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What Are Lead Magnets And Why Do You Need To Create Them

It is now a well-known fact that digital marketing is a two-way street.

If you give people valuable content now, they're likely to buy from you in the future. A great way to make this happen is using lead magnets.

A lead magnet is something of value that you give to your website visitors in return for their email addresses. But potential customers aren't just going to hand you their email addresses. First, you have to offer them something they care about.

The thing that you offer in return is what we call a lead magnet.

It is a strategy that is used extensively by many famous entrepreneurs and writers. A glaring example of this strategy's practical use is by author Christine Kane, one of the top-selling female writers and an entrepreneur who uses two lead magnets in her book 'The complete guide to vision boards' (source: archangelink)

There are no limits to what you can use as a lead magnet. So, let's have a look at just a few common ones out there today.

Examples Of Lead Magnets

1. Guides and Reports

Okay, here's a quick reminder – people visit websites for information.

If you have a report that you think is useful, then offer it to your potential market. Make it free for anyone that sees that offer.

When people browse the internet, a large number is looking for new information. In the US, the most popular search queries during 2020 were 'coronavirus' and 'election results. (Source: Broadband Search)

So what's the catch here?

Provide the information that people want. Some of this information can be offered to people in the form of a detailed guide or report.

In exchange for your report, ask them to give you their name and email address.

There are a lot of people who like to read insights about new trends related to an industry.

Your market might include professionals that will happily read a well-written research paper.

2. Toolkits

Toolkits provide lots of unique information in one place. They come in all shapes and sizes.

They include things like templates, how-to instructions, and guidelines on how to manage a business.

Let's say someone is selling an online stock trading course. The last thing they want to do is to shove the price list in the visitors' faces on a landing page.

The first thing that they really need are leads.

In this case, a toolkit will work well as a lead magnet.

Remember,  the visitor clicked to your page because they were so interested in learning about stocks that they thought about taking a course. This says a lot about them.

At your end, welcome them with a toolkit. It could be about, 'A Cheat Sheet of Stock Market Lingo'. Ask them to sign up there and then to receive a free downloadable copy!

3. Free Trials

Speaking of free stuff, everybody likes a free trial.

When it comes to software platforms, a free trial goes a long way.

If you've done your homework and designed an excellent product, free trials are the perfect lead magnet.

Usually, people want to upgrade to another level, or to gain access to more features, after getting a feel for the product. They'll know that your product is great because you gave them a test drive.

They've used most of its features so they can decide whether they really like it or not.

Some marketers take it up a notch and offer free trials without the need to enter credit card details - as this is often seen as a barrier. Smart, if you ask me.

It shows that you're genuine and that your product will do all the talking.

4. Free Consultation

If you're a life coach or someone offering professional services online, this is your cue.

Offer them a free '20 or 30 minute consultation' to the web page visitors.

You won't regret it.

Firstly, you'll add a new lead to your email list. But also by speaking to them for 20 to 30 minutes, you will strike up a relationship with them and you will learn more and more about their pain points.

During the free session, focus on answering the questions asked by your potential customer.

If you do this multiple times with different leads, you will gain insights to common problems that a large number of prospects have.

If they feel like they gained value from you in just half an hour, they will want to get more of your wisdom regularly - and pay for it!. That is why free consultation works.

These are just four example of common lead magnets. The type of lead magnet you use will depend on what you're dealing in. In the next section I'll dive deeper into why you need to use lead magnets.

Are Lead Magnets That Important?

The answer is yes. Every online business should be using some form of lead magnet.

Today's marketing philosophy is not to push sales. It's not even about getting known by everyone out there. The goal is to exchange value with your present and target customers.

It's a two-way process.

I give you something you're interested in, and in return, your more likely to purchase from me.

But how do you know what someone is interested in?

Cheesy marketing stunts are a bit long in the tooth and no longer sway people like they used to. People these days have a lot of information at their disposal (via the internet), so they make more informed decisions.

As marketers, we have to be more caring and personal in our approach. We have to take time to get to know our website leads personally and learn precisely what matters to them.

There's one thing though - people won't just let go of their personal information for nothing!

This means we have to establish trust by making the first move. This is where lead magnets come in.

A lead magnet's job is to compel your potential customer to offer their email address for something in exchange. This is 90% of the work.

So pack your lead magnet with as much value as you can.

Don't just ask people to sign up for a free newsletter. They know they can probably get that information with a simple Google search. Offer a newsletter plus a discount on their first purchase.

