What’s the best way to attract new readers and increase your sales?
The answer depends on your goals, but it’s undeniable that building a mailing list is an effective way to stay connected with potential buyers for your self-published books.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. How do you get people to subscribe to your list?
If you don’t know about lead magnets, it’s time to learn. Creating one can help you entice people to subscribe to your list – and, it can be the first step in converting a casual reader into a happy consumer of your self-published books.
What is a Lead Magnet?
Lead magnets can take many forms. I’ve seen lead magnets that are:
- Short eBooks or reports
- Word templates
- Cheat sheets
- Tip sheets
- Swipe files
- Resource lists
- Planner pages
You get the idea. Your lead magnet is something that the people in your target audience want that you can afford to give away.
What Are the Qualities of an Effective Lead Magnet?
An effective lead magnet should be irresistible to the people in your target audience.
Sounds simple, right?
And it is simple, provided you approach creating your lead magnet with the right parameters in mind.
An effective lead magnet should:
- Be targeted to your audience. That might seem obvious but giving something away that isn’t also relevant to your book audience is futile. You might get a few new followers, but they won’t buy your books.
- Solve a nagging problem. The people who come to your landing page come because they’re looking for something. Your lead magnet should provide it.
- Be easy to consume. Some people give away full-length eBook as lead magnets, but I think that’s a mistake. You want something that gives people a sense of immediate gratification.
- Give actionable steps. Anything you give away should be something that your readers can act on immediately.
- Be evergreen. You want your lead magnet to be something that you can use for years. That means you should do what you can to ensure that it’s written or created in a way that it stays relevant – or at the very least, stays easy to update.
- Be related to your book. In other words, your lead magnet should be on-brand serve as a first step into the sales funnel for your book.
I’m a big fan of one-page lead magnets. Cheat sheets and checklists are super-easy to create, and they tick all the boxes. They provide valuable, relevant, and actionable content that will prove their worth immediately – and keep your followers engaged.
Tips for Creating Your Lead Magnet
Now let’s look at some tips for creating the perfect lead magnet for your mailing list.
You’ll want to start by brainstorming some ideas. Looking at what you know about your target audience is helpful. You may also want to:
- Review the search terms that regularly bring people to your website or blog
- Check out the traffic on your most important keywords
- Think about the problems the book you’re promoting solves and what content would be a good entry point for potential readers
One of the things I recommend for promoting planners, journals, coloring books, and other low-content books is to use a page from your book as a lead magnet.
Or, if you prefer, you can create an “extra” page that’s like what’s in your book but not identical.
Either way, you’re giving the people in your target audience a taste of what they’ll get if they buy your book.
Once you’ve got a topic or idea for your lead magnet, it’s time to choose a format for it. As I said before, I like short lead magnets. One-pagers like cheat sheets, tip sheets, and checklists are ideal because you can create them quickly.
When you’re ready to create your lead magnet, you’ll need to keep quality and usefulness at the front of your mind. Here are some pointers:
- Make sure that your lead magnet includes some personality and makes sense for your brand. If your blog uses a lot of humor, your lead magnet should use humor, too.
- Bring something unique to your lead magnet. How-to lists and cheat sheets are all over the web. Yours needs to be unique and offer something that people can’t find anywhere else.
- Your lead magnet should be authoritative and clear. If you’re providing instructions, have someone who’s unfamiliar with the task you’re describing read through it to make sure that they can follow the steps without confusion.
- Include attractive and appealing design elements. Even if the bulk of your content is written, you should still think about how your lead magnet will look when it’s printed out. People are more likely to use your cheat sheet or checklist if it looks great hanging on their refrigerator or over their desk.
- Edit, edit, and edit again. Even though most lead magnets are short, you still need to edit and make them as perfect as possible. Lose extra words and keep your writing concise and clean.
- Proofread everything. Your final product must be free of typos and mistakes. If grammar, spelling and punctuation aren’t your strong suits, hire a proofreader to check your lead magnet for you.
The final step is to promote your lead magnet. If your goal is to grow your list, try using your blog, social media, and paid advertising to direct traffic to the landing page for your lead magnet.
Keep in mind, too, that you may need to test your advertising and switch up your headlines and images to get the conversion rate you want.
The right lead magnet can help send your subscriber count soaring – and make a huge difference in the sales of your current book.
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