Everyone doing business online – from freelance photographers to giant retailers – needs a consistent way to grow their audience. It’s just an essential part of maintaining a healthy and expanding subscriber-base.
You need reliable channels to ensure your products and services don’t get overshadowed by your competitors.
Whether that means building a robust mailing list, generate a potential-user database for an app, or just understand your audiences’ preferences better, makes little difference.
Client information is a valuable commodity, and you need to give them a good reason to part with it!
After all, addressing an email to “Mark” or “Susan” is far more effective than doing so to “Dear Customer.”
But how can you get that information from people? How do you manage for someone, that just happened to find your website, to voluntarily give you their contact info?
Simple: You use Lead Magnets.
Read on to learn in detail how to go about it, and get examples from businesses using them the right way!
What are Lead Magnets?
“Lead Magnet” is a term that describes any valuable resource or piece of content you give out to people in exchange for personal information. More often than not, their name and email. What we usually refer to as a “lead”.
Now, the fundamental concept behind lead magnets is Value.
Investing time and effort creating lead magnets your audience has no interest in is worthless. The nature of a lead magnet is to be compelling and desirable by the people you are trying to attract. Otherwise, it’s doubtful they’ll end up giving you their information.
That being the case, the question becomes how to go about creating and using effective lead magnets?
How to Use Lead Magnets to Actually Get Leads?
Nowadays, things are a bit different when it comes to lead magnets.
Back in the day, crafting a desirable lead magnet revolved around providing as much content as possible. It was about volume. Big, 40 or 50-page long eBooks were the norm.
That’s no longer the case.
Most people aren’t into the idea of spending 50-pages-worth of time reading about something. It actually sounds like a chore.
They want the highlights, the greatest hits, actionable intel that helps them accomplish a goal, gain something, or enjoy instant gratification.
With rare exceptions, those are the lead magnet ideas that work best.
So, how to use lead magnets that actually get leads? By choosing the ones that meet three simple conditions:
- Interesting and relevant to the people you want to attract: A lead magnet is ineffective if people have to puzzle-out why it’s worth it.
- Provide clear and self-evident value: The most effective lead magnets tend to be based around instant gratification. Immediately applicable and beneficial.
- Distinct and Targeted: Lead magnets work best when aimed at specific goals or pain points, instead of general ideas or broad subjects.
That said, the easiest way to quickly understand how lead magnets work is to see them in action! So, let’s take a look at a few examples from some internet-focused businesses and sites.
What is the best lead magnet for a freelance web designer?
Freelance web design is a great niche to start looking at lead magnets. You are offering a highly involved and very specific service, many of the traditional lead magnets would miss the mark here.
I mean, if they are looking for someone skilled to create their website, they are probably not interested in watching an entire webinar on the subject.
It follows, then, that the best lead magnet for a freelance web designer is one that lets you showcase your expertise to potential customers.
1 Free Consultation
Free Consultations make for powerful lead magnets and are going to pop up more than once on this piece. They are particularly compelling for clients in the latter stages of the buyer’s journey, so-called “Hot” clients. Significantly increasing the chances for a conversion on top of generating leads.
Take a page from Freelance Web Solutions that offers a free 1 Hour consultation in exchange for a name and an email.
2 Quizzes and Surveys
Quizzes and surveys that promise some value at the end are another type of compelling lead magnet in web design. Just with a few clicks responding to interesting questions, they get information and recommendations tailored specifically to them.
The folks at Website Builder Expert have it figured out. They prompt you the chance to respond four easy questions with the promise of recommending the best choices for web design platforms. A setup like this could generate you not only a brand new lead but also a few extra details on what the client is looking for.
What is a Good Lead Magnet Idea for a Luxury Product Brand?
Luxury products marketing is another great place to look at for interesting lead magnet ideas. In many cases, incentives for luxury businesses have less to do with the product itself, and more with the lifestyle usually attached to them.
3 Newsletters & Bulletins
Newsletters are a classic type of lead magnet that continues to do well in specific niches. You give potential leads the opportunity to periodically receive exciting information related to the products they love just by providing an email.
