Whether we realise it or not, we’re exposed to lead magnets every day of our lives, and it’s not just online. It’s the carrot dangle of a shop’s well-merchandised window; the unstoppable draw of a ‘FIRST BOX FREE’ voucher, or even a free valuation of our house, car or another asset. Businesses of all kinds see the currency in their offering and use it not just to entice once, but build an ongoing, fruitful relationship.
The same happens online, with arguably greater efficacy (or at least easier measurement). Just like with a free house valuation, when you give a little of your service or product away for free, the first interaction costs you (in time or money), but it can lead to a more meaningful (or profitable, if we’re being candid!) conversion for your business in the long run.
So what is a lead magnet and how can we create one? Here are five examples, all achievable with limited effort, but could return maximum engagement.
The Ultimate Guide – Curated compendium of your own content!
Imagine, for example, that you’re a personal trainer (it’s a bit of a stretch for me after the number of times the fridge light has shone in my face this week, but we can pretend…). You don’t want to give your whole game away, of course, but you can easily put some content together that helps answer some hot topics for your users. The trick here is to repurpose existing content and use your paid content to drive your free content. For example, string together a few existing YouTube videos of your warm-up routines, call it your ‘Ultimate Warm-Ups for Wellness’ then allow it to only be accessed by people who submit their email addresses to you. If you think about it, that’s what King of the Abs, Joe Wicks did: starting simply on Instagram sharing 15-second vids of his recipes, he collated his faves and put them in his first recipe book.
A Downloadable Checklist
You are the expert in your field. You could reel off how to do your specialism without blinking, and know all the steps, tech or equipment that goes into it. That’s valuable, you know. Still with my lycra firmly on, if I use my example of the personal trainer, I could quickly create a downloadable checklist of the types of muscle groups or the best beginner gym equipment shopping list. Again, accessing this content should come after the submission of an email address, a sign-up to an event, or similar.
An Interactive Quiz
I don’t know about you, but I used to love taking the quizzes on the pages of glossy magazines: what type of companion are you; what cocktail would you be; what your work style says about you. Whether they’re on a quest for personal enlightenment, or simply looking for a little procrastination material, quizzes are a great lead magnet, and forcing active engagement with a user, rather than them passively reading or listening. There are great tools on the market, from the super simple (and free) Google Forms to more feature-heavy TryInteract.com, which can sync with email marketing lists you may already have.
The Trial Offer or Discount Code
I’m a sucker for a free 30-day trial, and rather than suck me into the entrapment of a monthly fee, they’ve allowed me to explore the service and pick the right systems for me. If you’re in the service industry, a free trial can be a massive vote of confidence in your offering, and a highly effective lead magnet. If you’re selling a product, or you think of your offering in terms of a one-off or irregular purchase, you may go for the more traditional discount code – remember, exclusive only to those who are also willing to give a little back, and that’s usually their email address.
White Paper or E-Book
I’ll be straight with you, this one may take a little time if you don’t already have tonnes of content that you could curate as one piece like our first example, but creating an e-Book or White Paper can prove your authority in a subject, and you find it hugely satisfying to write about your subject at length. E-commerce experts and founders of SmartEBusiness, the Hammersley brothers released and sold their ‘Ultimate Guide to E-Commerce Growth’ book, and from a landing page and subsequently created a community around it as a Facebook Group.
One last thing: as important as the lead magnet itself, just as much consideration should be given to the actions your audience takes directly before it, and after. Phew, that sounds like a lot of work, right? No. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated – it’s simply about identifying how they will arrive at your lead magnet, and what you want them to do next. In the example above, our personal trainer may choose to just share the link on social media for their user acquisition, and then in terms of what they want the user to do next, it may be to join their Facebook community (see my post on creating your own Facebook Groups) or join a mailing list. Remember, even if the sale doesn’t come today, with new users comes conversation, and with conversation there comes fresh opportunities for turning those people into pounds!