Meet Mr Rajeev Manchanda – Owner at Naari Kala
“Naari Kala”is a small scale designer store for women located in the sub-urban region of Mumbai. Starting this month, Mr. Rajiv Manchanda, the owner of Naari Kala intends to bring customers on board via social media. After undertaking discussions with his peers, he chooses Facebook as the social media platform to start of with his online store promotion. Being a novice in using social media for business, Mr Manchanda searches the following query on google for help:
“How To Use Facebook Ads For Business”
Mr Manchanda’s Buyer Journey
Out of the first ten search results, Mr Manchanda clicks on the article titled “13 of the Best Facebook Ad Examples That Actually Work” published by Hubspot.
Hubspot is a marketing platform that offers Inbound Marketing, Sales and Service Software.
So, the article starts with some statistics in favor of Facebook as a social platform. Then, it makes Mr Manchanda aware about Optimized Facebook Ads and the best practices to create such ads. Next, it educates him about the various ad formats on facebook and displays 8 different facebook ad templates. Finally, the blog post reveals 13 of the best Facebook Ad Examples.
When Mr Manchanda reaches the end of the blog post, he comes across the following clickable banner.
Free E-Book: 34 Digital Advertising Myths
“Learn Dozens of Pro Tips for Digital Advertising And Optimizing Your Ads For Each Channel”
Besides the e-book appearing at the end of the blog post, it also projects out in a small pop up window alongside the post. Since Mr Manchanda was keen on learning more about digital advertising, he simply clicked the banner. After entering his email address, Mr Manchanda downloaded the e-book.
Hubspot’s Lead Funnel
Taking cues from the above case study, why Hubspot offered a free e-book to Mr Manchanda at the end of the blog post? What made Mr Manchanda share his email address for an ebook? Why Hubspot chose to share ebook format of content only?
Before answering all such questions, let’s try to understand the hats donned by different stakeholders in the above scenario.
Hubspot is a business that wants to sell various tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics and search engine optimization. Mr Manchanda, on the other hand, is a prospect who needs help with regards to Facebook advertising and social media promotion.
Like other marketing professionals, Hubspot answered Mr Manchanda’s query in the form of a blog post. And Mr Manchanda, having come across the blog post, took insights on the underlying subject.
Moreover, after getting convinced with the information shared by Hubspot, Mr Manchanda even shared his email ID to download the e-book. This is the perfect example of a lead generation process adopted by Hubspot to lure prospects like Mr Manchanda.
The blog post gives insights pertaining to the query to Mr Manchanda. Simultaneously, it makes him aware about Hubspot. While the e-book is a lead magnet that compels Mr Manchanda to share his email address in return of a valuable piece of content.
So, What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a valuable offer that you as a marketer provide to potential buyers in exchange for their contact information. The contact information might include your prospective buyer’s phone number, email address, residential address, etc.
Lead magnet can be in the form of a content piece, a webinar, free consultation or any other resource that is of great value to your prospects. Such a resource helps them in resolving their problems that made them hit your business at first place. The very purpose of creating a Lead Magnet is to encourage your prospective customers to share their contact information.
According to a report, 79% of the B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel for lead generation efforts. Hence, as a marketer, your intent is to include your prospects in your email list. And eventually nurture them with targeted content in the form of newsletters, e-books, white papers, case studies etc.
Why do you need a Lead Magnet?
According to a study, 92 % of the prospects visiting your website for the first time would not make a purchase. They would either browse or research about your offerings as they are not sure to invest in them at this stage.
Hence, as a marketer, it is certainly a bad practice to undertake push marketing at the first instance.
Instead, you need to pursue your prospective buyers in sharing their contact information. This can be achieved by nurturing them instead of forcing your products or services on them.
But, it’s not that easy to convince your prospects to share their contact details or email address that easily. So you need to give them something valuable. This is to ensure that their interest is intact in your offering. Hence, here is where a lead magnet comes into play.
Lead magnets offer a value proposition that your target customers have actually been searching for. Each lead magnet promises to give a specific benefit that resolves the problem of your target customer in a particular area. Moreover, such benefits are offered free of cost. This compels the prospect to share email address instantaneously, without giving a second thought. Such an outcome is a result of an access to some valuable information at a zero price.
Dan Ariely, the Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, conducted a study that he named “Zero as a Special Price”. According to the study, the consumers preferred choosing the option offering free products over the option offering products at a relatively cheap products. This shows the extent to which people value free things.
Now, to have an understanding of how a lead magnet works, you need to take a look at the typical lead funnel.
61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. And 46% of marketers with well-planned lead management strategies have sales teams who follow up on more than 75% of leads. Therefore, as a marketer, it’s important for you to understand how a lead funnel works and create one for your business.
A lead funnel is an arrangement that aims at filtering your prospects that eventually turn into actual buyers. It starts with getting large amount of prospects to your business and then pushing them down from the top of the funnel to the lower end. The aim of putting in place such a system is to turn your prospects into actual buyers.
Accordingly, to achieve that aim, lead magnets are used at different phases of a lead funnel. These magnets help in attracting and nurturing the leads that eventually reach the bottom of the funnel.
Therefore, as a marketer, it is important for you to set that path for the prospects visiting your website. This is because it will help you in optimizing your marketing efforts and making your sales process more efficient.
Stages of Lead Funnel
The funnel starts with the awareness stage. At this stage, a large number of prospective buyers identify the problem and hence begin searching for a solution. Eventually, they come to know about your business as a consequence of the digital marketing efforts undertaken by your marketing team.
In order to attract and nurture the prospects at this stage, you can use useful lead magnets. These might include templates, checklists, tool kits etc.