Goldsmiths is a perfect example. They have a very sober and minimalistic website catalog of various luxury products, with a box at the bottom to subscribe to a newsletter. Notice that, while the rest of their site is mostly black, grays, and whites, the button for this is gold-yellow. Immediately standing out.
4 Sign-Up Required Features
A well placed, well timed, sign-up prompt with a valuable feature behind it can be a killer way to attract new leads. Especially in the luxury items niche where an air of exclusivity usually adds to the experience.
1stdibs provides an excellent example with their “Follow” catalog feature. Which lets you customize a search by seller, item, category, and creator, then notifies you when new products matching your requirements become available. All they need in exchange? Your email.
What Would an Effective Lead Magnet Be for a Music Group?
As with other types of artists and content creators online, music group’s digital “business” revolves around fandom management and community building. They are continually trying to grow their follower presence in social media, or create groups to help spread their upcoming shows information.
5 Sign-up Required Content
Forms are one of the oldest methods to collect lead information online. The incentive here usually comes tied to the band’s popularity and the chance to receive new – and sometimes exclusive – information about them.
Dr. Dre’s site has a good example. The form, located at the bottom section of the site is on a contrasting color to the rest of the website. Not only does it ask for an email, but also location (Country). With such a massive, world-wide community, knowing this extra piece of data helps them send geographically-relevant information for upcoming events.
6 Free Products
Free products are one of the most compelling types of lead magnets you can offer, period. As musicians, there’s plenty of room your band has to provide. You can release snippets of upcoming singles, remixed versions of old songs or even exclusive a sneak peek of your next video. Lastly, you can always offer entire pieces of music as the ultimate type of incentive!
Moby gives us the perfect example for such incentive on his site MobyGratis. He basically made available a catalog of entire pieces from his music with a creative commons license for non-profit work. To get them, though, you need to provide a hefty bit of data.
How to Generate Leads as a Digital Marketer?
Digital marketers have a bit of a “carte blanche” on the lead magnets selection — alternatives running the whole gamut, from useful resource lists to substantial webinars, and everything in between.
The niche lends itself to tailor lead magnets, not only to the type of potential client you want to attract but also to different temperatures. Using low-commitment magnets to attract cold leads, and high-commitment ones for those ready to convert.
People online LOVE checklist. They are simple to understand and immediately useful pieces of content that present easy to follow steps, items, or stages. The only requirement is that you make them about something that thoroughly interests your potential lead.
You can find a nice example via AutoGrow. Notice how they are careful to mat match their checklist lead magnet to the topics their potential customers would be interested in. Anyone looking into scaling their web traffic would probably also be interested in a funnel checklist.
8 Infographics & Short eBooks
Infographics and Short eBooks are insanely popular types of lead magnets for all kinds of businesses in the digital marketing niche. Potential leads love them because they are a great way to condense a lot of valuable information in an easy to digest format.
Take this example from Yum Yum Videos, an explainer video company that offers free business-oriented Infographics on their area of expertise. Notice that they require a hefty bit of data, like website URL and Job position. Not an uncommon practice for B2B-centric lead magnets.
9 Free Services
Just like free products – and even more so than free content – free services hold a lot of appeal as lead magnets. When a potential lead is considering your company, giving them a chance to experience your work first-hand can be too good to let pass.
Take our website here at OTT. Right on our landing page, we give visitors the opportunity to receive a free local SEO and Google Map Marketing review for their business. All it takes is to fill a few boxes of contact information, and they are good to go.
Lead Magnets Powerful… When Done Right
A well thought-out and meaningful lead magnet can have a massive effect on your ability to start growing your potential-clients lists. But you need to remember that they are only one piece of the puzzle.
Leads don’t work in a vacuum!
You need to pair them with effective nurturing strategies to truly make something profitable out of them. By the same token, you need to have a robust SEO strategy that has new people constantly finding your content (and your lead magnets) in the first place.
It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth it! As it is the only way to organically and reliably increase conversions and reach your marketing and business goals!
And if you ever feel you need a bit of help, don’t hesitate to give us a call.