When I say ‘lead magnets’ the first thing that jumps into your head is likely ‘list building’. If you’re not already familiar with the concept of creating incredibly high-value optins like eBooks, mini video courses, and quizzes, and offering them to your audience for free in exchange for their subscription to your email marketing list, check out my posts on List Building 101, as well as The Cake Construction. And if you’re well aware of the benefit of this tactic but haven’t quite figured out how to hook it all up on your website yet, take a look at my Top 10 List Building Plugins.

All caught up?

Grand.

Because today I want to talk about the HUGE benefits of lead magnets outside the context of convincing people to subscribe to your email list.

Yes, I know, the whole point of them is to generate leads (the clue really is in the name), and once they’re on your list you have them.

They’re a lead.

But the thing so many people forget is that getting people on your list is only half the battle. Once they’re on your list, you need to convert them.

Otherwise they become cold leads, and either unsubscribe because they’ve lost interest, or lurk on your list for years without ever actually engaging.

Clients often ask me how to make the most out of the lead magnets I create for them, and top of the list is regularly sharing them with your existing subscribers, to keep people engaged.

I’ve found this is a leap of logic that quite a few people struggle with, so I thought I’d share the top five ways your lead magnets can engage your list, and help prevent leads going cold or unsubscribing…

Remind People Why They Signed Up

If you’re savvy about the way you use your lead magnets you will have an effective nurture sequence in place – a series of automated emails that goes out to people when they first signup, to develop your relationship with them, make sure they don’t forget who you are, and hopefully lead them to buy from you.

But very, very often, your leads will go through your nurture sequence, and still not convert.

It’s usually not even that your autoresponders are ineffective, but simply a matter of timing.

There are email lists I’ve been on for years and still not made a purchase, simply because the timing isn’t quite right for me at the moment. Your clients may be totally sold on your product or service, but not need it just now, be unable to afford it right now, or have it in mind for a point in the future when other things have developed.

Business services are a great example of this, because often we research the systems and services we need to grow our businesses long before we actually develop to the point of being ready for them.

So keeping the subscribers on your list fully engaged, even if they don’t convert right away, even if they loiter for years is essential. Now, you can and should do this with regular newsletters sharing content and updates. But if you’re anything like me you will know that we get a bazillion newsletters landing in our inboxes every damn day.

At some point we switch off from them. We don’t unsubscribe, because we might be interested at some point in the future, but we don’t bother to open them either.

And if your subscribers don’t open your emails and read what you’re sending them, they might very well forget about you completely.

The perfect time for them to buy from you rolls around, and they go with someone else, or another solution entirely, simply because they’ve forgotten why they subscribed to your list to begin with.

It’s easy to ignore a generic newsletter. We know what to expect – the latest blog posts, vlog, or podcast, maybe a pep talk, possibly a sales pitch. There’s no reason to open, no incentive, because we already know what it says.

But a lead magnet is a whole other ball game.

Send your list an email telling then you’ve just released a brand new and totally free eCourse, or a super awesome eBook, or a genius quiz, and this thing will solve a big problem they have, totally free, they’re going to open that email.

Even resharing lead magnets they’ve already seen can convince them to open. They might not have got round to using it last time, or they might have signed up for something different and weren’t on your list when you first shared this one.

So whether you’re sharing new lead magnets or existing ones with your list, they’re the perfect way to get their attention and give them a really good incentive to actually open your emails.

Get Them Excited About Your ZOG

A lot of the time people subscribe to your list because they need something you’re offering. You have a lead magnet that fixes an immediate problem for them, and they don’t really think about what you do beyond that issue that you already solved.

This might be due to a lack of understanding when it comes to your zone of genius – they only looked for a solution to that one problem when it became a problem, and the other problems you solve either haven’t become a huge issue yet, or are something they’re so used to dealing with every day it’s never actually occurred to them life could be any different.

Lead magnets are, by their nature, a lot more in-depth than other forms of free content. They tend to be longer and/or more detailed. They include your best stuff. Which means they’re the perfect way to get your list really excited about your zone of genius and the possibilities for their life if they let you make things better.

Whatever problem you fix, a good lead magnet will fully educate your audience of the issue, given them a quick fix to a small part of it to boost their confidence, and leave them utterly convinced that you are the perfect solution for them.

