The leads you worked so hard to attract are now clicking around your website, thinking about whether to become a customer of your company.
And then, many of them vanish without a trace. If those website visitors don’t turn into buyers, you may never know who they are, how to contact them, and what you could have done to follow up and earn their business.
That’s why it’s important not only to attract leads but also to capture them—ideally, by using a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is an offer compelling enough that a prospect would provide her contact information in order to receive it. It could be a piece of content (like this e-book—a lead magnet about, yes, lead magnets). Or it could be a free trial, a discount, an entry to a contest, or any other offer that your prospective customers would find valuable.
Lead magnets are a win-win for your company and your prospective customers. A lead magnet assists prospects with the problem that brought them to your business, whether it’s a tutorial video that helps them develop a skill, a quiz that helps them determine what to buy, or a sample of a product they want to experience before purchasing.
And in return, your company receives a prized possession: access to the email inbox.
Getting contact information allows you to start the conversation that can turn a stranger into a customer and fan of your business. The real value of the lead magnet is in the follow-up, just as it is in networking. It’s great to meet people at an event, but the relationship can only continue if you get their business cards—and then actually call or email.
But if you emailed the lead magnet to each prospect individually and later followed up with them one-by-one, those tasks could start to consume your day. That’s why lead magnets are used most effectively and efficiently when paired with marketing automation software.
A tool like Infusionsoft, which combines marketing automation with customer relationship management (CRM), allows you to deliver and follow up on lead magnets without having to think about doing so. When a prospect completes a form on your website to request the lead magnet, the software automatically sends the asset via email—while also storing the information on the prospect’s CRM contact record for future reference.
In the following days, the software can then send automated emails in which “you” ask prospect for her thoughts and questions. Meanwhile, the software tracks her behavior, recording which emails she opened and links she clicked— allowing you to evaluate her interest and determine your next move.
Any small business can use a lead magnet to capture leads, especially with the added help of automation. In this e-book, we’ll explore how to choose a lead magnet offer, share twenty ideas for lead magnets, and explain how automation can help you convert those new leads into customers.
Who are you trying to attract with a lead magnet? The answer shouldn’t be “everyone.” Just like a real magnet, lead magnets should both attract and repel. Your lead magnet should target your ideal customer, not anyone who happens to come across it.
Attempting to sell someone who isn’t qualified for your business only results in wasted time and effort for both of you. For example, a real estate agent who specializes in luxury homes could attract leads with a guide called “10 Steps to Selling Your Home”—but a guide called “10 Steps to Selling a Million-Dollar Home” would produce leads that are much more qualified for her services.
A prospect downloads your lead magnet. Then what? Don’t simply hope she decides to buy. How you follow up on a lead magnet and what you offer should be part of your strategy from the beginning.
Your lead magnet should guide people toward a product or service you’re selling—eventually, anyway. The nature of your lead magnet depends on your business and the buying journey of your customers, taking into consideration the time, money, and information they need to buy.
Businesses with a short buyer’s journey might offer a lead magnet like a promo code or a free trial—something that quickly inspires prospects to become customers. But when the buyer’s journey involves weeks or months, it’s better to offer an educational lead magnet, like a piece of content, than push the prospect to make a decision.
For example, a prospect considering a yoga studio might only need to experience one free class before purchasing a package of classes. But someone considering a six-month diet and fitness program—a purchase involving more time, money, and research—might benefit from educational guides or videos that help her understand whether the program is right for her.
Use a tool like Canva to design an e-book with free photos and graphics. (If it doesn’t need to look pretty? Simply convert a Microsoft Word document into a PDF.)
If only you could give a real-time presentation to customers outside your local area or even on the other side of the world. With a webinar, you can. Webinars are an effective way to share a tutorial, presentation, or interview with an expert— valuable content worth trading for an email address. After learning about you and your company through a webinar, prospects may be more ready and inclined to buy—especially when you send follow-up content.
To learn webinar basics, download our "Guide to Hosting a Webinar."
Attracting leads to your website is great; capturing their information is even better. But most prospects who visit your website won’t give you their email addresses just because you want them. Prospects are more willing to share their contact information if they receive something in return, like a piece of content, a discount, or an experience.
These lead magnets serve as the bridge between attracting leads and converting them into customers. A lead magnet allows you to further introduce yourself to your prospects and follow up with the kind of information, questions, and offers that encourage them to buy.