The goal of lead magnets is to drive potential customers to your site. This means that you need to promote your lead magnets on your social media pages too.

Get the message out there and grow your brand visibility and traffic. In the end, what you're looking for is to create lasting relationships with these leads.

Here is what the process looks like:

How To Craft A Lead Magnet

1. Define your audience

This is where it all starts. They are plenty of fish in the sea, but some are easier to catch than others.

Your target audience is the one that you designed your product for.

These are the people that will probably find your content useful. If you know how to identify them in a crowd, then your are already ahead of the game.

It's not always easy to define a gathering of people. That's why we use a target persona.

This is pretty much a detailed profile of one person in the crowd of your target audience.

Imagine that you're running a magic show, think of it as a volunteer you pick from a crowd. You start by asking a few personal details, and they tell you. Then, you'll know what trick to perform for them and the rest of the viewers.

Interestingly, you'll need much more than business-related information when defining a target customer.

You'll have to get in there and learn some personal details to understand your target market.

Here are some things you will need  to know:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education Level
  • Occupation
  • Primary needs
  • Desires
  • Likes & Dislikes
  • Interests & Hobbies

You can download a free marketing persona template and guide to help you.

2. Identify Pain Points

If you're confident that you have enough information on your ideal customer, find out what bothers them.

In other words, what urgent problem do they face that you can quickly fix?

There are many ways of finding out:

  • Use forums and communities to find out what people in your niche are discussing. Good places to start are Reddit and Facebook groups.
  • Conduct keyword research to find out what people are interested in on search engines. Google Trends offers tools that will tell you popular search queries, emerging niches, and questions related to your industry.
  • Surveys help you to understand the biggest challenges faced by your customers. Surveys bring diverse responses. The goal is to narrow them down to one pressing issue that you can confidently address.

3. Pick A Format For Your Content

The type of lead magnet that you will use mainly depends on the problem you're solving.

For example:

A simple report will do if you're dealing with people who want to start a side hustle. Or if you are looking to teach people about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), an explanation video would be the correct choice.

As you gather ideas for what format to use in your lead magnets, go through old content on your site.

Identify the content that people on your site engage with the most. This will give you an idea of whether to focus on video, text, or audio content.

Also, take time to look at what your competitors are doing regarding content creation. Get ideas according to what has worked for them and benchmark them for your own business.

As you do all this, keep in mind that a lead magnet must solve a particular problem. The more specific the problem you solve, the more meaningful your relationships will be.

4. Launch and Test

So you've identified your format. You've also put an offer in an opt-in. What next?

Now, it's time to monitor the traffic going to your site. It's time to see how your lead magnet is performing. Specifically, this is when you watch your conversion rate.

Conversion rate means how many people took time to sign-up from all those that visited the site.

Conversion rates vary by industry and number of subscribers. However, a good percentage is generally 2-10%. (Source: Bluecorona)

If you find that you're lagging below the 2% mark, there are still a few things you can do to improve.

  1. For starters, change the call-to-action prompt. Consider using different text, tone, or colours. Sometimes that's all you need to get the clicks coming in.
  2. Use different content formats for the same lead magnet. If an eBook did not work the first time, a walk-through video might do the trick.
  3. Tweak the offering. The reason you are not getting conversions might be because you made the wrong offer. For example, try to give your audience a cheat sheet instead of a research paper about SEO.

To End

If you've made it up to this point, I hope this article has been useful to you.

If you play your cards right, lead magnets will build long-term customer relationships.

Toolkits, free trials, and consultations, as well as industry reports, are useful lead magnets. But before you use these, take time to profile your target audience by creating a persona for each one.

When you're done, choose the appropriate format for your lead magnet and launch it. Finally, do follow-ups on how each lead magnet is performing.

In my experience, making the perfect lead magnet takes time. If you don't get it the first time, don't fret. Go back to the drawing board and trace what went wrong.

In the end, it's all worth it with lead magnets.

Before You Go

As a featured writer, I would be extremely grateful if you would share my article with your connections or social media network.

Category: Marketing

About the author

Jasmeet Singh (Featured Writer)

Jasmeet Singh (Featured Writer)

Jasmeet is a founder of Lessons at Startup – A blog where he shares entrepreneurial stories. He specialises in Digital Marketing and Content Writing. He is addicted to Google News, Netflix, Good Coffee and Quora.

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