Episode 56: Top 5 Lead Magnets to Build and Grow Your Email List

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Alright everyone, welcome back to another exciting episode of The Creative Marketing Zone Podcast! My name is Eric, your host and chief creative officer of The Creative Marketing Zone and this is the podcast for all things creative in which we share awesome ninja tips and strategies each week to help you skyrocket your business!

If this is your first time here tuning into the awesomeness of this show, then welcome – I am super thrilled you are here. And if you are a repeat listening friend of the show, then welcome back – I am super excited that you have chosen me to share some awesome stuff in your ear each and every week, wherever you are.

Tuesday’s is when we release an awesome interview with a marketing guru sharing his or her creative ninja marketing strategies and tactics to help you grow your business. And on Friday’s is when I release a solo episode on something new I have learned that works, or a practice I have incorporated for some time that has produced amazing results.

Today’s episode falls into the latter category in which I will be going over the top 5 lead magnets to use in building and growing an email list. This episode is perfect timing as next Tuesday I will be releasing an awesome interview with an email marketing guru, Chant’l Martin who will be sharing some really powerful strategies and tactics to build and grow your email list.

Then next Friday, I will have a solo episode continuing on this topic in which I will be going over more tips on how to further nurture your email list, along with tools and resources to help you out.

Also, in case you missed Tuesday’s episode, episode 55, then definitely tune into that one after this episode.

I had the awesome privilege of interviewing Danielle Watson of The Danielle Daily Show. Danielle is a TEDx speaker, author, and personal branding consultant, and the episode was all about how being vulnerable can be used to help you build and grow a personal brand if done right.

Lastly, before I dive into the nitty-gritty of this episode, I do want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by Leadpages®.

If you are an online marketer, or you want to build and grow an email list, then Leadpages® is an absolute must!

I have used Leadpages® for a few years now and what I love most about using the platform is how easy it is to use their drag and drop templates, which are proven to have higher conversion rates, and how it syncs up with my email marketing CRM platform to start sending out the automated emails.

I could go on and on about this amazing platform, but I don’t want to take up too much time - just check out my affiliate link here so you can start experiencing the power of Leadpages® for your business to help you build and grow your email list with relative ease.

So, lead magnets guys.

First, what is a lead magnet?

It’s funny, in marketing land, just like in any industry, we tend to throw these jargons out there and expect everyone to know what they mean.

In marketing, which to me feels like the Wild Wild West these days, I am often finding that I have to brush up on some of the new lingoes out there. And with our industry becoming more and more automated, I can’t help but wonder if we might experience a little Westworld action in which the robots do take over minus the bloodshed – for those Westworld show fanatics out there that one was for you!

Alright, I am getting a little carried away guys, so to sum up what a lead magnet is, it is basically the online magnet you create to pull in leads for your business.

This magnet is the CRUCIAL first step needed to build out your email list, especially in today’s day and age in which it is getting harder to collect email addresses from folks.

I remember in 2012, all you practically needed to do was write a good article and have an opt-in at the bottom of the article saying something along the lines of, “Like this article? Subscribe below to receive weekly updates.” And that was it.

Here we are six years later and asking for an email address is a bit more complicated - like asking for a social security number it seems, but for all good reason.

If you think about it from the user experience, we don’t just want to give up our info for the sake of giving it up. We want something good in return, something of value that will help us solve a problem or pain point we are experiencing. And this is where the lead magnet comes into play.

So for today’s episode, I will go over the top 5 lead magnets with some pros and cons of each, how to create these lead magnets, and how to promote them.

Let’s first go over the top 5.

First and foremost is the checklist.

I love checklists, especially when you have a high-end product you are selling and you need to start collecting email addresses at the top of your sales funnel.

What’s great about putting together a checklist is that it does not take long at all to put these together.

I did one before for a home remodeling client in which I spent an hour piecing together a 5 – point bathroom remodeling checklist for homeowners or new home buyers. I did a quick Google search and found some good articles with tips and piecemealed them together into a simple 1-2 page pdf. Not rocket science.

I also added in a few pretty pictures and boom that was it.

I also did another checklist for a client selling men’s custom clothing. We did something along the lines of the Top 5 Tips for Men to Dress in Style and Look Like the Next James Bond.

