Create A Lead Magnet: The Big, Fat How-To

How to create a lead magnet http://iteachblogging.com/create-lead-magnet-big-fat/

Are you trying to grow your email list?

Have you been noticing how some people are growing their email list like gangbusters?

Have you been asking yourself "What on earth are they doing differently than me?"

Maybe you are just starting your email list and you are DESPERATE to figure out how to give away a download in exchange for an email address.

Have you heard of content upgrades or lead magnets? Ok if you don't have any clue what I am talking about, don't fret.

In this blog post you are going to learn exactly what a lead magnet is and how it can help you grow your mailing list.

Then you are going to learn step-by-step exactly how to create a lead magnet and how to give it away.

Grab a drink. Saddle up.

Let's do this together!

Sound Good?

Good!

Let's Get Down To It!!!!

What you will learn in this post

What a lead magnet (content upgrade) is and what kind is most effective. You will also learn how to create a lead magnet for free.

Summary of Steps:​

  • Create a download link
  • Create a download page
  • Create a 3 Step Thank You Page
  • Create a MailChimp List
  • How to Connect MailChimp and Thrive Leads
  • Create a Thrive Lead

If you are in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to any part of the post by clicking on a link in the quick navigation below.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet, often called a content upgrade, is something that you offer a blog reader for FREE in exchange for them signing up for your email newsletter.

In essence you are bribing your reader! I mean, you are giving your reader an incentive to sign up for your newsletter.

If you are having trouble thinking about how creating a FREE giveaway would work, think about the last time that you went to a conference or event. Have you ever walked up to a booth and someone handed you a FREE Gift?

Just recently we did the Santa Run in Plano, TX. It was such a blast. Imagine thousands of people dressed in Santa Suits either doing a power walk or a 5k. It was an amazing sight.

At the even,t Care Now had a booth. They were giving away bags that had their logo all over it and water bottles with their logo. Inside of the water bottle was bandaids and chapstick, with even more logos.

Just recently, I had a few different friends that were sick. Do you know what I recommended that they do?

It was not visit a doctor's office. Nope, I said "You should go to Care Now."

See they gave me something useful and I remembered them.

If you create a content upgrade and it is useful, your readers will thank you for it by signing up for your email newsletter.

What do you need to create a content upgrade?

Before we get too deep into the specific steps, let's cover the tools. As with every aspect of digital life you will need a few things to create your lead magnet.

Why Thrive Leads?

There are countless tools these days that you can use to create and deliver your content upgrade. When I first went on this journey I did a lot of research.

Without question, I believe that Thrive Leads and Thrive Content Builder are the best tools on the market today. I am such a fan that I created a website that focuses on tutorials for their products. You can check it out here: http://blogbuildtips.com/.

Also, if you are interested here is a wonderful comparison of Thrive Landing Pages vs LeadPages.

Why Mail Chimp?

The first 2,500 subscribers does not cost you. This means that you can start growing your mailing list for free. Plus if you want to start automation, you can do it at a reasonable price with Mail Chimp: http://mailchimp.com/features/automation/.

So with that said these are the tools that will be used in this tutorial.

Part One: Do you have the tools for your content upgrade?

Tools that will be required:

  • Self Hosted WordPress Blog
  • MailChimp Account
  • Pdf for Download
  • Download Monitor
  • MailChimp Account
  • Thrive Leads
  • Bonus Item: I use Thrive Content Builder to create my landing pages.

If you do not currently have a self hosted WordPress Blog, check out this 13 part video tutorials series on how to get going on that: How to start a blog today.

Part Two: How to create a content upgrade

The first step in giving away a lead magnet is creating your document. We will cover a few tips on how to quickly create your first content upgrade and even discuss what it should be.

But first, let's make sure that you have a good feel for what your reader will experience.​

Below will show you the flow that a new subscriber goes thru when they sign up for your newsletter.​

How someone signs up for a lead magnet

The process for content upgrades with WordPress and Thrive Leads

Step 1: Create a PDF document

We will cover this in more detail below but as a preview, you will need a pdf document to give away to your subscribers.

