In digital marketing, no other piece of information about potential customers is as coveted as their email address. While every post-click landing page should ask visitors for their email address, the question is: how do you convince them to give it? The answer: a lead magnet
But... What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a free and valuable piece of information that you, as an entrepreneur, can offer to your audience in exchange for a name and an email address.
With an email address, marketers can initiate the lead nurturing process and strengthen their inbound marketing strategy by sending relevant and targeted content to the recipient, while gradually moving them from one stage of the sales funnel to the next.
Lead magnets are usually offered through a landing page that has been strategically designed to provide attractive information and list the benefits of the download to encourage visitors to subscribe and give their name and email address in exchange for their gift.
It's like an exchange, you offer a part of your knowledge in exchange for their attention for a little bit longer. The longer you keep your subscribers' attention, the more likely you are to convert them into customers.
Types of lead magnet
Lead magnets can be seasonal, i.e. of interest for a specific time of the year; or permanent, meaning that they can be used at any time of the year.
Once people provide their email address, we can send the lead magnet directly to their inbox.
Apart from the fact that good lead magnets help build trust and authority, they also allow you to continue email marketing to people who sign up.
So what are some examples of good lead magnets?
The purpose of an e-book is to teach your audience something that interests them, for example, how to write sales copy or how to change their mindset to be more productive and win new customers.
A swipe file is usually a step-by-step guide that should help your subscribers overcome a specific obstacle they are currently facing.
A document containing a list of tasks that your subscribers must follow and carry out in order for them to achieve a specific overall objective.
Templates, such as e-books or social media posts, are also offered as lead magnets that save subscribers time so they don't have to spend hours creating their own. They also save you money, if your business doesn't already have a budget allocated to hire a professional designer then the cost of buying a template is much less than paying a professional to do the work.
Free trial versions
Lead magnets are not always documents. Some companies offer free trials. You can sign up for a service or product that is usually a cut-down and limited version of the full programme or service.
A mini-course is a series of trainings delivered to subscribers usually by email (e.g. subscribers will receive an email a day for 5 days teaching them tips on how to gain more followers on Instagram) or video tutorials hosted on specific platforms.
Discount codes or coupons and free shipping are also examples of lead magnets.
How to create a lead magnet?
Some of you reading this article may have the preconceived idea that lead magnets must be lengthy pieces of content, but that is not necessarily true. These closed assets can be downloaded and still be just as effective at collecting leads as a 50-page white paper.
However, to generate the most leads, a lead magnet must be understandable, easy to digest and valuable enough that potential customers will pay for it if you ask them to.
Here are the five steps to follow to create a quality lead magnet.
1. Identify your target customer
First of all, you need to identify your buyer persona, i.e. who your offer is aimed at. The lead magnet must be extremely relevant and specific to the wants and needs of your target customer. If it is not, they will lose trust in your brand and content, leading them to discard your brand from a future purchase.
2. Choose your value proposition
Once you have decided who to target, you need to provide a compelling reason for them to redeem the offer - your value proposition. Instead of trying to create a product or service that you think might be useful, identify a problem your target audience already faces and offer them a solution. Find out what they already want or need and use that as a selling point.
3. Choose the format of the lead magnet
Lead magnets come in many formats, but it is important to note that different types are often offered at different stages of the sales funnel and buyer's journey.
In general, however, during the awareness stage, potential customers are experiencing a problem and are actively seeking solutions to that problem.
This stage is all about educating the audience about your brand and generating brand awareness. Here, offers generally convert best with short lead capture forms where you don't need to provide too many personal details, which builds trust with the potential customer.
At this stage, some of the most common lead magnets are: blog subscriptions, closed blog posts, tip lists, Ebooks, or reports.
Once potential customers have found a few brands that could solve their problem, they begin to evaluate the best option. At this point, marketers try to further qualify potential customers by asking for more details than just name and email address.
At the consideration stage, recommended lead magnets are: case studies, white papers, webinars, podcasts, videos, or free samples.
Reaching the decision stage is the ultimate goal of salespeople. Prospects have researched potential solutions, evaluated their options and are looking to buy. Knowing this, marketers go the extra mile and further qualify prospects by asking for more information.
At this stage the ideal lead magnets can be: consultations, coupons or discounts, demonstrations, free trials.
4. Create your content
Now it's time to start writing the content of your offer. Here are four tips to simplify the writing process, while still creating a high-value lead magnet:
The main objective of your offer is to solve your customer's problem. If you write a precise text that answers that question and solves that problem, you will make it easier for your audience to read and understand the content.
The best way to create an irresistible offer is to share completely original content. If the information you are offering can be found with a simple Google search, then it is not worth publishing.