You’re the expert, and they need you.

But sometimes the problem you solve with that initial lead magnet (the one that compels people to subscribe) is so effective that they don’t need you for anything else in relation to that specific issue. They do, however, still need you in relation to a totally different (and perhaps more complex or difficult) problem. So while the first lead magnet gets them on your list, and the nurture sequence that follows builds your relationship and keeps them on your list, it’s that second lead magnet that actually converts them.

Build Buzz Around A Launch

If you’re launching a new product or service you’re very likely to create a lead magnet that leads directly into it. For example, I recently launched a free chapter of my book, Divine Blogging, as a lead magnet that naturally leads directly into the purchase of the book, and ultimately will lead into the eCourse version that will be coming out very soon. (If you haven’t already, you can download a copy of that here!)

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of using your new lead magnet to attract new leads, and forgetting that you also want to get your existing subscribers interested in your launch.

Sharing your lead magnet with them is a much better way of building buzz ahead of a launch than sending them a load of sales emails. Simply share the lead magnet, and not only will they get all the benefits of your free offer, they will receive the new nurture sequence you’ve created to go with your new optin.

You will still send sales emails to your list as part of the launch, but they will be much more effective due to the buzz and interest created by sharing that lead magnet.

Stimulate Their Higher Brain Power

As I said, a huge benefit of the lead magnet is the ability to delve a lot deeper into a subject than you are usually able to do on the average piece of free content. This gives you the perfect opportunity to send your list content that goes far above and beyond what they will have read on the subject elsewhere.

Remember, if they’re reading your free content, they’re probably reading other free content on the same subject. If you’ve ever googled for an answer to something and come up with a load of articles that all share the same ten tips, you’ll understand where I’m going with this.

Here is where you can talk about things that really get your subscribers thinking.

It might be something a little controversial, or a totally revolutionary approach to a subject or problem. Or it may simply be that the takeaway value you’re offering is far greater.

Whatever approach you take, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and simultaneously get your audience having deep and meaningful thoughts about your zone of genius, and the possibilities that working with or buying from you open up for them.

Make Them Feel Super Special

Another issue I see people running into with email marketing is failing to share anything unique with their list.

I fully admit, I’ve fallen prey to this mistake myself, it’s so easily done! When you’re reluctant to come across as too ‘salesy’ you find you’re not sending sales emails very often, and focus on sending regular newsletters. These generally include your latest content, and direct people to your website.

And this is all good.

But you’re not giving people anything they couldn’t get on your site without being subscribed.

They don’t need to be on your list to take advantage of your readily available content. Aside from the lead magnet they get when they first subscribed, which is only available to subscribers, they’re not getting anything from you that everyone else can’t already get without handing over their email.

So make them feel special.

When you have a new lead magnet to release, make it available exclusively to your list ahead of adding it to your website and using it to attract new leads. Make sure they know you’re giving them an exclusive sneak peek that’s not available for anyone else.

Beyond that, consider creating lead magnets that are only available to your list. Things you never make available to everyone, and don’t use as a signup incentive.

This may seem like a big investment to make in content that’s not going to do anything for you, but engaging your list is and making your subscribers feel special is not nothing! There’s no point perpetually growing your list if the people on it never buy from you!

In addition, if you create list-exclusive content regularly, you will eventually have enough to start your own membership site, and monetise all that lovely content!

And Finally…

If all this talk of lead magnets has you raring to put these ideas into action in your own business, but you have no idea how to create a killer lead magnet, check out my two best-selling lead magnet creation services and leave it to me to write you a genius mini video course or 10K ebook to engage your list…

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Hazel is an author, copywriter, content marketer and blogger. She specialises in helping creative entrepreneurs, coaches and small business owners harness the power of the pen (or keyboard!) to market their products and services through soulful selling. She's had several academic papers published internationally, and featured on sites such as The Huffington Post. In addition to her professional work as a writer, Hazel is also a fiction author. She has published several books and short stories, including The Uber Author Planner, Chasing Azrael, a Urban Fantasy novel, and Bleizgeist, a Dark Fantasy novella. Hazel has a regular weekly column on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, and is currently working on her next novel, Death Becomes Me.