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Pop Quiz: What’s the Best Lead Magnet for Books?

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PUBLISHED MARCH/APRIL 2021

by Paige Velasquez Budde, CEO, Zilker Medis —


Paige Velasquez Budde

The ultimate goal with your website should be to extend your interaction with a potential reader and get them on your email list through an effective lead magnet. But what works best?

One of the most important strategies in today’s media landscape is building an active buying audience you own the connection to. Getting exposure and building a follower base through publicity or social media is great for your brand, but at the end of the day, it’s up to those algorithms and outlets to determine if you can access your audience on a platform they ultimately own.

One of the most important assets to review with your authors is their website content. The right lead magnet—a value offering in exchange for contact information—is key to growing a buying audience and owning your connection to them.

Most authors make the mistake of building their book website like a virtual brochure. In this case, visitors basically only have two options: click to purchase, or click the exit button. Website visitors usually aren’t ready to purchase when they’re first exposed to your brand—and if you don’t give them a reason to stay, they click the exit button.

The ultimate goal with your website should be to extend your interaction with a potential reader and get them on your email list through an effective lead magnet.

So, what kind of lead magnet works best? Let’s review the three most common categories:


Category 1: Sign up for my newsletter here!

A majority of websites use this call to action to entice visitors to join their email list. Unless you are well known and your audience understands the value they’ll receive in exchange for their personal information, this category of lead magnet usually converts at a low rate.


Category 2: Click here to download my free chapter!

Popular in the publishing industry, this option tends to convert at a higher rate than the first category because it provides an instant value offer in exchange for information. But, again, you must be well known for a high conversion rate.


Category 3: Take my free quiz or assessment!

This is the highest converting category for authors and publishers growing their platform. Instead of giving a potential reader something you think is valuable, you give them something they think is valuable: free personalized feedback. This category converts so well because it provides the quiz taker instant gratification and an opportunity to learn more about themselves. It also allows you to gather more valuable data from your audience so you can learn how to tailor your nurturing strategy.


5 Steps to Effective Quiz Marketing

The instant gratification of personal feedback is proven to be addictive. Throughout the years in the book marketing space, our quizzes have garnered over half a million quiz takers and have been featured in OWN, Forbes Inc., and on “Good Morning America.”

So, how do you build a successful quiz to garner a loyal list of readers? Here are five key steps:


Step 1: Create the hook.

The most important aspect of creating a good quiz is coming up with the right hook, or the quiz title and prompt question. This is the language you will use to talk about the quiz or promote it online. Below are some of our most successful quiz titles and prompt questions.

  • The Confidence Quiz: How confident are you in the workplace?
  • The Narcissism Test: Where do you fall on the Narcissism Spectrum?
  • The Good Day Index: Are you taking control of your day?
  • The Deadly Friendship: Are you in one of these seven toxic relationships?

Notice the common theme here? These are all incredibly simple. You want to clearly state what your quiz is measuring and what people will discover about themselves. Once you have your quiz title and prompt, you have direction for the rest of your content.


Step 2: Write the meat of the quiz.

When a user clicks to take the quiz, they see an introductory paragraph and questions explaining why they should take it and what they will experience. This introduction should be short and placed right above your first quiz question. We recommend providing an opening sentence, posing a question, and including a call to action to take the quiz.

There are two types of questions in every quiz: demographic and scoring. Make your questions in-depth, high-level, and engaging with a user-friendly experience. Ask around four demographic questions (name, email, city, state, etc.) at the beginning or end of the quiz to gather specific data points about the quiz taker.

The scoring questions are the true meat of the quiz. When creating them, consider the information you’ll need to know to provide true value. We recommend keeping the quiz between 10-20 questions (including your demographic questions) to retain user engagement—however, our top-performing quiz had over 50 questions. This suggestion is not a hard rule, and the length of your quiz truly depends on the subject matter.

As you write your quiz questions, think about how you’ll score them. The possibilities with quiz logic these days are almost endless. However, simplicity is best. We recommend using a scale (1-5) or multiple-choice answers to craft your questions. If you choose multiple choice, you will have to add a number value to each answer choice as you go. Our second most popular quiz only had 10 questions scored on a Likert scale.


Step 3: Set up your result categories.

Once a user takes your quiz, they are placed in a result category based on how they score. We recommend three to four result categories for each quiz. The most common is low, medium, and high. Even though this sounds simple, you can get creative with branding each category. Quiz results will generate immediately after completion and should include the result title, a paragraph of explanation, and three to five actionable tips for improvement. Finally, close with a strong call to action telling the user what you want them to do next. Is it to buy your book? Watch your video course? Read your latest blog? Subscribe to your podcast?


Step 4: Develop your quiz.

With the rise of quiz marketing popularity, there are now several software programs available to build out your quiz. Whatever program you choose, ensure you can own your data and results, as well as integrate it on your website. If you are looking for an easy and affordable software solution for creating a quiz or assessment, I recommend utilizing Catch Engine. They have been a great partner through every quiz development for our team.


Step 5: Share your quiz with others.

Your quiz or assessment should be your main call to action for your brand. The next time a host asks, “Where can our audience go to find out more?”, the first response should be plugging the quiz. On social media, your content and ad campaigns should focus on getting people to take the quiz. Your budget will go much further spending it on funneling people toward the quiz versus purchasing your new book. When you or your authors are on stage speaking, instead of just pointing people to your website, give them a call to action to take the quiz in order to siphon them into an email list you own. A quiz is the purest exchange of value for you both.


Paige Velasquez Budde is the CEO at Zilker Media, an Austin, Texas-based agency building people-driven brands. She has been featured as a speaker on digital marketing strategy and led workshops at national venues such as Harvard Medical School, Austin’s own Alamo Drafthouse, Zilker Park, Hilton Hotel, and for organizations such as the Women Presidents’ Organization. She has led the marketing campaigns and strategies for some of the world’s most recognized authorities and has also counseled leading international brands.

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