If you're looking to grow your business, there's one thing you need to know: lead magnets are the best way to get new customers.
When I was helping my client set up their digital marketing plan, the first thing I did was set up a lead magnet. Every successful business owner uses these simple marketing tactics to grow their email lists and attract new customers. In fact, when HubSpot analyzed more than 130 lead magnets in 2017, they found that ten of them account for 53,000 (77% of shares on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined).
In this post, we'll talk about what a lead magnet is and why you need one in your business!
What Is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a piece of content that you give away for free in exchange for contact information from interested parties. For example, if you wanted to sell dog treats online, you could create an eBook called "15 Things You Never Knew About Dog Treats." That eBook would be your lead magnet—something that people would want so much that they'd sign up for your newsletter just to get it.
Why do you need a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is something that you give to people in exchange for their email addresses. It could be a free ebook, report, checklist, or any other digital resource.
You can use the lead magnet to grow your list and build your business. You can also use it to generate leads for your business by offering something of value (like an ebook) in exchange for an email address.
The most important reason why you need a lead magnet is that it helps you build your brand and differentiate yourself from other businesses in the space.
Types of lead magnets
There are many different types of lead magnets, but they can be broken down into two main categories:
Value-based and content-based: It requires some sort of action from your prospects in order to claim their prize (such as downloading an e-book or signing up for a webinar).
Content-based lead magnets: It requires no action on the part of the prospect; however, these types of lead magnets often come with additional benefits (like an ebook or free trial period) that allow recipients receive more value from their free gift than just access to exclusive content.
Cheat sheets are designed to give you a quick and easy way to reference a specific topic. They are especially helpful if you're a beginner and don't know the language of your industry well enough to quickly look up terms or definitions in an instant. Cheat sheets can also be used by more experienced users as reminders of what something is called, how it works, and why it's important for their work.
In order for cheat sheets to be useful, they need to be easy-to-follow summaries of information that cover all the important points of whatever subject they're covering. It's important that they include relevant examples, visual aids (such as images), links outwards (to other resources), etc., so that readers can quickly understand all the basics without having anything left out or feeling like their question wasn't answered fully enough.
Templates are one of the best types of lead magnets you can create. The main benefit of using templates is that they allow you to create lead magnets with less work and more consistency.
Another great thing about templates is that they add value for both you and your customers. You already know what information needs to be included in a template, so it's easy for you to make something valuable for them (and at a low cost). On top of this, customers will love getting access to standardized documents that work well for their business or personal situation!
With all these benefits in mind, there are two main types of templates: standard templates and optimized ones:
A swipe file is a collection of the best, most compelling content from other sources. You can use it to get inspiration for your own content, or you can create your own cheat sheet, template or workbook.
Case studies are a great way to show a real-life example of how your product or service worked for someone, and they're especially helpful when you want to demonstrate the results of your product or service.
Case studies are also a good way to show how your product or service helped someone solve a problem that they were having. For example, if you have an app that helps people get from point A to point B, it would be helpful for potential customers to see how other people have used the app successfully before making their decision about whether or not to use it themselves.
A script is a tool for creating a web app or automating certain tasks. It's very simple in its purpose: to create an app or complete tasks quickly and easily.
A web app can be an interactive, mobile-friendly website that helps you run your business. They’re a great way to share information with your audience and generate leads without asking for anything from your audience in return.
Web apps are made up of multiple pages that link together, meaning they act like a digital brochure or guide on a mobile device. You can use them to help with your sales process (by providing pricing information or training materials), marketing process (by offering free tools), or customer service (by allowing people to quickly get answers by using the search bar).
The calculator is one of the most common lead magnets out there, and for good reason. It's a highly useful tool that can help your readers save time and money in their daily lives. The best part is that creating a calculator doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming.
You probably have some sort of calculator app on your phone right now—but did you know that there are also several types of physical calculators available? People tend to be more inclined towards using physical ones than digital ones, as well as being able to see the results immediately without having to wait for them on a screen (especially if they do math calculations often).
