Lead Magnets: How the Insiders Generate Massive Conversion Rates on Their Newsletters

Andrew Wise
by Andrew Wise 18 Jun, 2016

At any given time on any given day, a blogger has at least 10 things on his or her mind. 

First, they must teach themselves how to launch a blog. Then, they must think up and generate consistently high-quality content for their readers. They must handle all site troubleshooting, from anti-virus protection to outdated plugins. They must reply to emails and comments from their readers, constantly be in touch with affiliates and the like, and even transform into their own personal bookkeeper to stay on top of finances.

If that sounds exhausting, it's because it is. Bloggers deserve a shortcut every now and again - just a way to make things a bit easier on themselves so they don't tear the hair out of their heads on a daily basis. 

And just like that, the lead magnet evolved.

The idea behind the lead magnet is not a new one. Going as far back as one can remember, adults would "bribe" children into doing something they didn't want to do with the promise of something greater. Whether it be a trip to the local ice cream shop, a new toy, or a movie rental of their choice, every so often adults must persuade their children to do something with a little incentive. 

That's exactly what a lead magnet does, except the children are the readers and the adults are the bloggers. 

Bloggers know that subscription numbers to their newsletters matter. As a matter of fact, In 2014, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States.

In a perfect world, people would see that "subscribe" button on that website and they would do exactly as it says. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and bloggers must sometimes offer their readers that incentive via lead magnet to generate those higher conversion rates. 

Below is a detailed list of popular bloggers who have managed to gain high subscriber counts, as well as their lead magnet methods.

Exclusive E-Book Downloads 

Bloggers like Syed Balkhi, creator of WPBeginner and Pat Flynn, creative of SmartPassiveIncome both offer exclusive e-book downloads once a visitor has signed up for their email subscription lists (see images). 

Here's why this works so well.

People want to feel like they are receiving more for their effort. Both Syed and Pat enticed their viewers to subscribe by first mentioning the free e-book, then mentioning the email subscription. 

The problem that bloggers trying to replicate this tactic may run into is that they are unsure of how to promote the free e-book at all. 

To address this problem, the natural next step is to look at how these bloggers have successfully done it. 

How bloggers can grow their email lists with e-books:

Step 1

Figure out what previous blog posts have been most successful. The one that has generated the most conversation in comments, social media shares and views should be the topic of your e-book. 

Step 2

Get to writing. Creating a quality e-book isn't the easiest thing in the world, but bloggers don't have to lose sleep over it either. Because they already know so much about the topic and has proven interest, the rest should flow rather easily. 

Step 3

Promote the book. Bloggers should write a blog post promoting their free e-book, then include a link to the email subscription box. Once the book has been promoted and readers are educated on the topic and why they should want the book, they will become more likely to subscribe. "Get this great book for FREE. All you have to do is subscribe to our newsletter!" sounds a lot better than "Subscribe to our newsletter!", doesn't it?

Offer free PDF downloads

JustAGirlAndHerBlog and DigitalMarketer have very little in common, but they both generate their massive conversion rates in the same way. Both sites, despite having very little in common niche-wise, offer PDF printables as incentive to subscribe to their newsletter.

Why do PDFs work so well across the board?

It doesn't matter what a blog's niche is. PDFs are versatile, easy to make, and useful to all. Whether providing their readers with helpful headline formulas like Digital Marketer, or recipe cards like JustAGirlandHerBlog does, PDFs are the way to go. 

So, because it is so versatile and can be used for just about any blog, there is nothing left to do but figure out how to replicate it. 

How bloggers can grow their email lists with PDF downloads:

Step 1

Making the PDFs themselves is the easy part. Much like with the e-book, a blogger's first step should always be to figure out what their audience needs. The PDF should solve a problem that many readers have. 

Step 2

Promote the PDF on social media. Twitter in particular is a great way for people to share their "free" PDFs with their audience quickly and effectively. For bloggers who lack a substantial number of followers, Twitter's Advanced Search option is great. All they have to do is insert a "keyword" about their blog and follow people who are interested in that keyword. For example, a DIY blogger may search "DIY projects" and follow those users who often tweet about that.

Step 3

Tweet out the free PDF link to followers. If the PDF is in high demand, there is a great chance that readers will not mind signing up for the newsletter in order to receive it. About the Author

Andrew Wise, of LifeTailored.com, is a serial entrepreneur whose sites generate $1 million-plus in revenue and receive over 2.6 million uniques per year. He has created a free guide that lists the essential tools these marketers use to build their own lead magnets.