When you want visitors or prospects to give you their email address, so you can nurture them into paying customers, how can you make them give their information to you willingly?
The best way to get their particulars is to simply offer a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is an incentivised offer, such as a special report, a guidebook, cheatsheet, a video, a free consultation, or any other experience that your prospects will find valuable enough to make them want to offer their email addresses to receive it.
Ideally, a lead magnet can help your prospective customers solve the problem that brought them to your business website, and solve it quickly.
It also has the added benefit of helping you follow up with your prospects, and hopefully, earn their business in the long run.
But getting ahead of your competitors can be an uphill battle. Many businesses understand the value of acquiring their prospects’ email address, and they are actively enticing their visitors with lead magnets of their own.
Amidst all the noise, how do you create an unforgettable and high-quality lead magnet that will consistently bring in a high number of leads, and build up your email list to a respectable size?
In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look into the process of creating a strong lead magnet.
We’ll then look at some of the resources available to build your own lead magnet.
Finally, we’ll explore creative ideas on how to market that lead magnet on Facebook and actually attract the leads you want.
So why do I need a lead magnet?
You need a lead magnet to grow your email list.
Once a prospect has given you the permission to email him, that means he has also given you the opportunity for you to build a relationship with him over email.
Prospects nowadays are savvy. They don’t buy from businesses that don’t know or don’t understand. In fact, people prefer to buy from other people, not just from a faceless corporate entity.
And if you are the only person in your industry that they know, like and trust, you’re pretty much guaranteed that you are the only one they will buy from.
Email marketing allows you to have this type of relationship with your prospects.
Most business owners believe that social media alone is the only way to acquire new leads, but they fail to consider one important factor – you don’t own the social network platform that you use.
As unlikely as it may seem, Facebook could disappear one day, taking your audience with it.
But it’s much more likely that Facebook can tweak its algorithm will change (just when you thought you’d worked it out) and before you know, your engagement rate starts to plummet, and you find yourself without an audience.
On the other hand, an email list is yours. You own it and you almost complete control over it. It’s like having your own customer base in your back pocket.
With email marketing, you have much more control over whether your email gets seen or not. You also don’t need to compete with every other distraction on social media for your prospects’ attention.
Therefore, focusing on growing your email list will grant you a garden of potential customers ripe for harvesting. It is one of the smartest ways to grow your business.
When you have a new product or service ready for launch, your list will be eager to hear about it because they’ve already know about you, like you and trust you.
How to create a lead magnet
1. Generate lead magnet ideas
There are several types of lead magnets you can use. Here are five lead magnet ideas that you can quickly create. Some of these can be easily converted from your existing pillar content on your blog:
A special report for business is similar to a typical eBook. But what sets it apart from conventional eBooks is that it usually addresses a more specific topic in a shorter format (usually in about 10 pages or less).
For example, a special report can be about a comparison about the best student laptops in the market for under £500, or a guide to setting up an accredited investment firm in the UK.
Special reports should be authoritative, but not too technical so that they come off as accessible to a brand new audience.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, an infographic takes that notion 10 times.
A piece of infographic lets you integrate beautiful graphic design together with statistical information or related facts, to help you tell a story in a single image.
Infographics are great because they allow your audience to share them over their social network freely, and are a highly useful tool for generating new audiences.
Videos can be an excellent way to walk a prospect through an idea, highlighting key insights, and visualise concepts. Videos can also make great follow-up CTAs (calls-to-action) too.
With videos, you have a powerful visual tool to help you entertain and educate your audience in a meaningful way.
People generally love quizzes and surveys, and they can make great lead magnets.
You put up a questionnaire or survey on your website, then request to send the results or finding over email to the prospects’ inbox.
You can opt to go for a quiz that is fun, or you can go for something that is more focused on informational or educational purposes.
This is one of the most effective lead magnets as it offers direct monetary incentives for prospects.
It also helps you separate warm leads from the cold ones as someone who is looking actively for discounts is usually ready to make a purchase.
To make your discount coupon lead magnet even more irresistible, package several discount coupons from related businesses into a single giveaway.
Your prospects are likely looking at your brand as one of several options. Seeing the best product choices compared side by side helps them weigh the pros and cons, and you can offer insight into how your product or service stacks up against your biggest competitors.
While product comparisons are highly useful to your audience, the main issue with product comparisons is that they tend to get outdated quickly as new products are launched.
This means you have to continually keep your lead magnets updated if you want to continue attracting new leads.
Similar to videos, webinars allow you to walk your prospects through an idea or process, but with the added benefit of interaction with your audience.
In a webinar, you give a presentation that discusses a particular topic in greater detail. At the same time, you allow your audience to understand you better, such as through a personal introduction or a live audience Q&A in the chat section.
