Using Your Podcast To Generate Leads

Are you using your podcast to grow your email list? 

If the answer is no... then why not? The world's most successful podcasters (whether the podcast is the entire business, or whether it's a marketing leg of a business) are using their podcasts as a powerful lead generation tool.

If the answer is yes, then you might have noticed that your list isn't growing as quickly as you thought it would. Maybe you've got lots of downloads for each episode, great engagement, people leaving comments on your show notes, etc... and yet people still don't seem to be opting in. What's the deal?

The problem with podcasts:

Podcasts aren't the most efficient tool for list building. If I was starting from scratch and my primary focus was list growth, the first thing I did wouldn't be to start a podcast. There are plenty of other, more effective ways to grow your list.

Think about it - these are people who like AUDIO. We listen to podcasts because they're convenient. But traditional opt-in methods aren't convenient at all, at least not if you're on the go. I don't often listen to a podcast at home sitting at my desk. Usually I'm at the gym, in my car, or in some other place where audio is simply the best way for me to absorb info or get entertainment.

So why am I even talking about this?

Because even though podcasts aren't my favorite method for rapid list building, they are one of my favorites for ENGAGED list building. Studies show that email subscribers that come from podcasts are more likely to open emails, click links through them, and follow through with calls to action. We've seen it at LeadPages, I've seen it here at MakeMyIntro, and countless podcasting friends have seen it.

How to fail at list building from a podcast:

  • "Subscribe now for free updates" -- no thanks. I'm already subscribed to your podcast. I get updates automatically on my iPhone. Why do I want to see the notification of a new podcast episode from the Podcasts app AND get an email about it? 
  • No opt-in forms at all -- Yes, this really happens. If you don't have any opt-in forms, get one up, right now. I'll give some suggestions shortly for what to put on it, but start with something.
  • "Help me out" -- again, sounds stupid, but I see it and hear it all the time. Stop asking people to "help you out." Sure, people are good hearted and well-intentioned... but that doesn't mean you're going to stick in their minds. And the people who opt-in to "help you out" are not the same people who will read every email, click every link, and purchase whatever you have for sale.
  • "Go to and enter your email address in the form to the right of my website to download the free whatever whatever." -- You're making it too complicated. If I'm at the gym, now you're asking me to put down the massive weights I'm pushing as I continue my journey to getting completely ripped (please read that with the sarcastic tone it is intended with), type in your website address, scroll around to find the form, type in my email, click the button... call me lazy, but that's a lot to do when I'm already in focus mode and trying to listen to your dang podcast.

Better options:

  • A specific call to action with a specific lead magnet on a specific landing page -- Most often, I'm listening to the specific episode I'm listening to at that moment because I believe it provides value to me. Therefore, a lead magnet that increases that value (we call it a "content upgrade") is much more likely to get me to opt-in. Putting it on a landing page that's mobile responsive increases that likelihood even more. Making the url direct to only that landing page? That's a winner.
  • Use mobile opt-in -- LeadPages just came out with an amazing tool called LeadDigits which allows you to collect opt-ins via text messaging. So someone could text "eofire" to 33444, then they'd get a text saying something like "Are you prepared to ignite? Reply with your email address", and when they do, they're now on your list. It's simple, and people won't have to take a bunch of time away from what they're already doing.
  • Make every offer compelling -- Stop using lame calls to action like "help me out" or "support the show" or "share with others so they can listen to this fantastic show." They're fine if you don't really care about results, but if you want to grow your list (obviously you do since you're reading this), give people something they really want. Make it so compelling that they don't care what they're doing because they don't want to miss out on the thing you're offering.

This is just a basic overview of some great list building strategies for your podcast. If you want more posts going a bit more in depth on this stuff, let me know in the comments and I'll make it happen.