AMY PORTERFIELD: “So when you're thinking about the opt-in page, where people come, and they learn about your lead magnet, and they give you their name and email in exchange to get that lead magnet, is the offer of the lead magnet—like, what they're going to get—is it clear?
“And another question, am I using the language my ideal-customer avatar uses while speaking about either their pain points or their desires? Does my opt-in page flow strategically and deliberately? Remember, everything on that opt-in page that's talking about your lead magnet and getting the name and email should be there for a reason. No fluff.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: I need to tell you about a podcast that I love. It's called Imperfect Action, it's hosted by Steph Taylor, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. And it's a bite-sized online-marketing podcast for business owners. So Steph is going to answer all of your business-marketing questions and deep dives into all things online marketing, content marketing, social-media marketing, and marketing strategy for business owners. So if you love Online Marketing Made Easy, I think you're going to love Imperfect Action as well. I loved her recent episode about how to turn your audience into paying clients. Uh, yes, please. And she talks about how to use better call to actions, streamline your sales funnel, and so much more. You can listen to Imperfect Action wherever you get your podcasts.
Hey, there. Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy.
In today's episode, we're going to dive into one of my very favorite topics. Any guesses what it is? If you said list building, then you know me well. One of the first assets that I teach my students that they need to have in their business is a lead magnet. Now, this is something like a checklist, a mini video series, or a resource guide that they can offer to their ICA, their ideal-customer avatar, to get a quick win or a solution to a pain point or to meet a desire in exchange for their email address. And today, I'm going to walk you through a process that systematized how I create and promote my lead magnets, using a checklist.
I love a good checklist in my business and always look for places to add one. And I want you to keep in mind throughout today's episode that this checklist doesn't cover every single detail involved in creating and launching a lead magnet. Instead, it's a living, breathing document that you'll add to or subtract from based on each lead magnet you launch.
So the lead-magnet-launch checklist that we're covering in this episode includes the following main sections: pre-launch approvals, content creation, landing- and thank-you-page optimization, website tasks, quality-control tests, weekly content promotion, copy requirements, design requirements, and tracking, which is a lot, right? Under each main section, there are action items that are the most-critical steps to complete.
So we're going to dive into these in detail shortly. But before we do, I want to remind you that this checklist isn't only for new lead magnets. It's valuable to revisit when you're troubleshooting why a lead magnet isn't converting. So it's not only for new lead magnets, but existing lead magnets that are not converting well. So use it as your troubleshooter if you already have some lead magnets that aren't working as well as you want.
So if you're at that stage where you've got a few lead magnets out there, I want to encourage you to take notes and ask yourself if you've completed all the action items we cover today. Whether you're just starting with your first lead magnet or looking to take an existing lead magnet to the next level, I'm excited to dive into this episode with you, so let's get started.
All right. Let's dive in to the first section on the checklist titled pre-launch approvals. The focus here before you do anything else is to get crystal clear on some critical numbers and dates related to your lead magnet. So to do this, there are four action items under this section. The first action item is to establish an overview of the lead magnet’s projections, goals, and where it fits into your customer journey. Setting projections and goals for your lead magnet looks like estimating the number of leads you expect to generate within a certain period of time. You can use a combination of industry benchmarks and your past performance to estimate this number.
So for example, you could say, “My goal is to generate five hundred leads within sixty days from this lead magnet going live.” And from there, you can break it down into smaller weekly and daily goals. So having your goals be time bound is essential because it helps you see if you're exceeding or falling short of your projections. And this way, you could just adjust your tactics when things aren't working, and then double down on what is working much faster.
And when I set projections and goals for my lead magnet, I like to have the entire customer journey in mind. So as a reminder, the customer journey involves four distinct phases: attract, nurture, promote, and onboard. Your lead magnet is in the attraction phase of this journey. So if you're interested in learning more about the customer journey, I actually did an entire episode of these phases in detail in episode 371. I’ll link to it in the show notes. Or you could just go to amyporterfield.com/371. But having the customer journey in mind when setting projections and goals helps me establish the right date to launch my lead magnet based on my promotional calendar, which we'll talk about next.