While this is arguably one of the more time-consuming forms of lead magnets (as you need to invest the time and energy to create a webinar), this can be extremely powerful as it allows your webinar participants to know and trust you quickly.
When you want to offer a quick win for your audience, the best way is to create a concise, actionable cheat sheet which helps your prospect achieve their goals quickly.
A one-page checklist that clearly displays the steps required to achieve a particular action can be extremely helpful when your target audience needs to get something fixed quickly, like buying a car or preparing a healthy snack.
Overall, you need to your lead magnet has to encourage your target audience to share their information. It also has to be specific to your type of business.
The abovementioned lead magnets are just some of the many lead magnet ideas you can deploy to build your own email list.
If the lead magnet examples above do not seem to fit into the type of business that you operate, then you should take time to brainstorm on something that is the right fit.
Start by coming up with situations or scenarios that your target audience needs help with. When you’ve created a list of ideas, take those ideas and see how you can improve these ideas further by coming out with high-level steps that can help your audience achieve the result you promise them.
2. Creating Your Lead Magnet
Step 1 – Choose Your Buyer Persona
One of the major mistakes most marketers commit when they build their lead magnets is that they cast a net that is too wide.
They try to draw in too many people, and this dilutes the effectiveness of your magnet. Instead, you’ll want to do the exact opposite.
Create an ultra-specific lead magnet that caters to a single buyer persona.
If your companies have 2 or more buyer personas, you should eventually have lead magnets for all of them, so pick the one that you can provide the most value to right now and proceed to the next step.
Step 2 – Identify Your Value Proposition
Once you’ve decided which group of your market you wish to target, you need to think of a compelling selling point for them to get your lead magnet.
The selling point will directly affect the number of leads you receive, as long as you can fulfill the needs of your audience.
The best value propositions are those that your buyer persona already wants because you don’t need to sell them as hard.
So instead of coming up with something that they might want, think about what they already need and deliver that.
It could be a free email course, an exclusive special report, or even a free consultation.
When it comes to lead magnets, bigger isn’t always better. Don’t try to over deliver by writing a massive 100-page eBook or create a 21-day email course. Remember to stay ultra-specific.
Pick out a common issue that your buyer persona faces and provide a quick win to that problem. The faster you can help them achieve results, the more powerful your lead magnet is.
Step 3 – Think of a Name for your Lead Magnet
Now that you are fully aware of what you're offering and to whom, it’s time to give your lead magnet a name. And by now, giving your lead magnet a name should be easy.
Your title is basically a headline that clearly states your value proposition, that can appeal to your buyer persona.
Just like crafting an eye-catching headline for a marketing email or blog post, your lead magnet title can have a significant impact on your conversion rate.
Step 4 – Choose What Kind of Lead Magnet You Want to Offer
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what type of Lead Magnet you are going to provide for your audience.
However, you often have several options to choose from that could effectively deliver your value proposition.
Also, there are a few more things to keep in mind to help you choose:
Keep things simple– An overly-complicated lead magnet is pretty unnecessary.
After all, if no one knows what you’re saying, they won’t be able to appreciate it. So just keep it simple, concise, and packed with value.
Play on your strengths– Are you a great writer? A report or a review will probably be your best bet. But if you aren’t that great at writing, but comfortable in front of a camer, choose to make a video instead.
Prioritise on giving a quick win– You’ll want to solve your audience’s problem as fast as possible.
This gives them a quick win (which you’re promising) and moves them through your funnel much quicker. Go with a content format that allows fast delivery and consumption.
While you will have a ton of options to choose from, most Lead Magnets fall under the following categories:
- Free trial
- Cheat sheet
- Discount coupons
- Toolkit/resource list
- Video training
- Sales material
If you aren’t sure which is the right type of lead magnet for you, just start off with a type of lead magnet that you’re the comfortable creating.
Step 5 – Create Your Lead Magnet
Now that the strategic work is over, it’s time to focus on producing the lead magnet.
As you work on your lead magnet, always keep in mind that who the lead magnet is for, and the value proposition you’re promising to deliver.
Once you keep those two factors in mind, the process will become pretty straightforward.
We’ve gone through the discussion of why lead magnets are so important to your overall business bottom line, as well as the thought process of creating a lead magnet from scratch.
Only when you start offering a highly converting lead magnet to your visitors, you will be able to get their permission to send them promotional emails, and start to nurture your subscribers into paying customers.
So if you don’t have a lead magnet yet, it’s time to start creating one and build up your email list.
About Murray Dare
A digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur,
Murray runs his marketing agency Murraydare.co.uk and several online startups.
Murray has helped startups and businesses achieve online success through a considered approach to marketing.