Alright, you’ve built your WordPress blog, spruced it up, used relevant keywords to write your first blog posts and now you’re onto building that email list everybody says you need. Lady, you’re on fire!! 🙂
How to build an email list
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed – NOBODY opts into an ordinary email list anymore. People are swamped. Extra email in their inbox is not a blessing, it’s a burden… UNLESS you prove yourself worthy of their inbox and you prove that you’re going to provide value to them.
Now how do you do this?
The opt-in freebie aka lead magnet
This is where the infamous opt-in freebie comes in. What’s an opt-in freebie? It’s a piece of exclusive content that you give website visitors in return for signing up to your email list. Think of it as a little taster of what you have to offer.
Characteristics of a perfect opt-in freebie
What should you consider when creating your perfect freebie to grow a list of engaged potential buyers?
1. Your opt-in freebie has to be relevant
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the freebie you’re offering has to be relevant to your target audience.
What does this mean for you? Well, you better be 100-percent clear on who you are serving and what problem you’d like to solve for those people!
If your blog is all about the latest fashion trends then please don’t make your freebie “My favorite chocolate cake recipe”. Yes, some people might be interested in fashion AND chocolate cake (I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate cake??) but generally, those two topics aren’t related and your freebie wouldn’t be relevant to your website visitor.
Your freebie is your chance to show people that you are the person to help them reach a specific goal or solve a specific problem.
2. Your opt-in freebie has to be valuable
Ideally, your freebie gives them a quick win or a or an aha-moment. So they know YOU KNOW what you’re talking about and you provide value.
Because if you don’t, how likely do you think they are going to be to open your next email?
Exactly… As I said, everyone gets far too many emails anyways… So you wanna make sure they know who you are and that they are happy to see another of your emails in their inbox. Give them something that excites them!
2. Your opt-in freebie has to be strategic
Another good thing to keep in mind is: What do you want your email list for?
Everyone tells you “the money is in the list” – but is it really?
If you have nothing to offer to your list, than no there’s absolutely no money in your list.
It’s not like everyone on your list just sents you money out of the kindness of their hearts… The reason everyone tells you the money is in the list is because you can use that list to nurture the people on the list.
To build trust and connection by showing them who you are what to expect from you and how you can help them.
It’s like in real life – when a total stranger walks up to you and askes you to buy this totally awesome product you’re probably going to tell them to bugger off, right?
But when your friend raves about the latest things she bought and how it made her life so much better – you don’t hesitate to buy the same thing.
To make this as clear as possible: Your freebie be is your business card.
Strategic opt-in freebie example
Because at the end of the day you want to convince the people on your list to work with you in one form or another. Therefore, you should think about what it is you want to offer them down the road. One of your products? An affiliate product? A service?
Now whatever that offer is, ideally you’d want your freebie to lead seamlessly to that paid offer. What do I mean by that?
Well, put yourself in a website visitors shoes. Let’s say your blog is all about vegan food. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that your website visitors are probably interested in vegan recipes, right? Therefore you could use the recipe for your favorite vegan dish as your opt-in freebie.
Now, what do you know about someone who opted into that freebie?
You know they are vegan or at least interested in vegan food and cooking. How absolutely wonderful! Because your paid offer happens to be your latest vegan cookbook!!
If they loved your freebie, chances are they’re very interested in your paid offer too.
This is what I mean when I say your freebie should lead seamlessly to your paid offer.
3. Your opt-in freebie has to be simple
Another thing to keep in mind is to not make your freebie too complex.
I know I said give him something valuable but that doesn’t mean write a 50 page eBook or the likes.
Cos what the majority of people does when they look at something big and complex they are like “Geez, I can’t read 50 pages right now – who has time for that??”. They need bite-sized, to-the-point solutions at this stage.
4. Your offer has to be sexy
What I can tell you from my personal experience is that there’s quite a gap between what people NEED and what people WANT. I’ve tested quite a few different freebies now and the one that gets the most opt-ins is a simple blog post planner.
Personally, I think my other freebies are so much more valuable – but hey, who am I to judge? People want what they want not necessarily what they need. So make your offer sexy!
Opt-in freebie ideas
So the best freebies are those that people actually USE and not just download and add to the freebie graveyard on their hard drive…
You want people to consume your freebie and take action. So what are good options for bite-sized, action-inducing freebies?
Well, here are a few options to consider:
- cheat sheets
- case studies
Pro Tip: It’s not always easy to guess what people will opt in for so if you have the chance to ASK your target audience what they would like to have – do it! Take the guesswork out of it and avoid frustration.
To sum this up: You want your freebie to be:
- and sexy enough for your target audience to know they want it.
Depending on your blogging strategy this can be very easy as in the recipe example, or it can be very tough to come up with a good one that meets all or at least most of these criteria.
Need help with your blogging & monetization strategy?
If you need help coming up with a suitable blogging and monetization strategy for your blog – let me know using the contact form below!
Cause I’m about to offer a few limited deep dive strategy sessions for those who would like to discuss and analyze their unique situations.
Why things might not have worked for you so far
I get it – every blog is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone. This is the reason why so many people struggle when they try to piece together all the free information they find on the Internet.
Remember, knowledge is nothing without structure and implementation.
The problem with the standard DIY blogging courses
As for the omnipresent automated DIY blogging courses: You might have experienced this yourself – you follow a script until you hit a wall or get to a crossroads and then what? You’re left to your own devices, lose confidence and momentum and before you know it, you are ready to give up before you’ve even started.
That’s not your fault and it’s not necessarily the course creators fault either – you just needed something different! Courses work well for some people and they don’t for others.
A different approach
This is why I want to offer something different: I wanna help you work through YOUR SPECIFIC problems, give you honest constructive feedback, and help you implement new strategies so you’re ready to move forward!
Most of us, myself included, have a blind spot for our own business. We don’t see the forest for the trees. That’s why I want to offer more hands-on, 1-on-1 coaching so you won’t get canned responses but the customized experience you need.
If you’re sitting there nodding your head and saying to yourself “THIS is exactly what I need!!!” AND you’re 100% committed to making your blogging business work, let me know by checking the box below and hitting “submit”. 🙂
I’ll get back to you ASAP and we’ll figure out if you’re a good candidate for one of the few limited deep dive strategy sessions.
Now have a fantastic rest of the week and tell me what opt-in freebies you’re currently using or planning to use to grow your email list!