So once your projections and goals are established, it's time to move on to the second action item under the pre-launch-approval section, which is confirm you have the time to work on creating and launching your new lead magnet. This is something that a lot of people don't talk about. So for this action item, take a thirty-thousand-foot view of your calendar. Make sure when you're launching your new lead magnet, you have no other offers being promoted, because a lead magnet can live on and on and on. But that first, second, third week that it comes out, you want to be intentional about telling people about it, creating some buzz around it, launching it in a way that people are like, “Oh, I've got to have this. This is new. This is exciting.”
So when you launch a lead magnet, I know we don't talk about this a lot, but clear your calendar and, at least for a few days, make that lead magnet the number one focus of what you're talking about online and what you're sharing on your podcast or blog or whatever. So once you do that, I want you to get realistic about how much time you can commit to the project, and block the time on your calendar. So once you have this overview set and your projections solidified, it's so much easier to break down all the following tasks that we're going to discuss in this episode.
Okay. Moving on to action item number three under pre-launch approvals, share your lead-magnet vision with the key players involved in its creation and promotion. So since I have a team, and if you do, too, communicating the purpose and the goal of your lead magnet is critical to ensure anyone involved understands the bigger picture and stays focused on the end goal. So for this action item, I like to connect with the key players on my marketing team to confirm their availability and to get their buy in for the timeline that I'm setting.
So for example, I need to connect with my graphic designer, who creates the visuals; my copywriter, who crafts the messaging; and my social-media manager, who oversees the promotion schedule. Now, if you don't have a team, you're literally like, “What the heck, Amy? Like, I don't have any of those people,” do not forget that I was where you are at. I was a one-woman show for a good, probably, two years before I started to even have contractors on the get-go. Like, I didn't even have regular contractors for a long time.
Now, I did have a virtual assistant that I think I hired her in my second year, I'm going to guess. So she was five hours a week, and so she could help me with this a little bit in the beginning. But I really was a one-woman show. So I understand if you're doing all of it, you're just going to give yourself more time to do it.
But I do think sitting down and really putting this together, even if you're doing it all on your own, like, if you use a project-management tool, which I always say, if you're a one-man or one-woman show or if you have a team, either/or, you need a project-management tool so that you can put all your action items in there, and you can set your due dates. Even if everything is getting assigned to you, it's really nice to have it all in one place. So I want you to do that.
However you do it, though, the critical part of this action item is to ensure everyone involved is aligned with the proposed timeline.
And then, finally, the fourth action item that's under the pre-launch-approval section is to finalize your lead-magnet-launch date. When are you going to get it out into the world? And then add it to your calendar.
Now, you might be thinking, “Amy, what's the big deal? I know when I want to launch my lead magnet into the world. Why do I need to put it on my calendar?” Well, putting the date on your calendar does a few things. First, it makes it real and tangible. It's not just a date floating around in your head that can be easily pushed back. It's something that you've committed to, something that you've made time for, and something that you're going to make happen.
And then, second, putting your launch date on your calendar gives you a deadline. And without a deadline, it's easy to keep pushing your lead magnet back, telling yourself that you're going to get to it when you have more time, when everything is easier. And it's never easier. You never have more time. And we all know that we are just making excuses, right? So putting a deadline on your calendar focuses you to get things done, to make some decisions, to move forward.
So for this action item, take out your calendar and write down the launch date of your lead magnet, when you're going to officially get it out into the world. Make it official. And then, you're going to commit to doing everything in your power to get your valuable lead magnet into the hands of your ideal-customer avatar.
So after completing each action item under the pre-launch-approval section, you're well on your way to lead-magnet optimization on a timeline that works for you and your business.
