Issue #282

The Lead Magnet Mistake I See Far Too Often

Coming up with a solid lead magnet to build your list is just one of those basic things we all have to do.

But, I want to say a word about what I see a lot of… and what would be better.

Perhaps this is a thing because I work wth so many bloggers. 🙂 And bloggers love them some list posts! Things like…

  • 101 Tricks To ______
  • 7 Strategies To _______

You get the point. Listicles.

These things work well as blog posts. But, as a lead magnet? Nope.

Remember… a lead magnet isn’t just to get a minor curiosity and get people onto your list. It is a LEAD magnet. What is a LEAD? A lead is a person who is a prospect for BUYING something.

A list of subscribers that can help fuel your business needs to be a list of people who actually want something and want to do something about it. So, we don’t want to attract them with clickbait. We want to attract them with something that will qualify them as actually wanting to accomplish some sort of outcome.

We also want that thing that we offer them to give them a little win… then get the heck out of the way. In other words, don’t hang them with a bunch of “open loops” and things to do.

If you give people a lead magnet like “5 Ways To ________”… then it might get a little curiosity opt-in. Then they see the 5 ways. Each one involves work. It hang them up and they might not be ready for whatever comes later.

So, much better than a listicle-style lead magnet would be a tool, a shortcut, or a how-to on something really specific. Furthermore, make it relevant to the exact kind of person you want to attract who will be a true lead.

A simple example from my own site…

One of my lead magnets is the Membership Site Planner. If people opt  in for that, they will be offered the Membership Site Blueprint course.

Who is the right person for that course? It is a person in the early idea stage of a membership site. They don’t have one yet, most likely.

So, any lead magnet on retention strategies, or conversion strategies or any of that for membership sites would be premature. And I don’t want to come in there with some listicle like “15 Ways To Grow Your Membership Site” or “5 Tools Every Membership Site Owner Needs”. I don’t want to merely satisfy a little curiosity.

I want intention. I want to know they have an intention of planning and building a membership site.

So, I offer the Membership Site Planner.

It isn’t something you read and file away. It is something you print off and actually DO.

It also has a higher perceived value (and frankly, real-world value) than putting some list post into PDF format and offering it up as a lead magnet. There are more list-style blog posts than we could shake a stick at on this stuff. Why offer up another one?

One more comment on this…

I’m not saying that there is never a place for a list-style format in a lead magnet. It always depends on the situation. If you were trying to help people over a hump that requires brainstorming, for instance, then a simple list of ideas could work well. It is the kind of shortcut that would be helpful.

For instance, I offer a lead magnet with 45 Lead Magnet Ideas. I saw one on another site on “101 Blog Post Ideas”. But, see in these cases, those ideas don’t imply a bunch of work to execute it. They’re just ideas. And they are ideas that moves right to the major hurdle that might be keeping them from taking that next step (which your paid offer solves).

See how that works?

So, put some thought into this, my friends. You’ll build a better list faster if you do.

We’re not giving people things to read.

We’re giving them shortcuts that will prep them up for a sale.

Never get into the mindset of “over-delivering” on a lead magnet. A lead magnet is not the place to over-deliver and impress people with sheer size. You do that with your products. Maybe your blog posts. But, not a lead magnet.

A lead magnet has a specific function. It should be short, finite, specific. It should give them a little win or feeling of getting somewhere… then get out of the way and set them up for what’s next.

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