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How to Create a Client-Attracting Lead Magnet with Kate Emiley

You have your email list because you’re a smart business owner…

But how the heck do you grow it beyond your mum and your best friend?

Now I don’t know about you – but I don’t hand over my email address to any old business or simply because they told me I should sign up for their email list.

People are spoilt for choice, so you gotta give them a pretty good reason to hand over their email address and sign up for your email list – not to mention get them to stay there and buy from you.

So, on today’s episode of the How I Do Content Podcast, the magical Kate Emiley is here to help!

Listen to the full episode now, or scroll down for the highlights in the too-long;didn’t-listen (TL;DL) version below.

How to Create a Client-Attracting Lead Magnet with Kate Emiley

Let me officially introduce you to Kate Emiley

Kate is a content strategist and educator with over 10 years of experience in marketing.

She’s also a lover of dogs, and a toddler mum! 

Her mission is to empower passionate service businesses to confidently grow their community, build connection, and convert clients on autopilot using email marketing, which she shares in her course, Effortless Email Marketing, and on her YouTube channel.

I’ve been following Kate for nearly 5 years and she always shares super practical tips to help you effectively implement marketing strategies in your business.

Things You’ll Learn in This Episode of How I Do Content

  • Why Kate loves email marketing, and how to use it alongside your social media channels
  • How to get people to sign up for your email list, and nurture them into paying clients
  • Kate’s tips to create a lead magnet that not only grows your community but also attracts soulmate clients to your business, without having to fight a bloody algorithm

    TL;DL version: How to Craft an Irresistible Lead Magnet in 6 Simple Steps

    Email (a.k.a electronic direct mail or EDM) is such an under-utilised tool for small business marketing. It’s cheap and effective, and you actually own your contacts, unlike on social platforms. So many small business owners are drawn to social media as their primary marketing strategy without realising that it’s not the most effective way to market their business.

    Email & social media complement each other

    When we talk about email marketing vs. social media marketing, it’s not an either/or situation.  They both have different strengths and work together brilliantly.

    Social media messaging is broader

    Social media is fantastic for building brand awareness, increasing your audience size and communicating your brand personality and values.  It’s great for broader marketing, but it’s difficult to discern what content is seen and by who, which means you can’t be as targeted with your messaging. For this reason, social media is a fabulous tool for building your email list. 

    Email messaging is targeted 

    Email is an ideal way to nurture customer relationships and make sales. When someone subscribes to your email list you have the opportunity to be more strategic with the content you create for them. You can segment your audience and create specific nurture sequences, sales funnels and content for those different segments based on their unique needs or interests.

    Depending on who your audience is, there may be clearly defined differences between your email list segments.  For example, as a business coach, you might work with people in very different stages of their business journies. The messaging you’d have for a startup small business is going to be very different to the messaging for established businesses or those looking to scale. Email marketing allows you to create different campaigns for different audience segments, meaning the right messages get to the right people. Targeting content like this is more effective in building strong customer relationships and ultimately increases the chances of conversion.

    EDM means no algorithms

    You may have heard email marketing referred to as electronic direct mail (EDM).  The reason for this is that there aren’t any algorithms at play when it comes to email marketing – your content is delivered directly to your subscriber.  

    As we know, social media has its own unique algorithms and so do other platforms, like Google. For context, a good engagement rate for Instagram is 1-5% of your total audience size. This means if you have 100K followers, a max of around 5K (that’s if you have a high engagement rate) are going to see your posts. These stats mean it can be really freakin’ hard for your content to get in front of the right people.   

    With EDM you know that your audience is going to receive your marketing, every time.  I mean, we can’t control whether they open it or not (obvs) but it’s a massive head start that they’ll receive it, to begin with.

    Don’t get hung up on people who unsubscribe

    It can be so tempting, especially when first starting out in email marketing, to take it personally when someone unsubscribes from your email list. So often small business owners see someone unsubscribing from their content as a negative thing when in reality, it’s a helpful tool.  Unsubscribes are a form of data to help guide the content we create, ensuring we are providing material our audience finds valuable. It also refines your audience and saves you from marketing to people who aren’t interested in your products or services.

    Think of unsubscribes as making space for the people who will actually buy from you, which will only work to improve your conversion rate – a total win in our books!

    How to Create a Client-Attracting Lead Magnet with Kate Emiley

    6 steps for creating the perfect lead magnet and bumping your subscriber numbers

    As much as we would love it if our audience would magically join our mailing list without prompting, you really need a juicy offer (a.k.a lead magnet) to entice sign-ups.  In a world where we are being marketed to constantly, you’ve gotta make it worthwhile for your audience to hand over their email addresses.  

    When it comes to crafting your lead magnet or opt-in offer – there are slightly different strategies for product and service-based businesses.

    Product-based (a.k.a eCommerce) businesses

    When it comes to online shopping, people love a freebie.  Think about the kinds of things that you as a consumer are attracted to when looking to purchase products online.

    Lead magnet ideas for product-based businesses:
    • Free shipping
    • Discounts
    • Free product with purchase
    • Bundles or special offers

    Service-based businesses

    When you have a 1:1 service-based business like a consultant or coach, it’s not a great move to be constantly discounting your services or your time. For this reason, it’s not ideal to go down the same discount-focused route as you would for a product-based business and instead lean towards creating a signature lead magnet. This is an opt-in that’s hyper-relevant to both your brand messaging and ideal clients, and is the most effective way to attract subscribers to your email list. 

