A lead magnet is a free offer you make in exchange for an email address and additional information.
Over the time lead magnets have become a very important factor in lead generation often overshadowing the other lead generation factors.
What’s the purpose of a lead magnet?
The purpose of a lead magnet is to inspire the people who are consuming your content to get on your email list. You’ll aim to convert them to customers in the future with lead nurturing tactics, most notably, email. Although depending on the consumer demographics your company plans to target, more “modern” alternative strategies could be of more benefit to deploy, such as sending a text blast to your existing customers as well as your potential customer base. After all, 98% of text messages are read compared to that of the 22% of marketing emails that are eventually read.
Offering lead magnets is a vital part of the content marketing formula that builds a more loyal audience, and in turn, effectively builds your business.
What makes your offer magnetic?
Your reader is looking to solve a problem. Your first clue for what the problem is should come from the page the reader’s on, the content being consumed.
Let’s look at what’s going on here and now—on this page. You’ve dived 400+ words deep into a post written and designed to answer fundamental questions about lead magnets.
My keen sense of deduction suggests:
- You’re curious about lead magnets
- You haven’t mastered them yet
- You’d like to know more about creating them
- You may want to see some examples
- You may want to learn some short cuts
- Evidence to prove creating lead magnets is worthwhile
- You may want to know what to do after you capture an email address with a lead magnet
- It’s possible you want help creating lead magnets
If my deductive skills are any good, I might succeed by offering you:
- An eBook with content to cover all of the above
- A video that speaks to one or more of the above
- A mini-course delivered via email
- A look book showcasing great lead magnets
- A consultation specifically about developing lead magnets
- Research about lead magnets
- Templates for creating lead magnets
- A list of resources to help you create lead magnets
- A webinar I’ve given on the topic
- A cheat sheet or checklist based on this post for you to reference later
It didn’t take me more than a few minutes to knockout the list above. And I could go on and on.
7 Lead Magnets you can use in your Digital Campaign
An eBook is a stellar choice for your first lead magnet. The eBook is a flexible format and you have great room for creativity. The most popular style, of course, is the “how to” guide or some variation of it.
While you can present your eBook content a variety of ways online, the PDF format remains the popular favorite, as your readers will want to save it for future reference.
eBooks can be easily be created by gathering multiple blog posts addressing a specific topic or related topics into one publication. Or you might work the strategy in reverse: create a multi-chapter eBook, and after, publish multiple blog posts based on it.
Interactive content has come on strong in recent years. Quiz-style assessments are among the most useful for potential buyers.
A strategically designed assessment helps your reader better understand his or her challenge. Often, the results help the reader self-qualify for specific solutions you recommend. Behind the scenes, assessments are golden to marketers and sales people because they deliver data about each prospect and are often lead-scored.
3. Case study
Case studies or customer success stories are a staple of modern marketing and therefore may be too much of a commodity to “gate” with a form. Or not.
Many companies do well with case studies. The reasons are fairly fundamental:
- Your prospects like learning how other companies solve problems.
- Case studies often include useful findings and data readers also crave.And above all…
- People like to read about people, plain and simple.
You may be reluctant to gate a basic case study, which could simply be a web page—and probably should be. I believe you’ll do better to package multiple case studies, with some sort of story line or connective tissue, into something juicier and worthy of an opt-in.
4. Cheat sheet
I love me a cheat sheet. Don’t you? Cheater.
A cheat sheet’s a list, hopefully a good list of useful ideas, which will save you time or help achieve some other desirable outcome.
I think the formula for acing this form of lead magnet is this one-two punch:
- Create a great, detailed list-based blog post or asset of some sort.
- Abbreviate it, simplify, or sexify it somehow into a something save-worthy.
A guide can feature any useful advice and be presented in a wide variety of formats.
A resources guide is a strong lead magnet readers respond to. What’s a resource guide?
- A list of services and/or software solutions you use and recommend.
- bucket list of books, podcasts, blogs, websites or any media you recommend.
- A list of any type of resources you believe will provide value to your readers
Generally, infographics are not gated. They serve their purpose in other ways such as attracting traffic, inspiring social shares and earning backlinks.
However, infographics are not out-of-bounds for collecting leads. Create a reason why an infographic is a keeper—a digital asset your reader has to have—to earn opt-ins.
A webinar may be the ultimate lead magnet. I get multiple invitations to webinars every day. Do you?
I attend quite a few. Occasionally, they’re packed with value. Usually not. However, 99% of the time, they’re free.
The secret to success? Create a webinar that’s value-packed and free.
Webinars that have great magnetic titles will achieve your first goal (which is the the subject of this article): generate email leads.
Webinars that have great titles and are packed with killer content accomplish even more. They can:
- Convert attendees to customers
- Enhance retention and loyalty
- Encourage advocacy from new and existing customers
Some tips for webinars:
- Showcase your expertise, experts across your company in different areas, or invite guests to present.
- Make a special offer—free or paid to reward people for attending.
- As you forge relationships with other influential companies, offer to present webinars to their audience. Generally, the host will reciprocate by providing you the email addresses of registrants.
Keep the following ideas in mind when you’re creating your lead magnet:
Results—Captivate your prospects with a lead magnet promising to move the reader closer to a desired result.
Specificity—Don’t be vague. Tell readers exactly what they’ll get. Be ultra-clear about the benefit of signing up to receive your free content.
- This title is vague: An Introduction to Lead Magnets
- This one’s specific: 25 Lead Magnets That Will Double Your Email List
Instant gratification—Everyone wants shortcuts—the fast track—lessons that can be immediately applied. An email course is an example of a lead magnet where the gratification comes slowly.
If you choose to make an offer with a “drip” strategy (where your content is delivered gradually in a sequence), highlight the benefit of the first segment. For instance, if I were to promise you a 12-part series on lead magnets I might tell you the first message offers 10 simple templates to create a lead magnet in under an hour.
Authority—A lead magnet is often the entry point into your marketing funnel. Deliver content that demonstrates you’re an expert. Don’t be afraid to give away your top tips.
Value—Free or not, the content you create must be valuable. Aim to make it so valuable people would pay for it if asked.