If you’re like most businesses, you probably find it difficult to generate repeat visits, which means that almost all of your website traffic is, effectively, wasted. Those visitor might have liked what they saw, but you are going to be forgotten a few minutes later, and will never get the chance to build up a relationship with them, eventually leading to a sale.
How, then, do you ensure that you keep in touch with your visitors? You need them on your email list, so that you can begin to send them your updates, links and other useful resources. And for that, you need what’s known in the business as a “lead magnet” – a free offer on your website that is so attractive, it will tempt your prospects to part with one of their most precious assets – their email address.
Let’s walk you through some of the key elements of a great lead-magnet. But first, let’s define what a lead magnet is not.
If you’re simply asking your visitors to register for your email newsletter, that is not a lead-magnet. There’s simply nothing magnetic about the prospect of being added to a monthly bulletin about your business, especially if the prospect has been on your website for all of 10 seconds. In fact, they’re more likely to see it as intrusive and annoying.
So what makes a good lead-magnet?
- It has to be something your prospects really want. It has to be genuinely useful for them – for example, a guide that solves one of their biggest problems, or a cheat-sheet that will be an invaluable resource during the course of their work. If it’s something they can put to use straight away, like a free tool, even better.
- It has to be related to your core business offering. If you are selling baths, there’s no point giving away a free screen-saver of teddy bears. It will simply not attract the kind of people you’re looking for – potential clients. If you give away a resource helping people with bathroom redecoration, for example, you’ll get people with an interest in your specific niche.
- It has to be short. An offer they can digest in 5 minutes will (perhaps counter-intuitively) be more attractive than a much more substantial offer that will take them weeks to plough through. Given the choice between downloading a 3-minute video that will show prospects one top way to recruit top talent and downloading a one-hour video that does the same thing, most people would probably go for the former – wouldn’t you?
- It is preferably free. Your only aim with a lead-magnet is to get the right people to sign up to your newsletter, so make it as easy and pain-free as possible for them, and don’t charge. Sales will come later…. There are a couple of exceptions – if you’re offering a discount as your lead-magnet, for example (see below).
- It should be different. Although so many businesses are still not using this basic marketing tool, in reality lead magnets are a dime a dozen. Try to make yours in some way unique – don’t just stick to eBooks and videos!
Give me some examples….
Popular lead-magnets include:
- eBooks – 10-12 page PDF guides that give helpful advice to prospects
- Reports – Done research into your industry recently? If you have valuable insights or market intelligence to offer, many people will part with their email address…
- Free videos – An interview, a narrated Powerpoint presentation or someone talking to the camera
- Video series – A number of related videos
- Worksheet – A document with tasks or questions, leading your prospects step-by-step towards a desirable goal (eg, ‘7 factors you must work out before you launch your new business venture’)
- Checklist – Short list of items required or to be delivered, or points to be considered, that prospects can use for quick reference
- Template – Is there a document your prospects have to produce? Give away a filled-in example plus a blank one for them to complete later
- Free tool – this might be a spreadsheet, or some computer code, for example – anything that helps your prospects do their job better with some help from you….
- Special offers – Discounts, savings and bonuses
- Free trials – Let your website visitors sample what you offer for free, for a limited time
- Quizzes – People love to take quick quizzes that assess their skills or knowledge. Remember, it has to be related to your core business (eg for a gardner, ‘Test your Gardening IQ with 20 questions’). Send the results to them in exchange for their email.
I’ve developed a great lead-magnet. What next?
- Create a landing page for your lead-magnet – that is, a dedicated page on your website where prospects can download it from. Use the page well, do explain to people who reach the page what your lead-magnet is and convince them that it’s worthwhile downloading. Make sure the ‘Download’ button is prominent!
Please note: On your landing page, and everywhere else you promote your lead-magnet, you need to be absolutely clear that anyone who signs up is going to be added to your email list. Without their explicit permission, you will end up with some very annoyed prospects – which is not what you are looking for at all.
- Push it on your website. Create small ads for your lead-magnet that you can scatter throughout your website – beside copy, above copy, at the end of copy, (perhaps) popping up when people have been on the website for a certain amount of time or when they leave your website. Don’t worry about promoting your lead-magnet too much – it needs to be prominent and easily seen on every page, maybe even in a few spots on every page.
- Push it on social media. Why don’t you promote advertise your lead-magnet on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook (depending on your audience), leading people directly to your lead-magnet landing page?
- Experiment. Try adding different lead-magnets to see what works best. Similarly, A/B test the wording on your landing page and any other ads to see which generate the most sign-ups for your lead-magnet; and keep an eye on where, on your website, sign-up forms work best. This is a work in progress, but hopefully one that will generate many new leads, contributing to the growth of your business.
What lead magnets have worked best for you? What’s your best lead-magnet tip? Please share in the comments!