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How do I create an opt-in? Building your email list with a lead magnet

Building your email list might sometimes feel like an uphill battle, but having a free opt-in can make list building so much easier. In this episode, we’re looking at how you can create an opt-in and leverage it to build your email list. It’s a lot simpler than you think! 


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How to create a free opt-in or lead magnet

I recently looked at how to build your email list the right way, and part of this includes providing an incentive for your audience to give you their email address.

This incentive is called a lead magnet, or an opt-in, and you’ll probably find me using those two words interchangeably as they generally mean the same thing.

This post is brought to you by my 3-day Email Marketing Kickstarter. It’s a mini-course that will take you from go to “woah!” with email marketing – even if you don’t already have an existing email list. We’ll look at the logistics of actually creating an opt-in (so you can get people to sign up to your list), how to set up your landing page and how the heck to automate it all within Mailchimp. Click here to find out more.

WHAT IS A LEAD MAGNET OR FREE OPT-IN?

It’s usually a freebie that your audience will find valuable. This episode we’re looking at the logistics of how to create an opt-in and leverage it to build your email list.

STEP 1: DECIDING ON YOUR OPT-IN

Your free opt-in doesn’t need to be a huge freebie, but it should be valuable enough that it incentivises your audience to hand over their precious email address. It should add enough value that the subscriber starts to trust your brand and becomes curious about how great your paid products or services are.

The real trick is to give away as much value as possible without removing the need for them to buy from you. That’s why it works well to create an opt-in that gives them a desired outcome.

For example, you could teach them a skill inside a 5-day challenge, or you could give them a checklist that will help them achieve something.

Maybe you could try a checklist? A cheat sheet? An e-book? A webinar? An in-person event?

There are so many different types of content you can give away for free – you just need to decide what format it will be in.

STEP 2: BRAINSTORM YOUR LEAD MAGNET

Write down everything you can think of including as a part of this freebie and then cull all the unnecessary stuff that doesn’t bring them any closer to achieving the desired end result.

Once you’ve done that, rearrange it to give it a bit of structure.

Usually, it’s going to feel like you’re giving away a little too much for free, but chances are you aren’t.

STEP 3: PUT TOGETHER YOUR FREE OPT-IN

Now you’ll want to go through everything you’ve written down with a fine-tooth comb and make sure it flows and makes sense. Proofread it at this stage if you’re doing a written lead magnet, like an ebook or a cheat sheet, because once you’ve put it into a PDF or slides it becomes really painful to fix typos.

Ask yourself: what does it mean to the audience? If it doesn’t add value to your audience – delete it.

STEP 4: PRETTY IT ALL UP

How you do this will depend on the format of your opt-in. If you head to my small business marketing tools page you’ll find some of my favourite resources for creating opt-ins that look pretty. Apps like Canva make creating a pretty PDF really simple and available to anyone, regardless of whether you have design skills or not.

The key here is not to overthink it and keep it really simple. Remember: White space is a good thing! Also, make sure your lead magnet aligns with your brand look and feel – meaning it has consistent colours, fonts and imagery to all your other brand touchpoints.

For example: If the colours on your Instagram are red and white, don’t suddenly go and make your ebook green.

STEP 5: TEST IT

Find someone you know who fits your ideal customer or client profile and ask them to take a look at your free opt-in. Once you’ve got their feedback, make any further edits.

Now you’re ready to upload your opt-in. 

STEP 6: HOST YOUR FREE OPT-IN

At this point, if you’re running a webinar, you’ll need to find a webinar host. I personally really like New Kajabi. It only just recently brought out webinar capability, but it’s really good for building your entire funnel in one place, so you don’t need to have a separate email marketing tool and a separate landing page tool. I have a free trial available for you and I highly recommend trying it out.

If your free opt-in is an ebook or an audio or video file, you’ll need to host it somewhere too. You can host it on your website by uploading the file, but if it’s quite a large file this will take up some of your website’s bandwidth and potentially slow down your website. I recommend hosting it on Dropbox or Google Drive, but make sure that when you do that the link sharing is set to public.

STEP 7: CREATE AN EMAIL NURTURE SEQUENCE

This is something I’ve covered in more detail here but, put simply, your email nurture sequence is the automated sequence of emails that triggers when someone signs up to download your freebie.

Your email nurture sequence is important because it saves you having to manually email every single subscriber that freebie – which is great because your subscribers want their freebie, like, yesterday. As people generally don’t have the patience to wait, make sure to include the link to download your freebie in your first email.

If you’re running a webinar or an event, you might consider including a calendar attachment so that they can add to their calendar and don’t forget to attend.

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50 Ways to Promote Your Content

Make your content go the extra mile and a half with this free cheat sheet.

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50 Ways to Promote Your Content


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How to create a lead magnet

May 28, 2018

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