ad image for perfectly planned content

Ready to Build Your Opt-In List?

It’s no secret that in today’s world emails are currency. Being able to build your sales funnel is at least in part dependent on the size and quality of your email list. This isn’t really a new concept – and there are about a billion different ways you can market to your email list. But how do you grow your list?

With an opt-in lead magnet! 

Your options here are pretty much endless, so don’t feel confined by the “typical” lead magnets you may see floating around out there. A good checklist or free downloadable marketing material is a nice place to start, but you have so much room for creativity here. It’s kind of exciting. Think of your lead magnet as an opportunity to showcase a little slice of who you are – and the value your business can provide. Before deciding what kind of lead magnet you want to create, sit down and think about your niche (or your existing client base). What’s a need that they universally have? How can your lead magnet help to meet that need? Let’s glance through a few lead magnet ideas to get your creative energy flowing.

#1: The Classic Checklist

Do you work with pre-retirees? How about millennials dealing with student loan debt? No matter who your niche is, they would probably benefit from a checklist of some sort (created by you!). If you work with pre-retirees it could be a “financial to do’s before retirement” checklist. If you work with people suffering from student loan debt it could be a debt hitlist, an “organize your loans” checklist, or a “going through the refinancing process” checklist. The advice can be general, and always keep in mind that you’re simply providing loose guidelines and ideas. Don’t tell people what loan consolidation company to work with or which custodian they should be using – specifics are a no-no, educational info is a yes.

#2: A Worksheet

People tend to respond best to financial advice when you give them the opportunity to be hands on. A worksheet is the perfect way for you to get them involved in the financial planning process with you before they even sign on with you! They’re already building a relationship with their future financial planner, and they don’t even know it yet. A few examples of worksheets could be a Debt Organization Worksheet or a Budgeting Worksheet.

#3: Short eBook (Keyword: Short) or a White Paper

The key factor with white papers or eBooks as free downloads is to keep the brief and incredibly relevant. If you spend too much time on them you can’t guarantee that you’ll get a return. However, people are more likely to download and respond to free material if it targets their exact financial needs and offers insight.

#4: Unlock Exclusive Content

Maybe you have a blog series on debt repayment, but you have SO MUCH more to say. Retool your ideas into “exclusive content” for email subscribers. You can write it up in an email mini-series, or put it all in one ultra-informative PDF. Either way, people who are interested in that topic will love you for it.

#5: Video Course

You are not bound to written content when it comes to your lead magnet. If video is more your medium, capitalize on it! A brief video course that’s delivered via email to new subscribers can help you communicate your ideas and give your audience an even better idea of who you are. There’s certainly something to be said for them hearing and seeing you describe a given financial concept.

#6: Free Webinar

Don’t want to promote an ongoing download on your site? That’s fine. Maybe consider a one-time webinar. People can give you their email in order to reserve their spot, and you can effectively reach a wide audience to give your educational presentation to. Webinars are also nice because you can increase engagement by allowing questions in the comments, or answering one-on-one feedback at the end of the session.

#7: Email Course

Don’t want to get in front of the camera, but have a great course idea? Write it out in a series of emails! Use a few emails to break down different concepts or “chapters” in your e-course, and schedule the campaign to go out to new subscribers over the course of a week or two. This extends the time that you’re in front of your audience, keeping them in your sales funnel for a longer period.

#8: A Social Media Community

This is a relatively new concept that’s proven to be very successful. If your niche is very specific, consider starting a social media community for them – such as a Facebook or LinkedIn Group. The group doesn’t have to solely focus on finances – but you can facilitate conversations around unique financial pain points your niche is experiencing. Plus, you solidify yourself as a “leader” in the space since you run the group. People will view you as the financial planning go-to.

#9: A “Guide”

Have a topic that requires a little more in-depth explanation than a simple checklist? Consider cobbling together a guide to help people through it. One example is if your niche is very specific, and your target audience is going through a wide range of financial decisions or changes at once. Widows and widowers often fall into this category. Retirees also fill this space. There are many financial decisions to make for these groups of people, and they may not feel informed or equipped to handle all of them at once.

#10: Basic Promotional Materials

You don’t have to get crazy with these – something simple will do. A one-sheet on what it’s like to work with you is a great example. Or you could put together a “First 6 Months” calendar that people can download to see the value you provide while working with them. This kind of download may not be as popular, but it’s helpful to promote yourself while gathering emails. It’s also nice to have on hand for prospect meetings or client referrals.

Building an opt-in or lead magnet doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, it can be incredibly fun! It’s nice because there is so much flexibility and you can truly tailor it to your audience. Just remember – no matter what you create, the goal is to fill a need that your prospective clients have. Answer their questions before they even ask, and you’re sure to start a conversation and increase conversion!