Updated: Nov 25, 2022
It was great while it lasted, but it's fast becoming obsolete (and no, I'm not talking about Blockbuster): The days of the freebie as we know it are numbered.
Known as a lead magnet, these free offers allow you to rapidly grow your email list by offering something free in exchange for someone submitting their email address. The most common is some sort of PDF guide that shares further information on a topic related to one's niche.
Because let's face it: Everyone has one (even us Catholics, who are generally slow to the punch on these types of trends).
And so, consumers are starting to tune out these free guides, because 99% of the time, it's something you could easily Google and get from a blog post or YouTube video without having to sacrifice your inbox.
So what is a Catholic business or ministry to do? Give up the freebie and despair of growing your email list?
Things aren't quite so dire. In fact, there's a pretty simple solution: Dust off that PDF guide and make it a new format!
The PDF guide is popular because it's easy to put together, but we all know that the narrow gate is typically the better option, in the spiritual and business pursuits.
By simply changing up the format of your lead magnet and offering valuable content (actually industry knowledge or financial benefit, not just something that can be Googled), you can breathe fresh life into your business or ministry's freebie and start growing your list.
So, here are seven Catholic lead magnets ideas that aren't PDF guides (even if you deliver them as PDFs):
1. Workshop, event replay, or challenge
This one is amazing for service providers who want to give their potential audience a peek at what it's like to work with you. Consider offering a mini version of the service you provide or offering some sort of tutorial or challenge that people can expand upon if they become clients. You want to give them enough of a transformation through the content to be intrigued to learn more by working with you.
2. Mini video course or exclusive podcast series
There's something about a free course that gets people really excited. (Maybe it's because we spent so much money on college courses?) Similar to the above, this option is especially valuable if you want people to get to know you as an individual. These courses or series offer a fantastic opportunity to showcase your personality and brand.
3. Workbook, template, or survey results
This one is the closest to a PDF guide, but cranking up the value. Workbooks allow you to not only give away the information in your original freebie, but takes it a step further to walk them through how to implement that information. Likewise, templates provide an opportunity to put what they learn in action. Make sure to include information about your business or ministry within the deliverables so they connect the experience with you!
A devotional or novena can be a great lead magnet for a nonprofit or ministry that is primarily looking for donors. You may not have a lot to give away per se, but prayer solidifies your Catholic identity and provides a way to showcase how their prayers are actualized through the work you do. Bonus: Have the prayers led or written by the people your ministry serves!
5. Coupon or sale, with a twist
This is the most obvious choice for product-based businesses, but stand out by having a twist. Offer an instant coupon code, but if they use it, follow up immediately with an upsell email with order add-on suggestions that you'll waive the shipping for. Or, try an interactive coupon, where they follow the clues in your email (which links to different products) to get the coupon code.
Other variations include free shipping, early access, and free trials.
6. Digital product: Printable/template, exclusive video/song, coloring sheets, ebook, etc
Another route for product-based businesses is to offer a digital product for your audience to engage with. This can be a great way for potential customers to fall in love with your products - again, be sure to include information on how they can continue to shop with the digital download!
We've all be sucked into a Buzzfeed quiz (fun fact, if I was a stationary item, apparently I would be a pen according to my taste in flowers). Make one for your ministry! Fun ideas include what Bible character would you be, what you should give up for Lent, or what they'd be the patron saint of.
Even better, map the results to your email system so you can send customized emails to them based on their quiz results.
Bonus: Newsletter as a lead magnet.
Hear me out: If you provide amazing content in your newsletters (NOT just sales, there's a difference), then your newsletter in and of itself could be your lead magnet. I would still set up a landing page to explain why it's helpful (for example, we send out a marketing tip to our list every Monday) and maybe some testimonials from folks who have enjoyed the newsletter.
While we're on the subject, here's a few lead magnets I don't recommend:
Facebook groups: This is becoming more popular - creating a Facebook group to serve your audience and grow your email list. These aren't my favorite because 1) obtaining an email address as part of a group signup would not meet GDPR standards and 2) that's a lot of work and time investment on a platform that's not your own. I would rather you put that time and effort into a phenomenal email newsletter.
Giveaway: This is really tempting, I know. But the GDPR standards above still hold and you will have a ton of unsubscribes from people who joined your list just to try to win the prize. Now could you convert them through your funnel? Of course, but you're probably spending a lot of time reaching people who aren't actually your target audience.
Still struggling to get new leads on your email list? Pray to St. Andrew! As the first evangelist, St. Andrew is the perfect patron for your list-growing needs. He was so struck by Jesus that he ran to tell Peter that they had found the Messiah. Likewise, we want people to be so intrigued by your work through your lead magnet that they can't wait to tell others about you!
Speaking of St. Andrew...we named our Catholic lead generation package after him for this very reason. It is our honor to lead others to you so you can lead them to Christ - and that starts with a Catholic lead magnet!
Learn more about the St. Andrew Leads Package here.