Even the best products and services require some effort to attract their respective target customers. While current content marketing methods and SEO strategies are absolutely crucial for promoting a business, maintaining a blog for your company is still an effective way to cultivate your audience and establish your brand.
But how do you bring more people to your company's blog? Good old email marketing.
In this guest blog post, Andrew Wise from the Wise Startup Blog outlines seven of the top lead magnets that some of the best marketers use to promote their brands, using a variety of innovative email marketing strategies.
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Have you ever spent a good portion of the night watching ridiculous infomercials?
After a few hours of watching these people sell their ridiculous products, things begin to seem a little less ridiculous and a little more awesome.
Then, when the person on the television claims that you’ll get the product AND a $10 Amazon gift card, you’re scrambling for the phone in a hurry.
Sometimes we need a little push before we decide to go for something -- an incentive, if you will.
Bloggers realize this, too.
They want you to join their mailing list, so most go out of their way to sweeten the deal. This is a lead magnet, and it’s one sure way to get your mailing list to grow exponentially.
Whether it’s a free e-book, a subscribers-only video, or a free online course on starting a blog, more bloggers are offering incentives to get people to sign up to their site.
Bonus Download: Get our free guide that list the essential tools top marketers use to build their own lead magnets.
To give you a better idea of the power of the lead magnet, we will take a look at a few popular blogs and analyze what lead magnets they use to draw potential subscribers in.
Brian Dean of Backlinko.com offers a PDF download
Brian Dean, the voice behind Backlinko.com, knows a thing or two about lead magnets. After all, his entire site is based on the promise that he can help you generate more traffic to your own.
Because he knows what his audience wants to hear, Brian also knows that he needs to offer a little something in order to get his readers to stick around. If you subscribe to Brian’s email list, you’re promised a PDF version of his book “How to Get 25,000 Visitors Per Month”.
How you can do this:
First, let’s take a look at how Brian promotes his free PDF file. With a simple Google search, I was able to find a post entitled “The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research” on Brian’s website.
In the post, he offers the free PDF download and details what readers can expect in each of the 7 chapters. I was able to determine two things from this post:
Brian definitely promoted this post on Twitter.
People really respond positively to free stuff. 247 comments to 1 post, most of which are overwhelmingly positive? That’s almost unheard of in the world of internet trolls.
This PDF post did particularly well on social media, with a combined total of 495 shares. But with more than ⅔ of those shares coming from Twitter, it’s safe to assume that he promoted his free product on there.
So how does someone use Twitter to sell their product?
In order to do it successfully, you need followers and trust.
Take advantage of Twitter’s advanced search capabilities and make sure to follow Twitter users who are interested in the products you are looking to sell. For example, if I was looking to promote my free PDF about DIY projects, I’d seek out people who are interested in exactly that.
Once you are able to find Twitter users who are interested in what you are selling, give them a follow. Here’s where that second necessary component comes into play:
If you are a trusted source, people will listen.
Write quality content and promote it on Twitter to prove your knowledge on the subject. The more consistently you post, the more trust you will generate.
Then, once you have that trust on Twitter, you can tweet out a link to your article and/or PDF file. People will download it because they trust in YOU, even if it means that they must subscribe to your email list to do so.
Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com offers a webinar
Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com is a successful online marketer and blogger. Just in case his various guest spots on popular business websites isn’t enough to draw a loyal and dedicated audience, Neil offers a free webinar to his subscribers.
The webinar, which promises to help you double your traffic in 30 days, and “secret bonus” surprise you also receive are valued at over $300 according to Neil, which means readers feel like they’re getting quite a deal by signing up.
How you can do this:
Like Brian, Neil also wrote a post about his webinar. But before we get too involved in how he promoted his course, we should backtrack a bit and explain how exactly you can even go about making a webinar.
The first thing that I suggest doing is to look back in your previous posts and see what did well.
What has the most social shares? What really engaged your readers in the comments section?
That should be the subject of your webinar.
Because it already has proven interest. It got people talking and sharing, so you know it’s a subject that your audience wants to learn about.
