Even in this day and age, there are marketers who just create opt-in forms, stick them on their website and then hope people will sign up.  The reality is that this method will take you years to grow your email list…if it even grows at all.

In this blog, Part 3 of our series ‘Your Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing,’ we will review strategies to organically grow your email lists by creating and promoting a compelling offer (also known as a ‘lead magnet’.)

Grow Your Email Lists Through Lead Magnets

Lead Magnets are deals and offers that you give away for free in exchange for an email address.  Most successful lead magnets are digital materials like audio files, videos or PDFs (versus products or services that will cost you money). The catch is that your lead magnet needs to provide value for your potential lead in order to appeal to them.

Some of the most widely used lead magnets include:

  • eBooks
  • Link to free webinars
  • Discount coupons
  • Tips and resources
  • Free trials/samples
  • Quizzes and/or assessments
  • Case studies

And if you’re wondering on exactly what makes a good lead magnet, you need to consider the following 5 criteria when making your decision:

  1. Easy Consumption – Your lead magnet is useless unless your audience uses it.  Try and share snackable, digestible lead magnets to gain traction (nothing too huge or cumbersome that consumers won’t use).
  2. Action Driven – A good lead magnet will always provide useful information and/or tools and skillsets that your audience can apply.
  3. Relevant – Make sure you study your prospects to guarantee that your lead magnet solves their problem.
  4. Instant Gratification – Don’t make your audience wait after they submit the information that you required them to.  Give the lead magnet right then and there.
  5. Creates Noticeable Improvement – Your lead magnet needs to be as good as (if not better) than your main offerings to be able to make an impact.  People continue to buy from businesses who give out lead magnets that are unique and will provide them with something useful or valuable.


Creating Opt-In Forms That Work

Keep in mind that your opt-in form is there to convey the BIG benefit that your lead magnet promises,  essentially prompting your audience to subscribe to your email lists in exchange for getting your offer.

Every good opt-in form that converts will have the following components:

  1. Exciting Headlines – The headline always needs to describe the benefits of the lead magnet that you are giving out.
  2. Great Visuals – It’s always a good idea to include an image of the lead magnet, if possible.  If not, then make sure the visuals and the template of the opt-in form are both, professional and appealing.
  3. Supporting Descriptions – Try and keep your descriptions brief, crisp and to the point.  Use bullets wherever possible so that the reader can give it a quick scan.
  4. Keep it Simple – The form doesn’t have to be too complicated.  Don’t ask more than the first name and email address.  Having too many questions can be the deal breaker.
  5. CTA in Subscribe Button – Having a contrasting color for your all-important subscribe button can make a huge difference.  Also, instead of a generic copy, try and use a call to action like “Send me the 50% discount!

Once the opt-in form is created, you will have to install it on your website.  Some of the highest-converting places to put your opt-in form include:

  • A splash page
  • Floating bar
  • Welcome gate
  • Your website’s header
  • Within your blog posts
  • In the sidebar
  • In the footer
  • In your “About” page
  • In timed lightbox pop up

Personalize Your Email Marketing

Your lead magnet and opt-in form are ready to go.  It’s time to start building your email lists!  Check out Part 4 of our series: Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing – Part 4 Personalized Email Marketing.