If you haven't noticed by now, here at Brand Creators we are extremely passionate about list building.
Not only because it's the highest return-on-investment marketing activity, but because it creates an asset that can drive traffic anywhere that we need to.
One of the biggest mistakes that we see people making is that they try to continuously build their list by using pop ups on their website that say something along the lines of “ sign up here to get our newsletter” or other variations of that phrase.
While this will result in a few random people signing up for your email list there's a much better way to continuously build your list, using a lead magnet.
What IS a Lead Magnet:
A lead magnet, exactly like it sounds is something designed to catch the attention of the ideal person for our email list.
Basically, it's a bribe or incentive for someone to join our list. It can help them solve a problem, overcome an obstacle, or give them the exact steps they need to accomplish something specific.
A well-designed lead magnet will help us grow the list both via the traffic that comes to our website ( or a specific post) as well as give us the ability to run ads in different places, such as Facebook.
One of the nicest things about lead magnets is that quite often we already have created everything that we need to build one oh, if we are already active in our Market.
Attract and Repel
Since the idea behind building an email list is that we only have people who are actually interested in the things that we have to offer, both from a content and a product perspective, a properly designed lead magnet will attract the correct people and will repel or repulse people who are not the correct fit for what we have to offer.
While this may sound counter-intuitive, because after all we want as many people on our email list as possible, it makes sense when you take a few minutes to think about it.
If we are in the fishing Market, and we create a lead magnet about outdoor life, sure we will attract a ton of people who are interested in fishing, but we will also attract people who don't care about fishing and care about camping or hunting instead.
Just like with the content we create for our site, we should niche down for our lead magnets.
A much better lead magnet, would be something like a guide to bass fishing at night.
This will repel people who may be interested in the outdoors, but not if they were interested in fishing or even more specifically bass fishing.
The best ideas for lead magnets, will often result in the people who use them achieving a specific result.
The 5 Types of Lead Magnets
Generally speaking, we can group all of the different things that we could create as a lead magnet into five different categories that we will cover below.
Each of these five types has their place in just about every Market, as you're considering you're leaving ideas it's important to consider these five types, see what your competitors are doing, and then come up with ideas that match the one or two types that may work best for your specific Market.
One of the most common types of lead magnets, and perhaps the easiest for many people, is the giveaway or contest.
Just like you are imagining, in the case of a giveaway we are going to be building a prize of digital or physical products ( usually worth at least $200) as our “ bribe” to attract people into joining our list.
If, after reading this article and choosing your lead magnet, you decide to use this strategy, you may want to check out our full guide to building a contest here.
As mentioned above, contests are extremely easy to build and put in front of our audiences. This can often be the best strategy if we are completely new to the market and haven't developed any content at this point.
Giveaways don't require that we build anything other than the page and that we have something to give away as a prize. This makes them extremely simple to set up and put in front of our audience.
Obviously nothing comes without a cost and giveaways are no exceptions. Giveaways can lead to gaining a lot of email addresses, but because they are very hard to make specific to people who are interested only in your specific Niche, it can result in a lot of bad email addresses (e.g. people who are only in it for the prize), which we need to clean out later.
They can result in you building a very large list, but the people on that list are typically not as engaged as they would be if you had used one of the other methods that we are talking about.
As I mentioned earlier, generally speaking the best lead magnets can help our prospects achieve a very specific outcome. One of the best ways to do that is by creating a checklist. these can either be used to help somebody walk through a specific process or to just give them a list of things that they need to get started.
For example, a checklist of the five steps that you need to go through to ensure that your Facebook ads are set up correctly, would give people looking to create better Facebook ads the specific outcome of being able to ensure that their ads are always set up the best way possible.
One of the nicest things about checklists, is that they are very very simple to put together. If you have a basic understanding of the process that your prospects are worried about, you can simply write the steps down in a document and you're basically done.
They are extremely simple to put together but considered to be very valuable by your audience because it helps them solve a problem and achieve the specific outcome that they're looking for.
Unfortunately, checklists are not quite as sexy as some of the other types of lead magnets and require that your prospects are in a very specific place in their Journey. they have to specifically have the problem that you are trying to address with the checklist in order for this to appeal to them as a lead magnet.
While that generally leads to a much lower conversion rate, people who download checklists are often much more engaged, because you help them achieve a specific result and they remember that.
Guides to a topic, like a travel guide to a certain destination or The Ultimate Guide to night time bass fishing, can be extremely appealing to your audience and are one of the better types of lead magnets to create.
Generally speaking guides are going to be more comprehensive than something like a checklist and will provide an overview and understanding whatever the guide is about.
This makes them very appealing to a large variety of people in your audience.
A well assembled guide will not only give you a prospect a better understanding of the topic, but it will allow them to achieve a few specific results that they are interested in.
Because of the appeal and the number of things that a well assembled guide can help you achieve, guides can lead to a good sized list of highly engaged people.
I would say that they fall somewhere between a checklist and a giveaway in terms of the size of list that they can build and the level of Engagement that results from the people who sign up for it.
To truly make a well-built guide takes a substantial amount of time and effort AND a good understanding of your Market in order to make sure that you are covering all of your bases.
