How to Use a Lead Magnet to Grow Your Email List

“Focus on growing your list all of the time as newer subscribers are more engaged adding to healthier open rates and ROI.” –Karl Murray

Some of you are asking, “What is a lead magnet?”

I promise to tell you in just a minute.

First, let’s talk about one of the crucial things artists need to do to grow their business. An active email list is essential to a successful art career today. If you believe like I do that now is the time for artists to take control of their careers, then you will agree to the importance of building a list of subscribers. The more you sell to your list, the less reliant you are on third-party distribution, such as galleries and publishers.

Find Buyers and Sell Your Artwork to Them

For years, I have championed the idea for today’s artists today to find ways to cultivate relationships to sell to buyers directly through marketing—and friendships, and other mutually beneficial connections.

Marketing for Connections

Learning how to use marketing to make those connections is at the core of the Art Marketing Toolkit Project. It’s the most affordable and best offer ever with a focus on fitting art marketing into the artist’s life you want to lead

The option of building a base and selling directly to buyers was not possible for artists in previous generations. It was career suicide to buck the gallery, dealer, and publisher model. Plus, it was awkward and expensive to go it alone.

Back in the day, no third-party distributor would work with an artist who they saw as competing with them. Now the internet, social media, and email marketing make it easy and affordable for artists to sell to their clientele. Also helping is consumers have changed their buying habits. Their first choice often is to source from the creator of the products they buy. You can thank Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other sites focused on selling work by indie artists for shifting consumer buying habits.

Power Up Your Email Opt-in Forms

Now, you can sign up with an email service provider and create opt-in web forms that make it easy for potential subscribers to join your list. We are harder to motivate now. Just asking for a subscription is not enough. Your prospect needs to know what’s in it for them.

A good lead magnet solves the “what’s in it for me” problem. And, that’s just the start. The right one will do much more. You’re a small businessperson so anytime you can get extra mileage out of anything you are doing, you should jump on it.

Here’s a description of a lead magnet from

The Lead Magnet is an irresistible bribe that gives a particular chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information – usually an email address.

What Makes for an Irresistible Bribe from an Artist?

The best thing you can do to make a great lead magnet is to use your existing content. You have a website, a blog; you may have published articles or written evocative emails. Anything that is already in the can makes for useful lead magnet content.

The best lead magnets are easy to consume and to access. That’s what makes ebooks and portfolios such a valuable tool. They are relatively inexpensive and fast to create. You can deliver them via a download link in a thank you email to your subscribers.


There’s Good News about Lead Magnets

Creating sales starts with building relationships with prospective buyers. To start, they don’t know you from Adam. Buyers have an unspoken continuum they follow before making a purchase. They instinctively need to Know, Like, and Trust the source before they buy. You won’t find them deviating from the process.

Lead magnets in the form of ebooks check all the boxes:

  • Is desirable to own
  • Easy to consume
  • Quick and convenient to deliver
  • Affordable to create
  • Provides useful, informative, educational value to the subscriber
  • Kicks off the Know, Like, and Trust continuum with the least amount of effort for all involved

Here are examples of lead magnets:

  • Special report or a guide
  • Checklist
  • Infographic
  • Audio recording
  • Tutorial
  • Templates
  • Worksheets
  • Cheatsheets

Examples of art-specific lead magnets:

  • Mini-print
  • Notecards
  • Small brochures or portfolios
  • Exclusive subscriber discounts
  • Join your fan/collectors
  • Invitations to private-showing parties (online and offline)
  • Free shipping on the first order
  • Free hanging/installation for local collectors

And, More Good News about Ebooks As Lead Magnets!

It’s your first step towards introducing your buyers into your process. It lets them see how you do your business. They get access to some of your best content gathered together in one place. They get to look at your images and learn a little about you and your art.

How better for your future collectors to get to know you than through an ebook? As a lead magnet, it doesn’t need to tell your whole story.

You don’t pour out your heart to give your life history to new people when you meet them. Sending your ebook with exciting information is perfect. It’s the Goldilocks Theory. Not too much, not too little, but just right. It’s akin to starting a relationship by saying, “Let’s grab a coffee.” The implication is we can take a little time to see if there is anything worth investing more time.


How to Make an Ebook?

If you are handy with MS Word, you can copy and paste your content into the program. Once you are happy with the result, use the “Save As” option and select PDF. You can also use PowerPoint, Keynote or some other presentation software. And, there are many online sites both free and paid to help you. Plus, there is where you can hire a freelancer to do the job for you.

You can use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create PDF e-books. But, to get a good result, you need to know how to use those programs – and have access to them as well. There is an open-source version of Photoshop called Gimp. New free online services you can use to create PDFs pop up frequently. You can find them by searching for “free online pdf maker” or some similar search phrase. Canva also offers ebook creation among its services.

Marketing Services for Artists

If you lack the time, training, or expertise to create an effective lead magnet, I can help you. I’ve developed many versions for Art Marketing News and for other artists. You can see examples of the lead magnets I’ve designed and created for my business below.

To get more details on how I can help you, go to the Marketing Services for Artists page. You will find there a wide range of services I offer for artists and creatives. Check it out and let me know how I can help you.

Examples of My Lead Magnet Designs and Creations

I can help you strategize for the best lead magnet for your business. Then I’ll turn that idea into your personalized, unique lead magnet. Whether you need infographics, checklists, cheat sheets, ebooks, mind maps, mini-courses, or something seriously custom, I’ve got you covered.

Lead Magnets Designed & Created by Barney Davey
Lead Magnets Designed & Created by Barney Davey

Let Me Help You

Do you see the value of building an email list?  And, do you agree a custom lead magnet designed to generate high conversions of subscribers to your list is important? You can’t bore people into trading their email addresses. You must give them value. But, it should also be quickly consumable so you can progress the relationship.

I offer a wide range of marketing services, but lead magnets are a specialty. Book a free 15-minute video chat. We can share screens that way. Find a convenient time and date for you here You can click the chat button on the bottom right to send me a message.


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  1. Email marketing is one of the best and cost effective marketing strategies. It not only delivers one of the highest conversion rates but also make future prospective buyers. We just finished one email marketing for one of our upcoming online courses and got tremendous result so far, and most of our online trainee slots are booked within couple of days. Loved reading this post. Keep sharing.

    1. Thanks for your excellent question. I added content to cover it for future readers.
      Here are examples of lead magnets:

        Special report or a guide
        Audio recording
        Cheat sheets

      Examples of art-specific lead magnets:

        Note cards
        Small brochures or portfolios
        Exclusive subscriber discounts
        Join your fan/collectors
        Invitations to private-showing parties (online and offline)
        Free shipping on the first order
        Free hanging/installation for local collectors
  2. This list of “lead magnets” is extremely helpful. It’s a great resource to turn to for ideas. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with effective ways of cultivating and strengthening relationships with collectors. There are enough here to meet every need and budget. Thank you so much!

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