Recently I asked my email subscribers what their #1 question was about creating an effective List Building Freebie (aka Lead Magnet) to grow their list and get more clients.
The overwhelming response … and the BIGGEST reason I believe most “list building” efforts fail was …
“What format should my freebie come in – mp3, video or PDF?”
Unfortunately, that’s the Wrong Question!
In my experience, this is NOT the First question you should be asking about your Lead Magnet.
It’s actually the FOURTH question you should be asking.
The FORMAT of your opt-in gift, is irrelevant UNTIL you’ve figured out three Very Important elements first.
Here are the questions you need to be asking FIRST, before considering the format of your Lead Magnet.
QUESTION #1: What do I want to happen AFTER someone opts in and requests my freebie?
Meaning, after a person opts in for your Lead Magnet, what is the Next Action you want them to take?
There are lots of “next actions” … you could offer:
- a low ticket purchase of one of your products or books
- invite them to a webinar
- offer a free strategy session with you
Which next action you choose will depend on how you’ve set up your business (or how you want to set up your business) and what product or service you want to Offer in order to help them.
QUESTION #2: What do I want them to BELIEVE upon Consuming the information inside my Lead Magnet?
This comes down to Positioning. Using your free content in such a way as to cause your audience to come to a new conclusion or belief.
One that agrees with YOUR belief.
This is true of ANY free content you produce as part of your online marketing efforts, but it’s imperative with your Lead Magnet.
Let’s look at a real world example: this blog post!
Part of my “purpose” in sharing this information with you is to have you agree with MY belief that creating an effective Lead Magnet requires a more strategic approach … instead of simply throwing some info together and putting up an opt-in page or form on your site.
QUESTION #3: What content can I offer that will create or instill this belief?
What information or education can you provide your audience that will have the best chance at having your new subscriber come to the belief you’ve identified as being Important in Step #2?
This step can be tricky, but ultimately it comes down to showing your audience something they didn’t know before, that causes an “a-ha” moment of some kind and has them come to their own conclusion that they need whatever it is that you’re offering… BEFORE you even offer it!
Just as importantly, your content has to offer Real Value to your new subscriber, something they can use right away, or you’ll end up breaking their trust.
Finally, once you know the answers to ALL THREE of those questions, then it’s time to ask…
Question 4: In what format should I offer my Lead Magnet to potential subscribers?
There are two Primary Factors to consider when answering this question:
- Instant Gratification.
Engagement comes down to how committed your potential client is to actually participating in, and engaging with, your content.
Offers such as a webinar, a video or an audio require a higher degree of engagement (and therefore lower Instant Gratification) than something such as an ebook or Special Report.
The key concept here is whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice the Total Number of Opt-Ins for a higher level of Engagement with your content.
The greater the degree that your Lead Magnet offers “Instant Gratification” the higher (generally speaking) your opt-in conversion will be.
Meaning, the more people who SEE your offer will enter their name & email address.
Generally speaking, I recommend starting out with some kind of ebook, special report or other instant PDF download.
These have the lowest amount of Perceived Effort for someone considering opting-in… and therefore the highest potential for opt-in conversion.
A video or webinar, on the other hand, require your potential client to set aside time to engage with the training. It requires effort on their part.
IF (a big if) they consume your content their Engagement will be higher… but the number of potential clients who will opt-in is generally lower than a simple report or ebook.
Choosing the perfect list building freebie for your audience means answering all of these questions FIRST, before ever writing or recording even one word of content.
As the old saying goes, “Begin with the end in mind,” and work your way backwards from there.