The short answer is you should be interested because a good lead magnet generates lots of leads, which make you money. They are a heck of a lot better at doing this than normal home pages or ‘contact me’ links for a few reasons.
Why do lead magnets work?
Lead magnets are a way of attracting leads by offering something to a prospect in exchange for an email address. Unlike other similar tactics, you’re not overtly asking for an email address so that you can sell to the person in question. You’re offering something to them, and you need an email address to send it to them. That’s what a lead magnet is, a giveaway designed to draw leads. The giveaway can be a service, an item (via voucher) or, more often than not, information.
This means the user isn’t giving up something to you, they’re getting something from you. Some advertising-savvy users may consciously recognise that it’s a trade, rather than a giveaway. Either way, the ‘what can I get’ mindset is still switched on and the user is much more likely to give you access to their all-important inbox.
Digging into the psychology a little deeper, it’s a softer question. Imagine asking 100 strangers ‘How can I help you?’. Now imagine asking another 100 ‘How can I sell you something?’. It’s obvious which question is going to get the most positive responses.
The user is also making less of a commitment. There’s no talk of buying, only getting the free stuff – and let’s be honest, that’s a great thing to commit to.
That’s why good lead magnets can generate 300-400% more leads than old-fashioned calls to action like ‘contact us’ and ‘get a quote’*.
Quality leads, as well as quantity
Lead magnets generate more leads than most calls to action. They’re often high-quality leads as well, as long as they are handled correctly and nurtured over time.
Giving something to someone is a great way to start or improve a relationship. It builds positive feelings like geniality and trust. You can multiply this effect by giving away intelligent information showing you know all about what you do or sell.
For example, if a plumber offers you a guide to unblocking a sink, it tells you they know their stuff. Okay, so it’s not high-level expertise, but they’re hardly going to tell you how to sort out burst water mains.
Based on this, prospects will assume you know the higher-level stuff as well and will remember you every time they read the guide. A well-designed lead magnet can turn you into the reader’s go-to person in your area.
The same is true for product sellers. I’d choose to buy from vendors who know their wares over those who just take my money and go every time, and the same is true online.
Following up on leads
The best way to follow up on leads generated by a lead magnet is slowly and carefully. You don’t want to jump into your lead’s inbox the next day saying “Right, you’ve got the free stuff. Now make a purchase.”
The right way to go is the opposite way. Keep emailing them free advice or reminders related to the original thing that drew them in every week to every month. You don’t have to write an encyclopaedia, just a quick tip or a reminder that they can get 20% off such-and-such
Each time, the important thing is that the prospect sees your business, sees the little extra offering and is reminded of you. Always give them the option to get in touch, but if you are going to step up to heavy sales mode, take your time and do it with extreme caution.
The seven points of contact rule in marketing says that a prospect must encounter your offering seven times before they are likely to become customers. Wherever the prospect encountered your lead magnet was one, and the magnet itself was the second. Then, it’s best to send at least five emails before going for a sell. Often though, it’s best to continue the relaxed, useful follow-ups until the user is ready to contact you. A small advert is usually enough.
Creating a lead magnet – The basics
It’s important to make the call to action to the lead magnet big, bold, obvious and attractive. You should also explain what the user is getting clearly. Specific, well-explained lead magnets draw up to 85% more leads than general, vague ones*.
When they get to the lead magnet, don’t make the user enter their life story. Email and name are often enough. More fields generally equal fewer leads.
Collect and use the emails from your lead magnet with a mail app. As far as I’m concerned, Moosend is the best option for doing this, but MailChimp is another popular choice. These apps will allow you to design a set of attractive and functional follow-up emails relatively easily. Find out more about how to do this here and about Moosend here.
As I’ve already mentioned, it’s best to keep the follow-up relaxed, informative and even a little entertaining. Give them something worth reading and remind them of your offering, but don’t sell it to them too hard – that will just get you banished to the junk folder.
Follow these tips and you should be attracting leads to your offerings like iron filings to a magnet in no time.
A Few Great Lead Magnets
Here are a few examples of brilliant existing lead magnets.
Educational comic creator Alan Hesse offers the second volume of his brilliant Polo the Bear series for free as a lead magnet here. This will doubtless get readers caught up in the exciting adventure and making them want to read more.
How about a lead magnet on the subject of lead magnets? This one is a great example of a popular and simple variety – examples and templates. Both are useful and easy to create. Here, the magnet gives some free information and then requests a sign-up in exchange for more – A good strategy.
Lead magnets are a great way to increase market share. Epic Games have given away hundreds of pounds worth of leading computer games recently in exchange for signups in a bid to catch up with leading competitor, Steam.