I knew nothing about these topics, especially the men’s custom clothing. I mean here I was in my normal work attire – T-shirt and boxers putting together this quick checklist on how men can look like the next James Bond with their wardrobe.

A checklist is also good for the health and wellness industry. In fact, something similar to the checklist, which is something I am a huge fan of as well is putting together a cheat sheet.

Similar to the checklist, the cheat sheet is an excellent lead magnet you can easily put together with relative ease. I have seen this work really well in the marketing realm in which we are always trying to give away our secret sauce as a cheat sheet, or also in the fitness realm such as your cheat sheet to getting 6-pack abs.

Think about your industry for a moment. I am sure there are common issues you solve on a frequent basis or questions that routinely come up in which you can easily package up into a quick checklist or cheat sheet. If you are unsure of topics to put together, then do a quick search online and see what people tend to gripe most about in your industry. This will serve as the basis for your checklist or cheat sheet.

One key tip and this will apply to all of the lead magnets I share today, is that when putting together your copy for your lead magnet, you want to make sure you are not salesly with your copy. You want to always keep your copy in the best interest of your audience to help them solve his or her problems, and you want to be conversational with your writing and tone.

I always like to tell people to follow the 3 E’s formula when writing your copy, which is to be engaging, educating and entertaining. No one is going to tune into anything less than this, especially if you come across as being salesy. People won’t even tune in.

Now, when it comes to the pros of a checklist or a cheat sheet, the biggest pro is that it will not take you long to put this together. I will share with you a tool later on in this episode in which you can use to help you put together awesome looking cheat sheets and checklists for free.

In terms of the cons, well the biggest con is that the people who do opt-in for your checklist or cheat sheet are very top of the funnel when it comes to your sales process. They will get the cheat sheet or checklist and find value, then it will be up to you at that point to further nurture them, almost daily with a good email sequence to remain top of mind.

In other words, cheat sheets and checklists often work well for high-ticket items you are selling and you would like to get them into your email marketing funnel, but very rarely do they convert as an immediate sale in my experience.

So, the checklist and cheat sheet is number one.

Number two will be your resource guide.

Resource guides are great in that you can basically use the same principles as a cheat sheet or checklist but just expand further with examples and stories.

I actually use a resource guide now as my current InstaGrowth opt-in – proven strategies for beginners to skyrocket the growth of their Instagram.

It took about 4-6 hours for me to put it together this resource guide with pictures and stories, and it has been well received with people opting in.

The pro with a resource guide is that these are also relatively easy to put together, especially if you are super knowledgeable in your area of expertise. And the con here is similar to the cheat sheet and checklist in which opt-ins are very top of the funnel.

The third lead magnet is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE currently, which is one I am diligently working on now for my business, and that is:

A free video and/or audio training.

I love video and audio trainings, especially when it solves a particular problem I am facing.

If you think about it, there are tons of videos out there on YouTube you can watch to help you solve a problem or learn some cool stuff, hence why I love YouTube.

However, a huge missed opportunity in which I am starting to see more and more of is packaging up video or audio content and giving it away.

This works wonders if you are seeking to get students into a course, or a future webinar. And it is also an AWESOME, and I mean awesome way for you to connect on a human level with your audience – by video or audio.

I am actually working on a video training right now as a free-opt-in showing exclusive ninja tips to network like a pro with your target audience and skyrocket your engagement on Instagram without buying fake likes, which is a real thing people do believe it or not.

And I just signed up for a video training that is taking place with someone I connected with on Instagram.

The funny thing is this person reached out to me on my Instagram DM saying she really likes what I am doing with my account. I could tell this wasn’t a bot, so I immediately went to her profile and clicked on the link in her bio, which took me to her training program on how to rapidly grow your email list on Instagram. And guess what? The training was $20, and I gladly paid!

I let this person know that I signed up for the course, and in return, she sent me an awesome video DM to me saying thank you and that she would be honored to be here on The Creative Marketing Zone Podcast to share these tips.

That’s how the business world works for folks! I pay for the training and in return provide it right back to you for free, haha. No, actually, this is just one example of many in which the world of social media for your business should work.

And it is an example of how powerful video and audio training can be. Heck, I paid $20 meeting this person through an Instagram DM to be a part of her training. And I know I will be in her funnel moving forward for future products she is selling, which is fine by me.

