What is a Lead Magnet?
We’ve all seen them. You’ll be scrolling through your favorite online store and all of a sudden a pop up appears offering you $10 off your next purchase or a guide to the best Spring fashion of 2018. If you’re like me and never pass up a discount, you immediately enter your email. But some aren’t so quick to jump the gun. Some users prefer valuable information that addresses their main pain points and problems.
There are many different strategies businesses use to generate new leads. From creating an engaging podcast to hosting a networking event, new, quality leads can help put a business at the top of the leaderboard. But podcasts and networking events aren’t the easiest and quickest way to to get new business. Enter the lead magnet.
Lead magnets, like how they sound, attract leads. Businesses offer something to a user for something in return – their email address. It’s a win/win situation for both the business and the user. The business gets your contact information and you walk away with “The Ultimate Guide to Spotchecking Your SEO”, or something of that nature. If the content in the lead magnet is good you’ve not only gotten a new lead but you are providing value immediately.
However, many businesses fall flat when it comes to creating lead magnets people will actually want. This is where in-depth target market research comes in. What would your audience be interested in enough to be willing to give up their contact information? For example, a new mother wouldn’t hesitate to download a coupon for diapers, but a mother with high school aged kids would most likely pass up the diaper coupon. In short, before creating a lead magnet, know your audiences wants and needs.
You may be thinking, why would my business need a lead magnet? Well the bottom line is that if you want to generate online leads, your business needs a lead magnet. Lead magnets capture an email address and deliver quality content right to your customers inbox, a prime piece of real estate in the marketing world. This is a very personal marketing tactic that keeps your business top of mind and relevant.
Related: What Is a Lead Magnet?
What Makes a Good Lead Magnet
A good lead magnet is made up of many elements. An essential component of a lead magnet is offering a solution to a problem. These problems can be simple, like what to cook for your next family barbeque, or more complex like, how to write a business contract. Make sure you provide reliable, valuable information your new customer can trust. Also, follow through on your promise! If they give you their contact information, you have to deliver something in return. Build that trust right from the get-go.
Another important component of a lead magnet is design. This includes how the lead magnet appears on a screen and how easily digestible it is once downloaded. When the lead magnet pops up on a person’s screen, they will either exit it quickly or be interested in what they see. Does the title stand out? Or maybe it’s the look and feel of the colors and images used.
Whatever it may be, it should draw your audience in. Also, make sure that whatever you are offering is easily digestible. A 10 page scholarly article on why you should add more fiber to your diet probably won’t be a highly downloadable lead magnet, but that is just my personal opinion. Another tip, don’t ask too many questions or ask the users to fill out more than three information fields. People will be less inclined to enter their information the more questions they are asked.
Lastly, a lead magnet should have high perceived value and provide value. This may seem obvious, but many lead magnets fall short when providing highly sought after content. Why should someone give up their email address? What will they get in return? If they will just be put into an email list with thousands of other users, there’s a small chance you will acquire their contact information. A lead magnet should contain can’t live without, in demand, change your life for the better content.
Not sure how to create a lead magnet that your audience will want to give up their contact information for? Check out these highly effective lead magnet examples from some top industry experts.
Examples of Highly Effective Lead Magnets
Infographic – The Logo Company
You see them all over social media, especially on Pinterest, but infographics are also great educational lead magnets businesses should utilize more frequently. For many people, visually learning is more pleasing and easier than having to read thousands of words on one given subject. The Logo Company created a well-designed infographic about typography, which isn’t an easily digestible topic. Although there aren’t a ton of pictures in this infographic, the reader won’t be overwhelmed with text and can still effortlessly grasp the information. Infographic lead magnets can be anything from “10 Easy Workouts to Get in Shape for Summer” to “Signs You’re Addicted to Your Cell Phone”. Again, knowing who your audience is is very important and will help you decide which direction to take your infographic. Infographic lead magnets are a great way to deliver a lot of information compressed into an enjoyable visually pleasing way, straight to your user’s inbox.
Coupon/Discount – Revolve
The coupon is probably the most popular lead magnet tactic out there. Any e-commerce business should have this lead magnet present on their site. If you don’t, make one now and start seeing leads come in quickly.
