They say traffic is king.

But in reality, it’s only part of the equation. You see, even with all the traffic in the world, your business will still struggle to make money…

…if you can’t make all those visitors stick around.

The best way to do that is to convert them into email subscribers. As a marketing channel, email blows everything else out of the water (just check out these findings by McKinsey).

Without a doubt, building a high-quality email list is the first and most important objective you need to focus on.

Offering an opt-in bonus (a.k.a. ‘lead magnet’) to potential subscribers is a time-tested strategy that works incredibly well… if you do it right.

And this is exactly what today’s post is all about. Let’s dive in!

Lead Magnet 1

But First… Here’s the Problem with Most Lead Magnets

Unfortunately, most lead magnets on the Web fall into two categories:

  1. Simply bad – “X Tips for Success at [Niche]”
  2. Non-existent – “Join our newsletter [because of reasons]!”

We don’t need to explain why neither approach works. First, your visitors have an ocean of tips at their fingertips (pun intended). So why would they subscribe for something they can Google in two minutes?

Second, they have a myriad newsletters already. Look at your own inbox, and understand that the offer to “join a newsletter” sounds about as appealing as watching old infomercials all night.

What Do Website Visitors Really Want?

There’s one word for it: a solution.

If people are browsing your website, they have a problem. If you can prove your ability to solve it for them, they will happily give you their email address!

That’s what a good lead magnet should be – the simplest, most direct, and valuable solution to your target audience’s single most painful problem.

The only question is, how do you create one, step by step?

We’re glad you’re asked! We want to show you a proven 3-step framework to craft an irresistible lead magnet specifically for your target audience. As an example, we are going to use The Draw Shop’s own lead magnet (we’re humble like that!). Read on…

Step 1. Get in their heads and find the biggest pain

This is the most important step of all. For your lead magnet to work, it has to be relevant and valuable. You can’t guarantee it without doing customer research and getting to know your target market intimately.

Take your potential customers out for coffee, talk to them on the phone, send out development surveys, study what they say on blogs, user reviews, and social media… Find the problem you want to solve.

How we did it: You probably know that we love whiteboard videos here at The Draw Shop (in other breaking news, water is wet, and dawn happens in the east). So much so that we recommend everyone to use them for selling, promotion, education, and in many unconventional ways.

Some people were over the moon about the potential of whiteboard videos. Others… not so much. To our surprise, one objection came up again and again…

“I don’t have any good ideas for whiteboard videos!”

When you hear these exact words from dozens of people, you know you’re onto something… and that’s how our lead magnet idea was born!

Step 2. Decide what SINGLE best solution you can offer to that ONE problem

Even though it may seem deceptively obvious, #2 is the second most important step in the framework. Here’s how most companies bungle it – they decide it’s enough to tell people how to solve the problem… without actually giving them the tools to do it.

In order to be valuable, your solution has to be…

  • Accessible, so your target audience can learn it easily.
  • Quick to implement, so it doesn’t take them forever.
  • Provide immediate results, so they can see and feel the positive change.

If you can’t make it meet these criteria, the problem you’re trying to solve isn’t defined well enough.

Another quick tip: when thinking about a possible solution, always ask yourself, “Is there any way I can do it for them, rather than tell them how to do it?”

Let us show you exactly what we mean…

How we did it: Once we zeroed in on the problem of “no ideas for whiteboard videos”, we had a choice in how to approach our solution. Basically, two options were on the table:

Option 1. Teach people how to quickly come up with great ideas and compelling titles for whiteboard videos. Good, but not ideal.

Option 2. Give them 100 possible ideas and titles that they could swipe and use immediately. This one was the winner – doing it for them is always better, remember?

Step 3. Create your lead magnet

Once you have Steps 1 and 2 figured out, #3 is a cakewalk. Just create your lead magnet in whichever format will deliver your solution best. There are three in particular that work amazingly well:

  1. An ebook or a free report – easy to create, perfect for delivering advice that people have to implement themselves. Also great for packaging resources (lists, email scripts, etc.)
  2. A training video – has a higher perceived value, easy to consume, appeals to visual learners. If you’re great on video (or someone who works for you is), but your copy has all the personality of a beige sweater-vest, stick with video.
  3. A free tool – spreadsheet, design theme, copy-and-paste template, cheat sheet, checklist, etc. Something people can download and immediately use to solve a problem. Quite possibly the best of the bunch.

You don’t have to stick with only one format – oftentimes having your lead magnet available in more than one form can raise its perceived value, and help with conversion rates.

How we did it: For our choice of lead magnet, the free tool format made the most sense. It’s hard to beat the interactivity and the satisfaction of inputting a few keywords… and getting a giant list of high-converting video topics as a result!

If we just made a downloadable PDF of fill-in-the-blanks headline templates, it wouldn’t have been nearly as cool.

Now that you have a proven step-by-step blueprint on how to come up with an awesome lead magnet that your target audience will crave more than a glass of water in the desert, you are well on your way to multiplying the growth of your email list.

Just one more thing left… writing the most persuasive opt-in form you can.

Next week, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll show you how to write amazing opt-in copy that makes people leap on the opportunity to download your lead magnet. Stay tuned!

Know someone with a crappy lead magnet? Do them (and us) a solid and share today’s post on Facebook – they will thank you for giving them some great advice on growing their business!

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