How To Use Lead Magnets To Build Your Email List (No Matter What Your Business Sells)

This week we’re going to be talking about one of my favourite topics – lead magnets. Although this is something that I have covered on the podcast before, it was an incredible 108 episodes ago and, in that time, things have definitely changed. Not only that but having just finished a list building challenge, I thought now would be the perfect time to revisit the topic with both new and existing listeners.

  • A lead magnet is when you are offering something to ideal customer that they will want and in return, they will give you their email address.
  • If you’re in the knowledge industry, you can give away guides, checklists, a video series, tool kits, reports, mini courses, digital downloads, e-books or free trials.
  • If you’re in an industry that requires you to sell a product, you can give away offers, discounts and competitions. You may also want to consider using your knowledge in the industry in which you sell a product and instead, give that away instead. Whether it’s a how-to or a guide, you can give away valuable information you have learnt throughout your time in the industry.
  • If you are running a competition, you need to think about how you’re going to make it only appeal to your ideal customer. After all, you don’t want people on your list is they’re not your customer.
  • If you’re promoting to an audience that don’t know you well, you need to think about how likely they are going to invest time in you. Because of this, you should keep your lead magnet short and sweet when you’re first starting off.
  • Your lead magnet needs to be low investment for those that download it.
  • When you create your landing page, you need to keep the questions to a minimum. A name and email form are all you need.
  • Your lead magnet needs to answer your customers pain point and needs to show that you’re an expert.
  • Make sure what your offering is good. If it’s not, those that download your lead magnet will be disappointed and are unlikely going to become customers.
  • If you have a podcast or a blog, you may want to consider offering content upgrades.
  • Once you have created your lead magnet, you need to post it as many times as you can online. Post it on social media, put a banner on your website and write it in your email signature.

One of the main reasons to use lead magnets is to get people to sign up to your email list, as it’s important you’re building this in any way that you can. On top of that, but it allows you to start building a relationship with a potential new customer.

  • What Is A Lead Magnet and Why Should You Use Them? – 05:00
  • What Should You Give Away as A Lead Magnet? – 09:00
  • Promoting Your Lead Magnet – 14:18
  • Things to Think About When Creating Your Lead Magnet – 16:40
  • Content Upgrades – 20:19
  • Getting People to Sign Up For Your Lead Magnet – 22:45
Transcript below


Hello, and a really warm welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How is your Monday morning? If you're listening to this on Monday, which of course you may not be, so whatever day it is, I hope you have a good day. Okay, so this week we are going to be talking all about lead magnets. Now I know we've done an episode on this before. It was actually episode two and I urge you not to go and listen to it because I had a quick listen to it before I recorded this one because I wanted to see what I included in it and to see if I could come up with enough stuff to make it worthwhile doing again and I decided to because one things move on and change and new ideas and strategies come out and two, that episode was so short, it was like nine minutes and I swear sometimes my intros are longer than nine minutes and also the way it was recorded and please don't go back and listen to it if you haven't heard it is so different to how I record now.

And you know what's really interesting is it sounds a lot posher I think my voice has changed and I think I have relaxed and actually just generally in life. I think I probably used to be a bit posher than I am now. But the second thing is it just sounds a bit kind of, I don't know, what's the word? Stiff. That's the word I'm trying to think of because you can tell that I've stopped and started and stopped and started and I have to say pretty much all the podcasts I do now, I literally just talk at the microphone on my own, like a slightly crazy person and then I just send it over to Phil who edits it and he'll just literally take out a really bad sort of, Oh maybe. I don't think it takes a lot to be honest. I think if I really messed up I would delete it.

