How do you incentivize prospects to visit your website and give away their email address? The answer to generating a continual flow of quality leads is to create lead magnets.
A lead magnet is a free offer like a piece of content (Ebook or whitepaper, for example), free consultation, webinar, or other experience valuable enough that prospects will share their email address to receive it. Lead magnets offer actionable, concrete, and helpful advice to solve prospective customers’ problems while also helping you generate more leads.
Lead Magnet Funnel
The goal of a lead magnet isn’t just to get people to read your content; you also want to move leads through the funnel. This is why creating a lead magnet can be so challenging — you want to create an asset that is entertaining and enjoyable to consume and, at the same time, compels prospects to learn more about your product or service.
Here are the four stages of the lead magnet funnel:
Build a landing page: Create a landing page where your content lives behind a form. This is what makes your content a lead magnet. Without the ability to capture email addresses, your Ebook or webinar falls under general content marketing.
Start nurturing: Once someone fills out the form on your landing page, she receives the asset and you receive her email address. Now, you can start an email nurture series to share additional content on that same subject and stay top of mind.
Upsell: As prospects begin to consume more content from you and form a relationship with your brand, you want to offer anything else that can nudge them into a purchasing decision. This could include a product demo, extended free trial, or special discount — but avoid offering another lead magnet that is hidden behind a form. You already have their email address, so requesting it again can result in a poor user experience.
Keep the relationship going: You’ll eventually find out if these leads convert to customers. If they do, congratulations! If they don’t, keep the communication going. Build a new nurture series to check in with them every few months.
Types of Lead Magnet
Technically speaking, anything that lives behind a form can be considered a lead magnet. However, there are certain types of lead magnets that perform better than others.
The three most popular kinds of lead magnet are:
Product-specific: This kind of lead magnet is all about your offering. You don’t need to be shy about being self-promotional, but you do need to create value. Videos are especially useful for product-specific lead magnets, letting you create how-tos, demos, and walkthroughs.
Entertaining: Not all lead magnets need to directly relate to your product or service. Nor do they all need to be serious and authoritative. Sometimes, quirky, fun content performs the best. Take quizzes, for example. If you offer productivity software, you could create a quiz for people to determine the best time of day for them to do work. This quiz speaks to productivity in general, but is ultimately a unique way to engage leads.
Advice/Best Practices: You can never go wrong with solving a prospect’s or customer’s challenge. For educational lead magnets, think about general pain points that your target audience experiences and create content to address them. For example, if your business offers project management software, you may know that your audience struggles with time management or organization. You could create a free template to help prospects better manage their workload.
Lead Magnet Ideas
Whether you’re ready to create your first lead magnet campaign or are looking for ways to optimize your current strategy, the number one thing you can do is test different formats, styles, and topics. And, don’t be afraid to do something completely different.
Here are three lead magnet ideas to try:
Ebook or white paper: Ebooks and white papers both offer authoritative, in-depth content to help prospects solve a problem. White papers tend to be more technical and niche, while Ebook cover a broader topic in a more entertaining, accessible way. For example, if you were writing about blogging, your Ebook might be titled, “30 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog,” while your white paper might be about how to optimize your content management system.
Infographic: If your audience prefers visuals over words, you can always create an infographic to highlight relevant information, statistics, or facts. If you don’t have an in-house designer, there are a number of infographic tools like Piktochart or Venngage.
Webinars: Webinars are an effective way to walk through an idea, highlight insights, or visualize concepts. You could host product-specific webinars, like how-tos, or share general best practices in your industry.
Lead Magnet Examples
Lead magnets are versatile and flexible, working across industries and mediums. Here are three real-life examples of lead magnets:
This pop-up for a free Ebook appears right on the homepage of Jeff’s website, ensuring that the maximum number of visitors see it. He also keeps his form short and sweet so visitors are more likely to fill it out.
Tableau, business intelligence and analytics software
Tableau’s white paper on transitioning to the cloud is gated behind this landing page, which does a great job of conveying what you’ll learn.
Whenever you host a webinar or presentation, don’t forget to record it! That recording can become a new lead magnet, just like Moz is doing here. The SEO software company promotes a pre-recorded presentation about one of their products, Moz Local. When you click the button, you’re prompted to fill out a form before the video starts.
Lead magnets are successful because they rely on a fundamental principle: give before you get. By prioritizing a truly useful, valuable piece of content, you can create a win-win situation for everyone. Your prospects will find the information they need and you can continue to maintain a healthy pipeline of leads.