How to Build An Email List (SLO vs Lead Magnet Funnel)

by | Dec 31, 2021

The money is in your email list. This is where your potential customers are, but not only your potential customers, your repeat buyers. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at two ways to grow your email list from scratch, the pros and challenges that you may face with either of these funnels, what you need to create these funnels, and some tips to help make sure that they’re very effective or more effective than they currently are.

There are many ways you can grow your email list from scratch but there are two ways that have proven to successfully build an email list, no matter the industry or business type.

and that’s using a SLO or Lead Magnet funnel.

If you’re not sure what a (sales) funnel is, you can check out our post linked below

Learn What a Sales Funnel is & Why Your Business Needs One

Now that we have defined what a sales funnel is, we’re going to talk about two types of funnel that you can use to grow your email list

  1. the lead magnet
  2. the SLO funnel – SLO stands for self-liquidating offer.

Self Liquidating Offer (SLO) Funnel

The objective of a SLO funnel is not for you to make a huge profit from the front end offer. The point of this funnel is so that you can recoup or offset some of your initial investment like your ad spend. It allows you to generate inexpensive or free leads so your profit margins are larger on the backend

Funnel Setup

Now, let’s take a look at the setup of this funnel. You’d have your lead magnet, then your core offer, then your one-time offer, your up-sell, and in some cases, a down-sell. Let’s break that down a bit.

  • At the very beginning, you have your lead magnet, and that lead magnet is your freebie, for example, a PDF, a checklist, or an ebook. (This really needs to be solving a problem for your audience).
  • Now, once they’ve opted in for this freebie, they would get sent to a Thank You page/tripwire page. On this page is where you’d say, “Thank you for opting in, here’s your freebie BUT before you go, here is *insert your core/another offer*.
  •  If they decide to take that offer, they would then get presented with a one-time offer.

A one-time offer, as the name suggests is an offer they will only get if they purchase it immediately or within a certain timeframe of landing on that page.

Pros of The SLO Funnel

Let’s talk about why you should use a SLO funnel:

#1 Growing Your List At a Low Cost

The amazing thing about a SLO funnel is that you’re essentially growing your list for a very low cost, or in some cases, free.

For example,

  • Your Ad Spend is  $2,000
  • Your cost to acquire a lead is $3
  • Total Leads: 666

Now, if 10% of those leads went on to purchase your core offer and your core offer is priced at $27, you would have recouped $1,782. That’s almost what you’ve initially invested.

Meaning, that you would have spent $0.32 per lead instead of $3

Let’s take that a step further…

Now, let’s say 5% of those people went on to buy your one-time offer, and your one-time offer is priced at $97, You would have just earned another $320.

With the one-time offer sales, you have essentially grown your list for free.

#2  You will likely attract more qualified leads

If you give your prospects and buyers value in each offer, those people are likely going to buy from you when you hit them up with another and more expensive offer. it’s also giving you opportunities to increase your average cart value by using one-time offers, upsells, and down sells. This gives more opportunities to increase your revenue because you’re giving your customers more opportunities to buy from you.


#3 It warms up your audience and helps to build trust faster.

This point is on the premise that you did not over-promise and under-deliver. If you’re giving value, then your audience will continue to buy from you. And it’s not going to be such a long haul to get them or to convince them to trust you because they have already seen what you have to offer,

What you need to create a Self Liquidating Offer Funnel

Now, here are some things you need for your SLO funnel.

  1. A lead magnet:  a freebie that’s solving their problem.
  2. A landing page with an opt-in form, and this is where they would put their email address.
  3. A tripwire sales page that works as a Thank You/Confirmation page for that lead magnet.
  4. An email sequence that delivers that lead magnet, welcomes your new prospects, nurtures them and upsells them
  5. Your front-end offer, your core offer, your up-sell. And if you’re going to do a down-sell, you’re going to need to know what that down-sell is and create it.

Challenges Running a SLO Funnel

Three challenges you might face when running or creating your SLO funnel.

  • Finding that balance with the pricing of your offers.
  • Creating a funnel that is well-aligned.
  • Tackling objections: Because it’s not a webinar funnel or a book-a-call funnel, you don’t really have the opportunity to tackle objections on a Q and A, or on a call, or answer their questions.

Remember: Your offers, the price of your offers and the landing/sales  pages will determine the success of your SLO funnel.

SLO Funnel Tips

Tips for your SLO funnel.