Step 2: Create a pdf download link with the Download Monitor ​WordPress Plugin

This is a free tool that is extremely simple to use. You will see the step-by-step tutorial video below.

Step 3:​ Create a 3-Step thank you page

This is an optional step in the process but it can be quite helpful in making sure that your reader converts to a subscriber. It explains to them that they will need to confirm their email address and that they will receive a link for their free content upgrade.

Step 4: Create your download Page

When your new subscribers confirms their email address they will be automatically redirected to a download page. This page will house the link that you created using download monitor.

Step 5: ​Create your MailChimp list

This will be the email list that your new subscriber will be assigned to. Also, in this step I will show you how to setup the redirect to your download page.

Step 6: Create your Thrive Lead Box

In this step you will learn how to create the email signup box that you will embed into your new blog post.

Step 7: Add your Lead Box to your post

In this step you will learn how to quickly and easily add your lead box to your blog post or page.​

What are the typical types of content upgrades and/or lead magnets?

  • Worksheets
  • Infographics
  • Checklists
  • Mini ebook
  • Mini e-course
  • Step-by-step tutorial
  • Video Tutorial
  • Resource list
  • Cheatsheet
  • Swipe file
  • Email Script

Is your mind reeling with wonderful ideas after reading this list?

If so that is great but STOP for a moment.

There is an important factor to consider when creating your content upgrade.

What kind of content upgrades convert best?

You first instinct may be to create a really fab ebook or video course but that is not the recommended path.

Crazy huh?

It seems like a BIG give-away would be awesome but it is actually overwhelming.

Did you know that the average opt-in rate for email newsletter is around 3%? That is average but then some people are seeing their opt-in rate jump to 20% just because they added a content upgrade. ~Source

Crazy Egg

What do people want then?

People want a quick win.

They want something that will help them right now. They want something that will add value to them right now.

People do not want to feel like they have one more book to read. They do not want 14 hours of video. They want 5 pages to read right now (with lots of white space). Readers want a 5 minute video that answers a hyper specific question.

Readers want a specific answer to a specific question.

This means that your content upgrades need to be specific.

Generic content upgrades are boring.

Hyper specific content upgrades are exciting.

What do people want then?

People want a quick win.

They want something that will help them right now. They want something that will add value to them right now.

People do not want to feel like they have one more book to read. They do not want 14 hours of video. They want 5 pages to read right now (with lots of white space). Readers want a 5 minute video that answers a hyper specific question.

Readers want a specific answer to a specific question.

This means that your content upgrades need to be specific.

Generic content upgrades are boring.

Hyper specific content upgrades are exciting.

A Quick and easy content upgrade that you can create for free.

Have you written a blog post that is chock full of value. One that if a reader had a print-out of it, their world would be better?

If that is the case then you create a pdf of the blog post and give it away for free. It could be your lead magnet.

1. Create a pdf download of your blog post

  • Step 1: Go to: Print Friendly
  • Step 2: Paste your blog url (per the image below)
How to create a content upgrade
  • Step 3: Click Print Preview
How to create a free content upgrade
  • Step 4: Make a few decisions
    • A. Do you want to remove the image from the pdf?

I tend to remove any images that are not absolutely necessary, such as the featured image. If my reader wants to print out this document, I don't want them wasting ink.

Use Printfriendly to create a content upgrade
  • B. Do you want to delete any content?

If you do, just highlight the content and yellow box will appear, as in the image below. Click on the 'click to delete.'

Do not click delete on your keyboard.

How to create a content upgrade step 3
  • Step 5: Click on PDF

Once you are done, go ahead and click on 'PDF' and your new content upgrade will be generated.

Note: While your pdf is being created you will be show some ads.

  • Step 6: Click on 'Download Your PDF'

Congratulations! You just created your very own content upgrade.

