#1 Mistake When Building An E-mail List

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Anybody who says e-mail marketing is dead has no idea what they are talking about. E-mail marketing is still an incredibly effective tool when you use it properly.

Content delivery, relationship building, notification of new products/services, notification of flash sales, affiliate marketing, among many other things make an e-mail list an incredibly powerful revenue generating tool to any business.

Because of this, many entrepreneurs want to build their own e-mail lists, so they can start capitalizing on the demographic/market they are trying to break into.

Enter: Lead Magnets

For those of you unfamiliar with some of the terminology used in the online business world, a “lead magnet” is an incentive companies offer to potential buyers in exchange for their e-mail address (and sometimes other contact information as well).

Lead magnets usually offer a piece digital, downloadable content such as a:

  • Free report PDF
  • PDF checklist of whatever you were talking about in a video/podcast
  • Access to a hidden area where there’s bonus content video/podcast
  • Short eBook
  • Downloadable wallpaper for your screen
  • “Cheat Sheet”
  • Template where they can create their own version of what your topic was
  • Podcast transcript
  • Recommended resource list
  • Printable workout sheet (or) grocery list

Basically, any area where you can provide them value and they deem that it wins the battle of value vs. giving up my e-mail address (we have all felt this before).

I just gave you 10 ideas off the top of my head, that should give you a great start – but there are a million more ideas where that came from.

Take a moment to brainstorm and identify what you think your audience would love best.

The BIG Problem

So, a lead magnet seems like a pretty straightforward way to get more leads, right?

It doesn’t require your prospect to cough up any money, all they need to do is provide their e-mail address and then they get hooked up immediately with your offer.

It’s easy on them, which is the most important.

But, it’s also easy on you. Since it’s free, this is a “penalty-free” way you can shamelessly plug it on social media or podcasts since you’re not actually selling them anything (yet).

So – all is good and well, isn’t it?

Not always, and it’s exactly at this point where so many entrepreneurs give themselves the touch of death.

How Do You Show Up for A Date?

Any relationship you have in life must start off on the right foot.

You don’t show up to a date in a wrinkly shirt and offer your girl a handful of weeds you pulled out of your backyard.

Yet – this is exactly what entrepreneurs do.

Their lead magnet resembles a handful of weeds, when your prospect was giving you their e-mail for a beautiful dozen of roses.

What would you do if somebody gave you a handful of backyard dirty weeds on your first date together?

You would immediately throw them away, and probably never go out with that person ever again.

This is exactly what happens to entrepreneurs when they don’t put enough care into what they’re giving away.

This is your ONE shot at trying to impress them – don’t blow it!

Change Your Mindset

Entrepreneurs are always in a hurry, and they also prioritize “hustling” over creating quality content far too often.

So all they think is “I need to build an e-mail list”

And they get so caught up in that idea that they forget that an exchange for one’s e-mail should be an above board, even trade.

An equal exchange of value.

You over-deliver on your lead mag, and they happily provide you their e-mail address for access to it.

Boom, done.

But when you have too much of the “Rush, rush. Hustle, hustle” type of mindset, you can create an embarrassingly crappy lead magnet.

Let’s Play A Game

Have you ever downloaded a free something online because the landing page looked pretty sweet and it sounded good?

You saw it and thought “Wow! I’m ALL-IN on this!”

It promised you that your future was in the right hands…if you just download this PDF.

Then you downloaded it, opened it, and discovered you got a complete piece of crap in your inbox.

And I mean a PIECE OF CRAP.

Stupid graphic design, no real thought to the content, shameless calls to action trying to upsell you on one of their products, and overall just didn’t give you any information that you couldn’t have already figured out for yourself.

When this happens, you feel like you have been tricked.

Your attitude towards the person you just trusted is now:

“Okay, you got me. But you know what? You’re not getting anything else from me, that’s for sure”

Suddenly, that contact information that you deemed as so valuable is now worth nothing to you as the business owner.

You will not get any more of their time.

You will not get any more of their attention.

And you are certainly not getting any of their money – why would they give you money after such a terrible first impression?

You really want me to pay for dinner even though you brought dirty weeds to the first date?

Not going to happen.

The Take Home Message

The big lesson here is that, yes, you 100% need to build an e-mail list – but if you’re going to do it through a lead magnet strategy, you need to give something away for free that’s worth paying for.

This starts the relationship with your prospect on a super positive note, and it will still be a minimal cost on your end – especially since you’re going to have a customer that loves you for life now.

For example, at HockeyTraining.com we have given away full cookbooks in the past that we could easily sell on our website – we also give away free workouts/programs on a regular basis that hockey athletes could use without ever giving us a dime.

But, do you know what they do?

They end up loving us and buying our paid products anyways because they see the value we bring to the table.

“Wow, if this is what they give away for free then I can’t wait to see what’s inside the real program!”

Final Thoughts

“Value” is the biggest metric in the lead magnet equation.

Your lead magnet should contain a lot of it, and I mean a lot.

It makes your lead magnet stand apart from your competitions, it makes you look professional, it starts the relationship off with your prospect on a very high note, and it’s an extremely cost-effective way to build an e-mail list.

Put yourself in their shoes, would you give your e-mail address away for what you’re currently offering?

More importantly, what type of content would it take to make you say “wow!” if you gave someone your e-mail address?

Answer these questions, and you’ll be off to a great start.

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