It’s an understatement to say that email lists have become crucial in helping business owners to convert interest into sales. 

That’s all good and well, but how do you get your email list started in the first place?

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You need to find a method that not only works today but is also future-proofed. Nothing beats lead magnets at this game. Business is all about give-and-take. If you want success, you need to provide your customers with value.

Are you ready to give your business and sales a boost?

If so, read on for your new go-to-guide on building email lists that keep expanding—thanks to the lead magnets you use.

Why build an email list?

An email list can be the first step in building a long-term relationship with future customers. It provides a direct line of communication between you and your audience. Unfortunately, most visitors to your website won’t be ready to make a purchase today. 

But they will be one day.

So, get the conversation going and keep it going with your email list. Start thinking about your email list as your future business. It’s a surefire way to keep people moving along your sales funnel.

Lead magnets 101

Lead magnets are to email lists as compost is to a garden. Email lists are the ideal way to prep the soil for future sales and to start cultivating relationships with prospective customers. 

But if you want your email list and buyers list to grow organically, you have to give something in return. And that something is the lead magnet. If you give people something of value, they will be more likely to give you something in return—in this case, their email address.

You can essentially think of lead magnets as content upgrades. They’re bonus pieces of useful information that your site visitors will find irresistible. For example, you can provide them with a free course or lesson.

How to build an effective lead magnet?

Remember that not all lead magnets are created equal. Crafting them is not always as easy as it looks. Time and effort are necessary to create an upgrade that can build your email list from the ground up.

Does it have value?

The main reason email marketing often ends up in the junk folder is that it gives nothing of value. You are bombarded with content, but none of it is beneficial. And this is where a well-designed lead magnet comes in.

Ask yourself what is there that you can do for your future customers? How can you make their lives better?

Happy man with his cellphone

You want to provide content that a reader wouldn’t generally have free access to otherwise. Or else why would they sign up?

Fill a hankering

However, providing value is not necessarily enough. You need to make sure it’s something your customers want enough to enroll.

As an example, just think of broccoli. This vegetable is healthy and packed full of vitamins and minerals. But that doesn’t always mean you’ll part with your money to get some. The same principles apply here.

One way to find inspiration is to analyze what your customers are already spending money on. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you might already be selling sign designs and templates on your site. In that case, an effective lead magnet might be a bundle of bonus templates.

Know your audience

All of the above boils down to knowing your audience and what it wants. This means doing some in-depth research.

For example, if you own an interior decor business, it’s not enough to know that your target group generally includes women. You need to drill deeper. Maybe you’ll discover that they’re single, working professionals with a taste for the finer things in life.

Don’t shy away from detail

An insider secret for lead magnets is that you should avoid being too vague—the more specific, the better. As we’ve said, you want to make sure you target a unique niche. Besides this, you want to provide sufficient info about the content.

How long will it take your reader to use, read, complete, etc.? What exactly does it provide?

The goal is to build a positive relationship with your future customers that is based on trust and respect.

Feedback, feedback, feedback

Don’t let your customers’ compliments and complaints fall on deaf ears. Nobody knows what they want as well as your customers themselves. Go to the comment section on your sites and scan through their feedback.

Or check out the feedback on similar products. Build your lead magnet to address the repetitive themes. 

It’s not only their feedback that can be useful. If you want to get it right the first time, ask for some expert help and advice.

Building links

Try not to lose sight of your end goal. The lead magnet should function as a product in and of itself. Yet you still want to sell your other products and services. So find creative ways to link your lead magnet and email lists back to the rest of your business.

An open program on a laptop

It should be a taster, not the whole dessert.

Types of lead magnets:

Now that you know how to build a successful lead magnet, all that’s left is to pick a type. Here is a selection of the most popular content categories:

  • Cheatsheets
  • Guides
  • Reports
  • Free trial
  • Video lessons
  • Toolkits
  • Community access
  • Test
  • Quizzes
  • Templates

These magnets have been tried and tested. All you have to do is pick one that suits your business and its goals. 

Future-proof your business

Nowadays, it’s not enough to grow your margins. Instead, you should shift your focus to what you can do for your customers. 

If you want your business to be successful long-term, you need to build up a relationship with each of your current and future clients. That’s where lead magnets come in. Get people on board your online community and start the conversation.

 

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