There are some things you should consider when choosing which type of calculator will work best for your business:
- How many operations does it need? Most people will only use one or two different operations in a single day, so make sure yours matches up with those needs! For example: if someone wants something to help them figure out how much money they'll receive from investments every year after retirement age...they may not want something with dozens upon dozens of buttons all over it!
The best giveaway is something that is of value to the reader. It should also be easy to give away, ship, and fulfill.
Here are some examples of giveaways you could include:
- A free product sample or coupon code for a sale on your website
- An e-book or guidebook with useful tips
- An online course
Exclusive groups are a type of lead magnet that's all about building a community. The value of an exclusive group is in the people who join it and the conversations they have with each other. Once you've built up your network, there are many ways to monetize it. Here are some things you can do:
- Create a private Facebook group for members only; this is one of the most common ways to go about creating an exclusive group, as it's easy, cheap, and effective. You'll want to make sure that privacy settings on your page are set high enough so that no one else can see what goes on inside the group unless they're invited or approved by admins or mods.
- Set up an email list where members can interact with each other outside of Facebook itself (or even if they don't use Facebook).* Post updates outside of Facebook using social media automation tools like Buffer or Hootsuite—again, making sure not too many outsiders find out about these updates through any channels besides direct invitation.* Offer paid access via Evernote Premium accounts (for example) which cost $50/year but may be worth it depending on how much time/money people spend interacting with each other within those accounts.
- Charge money per minute spent talking over video chat apps like Skype
A toolkit is a collection of resources. A toolkit can be an ebook, a PDF document or even an infographic. It’s important to keep in mind that your toolkit will not be a one-size-fits-all solution for all the problems you solve or offer. Instead, it should focus on solving specific problems and offering specific solutions—the more actionable it is, the better!
For example: The UX Design Toolkit ebook contains everything you need to do user experience design right now (including templates and handouts).
Webinars are the most effective lead magnets. A webinar is a live online event where you can interact with your audience and deliver a presentation that educates or entertains them. Webinar attendees typically include people who have opted in to receive information about your product, service or business opportunity. Some webinars are general in nature, some are specific to a certain topic, and others may be targeted toward people who have already purchased one of your products or services.
The benefit of using this kind of lead magnet is that it’s something that people want to take part in because they know they can get something out of it—either through consuming content or participating directly by asking questions during the presentation. It also enables you to generate leads at scale without having to do any heavy lifting (like calling on the phone).
To create an effective webinar:
- Determine how much time will be spent on preparation vs. delivery;
- Choose an appropriate date and time based on your target audience.
- List all topics/topics related specifically related topic/topic areas covered during each session.
A product trial is a free sample of your product or service, usually lasting between one and three days. It's a great way to build trust by letting your potential clients try out the product and experience it for themselves.
After the trial period ends, you can prompt them with an option asking if they want to continue using it (or not). If they do, that’s great! You've generated an interested lead who may be ready to buy right away when you send them over to your payment page.
- Use a discount code to reward your customers with a discount.
- Give the discount code to your customers and make sure you have a way to track how many people use it.
- Use the discount code as part of a marketing campaign, such as emailing your mailing list or posting on social media.
A catalog is a collection of products that you can offer to your audience. If you're offering a physical product, then you might want to create a digital catalog as well. You may also want to offer digital versions of your existing physical catalogs, so that people who prefer digital shopping can still take advantage of your offerings.
Samples are a great way to let your customers try before they buy. And the best part? It doesn't matter what kind of product or service you're selling. You can give away samples in all shapes and sizes as long as they contain enough value to provide real experience for your visitors.
You can offer physical samples or digital ones; it's up to you! Physical samples might include products like brochures, books or magazines, while digital samples might include ebooks, whitepapers and PDFs that are downloaded by potential customers during their lead generation journey.
Either way, don't underestimate the power of giving someone a taste of what they could have if they purchased from your business!