It's a much more time-consuming project than most of the other types of lead magnets
Templates, like email templates or templates for creating social media posts, can be a fantastic lead magnet and can do especially well any place you are running ads.
After all, even the best email writer, scrapbooker, graphic artist, needs some inspiration from time to time and your templates can be a great way to bring them into your ecosystem.
Since templates solve multiple problems for the audience, including helping them save time, helping them to come up with more ideas…etc, they can be extremely appealing to our audiences.
Add to that the fact that they are generally easy to create (as long as we have the skills), and you can use this method to start building your lists in as little as an afternoon.
Obviously in order to create templates, we have to have the skill set necessary for creating this product in the first place. If we have never written an email before, it becomes pretty difficult to give away email templates oh, just like if we've never made anything from wood, it's very hard to give away woodworking templates.
Like it sounds, if we choose to use a video series as a lead magnet, we are going to create a series of videos that helped walk our prospects from point A to point B in whatever result we are trying to give them.
If we were in the bass fishing market for example we could create a video series Walking them through everything they need to do to catch their first bass, from how to bait a hook and line.
Because video is seen as a difficult thing to do, people in your audience will often view a video series as a very compelling offer in exchange for their email address. It has the perception of something that's extremely valuable, even if the content is exactly the same as something that you could have written in a guide or checklist.
A well-done video series can result in an extremely high conversion rate and a very engaged audience.
Using videos as a lead magnet, is one of the more complex things that you can do in order to create and build your list. Not only do you have to have the equipment to record a video ( although these days you can use something like your phone) but we also need to have the ability to host these videos somewhere that not everyone will find them.
Generally speaking, that means we are going to be paying a few dollars a month for another piece of software in order to keep our lead magnet hidden from the General Public.
Coming Up With Ideas
Now that you have an understanding of what a lead magnet is and the different types that you may be able to use for your specific Market, it's time to actually come up with some ideas of your own that you can implement.
While there are a variety of different ways that you can come up with these ideas, there are two that make this process very very simple.
The Stick Figure Exercise
A very simple exercise that works in just about every Market is what we refer to as the stick figure exercise.
Essentially, we grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and we draw two stick figures.
Towards the left, we have our grumpy or sad stick figure he represents are prospects where they are currently.
On the right, we draw a happy stick figure that represents where our prospects want to be.
Between the two stick figures we draw a basic timeline that has 3 – 5 steps on it, each of these steps represent one small win that your prospect can achieve and be proud of in their journey from where they are to where they want to be.
For example, if we were in the guitar Market our sad stick figure is someone who wants to learn how to play the guitar and our happy stick figure is someone who can play a basic song.
Something important to keep in mind here is that they don’t need to be a “rockstar” at the end of this timeline, because they REALLY just want to learn to play right now…..we can help them be a rockstar LATER.
In this example, each step along the way would be something that would help the person learn how to play a basic song.
- Step #1: Play 3 Basic Chords
- Step #2: Master a Strumming Exercise
- Step #3: Learn a Simple Riff
- Step #4: Combine 1-3 and Master a basic song (the full end result)
As you can see, each of these individual steps can become a lead magnet that results in our Prospect achieving a small wind in their journey to learning how to play a basic song.
While developing a lead magnet for all three steps can help you to capture the most amount of people, because each step will appeal to someone in a different place in the journey, it's not necessary to have all three in place in order to start building your list.
Choose one stage and start there!
What’s Already Working?
Now that we have a good idea of the results that we can deliver to prospects in our Market by doing the stick figure exercise, we should take a look at what is already working rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.
The first place that I would suggest starting is by simply going to your competitors websites and taking a look at what they are using it for lead magnet. Here, we are going to be looking not just at what the content of the lead magnet is (e.g. learning 3 chords), but also how it's being delivered.
This can help inform us about exactly which of the five methods we discussed above are likely to be the best for delivering this type of material to our audience.
I would also suggest taking a look at the Facebook ads Library, because it can give you great insight into not only what your competitors are doing, but it gives you a good idea of what's working well for them right now.
As I've said before if somebody is spending money on something, especially if they've been doing it for a while, it's likely to be working for that business.
Obviously, we're not going to copy exactly what our competitors are doing but taking a look at what they're doing can help us short cut the lead magnet process by telling us what our prospects are interested in and the format in which they choose to consume it.
Take Action Steps:
Now it's your turn, you have read this entire article and you now have an understanding of the different types of lead magnets and what you need to do in order to create your own.
Start by grabbing a pen and paper, or if you're one of those weird people who would like to take notes on your phone you can do that as well, and start by doing the stick figure exercise.
Once you have that done, it's time for you to take a look at your competitors websites and the Facebook ads library to come up with some more ideas.
Try to come up with at least three to five ideas both for content and for types of lead magnets, before you choose one.
Often times it’s not the FIRST idea, that’s the best one.
Take The Fast Track
Understanding and choosing the correct lead magnet for your audience is one small part of what you need to be doing in order to build and grow your email list, if you want more help with understanding this or any other portion of the email list building process, my suggestion would be to take a look at the Email List Building Fast Track Workshop.
This 3-hour Workshop will not only teach you how to pick the perfect Lead magnet, but also how to create a highly converting page, how to drive traffic, and how to write and send your first emails….. so that your list will actually read them and start to engage with your content and products.