Small businesses often struggle with building customer relationships. A visit to your website or store location is just the beginning; your success depends on how well you build an ongoing relationship with that potential customer. First, you must attract the right clientele, and then you must guide them along a sales funnel until they trust you enough to make a purchase. A lead magnet is the ideal tool for building your customer list and earning their loyalty. With the right lead magnet, you’ll gain high-quality leads that will convert more easily to paying customers.
What is a lead magnet?
Just as the name implies, a lead magnet is an enticing offer that’s designed to get a potential customer’s contact information, and add them to an email marketing list. It’s often the first step in a carefully-crafted sales funnel that nurtures a relationship between your business and a future customer. There are many types of lead magnets, from discount coupons to time-saving templates or even an email course. While lead magnets are popular with large retailers and B2B consulting businesses, they can also supercharge marketing efforts for small businesses like law firms, plumbers and electricians, interior designers, fitness instructors, and ecommerce stores. In fact, every business should be taking advantage of this powerful list-building tool.
What makes a great lead magnet?
For the best lead magnet ideas, it’s critical that you spend time researching your audience and determining exactly what marketing strategy will appeal to them. Which of your pages or blog posts receive the most website visitors? Which of your products or services (or your competitor’s) are most popular? Information like this is a good indicator of what type of content or giveaway your new leads might be interested in. Use this information to craft a great lead magnet that is relevant to your specific audience, contains a high value offer, and feels so exclusive that they won’t hesitate to opt in to your email list.
As you design your lead magnet, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it relevant to my audience?
Remember, a lead magnet is not about you! A great lead magnet is specifically designed to engage potential customers who are the right fit for your business. Once you’ve decided which topic or products will grab website visitors’ attention, it’s time to figure out what your target audience’s specific challenges are.
- What questions do they have before they start working with you?
- What are their pain points, or what problems do they want to solve?
- Why would someone exchange their contact information to receive your offer?
For example, homeowners often struggle with knowing where to start when they want to update their home. An interior designer’s lead magnet could be a free, 3-part email course on “How To Discover Your Home Decor Style”. This effective lead magnet addresses a common pain point and is relevant to a specific audience of prospective clients.
Will it provide enough value to my customer?
The value of a lead magnet will depend on the type of business you have; however, the value must be meaningful to your particular audience. There are three main reasons a lead magnet will appear valuable to a new lead:
- Monetary – discounts or coupons; for example, eCommerce stores offering first-time buyers a coupon in exchange for their email address.
- Practical – a useful free tool that can be put into immediate use, like a webinar planning toolkit, a meal plan, or a pdf checklist.
- Intangible – knowledge-based free resources like a whitepaper, a webinar, a free course, or creative ideas they can put into practice. A valuable offer contains high level or exclusive knowledge.
Is it exclusive enough to spark action?
An offer’s exclusivity is a critical marketing tool because it puts pressure on the new lead to take action before they lose the opportunity. A good lead magnet uses these four methods to convince your audience that your offer is exclusive:
- It has an expiration date that will happen soon or a coupon that will expire.
- It offers a special discount or freebie only available to mailing list members.
- It contains in-depth knowledge or experience that can only be obtained from an expert, and won’t be found for “free” somewhere else.
- The only way to get this particular piece of content or claim this offer is to opt in to your email marketing list.
If your lead magnet can meet all three of these criteria, you’ll have a marketing asset that can bring in profitable customers for years to come.
Tips, Tools & Resources For Creating A Great Lead Magnet
Creating a high-quality lead magnet takes time and effort; this can be a challenge for small businesses. Skills like copywriting and graphic design are also required to produce content that is engaging, effective, and has value to the customer. While businesses on tight budgets might take a DIY approach, others are able to splurge on professional help. However, there are plenty of free and low-cost tools available to help small businesses create the very best lead magnets possible. Let’s take a look:
These tools offer free templates that even beginners can use to create graphics and images, worksheets, printable PDF documents, slideshows and presentations.
Canva: Offers free templates, images, and custom fonts to design all types of digital assets; create a PDF lead magnet with their free PDF Maker.
Google Docs: Start with a free template from the Docs Template gallery.