2. Create a short 3-5 page guide

Hubspot provides some super nice looking ebook templates for free. Go here and download your free templates.

Note: These templates are created in Power Point. You can run .ppt files on a Mac or a PC. However, you will need Power Point installed on your machine.

Hubspot provides you with a nice set of instructions on how to best use their documents. I have created several content upgrades using these documents myself.

It takes more time to create a guide but it is well worth it. Guides convert really well and I highly recommend them.

Check out one of my guides right here: Get 5 SEO Tips Today

3. Create a checklist for your content upgrade

Checklists are great. People love them. I love them. You probably love them too.

They are easy to create and they don't have to be too fancy.

I just created you a super simple Google Doc Template that looks nice. You can use it by clicking here: Checklist Template.

Note: You will need a Google account to use this document.

Important Google Doc Commands:

To add a row to an existing table just hit the tab key on your keyboard (when your cursor is at the end of a row).

To delete a row, right click on the row and click on delete row.

Create a download link

Step 1: Install the Download Monitor plugin

In the video below, I walk you through step-by-step creating your download link for your lead magnet.

For your reference, the steps are also below. Just follow along with the video. 

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Click on Downloads
  3. Click on Add New
  4. Give Your Download a Title
  5. Click on 'Add file'
  6. Click on 'Upload file'
  7. Select your file from the Media Library or Upload Your File
  8. Click on 'Insert file URL' (this is a blue bottom on the bottom right)
  9. Click on 'Publish'
  10. Copy Download URL

How to create a download page

The download page is the page where your email provider will forward a new subscriber so that they can get their new lead magnet.

The video tutorial will walk you thru the steps create the landing page for your new lead magnet. In this video I use Thrive Content Builder and the link from Download Monitor.​

Note: This is the page that your new subscriber will be redirected to after they confirm their email address. This redirection will be covered down below in the MailChimp section. We create the page in advance of going into MailChimp so that we have the page url to put in the system.​

For your reference, the steps are also below. Just follow along with the video. 

  1. ​Create a new page
  2. Give your new page a title
  3. Save Draft
  4. Click on 'Edit With Thrive Content Builder'
  5. Click on 'Thrive Land Pages'
  6. Click on 'Choose Landing Page'
  7. On left under Filter Check next to 'download'
  8. Choose your download page design
  9. Click on Load Landing Page
  10. Edit your pages content
  11. Click on button to add link to pdf
  12. Click Save ChangesPublish your page

Notes:

A. Don't forget to link the disclaimer page in the footer

B. Don't forget to add your business name in the footer where it currently says ACME

How to create a 3-Step Thank You page​

This is a purely optional step in the process but I believe that it adds some real value.

This page tells the subscriber that they will receive an email asking them to confirm their email subscription.

If you are using a 2-Step Opt-In and the subscriber does not click on that confirmation link, they are not subscribed to your newsletter. Therefore, getting them to click on that link is critical.

This is why I like a page resembling the one in the image below.​

How to Create Email Opt-In Thank You Page

I created this page using Thrive Content Builder, my preferred landing page software. However, if you do not want to purchase this software you could put these three steps in a normal WordPress page.

You would just put them in-line like below. (Feel free to copy and paste this text and make it your own.)

Step 1: Go to Your Email Inbox. (Note: Make sure that you go to the email that you used to sign up for the newsletter).

Step 2: Open the confirmation email. The email will have "Your Awesome Title Here" in the subject line and it will be from "Your Name."​

Step 3: Click on the confirmation link. (Clicking on this link tells the MailChimp that you do want to receive emails from me).

Thank you very much for signing up!​

In the video below, you will see how to create your Thank You page quickly and easily with TCB. 

For your reference, the steps are also below. Just follow along with the video.

