This “Dumb” Lead Magnet Idea Added 1,300 Email Subscribers to Our List


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  • The read-later widget is a great tool for quickly building your email list.
  • Tools like Wufoo and Zapier make it easy to create and embed your own widgets.

You know that building your email list is important, right?

In terms of how you think about your funnel, you’ve got traffic coming in at the top, you’ve got your email list in the middle, and you’ve got conversions, upsells, downsells, cross-sells and whatever else is happening, at the bottom of the funnel.

You’re prioritizing building your email list and you’re getting traffic to your website. You’re already producing content, but the problem is, you want to grow your email list faster.

How can you do that without producing more and more content?

Welcome to another edition of “5-Minute Matt Hacks,” where I give you bite-size, actionable tips and walk you through the process of how to take action on them. This includes how to implement them and get results fast, typically in five minutes or less.

Let’s jump right into it, because today, I’m going to show you the dumbest, but most stupidly effective lead magnet idea ever. Again, this is super effective for solving the problem of getting traffic to your blog and website, and incrementally growing your email list. You’re looking for a new opportunity, something that’s easy and seems like low-hanging fruit.

Enter the Read-Later Widget

Well, I have the perfect solution to help you grow your email list faster and have a compounding result over time. It’s called the read-later widget.

I stumbled upon this idea back in 2014, when we started putting out content regularly. Once a week, we published one in-depth article, and we still do that today on our blog.

I wanted to grow our email list faster to 500 subscribers. Those subscribers were people  I knew personally.

It was almost like I was starting from scratch, and so I wanted to grow that subscriber count to 1,000…2,000…and beyond.

So, how did we get to 12,000 active subscribers and over 25,000 unique opt-ins? The read-later widget is responsible for over 5% of that growth.

Let me show you exactly what it is. The reason why it’s so dumb is in the sense that, when I explain this to you, it’s going to sound very obvious, like, “Oh my god, that makes a lot of sense.”

What it is, for example, is if you look at one of our old blog posts here, you can see the widget is embedded right on the blog post. It’s an embedded form where I ask readers, “Hey, you might be busy. You’re just skimming things over, maybe you want to read a copy of this later on? Enter your email here and I’ll send you a copy to read later.”

The Effectiveness of the Read-Later Widget and Other Pop-Ups

We added the read-later widget on 24 different articles and, as a result, we brought in over 1,300 new subscribers, just from these widgets alone. You can see how that’s responsible for over 5% of the total number of opt-ins, and we only did it on those 24 articles, right?

Let me show you another example of how the stats look for one of our top-performing read-later widgets.

The first thing that you’ll notice is how the number of entries that we got on the widget goes up and to the right. That’s because the organic traffic to this particular blog post increased over time.

You’ll also see that with pretty much everything that you do in terms of marketing, that Pareto’s 80/20 Principle is at work, where most of the opt-ins that we get from the read-later widgets come from just a small handful of those 24 places where we embedded them. You can see that the average conversion rate for this page, in terms of people actually opting in, was about 1.2% on average.

Now, that may not sound like a lot, but when you take into account that these opt-ins are coming in over time, and you may have other tactics that you’re using to collect email subscribers on the page, that rate is significant. Tactics like free course opt-ins can really add to your email list growth over time, and substantially, as you can see from here. Just from this one blog post, which is several years old, we brought in over 500 subscribers alone, over the course of a couple of years.

Signing up for Wufoo and Zapier

So, here’s the one action that I want you to take from this video. In the following video, coming up on Wednesday, I’m going to show you a step-by-step tutorial for how to create your own read-later widget in a matter of minutes.

Again, the biggest benefit to this is that you don’t have to create any new content. It’s really about convenience for your reader, and it gives you that opportunity to get people on your email list so that you can form a relationship with them. People who are on your email list, from my research and testing, are at least two times more likely to buy from you.

So here’s the one action coming up for the next video on Wednesday. I want you to go and sign up for a couple of tools that are going make it possible to create a read-later widget. I want you to sign up for Wufoo if you’re not already a member. It’s free, and what Wufoo does is, you can create forms. This is the tool that we’ll use to create the read-later widget form and then embed it into your blog posts.

The second tool is Zapier. Zapier is what is going to take those emails that are entered into those forms and then put those email opt-ins onto your email list from Wufoo.

That’s what you want to do for the next video. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, I want you to go ahead and subscribe to our free newsletter so you never miss another Matt Hack. Be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube if you’re watching there. If you’re watching this on our blog, you can click the link directly below this video to get on our email list, and again, you’ll never miss one of our 5-Minute Matt Hack videos.

As a member of our email list, you’ll also get access to exclusive offers that we don’t put out to the general public for some of our more advanced training. I’ll see you in the next video. Tune in next time and you’ll get that tutorial. Look forward to seeing you then. Keep hustling, stay focused and talk to you soon.

For more information on increasing traffic, download Matt’s 22-Point Perfect Blog Post Checklist or invest in our new Rocket Content course, which is currently discounted.

6 thoughts on “This “Dumb” Lead Magnet Idea Added 1,300 Email Subscribers to Our List

  1. Update: I added it to one of my blogs and after just a week I had several people who had opted in to “read it later.” These are now valuable leads, as I can pitch them on my service, knowing that they are interested in content related to the industry.

    Totally worth setting up, and I will do it to all my blogs soon. Thanks again for the inspiration.

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