Google Slides: Create presentations and slide decks with Slides Templates.
Chat GPT: Free AI tools can be helpful for research and idea generation. Use this as a springboard as you develop content that demonstrates your expertise.
Jump-start your lead magnet design with downloadable, plug-and-play templates or kits that include graphics images and fonts. Customize a template with your own brand and content. These low-cost resources offer more variety and more professional results than free resources.
Canva Pro: In addition to Canva’s free resources, Canva Pro offers a larger selection of templates, video editing tools and access to an extensive stock photo and video library.
Creative Market: An affordable place to purchase original designs from independent graphic designers, including graphics, illustrations, photos, mockups and lead magnet templates.
Etsy: Buy original designs from independent graphic designers, including graphics, illustrations, photos, mockups and toolkits and lead magnet templates.
Hire a graphic designer or marketing expert to design your lead magnet, and a professional copywriter or editor to polish the content for an effective campaign.
Upwork: Post your project on Upwork as a freelance job listing, or browse professional profiles to find the right people for your team.
Fiverr: List your project on Fiverr for freelancers to bid on, or contact a freelancer or two who have the right skills.
Setting Up A Landing Page for Your Lead Magnet
Before you create a landing page, it is important to know exactly what its specific goal will be. This will guide both your content and call to action (CTA). Landing pages are also known as squeeze pages, because they narrowly focus the visitor on your goal and push them to take action. A great landing page contains the following elements:
- Headline: Your headline should make the offer in a clear, concise and engaging way.
- Value Proposition: A short statement explaining the benefits of claiming your offer, written to appeal directly to your target audience. What will they gain? What problems will your offer solve?
- Offer: Explain exactly what the customer will receive. What makes your offer stand out from the competition? Include details that will help them overcome any hesitations they may have. Reinforce your copy with images or graphics.
- Social Proof: Testimonials, customer logos, and reviews offer proof that other people have acted on your offer and agree that it has value. This instills trust and convinces your leads to accept the offer.
- Call To Action: Close the deal by clearly asking your lead to take a specific action such as clicking a button or entering their email address.
- Sign Up Form: Provide a simple form for prospective customers to enter their information; follow up with a Success Page that confirms the signup.
- A/B Test: Create two different versions of your landing page testing a variable such as the headline, CTA, or image. Marketing software with A/B testing capabilities can compare the results of each page to determine which is most effective at lead generation.
Promoting Your Lead Magnet
Your lead magnet will only work if potential customers learn about it and see your call to action. Your digital marketing research will indicate where your target audiences can typically be found. Target these locations with a mix of marketing tactics to get your offer seen; remember, a potential lead may need to see your offer several times before taking action, so cross-posting is essential. Here are the most popular ways to promote your lead magnet:
- Website: Your own website is attracting traffic, and many of those visitors are potential customers. Add a CTA to your home page, or a permanent footer that will appear across the site. You can also add a CTA to the end of every blog post to target visitors that may not see the home page.
- Social Media: Reach your target audience where they spend time online with a combination of social media posts and paid advertising.
- Email Marketing: If appropriate, promote your offer to existing customers on your email list; you can also purchase mailing lists of potential leads. Be sure to follow best practices and include an option to unsubscribe.
- Content Marketing: Blog posts and social media content like images and video support brand recognition and can introduce your brand to potential new leads, who can be served ads for your lead magnet.
- Advertising: Paid advertisements can find your target audience across multiple channels, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, podcasts and news media.
10 Real-Life Successful Lead Magnet Examples
There are many options available when choosing a type of lead magnet, but most people rely on offers that have been proven. Small businesses especially benefit from a good lead magnet’s ability to establish a solid, trusting relationship with a new customer. Depending on your type of business, these lead magnets may work for you:
Discount or Coupon
Discount coupons have an immediate impact and are very popular among retailers and small businesses like plumbers, electricians, restaurants, dentists, and hair salons. They have the dual benefit of gaining leads for marketing and bringing customers into the business.
Webinars are an excellent way to promote your expertise, provide training, or demonstrate a complex product. They allow for in-depth presentations and can serve as a free introduction for anyone selling an online course.