All you really need is Powerpoint and a webinar host like AnyMeeting.
Neil actually has some great webinar tips you could learn from on his website right here.
Once the webinar is made, it’s all about promotion. Neil wrote a post about his webinar on his website and suggested that his followers share it on social media and leave a review.
And right there in the post? Yep, you guessed it…
Now that he successfully reeled them in with the information and promise of a great course, he dangles it in front of their face.
Sure, you can have the webinar… Just subscribe to my newsletter! It’s that simple.
Noah Kagan of OkDork.com offers his business hacks (and tacos…)
Noah Kagan, the guy behind OkDork.com, asks readers to join his mailing list right off the bat. As a matter of fact, you don’t get to view the blog until you scroll down and click the “READ THE BLOG” link far below the email offer.
If receiving 85% of his business hacks isn’t incentive enough, he also promises to tell you how he started a few multi-million dollar businesses… and also where to find some good tacos.
Who doesn’t love tacos?
How you can do this:
I can’t really give you any tips on providing your email subscribers with tacos. All I can suggest is that you wrap them up nice and tight so they don’t get too soggy during shipping.
Most likely you haven’t started a multi-million dollar business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write a case study that details the secrets behind these 7-figure bloggers.
But let’s talk about these exclusive business hacks. Everyone likes feeling like they’re in the know on something, right? So to dangle these business hacks in front of someone’s face, and to let them know that this is top secret exclusive information made just for subscribers makes it even better.
The first thing I did to get a little more information about this deal was Google “Noha Kagain, business hacks” and the very first thing that caught my eye was a tweet from Noah himself.
With numbers like that, it’s safe to say that Twitter probably wasn’t his biggest converter. I clicked the link anyway and it took me straight to his email subscription page. What he does have that many others don’t is a list of testimonials.
These testimonials do something unique that you may want to consider. They show proof of concept and say something like, “You should subscribe to Noah’s mailing list because he knows what he’s talking about and the information in there actually works.” Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
To replicate this yourself, simply request a few testimonials for yourself from your own success stories -- if you worked closely with another website, reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to vouch for you. It builds trust in a unique, simple way.
Andrew Wise of WiseStartupBlog.com Offers a Lead Magnet Tools Checklist
The affiliate marketer (Freesamples.us), turned fashion blogger, turned “how to start a blog” guru, Andrew Wise, focuses on teaching everyone from beginners to pros how to make money blogging.
His lead magnet, rather teaches people how to build their own lead magnets by listing the essential tools you need to build your own.
If you’re more of a beginner, checkout more of his guides on how to start a blog that makes $124,407
How you can do this:
Andrew lets his email subscribers know right off the bat that they’re getting a deal.
How does he do that?
By telling them how much the information they are about to receive is worth.
Before they even confirm their email, users are redirected to a site with the following message:
If that doesn’t make people feel like they are involved in the bargain of the century, nothing will.
The PDF file is quite simple to make, too.
Simply compile a list of information (in this case, it was essential tools needed to build great lead magnets), organize it, and convert from .doc to .pdf.
If the information is valuable, it’ll be well worth the subscription.
Mary Fernandez of MaryFernandez.co offers access to her exclusive site
A top secret blog that only members can become a part of? You may as well take out the red velvet rope and usher in only the ‘cool kids’ for this party.
This is the screen you see the minute you try to view Mary Fernandez’s website, and it’s actually pretty intriguing. You can’t become a part of the blog community until you sign up for her mailing list, so you’d better make up your mind pretty fast.
How you can do this:
Since people like to be part of elite groups (it spans all the way back to high school and the incessant need for cliques), this is actually a pretty great idea to reel people in.
In regards to Mary’s site, all a reader has to do is enter their email into the box below and they are granted instant access to the blogging index via email.
The coolest thing about this email, at least to me, is that she asks people not to share the link. If you don’t share, more people are likely to opt in for her email subscriptions!