  • Make sure that the offers in the funnel are priced properly. If it’s too cheap, then your audience would think that is of low quality. And if it’s priced too high, then it’s going to be too big of a commitment for an audience that is cold. So for your core offer, we recommend pricing it from about 27 to $47. Anything less than $27, and you may have a hard time recouping some of your ad spend. For your OTO, we recommend about $97. And it would also help if the price is heavily discounted from what it normally is. Your up-sell can range from about 97 to $197. Now, please know that these are just recommendations, and we always recommend that you test your prices for yourself.
  • You want to make sure that you make a great first impression, and fast. If your freebie offer is not enticing them, then they’re likely not ever going to see your core offer, and so on and so forth. You want to make sure that you’re making that first great impression when they enter your funnel.
  • We want to make sure that every single offer in that funnel is aligned.
  • Do not get carried away with the up-sells. My rule of thumb is, no more than two up-sells. But whatever you decide, make sure not to go crazy with the amount of upsells and downsells as that will turn off your audience.

Lead Magnet Funnel

A lead magnet funnel is simply a funnel that helps you acquire leads by giving something free and value-added in exchange for their email addresses. You give them a freebie, and they give you their email addresses.

Let’s talk about what a typical freebie looks like, or a lead magnet funnel looks like. You have a lead magnet opt-in, then a Thank You page, and then they would get sent to an email sequence.

PRO’s of The Lead Magnet Funnel

  • Because it is low commitment for your audience, you will likely see low-cost per acquisition or low-cost per lead, and a higher landing page conversion rate.
  • It is one of the easiest funnels to execute on. You don’t need a bunch of offers to get started.
  • It is  normally easy to digest for your audience, and it’s a solution that they can implement, so it’s a quick win for your audience.

Funnel Setup

You need a value-based lead magnet. Remember, we talked about making sure that it solves a problem. You’ll also need a landing page with an opt-in form, a Thank You page, and a follow-up email sequence that delivers that lead magnet.

Challenges Running a Lead Magnet Funnel

  •  Because it is low commitment for your audience, you will find that a lot of people signed up just to get the freebie, and therefore, they’re not your ideal clients.
  • There will be a bunch of people on your list who are not engaging, and worse, not buying from you.
  • There will be people who are opting-in with emails that they’re barely using, just so that they can get their freebie. you’re sending out your email sequence, you’re pitching to them, you’re trying to build trust, but they’re not even seeing those emails. Essentially, you’re not making any sales.
  • Depending on your lead magnet, the other challenge you might face is that your leads might require way more nurturing, even if you’re selling them a low ticket offer.
  • Your immediate ROAS will be low because you are not immediately sending them into another offer, or into an offer. Or, you will not see that immediate return, therefore, you might be concerned or become concerned about your cash flow.


Lead Magnet Funnel Tips

  • Whether it’s a lead magnet, a SLO funnel, any type of funnel, you need to solve a problem with your lead magnet.
  • Make sure that there’s instant gratification for your audience, so act quickly.
  • Make sure that it’s easily digestible and scannable. If it’s too big, it’s too overwhelming, they’re not going to use the tools. Without using the tools, they’re not going to get the value. It will not help you build trust, which is one of the things that you’re trying to do here.

Let’s look at an example lead magnet funnel using my DIY Facebook Budget Calculator. One of the things we talked about earlier is making sure that we’re solving a problem for our audience. For this freebie, we’re solving the problem of people not knowing how much money they need to spend on ads. Now, it’s in the format of a spreadsheet/planner. The reason for that is so that it’s minimal effort on the part of our audience. They will literally just plug in a few figures, and it gives them the answer to their question or solves the problem, which is, “How much money should I spend on ads in order to get my desired goals?” With this, they would have quickly solved their problem and gotten that instant gratification.

You’re probably trying to decide, do I go ahead with a SLO funnel or a lead magnet funnel? It is going to boil down to one of these two questions.

  •  Do you have the capacity to build out multiple offers? If you don’t, then it will likely be better for you if you went ahead and start with a lead magnet funnel.
  • Do you have the capacity, financially, to not make immediate revenue if you are running a lead magnet funnel? If you are not, then it will be better for you to go ahead and start with a SLO funnel.

Whatever you decide, remember that you can always test either and switch to the one that works best for you.

If you’ve gotten any value from this, be sure to like and subscribe. And if you have any questions or topics that you want covered in the next blog, be sure to leave those comments in the section below.



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