Lead magnet. Every blogger should know this term and how to produce one. After all, it’s the key to building an email list, and your email list is an important platform element. But how do you create this free gift offered in return for an email address? Today, Jay Artale (@BirdsOAFpress), a digital nomad and full-time writer and blogger, explains how to create PDF lead magnets and the best tools for accomplishing this task.
To build your mailing list you need to offer your readers something called a lead magnet, or an incentive or gift you provide in exchange for their email address.
I’ve previously covered ideas about the content you could create and share. That post focused on the why of creating a lead magnet. Today I want to look at the how of creating portable document format (PDF) lead magnets, like worksheet templates, a list of tools, case studies, training materials, a cheat sheet, a checklist, or an ebook in a PDF format. Specifically, I want to share some lead magnet design tools.
Whatever lead magnet you create, remember that it needs to provide high-value content.
If you create a low-quality download, or one that is perceived as having little value, chances are your readers will unsubscribe straight away. View this lead magnet as the start of a journey to building a meaningful and beneficial connection between your readers and you.
Before you choose a design tool, know that the best approach for choosing one is to test it and see how you like the user interface and features. Start with the simplest and cheapest tool first and then work your way through the options until you find one you feel comfortable using. Whichever program or app you settle on, there are some key design tips you should consider.
Multiple platforms and software apps are available to help you create your lead magnets. But, as you don’t know whether your readers are using Mac Pages, Microsoft Word, or another word processing program, creating a PDF is your best option. A PDF produces the most accessible lead magnet. However, you can create your document in your native software as long as it has an Export to PDF function.
InDesign, the most popular choice for professional designers, can be used on PC and Mac, but there’s a steep learning curve to mastering its design tools.
All Adobe software is part of a subscription payment plan. So, unless you’re relying on InDesign for daily tasks, it’s overkill to make the financial or time investment in this software as your design solution, especially when there are so many great free options available.
Although Canva has a premium plan, the free basic plan is more than sufficient to create stunning looking PDFs. Their portrait and landscape templates make it easy to get over the blank-page hurdle, and you can use these as a basis of your PDF or for design inspiration. The Marketing and Documents sections have the broadest selection of templates, and they are ideal for your PDF lead magnet.
Their drag-and-drop image editor streamlines your creative process, and there are plenty of free and premium images, shapes, icons and backgrounds to incorporate into your lead magnet.
The free version of Canva allows you to create up to 20 teams, so you can collaborate with others on your design.
If there’s a premium image you fall in love with and want to incorporate into your design, you can purchase a onetime use for $1 and a multi-use license for $10.
You can export your document as an image or PDF document.
If you want the flexibility of fine-tuning your design on your mobile device, there’s a Canva App that works really well for small design tweaks. It’s just a little awkward for designing from scratch.
If you’ve ever used Microsoft Powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote to create presentation slides, then Google Slides will feel familiar.
You can access Google’s document templates via your Google Drive, but the landscape format designs were created for presentations. You have the option of changing the page layout to a portrait layout, but you will need to change some design features so they work in the new orientation.
You get 15GB of free storage with your Google Drive account, and, if you have a Gmail account, that pulls from this same allocation.
If you plan on creating multiple PDFs and want to organize your source content and original images in Google Drive, their folder and document sharing options provide a user-friendly and flexible collaboration framework.
If you like using a web-based graphic design app that’s geared toward users with minimal graphic design experience, then Lucid Press is a viable option. Their portrait and landscape templates have an emphasis on design and feel less business-focused than Google Slides. Plus, the ease of use helps you focus on your content and not get tied up with design aesthetics.
The downside? The free version only allows you to create three pages per document and gives you 25MB of storage.
Lead Magnet Design Tips
Before creating your lead magnet consider the following key design tips:
- Know your target audience to ensure your content appeals to them and increases your opt-in ratio.
- Research to see what lead magnets your competitors are offering. Doing so allows you to create a PDF that stands out from the crowd.
- Design a sales funnel with your business goals in mind. For example, if you’re blogging a book, then your lead magnet can be used to develop a ready-made audience when your book is released.
- Add your key branding elements: your logo, website URL, and email to the lead magnet. Also, incorporate key design elements from your website (e.g. colors or font family).
- Don’t use too many font families. It’s more effective to use fewer fonts but vary the style (e.g. bold, italic, size, and color).
- Feature a headline that talks to your reader’s pain point and include it on your PDF as well as on your lead magnet landing page. If your content solves a problem, it’s more likely to get downloaded.
Just because you’re advertising your books or services on your website doesn’t mean your visitors are ready to buy. A lead magnet is the ideal way to add value and build trust.
Before they click away from your website, entice them with value-added content to join your mailing list, and then nurture those leads until they are ready to buy.
What kind of lead magnet are you going to create and with which tool? Tell me in a comment below? And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.
Image courtesy of gmast3r