A Lead magnet, or subscription magnet is a popular way of connecting with people who may be interested in you and your business. The idea is that you offer some really useful information in exchange for someone’s email address. But, why do we need people’s email addresses?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the most successful business owners nowadays all have large customer lists and social media followings. This allows them to connect and communicate with all their prospects and customers in a timely way. You get invited into their inbox to speak with them directly. This is called email marketing.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing involves sending out emails to your subscription list. The content of these emails can vary greatly, but they need to be something that your recipient will want to hear about. It also gives you the opportunity to send information to them about your products, services and events.
Email marketing also allows the subscriber to ‘unsubscribe’ from anything that they no longer wish to receive so it’s important to ensure that your emails are useful and interesting and not all about selling.
There are also rules around email marketing. The subscriber must ‘opt-in’ which means they freely give you their email address and in most cases, they must confirm this via email in a link you send to them. This ensures that the subscriber does not get communications they don’t want, and that you have abided by the rules and are not just sending out SPAM. You are also allowed to add subscribers who might realistically expect to hear from you and this may be previous customers, but not just someone random that you met at a networking event who gave you their business card. These rules are usually implemented by the email service provider – for example Mailchimp or Aweber. If you get a lot of emails not delivered, and/or a lot of un-subscribers they may suspend your account as this is an indication that you are not following the rules.
Email marketing is a very effective, convenient and low cost way of sending out marketing materials. It means that you can send targeted and personalised communications to the right people at the right time. You can even segment your subscriber lists using various criteria, so that you are sure you are sending the right kind of messages to the right kind of people, at the right time. So, for example you may have different services that you offer. By creating a lead magnet for each service, you can gather email addresses for each service, but also send out an email to everyone on all of your lists if you have a more general communication or offer that would interest everyone.
Having said all this it is important to treat your email list with care and not just send them sales content and offers. The aim is to build a relationship and share your thoughts on useful topics to help them. This builds trust so that when you do make an offer to them, they are more likely to consider it.
Email addresses are considered a precious commodity by most of us – a bit like our mobile phone number – and because of this people will no longer part with their contact details unless there is a reward. Providing a lead magnet can be a compelling and time sensitive way of asking for and receiving their email address.
What does a Lead Magnet look like?
Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes, from a one page tips sheet to a multi-page glossy PDF. They can also be a video, a webinar or access to a free course. The important thing is that it provides something useful that the reader will value. It is usually advice or how to do something. Lead magnets are usually offered as a free resource, and provided and delivered through online channels in exchange for the reader’s email address and sometimes other details (such as their name and the industry they’re in).
You’ve probably visited websites that display popups offering a tempting ebook, tool or access to something useful in exchange for your email address. This is a lead magnet in action.
Lead magnets work because they provide an instant takeaway. Readers can respond on the spur of the moment. However, it’s important that getting the lead magnet is quick and easy for the recipient. If they have to jump through too many hoops they will abandon it.
Why are they called Lead Magnets?
In sales terminology, a ‘lead’ is a prospective client who has expressed an interest in what you offer. They are not just a contact who you happen to know. They are someone who has begun the process of getting to know you. We all know the phrase ‘people buy from people’ and offering a lead magnet is a way for people to dip their toe in the water and find out if you (or your business) are a good fit for them. Therefore, a lead magnet is something that attracts leads to you, by providing an incentive to sign up. Hence the name ‘lead magnet’.
Can I have multiple Lead Magnets?
Yes. If you have more than one product or service it makes sense to have more than one lead magnet. It means that you can ‘segment’ people who are only interested in one or some of your services. This helps you to make sure you are sending them useful content and also that any valuable tips or offers are tailored to their interests. It also gives you a variety of promotional material which can only help with your sales process.
How do I set up a Lead Magnet?
If your website is hosted using a service like WordPress, you can use a number of plugins that will allow you to collect email addresses and deliver your lead magnet. You will also be able to setup a ‘landing page’ for your lead magnet. This is a page on your website whose only purpose is to persuading people to download the lead magnet by collecting their email address and pointing them to the lead magnet. Most email marketing tools like MailChimp will allow the automatic adding of email addresses after minimal setup. If you have someone who looks after your website for you, they will be able to either give you instructions or set it up for you, otherwise you can find someone to help or of course see if you can find instructions or a video online.
You will also need hosting for your lead magnet. This is basically the home for your lead magnet and the place readers are sent to download or access it. This may differ depending on the type of content you want to deliver. You can provide links to unlisted/private YouTube videos, host the content on your own site (which may slow down your site if the lead magnet becomes popular), or use an external hosting service.
How do I design and edit my Lead Magnet?
Once you have decided on the topic for your lead magnet you can create this in a number of ways. You can write an eBook in Word and PDF it, or create something like an ‘infograph’ with a graphics package. Most decent copywriters will be able to set this up for you or recommend some great tools to help you. If you want to create and write it yourself make sure that you ask someone else to edit and proofread it for you so that you avoid any silly mistakes.
How do I promote my Lead Magnet?
The next step is to get people interested in downloading your lead magnet. Make sure you have links to the landing page in the appropriate pages on your website. Also, social media is an obvious place to advertise. You can broadcast on your own social media pages or in any groups you belong to. The most important thing to remember is to try and aim it at your target market. A large subscription list is of no value if you have all the wrong people on it. When you promote your lead magnet, make sure you link direct to your landing page on your website. You can also use paid advertising streams to get news of your lead magnet out to potential prospects. If you do a lot of face-to-face networking it might be useful to include the link to your landing page on your business cards, or have something you hand out.
As you can see, lead magnets can be a lot of work, but they can also collect new prospective leads while you sleep. If you are interested in using a Lead Magnet to promote your business I can offer you a couple of options.
- I write lead magnets for many of my clients and make sure they are attractively packaged. Just get in touch if you are interested – the cost will depend on the length of the document and how much of the content you can give me and how much I have to research on your behalf. However, I promise you a great end product that you can be proud of and keen to promote.
- You can take advantage of some training I offer with a highly-experienced web design colleague. We will take you through the whole process so at the end of the day you have a basic lead magnet written, setup on your Workpress site and set up in Mailchimp. This is a process you can then go on to replicate on your own in future of you wish.
- If you want to write your own lead magnet, I offer an edit and proofreading service to make sure the content is excellent, suitable for your audience and contains no mistakes.