It happens to all of us: you’re looking for information and something useful catches our eye. Then, there’s a catch: you can only access the information or download it if we provide a name and email address. Congratulations – you’ve just been enticed by a lead magnet!
Lead magnets are a way to compensate potential customers for engagement. In slightly less flattering terms, they may be called “referred to bribes to subscribe,” as a “give to get” strategy, where leads give up their contact information in return for something valuable, such as information they’ve already been searching for. Think of it as a marketing version of a paywall: potential customers evaluate whether or not something is worth “paying” to access, except in this case, they’re weighing whether they want to give up personal information, rather than weighing whether they want to pay.
It’s your job, then, to make sure that this information is absolutely worth the tradeoff for leads. That’s why the most effective lead magnets solve a specific problem for a specific segment within your marketplace. To build an effective lead magnet, consider what problems your potential customers might have. You should then think about what information you might have that could help solve those problems or answer those questions. Focus on questions and problems related to audience groups who are likely to find your goods or services useful. This will not only increase the likelihood of success with your lead magnet, but you’re more likely to succeed when you actually reach out to the potential customers you’ve discovered this way.
The idea behind lead magnets is simple: people are willing to provide contact information because they perceive your lead magnet will have an immediate positive impact on their life . They want to fix something, know something, or move forward with something, and you can provide that expertise!
The quality and usefulness of the information needs to be high, or any benefits of the lead magnet will be moot. If users share their data to access some piece of information and it turns out to be useful, your brand has just proved its trustworthiness and established authority. On the other hand, if those same users are deeply disappointed by the information they get, they’re likely to feel tricked or even warn other potential leads away. Use lead magnets as an opportunity to promote your brand’s authority in a certain space, not just as a way to get information.
More and more websites are using a slightly different form of a lead magnet, known as a “painful button.” These ads, often in pop-up form, force you to say no to something to get to the information hidden by the pop-up. This technique is often seen on retail sites, where users may see a pop-up telling them that, if they do not give their information, they’ll forego financial benefits, like free shipping or coupon discount codes. Customers who don’t want to miss out on a good deal will often then input their information.
Ultimately, the best lead magnets promote your brand as an authority on a topic and promote the benefits of your brand, all while encouraging potential customers to share their data so that you can more effectively reach out to them in the future. After someone downloads a lead magnet, they should be left with a positive impression of your brand.
From there, it’s time to think through how your brand can take these leads from “slightly engaged” to a sale. The lead magnet is an important first step in developing a path to conversion. However, it is, after all, only the first step. From there, your brand has to be ready to impress!
TYPES OF LEAD MAGNETS
- “Cheat sheet”
- Tool kit
- Resource list
- Video training
- Software download
- Free trial of some service
- Discount on goods or services
- Free shipping coupon
- Pricing info
- Webinar or podcast
- Ticket to an online event
- Contest entry
- Special offer
- Useful template
- Live chats
- Website widget for your site