The next type of lead magnet I want to tell you about is the spin-the-wheel pop-up.
It's a great way to offer a free trial of your product or service, but it can also be used for other things like ebooks and webinars.
The idea behind this pop-up is that you offer something valuable in exchange for an email address, while also giving them an option to remove themselves from your list if they don't want to receive any more emails from you. This allows you to have control over who subscribes and who doesn't!
Newsletter sign up
There are two main ways to do this: one is to make it very easy for the user, and the other is not. The former involves no forms and no sign-ups at all, but requires some clever design. What you want to do is give away your best content in a free newsletter that goes out once per month or so. This can be done through email or social media (though email has far higher open rates). Once a user signs up for it, they’ll get an email with links back to all of your content—which they can read on their own time and schedule! They’ll also have access to special offers from you when these come up from time-to-time.
This method works well if you have lots of great content--and most businesses do!
If you're running an online business, or if you have a brick-and-mortar business that has an online presence, then offering a free consultation is one way to attract leads. A free consultation is often the first step that potential clients take in getting to know you and your services. A consultation is essentially a phone call or meeting where you talk about what's going on with them and their business—and then offer solutions for how to fix it. Once they've had this conversation with you, they will be much more likely to buy from you over other people because they feel like they know who they're working with, and trust your knowledge of their industry (if not already). Here's what I recommend:
- Set up a time for them to talk on the phone or schedule an in-person meeting if possible
- Ask for contact information before sending out anything else so that when it comes time for follow-up emails/calls/etc., there won't be any awkwardness around getting their attention back again after forgetting about each other since last speaking!
- Send out an email explaining everything that went into making up this offer (i.e., "I'll spend 20 minutes talking about all of the problems we've been having lately," etc). This should include when / where / how long consultations will take place as well as how many questions we ask per session - which might vary depending upon whether we need extra details before proceeding further down our path towards helping them solve those issues!
- Give people a quiz to see if they qualify for your product.
- Customize the quiz to your ideal customer.
- Make sure the quiz is fun and engaging.
- Make sure there are no typos or grammar mistakes.
A planner/calendar is a useful tool for anyone who wants to keep track of their day. Have you ever had a day where you have so many things on your mind, but then you get home and realize that you don't remember what happened? A planner or calendar can help with this by recording all of your activities throughout the day and creating an easy way to look back on them later.
You can find planners in both physical and digital forms. If someone prefers using physical paper, they might want a planner with extra pages for notes, or one that has tabs so it's easy to flip through. A digital version could be something like Evernote or Google Calendar (or Apple's native calendar app), which allows users to sync up with their phones so they never forget when appointments are happening again!
Gated premium content
You can use gated content to keep your audience engaged and get them to pay for premium content. For example, you might offer an ebook or video series (or some other type of premium content) that's only available to people who subscribe to your email list and sign up for the free report. This is a great way to get people interested in what you're offering, then enticing them with more information about it as soon as they leave their contact info on the page.
To start using this technique on your own website:
A report is a document that presents the findings of an investigation or research. Reports may be used to summarize data and present it in a way that is easy for people to read, understand, and act on.
A report can take many forms depending on its purpose. A collection of information about the results of an investigation or research may be called a report; however, some reports are more specific in nature: they summarize the results of an investigation. These summaries can range from just a few paragraphs to several pages long. They're often presented with headings (like "Results" or "Conclusions") so readers know where they are in the document at all times.
An infographic is a visual representation of information, data or knowledge. They are often used to simplify complex topics and make them easier to understand. Infographics are typically used as a marketing tool, but they can also serve as an educational resource for your audience.
Infographics can help you:
- Improve engagement in your emails by sending relevant content that engages with the reader's interests
- Educate about your product or service offerings so that potential customers know what they're buying into when they sign up for your email list
In general, infographics work best if you have an idea of how long readers will spend with it before moving on to another task or website. If readers are going to spend five minutes with it (or less), then an infographic may not be the best choice for lead magnet material because it won't hold their attention long enough for them to see what value there could be in signing up for more emails from you (such as blog posts)
An email course is a collection of emails designed to educate your audience on a topic that you know they are interested in. They can be a series of emails, or one long email. Email courses are a great way for you to build trust with your audience by providing them with helpful information about the topic that they care about. You can also use them as an opportunity to market your business directly to people who have indicated interest in learning more about it.