This brings me to the point of why I love this lead magnet the most simply because you can literally find a problem that is out there, research it by watching a ton of YouTube videos, becoming a Jedi-master, then simplifying and re-packaging it up for your target audience as a freebie or a $20 paid opt-in.

Now, should you charge for your video or audio training? If you are first starting out, no, I wouldn’t. I would package what you have up together and give it away for free.

Over time, however, as you improve and get some raving testimonials, then I would definitely put a price tag on it for two reasons. One, you can make extra money, and two, it gives your target audience more incentive to actually go through the training since they paid something for it.

Now here come the pros and cons of using this approach. The biggest pro as I mentioned earlier is that you are able to connect face-to-face on video and/or audio, which can translate into a better human connection with your target audience.

However, this can also be a big con if you are not used to doing video or audio yet.

There is a certain knack when doing this, kind of similar to how I am sharing this content with you here on audio in which if you don’t have a likeability factor with your voice or in how you present things, then you may turn people away.

If you are not comfortable with doing video or audio yet, then I would stick to the checklist, cheat sheet and resource guides as your lead magnets until you start to get more comfortable. And to get more comfortable, really it just comes down to practice – the more you do it, the better you get.

The other con is that this can take quite a bit of time to put together. Ideally, you would want to keep the training to an hour or less. You will also need to edit the video after recording as more than likely this will not be a one take video or audio.

Alright, lead magnet number four is:

a quiz!

Who doesn’t like taking a short quiz to discover more about yourself? These, in my opinion, are highly underutilized and can be another great lead magnet.

One example of someone I know who uses this really well is Avocado Toast Marketing. Cara, the founder of Avocado Toast Marketing was on my podcast before sharing some email copyrighting tips and she has a quiz opt-in that works really well on helping you define your content creation style.  You can find the quiz on the home page of her website at www.Avocadotoastmarketing.com.

Another guest I have had on the show, Ali Hicks, founder of Amari Creative uses a quiz as her opt-in as well. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cara of Avocado Toast Marketing helped Ali and the Amari team put this together since I know they are both friends. The Amari Creative quiz is all about helping you define your unique brand design style, which works perfectly for her business model since they are an awesome branding firm to work with.

You can find this resource at www.AmariCreative.com. And don’t worry, everything you are listening to here is available on the show notes page at www.TheCreativeMarketingZone.com/podcast  episode number 56. This is where I house all of my content to go along with each episode for you to take advantage of, and it’s all free.

Now, the pros of doing a quiz are that it is interactive for your target audience, which is always a great creative way to get your audience involved with your business. And depending on how the results go, this can open up the door for a conversation with your audience shortly after taking the quiz.

The con with a quiz is that it does take some skill in putting together. Not skill in terms of the tools that are out there to format the quiz, but more so in how you structure the quiz.

You don’t want to structure it in a way in which the results are skewed, meaning they always come back in your favor or vice versa. And this is where using the help of let’s say Avocado Toast Marketing can come into play.

Alright, number five is:

All about challenges!

I have not done an online challenge before, but I have participated in a few before and they are phenomenal when it comes to building a community. 30-day challenges are the max I would recommend, especially when it comes to health and wellness or fitness.

There are even three or five-day challenges out there that work really well.

In 2008 I was working as an activities coordinator for a large gym facility and it was my job to get members to participate in more than just working out at the gym and going home. I loved this job and I did extremely well in the role as I was free to pretty much be creative.

At the end of the year, a few weeks before Thanksgiving here in the states, I put on a Turkey Trot challenge for the members. I basically created all these different activities members could participate in at the gym or outside of the gym – not all fitness related, but they did all tie into overall wellness.

Long story short, the challenge was a huge hit, and members were excited to compete for fun and for a grand prize at the end.

I realize this was not an online challenge example to share, but this is a personal example of a challenge I put on in the past that could see some awesome success in the online realm.

There are all sorts of challenges out there, especially right after the New Year when people are seeking to get their health and wellness in check. From 30-days to becoming vegan, the 6-pack challenge and more.

Now for the pros and cons here. The biggest pro is that you can really have fun with this and grow your community to a whole new level.

The con, however, is that if you do not have an online audience yet, then this is not a recommended approach to take with your lead magnet.

