Crappy Lead Magnets (and what to do instead)

OK, so this is a topic I’ve talked about before. But, I feel it bears repeating. Plus, might be a bunch of you out there for whom this is new.

You know you need to build an email list with your blog. And, if you follow the Blog Monetization Model which focuses on building funnels behind the scenes of your blog, then you know most funnels start with a lead magnet. Lead magnets are what you give away to get people on your list.

OK, review over. 🙂 Let’s talk again about that lead magnet. That free PDF. That “free ebook”, if you will.

I find that a lot of people are offering, bluntly… crappy lead magnets. 

And here’s the most common kind…

The list post… only turned into a lead magnet. You know the kind… “10 Tips To….” or “7 Hacks To…”. Yada yada.

Sounds just like a list post. Often a really generic one at that. But, turned into a PDF and I guess people are supposed to suddenly want it bad enough to hand over their email address?

Nah. Not gonna happen.

Most of the time, you’re looking at really low conversion rates for stuff like that. Or  the emails you DO get for it will be low quality, or they won’t engage, or it’ll be a bogus address they hardly ever look at just because they wanted to scratch that itch.

Please… PLEASE… stop it with the list post lead magnets.

They’re boring now. Everybody sees them. This isn’t 2005 anymore.

They also suck for marketing purposes. See, if you’re trying to get people into a funnel, then you want a very specific kind of person to get into that funnel, right? And you want a lead magnet that attracts that specific kind of person. You want to give them a little win, then get out of their way.

If you give them some generic “10 tips” post then try to get them into a funnel afterward, then most likely you’ll be attracting some generalist who is quite unserious about actually solving a problem. I mean, people who are motivated don’t surf around for “tips”. 🙂

Secondly, you just gave them TEN things to do! Probably each of them can’t be done immediately, so it just sorta hangs there. If you try to then sell them your front-end offer with the pitch being “want more?”… their answer will be no. They already have 10 things they haven’t done! They don’t need MORE.

So, do you see how these “listicle” lead magnets are just weak?

I’ll give you an example. I was giving a student advice just recently. He’s a photographer and, from the looks of his photos, a pretty good one. And his niche, not surprisingly, is to show people how to make better photos.

His first crack at a lead magnet was something along the lines of “7 Hacks To Create Awesome Photos”.

That’s not gonna work. Here’s why…

The photography space online is popular. There’s a lot of great content out there. So, when you put yourself into the mindset of the typical person looking for some ways to make their photos better, you just KNOW that they’re going to have seen a lot of content already. They will have seen articles on blogs, Youtube videos and much more.

So, if they’ve seen all that stuff (and you know they have), is an offer to show them “7 Hacks” really going to raise an eyebrow?

Not in a million years.

Not unless you get WAY more specific with what those 7 hacks are and make it really clear that they’re quite different from the usual fare.

So, here’s what I recommended to him…

He had 2 really awesome photos on his landing page. And what most newbs want to know is… “How did you make that photo?” They wanna know the specifics. The tools. The shortcuts. So, they can repeat the results.

So, the idea was to show them ONE super awesome photo on the landing page. And the offer in the lead magnet would be simply to give them an “over the shoulder” look at EXACTLY how that image was created. The equipment, the process, the time of day, the lighting… any editing after the shot. Everything.

Now, THIS is a specific offer. It spikes curiosity. It is easy to create.

Not only that, but this kind of lead magnet is sure to attract people who WANT to make their photos better. It lends itself to an offer after the fact.

And if he’s creating a lot of photos, it’d be easy to repeat this framework for some of his other shots.

The big thing here to remember is…

You HAVE to have specific, compelling lead magnets.

You just get inside their head and think about what they’d want. And you make it. And you keep it specific and finite.

Don’t show them 10 things in a list… when you can show them just ONE that will rock their world.

List post lead magnets are weak. Both on the list building side… as well as the setup for what comes afterward.

If you want to create lead magnets that really work well, it is best to avoid them, IMO.

BTW, as a LAB member, you can get direct feedback and suggestions on your own lead magnets. I’d love to help you make your’s better. If you’re not already a member, here’s the door into the club. 🙂