Email marketing used to be a simple endeavor with fruitful results. Marketers would post content on the web and include a section where viewers could enter in their email addresses if they wanted to see more content or subscribe. As the internet has continued to grow and dominate the advertising world, however, fewer and fewer people volunteer to be bombarded with sales.
Fortunately, industry leaders have grown with the times. Realizing that consumers would need some form of incentive to type in that email address and subscribe, marketers began offering enticing perks to get leads, typically known as lead magnets. Crafting an effective lead magnet is important, because in the modern advertising climate you have to convince your consumers why they should care about your product. Simple curiosity won’t go very far, but by following these simple techniques you can massively increase your subscribers list.
To create an effective lead magnet, you have to offer something of value to your audience, and the only way you can know what your audience values is to do some research. You can go through the guesswork of sending out surveys or track the SEO of your niche market, but the best way to find out what your target audience values is to see where they spend their money. People pay for value, so go where the money is. There are some very simple ways to do this:
- Look at the most purchased products in your niche.
- See what products online marketplaces pair with products in your niche (like “people also purchased” and “people also viewed”).
- Look at the prices of your competitors’ products. The most highly priced items are most likely the ones consumers perceive to have the most value.
Once you see where consumers place their value, you can begin to package lead magnets based on this information. Keep it relatively short. Digitalmarketer.com recommends this rule of thumb: “The perfect Lead Magnet will offer tremendous value within five minutes of the opt-in.” You are offering but a taste of the quality they will end up paying for later.
For example, say your business sells boutique clothes. If you did an Amazon.com search and found that people frequently purchased several complementary clothing items of the same brand at once, you can assume people value the taste of that brand. As an effective lead magnet, you could offer something that would validate and bolster that value: a free guide to mixing and matching your wardrobe (which would include items you sell).
Look In-House and Listen to Your Comments Section
More research for effective lead magnets is already right in front of you, sitting in your comments section and on your subscribers list. If your content has any sort of comments section, you have before you an actual platform where potential customers tell you what they want. Of course, there are always outliers, but if a vast majority of the comments all say the same thing, you know in what direction you need to go. Happy customers will freely choose to opt in for emails, and will be more likely to share your content with others. An audience that feels ignored or undervalued will not subscribe to your content, no matter what you’re offering in return, whether it’s a 40% off coupon or special access to content.
An often-overlooked source of information will come from your current subscribers. Simply ask them what kind of content they want to see more of, and you’ll be surprised at how much free advice you will receive. Generally you should only ask one question pertaining to what they want to see. Marketer David Masters suggests that “a great time to for one question surveys is when you send a welcome email to new subscribers. Subscribers have just signed-up, so they’re expecting to hear from you, and they’re motivated to interact. It’s also a great way of kicking off your relationship with each individual subscriber.” Asking them what compelled them to subscribe is a great start.
Create Compelling Content People Want to Read
This is the most important thing any website owner can do. Compelling content is the foundation to a successful website. When you offer content that is fresh, or original, that people want to read, you won’t have to work hard for a subscription. Make your content stand out from the rest. Write from an unexplored perspective, promote your brand in a unique and engaging way, anything that sets your website apart from the millions of others on the internet helps.
Again, value is important here. Website Builder Reviews advises, “People want to feel valued and respected, by subtly giving the reader a soft sell, they will find themselves being converted on their own terms, and this makes them feel valued, meaning they are more likely to return.” Very few people subscribe to content that they can receive from 12 other sources with a quick Google search. You want loyalty and you want subscribers. You get those things when you put forth the work to create an excellent website with engaging content.
Make Your Content Fancy
One way you can ensure your content stands apart is by sprucing it up. So many people become hung up on the meat of the content, but if you sloppily put it together and publish it on a boring web page, then you’ll find it difficult to attract any readers. Strong content still must be presented in a professional manner that is also easy for the audience to take in and intuitive for the audience to navigate. Many people are immediately turned off by a website with a thousand pop-ups, tacky ads, and font that is difficult to read. The same is true for a website that is all black and white and full of lengthy paragraphs. Content must be easy on the eyes for any audience, young or old.
The good news about sprucing up your content is that you really only need to focus on the aesthetics and how appealing it is to the eye. The content is already there, it just needs to be reformatted and represented to your audience. Strong content that is presented in a professional manner builds your credibility with your audience. Adding stimulating visuals to text and turning it into a PDF file. Then your content looks like a free eBook (a valuable offer!) instead of some bullet points.
Post Specific Lead Magnets
You don’t want to post any lead magnets that are non-specific and lengthy. Instead you should keep them specific and concise, with a relatively quick pay off. There are many different types of lead magnets, but the specific lead magnets usually perform the best. Your lead magnet should also be valuable. A specific and concise lead magnet that doesn’t offer much, won’t get you many leads.
To come up with the best lead magnets for your website, you will have to understand and know your audience well in order to entice them into email opt-ins. Always leave some ambiguity with your lead magnets, just enough to push your curious reader or customer over the line and into a subscription. For example, if you run a pet store and your blog post is about how to train dogs, don’t offer a lead magnet for cat food. Similarly, if you’re offering web design services, include a lead magnet for how to make a great website (without giving away too much free content).
Lead magnets are necessary now that people see dozens, if not hundreds, of advertisements a day. You have to offer value to someone that they can’t find anywhere else. You have to make your content worth their time. Competing for the attention of your consumers is tough, but great lead magnets can cut through the noise and boost your brand like nothing else.