I would recommend the others mentioned here first, then once you have built up an engaged community putting on a challenge can be a way to go. Your audience may even tell you what the challenge should be simply by polling them, which is even better.

The other con, of course, is the amount of time this will require for you to put together and manage. You may need to hire assistants to help you, especially if you are running a business while trying to do this challenge.

So, there you have it, my top 5 lead magnets:

  • Checklist or cheat sheets
  • Resource Guides
  • Video or audio training
  • Quizzes
  • Challenges

How to create your lead magnet

Now, in terms of the creation of your lead magnet copy (e.g. your checklist, cheat sheet, etc.), I would recommend hiring a graphic designer or a branding firm, like Amari Creative mentioned earlier.

If you don’t have the budget to hire a firm, then the next best thing to do is use www.Canva.com.

I used Canva every day, and it is an excellent free tool you can use to design great looking social media copy, marketing materials, presentations, etc. They have tons of templates to choose from, many which are free, and you literally just need to change text and drop images in. Super simple and the designs do look great in my opinion, especially since I am not a graphic artist who knows Photoshop.

I would also HIGHLY recommend using Leadpages® for your lead magnet design. This is the landing page your target audience will see that will have the copy to entice them to give up their email address to get the lead magnet you are giving away.

I am an affiliate of Leadpages®, and what I love most about using this platform is that they already have awesome looking templates to pick and choose from that are super simple to update, similar to Canva. There is a cost for Leadpages®, and using the lower tiered plan of $37 month to start is well worth the investment.

And trust me, I have tested other free platforms, or even tried to create landing pages on my own website, and they did not convert anywhere near what Leadpages® did for me.

Another great platform out there that has this component is ClickFunnels™. ClickFunnels™ is a lot more robust as an all-in-one platform designed to help you build out sales funnels that convert. If you have the budget, then definitely go with ClickFunnels™, but for just getting started, Leadpages® works like magic.

What’s also great about Leadpages® too is that it syncs up with most email marketing CRMs out there, even MailChimp. Once someone submits his or her info on the lead page, he or she will automatically get the actual lead magnet sent to them via email along with your email marketing nurturing sequence set up on automation.

How to promote your Lead Magnet

Now in terms of promotion of your lead magnet, well you pretty much want to be promoting this everywhere, even in public.

Talk about it everywhere! Get people on your email list! Get them to soak in some valuable knowledge you are sharing, and get them excited to be part of your growing community!

Have the opt-ins on your website, your blog or articles, on your podcast or videos in which you direct your audience where to go to take advantage. Go on other people’s podcasts or video talk shows and bring it up on the show where appropriate.

I would also recommend testing out some ads on social media. I have had a ton of success with Facebook and Instagram ads driving traffic to the lead pages. Of course, when doing this, you will want to ensure you have the Facebook pixel installed on the lead page, which is super simple. I can share with you a great free tool to make this happen if interested.

The Facebook pixel is important because this will be the tracking mechanism for Facebook to show how well your ad is doing when traffic is being sent to the landing page, how many conversions you are getting, etc.

Twitter and LinkedIn ads are also great tools to use. I have used sponsored tweets to drive traffic to a lead page for super cheap in the past. I typically target a lookalike audience of the followers of an influencer out there.

LinkedIn is a little more expensive since you do need to spend a minimum of $10 per day last I tested, but this can work great too if you have a company page on LinkedIn with a good amount of followers. You can also do an audience expansion with your sponsored LinkedIn posts to reach more targeted followers.

So that’s it for today’s episode guys! I hope you enjoyed this one on all about lead magnets.

Don’t forget, Tuesday’s episode will be a good continuation of this one today as we will have Chant’l Martin on the show who is a marketing guru when it comes to growing and nurturing email lists to drive sales. She shares a ton of proven examples, and I am super pumped to have her back on the show as she is super knowledgeable about Pinterest and how to maximize this platform to get more traffic to your website, email signups and so much more!

Also, because you are such an awesome listening friend of the show, if you could do me a HUGE favor, and leave me a review on Apple Podcasts or iTunes, I would greatly appreciate it! When you do, email me at Eric@TheCreativeMarketingZone.com and let me know as I will be sure to showcase my gratitude!

Thank you for tuning in and enjoy your weekend!

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