Is there a way to mimic this? Of course. You can always password protect your blog, for example, and only provide the password to your email subscribers. It may be a bit risky, as you may lose people with the exclusivity of it, but it just may work.
For more information on exclusive content, check out this really helpful article.
Thomas Griffin of ThomasGriffin.io offers free WordPress products
Thomas Griffin, WordPress developer and blogger, knows why people go to his site: for WordPress related information.
He promises his loyal readers free access to updates, as well as a collection of WordPress products and resources.
How you can do this:
Obviously you don’t have to sell Wordpress products if that’s not your thing, but seeing as Thomas is a WP developer, it makes perfect sense for him. Regardless of what you are selling, dangling something ‘free’ in front of your readers’ faces will always make them want to bite.
The first thing I noticed upon opting in was this in the center of my Welcome email:
Think about it: It says nothing about an email subscription. If I tweet this out, all of my followers will see it. If they decide that they want to check out the link, that’s MORE subscribers for Thomas.
How can you replicate this idea and add an embedded tweet of your own?
Share link generators are all over the internet. All you have to do is type what you want it to say, and generate away.
Twitter even has an entire tutorial on their website dedicated to the Tweet button and how you can customize it on your site.
Syed Balkhi of SyedBalkhi.com offers a free e-book
Syed Balkhi, the owner, namesake, and maintainer of SyedBalkhi.com, offers several incentives for those who sign up to his newsletter. Exclusive business advice, his toolbox for success, and a super secret bonus? Sign me up.
People like surprises, so that in and of itself probably interests people enough to sign up. Judging by the Sign up counter below the offer, it’s intrigued over 100,000 people and counting into becoming a part of his mailing list already.
How you can do this:
E-books are all the rage right now. Bloggers are getting legitimate book deals from actual publishing companies, which makes this an even more lucrative business.
But even if you haven’t gotten an exclusive book deal with a fancy company, that doesn’t mean that you can’t write a book.
As I suggested earlier in regards to the webinar, you must first find a subject to write about. Again, your focus should be on something that has proven interest.
You want to teach your audience something valuable that they didn't know previously -- something that will change the way they do things for the better.
Once you have the idea for your book down and you have started writing, self-publishing is simpler than you could ever imagine.
Here's how you do it.
I suggest using Open Office to write your book, as you can easily save in various file formats with this software. It's also the main writing software program that I have on my laptop, so I may be biased. Write your book, create an awesome cover, proofread your work, and export as PDF.
Because you want the largest audience possible to be able to see your work, correct? And PDF is easily readable by Macs, PCS, and tablets.
In my research on this topic, I came across a really informative video that offers an in depth explanation into how you can automatically send your eBook to new subscribers, and I highly recommend that you check it out!
Digital Marketer of DigitalMarketer.com offers free templates
Digital Marketer, a marketing and business growth blog, promises their subscribers 72 “proven” headline formulas if they provide their name and email address.
They also offer “3 simple hacks to optimize any headline in 12 seconds or less” right along with it, just in case those 72 headlines weren’t incentive enough.
How you can do this:
Creating PDF files to share with your users is so simple, and that’s why it has been placed on this list so many times.
Whether you are writing an e-book or creating a template for your users to take advantage of, it can be done with relative ease.
The interesting thing about this PDF in comparison to the others however, is the “step” I was told to complete after I subscribed to the newsletter and consequently downloaded the file.
So not only did they get people to subscribe, but now they are even promoting the upgraded version of their website. This is a smart idea, especially if you have a ‘paid’ option available on your blog.
You already got them to subscribe, so why not entice them with a deal?
If you want even more expert startup advice, the Founder Institute is enrolling in cities around the world. Apply to a program near you!
About the Author
Andrew Wise is a serial entrepreneur whose sites generate $1+ million in revenue and receive 2.6+ million uniques per year. On his blog, Wise Startup Blog, he shares actionable advice on how you can build massive, passive income streams, designed for the complete newbie. Follow him on Twitter @WiseStartupBlog. Download his free guide that lists the essential tools you need to create killer lead magnets.