    1. Get clear on your email newsletter strategy

    Before you dive into creating the perfect lead magnet and growing your email list, it pays to get crystal clear on what value you’re going to provide to your subscribers. For example, your newsletter could contain things like tips/advice, personal stories, educational content or product-based information. This acts to create a level of expectation for your subscribers when they sign up to your mailing list which will improve engagement and prevent unsubscribes.  

    P.S. Your emails don’t have to be pretty

    If you think you need to be designing emails with a professional aesthetic and lots of ‘wow’ factors, think again.  There’s definitely a time and place for fire aesthetics (think: product-based launches) but most of the time, emails with lots of images are unnecessary and will work against you.  Too much formatting and imagery within your email content can trigger spam filters which will send your carefully crafted email (that probably took you hours), straight to the spam folder.

    Too many images in your emails can also distract your readers and interrupt your marketing message. Generally, as a service-based business, you’re telling your story and speaking to your potential clients through your copy, not through your imagery. So, if you have lots of beautiful pictures, although they look pretty, they can detract from your marketing rather than enhance it.

    2. Start with one lead magnet only

    While you can segment your list by creating multiple different lead magnets for different things, it can get very complicated, very quickly.   When you have multiple offerings it can confuse your audience (and you) with different messaging around the value you can provide and the problems you’re here to solve for your clients.  Not to mention, maintaining multiple customer email journeys can get tricky and time-consuming AF, which as a solopreneur, you absolutely don’t want.

    Creating a signature lead magnet is not only more impactful but so much easier because you can share it everywhere. When your lead magnet speaks to your ideal customer and overarching brand message, it will be relevant across all your marketing channels. 

    Developing content to drive your audience to sign up will feel easier and will see you posting about it more which = bigger growth!

     3 easy lead magnet ideas for service-based businesses

    How-To Guide

    A 5-10 page PDF document that you can create for free in Canva.  Be really clear on the pain point that you’ll be solving for your clients.  When you’re generous with the amount of value in your freebie, it helps to build immediate trust with your customers which can pay off in the future by way of conversions.

    Webinar or Masterclass

    A prerecorded or live workshop teaching your audience about a particular topic.


    These will be relevant depending on the kind of service you provide and don’t suit all business models.  Templates are a rinse-and-repeat way of providing quick-wins for clients.

    For example, Kate has a welcome sequence email template for clients to use when creating their own email nurture sequences. This template was the perfect segue to upsell subscribers to her digital product: Email Like A Boss.

    Really understanding your ideal client’s pain points is pivotal in putting together an epic signature lead magnet so you can help them to solve a problem. It also needs to be a quick win, more of an A to B transformation rather than A to Z. This means your lead magnet needs to be something they can implement straight away and be easy for them to understand and digest without the need for 1:1 support.   

    3. Decide on a juicy, client-attracting topic

    When you’re thinking about the topic for your lead magnet, it can be tempting to throw all the information you know into your freebie but this can be incredibly overwhelming for your customer.   it helps to be intentional and strategic with the free value you’re providing.

    Figuring out what topic/problem/advice/tip you should cover for your lead magnet doesn’t have to be difficult.  Look at relevant data to guide what your lead magnet should cover.  

    This can include things like:

    • Common questions/issues arising in your 1:1 client sessions
    • Online forums and search tools like Quora, Reddit and  Answer The Public to research what questions people are searching and asking in relation to topics relevant to your area of expertise

    Another simple way to decide on your lead magnet is to reverse engineer using the product/service that you want to sell.  Create your lead magnet based on the value you can provide around this, then funnel your subscribers toward your paid offerings.

    4. Promote the hell out of your opt-in

    Think about the different touchpoints your community has with your brand, and strategically place your opt-in where they are likely to take action and sign up.

    Ideas for promoting your lead magnet:
    • A call to action (CTA) in your hero content like long-form videos, podcasts or blogs
    • Paid ads
    • Social media stories and posts
    • Collaboration and cross-promotion with other aligned small businesses

    5. Leverage your most popular platforms to get more sign-ups

    Kate sees over 150 subscribers per month come from the educational video content she posts to her YouTube audience of over 15K.  Some of her videos get in the tens of thousands of views and see her receive around 150 new email subscribers per week.  Think about the channels you have the most traction already and craft content specifically to invite your audience to join your email list.

    Consistency is the key to more email sign-ups – not just on YouTube, but across all marketing platforms.

    A consistent, weekly cadence of uploading videos made the most notable difference in both video views and audience growth. Like most platforms, YouTube rewards consistent, quality content, which we know can be difficult to achieve because: life! Prioritising your core content or marketing channel is a way to stay more consistent, instead of trying to regularly post to different platforms every week.

    6. Repurpose core content to use in your emails

    Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated and it’s the perfect medium for repurposing other content like blogs, videos, podcasts and social media posts. 

    The beauty of social media algorithms is that quite often your followers won’t see your content on their feed so if you’re repurposing, they won’t even know!  Even if they did notice, it also acts to reinforce brand messaging and consistency across your marketing channels: win/win!


    Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works with your email audience.

    Kate currently sends 2 email newsletters per month to her audience.  The first is a tip, relevant personal story or topic, and the second is content repurposed with a CTA to encourage readers to consume her long-form content like a new YouTube video, etc.

    As with any marketing method, email marketing is a case of trial and error. The marketing landscape is rapidly changing and a dynamic approach will serve you in finding the best way to connect with your customers and potential clients.

    How to Create a Client-Attracting Lead Magnet with Kate Emiley

    Connect with Kate Emiley

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    Content & launch wizard, business coach, podcaster & your new teacher

    Combining my love of writing and degree in marketing, my services are designed specifically to support businesses (like yours) with their online strategy and content must-haves


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