How to Create a Great Opt-In
“I’ll give you my best email address for your best lead magnet”
Bartering’s been a thing ever since early human civilizations (y'know, the Flintstones), and opt-ins are just the internet’s favourite version. They’re mini-transactions where people trade their email addresses for something of value.
And since you can’t exactly offer your prized pig up for grabs.
You settle for the next best thing, a lead magnet.
While your audience gets a fancy PDF, webinar, or maybe even just your newsletter in exchange for their email address, you get the opportunity to nurture them, move them through your funnel, and potentially sell your product to them in the future.
The better your lead magnet looks (aka higher perceived value), the more email addresses you’ll get.
So here are some of our top strategies to make sure you have a lead magnet that isn’t just lipstick on a pig.
Hey there, handsome. Give me your email address and I’ll make it worth your while.
1 - It has to solve a real problem that your audience faces
Your lead magnet needs to be relevant to the rest of your funnel. If you’re selling a course on web design, and a lead magnet about cake decoration won’t address your audience’s pain points. For example, if you want your funnel to lead your audience to the Facebook Ad course you’re selling (hello Claire Pells!), a great lead magnet would be a list of interest groups that people can use on Facebook.
It’s super specific and someone who’s looking to set up their FB ads can use the template, apply it to their business, and see immediate, tangible results.
2 - It has to balance high-value with easily digestible content
You can’t really give your audience a 200-page eBook as a lead magnet, well you could, but they aren’t going to read it. It’s going to sit in their downloads folder gathering dust until they delete all 5239058 things in there. On the flip side, you can’t give them a blank workbook either.
You need to provide enough value that you're an expert and someone who always delivers (or over delivers!), but the content shouldn’t get overwhelming. Quick wins are the name of the game.
3 - It has to be instantly accessible
Sure you could do a ‘get free shipping’ or ‘get a free workbook delivered to your doorstep’ opt-in, but those make more sense for e-commerce businesses where you’re trading for a coupon code which is delivered instantly.
For service-based businesses, opt-ins that are free invites to summits taking place several weeks from now, or a webinar a few days away don’t work as well. While they’re great incentives, the initial impact of the lead-in is already lost by the time that summit or webinar rolls around.
Here are the 5 most popular types of lead magnets:
1 - The PDF opt-in
At #1 is the PDF opt-in, and for good reason. #1 They work well, have your branding on it, can be beautifully designed. Not to mention they’re ridiculously simple to create too.
Checklists, cheat sheets, guides, and any kind of template works well here. Check out ours below →
For another example, SmartBlogger has a cheat sheet for blog headlines.
It’s simple, easy to understand, digestible, but with the promise of content that saves time.
2 - Templates, and Spreadsheets
Claire Pells does these really well, let’s take a look at her spreadsheet for interest targeting.
And once you sign up, the spreadsheet is sent right away.
Again, simple, quick, and something that saves people a lot of trial and error.
3 - Pre-recorded video content
Great value for your audience since webinars are generally information heavy, they’re immediate, and great for you because you get to start building that rapport right away.
Once they sign up, a free video will be sent to their inbox.
A great example is Mariah Coz’s 3-Part Course Launch Framework:
4 - Quizzes
Quizzes harness the power of specificity and can be used to sell products, segment leads, and take action.
Let’s take a look at Chanti Zak’s, the internet’s own Queen of Quizzes, landing page. Chanti has an opt-in quiz, which helps establish her expertise and helps her get to know her audience.
Everyone loves a good quiz, it makes them feel understood, appeals to their ego, and gives readers a reason to share.
Which is why quizzes convert.
5 - Curated lists and check lists
A curated list is essentially a list that’s been compiled by an expert on a particular topic.
You can do:
1 - Checklists: They’re simple, and take the guesswork out of planning, and are an automatic win for your audience. Check ours out here →
2 - Tools: What are some hidden gems that your audience may not have heard of? On the flip side, what are some popular tools that receive your stamp of approval?
3 - Examples: This especially works if you’re in the design field. Take screenshots of some of your favorite web designs (as an example) and explain to your audience in detail why they work. (Or a copy swipe file!)
Lists work so well because they’re simple, accessible, and are a quick-win.
And that’s it, those are our top 5 lead magnet suggestions as well as a few notes on how to create your next lead magnet strategically.
What’s the best opt-in you’ve seen around?