last Updated 15 July 2020

How To Make Your Lead Magnet Work For You

In the first two parts of this series of articles about lead magnets we talked about what a lead magnet is and why you need one and also looked at how to create a lead magnet.

If you think back to part one, you'll remember that, broadly speaking, the purpose of a lead magnet is to:

  • open a dialogue with a potential client who visits your website
  • demonstrate your expertise and allow you to start gaining the prospect's trust
  • allow you to obtain their email address so you can keep in touch and nurture the relationship until they are ready/willing to buy

So in this final installment of my series of articles about lead magnets I'm going to explain

  • how you make your lead magnet available for people to download in return for giving you their email address, and 
  • what you can do after that to maximise the chances of turning that person into a client further down the line.

How to Publish and Distribute Your Lead Magnet

As I just said, one of the main reasons to have a lead magnet is so as you've got a "hook" to encourage someone to give you their email address.

So it's no good just making your lead magnet PDF freely available on your website for anyone to view or download. Instead you need to upload it to your website and protect it so that the link to it is only made available once someone has provided their email address and joined your mailing list.

Depending on what sort of website platform you use and how comfortable you are with doing basic website design, you might be able to do all of this yourself or you might need to enlist the help of your web designer.

I'm going to assume you've got a WordPress website - because most people have (and, if you haven't, then you should seriously consider migrating).

One of the beauties of WordPress is there's a vast array of free and paid-for plugins which allow you to do quite complex things with your site even if you're not a web developer. And these plugins include quite a few that are designed to make it easy to create opt-in forms and landing pages for your lead magnet. 

I'm not going to list them all here but, as ever with these things, Google is your friend.

I use a bundle of tools called Thrive Themes on my WordPress website and this includes a plug-in called Thrive Leads (which is also available on its own) which lets you create sign-up forms and integrates with all the major email automation systems. Thrive is a paid-for product but, in my opinion, is well worth the money.

By using the Thrive, it's pretty easy to design a landing page like this one and create a sign-up form like this

lead magnet - How To Make Your Lead Magnet Work For You

which appears when someone clicks the button to download the lead magnet. You can even create different designs of form and see which one gets the best response rate.

If you're based in the UK or anywhere else in Europe, you've no doubt heard of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force in 2018. Contrary to what some people will tell you, GDPR doesn't stop you sending follow-up emails to people who download your lead magnet and you don't necessarily need to include a consent checkbox.

I'm not a lawyer and, if you're in any doubt, you should take your own legal advice. But, as I understand it, so long as you do what I've done in the example above and include wording on your opt-in form which makes it clear that the person is signing up to receive regular emails and is getting the lead magnet as almost an added bonus, then you should be fine. 

Double Opt-In - So Good They Signed Up Twice

I recommend you use the double opt-in method for your mailing list. If you've ever given your email address in order to download something from this website or pretty much any other site then you'll have seen how double opt-in works.

It means that once your new subscriber has filled in a form like the one above they will receive an automated email from you asking them to click a link to confirm their email address. Once they click that link they are added to your mailing list and taken to the page on your website where they can view or download the lead magnet.

lead magnet - How To Make Your Lead Magnet Work For You

Using double opt-in makes it a tiny bit harder for people to join your list as there's one extra step they have to go through. But at least it means all the people on your list will be people who definitely want to be there. It also gives you an extra line of defence should anyone ever claim that they didn't sign up to receive your emails and it stops your mailing list getting filled up with spam form submissions.

Don't worry if setting up a double opt-in system sounds complicated. All the major email automation systems will do all this for you and require a minimal amount of configuration on your part to get up and running. 

You just need to follow the instructions for integrating your opt-in form with your chosen email system and then as soon as someone submits the form the confirmation email is sent automatically and once the recipient clicks the link they are automatically added to the mailing list and directed to the lead magnet that they requested.

Choosing an Email Automation System

There are lots of email marketing systems out there and you've probably heard of some of the big ones like MailChimp or Constant Contact. But the one I use myself and which I recommend to my clients is called ActiveCampaign.

