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“The purpose is not to sell, but to give them value
while reminding them that if they want the value they should call you”

Why Opt-in Magnets Work

And how you can start building your first video incentive today

People will buy from you if they know you, like you, and trust you. I’ve said this for as long as I can remember and I will never let you forget it.

I often get people asking me ‘but Nisandeh, if they don’t know me how will I get them to like me and trust me?’. In essence this is a question of lead acquisition. How do you get people to become interested in who you are and what you’re selling? The trick is another thing that I always teach:

“Give first”.

This means that you should always give some things away before you try to get people to buy something. It will be useless to send people who don’t know you straight from a Facebook or Google Ad to a sales page. They are simply not going to buy from you.

It’s like walking up to some random person and asking them out before even saying “Hi”. Now, could it work? Yes, potentially. Will it work consistently? Extremely unlikely.

And when it comes to marketing results, I don’t like unpredictable and extremely unlikely outcomes. Let me guess: neither do you.   

However, if you create a piece of content that they can download (in return for their personal email address), you give them the opportunity to know you. Then the more they see you the more they will like you and trust you and eventually the closer they get to making the decision to invest in your solution.

That final step (called conversion) is for another time though. Right now we’d like to discuss that first touch point where they can see who you are and know you better.

Technically, your piece of content is called an opt-in magnet and it’s designed to provide value, to give a gift to people who might potentially be interested in your product. Be careful not to sell in this content, just show them how valuable you are.

Why does it work?

It’s important to understand why psychologically an opt-in content creates a series of powerful mental frames that all work in your favor:

  • It triggers reciprocity. When we get something for free, we are more inclined to respond with the same attitude, so your audience is framed to respond as they have a “moral debt” to you.
  • It increases your expert position. Your authority is built through consistent cumulation of displays of good service and expertise. People can see what your product/service is worth to them if they get a sample to taste. You are showing how good you are, not telling them.
  • The fact you are helping without charging anything makes you already likable, so the step know-like gets really short.
  • For you, the fact that someone leaves an email and spends time-consuming your free content is a form of “payment” and shows their likelihood to commit further. Once they are on a path of investment with you, they are way more likely to invest further.

What formats can you create?

An opt-in magnet can take several forms. You could make:

  • a PDF file
  • an ebook
  • an audio track
  • a video clip

    Video has some key strategic advantages

The video has a few advantages over the other formats: 

  • First, you display your expertise in a much more personal way than on text, so you immediately increase the chances of people liking you for your personality, other than your content. The rapport can build up way faster. 
  • Second, the online video content is a growing trend that’s here to stay. Today, the majority of online content is consumed in the form of video clips, it’s a fact. So, unless you are strategically trying to position yourself against this trend (which could successfully attract a certain conservative audience) you are better off surfing the same ride.


Is video the best format?

When it comes to choosing the best possible opt-in magnets, there is not a definitive answer. However, you must consider two key aspects while deciding where to start:

  • First, think what format is favorite for your specific target audience. That is the one they most likely will respond to or the one you want them to resonate with. For example, if your audience is a niche of voracious book readers, you have very little doubts on which format will work best. If you want to attract leads from YouTube (i.e. people watching videos frequently), or iTunes podcast (people listening to audio tracks frequently), the same idea applies.
  • Second, you don’t really have to choose. Every piece of content you create can always be repurposed/repackaged into a different format so you can test what your audience resonates with the most, often beyond your logical assumptions. The key takeaway here is that you don’t have to create something new every time because often changing the content packaging will suffice to generate additional results. A part of your audience may well prefer to consume primarily in another format.


In this 20 min video, you’ll learn the 3 best ways to create videos that you can use as powerful opt-in magnets: case studies, video interviews, and short educational series. You’ll learn the specific features of each of them from a strategic and technical point of view so that you can start planning the implementation right away.

If you want to know more about other types of opt-in magnets, the 52-video Implementation Ninja series are being made available progressively on BizKaizen, our new online platform that includes all courses, seminars, webinars made by Open Circles.

Join today and learn lots of actionable lessons from this series and much more. You can get access for 19.99€/month

Do you have an opt-in magnet on your website already? What form is it in? Is it the best possible for your target audience?
Let me know in the comments below.


To your success,

Screen-Shot-2016-10-11-at-23.32.41Nisandeh Neta

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