Lead Magnets: What Are The Absolute Best Ways To Use Freebies?

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This is the 3rd and final column in a series on List Building.

  1. Catch the 1st post here: “Why List Building Needs To Be Your #1 Priority”
  2. And read the 2nd post here: “Content Upgrades: Want To Triple Your List?

More Ways To Use Freebie Opt-In Lead Magnets

When you engage in list building applying content, content upgrades, and lead magnets, you’re designing a funnel. Even if you never thought as a funnel, it is.

Let’s go through the stages, starting with website content, adding the lead magnet, and then leading your audience through an email marketing series. This is so you can make an offer that will monetize all your power plays.

Create the Content

After you’ve conducted your due diligence and considered …

    – ?who you desire to attract to your website   
    ?- what they need to know,
?    – what problems they possess and how you can solve them

? Then you can create the initial content for your blog, guest post, or another platform. Assemble it so it’s super targeted toward your audience, gives them the information they want to know about, and that it is valuable to them.

Develop a Complementary Lead Magnet
Either design or re-purpose other content you possess that furthers the audience’s interest in the content’s topic you’ve produced. Examine at how you can expand on the content in the original article and how you can substantiate something further. Determine how you might offer them something of consequence to go with the original content. Make that into a lead magnet.

?Make it simple though. A checklist, an explanatory video, a cheat sheet, or something else that you can put together in less than a day is usually best. It will be easy for your readers to put it into use quickly.

Push Traffic to Your Content
Once you have published the content, and the lead magnet is attached to the content and ready to download, it’s time to attract traffic to the content. There are numerous channels to do this. Publish a blurb and a link on social media platforms and/or paid advertising, allow affiliates to apply the content as a promotion method and more. The important thing is to get targeted traffic to consume the content.
Educate & Nurture Your List Members
Once they sign up for your list because of downloading the lead magnet,  now it’s time to educate and nurture the list members. Ensure that you create at least 1 to 3+ emails in a series blueprinted to teach them from day one what to expect from you. Plus  also about their problems and the solutions you offer. As you produce the series, think about the article they read to find the lead magnet, and the lead magnet. Expand on it, poke it, explore it, and make them think about it.
Pitch Your Offers
Within the emails you broadcast, you should be producing offers. If you’re nervous about making offers, remember that you’d be doing your audience a massive disservice not to introduce them to solutions for their problems. Since they signed up because of your content, you already realize they want and need your solutions. Try to pitch an offer at least every three or four emails.
Make the Sale
Once you make the sale, your affiliation is not over. It’s increasing. Now you must establish an email series for the buyer blueprinted to lead them through another funnel. Use a good autoresponder system and landing page option like Leadpages or Instapage for landing pages and Drip for email.
Remember, all of this must flow seamlessly. Not only does the topic need to be closely related to the best conversion but it should be easy for your audience to take advantage of and use. When you’re making your funnels, simply  think about the procedure as, “what’s the next step my readers require to take and what tool or product do they need to do it?”. When you put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be much more successful.

Making Connections: Mention Your Opt-In Offer In Existing Content

Every time you scribble a new blog post, it’s an opportunity to employ one of the lead magnets you’ve already created. You don’t want to position the opt-in offers on only one page or one blog post or article. You can insert each opt-in within any content you prepare that matches and helps expand on the information.

Blog Posts

If you’re writing about something that reminds you of another blog post you wrote, or about a lead magnet you produced, it’s a great time to link to either one. Call it out so it’s noticeable. Announce something like, “Get more information from this cheat sheet I created for you.”  

Social Media

You can also reference your content upgrades on social media. What if someone poses a question that your blog post that has the content upgrade in it will help answer? If it’s allowed by the rules of your group, introduce a blurb to the blog post and a link to it so they can read your information and grab the opt-in offer too.

Analyze Your Content

Start with the content that catches the most views, as long as that content is laser targeted toward your ideal audience. See if you can match it with content upgrades you’ve already prepared or produce something original to help expand on the content and promote more understanding for your audience. By having multiple points of entry onto your lists via the content you already have, you’ll build your list even faster.

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

You’ve probably heard the childhood story of the Tortoise and The Hare. While the rabbit bounces all over the place and advances fast, the turtle recreates steady progress without distraction and beats the rabbit.
Consider of yourself to be like the turtle. Don’t feel as if you need to do everything at once. Focus on your most read content and developing entry points with opt-in offers to your audience that helps them so they can get on your list.

Develop a Habit

When you create novel content for your blog, guest blog posts, articles – anything that other people will read – if you have a space to do it, or you can link within the content, always add a content upgrade of some form to…

  1. Help your audience
  2. Add value to the content
  3. And move them to your email list, where you can educate and nurture them.

Over time, you’ll prepare a lot of connections with your content that will establish targeted opportunities and entry points to grow your list. Don’t feel pressured to generate 5 opt-ins today, but make it your goal to assemble as many as you can that make sense for your audience.

How To Turn A Blog Post Series Into A Content Upgrade Offer

A really good  way to utilise  a content upgrade is to develop an outline for a blog series. If you already have a blog series or two on your site, you’re in luck because you already have a great content upgrade you can offer. This idea works with new or existing content and is a casual way to create more opt-in offers.
Start Fresh
Write the whole series in one document like you might an eBook or eReport. Make the document attractive by adding more images, more graphics, charts, call outs for stats and so forth. Turn it into a PDF for adding as a content upgrade to each individual blog post in the series.

