The sun is still shining here in Vancouver, but fall is definitely in the air. Sadly, that means Digital Marketing Summer School is coming to a close. But fear not! These posts have been so well received that I’ll be visiting some more digital marketing terms later this fall. If you missed the last lessons, we’ve already looked at these topics:

lead magnetI realize that in the web world, we use a lot of jargon, and we often forget that. Recently I was going over a proposal with a client, and he asked me what I meant by a “lead magnet”. To me, this term was so much a part of my daily language that it hadn’t even occurred to me he might not know what I was talking about. Thank goodness he asked! We all need to be reminded every now and again never to assume. So, given that, let’s talk about Lead Magnets, Opt-Ins and Lists.

Lead Magnets

“You use Lead Magnets to get visitors to your website to Opt-In to your List. Pardon???

I’m just using the term Lead Magnet in context, so I can explain how they relate to one another.

my call to actionA Lead Magnet is something you give away for free on your website, in exchange for someone’s email address. Sometimes it is also called an opt-in bribe. You’ve likely seen these a million times before on the web, and possibly even signed up for some of them. They show up as pop-ups, in sidebars (the columns to the left or right of the main body of a webpage), in banners, or within the content of a web page. Mine looks like this one on the right, and if you haven’t already signed up, please do! I’d love to have you join my list. (I promise to only send you valuable, useful stuff, and you can opt out any time.)

You might give away a white paper, or a handy checklist, or a chapter of an ebook… it doesn’t have to be lengthy to be effective. It just needs to be relevant to your target market, and it needs to provide good, solid, real value. Enough value that someone will give you their email address in exchange for it. Better yet, it should serve to prove your position as an expert in your field.

What is Opting-In?

Opting-inOpting-in is simply when someone gives you their email address in exchange for something (ie your Lead Magnet). That’s it. It’s kind of like giving someone your business card at a trade show, so they can send you something. But much faster!

Spam laws strongly encourage opting-in. In Canada, the email laws that are currently being phased in require that someone must have “opted-in” to your email list if you want to send them marketing emails. (Note: transactional emails are treated differently, so if someone opts-out of your mailing list, this doesn’t mean you can’t still send them an invoice or a requested quote by email).

Spam laws aside, there is a more compelling reason why you want to target your email marketing only towards opted-in subscribers… because it is a thousand times more effective. The days of shot-spraying marketing emails using dodgy purchased or traded lists are over. If someone is not interested enough in your product, service or expertise to opt-in to your list, do you really think they are going to bother to open and read an unsolicited email from you? Save your money, invest in a good Lead Magnet and get your prospects to Opt-In instead.

Want to know about “double opt-ins” and “confirmed opt-ins”? MailChimp, one of my favourite email marketing providers, has a great explanation here.

What’s a List?

Your List is your database of emails of people that have Opted-In via the Lead Magnet on your website. These people are your leads and you can use this list to send them information. Maybe even try a little content marketing?  This is a valuable marketing asset that needs to be respected, protected, and never shared. If you are using an email marketing provider, such as MailChimp, InfusionsoftAWeber or Constant Contact, they will maintain that list for you. You can trust them to do so.

When we pick up Digital Marketing School later this fall, we will dive into Conversions, Conversion Rates, and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). Stay tuned! In the meantime, please get in touch if you have any questions, want some clarification, or if you want to bounce some ideas of how you might start using these tools in your digital marketing. I’d love to chat.

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