Let’s get a show of hands...
Do you find yourself wasting time and losing momentum, by getting stuck in the weeds trying to create the “perfect” opt-in offers and lead magnets?
Maybe you’re a perfectionist?
Or you love tinkering with the tech?
Maybe you just don’t know when to stop?
My hand went up four times there! Did yours?
Today’s post will free you from this quagmire, and get you back to what really matters: creating content, growing your email list, and making sales!
You’re about to learn how to kick-start your email list, by creating a compelling lead magnet in under an hour.
Rapid implementation is the name of the game here.
Forget about crafting a 12-page illustrated PDF, or shooting a 3-part video course. Committing to building a complex lead magnet dramatically lowers your chance of actually publishing it, and robs your business of time better spent elsewhere.
You need to build and launch your lead magnet fast, so you can see results and quickly judge how well it performs.
Here’s 9 ideas to get you started...
1. Solve a Micro Problem with a Free PDF
This is the crux of most successful lead magnets... identify a small problem, need, frustration, or challenge that your target audience has, and make it go away just by subscribing to your email list.
There are many options for delivering this problem-solving nugget of value. We’ll get into some of the other formats and media later, but right now let’s focus on creating a super-simple PDF file.
First you’ll need to brainstorm and choose a really compelling micro problem you can solve in one or two pages.
Don’t be tempted to tackle too large or complex a problem; your mission is to remove just one easily-defined barrier from your audiences’ path.
Then boot up your favorite word processor and get writing!
- Briefly outlining the problem and the pain points of leaving the problem unsolved...
- Then get right into offering a step-by-step fix.
- Add your logo and a link back to your website (or a specific call-to-action if you have one)...
- And save it as a PDF.
Boom – instant lead magnet!
Let’s pin this down with some helpful examples:
- Close more sales calls with these tested techniques to mentally prepare.
- You’ll never be a successful magician until you learn to palm cards. Here’s how...
- The perfect batter mix you’ll use time and time again.
However, if you’d prefer to follow a more structured approach to quickly creating a lead magnet, you could...
2. Create a Fancy Pants Checklist
Checklists are awesome lead magnets, both for your audience and you as a creator.
Seriously, with a branded template, you can knock out an enticing checklist lead magnet in way less than an hour to start growing your email list quickly.
Here’s how to make checklists even faster to create and publish...
- Create a simple, branded template using Microsoft Word or Apple Pages (saving it as a PDF). Use this technique time and time again so you’re not reinventing the wheel each time.
- Keep your checklist to 15 items or less.
- Repurpose existing blog content.
- Limit the introduction and final call-to-action to just a few short paragraphs each.
3. Shoot a Cell Phone Video
This strategy isn’t for everyone...
Either you’re comfortable enough on camera to shoot an engaging one-take video... or you’re the type of person who gets too wrapped up with perfecting the details: the script, multiple takes, editing, your hair.
If you’re the second type, skip ahead! Shooting a video will be the opposite of a quick win lead magnet for you!
But if you’re an extrovert who can instantly connect with people on video, this might just be the secret sauce you’re looking for.
Tech-wise, you already have everything you need to shoot a great video on your smartphone. The only other things you’ll need are some good lighting (a big window with natural sun works great!) and something to talk about.
So what should you talk about?
Well that of course, that depends on your audience and their needs.
How can you help them – quickly! – to overcome a micro problem or challenge that is typical for brand-new visitors to your niche?
Here’s a great example from Shane (co-founder and CEO of Thrive Themes)...
Once you’ve shot your video, and trimmed off the fumbling start and finish, go ahead and upload it to YouTube as an unlisted video.
Then you can embed that video within a page on your website. You can do this using either the standard WordPress editor, or the video-focused rapid implementation features inside Thrive Architect.
Be sure to add more calls-to-action on the page, so your new subscribers can discover more content and products from your brand.
Finally, configure your email opt-in form to automatically redirect to your new video on each successful subscription.
The great thing about this rapid implementation lead magnet is that, in addition to being the perfect delivery format for mobile devices, you can quickly swap out the video later to test new messages and calls-to-action!
4. Answer Your Audience’s Most Common Questions
If you’ve run a blog or social media channel for any length of time, you’ll probably notice the same audience questions popping up again and again.
Now’s your chance to collect all these ‘beginner’ questions and compile them inside a stylish PDF, email, or even just a page on your website.
It’s important to make this more than just a dry FAQ — you need to find a hook that taps into that desire for clarity and orientation when new visitors are first researching a topic.
Here’s some examples...
- The top 10 things that every new parrot owner needs to know!
- We asked 8 couples what they feel is most important for a strong, enduring marriage. Here’s their answers…
- You’re not alone! – Download the ‘what you need to know’ fact sheet about teenage acne.
Find a way to frame the common questions of your audience, and you’ll have a solid lead magnet ready to go in no time.
5. Recommend a List of Awesome Tools or Resources
This is an easy but super-effective lead magnet, and it’s so versatile that you’re sure to find a way to adapt it for your topic and audience.
People are always happy to receive a curated and tested list of killer “tools” that might make their life easier or save time.
Simply ask yourself: Which tools, applications, gear, resources or websites will be immediately helpful for my audience?
