As a fiction writer, you know getting as many new readers as possible is essential. But what’s the best way to get them?
One great way is to offer a lead magnet. Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have some great ideas to bring in potential new readers for your own email subscriber funnel.
Anything you can do to get potential readers’ attention is a good idea. But you want to make sure that your lead magnet is something that will entice people to sign up for your mailing list.
What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a freebie you offer to potential readers in exchange for their email addresses. It can be anything from a short story to a coupon for your next book.
You’ve probably been enticed by a lead magnet before. They’re often very effective at getting people to sign up for things.
The key to a good lead magnet is to make sure that it’s relevant to your genre and that it’s something that people will want. For example, offering a coupon for your next book is a great lead magnet if you write romance novels.
On the other hand, offering a free short story might be a better option if you write science fiction.
No matter what you decide to offer as your lead magnet, make sure it’s something you’re proud of and would be happy to give away for free.
Why give away a Lead Magnet?
Let’s get into the psychology of why lead magnets work so well.
When you offer something for free, people are more likely to take you up on your offer. It’s just human nature. We’re all looking for a good deal.
But free isn’t the only reason lead magnets work so well. They also work because they offer something of value in exchange for an email address.
A person’s email address is valuable because it’s a way to contact them directly. Once you have someone’s email address, you can send them whatever marketing material you want.
Email marketing has been the most effective method of getting in front of people since the birth of the internet. So, if you can get people to sign up for your email list, you’re well on your way to building a successful writing career.
Make the Lead Magnet Valuable
Let’s dive deep into what it means for a fiction writer to offer value in their lead magnet.
The person who receives your lead magnet should feel like they’ve got something worth their time. That doesn’t mean that your lead magnet needs to be long. It doesn’t even mean that your lead magnet needs to be something that took you weeks to create.
You see, the value of your lead magnet isn’t in its length or how long it took you to create. The value is in how relevant it is to your genre and how well it’s written.
If you can offer a short story that’s well-written and relevant to your genre, that’s going to be much more valuable to potential readers than a long, rambling piece that’s not particularly well-written.
Remember, you want people to sign up for your email list so you can market your books to them. So, your lead magnet should be something that will interest them in your books.
If you can offer a lead magnet that’s both valuable and relevant, you’re well on your way to building a successful writing career.
Lead Magnet Ideas for Fiction Authors
Now that we’ve gone over what a lead magnet is and why they work so well let’s get into some specific ideas for lead magnets that you can use as a fiction author.
1. Invite your readers to watch you work behind the scenes
You’ll need to fire up your webcam for this one. But it can be an effective lead magnet.
If you offer potential readers a behind-the-scenes look at your writing process, they’ll likely sign up for your email list.
This is because people are interested in how creative people work. So, if you give them a peek into your writing process, they’ll be more likely to sign up for your email list.
You walk them through what you do when you start working on a new project, how you develop ideas and research, and how you put all the pieces together.
Some of you may not feel comfortable inviting your readers into your personal space, but this can be an effective lead magnet for those who are.
2. Create a quiz for fans to test their knowledge
If you have diehard fans of your work, this can be a fun lead magnet for them.
You can create a quiz about your books. People who consider themselves fans of your work will be eager to take the quiz to see how much they know about your books. This is a great way to build engagement with your fans and get them on your email list. People love feeling as if they’re an expert at something they take enjoyment in.
3. Offer an unpublished chapter to one of your books
If they are already fans of your work and have read the book, they will want to read more.
Ensure that you emphasize that what happens in the chapter is a twist and turn they could’ve never seen coming.
This will entice potential readers and make them want to sign up for your email list so they don’t miss out on the rest of the story.
The desire to want to see what happens to their favourite character will make them enter their email address without a second thought.
It sounds a bit corny, but this is an effective method because it works off of FOMO (fear of missing out).
4. Give in-depth details about a character in one of your books
People get attached to characters and often want to learn more about them.
Offer an in-depth look at a character from one of your books. This can be their backstory, motivations, hopes, and dreams.
Whatever you think will give your readers a better understanding of the character and make them fall in love with them even more.
Don’t think this can only be done with the hero of your story. People also love to learn about the villains of your masterpiece.
5. Give away a free book
You might have a book you wrote that you feel isn’t your best work. You hate the idea of throwing it away.
Why not give it away as a lead magnet?
It doesn’t have to be your latest and greatest work. You put all that hard work into creating it, so you may as well get some use out of it.
People will be less likely to judge the quality of your book since it’s free. And if they like it, they’ll be more likely to purchase one of your other books.
6. Send stories that are exclusive to email
What you’re doing here is sending a series of emails containing a part of the story. Let’s say you send 300 to 500 words of the story daily.
This is a great way to keep people engaged with your email list. They’ll be excited to receive the following email because they want to know what happens next in the story.
And since they have to be on your email list to receive the story, it’s a great way to get people to sign up for your email list.
You can spread out an entire book over a period of time or write a brand-new story just for this lead magnet.
You could also think of this as a sales funnel. You could send them a short story over a week or two and then, at the end, offer to sell them a follow-up ebook or novel.
7. Offer membership to a private Facebook group
They can only access your private Facebook group by signing up for your email list.
A Facebook group offers a more intimate setting where people can interact with you and each other.
This can be a great way to build a community around your work and get people talking about your books.
Also, the next time you publish a new book, you now have an entire group of people eager to read and review it for you. It’s an almost instant way of making sales.
Creating a following is vital as an author.
The business side of being an author is just as important as crafting your story. To be successful, you need to have a plan for how you will market your work.
One of the best ways to do this is to have a strong email list. The people on your email list are your most loyal fans and are more likely to buy your books and leave reviews.
The seven ideas above are just some ways you can use lead magnets to grow your email list. Get creative and experiment to see what works best for you and your audience.
Your goal should be to create a system where you’re constantly adding new email subscribers to your list. That way, you always have a steady stream of potential readers for your books.