One of the most important things you can do to build leads online is to create a mailing list. This then allows your visitors to demonstrate their interest in your brand and products by subscribing, which takes them from being ‘cold leads’ and turns them into ‘warm leads’. These are now people who have demonstrated their interest in your business and who are showing a willingness to receive correspondence from you.
But in order to create those leads, you need to be able to convince people to sign up in the first place. Why should someone willingly accept more junk in their inbox?
This is where your ‘incentive’ comes in and it’s an important tool to grasp if you want to maximize your success.
What is an Incentive?
An incentive is exactly what it sounds like – it is something you use to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. One of the most common examples of an incentive is a free PDF report. This will contain some kind of extra insight not available through your website and some kind of additional information and in doing so, it will encourage people to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for that freebie.
In order to work, the incentive of course needs to be unique and exciting enough that people would actually want to read it. Other popular incentives include ebooks.
How to Get Incentives Right
There is a problem with the way that a lot of people use incentives, however. That problem is that they see incentives as a way to persuade people to subscribe who would otherwise not be interested in doing so. This is in fact a mistake – those aren’t warm leads, they are cold leads who just wanted freebies. That means they aren’t likely to want to buy from you and it means that they aren’t highly targeted. This actually undermines the value of your list!
Instead, your incentive should be seen as just an added encouragement to convince people to sign up who were otherwise on the fence. That means your incentive shouldn’t be too convincing.
Better yet, why not make your incentive something that actually qualifies the leads? For example, if your incentive is money off of your products, then that suggests they are interested in buying from you if they sign up!
Likewise, why not make the mailing list itself the incentive? This won’t qualify the leads but it ensures that they’ll be looking out for your messages in their inbox!