How to Use Lead Magnets and Optins to Grow your Membership Site

One great way to grow your membership site is to offer visitors something in exchange for their continued interaction, such as a free trial at your membership site in exchange for their email address.

Once a visitor signs up for your free trial, you’ve got their contact information as well as permission to keep in touch with them. Also, letting them access your membership site content for free gives you a great opportunity to demonstrate how much value you have to offer. Then, if they’re receiving friendly messages and benefiting from your expertise, they’re more likely to sign up as opposed to if they’d left your site without ever taking action.

In this article, we’ll cover why you should use lead magnets and opt-in incentives. We’ll also provide a few examples of what you could offer your audience in order to grow your membership site.

Why You Should Offer Lead Magnets and Optin Incentives

Email Optin Form

The goal of offering a lead magnet or opt-in incentive, aka freebies, is to encourage website visitors to take some form of action that will help you grow your membership site.

Often this tactic is used to persuade website visitors to join, or opt into, an email list or newsletter. This then gives the site owner a way to stay in touch with these visitors and send them messages that will hopefully persuade them to come back to the site and check out their content and offers.

Avoid losing touch with your hard earned visitors

Attracting new visitors to your website is not an easy task, and so once they’ve arrived, it’s worth doing what you can to keep in touch with them. Some visitors may still be in the research phase and planning to visit other, similar websites as they search for the right content or product.

Even if they love your website, they may not be ready to sign up right then and there, and there’s a good chance they won’t find their way back even if they want to.

That’s why encouraging them to give you their contact details is vital. It greatly increases the probability of their choosing your membership site and becoming your newest member.

An opportunity to build a relationship with one time visitors

This is where lead magnets and opt-in incentives come into play. Offering visitors a gift in exchange for their contact details means you don’t have to worry so much about turning those new website visitors into paid-up members right away.

Instead, you can forge a relationship over time, demonstrating your expertise and credibility so that you’re in the forefront of their mind when they’re ready to make a purchase or join a membership program.

Types of Membership Site Lead Magnets and Optin Incentives

Now that you know why you should consider using lead magnets and opt-in incentives on your membership site, let’s talk about what types of incentives you can offer visitors.

A Digital Download Lead Magnet

One easy way to create something visitors will want to enter their email address to get hold of is an eBook. Of course, an eBook doesn’t have to be a best-selling novel or information-dense textbook. It can simply be a collection of your best content packaged into a downloadable PDF.

Alternatively, the document could take the form of a checklist or guide to completing a task relevant to your membership-site content. Video content, audio files, and software can also be offered as lead magnets visitors can access by joining your email newsletter.

A Place on a Webinar

Webinars are a great way to promote your membership site and diversify your content. But they can also be used to bribe visitors! Once you’ve got their email, not only do you have the ability to send content to those visitors, you also have the opportunity to interact with them on the webinar and demonstrate your knowledge in the area they’re interested in.

Offer Access to Locked Content

Content Locker

A number of WordPress’s best email opt-in-form plugins make it easy to protect your content so that it can only be accessed when a visitor enters their email address and joins your mailing list. This is perhaps the easiest way to create an opt-in incentive as the content is already live on your site, leaving you to simply select which parts to grant access to.

Run a Free Email Course

Chances are that visitors have come to your membership site to learn something. Don’t worry if they don’t join right away. You can still help them and demonstrate your knowledge by offering them access to a free email course. This series of automated emails could cover one component of your membership site, providing a nice segue to your paid content.

Free Membership Site Trials

Offering free access to your premium content for a limited time is another way you can use lead magnets and opt-in incentives to grow your membership site. Not only do you get permission to email your new subscribers information about your membership site, they get to see firsthand how your content can help them.

If you’re confident—and you should be—that your membership site content is so good users will be happy to pay for it once they’ve seen it, then offering a free trial is a great incentive for visitors to take action on your site, rather than hit the Back button.

Limited Membership Plans

Sometimes there are reasons why you might not want to offer free access to your membership site, even on a trial basis. Perhaps you don’t want to run the risk of devaluing your content by making it freely available. Or maybe you feel you’ve worked too hard on your project to give others free access.

Whatever your reasons, a good alternative to offering a free trial is to add a lower-priced tier to your other membership plans. This lead-magnet membership plan could be shorter than your other plans, such as a seven-day trial, or it could only grant access to a small portion of your membership site, such as one module of your program.

A lower price point can make it easier for interested visitors to take that leap of faith and sign up. This is especially true if you don’t have many trust signals on your website. Also, the limited access to your content should be enough to demonstrate that you’re the expert you claim to be and that your content is worth paying for.

You can use the power of scarcity to increase interest in these trial membership plans by only making them available for limited periods. A good page builder plugin like Beaver Builder makes it easy to add countdown timers to your website.

Offer a Membership Site Coupon Code

MemberPress Coupon

High-quality WordPress membership plugins like MemberPress make creating and offering discount coupons straightforward. Creating a coupon for new email newsletter subscribers not only helps you grow your list but also gives visitors a reason to join your membership site using the discount code.

Final Thoughts

Whether your goal is to turn free website visitors into paying members right then and there or play the long game and encourage them to join your email list or attend a webinar, giving away freebies is a powerful incentive.

As we’ve seen, there are plenty of opt-in enticements to help your membership site generate more leads. And when you use the right tools, such as a good opt-in plugin and email newsletter service, you may find that the entire process is lot easier to implement than you thought.

What incentive will you offer your audience to interact with you and your membership site? Please let us know in the comments below.

Categories: Advice
About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.

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