But he tends to just like love like the balance or you know that sort of more techy side stuff and then put intos and outros on and sews it altogether and that cool stuff. But we're very authentic as you know. So I just thought it was totally worth me reading this one again. The other reason I wanted to talk about this right now is because we have just come off the back of doing a list building challenge and in preparation for that list building challenge, I obviously put together lots of content. I was really proud of it if I'm honest. And it's not often we say that about our own work because we don't want to feel like a big head. But honestly I put a lot into that and I gave so much information away. In fact, one of my team members, in fact, not one, two of my team members contacted me before and during the challenge thing, Teresa, I think you've given away a bit too much. And I think my reason for that or my argument for that is I just want people to get something out of it. Don't you hate doing like a challenge or downloading a lead magnet or doing something where it's a complete and utter waste of your time or they teach you something and you're like, yeah, no way. I knew that. And granted I know, I know obviously a fair bit about my industry and I do love it when someone teaches me something I don't know cause that just blows my mind. I love it. But honestly, sometimes not even the level, but just the, just the amount of content themselves is just terrible. And right before I started that challenge or before I started planning the challenge, I actually took part in someone else's challenge.

Someone who's way bigger than me. And again, I, that's how I felt about it. And I am obviously not gonna tell you who, but I literally went through the five days and I was like, is that it? Is that all you're going to tell the audience? And I was thinking of it from a, I know nothing point of view. So it wasn't that I was thinking of it from my point of view. I literally sat there thinking, right, let's just see what you're teaching. Cause I was thinking more from a teaching point of view, but yeah. And I was really disappointed. I just thought, well that's such a shame because someone has just given over some time of bears, which is a big investment because let's face it, time is the only thing we can't make more of. And for me, wasted it, which I just find really disappointing. But anyway, so obviously doing the lessons and during that five day challenge that I was putting together, we talked about it or I talk about lead magnets in there and I want to talk about them together again cause I know I mentioned them a fair bit on the podcast, but it kind of not came to me how important it was. I know how important they are, but made me realise that I really need to devote a whole episode to this. Really.


What Is A Lead Magnet and Why Should You Use Them?


Okay. So I've just realised my computer is making noises so I'm just going to put do not disturb on. There we go. Uh, told. Totally very authentic. I don't delete this stuff out. Okay, so let's talk about lead magnets. Now if you don't know what one is, let's start there. Basically what a lead magnet is, is you are offering something to your ideal customer that hopefully they are going to want. And in return they're going to give you their email address and you're going to put them on your email list. So that in short and in very basic layman terms is what a lead magnet is. Obviously, I'm going to deep dive a bit further into it, but the other thing I want to say about the lead magnets is someone asked me on the challenge, is it absolutely necessary to offer someone something in order to get them on your list?

And I thought about it for a little bit and I basically came back and said, yeah, it is really, because people don't do things just for the fun of it. They don't do things just because they think, Oh, they might want me on my list or on their list and they're trying to List-Build so I tell you what, I'll help them out by getting on their list. People don't do that obviously because funnily enough, they're not thinking about us and our businesses selfish. They're thinking about their own lives and their own things and they need a reason to get on it. They need a reason to be motivated to want to go on your email list or to want to sort of see more of you and therefore for me, I really do think you need to be able to offer someone something. The other thing that I think about it is now I do get people just opting straight into my list from my website, which is really the only place they can do it.

And, and I'm always really pleasantly surprised and blown away every time someone does because there is no motivation or no incentive, that's the, there is no incentive to actually get on the list when they're just signing up for my email list. So like I said that always surprises me and that's only just started happening within the last, I don't know, six, 12 months after that. So on the whole, the way people get on my list is through lead magnet. So the reason I use lead magnets are two reasons, mainly reasonable. One, as I've told you to get people on my email list, it's a great way to do it. It's a great way to get people to sign up. The second reason, which you may not have thought about is what's so good about a lead magnet is I like to call it a handraiser. So you guys are listening to the podcast right now and unless you come and find me and DM me or share something on social media, which I love and you know I love and I would be very appreciative if you did that and I love seeing you because otherwise I don't know who you are.

I am talking to the abyss and you guys are sat there with your ear buds in or it playing in the car or whatever you're doing and I don't know who you are. And also I don't know of you guys listening who is likely to want to join the Academy or join a 90 day programme and there are going to be people out there who do, and I know that because I have people in the Academy who came from listening to the podcast, but how do I, how do I know that? How do I find that information? And basically by giving you a handraiser, by giving you a kind of incentive to basically say actually two, he said, no, I really am enjoying this. I want to know more than basically I'm getting you to come to me and show me who you are so that I can see you and then I can start to build a relationship with you.