Now, I'm going to stop right here. I know what you're thinking: “Amy, are you going to give us this checklist?” I sometimes do PDFs for my podcast episodes, and you might be thinking, “Where's the actual checklist?” Well, we did not create one for this episode. It's actually a lot of work, and it's going to take us some time. And so I thought I really want to get this episode out there, but we don't have time to do a full-fledged cheat sheet for you. But if you want it, if you're, like, “This is the cheat sheet, Amy, I would use over and over again. If you take everything you're teaching me here and you put it into a cheat sheet that I could use and tweak and make my own,” if you would really use it, DM me on Instagram. I’m just @amyporterfield. DM and say, “I will absolutely use the checklist, the lead-magnet checklist,” or “Please create the checklist,” or whatever you want to say.
And I told my team, “Listen, if we get enough DMs, we're going to have to carve out the time to make this checklist.” And then we're going to put it out, and it's going to be free, of course, and let you all have it. So we didn't create it for this. But you'll understand the whole thing will come together when you listen to this episode, so keep listening. But if you want the actual tangible PDF, I've got to create it with my team. But I want to convince my team that you all will absolutely use it, because it's going to take us a good chunk of time to create it, so let me know.
Okay. So now it's time to talk about the second main section of the lead-magnet-launch checklist, which is content creation, my personal favorite part of this whole checklist. So the first action item under this section, content creation, is to outline and create your lead magnet. So this is going to look different depending on whether you're creating a lead magnet using, like, an in-house designer or outsourcing it to a contractor.
There's no really right or wrong answer here. But before I had a designer on my team and before I could afford to hire any contractors, I used a site called Canva to create all my lead magnets, and I used that for quite a long time. So if you're looking to outsource, you can use websites like 99designs, Fiverr, and Upwork to help you with content creation. But Canva has some pretty amazing templates, where you could do it yourself. So just putting that out there.
And the thing is, there's, like, a million ways to complete this step. So don't be afraid to experiment and find what works for you. But the goal is you're going to create your outline for your lead magnet, and then you're just going to create the lead magnet, whatever that looks like for you.
Then, once your lead magnet is created, the next action item is to send a task for someone to peer review the content. Having someone review your lead magnet before you go any further is a key part of the creative process. It can help you identify blind spots and gauge effectiveness and catch typos, which I am notorious for. So reach out to fellow business owners or colleagues, families, friends, you know, whoever, that kind of understands your target audience and who you're creating this for, and then just ask them to review it. And let them know that you value their opinion and that you're looking for honest feedback to help you improve your lead magnet, meaning, tell them, “My feelings won't be hurt. Give me the good, bad, and ugly.”
So after that, it brings us to the next section under content creation, making revisions based on the feedback you receive. So this is easier than you thought it would be, right? So we get someone to review it. They give us some feedback. We identify some areas that we can make it better. We take that feedback, and we make our lead magnet better.
And then, finally, the last action item in this section is to upload your finished lead magnet to a storage service and create a shareable URL. So I've always used Amazon S3, so that's what I've used in my business for years and years, and that allows me to house the lead magnet—let’s say it’s a PDF—online. But most email-service providers, they also have a way for you to do this in their platform. So like ConvertKit, if that's what you're using, there's a way to upload your PDF lead magnet into their server, and that way, now you can get a link for it, and you can send that link out. But I like a pretty link, so I like to use, like, amyporterfield.com/moreleads. That's one of my lead magnets. Amyporterfield.com/moreleads. So I like to create a pretty link that's really easy for people to remember and to type into the browser. So once I get it on Amazon S3, and you go to amyporterfield.com/moreleads, if you opt in with your name and email, when you get that lead magnet, it is living on Amazon S3. That's how it exists online. Just want to put that out there.
So once you've created the URL for the lead magnet, it's time to celebrate because you've completed the content-creation section of the checklist. Easier than you thought, right?
Okay. So moving right along, the third section on the checklist is focused on the landing opt-in page and the thank-you page. And the first three action items under this section are to solidify each page’s copy and design elements. So your aim is to create pages that clearly communicate the value your ideal-customer avatar will receive when they get their hands on your lead magnet.
