A lead magnet is basically a small "chunk" of value (usually content) that solves a SPECIFIC problem for a SPECIFIC market that is offered in exchange for an opt in.
Invisible Selling Machine
If you're not familiar with the term, "lead magnets" are essentially bribes that businesses offer in exchange for a lead's contact information. While the "bribe" part of that may sound sinister, the truth is that lead magnets benefit and provide value for everyone involved.
Go to just about any website on the internet, and you will soon be met with an offer to sign up in exchange for XYZ. Sometimes, XYZ is updates, or a coupon, or a guide, or a mini-course, or many more. Lead magnets provide visitors valuable information, while generating leads for the content providers.
Kinda like that. Now that we're all on the same page, you should also know that your lead magnets are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. They are your main weapons on your quest for leads, clients, and sales.
DON'T make the mistake of thinking that "sign up for my/our newsletter" is "good enough for now". IT ISN'T and it's taking up prime downtown real estate. The list below reveals 10 steps to creating a compelling lead magnet that will attract exactly who you want, and [gently] begin the buying process.
Crafting your opt-in offer is infinitely more important than crafting the offer for the product itself.
Web Copy That Sells
10) Study Your Customer
This step assumes that you've already CHOSEN your ideal customer. Once you have, you'll want to find out where they hang out, where they vent their frustrations, and where they seek answers.
This will lead you to find out what your ideal customer reads, thinks, talks about, likes, wonders, wants to know, and more. If you're a running coach, then you'll definitely want to be in the niche runner communities, to find out what they care about and what kinds of questions they have.
Find out what they want, and what they want to know, so that you can give it to them. Many marketers think they can simply brainstorm this step of what their ideal customer "would" say, but you need to pound the pavement, and actually search for those forums, magazines, networks, social clubs, and wherever else they congregate, to get first-hand knowledge on how and what they think.
Find out what colors your customers prefer, what shapes, what words, what brand of perfume they buy, and their cars, clothes, jewelry, and food.
The E-Myth Revisited
9) Make it Relevant
Leave some lettuce in a field and you'll attract rabbits. Throw seeds instead and you'll attract birds. While most businesses believe they are at the mercy of whoever decides to buy, the truth is that you choose which "animals" come to you, and not the other way around.
For example, if your lead magnet is a drawing for a free iPad, what type of person do you think that would attract? Would they be good leads for a financial advisor, or marketing agency, or a plumber? Maybe a small percentage of them, but it would mainly just attract people who want free stuff.
And what if the financial advisor's lead magnet was instead "The A-Z Guide to Post-Retirement Investing." Do you think that would attract more qualified leads? Absolutely. Of course, the overall number of leads will be less than with the free iPad, but leads don't matter; qualified leads do.
So make sure that your bait attracts your ideal kind of animal. You'll also want to consider your (eventual) offer. Someone interested in your lead magnet should also be a prospect for your main offer.
8) Choose a Type
While this step IS important, don't stress too much about it. In this step, you choose the format that your lead magnet will be. You are probably familiar with many of these, but examples include:
... to name a few. Your imagination really is the limit, but/and you may want to experiment with several formats to see which leads to the most leads or revenue.
7) Be Specific
Now we get to the actual content. I generally agree with the large school of thought that claims your lead magnet is much more important than your actual offer, but the point is that it's not something that should be left to the intern.
Your lead magnet will be your first point of contact for many of your leads, so choose a specific, relevant, and compelling topic in order for your visitors to "trade" their contact information for it.
Examples could include titles such as "10 Steps to Running Your First Marathon" or "How to Start a Podcast in 30 Days". What's important is that they're specific, and offer a clear promise.
The #1 mistake made with lead magnets is that they are not specific enough.
Invisible Selling Machine
6) Quick to Get + Consume
Speed plays a big role in the lead magnet step. For one, your visitor will want immediate access to it. Leads should also be able to consume it relatively quickly. Even if your lead magnet is a 5-day course, your leads should have access to lesson 1 (or SOMEthing) immediately.
You want to deliver a "quick win", where the reader feels accomplished after consuming it (if only slightly), which is a great way to make them associate positive feelings with receiving your marketing.
5) More Than One
Earlier, I mentioned re-creating the same topic into different lead magnet formats. Now, I will suggest the flip-side, which is to create different topics. For example, if you're that running coach and you work with beginners as well as with amateurs, you can offer beginner-related lead magnets on beginner-related content, and so forth.
Your leads are bound to "meet" you while in different buying stages, with some more ready to make a change than others. You can offer different lead magnet topics to the different stages your leads go through to be come customers or clients.
If you're the running coach, you can offer "10 Things You'll Need to Start Running" for the beginners, and something like "How to Maintain Sub-9-Minute Miles" for amateurs. You can also tailor their entire sales paths including the emails, offers, and communications they each receive from you.
Develop an assortment of lead magnets to walk your target market toward the sale.
No BS: Social Media Marketing
The winner for the easiest and most logical step on this list is to re-purpose your best-performing content. This means that if you get abnormally high engagement from qualified leads on a certain post, then consider converting that blog post, or video, or whatever into a lead magnet.
Many marketers and business owners get stuck thinking of a lead magnet topic, so basing it off of your best-performing content is a no-brainer. You could similarly base it off of questions you are frequently asked, false myths that many people believe, or even other people's engaging content.
3) Page Design
Let's step back for a second, and think about where visitors are going to get/have the privilege of signing up for your irresistible lead magnet, which is your landing page. For those not familiar, a landing or squeeze page, is generally designed to lead visitors to take a single, specific action.
There is an entire field of research about website and landing page design, such as to always have multiple calls-to-action (to the single desired action). If you want to, you can go crazy here and test fonts, backgrounds, button colors, spacing, borders, positioning, wording, and much more.
The squeeze page is a very simple page with one goal: to convert traffic that you control into traffic that you own.
2) Keep It Simple
We've discussed a lot so far, but more than anything else, try to keep it simple, for yourself and your leads. That means simple signing up, simple promise, simple delivery, with everything crystal clear.
Although your lead magnets are very important, keep it simple for yourself as well. If you spend more than a week agonizingly choosing a topic, just pick the best one and move forward.
Remember that choosing the topic is 80% of the battle, because design should be done quickly or outsourced. Plus, you should make 1+ lead magnet, so create a system to quickly create and test them.
1) Make It Pretty (Or Don't)
As for the actual deliverable, you will need to design the guide, course, coupon, or whatever. You can pay someone on Upwork $10 to make your lead magnet prettier, so there are no excuses for not doing so, IF you want to do that. However, many successful lead magnets have simple designs (like mine) because the content is so useful and relevant, that visitors don't care how it's delivered.
If your lead magnet is $1,000, then your leads won't care if it comes in cash or check format. I'm definitely not saying that design doesn't matter, but just that it's a secondary factor to your content.
It's easier to focus on a site’s design or technology then on its content . Easy isn't good.
David Meerman Scott
The New Rules of Marketing and PR
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