What Should You Give Away as A Lead Magnet?


And if you then want to go on to purchase something from me, then great. Obviously it's not, you know, necessary, but that'd be nice. But anyway, the reason you you give this lead magnet is because you won't be able to put their hand up and go, yes I am. I am your customer. I like what you do and I want to know some more. So the legs are two reasons for the lead magnets. Okay. So in terms of the lead magnet, we tend to know them well through things like downloads and checklists and cheat sheets and all that sort of thing because the lead magnet tends to be used more often in the knowledge industry. And what I mean by the knowledge industry is someone like me or a nutritionist or a coach or basically someone who sells their brain for their business. Okay. So in the knowledge industry it's really, really easy because basically you are effectively just selling what you know.

And therefore in terms of a lead magnet, you could just give out what you know I E give someone some free content or some free ideas or tips or tools or strategies. If you have a product that can seem and feel a little bit more difficult because people don't always necessarily think of giving away knowledge when they have a product. So one thing I want to talk to you about is if you have got a product rather than you're in the knowledge industry, and I'm going to give you loads of ideas of lead magnets, but you might want to think just slightly differently. So first off, if you have a product, a couple of the ideas that you can use are things like offers, discount codes, competitions, that sort of thing. So they are classed as lead magnets as much as anything else. So if you're doing a competition and you need people to give you their email address, then that's a great lead magnet.

If you are saying to people, sign up to my list and you get 5% off, great lead magnet, but you might not always want to do that because you might not always want to give away something or cut a bit off your bottom line. So one thing that you should think about or could think by is the fact of using your knowledge in your industry where you sell your product. Okay. So for instance, I have a very lovely friend who makes jewellery. She's a very talented lady and makes rings and necklaces and things from scratch. Very clever. I don't know how she does it. And she might think that a lead magnet for her has to be a discount off a product. And her stuff is obviously not cheap cause it's all bespoken handmade. So you know that's, that's devaluing it maybe a little bit.

She's obviously not going to do a competition to win a ring or something. Cause again it's a really high value. And also who wouldn't want to win that? That's what I sort of want to touch on just with competitions briefly is if you've got an amazing product who wouldn't want to win it and therefore it doesn't say that they're your ideal customer. So you need to think really carefully about the kind of competition in order to make sure you're getting only your customers that, that want it. So like I said, just giving away free products isn't necessarily the best way to build your list. And you might think, well at least I built my list. But as you may or may not know, a lot of these systems that we use a really cool, but they charge per person on your list as it were or per thousand people or whatever. So you don't want people on there if they're not your customers. Also, it's going to affect your open rate and things like that. And it's going to make you feel pretty rubbish about your engagement when actually it's not your folks, they're not your customers. Okay. So like I said, you don't necessarily always want to do a competition or a Deschaine, so why don't you use your knowledge. So for instance, you've got, she obviously makes jewellery and she's very clever and she knows a lot about stones and that sort of thing. So why doesn't she do a lead magnet that talks about which stone you should use for which occasion or what stone means what? I wouldn't have the faintest idea. Obviously I don't make jewellery or no, a huge amount of AIDS or of them what I like. So she could do that or what the different cuts mean or uh, how to buy a perfect engagement ring or five things you need to consider when having an engagement ring made for you.

So she could still use a knowledge in terms of a download or some kind of lead magnet. That is a knowledge thing. It doesn't just have to be the product. Okay. Let me give you a few ideas of things that you could use. So checklists. I have checklists out there on how to be proactive and manage social media. You can do video series. A series is, I nearly said then, I don't think that's a word. Video series. James Wedmore every year does a something like an eight part video series, and I'm going to talk about this in a minute because there's something I want to explain to you about the level of the lead magnet challenges. Obviously I've not long done a challenge in fact, although that was a lead magnet in one sense it wasn't because it was a lot of my existing customers, so it was more about I guess focusing on who I'd got in my audience already. Discount codes, cheat sheets, swipe files, quizzes and surveys. They go down really well because people love to know about themselves. So if you've got a survey that makes them discover something about them, then great toolkits reports, free trials, that's a good one. If you've got an online service mini course download also, you could do an ebook as well. So there's lots of different ideas of the type of lead magnet that you can do.