And so to do this, there are a few questions I like to ask myself, such as, is my lead-magnet offer and my call to action clear and focused on just one idea? So when you're thinking about the opt-in page, where people come, and they learn about your lead magnet, and they give you their name and email in exchange to get that lead magnet, is the offer of the lead magnet—like, what they're going to get—is it clear?
And another question, am I using the language my ideal-customer avatar uses while speaking about either their pain points or their desires? Does my opt-in page flow strategically and deliberately? Remember, everything on that opt-in page that's talking about your lead magnet and getting the name and email should be there for a reason. No fluff.
Also, is my opt-in sign-up form or the button to get what I'm promising, is it above the fold? It could be on the page several times, but when they come to that page, do they have to scroll down to find the place to put their name and email to get the freebie? If they have to scroll down, that's not good. Again, make it above the fold, and then you can add it several times later on down there as well. Down there—down the page.
And then, does my thank-you page clearly communicate how to get their hands on the download and any next steps? So once they opt in and you dump them out on the thank-you page, “Hey, thanks so much for signing up for my freebie,” the question is, does it tell them what to do next? Do they need to go check their email? Do they need to do something different? Just to be clear, I don't like giving the freebie, the lead magnet, on the thank-you page. You want to get them into the habit of going to their inbox and opening up your emails. So tell them next steps. What should they expect?
So answering these questions is so important because there's an old marketing adage that says a confused mind does not buy, or in this case, does not opt in. And I found these questions helpful, and they bring me so much clarity to my copy and my design.
So once you've solidified your copy expectations and flow, the next action item is to create each page, and then finalize those URLs. So again, like, amyporterfield.com/moreleads, that's my opt-in page. That's the page that I want to make sure is really clear for whoever’s signing up for my freebie, they know what they're getting, and the URL is really easy.
And then, once you get all that done, you want to ensure that you are integrated properly with your email-service provider. So most email-service providers have templates to make this step a breeze, meaning templates for the opt-in page, template for the thank-you page. If you use ConvertKit, you've got templates. So not only do I encourage you to use the templates inside your email-service provider because you can get it up and running quickly, but then, they're automatically integrated in a really easy way. So you can either do this yourself, or you can outsource this to a tech VA if you don't want to do it yourself. But I promise you it's easier than you think.
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Last but not least, there's an action item to send the page for a peer review. So that's part of the checklist. And the reason I want you to do this is that I don't want you sending this out into the world and then it's confusing or there is a big typo or anything like that. So have someone you trust look at the opt-in page, have them submit their name and email, make sure they land on the thank-you page. Have them go through the process. Make sure that they get the PDF you're promising or the freebie or whatever that might be. So send someone through the whole thing just to make sure it all works.
Okay. So up next, the fourth main section of the checklist is website tasks. Now, I am a big believer that you do not need a website to build an email list successfully. I know many entrepreneurs who built lists of thousands of subscribers without a website. So remember, a well-designed landing page will do the trick. But as you grow, having a website to host your weekly content and offer potential subscribers access to your lead magnet can be an invaluable asset in your list-building efforts.
And if you do have a website and you're not using pop ups to promote your lead magnet, let me tell you, you're leaving subscribers on the table. So I see my email list grow by thousands of subscribers a month from a very well designed pop up on my website. So under this section, this website section, your first action item is to solidify the copy for any pop-up boxes that you're going to use to promote your lead magnet.
And the next action item is to finalize the design assets for your pop ups. So if you want to add an image to a pop-up box, you just need to figure that out.
And then the last action item is to set up the tech for your pop up. Now, if you have a website through a service like Squarespace, this action item is pretty simple, as they have pop-up features right there built in. And if not, I suggest using a plug in called PopupAlly. It has smart technology that anticipates people's needs as they browse your site that can take your pop ups from annoying to helpful in your ideal-customer avatar's journey. I will link to it in the show notes.
