You’ve done it!
You rub your hands together in anticipation and you wait.
You wait for the rush of subscribers….wait for the emails that tell you how helpful your freebie has been…wait to finally cross that ‘no. of subscriber’ milestone.
You refresh your screen and your number of subscribers has increased by…that can’t be true…just 4?
And 1 of them’s mom.
You shrug it off.
But this goes on day after day after day. Your freebie seems to have made no impact whatsoever. You’re still getting traffic. But none of those people are subscribing. No one seems to care about your freebie…the one you spent countless hours working on.
Is it that bad?
Can I break it to you?
It probably is.
Now, we’ve all been told that having an incentive is important to get subscribers…to ‘convert’ your traffic…but not many tell you how exactly to be strategic about it right?
Have a look at the examples below…
These are just a handful of the examples I found in the Facebook groups I’m in.
Everyone wants to know what opt-in freebie to create…
…What a killer opt-in incentive is for their target audience.
There’s a lot of guessing involved with no clear direction.
If your opt-in freebie is bad, you can get a tonne of traffic…write outstanding blog posts, but still have nothing to show for.
If you’re stumped, depressed or just plain frustrated…I’ve got your back.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss
- The opt-in freebie checklist that tells you what qualities your freebie should have and see if yours fits the bill.
- Free tools that tell you exactly what people are searching for
- How to name your freebie in a way that your audience can’t wait to get their hands on it
- Irresistible examples of how you can deliver your lead magnet
Want to take this further, I show you step-by-step how to create, validate, promote and deliver a high converting freebie in my eBook Opt-in Blueprint
Before we go into the post, let me tell you about…
My $87 mistake and where you and I get it wrong
My first freebie was a massive 20 page ebook called Shackled: Debunking 7 beliefs that are holding you back.
Take a look at it yourself.
I spent a good month writing it and paid someone on freelancer to proofread it.
I spent $87 on the proof reading. That’s how long the ebook was. Thank fully, I did not get it professionally designed and put together something on Canva.
Where’s the lead magnet now?
Somewhere in the deep folders of my Mac.
I never used it. The ebook was a good read and annotated with sources of research…but it wasn’t actionable. My mistake…
- I wasn’t tying in my freebie with my blog strategy.
- I thought it had to be long and attractive.
- I was creating something I thought would benefit my audience.
Now, your lead magnet gives a preview of your brand and your products. If her lead magnet is that good, how would her paid product be? That’s the impression you should be aiming for.
You should present a high-value piece of content that’s as good as a paid product. It has to be presentable but you do not have to get it professionally designed. What your target audience cares about is actionable content.
You can get an attractive looking opt-in freebie by using Canva, or PicMonkey. I’ve used Pages (Mac) for all my content upgrades and opt-in freebies.
So what’s going to make the cut you ask?
After downloading and sieving through several opt-in freebies, the best ones ticked off on most of these points below.
Qualities of a perfect lead magnet
#1 It’s easily consumable
Your readers are already suffocating with information.
They don’t want a long 30 page ebook with paragraph after paragraph of content.
Nikki Ellege Brown‘s lead magnet–The Conversational Copy Cheat Sheet is a breeze to read but still packs a mighty punch. It’s 2 pages and gives tops tips on writing copy that converts.
#2 Provides a quick win
Your opt-in freebie should tell your audience how to do something. Or outline a process.
Mary Fernandez has an excellent lead magnet that provides her reader with a quick win. Her lead magnet–Steps to Setting Up Your Facebook Ads for Mammoth List Growth with Minimal Cost–is easy to grasp and hits the nail on exactly what you need to do.
It’s one of the best lead magnets that I’ve ever received.
#3 Is Highly specific
Your opt-in freebie should be highly specific to your target audience and what it helps them achieve.
A strategic freebie attracts the right people.
It keeps people who are not your target audience out. Your lead magnet should not and cannot be for everybody.
Jeff Goins who blogs at goinswriter.com encourages aspiring writers and authors to build a platform, pursue a writing career and do their life’s work. His freebies are all closely entwined with serving his audience and the purple of his blog.
#4 Leads your audience through a change
Every piece of content on your website should bring your audience from A (their current state) to B (the desired state).
Your product and your blog’s core message should sell a ‘change’. The same with your freebie.
#5 Contributes to your brand, your current product and your future products
What do you want your brand to be known for?
What do you want to be known for? What products do you have or will have?
A lead magnet sits at the top of your sales funnel and guides your reader to your paid offering. It should not be a disjunct item but rather gel with your product offering and content.
For example, Bryan Harris’ opt-in is an email course ‘Jumpstart your email list’. This leads into his paid offering the ‘Rapid List Building System’.
Likewise, Raelyn Tan who blogs at Raelyntan.com is a traffic strategist and her opt-in is a guide book with traffic building strategies.
See how it’s linked?
#7 Is positioned on a landing page
A landing page removes all distractions (sidebar, header, pop up) and only focuses on the lead magnet.
If your opt-in form below your header or side bar has limitations in connecting to a landing page, consider having an image or mock-up of your lead magnet in your footer or side bar with a link to a landing page.
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in a service solely for landing pages, you can consider Convertkit. It
lets you choose from 4 landing pages and the price is coupled together with what you say pay for the entire service. There are no limits to the number of landing pages you can have too. You can read more about my Convertkit experience at this article.
Here are the elements you need to include in your landing page:
- Headline – Call out your readers’ pain or struggle
- Hook. Read this post for 4 examples of hooks you can use
- Your lead magnet’s promise
- What should they do next
- Picture of your lead magnet
Now that you know the qualities of an attractive opt-in, how do you start to build one?
