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What You Need to Know About Lead Generating Opt-Ins

Email marketing is a powerful strategy for event pros to increase brand awareness, nurture one’s audience, and spread the word about company news and updates. You can establish the Know, Like, Trust factor simply by regularly showing up in prospective customers’ inboxes and providing them with valuable content. With a robust email marketing strategy in place, you can effectively generate a consistent stream of qualified leads.

But, that begs the question: Who should I be emailing, and how do I find them?

To make a splash with email marketing, you need to have a list of people who want to hear from you! In most cases, those are people who are starting out on their event planning journey.

While it might seem easier to buy a pre-compiled email list from one of the many ads touting their convenience, these are email addresses of people who don’t know who you are and haven’t shown interest in hearing from you. (Not to mention, you can be penalized by your email provider for using purchased lists.)

If you want to make the most of email marketing, it starts with an authentic list-building strategy. By building your own list, you create a community of brand followers who are eager to hear from you. They’ve shown interest in your business and, with the help of a few nurture emails, can be quickly warmed up for the sale.

Of course, people don’t just give away their email addresses for free. You need to entice them to share their information by providing them with real value in return. A lead magnet is a free piece of content that intrigues your ideal client and invites them to subscribe to your email list, kicking off an automated email funnel.

Lead magnets can be anything from a downloadable PDF guide, a quiz promising compelling answers, an educational webinar, or a printable form or template. More important than the “what” is the how; putting together a great lead magnet is an art. Here’s what you need to know.

Give your leads a quick win.
Getting something free isn’t enough of a draw for people. Instead, they need to feel like they will receive an exclusive product or service that will benefit them in the long run. Consider their key pain points and how you can help them on a minor level. If you’re a photographer, you could share a PDF guide with advice about choosing outfits and color palettes for engagement shoots. A stationer might provide tips for curating one’s guest list, whereas a florist may create a guide of the most popular flower types by season. Your prospects should get their resource and think, “Wow, I really needed this!”

Make sure it’s cost-effective.
Lead generating opt-ins should not cost you much. In many cases, they are digital products that are created once for easy dissemination. You might pay a designer to create a guide or purchase webinar software to record your video, but it’s a one-time cost that will reap benefits for years. It can also be simple to DIY your freebie with design programs, like Canva.

Some may consider offering a service to generate leads, like a free consult or a planning audit. Service-based lead magnets require a more significant investment of time and energy, so be cautious about extending too much of your schedule. Stick to offerings that are 30 minutes or less, so you don’t give away all of your time for free.

Don’t give away the secret sauce.
You want to present yourself as a helpful resource, but you don’t want to reveal your secrets to success! A great lead magnet gives away the “why” and the “what” but reserves the “how” for paying customers. You can provide a lot of value simply by divulging what a prospect should know and why, so don’t feel like it’s “not enough.”

Use your freebie as a way to sell the “how,” teasing the value you bring to the table. Since you’ve just educated them on why they need your help, they’ll be more inclined to take the next step. A florist’s guide to the most popular flower types is valuable information for selecting their favorite blooms, but it does not tell them how to DIY their arrangements!

Promote your lead magnet.
Producing a compelling lead magnet will not start building your list right away. You must promote it to draw attention from your ideal clients. In order to want it, they have to know about it! Use Google or social media ads to promote your lead magnet and generate traffic to its landing page.

Make sure to highlight that it’s free — people love getting things for free and are more inclined to click on an ad when they know they don’t have to pull out their credit card. If possible, share a visual of your resource as well. Showing people what they’ll actually get is an effective strategy to motivate them to take the next step.

As your email list grows, it becomes a matter of nurturing your leads through value-driven emails filled with helpful content and, ultimately, selling your products and services to them once you’ve warmed them up.

Email marketing involves a number of steps between the sign-up and the sale, but it all starts with creating an enticing lead magnet that invites your ideal clients into your brand experience.

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Aleya Harris

Through her company, Flourish Marketing, Aleya offers marketing education, strategy, and tools that help wedding, catering, and events business owners stop staring at a blank calendar and start getting and keeping a consistent stream of clients. Aleya is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who also happens to be an award-winning, marketing strategist, brand manager, content developer, and storyteller. She has a background as a marketing executive on the leadership teams of large foodservice organizations and has also been a private chef and catering company owner. Aleya speaks your language and understands your challenges. She knows how important it is to work in your passion. That's why for the past 12 years, she has been focused on helping over 1,000 accounts, brands, and business owners to be successful.

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