Okay. Moving along to the fifth main section of the checklist titled quality-control tests. I know we've covered the QC tasks in this checklist already, but this section is about bringing it all together and testing the entire process to ensure it's working as intended. So you'll want to get a friend, a colleague, or a VA to run through four main action items under this section. So they're going to review your content one more time, look at your opt-in and thank-you pages, your website pop ups, your lead-magnet freebie—so the actual PDF or whatever it is you're giving away for free—and then the emails that follow, because when someone opts in for a freebie, you're going to send an email that gives them the freebie. So the email as well. And I want you to ask them to pay close attention to the content and ensure they feel it delivers the promise you made in your opt-in form and that it leaves your audience wanting more. Remember, a good lead magnet is easy to digest and leaves them wanting more.
Another important thing to ask them is to check all grammar and spelling. Nothing undermines your credibility faster than spelling and grammar mistakes. Oh, here comes Scout. Hi, Scout. I don't know if y'all can hear him when he runs in, but it feels very loud on my end.
And then next, have them check any links on your opt-in or thank-you pages. Are they all working correctly? Is everything working as you had planned? You don't want your audience to click on a link and end up on a 404-error page, right? So make sure all the links in your lead magnet are functioning properly.
And if you're using a pop up on your website, make sure they test that. So they enter their name and email on the form on your pop up. Make sure they receive their lead magnet in the inbox. Like, you are checking everything.
And last, I like to ask anyone QCing my lead magnets to look at the flow from someone entering their email to receiving their lead magnet. Let them know you want it to feel like an intimate conversation. So have them read through the freebie-delivery email. Ensure it continues the conversation you started with your ICA on the opt-in page.
I personally like to have them QC everything in this step, from top to bottom. Better to catch an issue or error now rather than when it's live. And believe me, I've been there, and it's a pain in the butt.
Okay. Also, ask the person you have QCing these pages to ensure each page is clear, concise, and includes all the information your audience needs.
Once you finished QCing your assets, the sixth main section on the checklist is your weekly content. For me, this is all about optimizing my lead-magnet promotion strategy for my podcast. But you can name and tweak this section if your weekly content is a written blog or a video show or whatever it might be.
So the first action item under this section is to outline and write the ads for the lead magnet, whether that be ads on Facebook, like paid ads, or maybe it's just social-media posts, or maybe it's an ad that you're going to create for your podcast. So I'm not talking just paid ads. Just, how are you going to advertise that you have a lead magnet?
For example, I like to write two versions of copy for my podcast: one for pre-roll ads, which means right at the beginning of my podcast, I talk about my lead magnet; and one for mid-roll ads, which basically is in the middle of my podcast, I talk about my lead magnet. And since I use Libsyn—L-I-B-S-Y-N—Libsyn as my podcast host, there's an insertion tool I use to place these at the appropriate time in the episode, which is really cool.
Now, if you're running social-media ads, you'll also want to write some short and some long ad copy for these as well. So again, not paid ads, per se, but just copy that you're advertising your lead magnet. And that's what we usually do and we like to test, like, a long ad or a short ad on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn or wherever we're putting it.
Now, if we are talking paid ads, like you want to run some ads on Instagram or Facebook, I love that idea as well. And we run paid ads for our lead magnets all the time. If you want a little help with that, I did a podcast episode about paid ads on social. So it's episode 443, “The Mini Ad Training: 4 Key Principles for High-Converting, Low-Cost Ads.” So amyporterfield.com/443.
Now, in terms of my podcast, I also make sure that organically I mention lead magnets throughout my episodes if it makes sense to the content. So I'm always looking for easy ways to mention it. Organic would mean just part of the conversation. And then, the ad at the top of the podcast and in the middle.
Now, if you have a blog, this could look like hyper linking parts of your text to lead to your opt-in page throughout the post.
Now, you'll need to spend some time tweaking this section of the checklist to match what type of weekly content you create, but it's well worth the time to do so because when done right, your weekly content will help you gain some of the best-aligned subscribers on your email list.