Don’t go overboard here. Your audience wants you to help them cut through the online overwhelm – not add to it with massive lists they’ll never fully read or act on. All you need is a nicely designed list of 7-10 tools, along with your explanation of how they’ll be useful in your audiences’ journey.
Here’s a great example from an earlier blog post:
This blog post could easily be shortened down into a lead magnet instead, either as a branded PDF, an unlisted web page, or a pre-written email sent immediately after the visitor subscribes.
Want some more examples to get those ideas flowing?
- 8 Tools that every new blacksmith needs
- 10 Smartphone apps to bring your video editing to the next level
- DON’T go on your next hike without these 8 essential pieces of gear
6. Offer a Practical Downloadable Template
Going a step further than the previous ideas, you’ll find that offering downloadable templates can be a powerful lead magnet to grow your email list.
Whether you design them to be easily printed out, or edited directly within a document, creating a helpful template doesn’t need to be a complicated endeavor. In fact, sometimes the simplest templates work best.
Here’s a few ideas...
- Get organized with our printable Bullet Journal
- Download customizable character sheets for your next DnD session
- Free Family Budget Template - Get your finances back in the black!
Each of these are, above all else, immediately useful to the right audience type. Visitors subscribe to a mailing list, receive their promised template, and they can immediately use it to achieve a defined result.
Don’t forget to add your branding to your template-based lead magnets...
Each week I print out the same incredibly helpful 7-day planner template, which includes the brand who made it. That level of advertising and positive brand association with results is golden!
Remember to keep your template design simple and focused if you want to knock one out in under an hour. Fight the urge to create the perfect lead magnet – you can always improve it later using real feedback from your subscribers.
7. Host a Super-Simple, Fun Quiz
Wait a minute...
… surely building an online quiz isn’t an example of a quick and easy lead magnet, is it?
Take a look at this simple 6-question interactive quiz using Thrive Quiz Builder. It took me a total of 40 minutes to build it, from idea to published quiz.
Go ahead and give it a try... see how well you know your brands!
Quizzes work well at both ends of your email funnel: both as an engaging game to lead people to the opt-in form and as a fun lead magnet to reward new subscribers.
And FUN really is the most important word here.
Your lead magnet quiz needs to be a bite-sized bundle of fun and curiosity to pique your visitors’ interest and push them towards subscribing. My example above was created just for a laugh, yet over 1,000 people have taken it!
As with all lead magnets, you’ll need to find something that aligns with your audience.
Here’s some examples:
- Think you know your horse breeds? Take our quiz and find out!
- Engineering 101: Can you identify the structural weak spots of these bridges?
- Improve your writing by taking our interactive grammar quiz.
Remember to keep your quiz lead magnet small, and use Thrive Quiz Builder’s templates to save even more time.
8. Share a Curated Collection of Files
Do you create digital assets?
Then offering them as a resource pack can be a quick and brilliant lead magnet to grow your email list.
Here’s some examples of bundle-able digital assets:
- 8 Watercolor Photoshop brushes and textures
- 20 Industrial custom fonts
- Auto mechanic stock photography pack
- Vehicle sound effects MP3 collection
- 3 Excel macros that will save you HOURS
- 3D modelling files for space flight and aviation
- 12 Royalty-free piano tracks
Assuming you’ve already created them for past projects and content, you’ll probably have a library of themed assets you can group together into a convenient, tempting collection.
You might think the easiest way to deliver this collection is to link to a ZIP file from an email, but beware – this could set off SPAM filters and lower your email deliverability.
Instead, we recommend redirecting new subscribers to a simple page on your website, where they can download the files (individually or as a ZIP file) with the click of a button.
9. Provide Access to a Component of Your Main Offer
The fastest lead magnet is the one you’ve already created.
If you already sell an info product (like an online course), or a media product (like an album or book), then you already have everything you need to offer a fantastic lead magnet with very little extra work.
Simply choose a great lesson, chapter or track, and repackage it as a free lead magnet!
Not only will this grow your email list quickly, but it will also improve sales as new subscribers get a taste of what your premium product has to offer.
I strongly recommend delivering this type of lead magnet on a dedicated landing page immediately after a visitor subscribes (embedded on the page for videos and audio, or downloadable EPUB or PDF files for ebook chapters). This gives you the opportunity to respectfully introduce your premium product, and test different calls-to-action to improve conversion rates.
Ready to Get Serious About Building Your Email List?
Hopefully today’s post helped you identify a quick win lead magnet idea that you can publish 60 minutes from now.
But don't stop there...
Once you have your lead magnet ready, you'll need to create a lead generation funnel to actually start growing an engaged email list for your online business!
To help you create a conversion-focused lead gen funnel around your enticing new lead magnet, make sure take our free, step-by-step Thrive University course...
Sign up for your free Thrive University account and then jump right in to the course so you can get started building a profitable email list for your online business — right away!
It includes step-by-step instructions to help you set up your list building funnel, and you'll also learn:
- The basic terminology and concepts involved in email marketing
- How to create an opt-in form without any design skills
- How to set up an automated email sequence (a.k.a. an autoresponder) to nurture your leads after they sign up