Lead magnets are the free samples of the digital marketing world.
Just like the irresistible chunks of cheese at your upscale grocery, they give people a taste of what you have to offer, with no obligation to buy. But these digital samples aren’t quite free: prospects must provide an email address in exchange.
Lead magnets are popular because they work. We’ve all browsed an online catalog and encountered pop-ups offering a discount on our first order or free shipping–delivered by email. Whether it clinches the sale right then doesn’t matter, because not only have you shared your email address with the website, you’ve also established yourself as a qualified prospect.
Essential for Generating Online Leads
If generating online leads is part of your business strategy, offering an e-newsletter or other subscriber updates isn’t enough: you need to experiment with lead magnets.
Trial and Error Pays Off
And we mean “experiment” literally. Every business should have multiple lead magnets–at least one for each customer avatar they’re trying to attract. While these avatars will have different needs and preferences, try building different types of lead magnets for different customers, and compare how successful they are to learn more about your clientele.
Gated Content Attracts Interest
Lead magnets are basically a variety of gated content. Content is still king, however tired the adage may seem, and driving sales with useful, shareable, high-quality content is still a key marketing strategy. The purpose of the gate is to extract email addresses from interested parties, and to do that, you have to promise AND deliver useful, actionable material.
What Does Your Customer Need?
Think about your customers’ pain points, and craft your content accordingly. Ask yourself:
- Will my audience really care about this content?
- What problem does this content solve?
- Does this content have real value in day-to-day life?
- Who are the decision-makers you need to engage?
First Step in Building a Relationship
Remember, your goal in sharing this initial content is not to make a sale. It’s to establish trust, start a dialogue, and start building a relationship. To do that, you’ve got to offer content with standalone value, not just a teaser leading to an up sell. Likewise, the goal is not simply building your list: it’s building your list and maintaining a connection with people on it by continuing to offer useful, relevant, free content.
Narrow Appeal Yields Highly Qualified Results
Also remember–the emphasis is on “qualified.” Your digital content has to appeal specifically to a narrow segment of your customers, and an even narrower segment of the population. There’s much more value in a small, segmented list of qualified potential customers than in a big list of folks attracted by the proverbial free lunch.
The variety of lead magnets out there can be overwhelming. How do you decide which one’s right for this customer, and right for you?
Lead Magnet Options
First, consider your options. The lead magnet comes in dozens of forms. A few of the most popular include:
- EBooks or guides
- Free trials
- Discounts on first purchase
- Video lessons
- Cheat sheets
Focus on Problem Solving
Choose your target customer. What are their problems and pain points? Keep it simple: Your product must have narrow focus, be easy to consume, and deliver an actionable solution. If they don’t find it valuable, you’re wasting your time and theirs.
Ask yourself what format is best suited to resolve the problem? It may be as simple as a checklist or it might be optimized by audio or video elements. Shop around the web and note what’s being offered in your industry.
It Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
Also consider your resources. Offering a quality lead magnet is crucial, so it’s far better to provide a tight, focused, checklist PDF rather than a half-baked video. What do you have already that might be re-purposed? A popular blog post might simply be reformatted as a PDF, converted into a list, or recorded as an audio file. The PowerPoint accompanying a successful webinar could be converted into a PDF, or the transcript could be offered.
Lead Magnets Provide Customer Insight
Lead magnets are not only great tools to build your list, they’re powerful tools to understand your customers.
Lead magnets are not only great tools to build your list, they’re powerful tools to understand your customers. If your lead magnet isn’t doing what you’d hoped, you might not be connecting with your customers’ needs. Adjust your product and your promotion until it’s doing the job, and learn from the process.
If you need help with any of this, feel free to contact us to get something started!