All right, on to the seventh section of the checklist: copy requirements. You'll want to tweak this section based on your site’s set up and what type of weekly content you create. But here's the basic outline of the action items to include underneath the section: opt-in page, pop-up and thank-you-page copy, pop-up copy, delivery-email copy, promo-email copy, nurture-sequence copy, ad copy—I know I mentioned this in the section above, but it's worth the mention again—script copy, and social-media-post copy. You might not need all this copy, but I'm just mentioning what we include here.
So one workflow that I suggest establishing here is to write your email copy immediately after creating your lead magnet. This is because you can pull and repurpose so much copy from your emails and use it on social-media posts and opt-in pages. So once you write the delivery email, you can take some of that and use it other places. Just a friendly reminder not to treat your content like single-use plastic. Instead, I want you to repurpose as much as you can.
So when completing the action items under this section, look for ways to work smarter, not harder, by repurposing your copy to ensure it goes the extra mile. But this feels a little out of place because you probably already wrote your pop-up copy because we already talked about it, or your ad copy or whatever it might be. I'm just listing all the places where you might want to create copy to promote your lead magnet.
Okay, we're almost done. On to the eighth section of your checklist: design requirements. So the great news is that all the action items you created in the copy section of the checklist can simply be duplicated. What you're looking for in each action item here is consistency, from opt-in and thank-you pages to social-media-promo posts to email-delivery assets to the lead magnet itself, using a consistent design across all of these materials shows you care about your brand and the customer experience. So this can lead to increased trust and credibility with your audience.
Now, if you're outsourcing the design of your lead magnet, provide your designer with a style guide so that you tell them what kind of font you're looking for or color or just the style overall. Maybe give them some inspiration photos. So that will help immensely.
Okay. We made it. It's time to chat about the ninth and final section of your checklist: tracking. So up until this point, we focused on creating and promoting your lead magnet. But how do you know if your lead magnet is working? That's where tracking comes in. So by tracking the results of your lead magnet, you can see how many people are visiting your landing page and actually opting in and downloading it. So the main goal here is to ensure that your numbers meet the projections and goals you set in the first section of the checklist.
So the action items in this section are related to the software I use to track the success of my lead magnet. So here they are: Graphly, which tracks my overall leads. And I use Graphly with Keap, which is my email-service provider until I officially move over to HubSpot. And then Crazy Egg, which I use for A/B testing and to see heat maps of where people are clicking on my landing pages. Ninety, which I use to update the numbers to the team. That's the software I use. And then, Google Analytics to see SEO data related to the lead magnet. You do not need to use all of these, but I like to just share with you what I do.
Now, when I first started, I did not use hardly any of these. Basically, I just had a little Google tracker where I would see what my conversion rate was on my opt-in page. So start out simple.
And then, you can also tweak the action items under this section to match the level of list building you're at right now. So if you’re just starting out, you’re not going to do all those. But I want you to keep it simple until you start to grow, have more people on your team that can help you track all the analytics.
Ooh, that was a lot to cover. This was a heavy, heavy episode, and you might want to come back to it a few times to really dial in what you need from this episode to create a killer lead magnet that grows your list quickly. So as I mentioned, I just walked through a complete checklist to ensure your lead magnet is optimized and working to attract your ideal audience and convert them into subscribers.
Now, before we part ways today, I want to recap the nine sections: pre-launch approvals, content creation, landing- and thank-you-page optimization, website tasks, quality-control tests, weekly-content promotion, copy requirements, design requirements, and tracking. Remember, this is my checklist. Some sections might not even apply to you, and you can definitely mix or match as you see needed.
And also, remember, if you want me to turn this into a checklist that we eventually give away for free, but one that you could tweak and manipulate to make your own, so we've got some work to do on it, my team is going to do it if we get enough people saying they want it, because this is kind of a big undertaking. And so if you go to Instagram and you send me a DM and let me know you want it, you'll use it, you just listened to this episode, let me know. That way, I can convince my team it's worth it. Let's go for it.
Okay. So thanks for joining me for this episode. And I can't wait to see you again on Tuesday. So I’ll see you same time, same place. Bye for now.