Create a landing page or sign-up form using software like LeadPages, integrating it with your email autoresponders software, so people get added to your list when they download it. 

Once you finish that, use the Word version and cut and paste each blog post into your scheduling framework. Then attach the content upgrade by linking to the URL of the landing page. Be sure to practice a method to call it out or attract attention to it so that the readers will notice it.

Start with Old Content

If you already have blog series or posts that can work as a series, combine them together to create a PDF.
Don’t forget to create a landing page for it. A landing page makes it easier to ensure that all the technology you apply works. You want to ensure that the lead magnet it’s connected to your autoresponder system.

Then add the URL to any relevant content as an upgrade, again ensuring that you highlight it so it’s noticeable to your prospects and customers. This is an excellent way of reusing any content you’ve compiled already. (It functions best if you can select the most popular content or series you’ve created.)

Make it Easy

The great characteristic about creating content upgrades to help build your list is that it works. It’s easy and you don’t have to design anything new if you don’t want to.
Don’t make creating content upgrades harder than it is. It only needs to be serviceable to your audience, relevant to what they’re consuming and quick to read, utilize, or implement.

Text Links vs. Pain Text Opt-Ins vs. Graphic Opt-In Forms

There are several ways you can present in-content opt-ins to your audience.

You can use text links, plain text opt-ins, and graphic opt-in forms. It’s up to you how to do it, and probably use all three types to find out what works best for your audience, but the best way to start is by creating a landing page for each opt-in that you create.

Text Links

When you use a text link, this means you create anchor text for the link that makes sense. You often see this on menu options, when linking to a blog post, or other internal content. This is also a good way to deliver opt-in options.
To use a text link, first create a landing page for your opt-in offer that is attached to your email list and signs up people for your list when they provide their email addresses to you. 
An example of this is mentioning the opt-in within the post. For example, you might say something like, “…for more information you might want to check out this freebie about this topic”. Then link the URL of the landing page to the words about the topic.

Plain Text Opt-ins

These types of links just look like hyper-links and don’t use anchor text. Sometimes do this on social media, in text-based email options, in the video, or even right in a blog post because it can be more transparent or seem that way to some of your audience.
A great way to do a plain text link is to use software such as tinyurl.com or bit.ly or any another way to make the link look pretty that also goes to the freebie landing page. Then just share the link to the content you create and tell them to go to this link for the information they need.

Graphic Opt-in Forms

You can create beautiful opt-in forms applying either landing page software or your autoresponder software to accomplish it. You can even attach forms to links so that when they hover over anchor text, the form pops up. The possibilities are endless.

Applying a graphic form that pops up, pops under, slides over, or is within the content white space of your article, blog post, or other content. This will stand out a lot. It should provide the information that’s on the landing page but work as a landing page too. OptinMonster does this really well. 
That way they don’t have to exit the page and can fill out the form, which once done, will take them to the download page.

Using Pop-Up Forms As Part Of Your In-Content List Building

Using pop-up forms as part of your in-content list building is a great way to get more sign-ups. Many people claim to dislike pop-ups but the facts (when looking at the data) suggest that pop-ups convert WAY more than other types of forms. 

A pop-up form is a code you can create by using landing page software or sometimes your autoresponder software.

Some good software to look at is LeadPages for landing page software which integrates with many types of email marketing autoresponder services.
Pop-up forms can be placed  sitewide or even be page specific. I recommend that you use both types of options. Keeping a sitewide opt-in offer is a important way to capture people who arrive to your site’s homepage directly, and a specific freebie should be offered based on each page’s content. 
There are some best practices to use when incorporating pop up forms as part of your in-content list building.

  • Be Bold & Clear

Don’t make your pop up boring. Instead, make them beautiful with color, good graphic design principles, and with a clear offer. Think of it as an advertisement for your opt-in offer and not just as a pop-up form. Make the message and the intent of the pop up clear by keeping it simple but hard to ignore.

  • Make it Mobile Friendly 

Responsive design today should be automatic but there is still some technology out there (and templates) that aren’t responsive and will not look right on mobile. Double check how the pop-up form looks on various devices and make sure it works. 

  • Keep it Branded

Be very consistent with your branding on all your forms. Branding can consist of fonts, colors, and other aspects of your website. Make each pop up look like it belongs to your site and isn’t an afterthought.

  • Use the Right Tools

There are great tools out there that will make your pop up forms look better and even work better to deliver the opt-ins seamlessly to your audience. The right software, plugin, and systems will make it all easier for you and more effective too.

  • Make it Easy to Say No

Don’t hide the exit button from your audience. When you use pop-ups, while you want them to be bold and clear, you also want them to make it easy for your audience to say no so that they don’t become irritated by the pop-up and then leave your site.
Remember to always test everything. Conducting A/B testing is a great way to try different headlines, colors, calls to action to discover out what works best for your audience.

Plus, make sure that the information you show on the pop-up is honest, direct, and easy to understand surrounding the benefits of downloading the opt-in.

I hope you enjoyed this list building series. Take two or three actions this week toward creating in-content opt-ins and I know your email list will grow faster than ever!

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