for filling out the opt-in form and clicking the button.
It’s also a good idea to charge for shipping your info-kit. A prospect who is willing to pay for shipping is a highly qualified prospect and is more likely to make a purchase from you than someone who doesn’t pay for shipping.
Your info-kit should contain a welcome letter, but beyond that it can contain any number of things such as a book or booklet written by you or that is about your company, a CD, a DVD, testimonials from happy customers or clients, free samples, a price or rate sheet, and anything else that would be helpful and relevant to a prospective lead that you would like to include.
The more items you include in your info-kit the more impressive it will be.
You can also offer your info-kit as a download. This provides instant gratification, but you won’t be able to determine whether the prospect is highly qualified because they didn’t pay for shipping.
One thing you can do if you want to highly qualify your leads but still provide instant gratification is give them something, such as a book or booklet, as an instant download and mail the rest.
Info-kits work great for readers, listeners and watchers because you can customize them to the needs of your market, and they make great lead magnets for attracting businesses or consumers.
6) Free Tele-Consult or Coaching Session: If you’re a coach or consultant you can offer a free 30 minute tele-consult or coaching session in exchange for a name and email address.
The advantage to this is that you get to talk with your prospect in person and find out what his or her needs are. The free session can be geared around finding out what the problem is, telling them about the service you offer and how you can help.
Then, in the next session (which they would pay for) you would help them solve the problem, tailoring your solution just for them.
The downside of the free consult is that you are spending your time and not getting paid, and there is no guarantee that the prospect will decide to pay for consulting or coaching.
The free consult or coaching session works well for businesses or consumers, depending on which one your market is. It will especially appeal to listeners but readers and watchers will like it as well because we all talk on the phone.
FreeConferenceCall is a great tool to use for tele-coaching and tele-consults.
7) Free Sample: This is a great one for a product based business and because the sample is a physical product, it gives you the advantage of getting a physical address.
Another advantage of the sample is that you don’t need to create anything new. The product is already created, and all you need to do is offer a little piece of it for your prospects to try.
Of course, free samples can work for other types of businesses too – such as music artists and authors. You can offer the free sample as an instant download in exchange for a name and email address.
Free samples work very well for business and consumer markets, and unless you’re an author this lead magnet will be appreciated by listeners, watchers and readers alike.
8) Plan or Schedule: This one works great for fitness and diet companies, but it could also be used effectively by travel agencies, educational companies, or just about any business that offers a service that is regularly scheduled.
What the prospect receives when they sign up is a daily, weekly or monthly schedule that tells them when to do something – such as when to exercise, or what to do on a staycation, or which recipe to make on which day of the week.
The plan or schedule should align with your business. For example, If your business sells cookbooks for those on a special diet you might offer a one week meal plan that gives recipes for three meals and two snacks for seven days, directly from one of your cookbooks.
The plan makes it easy to sell your product or service to the client because they will want to continue using it. If they’ve finished the first week of special foods with the free plan, they’ll want to buy the cookbook so they can continue eating more special foods the next week and the next.
The plan works with either businesses or consumers, and will work across the board for readers, listeners and watchers.
9) Template: A template makes it easy for your prospect to create something because all they need to do is fill in the blanks. The template could be for a Facebook ad, a blog post, a sales letter or a newsletter, or whatever would fit your particular business best.
A good template will be appreciated by your prospect because it will save them the time of having to create their project from scratch.
If you’re creative, you could offer a new template every week or every month to your subscribers. This not only delights your subscribers, it helps retain them too.
Templates are generally geared toward businesses rather than consumers, and are best for readers.
10) Podcast: If you offer an informative podcast as a lead magnet you will get subscribers. You must have good content for this to work.
The downside to podcasting is that it’s not always easy coming up with good material. Some ideas for podcasts are interviews with people of interest to your market, Q and A with your market, or explaining a topic of great interest to your market.
Podcasting is more involved than your average lead magnet or newsletter. A good podcast takes some serious and creative planning.
There are several different podcasting platforms you can choose from, which vary in their price and what they offer.
If you like podcasting, you can offer a weekly or monthly podcast. This will further entice people to opt-in to your subscriber list.
Podcasts work for business and consumer markets and are best for listeners.
These are just a few of the many kinds of lead magnets you could choose to put on your website, but I’ve chosen them specifically because they’re not so overdone like e-books and reports are. It seems everyone has an e-book or a special report these days, and when so many people are offering them for free they lose their appeal.
Good luck with whatever lead magnet you choose and let me know how it goes! I look forward to reading your comments below!
To your success,
PS: The Aweber link above is an affiliate link. I’ve been using Aweber for a few years now and I have always enjoyed great service from them at a reasonable price. They offer many great features. You can create email messages using a variety of templates, or use your own branding. They make it easy to get started. They’re a great company and I’m proud to be an affiliate with them. Thank you for using my link!