I like ActiveCampaign because it's a very flexible and powerful system which allows you to do everything from sending simple one-off emails to your entire list, through to creating automated flows where someone will receive a sequence of emails over a period of time and where their route through the flow can change based on actions they've taken in the past. If you want to know more, check out my full review of ActiveCampaign.

lead magnet - How To Make Your Lead Magnet Work For You

Creating a Follow-Up Email Sequence

It's generally agreed that before someone is ready to buy from you they will need to have been "touched" multiple times by your business. A touch can be anything from visiting your website through to meeting you at a networking event, getting an email from you, or hearing your company mentioned on the local radio station. 

Some people say the magic number is five touches, others say it is seven, and others hedge their bets and say anything from five to seven. What's clear though is that the number of touches needs to be greater than one!

I recommend you start off by creating a sequence of follow-up emails that contains at least seven messages. You can then load these emails into ActiveCampaign and set it to send them out to each new subscriber over a period of days or weeks.

Regardless of when someone joins your list they will always start at the beginning of your sequence and receive email number one, then number two, then three, and so on - even if there are other people who joined the list earlier who are already up to, say, email number six.

Here's an extract from one of my own ActiveCampaign automations to illustrate this:

lead magnet - How To Make Your Lead Magnet Work For You

As you can see, this is very different from the dreaded email newsletter where each subscriber gets the same boring email at the same time each week and where you need to be coming up with new material to send them every week.

With an email sequence like the one above, you can write it all today, upload it, and still be using it for new subscribers months from now.

Of course, that does mean you need to make sure your content isn't too topical and that the information you're providing won't be out of date within a few weeks. So avoid doing things like making references to something that's been in the news this week or saying that you're writing your email on a hot summer's day.

What Should You Put in Your Follow-Up Emails?

There are various approaches you can take when deciding what to say in your follow-up emails.

For example, you could share some of your past blog posts, provide a series of tips on a particular subject, or tell a story that's relevant to your target audience and illustrates a point you want to make. Each business is different so it's impossible to give a one-size-fits-all recommendation, but if you want some ideas then do book a call with me and I'll be happy to help.

One of my favourite ways to create a follow-up email sequence is to provide a series of tips that are related to the original lead magnet that your subscribers downloaded. 

lead magnet - How To Make Your Lead Magnet Work For You

For example, one of the lead magnets that I offer on my website is a Google Ads audit checklist that helps people carry out a healthcheck on their Google Ads campaigns. If someone downloads that checklist, I can be fairly certain that they are using Google Ads and that they want to know how to get better results from it.

So if you download that checklist, the first follow-up email you'll get contains a list of ten tips for improving your Google Ads campaigns. It doesn't go into any detail on these ten points but, over the next couple of weeks, you'll receive further emails - each of which does provide more detail on one of those ten tips.

By doing this I am able to:

  • keep in regular contact with the people who download the Google Ads audit checklist so as I'm front of mind if/when they want to work with someone like me
  • provide additional value to them by sending emails which I know they'll find interesting and useful because they downloaded the checklist
  • further demonstrate my knowledge and expertise so as to build credibility in the eyes of these subscribers

Even if the people who download your lead magnet don't end up buying from you, even after receiving all your follow-up emails, you've still achieved something useful.

The more people who download your lead magnet, the bigger your list gets. And that means that, as and when you have cause to send a large-scale marketing email (e.g. to promote a new service or announce a special promotion, or invite people to an event), you'll already have a ready-made list of engaged people to send it to.

next steps

If you've read all three parts of this article, you'll now have a good grasp of how and why lead magnets work and you'll hopefully already have some ideas buzzing around your head as to what your lead magnet could be about and what you'll put in your follow up emails.

If you'd like to bounce your ideas off someone or you want some advice on how to create your lead magnet or set up ActiveCampaign to handle the distribution of your lead magnet and your follow-up emails, I'd be happy to help.

You can leave a comment in the box at the bottom of this page and I'll get back to you, or you can book a call with me to talk things through.

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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