Locked in “lead magnet purgatory”

A few days ago I bared my soul about my tortured struggle to come up with a lead magnet.

My friend Rob Drummond, a crack email copywriter from across the pond, replied with an insightful comment:


I think you want to get to the point where people want to hear from you, rather than hear your 17 tips to dominate Twitter, or whatever.


Rob’s put his finger on a MAJOR problem.

Good lead magnets are by definition NARROW in focus. You’re presenting a tiny sliver of your expertise because you know that little bit of knowledge will attract the kind of people who are interested in the other things you have to offer.

Making the transition from that narrow topic to the broader world you have to offer is called “turning the corner.”

Many marketers fail spectacularly at this…

It’s like they’re speeding down the highway doing 117…

Wooshing right by the “hairpin turn ahead” sign and—


Engine block, meet cliff face.

I know an entrepreneur who sells a software product in the SEO field.

His product looks at what your competitors are doing and makes suggestions to help you grab that coveted #1 spot in Google.

As a lead magnet, he put together a 5-day email course on SEO.

His email course is jam-packed with good info that subscribers can use right away.

When the course is over, he pitches them on his SEO software and follows up weekly with still more SEO tips.



He makes a sale here and there, but mostly he just stews in frustration.

He’s locked in “Lead Magnet Purgatory.”

When I looked at his course, I immediately saw the problem.

The whole time, he’s teaching, teaching, teaching.

Lobbing more and more info at me…

That’s fine as far as it goes. Teaching is a way to prove your credibility. (It’s just ONE way, though… And even at that it’s overrated…)

There was no SOUL to his emails, though.

Nothing that made me think, “This guy KNOWS me. He understands my problems. I trust him to solve my problems.”

He’s not “turning the corner” and transferring the reader’s trust from the authoritative info he’s teaching them…

Onto HIMSELF as the person who can solve their SEO woes.

When you make this turn successfully, you suddenly have permission to do more than just shovel out a weekly glop of SEO info.

The trick here is to start right away—beginning with your lead magnet.

Yes, you want to fulfill whatever “promises” you made to get your new subscriber to opt in…

But your real goal isn’t just imparting information—

It’s pulling them into your world.

You’re selling them on YOU.

By infusing your content with your personal flavor and charm…

With humor…



Like Rob says, your goal is to get them PAST the point where they’re interested in “7 ways to hotwire your Google ranking”—to where they want to hear YOUR take on the world.

There are a number of great resources that show you how to do this in your emails and sales copy.

But one of my all-time favs (and also the most affordable) is Perry Marshall’s “Look Over My Shoulder” email course.

I love this course because it gives you a rare “real-time” look at how an expert copywriter thinks.

You’ll see how Perry teases out the kind of vivid details that show your readers that you’re “one of them”—someone they can really trust.

I must have listened to this seminar a half dozen times already…

And I STILL go back to it every couple of months and pick up something new.

Check it out here:


Mike Searcy - January 4, 2016

Link http://joshuaearl.com/lops is borken

Mike Searcy - January 4, 2016

Also did you know Thrive now offers the Doormat Thingy like from SumoMe? See https://thrivethemes.com/scroll-mat-optin/

    Josh Earl - January 4, 2016

    Thanks! Fixed the link…

    I did see that Thrive has a “welcome mat” feature now—planning to check that out soon. 🙂

    Josh Earl
    Email Copywriter

    Website: http://joshuaearl.com http://joshuaearl.com/about
    Email: josh@joshuaearl.com
    Skype: josh_earl
    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/joshuajearl http://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuajearl

      Mike Searcy - January 4, 2016

      Cool. Thanks for recommending Thrive to me BTW. Also this is the first time I have directly interacted with you and I thought you may value this feedback about your brand: This Discus post was the first time I saw your image. Which is weird. You are not too funny looking. Maybe you should include it elsewhere in your marketing, because this was the first time I could associate an image with your name. FYI. – Best

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