You finally recognize the value of email marketing. You’ve read the statistics and you’re sold. You’ve signed up for an email marketing client (maybe MailChimp, ConvertKit or AWeber), your website is up and running and now you’re ready to add people to your list.

But how do you come up with an offer that strangers will sign up for? What makes people sign up for email lists anyway? In order to accomplish your goal of building a solid email list you need some good lead magnet ideas.

Think about the last time you subscribed to someone’s mailing list. Think about the value they offered you in exchange for your email address. Your potential subscribers are no different. In order to get their email address you have to give them something valuable, something that’s worth their time.

 

The lead magnet

In the marketing world the thing you share with your subscribers in exchange for their email address is called a lead magnet (in some circles they call it a freebie). Many business owners make the mistake of thinking their lead magnet needs to be a 100 page eBook or a Comprehensive Guide to their niche. But think about it. When was the last time you downloaded a 100 page eBook and read it from start to finish? (Really think about it; we’ll wait.)

When it comes to lead magnets think quality over quantity.

Don’t get swept up in the sea of lead magnet ideas online and assume that your lead magnet needs to be bulky to impress. While some industries will rely heavily on case studies and lengthy reports to sell their products and services in the B2B niche, for most small and medium sized business owners a simpler approach is more effective.

While there is definitely a place for longer or more labor intensive lead magnets like Ultimate Guides, full length eBooks and webinars, that is not the focus of this blog post.

 

Make it short & solve a problem

The main goal of your lead magnet should be to help your prospect with a problem. That means it should be easy to read and should be something they can take action on right away. The Complete Guide to Digital Marketing will not solve an immediate problem for a reader, but a checklist for a high converting landing page will. 

 

Connect it to your main product or service

Remember your ultimate goal is to turn your subscribers into customers further down the line, so the solution you’re offering (your lead magnet) should somehow be connected to your product or service.

For example, if you’re a travel agent or a tour company you could offer a checklist for a trip to Southeast Asia (maybe Do’s and Don’ts) or a quick guide outlining when’s the best time to go then follow up with emails that eventually sell them on a 3-country tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

 

Make sure they get it instantly

This is a critical and obvious step but still worth repeating. It’s one of the most frustrating things to sign up for a lead magnet only to receive absolutely nothing – whether in an email or a confirmation page. If this has never happened to you we hope your good fortune continues. And in the meantime, ensure you never disappoint your prospects in that way.

 

7 Lead Magnet Ideas

Now for the 7 lead magnet ideas you’ve been waiting for.

 

1. Checklist

Checklists are typically short and to the point. They’re a great way to keep track of important steps to consider in a process so they’re normally a hit. 

IDEA: A packing checklist is a great option for a travel website while a skin care/DIY facial checklist could work for a spa or a salon.

 

2. Worksheet

Worksheets are another great option for a lead magnet. Two to three pages is ideal. To ensure your subscribers make the most of them ensure that the pdf is editable since most persons don’t print downloads anyway. Here’s a great tool to make your pdfs editable.

IDEA: Here at AFIWI Marketing we give away a Customer Avatar worksheet to help prospects determine their ideal customer.

 

3. Templates

If you have processes or systems in place that work for you templates are a great freebie option that you can make. Here at AFIWI Marketing, we give away a set of email templates to help business owners who struggle with finding the right words to promote a product or service.

IDEA: Budgeting spreadsheets, content calendars and Canva templates are great options. 

 

4. Reports

Reports are another favorite of ours because they can be short but value-packed. We have a 5 page report with 10 steps that business owners can take to promote their business while spending very little money.

IDEA: A college placement service could create a report that includes the 10 elements that will help students stand out in their applications (bonus points if they include quotes/data from actual recruiters or admissions persons).

 

5. Cheat sheet

Cheat sheets are definitely high on the list of great lead magnet ideas. A cheat sheet is typically a one pager that covers a list of simple, brief tips or steps that are important to remember in a process or for a task.

IDEA: A cheat sheet for the perfect blog post could be used by a blogger who teaches others how to start a blog. 

 

6. Short email course

Depending on what service or product you offer, a short email course (with 5 to 7 emails) is another great lead magnet idea. With tools like AWeber, MailChimp or ConvertKit you can set up autoresponders to get your series going. Your email course doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to teach your leads how to do something in a series of 5 emails.

IDEA: A honey retailer could promote a pastry recipe series where they send out a daily recipe that uses their honey.

 

7. Infographic

Infographics are a great way to share information and they are relatively easy to make with tools like Canva. They are visually striking and make the topic memorable for the viewer.

IDEA: An infographic would be a great way for a florist to teach the anatomy (or the do’s and don’ts) of a great DIY bouquet.

 

Done is better than perfect

The key here is to start and get it done. Don’t fall into the trap of laboring over which one of these lead magnet ideas you should choose and execute on. It’s a free item that is meant to help your readers while growing your email list. You can always tweak it over time based on feedback. The important thing is to get started.

So what do you say? Which one of these 7 lead magnet ideas will you try first?

 

Photo Credit: creativeart – www.freepik.com

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