What is a Lead Magnet?

If you plan on doing any kind of marketing online, you need to know what a lead magnet is and how to employ it to help your business fill the lead funnel.  There are so many nuances in online marketing that it can be overwhelming for some (that’s why you hire this kind of thing out to the professionals) and the first step to reducing overwhelm is knowledge.

A lead magnet is a free offer that is so compelling that people will give you their email address.

Simply put, right?

Well, not really.  Most of the products people create as a lead magnet have zero magnetic pull for their audience.  If you have created a free download, widget or otherwise to get people to opt in to your list and you are not converting, there are several things to consider.

What makes a great lead magnet?

1.  Understanding what your audience wants will help you design the right lead magnet.  

That’s the first rule of marketing for anything. Knowing your audience and giving them what they want.  Let me ask you a few questions — what is the main reason that people hire you? What are you so good at that people are willing to give you money, not once, but repeatedly? What problem are you solving for your customers?

When you can answer those questions, you will discover the keys to your lead magnet.  In a nutshell, your lead magnet should solve a big problem for your target audience.  The expectation of the prospect when they give you their email address is that what you are offering will solve a problem, give them more insight into their problem, provide simple access to information that they could not find easily online or make their life/business better.

2.  Don’t rush through creating your lead magnet.

“Quick, throw something together for an opt in on the website, we need more leads!” Yep, those words are echoed through the halls of many business everyday.  Really, there is a disconnect for a lot of businesses that if it is free, it can be done quickly.  NOT TRUE.  A great lead magnet is not just thrown together.

Your list is precious. It should be protected, nurtured and taken seriously. Your list is an asset in your business and building it should take priority.  So should the lead magnets your are creating to grow that list. Your lead magnet must provide VALUE to the prospect, not just information.  I’ll go back to the questions above — what is the most valuable thing you do for your clients? How can you create a free product that has so much value that people would pay for it if they had to?

3.  Pay attention to your conversion rate.chartofweek-10-23-12-lp

What is a good conversion rate anyway? Marketing Sherpa analyzed the conversion rates of typical websites per industry and the average website converts about 6.1% of the time.  Is that good? Depends on how much traffic you are driving to your website. Here’s an interesting list of 39 tips for increasing conversion.

If your lead magnet is not converting leads, then it’s not working.  A couple of things you can try before you create a new lead magnet is to split test the landing page and the language you use to persuade opt ins.  Test the titles, text, CTA buttons, colors, images, etc.

If you feel the language and CTA’s are spot on, then I hate to break it to you, it has to be your offer.  Maybe your offer isn’t hitting the target with your audience. Go back to the basics, dive deeper into the process of what your ideal client really needs.

4.  What can you give away for free?

Here’s a short list of items that have worked for others as lead magnets:

  • eBooks
  • Reports
  • Handouts
  • Guides
  • Free products
  • Significant discounts
  • Webinars
  • Events
  • Bonuses
  • Limited Time Only items
  • Podcasts or video series
  • Quiz/Survey/Game

The bottom line: know your audience, give them something that THEY value and watch your numbers. Adapt as necessary. Oh, and one more thing….strong lead magnet strategies have more than one lead magnet running at one time.  Don’t be afraid to create more than one funnel to build your list.

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