3 Types of Freebies You Need to Draw People In

June 18, 2018  •  Audience Growth

If you’ve been developing your platform for any amount of time, you know building an email list is essential to your growth.

Once you have an engaged email list of subscribers, the possibilities for your platform are endless. You can launch a podcast, get a book deal, sell physical products, and market online courses—all because you have a devoted tribe.

But how do you get to that point?

lead magnet optins online marketing
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock Photos

The most effective way to grow your list is to offer subscribers a little something in exchange for their email address. This method is called using a lead magnet or it may be called an “optin” (we use those terms interchangeably).

The goal of a lead magnet is to deliver value to a new subscriber who is already interested in your content so you can begin to develop a relationship with them. Eventually, you’ll nurture them and build credibility, turning them into a valuable reader and customer.

Most bloggers offer short ebooks in exchange for an email address, but the possibilities are endless. Basically, you can trade any knowledge that’s valuable and ask for someone’s email address in return.

Think outside of the box when it comes to developing your lead magnet. It can be a step-by-step guide, a workbook, assessment, or list of resources. Your optin should deliver a “quick win” for your audience by helping them achieve or learn something new.

If you’re curious about how we use lead magnets to continue to grow our list, let me share our strategy with you.

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Since having one lead magnet on your homepage can capture a ton of email addresses, we decided to build a homepage that offered three different options to visitors.

Here’s how our homepage is designed:

We offer visitors a PDF workbook download, a quiz, and a video all about list growth from Bryan Harris. We decided to offer three different mediums to interact with a variety of readers. We know some people love videos, while others are drawn to downloads and assessments.

We highlight three different pain points our readers probably have: content creation, branding, and list-growth. Then we crafted three solutions for those problems. And in exchange for this valuable information, we ask for an email address.

Need more behind-the-scenes details?

We create all of our workbooks and downloads in Pages then convert them to PDFs. We add the fields using a free web-based tool called PDFescape.

For delivery of the workbook and video, we use OptinMonster, which communicates with ConvertKit to add names to our email list.

We make all of our assessments using TypeForm. We wrote the questions, then created a scoring system that delivered the quiz-taker’s archetype based on his or her answers. In order to get their results, we ask for an email address. All of this functionality is built in with Typeform. We then use Zapier to push all of those email addresses to our list in ConvertKit.

Once you have an engaged email list of subscribers, the possibilities for your platform are endless.

John Meese

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When a subscriber is added to our email list, we make sure to tag them so we know what entry point they arrived from.

If someone already downloaded the workbook, we don’t want to send them a welcome email asking them what they thought of the video. We want to send them a custom welcome message, and using ConvertKit’s tagging system helps us do that.

So how can you replicate this?

1. First, you need to find three pain points your audience has. What are their main frustrations? What problems do they have?

Not sure how to answer those questions? If you’ve recently conducted audience research, perhaps you can refer to the data you collected. If you don’t have any research to reference, look at the most popular content on your blog. Why did that content strike a chord with your readers? How did it serve your audience’s needs?

2. Next, determine how you can offer solutions to relieve those pain points. How can you help your audience achieve a “quick win?”

3. Finally, how can you present those solutions through different mediums—something written, something visual or audio, and something interactive?

Ready to Build Your Online Platform?

Join our community of thousands of students inside Platform University, all focused on building an online platform  Your monthly membership includes unlimited access to practical, professional training—hundreds of videos, regular live Q&A, and an active support community just waiting for you!

Apply to Join Platform University

QUESTION: What questions do you about creating multiple optins for your homepage? Let us know in the comment area below!

About John Meese

John is the Dean of Platform University, and spends most of his time looking for new ways to serve Platform University students. He lives south of Nashville, TN with his wife and two young kids.