  1. ​Create a new page
  2. Give your new page a title
  3. Save Draft
  4. Click on 'Edit With Thrive Content Builder'
  5. Click on 'Thrive Land Pages'
  6. Click on 'Choose Landing Page'
  7. On left under Filter Check next to 'confirmation page'
  8. Choose your confirmation page design
  9. Click on Load Landing Page
  10. Add your logo
  11. Edit Step 2 with the email subject line and from name
  12. Make any other desired changes
  13. Click Save Changes
  14. Publish your page

Note: Don't forget to add your business name in the footer where it currently says ACME

How To Setup Your Content Upgrade In Mailchimp

Now that you have created a lead magnet, you have created a thank you page and a download page, it is time to setup your MailChimp list.

There is a quick and easy method of redirecting your email subscribers to the download page when using MailChimp.

In the 3 minute video below, you will learn step-by-step how to setup your MailChimp redirect.​

For your reference, the steps are also below. Just follow along with the video.

  1. Create new MailChimp list
  2. List
  3. Create new
  4. Fill in info
  5. Click on signup form
  6. General forms
  7. Confirmation "thank you" page
  8. Paste download page link
  9. Save​

How to Quickly Find your MailChimp API Key

Once you have created your MailChimp list, you will need to find and copy your MailChimp API key. You will need this for the next step below. 

For your reference, the steps are also below. Just follow along with the video.

  1. Log into your Mail Chimp account
  2. Top Right Corner Click on your Face or Icon
  3. Click on Account
  4. Click on Extras
  5. Click on API Keys
  6. Copy Existing API Key​

Note: If you don't have an existing API key then click on 'Create A Key' and walk thru the prompted steps to create your MailChimp API Key.

How To Connect Thrive Leads To MailChimp Video Tutorial

The final step with MailChimp is connect it to your Thrive Leads account inside of your WordPress dashboard.

For your reference, the steps are also below. Just follow along with the video.

  1. ​Log into WordPress Dashboard
  2. Click on Thrive Dashboard
  3. Click on Manage API Connections
  4. Click on Add new Connection
  5. Click on Select an app and select MailChimp
  6. Paste in your API key
  7. Click on Connect
  8. Click on Done

How To Embed An Email Optin In Your Blog Post With Thrive Leads

Whew, you are almost done. 

Now, it is time for you to create your email opt-in form. You are going to learn how to create one similar to​ the one below. 

Download this FREE Resource Guide:

You can print this reference guide and post it on your wall or keep on your computer and use the clickable links as you plan your blog.

For this step you will need:

  • Thrive Leads installed on your blog. ​
  • The MailChimp API Connected to Thrive Leads
  • The url for your 3-Step Thank You Page
Buy Thrive Leads

The most challenging part of create your email opt-in form is knowing what put in for your call to action. Writing CTA's is something that I still find extremely challenging. 

Here is a valuable tip on improving your email sign up forms from Campaign Monitor:

​Keeping it simple means keeping your form intuitive. Make it easy to understand what value subscribers will receive for signing up, and any other relevant information like how often they will hear from your company.

Do not try and be a fancy wordsmith. Just speak plainly and tell your reader what they will gain if they sign up for your newsletter.

Conclusion

There is no question that creating a content upgrade is time consuming. This is why it is valuable for your readers. When you take the time, to create a take-away document that provides your reader with a quick win, they will remember it.

When you are trying to decide if you want to provide a lead magnet for your readers, consider the fact that it is an investment in your reader.

So to summarize the steps required for a lead magnet:

  1. Create a pdf document that provides your reader with a specific and easy win
  2. Create a 3-Step Thank You Page
  3. Use Download Monitor to create a link for your pdf
  4. Create the download page
  5. Create a MailChimp List with a redirect to your download page
  6. Create an email opt-in form​

If you have any questions about the steps on how to do this, please do not hesitate to ask me in the comments below.

“And please do me a little favor and share this guide with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their blogs.”

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About the Author

Renee is wild for WordPress and on fire to empower small business owners with the inspiration, tools and strategies for a healthy blog. SMU CAPE instructor, developer, podcaster. Follow @Iteachblogging on Twitter.

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