An example would be if someone signed up for an email course on "How To Start A Blog," and then at the end of each lesson they got an offer from the company offering their services (a web hosting company).
Event tickets are a great way to get people hooked and interested in your business. You can use event tickets for webinars, workshops, conferences and any other type of educational or motivational event you want to host. If you want to sell your products and services in exchange for the ticket, that's also an option.
Event tickets are usually sold with a discount or as a freebie.
A PDF version of your blog post
PDF version of your blog post:
- Give people a reason to subscribe.
- Give them a reason to come back to your site.
- Make it easy for them to share with others, or print out and save for later.
- Email it as an attachment directly from your email marketing platform (e.g., MailChimp).
A white paper is a document that explains the benefits of your product or service. It's typically used as part of your sales funnel to drive leads, but can also be used as a lead magnet.
White papers are an effective way to inform prospects about how you use your product or service, without being overly promotional. They allow you to share your expertise, which increases trust and legitimacy in their eyes.
The best white papers have:
- A clear outline of what they're going to cover upfront (like in a blog post) so readers know what they're getting into when they download it;
- Easy-to-follow formatting that's easy on the eyes and doesn't require too much reading at once; and
- Lots of screenshots with captions explaining what everything means—this makes it easier for readers who may not know much about the subject matter yet.
Podcasts are great for building trust, but they can also be an effective way to learn something new. If you’re willing to devote time and energy into creating a podcast episode that is high quality, you will be rewarded with more subscribers and followers.
For example, if one of your goals is to learn how to grow your blog traffic by guest posting on other blogs in your niche—a highly recommended strategy by many growth hackers—then a podcast episode recording yourself following through with this strategy would be ideal. Your listeners could go through the exact same process as they listen while they’re driving around town or working out at the gym! They might even find themselves thinking: “Wow! I should try that myself!”
If done right, this will help build trust between you and potential customers because it demonstrates that you know what you're talking about (and what better way than through audio?). You'll also make them feel like part of the community because now they have access to content that no one else does (i.e., exclusive).
1-on-1 or as a group experience
The first two lead magnet ideas are great if you are offering a service or product that is more personalized and tailored to individual needs. These aren’t right for everyone, but they can be very effective if you know what you’re doing.
- You could offer 1-on-1 or group training sessions in person, over Skype, or through another video call platform (like Zoom). This is a great option if your business is local and your product requires some hands-on learning before it can be implemented. If this sounds like something your ideal client would benefit from, then go ahead and try out this approach!
- You could also create a webinar series with an online community attached to it as well—this option works well if there are multiple ways people can access the information being shared. People that do not have time during the day may log onto these events at night when their schedule allows them to sit down for an hour or two with other attendees who want answers too!
How to set up a lead magnet?
Setting up a lead magnet is simple. All you need to do is set up an email marketing campaign and you'll be ready to start collecting emails. If you're using an email marketing platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, this will be easy.
Here's how it works:
- Set up a landing page with your lead magnet on it. This can be as simple as a single HTML file or a full-blown WordPress website (or even something in between). The goal here is just to collect emails, so don't worry about making it pretty yet!
- Get people to sign up for your mailing list at that landing page by giving them the lead magnet as incentive for signing up for updates from you (more on this later).
- Once someone has signed up for your mailing list, send them their reward - probably via email - and follow-up with additional content over time that relates back to their initial interest in what they signed up for.
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It's a wrap
Hopefully, this article has given you a starting point for your own lead magnet. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive; all it takes is some creativity and hard work on your part. If you want to learn more about how to create an effective lead magnet, take a look at our post on creating an irresistible offer.