The keystone of your content marketing is your blog posts, but you can add impact to those posts by using lead magnets.
Why You Should Use Lead Magnets
Most people who visit your website are not ready to buy or work with you right away—up to 98 percent of them, by some estimates. And most of those visitors—70 percent—will never visit your site again. So how do you get them to give you a chance to provide more information about your product or service? Lead magnets.
A lead magnet is a piece of information, valuable to your prospect, that you offer in exchange for your visitor’s contact information. The less information visitors have to provide, the more likely they are to provide it, so ask for just name and email address (unless you need to do serious prequalifying due to a high-end service or product).
The best lead magnets are short, simple, to the point. More importantly, they shift the relationship between you and your prospects by motivating them to do business with you in the future. Keep your lead magnets specific to a target market or buyer persona and focus on one promise, not many little promises. Make sure your promise delivers on a desired result that you know your market wants, and give your prospect a sense of immediate gratification by fulfilling that promise as quickly as possible. Your lead magnet should take no more than five or 10 minutes to read and understand. Remember to include a call to action at the end to encourage prospects to take the next step in your funnel, such as scheduling a consultation or buying your book.
Below are 11 ideas for lead magnets you can use on your blog or website.
10-Minute Rule Lead Magnets
The following lead magnets should take no more than 10 minutes to read and understand.
A checklist is the ultimate value-add to an actionable blog post. Take your actionable elements and break them down into smaller steps. This will help make the list more achievable.
A resource guide is a list of recommended resources, such as software or tools, that will help readers reach a desired objective. Include the name of the tool, a short description of why you think it’s helpful or useful, whether you’ve used it yourself or are relying on the recommendations of others, cost, and web link. Resource guides are good for helping people solve specific problems and can be used for software and apps, books, websites, etc. Keep your recommended resources appropriate to what you’re selling so that your call to action is also appropriate and moves the reader along your funnel.
A cheatsheet provides valuable reference points for your product or service. A cheatsheet that you already use with existing clients will make a great lead magnet, whether it’s tips on keyboard shortcuts for your software or a list of your most popular FAQs.
Set up a survey with a few questions that provide insight into how your prospects view a hot topic in your industry or that help you understand what would make your product or service better or more appealing to your prospects. Show the results only to prospects who have given you their information. Like the quiz and assessment below, a survey allows you to (virtually) interact with your prospect, unlike most lead magnets, which are focused on a more passive intake of information.
Set up a short quiz with questions relating to your service or product offering. Show the results only to prospects who have given you their information. This can be a fun way to engage prospects, especially if you take poetic license with what constitutes “relating to your service or product.”
Your product or service isn’t for everybody, so help your prospects figure that out themselves by offering an assessment of their needs as related to your product or service benefits.
Going Beyond the 10-Minute Rule
These lead magnets break the 10-minute rule. They are intended for when you sell a complex service or product and need to go more in-depth with your information.
For higher-priced products or services, offering a free consultation is an excellent way to have a direct conversation with someone who has indicated interest in your service or product. You and your prospect can gain value from the consultation if you tell the prospect what you expect to accomplish in the consultation and you keep it short. Of course, there will be those who take advantage of the consultation to learn from you with no intention of buying, but when you help someone with tips and ideas, that makes you a hero—and your conversation will help you determine if they’re a good fit for your product or service.
If you use a service that allows your prospect to schedule a meeting or phone conversation immediately online (Hubspot, Calendly, Book Like a Boss), be sure to include the link.
Tell the world just how good you are by highlighting a successful project with one of your favorite clients (with their permission, of course). Include the challenges the client faced before using your product or service and how the product or service successfully met those challenges. Show the real benefits of using your product or service and give hard numbers whenever possible. Include a bio about your client. Keep it short—no more than three or four pages.
A white paper is a detailed marketing report used to persuade potential clients to learn more about (or to purchase) a product, service, technology, or methodology. The report typically presents a problem and then advocates for a certain solution, helping to influence the decision-making process of prospects and existing clients. By focusing on the needs and challenges of a target market and addressing the problems that market wants to solve, a white paper can offer a solution that relies on your product or service. For example, instead of simply introducing a new product, as you would do with a news release, a white paper would discuss how to choose a product that best fulfills your prospects needs—and advocate that yours is the most effective solution (e.g., Introducing our fancy new accounting software versus How to choose accounting software that best fits your needs).
An ebook is a great way to showcase your expertise and to teach your prospects something of value, whether that’s learning a new technique that will save them time or money, improving on something they’re already doing, or giving them greater insight into a specific topic (related to your product or service, of course). By including an author bio, you’re also helping to establish credibility with your target market.
Sending a newsletter regularly to prospects will help keep your product or service top of mind and give you the opportunity to provide more comprehensive information about who you are and what you do, as well as exclusive offers. Your newsletter can be simple or extensive; just make sure it’s easy to read on-screen and mobile friendly.
Download our worksheet to help you build your next lead magnet. (You see what we did there?)