One of the most effective marketing channels in use today is email. Even with all the emphasis on social media, email is still the number one converting platform for marketing your business. That’s why capturing email addresses is perhaps your most important marketing task. The best way to capture email addresses? Create an irresistible lead magnet.
Email marketing by the numbers
- We send more than 74 trillion emails every year
- People send and receive 281 billion emails every day
- More than 3.8 billion people use email
- In the US alone, 85% of adults send or read email
- 78% of US teens consider email part of their everyday life
- 99% of us check email every day, some up to 20 times a day
- The average successful delivery rate of email is 98.3%
- Every dollar spent on email marketing brings in $38 in return
These numbers are astonishing. Here are my key takeaways:
- Email is not going anywhere. Most people still use it every day. In fact, consumers prefer email for communicating with the brands they’re connected with.
- Email is a very effective way to communicate directly with your audience. You send an email, they receive it, and then they have to do something with it. Either ignore it, read it, move it, delete it, or unsubscribe. This is in contrast to all those social media posts that are never even seen by most people.
- You need to build your email list. This is a non-negotiable. From the day you start your business, you should be capturing email addresses. The best way to do this is by offering an irresistible lead magnet.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is basically something you offer your audience in return for their email address. Some people call it a freebie, an incentive, a giveaway, a free download, or an opt-in.
I like the term lead magnet because it describes both sides of the process.
The ‘lead’ is the person who is giving you their email address. They are opting in to receive more information from you. They want to hear from you.
The ‘magnet’ is the attractive item that you are offering in exchange. It’s important that this item is something irresistible, something worth the ‘payment’ of their email address.
Once you have their email address, you can start communicating with them in a more meaningful and more effective way. They’ll get to know, like, and trust you much faster via email than say, by following you on Instagram.
What makes an irresistible lead magnet?
Your lead magnet should be something your audience finds absolutely irresistible. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to create an irresistible lead magnet:
- Make sure it’s valuable. Think about the kinds of things you’d be willing to trade your email address for. Does your lead magnet provide some real value for your customer?
- Be very specific. Don’t try to give away everything you know in one document. Stick with one specific topic per lead magnet. You can always create more.
- Make it easy to understand. To be irresistible, it has to be easy to understand what your people are getting when they download this thing. Keep it simple and you’ll attract more people.
- Be sure it solves a problem. The big idea behind an irresistible lead magnet is that it solves a real problem for your ideal client or customer.
- Make it instantly available. This should be obvious but your lead magnet should be delivered as soon as they’ve submitted or confirmed their email address. Don’t make them wait.
- Showcase your expertise. The most important thing here is to create a lead magnet that shows off your amazing expertise. You are really good at what you do and an irresistible lead magnet should confirm this.
How to create an irresistible lead magnet
Now that you understand what a lead magnet is, and what an irresistible lead magnet should look like, it’s time to create your lead magnet. Below, I’ve laid out the basic steps involved in creating your irresistible lead magnet.
Step 1. Identify the problem
I don’t think I can stress the importance of this step enough. In order to create a compelling lead magnet, something your target market will find irresistible, you have to know what problem you are trying to solve.
What are the core problems your ideal client is experiencing? What keeps them up at night?
Pick one very specific problem you can help them solve with your lead magnet. Don’t be broad and don’t be vague. Get laser-focused on solving one problem and your lead magnet will be more attractive.
100 Days of Real Food is a meal-planning website. One of their customer’s problems is struggling to come up with recipe ideas on a limited budget.
Marie Forleo’s followers lack the courage and confidence they need to succeed in business.
SnackNation knows its potential customers are skeptical about shopping online for office snacks.
Step 2. Create a simple solution
Now that you’ve identified one very clear and specific problem your customer has, it’s time to start thinking of how you’ll deliver the solution.
There are literally hundreds of different types of lead magnets you can create. Choose one that works well with your brand and that your customers will find appealing. Here is a list of 40 lead magnet ideas to get you thinking:
- Exclusive interview
- Quick-start guide
- Slide deck
- Resource list
- Free coaching session
- Inspirational quotes
- Industry report
- Cheat sheet
- Free trial
- Email course
- Hacks or shortcuts
- Coupon or discount
- Plug-in or web app
- Inspiration file
- Audio file
- Book chapter
- Printable poster
- Compilation or roundup
- Survey or survey results
- Desktop wallpaper
- Assessment or test
- Recorded workshop or event
- Review of a book or product
Pick one relevant, clear, and simple idea from the list above and create an irresistible solution to your customer’s problem.
For 100 Days of Real Food, an awesome, irresistible lead magnet is a free cookbook of 100 budget-friendly recipes.
Marie Forleo offers a free audio training where “you’ll learn three simple strategies that’ll give you the courage and confidence to create a business and life you love.”
SnackNation will send your office a box of 15 of their best-selling snacks for FREE! That is one irresistible lead magnet!
Check out the lead magnet I created especially for this post. If you’re an independent entrepreneur and would like to learn 40 proven ways to boost your brand and attract better customers, download my free guide below!
Step 3. Make it easily available
So, you’ve identified one pressing problem your customer is dealing with, and you’ve created an irresistible lead magnet that helps solve that problem. Now what?
You need to make your lead magnet easily available.
First, you’ll need an email service provider. MailChimp is a good option if you’re just getting started, but if you’re serious about growing your email list, consider a more robust option like ConvertKit.
Next, you’ll need to create a form to capture email addresses and add them to your list.
Finally, you’ll need to deliver your lead magnet. This is usually done as soon as someone signs up or confirms their email address.
(For this episode, I’m not going to go into the details of how to set up your email account, create your form, and configure your download. I’ll cover this in detail in a future episode. There are just too many variables involved and the whole setup process falls outside the scope of what I’m talking about today.)
Once you have your email service provider all set up and working, it’s time to make your lead magnet easily available. There are many places you can put your lead magnet that will grab people’s attention and encourage them to download:
- Landing page. This is a dedicated page on your website with one action item – enter your email to grab an irresistible lead magnet. One of the biggest reasons to create a dedicated landing page is that you can link directly to your landing page from anywhere, like a social media post or an ad.
- Blog posts. Place your lead magnet in the middle of your blog posts or at the end of every post.
- Sidebar. Put your email opt-in form in the sidebar of your website and it will be accessible from just about every page.
- Popups. Popups can be annoying if they’re not done right, but they are incredibly effective at converting lead magnet downloads.
- Checkout. Add your lead magnet or email opt-in during the checkout process if you have an online store.
- Social profiles. Include a link to your lead magnet landing page in all of your social media bios.
- Social posts. Like I mentioned above, you can add a link to your landing page in your social media posts.
- Email signature. Add a link to your lead magnet in your email signature.
- Snail mail. You can also add your lead magnet to physical mail you are sending out. Include it on a thank-you card, or on an invoice sent with a product.
There are countless ways you can make your lead magnet easily available. Try a few and see what works best. You can always switch things up.
What’s your irresistible lead magnet? How are you grabbing your audience’s attention and capturing their email addresses? Drop a comment here or in our Facebook group, where you can also reach out for help, guidance, and feedback on your lead magnet.