Already written blog posts or emails? Reuse them in your lead magnet content to save time. Just be sure to rewrite the content to fit the format you chose in the previous step.
Prove you are an expert
To build a strong and trusting relationship with your potential customers, they must be able to trust you. Demonstrate that you are a subject matter expert by writing with authority and confidence (avoid phrases such as "in my opinion" and "I believe").
5. Promote your lead magnet
At this point, you will have done most of the hard work. But your offer won't be seen until your target customers find it. So how do you increase the exposure of your offer, how do you place it directly in the path of potential buyers?
The first and most ideal option is on your website, a quick review of your website analytics can help you determine which page(s) is the smartest choice.
Equally important is promotion through social media. There are many options with social media promotion. You can do this through status updates with an image and a link to your post-click landing page, groups on Facebook and LinkedIn where you can participate in discussions and include links where relevant.
Ads on the platforms where your audience spends most of their time (e.g. Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Instagram video ads, Vimeo video ads) are also a good option.
In addition, the promotion of your lead magnets is possible in content hubs, as they are ideal for advertising your offers because people already go there to find information on various topics.
Ideal options are: forums that encourage posting, interacting, asking and answering questions (e.g. Medium); Q&A sites where a community of users ask and answer a wide variety of questions (e.g. Quora); or sites that allow users to submit news and articles, which are then ranked by a user voting system (e.g. Reddit, Inbound.org, etc.).
Or, anywhere else where content is consumed!
Benefits of lead magnets for your company
Of course, all this work is replicated in a number of benefits for your company. Let's review them below:
1. Increase your database
A lead magnet is a very effective and efficient way to grow your email list. When a person signs up for your lead magnet and shares your email, it confirms that they are interested in what you offer and see value in your services. From there, you can build a relationship with that person and turn them into a loyal customer.
Using an email database is an excellent way to engage your online audience. Email marketing campaigns are personal, targeted and, according to statistics, lead magnets have a higher click-through rate compared to social media. This targeted approach is excellent for small businesses, coaches, consultants, and companies in the health and social services sector.
2. Show your experience
Including valuable and unique content will showcase your expertise and help you establish yourself as an industry leader. Try to stand out from your competitors by offering something that your audience wants to hear, not just what your company wants to say (yes, they can be two different things!).
3. Develops confidence
In addition to growing your database, a lead magnet acts as a test for your potential customer. It gives them the opportunity to learn more about your approach and develop trust in your brand before they buy.
4. Lead magnets help build authority
An important part of growing your online authority is generating niche-specific content and participating in the latest industry trends.
Building authority isn't just about having the most followers or blog posts on your website; it's about having an engaged and loyal audience that advocates for your brand. When you share a valuable lead magnet that stands out from the crowd and offers value it strengthens your online authority.
5. Provide value
The best lead magnets are highly valuable, tailored to an audience and offer instant gratification. Whether it's finding out their score on a quiz, gaining access to exclusive content or downloading a useful checklist, your lead magnet should be exciting and really help your audience. For example, you can address a pain point and provide tools to help them overcome a problem.
Your lead magnet should offer so much value that your customer feels compelled to re-engage with your business. Providing value is the key to creating an effective lead magnet in any industry.
6. Facilitates customer segmentation
Segmenting your audience means dividing it into smaller homogenous groups based on common attributes such as interests, demographics, needs and wants. Segmenting large mailing lists into smaller, analogous segments ensures that each recipient only receives relevant messages.
Because the message is relevant to the specific group, each recipient feels that it has been crafted for them.
A simple way to facilitate the segmentation of customers coming through a lead magnet is through a CRM tool, which can help you segment your mailing list based on factors such as demographics, buying behaviour or interests of the recipient.
The more targeted your lead magnets are, the more homogeneous your segments will be and therefore the more focused your sales funnel will be.
7. Keeps the company at the forefront
By creating a lead magnet that your audience can use repeatedly, you can stay ahead of the curve and build brand awareness. In addition, by using your newly expanded email list to send news, updates and offers to your database, you will keep your audience engaged. When they search for services like yours, you will be the first company that comes to mind.
Attract your customers now
Lead magnets can be powerful at all stages of the buying cycle or sales funnel. It is not easy, it requires a deep understanding of the customer's needs at each stage of the sales funnel, not just a generic "need".
Lead magnets are essential assets in digital marketing because they help build email lists, develop customer relationships and increase sales.
Once you have the email lists, your job is to keep offering them more juicy content to avoid the dreaded unsubscribe button or your content ending up in the spam folder.
When planning your lead magnets, be sure to plan in parallel for what happens after you have hooked prospects. Build a compilation of content that provides definite nurturing to continue nurturing the relationship from attraction to post-purchase.
If you have not yet made use of these powerful lead capture tools, start now and ensure the growth of your business.
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