Promoting Your Lead Magnet


So one thing I want you to think about when creating your lead magnet is if you are promoting this to a cold audience, an audience that may not know you or know you very well. Then even though they haven't got to pay for it, they've still got to invest their time in it. And sometimes people like to give away lead magnets that are massive, you know, a 50 page ebook or going back to that suggestion or that example I gave before James Wedmore with an eight part video series. What you need to think is if someone doesn't know you or hasn't engaged with you in the past or hasn't ever downloaded of yours before, the likelihood of them wanting to invest time and effort into a 50 page ebook is slim to none. Also, they might download it, but they don't read it.

And what's the point in that? Because you've not sort of given them the benefit of your knowledge and therefore you've not proved to them that you know what you're talking about. So for me, what I would do when you're first starting off is I would consider keeping that lead magnet short and sweet to the point, but gives them a quick win. So make sure it really does give them a good bit of information or some good strategy or tip or tool or whatever it is. You need to make sure that it's a real benefit to them. But like I said, don't make it massive. So let me explain to you how James does his and my, he can get away with the eight part video series. James basically has an a lead magnet prior to the eight part video series. So his lead magnet first is a quiz to find out what kind of entrepreneur you are.

And obviously, like I said, quizzes worked really well. That goes really well. And then from there he promotes his, what he calls biz flicks, which is his eight part video series. Now each of these videos are about 20 minutes long, but this is the preamble to his launch. And his launch is for a three and a half thousand dollar course. So you are very unlikely to invest that money if you can't invest the time in free videos. But for the people who have watched those videos, they are much more likely to want to invest that money. So for me, his lead magnet works really well for a, the fact that it's not his first one and it's often too the second part, and B, he's selling a really high ticket item at the end and therefore he wants you to buy and he wants you to invest the time and if you're not going to do that into a lead magnet, you're really unlikely to do that in his stuff and buy the thing.


Things to Think About When Creating Your Lead Magnet


So that's what I want you to think about. Like I said, it's short sweet to the point, quick win. Okay. Some other things I want you to think about when creating your lead magnet, it needs to be low investment. Like I just said, you shouldn't have to spend three hours filtering through some free information to find out the two good things that you want to do. What I want to see is a PDF with those two good things on and if it's only two then that's fine. As long as it's good and real so they shouldn't have to invest a whole lot of time into it. Also they shouldn't have to invest a whole lot of time in trying to get it. So when you create a landing page, and if I'm saying which don't understand, a landing page is just literally a page which you would go to to get your thing and to opt into the, to the lead magnet on that page, you shouldn't be asking them millions of questions because again, that's not low investment, so you should be asking the name and the email and that's it. No, by all means, if you want to find some stuff out later on, then you can always serve them once they're in your list. But right at this point, I would keep that minimum or keep that information to an absolute minimum. The second thing it needs to do is it has to answer their pain point. So the lead magnet, the whole point of it is if you know what the pain points of your customers are, I. E. they are struggling with X, Y, Zed and that's what your service fix is. That's what your lead magnet should be helping to answer. Now it's not going to answer everything because that's your product or service, but it can certainly give them a tip or a tool or a suggestion in the right direction. It also needs to show you an expert. So there's no point me answering a pain point of entrepreneurs that actually is not part of my service. I mean it's very helpful to my audience, but it wouldn't help promote my service and then it needs to be specific. So when you are creating your social media post for it, when you are putting it in an advert maybe or writing the copy for the landing page, you need to be really specific in terms of identifying their pain point and then what it is they're going to get.

So if I take one of my lead magnets, which was five ways to build your email list that most people forget, then one of the things that I say on the landing page is are you trying to build an email list cause straight away? I think that's what it says. If I remember rightly straight away, I've identified their pain point or I've related to the pain point, which is I'm trying to build my email list and then I tell them what it is and then that's it. It's really simple and straightforward and the last thing is make it too good to give away. Now, this might seem a little bit odd, but you want it to be good. I've said before that you know, I downloaded stuff in the past, I've watched stuff in the past, I've just thought, what a waste of my time and that doesn't leave a good taste in my mouth.

