Valuable lead magnets provide your visitors with an incentive to sign up and give you their precious email. This in turn increases the number of targeted leads you receive for your offer. But too many small businesses simply ask you to “sign up” to receive their email updates.
Unless your business is known to regularly offer awesome content, it’s rare that anyone will part with their email address without something in return.
Enter the Lead Magnet
The goal of inbound marketing is to attract your ideal client to your website through varying types of valuable content. When people get to your website via your inbound marketing efforts, they are most likely looking for something to help them solve a problem, entertain them or educate them further.
If your lead magnet satisfies one of these goals, they will opt-in to your email list. This now gives you permission to send them more useful content. Without a compelling and relevant lead magnet, your audience will think twice about signing up for yet another email list.
Offering a valuable resource to opt-in to your list helps your email campaigns be more visible in the overload of email promotions.
What are Lead Magnets?
A lead magnet, sometimes referred to as an “irresistible bribe”, provides something of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. In most cases, you only need their email address. For higher end offers, you may also ask for other information.
The type of lead magnet that you create will depend on your goals, your target audience and your product or service. What works for one business may not work for another.
However, the good news is that lead magnets don’t need to be long, complex or take weeks to create. The best converting lead magnets offer a solution to a specific problem your target audience is having that they can implement now. The more you understand your market, the more likely you will create a lead magnet that gets their attention and turns them into a lead.
10 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas
The following chart is the result of independent research by Expert Market on what makes an effective lead magnet in terms of conversion rate.
As you can see in the graphic above, the best lead magnet is an eBook. An eBook works well when it educates your target audience and solves their problem. eBooks don’t have to be lengthy but do need to cover a topic completely. The more visually appealing you can make it, the better. You can create your eBook using a PowerPoint template. These make it easy to edit and create graphics.
Webinars and Video Training
People like free training and webinars are one of the best ways to generate new leads that turn into customers. A live webinar or a free video mini-course can position your business as an expert in a particular area. This will entice people that are interested in this topic to join your email list. These lead magnets are usually the precursor to an offer, such as a masterclass, private membership community or some other type of training that people will be more likely to want once they have seen your free videos. However, webinar replays can continue to convert visitors into leads as well.
The software industry uses free trials to attract potential buyers. For software that is hosted as a service (SaaS), free trials allow you to test the product before investing. Some companies get creative with free trials without providing a credit card. Some provide a 30 day free trial for the full product. Others provide a free version of the product that is either limited in the number of users, number of devices or features to allow you to use it for as long as you need. In all cases, this type of lead magnet gives your visitor hands-on experience and allows you to get more information on the interested party.
Checklists give people the “how to” information and eliminate guesswork. The best checklists are process oriented, helping people implement something faster, better or cheaper. Some ideas for checklists:
- Itemized steps for implementing some process – blog post, launching a website, developing a webinar, planting a vegetable garden
- List of materials you need to complete a home project
- Items to take with you on a trip
People are always looking for tools to get faster results. If you have a tool that makes a process in your business more effective, turn it into a template. Be sure that template will be valuable to those you want to attract. Examples of useful templates:
- Marketing plan
- Email newsletters
- Sales letters
- Infographics (check out the free PowerPoint templates from Hubspot)
- Presentation design
Turn your best work into a free template.
Surveys, Quizzes, Assessments
People like to take quizzes, provide their opinions or assess something to see how they fair against others. If you:
- Are a health coach, offer a health quiz
- Want to attract small business owners, provide a business self-assessment
- Want input on your next product or service, create a survey that asks people to provide their input or opinion.
In all cases, you are very likely to attract your target audience. It will not only get them to sign up for your email list, but will also provide you with valuable information that can help you understand their needs more precisely.
A swipe file is a collection of your best-performing and proven work that can help people be more productive. It can include:
- Sales copy
- Landing pages
- Email subject lines
- Blog posts
- Calls to action
- Social media campaigns
- Code snippets
We all have times where we’re stuck for creative ideas. We stare at a blank screen and wonder what you can say or do that will hold the attention of your reader.
By offering a swipe file of your best work that people can take and build upon, you:
- Help people save time
- Get more leads
- Sell more product
- Look more professional
A cheat sheet offers a quick reference to something you don’t really want to have to remember but need to reference it quickly. Some useful cheat sheets are:
- A collection of the best tools you need to get a job done
- The dimensions of all the varying social media images
- Web development cheat sheets (HTML, CSS)
White paper, report or case study
White papers or case studies can be effective lead magnets if their content provides insights into an industry or results obtained through the application of a product or service. These types of lead magnets are normally more useful for high-end products or services where companies need to help justify purchases. If you have useful data that business owners may want to know before engaging with your company, these types of reports can help move them through the sales cycle.
Free consultations, strategy sessions or coaching calls are a way to have a direct conversation with someone interested in your services. By making these calls short and identifying what you plan to accomplish on the call, both parties can gain value from the conversation.
The downside of a free consultation is that there are those that take advantage of you and pick your brain with no intention of buying. But in many cases, helping someone out with some tips and ideas not only makes you their hero, but also helps you determine if they are a good fit for you in the first place.
Depending on your business, a discount may work. If you are selling a product, offering a discount or gift card with a purchase can be a compelling lead magnet. If someone is already a customer, offering a discount to order more frequently can encourage a sale before they would normally purchase.
But as a service business, discounts may not be an effective lead magnet. When you lead with a discount, potential customers may:
- Perceive your service as being cheap or lower in quality or that your regular pricing is inflated. They may associate the discounted price with a lack of value. This perception can be difficult to change in the long run.
- Start to question the true worth of your service and become hesitant to pay the full price. It becomes challenging to justify the regular pricing once they are accustomed to discounted rates.
- Contact you because they are primarily motivated by saving money rather than the quality or benefits of your service. While some of these customers may convert into long-term clients, many are likely to move on to the next discounted offer, resulting in a lower customer retention rate.
Relying on discounts as a primary lead magnet does not differentiate your business from competitors who may be offering similar discounts. It becomes challenging to establish a unique value proposition or create a strong brand image when your primary selling point is price-related.
Instead, create value-based service packages that make purchasing from you easy while providing a valuable customer experience.
Just the beginning
Your lead magnet is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow where your rainbow is your marketing funnel. You must understand the entire end-to-end marketing campaign strategy that takes your target audience from suspect to prospect. Remember you need to promote your offer, create your landing page and then ensure your call to action gets your visitor to sign up.