Wondering how to entice your followers and leads to sign up for your mailing list? And how to make sure that only those who really want your email sign up, so that they help your deliverability and don’t hurt it?

The best way to do this is to offer people something of value for free if they sign up for your mailing list.  This is known as a lead magnet, because it is attracting leads to your mailing list and to your business. 

Happily it turns out that the most effective lead magnets are also the least costly to create, and the easiest to create! You do this by creating and offering a one- or two-page PDF talking about something related to your business. Yes, it’s really that simple!

Your lead magnet should either answer a few frequently asked questions, or be a set of three to five tips related to your business.  The nice thing about this method is that it will usually be something that you know so well that you could write about it in your sleep.  For example, if your business is as a virtual assistant, you could write a one-pager about “3 Things that You Didn’t Know that a VA Can do for You!” or, if you have a reupholstery business, you could write “How to Care for Your Upholstery to Keep It Looking Like New”.  A food site could offer a secret recipe, or “5 Tips from Top Chefs”.  Really the sky is the limit, and it’s something that you can really have fun with.

Now, here is what not to do – don’t make the mistake of having your offer – your lead magnet – be a discount on your product or service.  You know what we mean, we’ve all seen the “Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first order” or “Join our mailing list and get free shipping on your first order” offers.  Sure, “everyone does it”, but guess what?  First, that is you, before you even have any relationship with them, in their face saying “buy something from me, give me money.”  It’s like those annoying sales people who pounce on you the minute you walk into a store. 

And second, those people who sign up just to get the discount? They are likely going to hurt your deliverability because they aren’t interested in your email, so they aren’t going to engage with it! So they will either leave it unopened, or delete it unopened, or even report it as spam.

So be sure that your lead magnet is genuinely something interesting, giving them some content of value, that is genuinely free, meaning that they don’t have to spend money to get it. No strings attached! Plus, when you send them content of real value, they will want to keep opening your email (just as long as you send them something that is of value to them).

Now you may be wondering just how you are going to keep up with sending your lead magnet to every person who signs up for your mailing list.  Guess what!  Most email service providers (ESPs) allow you to attach a file to your welcome email, so it will happen automatically when they sign up for your list! (For more on this see our Email Marketing for Beginners course!)

Once you have your lead magnet created, you can, and should, talk it up everywhere!  “Hey! Sign up for our mailing list and get our ‘3 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Iguana Happy!’!”  Post about it on your website with your signup form (some ESPs also provide a place to say things like this right on the sign-up form).  Mention it on Zoom meetings (“Hey, we just happen to have a PDF about this topic, would you like the link?”), and at dinner parties (“We have a recipe for vegan haggis, would you like it?”). On Instagram? Tell your followers to “DM me for our free tutorial on “7 Ways to Bathe Your Cat!” As you can see, it’s easy to point people to your lead magnet.  Again, have fun with it!

As we always say, your mailing list is the place where you turn leads into customers, where you turn customers into repeat customers, and where you turn repeat customers into raving fans! So don’t wait another day! Create your lead magnet and start building up that mailing list today!

How to Create the Perfect Lead Magnet that Won't Hurt Your Deliverability

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