So you need it to be really good because otherwise your ideal customer's going to think, Oh, I'm not bothering them with them again, it's a waste of time. The other thing if it's really good is they're going to think, wow, if I get this for a freebie one earth, do I get when I join the membership or a 90 day programme or whatever it might be. So you do want it to be good because you want to prove to people that you're good at what you do. You know what you're talking about and it's absolutely worth that investment in investing in the thing you're trying to sell. Okay.


Content Upgrades


A couple more things to talk about before we finish off for today is the other thing that you might have heard is something called a content upgrade. A content upgrade is great if you have a podcast or a blog or a video blog because what a content upgrade is is basically a lead magnet, but you are creating it off the back of your original content. Let me explain, so do you remember if you listen to the podcast regularly, a few weeks back I did an episode on campaign planning and as I was actually talking through the process recording the podcast, I realised that actually there was so many points to it. Wouldn't it be so much easier if you just filled in a form with all those questions that I was saying you needed to think about and actually on the podcast and I swear this is true, I didn't set this up. I actually sent on the podcast. You know what? I am going to create that. I haven't got it currently, but by the time you listen to this, you'll be able to download it. So what I did there was obviously I teach the process and teach why I did this and the things I need to think about when I'm putting together a campaign and then I bundled it all in this really nice, simple, here we go, here's a download of all those questions. You just need to fill this in. Super, super simple, super easy and really helpful. And if you've just sat and listened to that podcast episode and thought, gosh, that's good, why wouldn't you want to go and download that thing? So a content upgrade is effectively exactly the same as doing a lead magnet, but it's specific against some content that you've already put out there for free. And with no lead, you know you don't have to log in to get it. Also, it's particularly great on a podcast, Kelly, great on a vlog because often you are well, if you like me, I am listening to podcasts while I get ready in the morning or when I'm driving or doing something else. I am not sat at my desk listening to a podcast, so therefore if they summarise it up into a freebie that I can download, then great, I am going to opt in to do that because I've listened to it, I've understood it, I've liked it and actually rather than me than trying to get it all down later on and think about what all the points where I've just got that given to me so they can work really, really well. Okay. There is obviously other things to think about when you're doing a lead magnet, like how do you promote it, where do you put it? What goes into a landing page? And we're going to cover these and have covered these on other podcasts, but one thing I want to say is once you've created your lead back there and you've made it look pretty and you've created a landing page and you've got a post, you don't just post it once, you post it over and over and over and over and over.


Getting People to Sign Up For Your Lead Magnet


Now, unless it is very relevant to the time or very relevant to a particular moment in your business, then there's no reason why you can't keep posting it. If that thing is evergreen, I. E. it doesn't matter whether you get it today or get it in two weeks time or two months time, then keep posting it. Don't be fearful that someone has seen that already and you're going to annoy them. That's not the case at all. The cases that obviously we struggled enough to get our stuff seen on social media, so you want to give these people the opportunity as much as possible, so don't just create it and post it once. Keep posting it, put it on your email signature, put it in your cover image, but on your website do it as a pop up. There's loads of different ways. Talk about it on a, you know, your regular content, lots of different things you can do.

So hopefully I've dived a little bit deeper into this today. Hopefully giving you a bit more of an idea like I, we covered it in the five day challenge, which was really, really good. Got some people come up with some great lead magnet ideas and if you have got some great lead magnet ideas, come and share them with me. I'd love to hear them. Okay guys, I'm going to leave you to it next week. We're back with an interview and next week and please don't skip next week if this is not your bag, we're talking about SEO and I promise you I am nowhere near an SEO expert, very far from it. In fact, you could probably put what I know on a postage stamp. However, I've got these two amazing ladies who break it down into a really good format so that you can understand it and there are stuff that we can all do no matter how I was going to see like technically inept, but that seems really rude no matter how bad you think you are at the tech stuff because some of it isn't tech stuff. So definitely listen to that one. That's going to be a good one but until then have an amazing week and I will see them.