Anyone shopping online is looking for the best deal out there. If someone stumbles onto your site for the first time, a lead magnet pop up will quickly welcome the user, introduce them to your store and offer them a discount. However, these type of lead magnets need to be well thought out. If the lead magnet pop up isn’t visually pleasing, has too many fields to fill out, and the messaging is unclear, there’s a high chance the user will get annoyed and exit the pop up right away.
To avoid this, make sure the user knows immediately what you are offering. The discount should be clearly stated in bold at the top of the lead magnet and not hidden somewhere at the bottom. Two to three information fields is max and make sure the user knows exactly what they are signing up for. If someone entering their email address will receive a coupon but will also get dropped into your newsletter and promotion email lists, make that known. Revolve does a great job of this in their lead magnet below.
Checklist – The Knot
A checklist is a perfect way to condense text heavy instructions. A checklist can be anything from “How to Optimize Your Website” to “Your Personal Wedding Checklist” like TheKnot.com uses on their website. Checklists are also easy to create. Simply make a list of information in step by step order and add a check-off box. Checklists should address a common problem your users are faced with. TheKnot.com users are most likely in the midst of wedding planning, so a personal wedding checklist is the perfect email capture.
Since most webinars are live, webinar lead magnets create a sense of urgency. If the webinar subject is something your user will find interesting and they see that there’s only a few more days left to sign up for it, there’s a high chance they will jump at the opportunity for fear of missing out.
Webinars are a great way to market your company as a thought leader in the industry. They show the public that your business is knowledgeable on given subjects and that you are willing to spread the knowledge. This webinar lead magnet example follows all of the guidelines: one information field, easily consumable, and people immediately know what they are signing up for.
Free Trial – Apple Music
A free trial, free download, and free sample are all commonly used lead magnets. Why? Consumers love the word free, especially if it’s something they’ll get a lot of use out of. This lead magnet example from Apple Music offers a 3-month free trial to stream music. People like this type of offer because it acts as a small taste of the real deal. If they like what they sampled, they will be more inclined to sign up indefinitely. Tech companies often offer a free software download to help users with a common problem they face. Both of these options are great lead magnets businesses should employ.
Newsletter – J. Crew
Newsletter signups are present on almost every e-commerce site. However, the copy in the newsletter lead magnet has to be clever and concise. A dull “Sign Up For Our Newsletter” call to action won’t bring many new leads to your business. What will the user get from signing up? Is it worth it? J. Crew does an excellent job of creating a newsletter lead magnet by promising the user that they will be the first to know the latest style news. They completely avoid using the word “newsletter” altogether.
Cheat Sheet – Sumo
Like a checklist, a cheat sheet is another way to condense a large amount of information. The word cheat sheet itself automatically lets the user know that the content they are about to consume will help them quickly gain knowledge or “cheat” the system in a sense. People like to be in the know, and a cheat sheet is a great way to quickly and efficiently get in the know.
Quizzes – Tony Robbins
Quizzes are the most entertaining way to generate leads. An interactive and fun quiz will entertain the user, but in order for them to see their results, they will have to enter their email address. Boom, another lead! Quizzes can be a poll or an outcome quiz, they can be educational or suggest which movie the user should watch tonight. Quizzes are versatile and key lead generators.
Giveaway – Design Within Reach
A giveaway is a very straightforward way to generate leads. Who doesn’t love the chance to win something cool?! A giveaway lead magnet will also act as a free sample to the winner. If the winner likes what they receive, they will be more inclined to purchase other items from your business. Make sure you follow up with the others who submitted their contact info and offer them another incentive to make a purchase.
Lead magnets are the best of both worlds. They offer an irresistible deal, a free sample, or a secured spot for a live webinar, and in return, your business gets a new lead. If you decide to use a lead magnet to capture new leads, which we highly suggest you do, make sure you offer something that your target audience will want badly enough to give up their contact information.
Another pro tip, always be testing! Update your designs with new images and create unique CTAs. Try different offers, if you usually offer 10% off bump it up to 15% and see how your audience responds. These updates should be done once a month so you can test out what works best for you business.