Quiz or Assessment
Quizzes and surveys not only collect information that’s useful in marketing, they also help to convince a potential customer that they need your product or service. Customer assessments are a very effective marketing tool for beauty products, home decor, nutritionists, and the fitness industry.
eBook or Whitepaper
A free eBook or whitepaper should provide helpful information, such as a How-To guide or professional solutions to a common problem. This type of content is an excellent way to establish your B2B business as experts in your field. EBooks and whitepapers are also popular with home builders and real estate agents, who have a lot of information to convey.
Free Trial or Demo
A free trial or demonstration period is an ideal lead magnet for SaaS companies, or consultants that profit by putting their content behind a paywall.
Checklist or Cheat Sheet
Time-saving shortcuts and insider tips have real value to your potential customers. With a little creativity, they can be used in almost any industry. This type of lead magnet includes anything from house-cleaning and travel-packing checklists to cheat sheets that help moms, teachers, or entrepreneurs become more efficient.
Templates or Resource List
Free templates and resources offer immediate value to your new lead, and introduce them to your other paid products. For example, many graphic designers sell templates that non-designers can use to create websites, resumes, or art; free downloads and printables give their lead magnet a tangible offer.
Infographics And Visual Content
Visual content like diagrams, charts, infographics, online videos, and slide decks are a powerful way to attract potential customers. They provide value because they can pack a lot of useful information into a compact presentation. A physician can use video to explain a disease’s symptoms and treatments. An accountant might create a slide deck to explain various retirement plans. If customers save and refer to the information later, your business will stay on their radar.
Case Study Or Testimonial
Social proof is a powerful selling tool, especially when combined with proven expertise. A case study or testimonial shows your potential clients exactly what they can expect from your company. Plus, it makes a tempting offer because it may include free ideas they can use on their own.
Free Consultation or Strategy Session
If your primary business is consulting, a free session will provide real value to your new lead and provide one-to-one interaction that can get you hired. For example, attorneys, interior designers, chiropractors, and some therapists provide an initial consultation and assessment at no charge. This allows them to fully assess the client’s needs and offer a plan of action they can implement once they are hired.
How To Measure Your Lead Magnet’s Success
Once you’ve launched your lead magnet, it’s very important to measure its KPI’s (key productivity indicators) so that you can make improvements if necessary.
Volume Of Leads
The overall number of leads signing up for your offer is a good initial indicator of your lead magnet’s performance. While the landing page should be bringing in visitors on its own, it must be supported by paid and organic traffic from other sources to increase the volume of potential leads. Analytics can tell you where the visitors to your landing page are coming from. If most of them click through from an ad, your landing page probably needs SEO improvement to increase organic traffic. If visitors are coming from other pages on your website then working to increase their ranking will boost your landing page. Because it takes time for a new page to rank, it’s important to measure and leverage your landing page traffic to maximize your volume of new leads.
Quality Of Leads
Tracking lead quality is also important, because it helps you to fine tune your marketing efforts. If your landing page has a high bounce rate and low conversion rates, it means that your offer is not relevant to the page’s visitors. If you pay to bring traffic to the landing page, your budget is wasted if you’re attracting low quality leads. Either your marketing campaign isn’t targeting the right audience, or the messaging and offer are not as effective as they need to be. To attract better quality leads you may need to change your offer, reconsider your audience, or rewrite your content.
The conversion rate for your lead magnet is the percentage of total page visitors who convert, or accept your offer and provide their information. While the standard of success for conversion rates varies from one industry to another, a ratio below 2% is cause for concern. Low bounce rates on the landing page do indicate that you’ve attracted an interested audience. However, if the page also has a low conversion rate, then your offer does not provide enough value to close the deal. It’s time to reconsider the details of your offer or write more compelling sales copy to increase your conversion rate. Tracking the conversion rate and its associated KPIs is critical for a clearer picture of what is working, and what needs improvement.
Feedback is also key to understanding how well your marketing efforts are connecting with potential customers. Always ask your new leads how they heard about your company. Once they’ve accessed your offer, follow up and ask for feedback about the lead magnet. Was it helpful? Did they find it valuable? You can also use a survey to find out what other types of content or products they might like to receive. When it comes to making data-driven marketing decisions, the more information you have, the better.
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