Lead Magnets 101: Turning “Free Stuff” into Recurring Revenue
Lead magnets. You may have heard any number of digital marketing gurus toss this term around. They’re a major part of any marketing funnel. Any overall business plan, really. After all, lead magnets introduce your business to its audience.
Another way to put it: lead magnets are free stuff. Free stuff that lures your target audience down your rabbit hole.
Truth is, almost every business gives away something. The sample table at the super market. The free inspection at the express oil change place. Happy hour at your local grease dive.
But what about the digital marketing space?
You can’t exactly offer a download of free cookies on your website. (Well, you can but shipping costs are pricey.) And besides, your prospects don’t seek you out for the promise of gifts—they want information.
For this reason, we recommend creating a lead magnet that gives them exactly what they want. That desire is not “stuff.” It’s not even necessarily something that’s free.
Your prospects want knowledge, info, the lowdown, the 411.
And we’re going to show you how to do exactly that.
How Lead Magnets Work
Lead magnets are a must-have. They’re not a way to enhance the customer experience, but to create it. As relationship-based business practices constitute sustainability, a lead magnet represents an introduction between you and the person you will work tirelessly to serve.
And it’s not only relationships that hang in the balance. Your online presence also requires a lead magnet for increased visibility. In other words, without giving away no-cost value up front, your website will see slim return traffic. And recurring buyers, you can forget about them.
With a quality lead magnet, you have opened up a conversation—and one that will continue. In requesting the “free stuff”, your prospect has allowed you to showcase your expertise and preview the value your business creates.
Trust issues are natural at the initial stages of a relationship. Business transactions are no exception.
Therein lies the crux of the lead magnet definition. The practice leverages expertise, sure. But even more so, lead magnets establish trust.
The Blueprint of a Quality Lead Magnet
OK, now you know they’re lead magnets are nothing short of detrimental. Now for the more important step, which is crafting a really freaking good one.
Whatever kind of lead magnet you offer—whether it’s a free website assessment or a downloadable white paper—keep the following criteria in mind.
Deliver actionable take-aways.
Information amounts to a hill of beans without knowing what to do with it. Show them very specific skillsets, or give readers resources. If they experience even a small transformation from a free offer, then you stand on solid ground.
Teach a relevant skillset.
Your business relies on a skillset, even product based businesses. For example, if you sell scented candles, chances are that your ideal buyer values their home space. So they might be something of a clean freak. Or at least, they’d like to be one. You can give them tips. Any tips, as long as they’re related to the products and services you sell.
Reveal little-known information.
Quality tools, for one. As an SEO and inbound marketing company, mouse and Man shows people incredibly valuable tools all the time. Tools that we don’t make. Tools that we get no affiliate dollars from. We simply want to give people value. And when we do that, that’s when the phone starts ringing.
Give incentive to return for more information.
OK, don’t give them everything. Make sure they’re thirsty for more. We’re not suggesting that you skimp on the value, but you don’t want to give away everything during the introductory phase.
Forecast results of your services.
This one is big. After you give them tools, resources, or otherwise pertinent information, let them know about the results you can create. For example, a free website evaluation is a good way to show business owner why their website isn’t performing at full-throttle.
In the final report, forecast how you’d solve those issues and provide a complete transformation.
Examples of Quality Lead Magnets
You have choices. So many that you’re sure to find the exact format you’re audience will love most.
Reports. Ah, the classic white paper. In a world filled with video and image-based content, words actually stand out quite well. In a report you create, you are able to showcase your business personality and build your brand in an intimate way. Your prospect will feel as if you’re talking to him or her—directly.
Video drips. Show the world your pretty face. Or, you know, use an animation. Heck, even a PowerPoint presentation might do the trick. My advice: drip your video over email. Break it up into parts, as it’s easy to become inundated with information.
Consultations. The ol’ phone call technique. Or Skype. There’s nothing that says you care more than sitting down with people and talking with them one-on-one.
Lists of tools. I mentioned this a bit earlier. You see, this is 2016, and there’s a great big Internet we can’t live without. There are so many tools and resources that compliment your products or otherwise solve a problem. Show your people those tools and teach them how to take advantage.
Or there’s our personal favorite: the free evaluation. For mouse and Man, we prefer the no-cost website evaluation.
Here’s how it works:
We take a long, hard look at…
The Content of your website, and see how it measures up with your SEO goals.
The Indexing section of your website, so we can ascertain how the performance of seven main topics.
The Linking section of your website, including your social media mentions.