How to build the perfect lead magnet?
1. Find out what would move the needle in your target audience’s lives?
What are their pain points? What are they struggling with?
These are big questions. Here’s how you get answers for them without guessing.
a. If you already have an audience, run a poll on Facebook. Ask them what they are struggling with at the moment.
b. Add discovery emails to your email marketing
If you don’t, it’s not too late. Discovery emails help you find out more about your audience. You can do this in a few ways
- Ask them to ‘hit reply’ and tell you what you can help them with.
- Give away limited free consultation sessions via Skype or Google Hangouts where you can help them out 1 on 1 for 15 or 30 minutes
- Pick your most active readers (look at your blog post comments & social media) or customers (those who’ve bought 1 or more of your products) and send them an email. These people are most likely to reply back to your email and questions because they are the most engaged with your brand.
2. What are they searching for?
There are several keyword search tools that help you find out what people are searching for. Each has its own merits and it boils down to preference.
Let me run you through a few.
Soovle is a free tool that I absolutely love.
Enter the root word you’re looking for. So in this case, my root word was lead magnet. Look at the keywords generated below.
Übersuggest is another awesome free keyword search tool.
Just enter your root word to see the keywords generated.
See how I’ve used it for this very blog post. I entered the term ‘lead magnet’.
It also generates a word cloud to make it easier to see the main terms.
Wordstream is another excellent search tool that gives you access to up to 30 free searches.
These searches also work for product based businesses. If you sold teething necklaces for instance, your root or key word would be teething.
If you were looking for suitable lead magnets to introduce your paid product, you’d do a search on Wordstream with the key word ‘teething’. It shows you the keywords and their search volumes. I’ve highlighted possible lead magnet ideas in the search box below.
Your opt-in can take several formats. Let’s explore a few examples below.
Irresistible opt-in examples
Kimra Luna who hosts her hugely popular Facebook Group Freedom Hacker’s Mastermind has 2 webinars as part of her lead magnet offering.
Why it works?
- The offer is free yet valuable because Kimra herself presents the webinar sharing her insights and tips in an hour plus interactive webinar.
Lacy Boggs has a blog post template as her lead magnet.
Why it works?
- The offer is specific and simple. It’s a 2-page lead magnet that delivers on its’ promise and gives the reader exactly what they signed up for.
- The offer is positioned on the side bar and the words call-out a specific problem/pain point.
3. List of tools/resources
We all want to know the tools others’ are using. Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur.co has a tools list – “8 Must-Have Tools for Creating, Selling, and Marketing Your Own Digital Products”– as one of her lead magnets.
Why it works?
- It opens a curiosity loop. We are all wired to want to know what tools others are using.
Lead Pages also has a neat video that shows how fabulously its tools lead magnet has been converting.
If you’re a coach, you could consider having a quiz. See how Kate Northup does it on her site.
Why it works?
- It opens a curiosity look to know the answer.
- Lets you trial working with the authority before signing up for coaching packages.
5. Free Consultation or brand review
Murielle Marie offers a free coaching call on her site.
Why it works?
- It lets you trial working with the authority before signing up for coaching packages.
6. Cheat sheet
Smart blogger previously Boost Blog Traffic has a cheat sheet of headlines you can use to make your blog posts go viral.
Why it works?
- The offer is simple and straight forward. People know exactly what they are signing up for.
7. Roadmap or blueprint
Jonathan Milligan who blogs at Bloggingyourpassion.com has a roadmap that gives you an overarching picture of how to become a full-time blogger.
Why it works?
- People like to follow a roadmap that leads to a promised destination.
8. Guide books
Latrisha has a brand guide as her lead magnet.
Why it works?
- Guides are really popular and are perceived to have more value than just an ‘ebook’.
9. Private Facebook Group for members
Latrisha goes a step further to include a Private Facebook group bundled with her lead magnet. It’s all about networking and exclusive access to a members only community with like-minded people is definitely a plus.
10. Email Course
There are plenty of free email courses around.
If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest not to have a very long course (30 days for instance). No one has time for that.
Keep it short.
One of my favourite courses was by Alex Tooby of Instagram marketing. She runs a free Instagram course: Instagram Authority that leads to her paid product.
Why it works?
- In-depth and equivalent to getting a free course.
- Since the emails are dripped, it builds anticipation for the next piece of content.
11. Coupons, free shipping or discounts
These work not only for physical products but also for services or courses.
You can do lots of wonderful things with printables. If you run a food, fitness, home organization blog, these would be great. Remember to keep your printable specific to a problem or pain point you’re trying to address.
13. Free trial for plugin or software
Now that you know the qualities of an effective lead magnet and examples of lead magnets that work…
What do you name your opt-in?
1. Make it specific
- Double your freelance rate’
- 10 days to a sugar-free life
- 105 contents hacks and 2 years’ worth of content
2. Focus on outcomes
What do they gain or achieve by consuming your lead magnet?
- 1000 subscribers in 30 days
- 5 days to your WordPress blog
- 27 productivity tools & hacks to shave hours of your time
3. Be clear and short
Keep your words simple. Can they understand what they would be opting into immediately by looking at the title?
“Be clear first and clever second. If you have to throw one of those out, throw out clever” -Jason Fried
4. Make them curious
- How I gained 1000 subscribers in 30 days
- How I lost 10 kg in 30 days
If you doubt your opt-in isn’t quite your best work, it probably isn’t
Don’t be afraid to rehash. Keep tweaking and testing.
Want to dive deeper into creating a high-converting opt-in freebie? Check out my ebook Opt-in Blueprint