How to Use Category-Specific Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List

After reading my post about quick & easy content upgrade ideas, did you just roll your eyes at me? I get it, I KNOW you can’t build a content upgrade for every single post you write. So I have something I want to walk you through, category-specific lead magnets. (or freebies, or opt-in offers – I use the term lead magnets).

For business-owning moms who are doing everything they can just to get a piece of content published, creating a content upgrade for every piece of content is exhausting and unrealistic.

Though, I do still think they should be in your arsenal. Unique per blog post content upgrades are ideal, but tough to pull off. Some posts just call for something specific, so you need to keep them in mind. 

Using category-specific lead magnets is an easier plan and can achieve many of the same benefits that the content upgrade can, especially more sign-ups to your email list. 

How to use category-specific lead magnets to grow your email list

The challenge of content upgrades

If you were to plan a content upgrade for each and every piece of content, you would more than double your workload. 

You would double your content creation because each time you create it piece of content, you have to create the content upgrade. My previous post can save you time, but I haven’t figured out how to make that time zero.

You would have to create and insert a new opt-in form for every piece of content. No pasting in shortcodes, copying templates, or letting your software do it automatically.

Plus, you would have to at least have a new delivery email for each piece of content. You may need a new welcome series of emails, depending on how your email marketing is set up.

Then, you’ll need to think whether you need new delivery pages or landing pages. 

You can see it gets huge. It’s really just too much for every post, even though content upgrades could really help your readers, and tempt them to become subscribers. So, I recommend saving them for content that is pretty unique itself, like an ultimate, everything including the kitchen sink, comprehensive guide. Or, using them where only content upgrades would make sense, such as offering transcripts for videos and podcasts. 

The problem with general lead magnets

You could do a lead magnet that is general on topic but specific to your audience. In fact, you probably already have that on some of your other pages. Your home page and your about pages are great places for these more general lead magnets. 

Adding these general topic lead magnets to your content is a good place to start. Since you probably already have one, it’s an easy way to get opt-in forms on blog posts. They’re better than having no lead magnet available, or simply asking visitors to “Subscribe to my Newsletter.” However, they don’t often capture the exact topic your visitor came to your site to learn about.

A general lead magnet on content won’t tempt as many visitors to sign-up to your email list as a content upgrade would. Plus, you don’t have a way to segment your email list based on how they sign up.

Solution – the category-specific lead magnet

What if I told you there was a bit of a hybrid method?

You can show your visitors different lead magnets based on the post topic category. While these lead magnets aren’t as specific as a content upgrade, they are much still closer to the site visitor’s interests than a general lead magnet. And, you can still use these lead magnets to help segment your subscribers.

Category-specific lead magnet example

For example, if your broad topic was travelling with family, you might have a blog post, “The 10 Essentials to Take with You Every Time You Leave the Country.” 

A general lead magnet for your entire site could be, “Travel Tips for Jet-Setting Moms.”

A content upgrade for that post could be a printable checklist listing the 10 Essentials. 

But if that post were grouped with other content in an “international travel” category, a category-specific lead magnet could be something like, “Gear Guide for International Travel.”

The beauty of category-specific lead magnets is that they relate to the piece of content that interests your site visitor, but can be used on all content within that same category. 

Next steps

If your content pieces aren’t organized into categories, now is a good time to get them sorted. Then, start thinking about what lead magnets could be helpful per category. If you need some ideas, here is a long list of 89 different lead magnet formats. Next week, I’m going to share a few different ways you can accomplish this on your own website, from manual to mostly automated.

Featured Photo by Leonard Beck on Unsplash

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