The next stage in a sales funnel is typically the “Interest” stage. At this phase, the prospective customer engages with the content generated by your website. He looks out for more information and tries to resolve the problems at his end. Relatively, at this stage, the number of prospects are less as compared to the awareness stage.
Here you can use in-depth lead magnets like e-books, case studies, white papers etc. Such resources will help the prospects in confiding in your brand all the more.
At this phase, the prospective customer is fully aware about your organization. And now he attempts to get further information about the products or the service offerings of your business. Before making the decision to actually buy your offerings, the prospective customer wants to ensure the amount of value he is going to derive out of your offering.
To increase the commitment of you prospect at this stage, you can use bottom of the lead funnel magnets. This can comprise of a free consultation, a free trial, a coupon etc.
After all your efforts, the customer finally decides to buy your product or service offering at this stage.
Elements of a Perfect Lead Magnet
A perfect lead magnet needs to have the following attributes that will trigger your prospective customers to share their email addresses.
1. Helps People Resolve Problems
Continuing with the Hubspot example, the marketing software platform offers a host of guides, reports, e-books and free trials to resolve the problems of prospective buyers.
Check out their Support and Tools section right at the bottom of their homepage. There are host of free tools and generators that help a visitor with an array of things.
The “Make my Persona” tool helps your content strategists in making buyer personas. Similarly, the “Blog Generator” tool helps them with coming up with ideas for their next blog posts
2. Targets The Interest Of Prospects
Hubspot has created lead magnets according to the specific need of its target audience. In fact, each post on their blog is accompanied by a “content upgrade”.
A “content upgrade” is a free resource that is specific to the context of the blog post it features on. It is unlike the blog wide lead magnets that are quite generic and hence may not be of use to every site visitor.
The SEO expert, Brian Dean, was able to increase web page conversions by 785% as a result of using content upgrade below one of his posts.
3. Highly Valuable
Your lead magnet should be something that renders a solution or adds value to your prospective buyer.
Apart from templates, guides, e-books and checklists, Hubspot also offers free certification courses. These courses are a part of Hubspot academy that are of great value to digital marketers. Such free programs would lay the foundation for prospects to register for advanced courses offered by the academy.
4. Easy to Understand
According to a post, users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at your website’s written content. And 38% of people will stop engaging with your website if the content is unattractive.
Plus, it takes around 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website. All these statistics are an evidence that how important it is to create lead magnets that are simple for your target audience to understand.
5. High Quality Design
According to a report by Adobe, if visitors are given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of them would read something that is beautifully designed.
Therefore, you have to ensure that your lead magnets are not only valuable but also aesthetically beautiful. High Quality resources help in increasing the conversion rate of your website over the long-term.
How to Choose A Lead Magnet?
The prospects will not download your lead magnets if such resources do not align with their individual preferences. These preferences relate both to the format as well as the context of the content. Some people prefer watching videos while there are others who find comfort in reading content. Then there are other set of people who are just on-the-go and therefore prefer audio format of the content.
Hence, to attract your target audience, it’s important that you find out their preferences with regards to the format of a lead magnet. Not only that, you even need to keep in mind your skills for creating lead magnets in a particular format. Finally, you need to find a sweet spot and create lead magnets that are simply irresistible for your target audience.
Accordingly, here are few things that you need to refer to before choosing the lead magnet type for your target audience.
Refer Your Data
As far as choosing a topic for your lead magnet is concerned, you need to identify content pages that have high click through rates. Then, you need to check for the bounce rate as well as the time spent on page statistics. These numbers will give you a fair idea about the engagement of your target audience with the content. Accordingly, you can decide the topic of your lead magnet.
To finalize the format, you can refer to the landing page report in Google Analytics. This report gives you insights about the performance of each of your landing pages.
Landing pages are separate from your website pages that invite visitors to make a decision. This decision might comprise of making a purchase, signing a newsletter, downloading freebies (lead magnets) or signing for an event. which aim at converting leads into customers.
You can check for conversion rates for varied pages in the past. This will help you in analyzing what type of freebie worked for you in the past. Hence, you can make a decision accordingly for your next lead magnet.
Ask Your Target Audience
You might have noticed influencers asking for suggestions from visitors underneath every blog post. The intent behind asking for such suggestions is to know about the information that the influencer missed on. This way the influencer either improves the article in question or gets an idea to come up with a new blog post.
Similarly, before creating lead magnets, it’s important for you as a marketer to ask your audience about the topic as well as the format of your lead magnet. You can achieve this by specifically asking for suggestions. Such suggestions can be asked for either underneath blog posts, on dedicated forums, via emails, online surveys, social media etc.
Create Offers That Align With Your Product And Expertise
The lead magnets must resolve the problem of your target audience in the area where you have an expertise. The ultimate goal of creating such lead magnets is to entice those people who would eventually invest in your product or service.
You would want such people to share email addresses who face challenges related to your expertise. Once you get their email address, you get an opportunity to address their problems by sending them relevant content.
Say for instance, you run a book blog that reviews books and suggests titles according to the audience interests. Therefore, to entice your audience to leave an email address, you give a free guide. The topic of the guide reads “25 Ways To Stop Procrastination”.
Such a topic might attract a lot of people to download the guide. But do you think such an audience would ever consider your blog to solve their queries in near future.
Your expertise lies in suggesting book titles according to the audience’s area of interest. It does not relate to coaching people. Therefore, the lead magnet should have been pertaining to a guide suggesting a list of books catering to the genre in question. And not a guide on procrastination.
How to Create A Lead Magnet?
1. Choose Your Buyer Personas
The first step in creating your lead magnet is to build buyer personas. According to hubspot, a buyer persona is:
“a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Your buyer personas should be very detailed. They should cover everything including customer demographics, goals, job responsibilities and challenges. Detailed buyer personas help in creating content (lead magnets) according to the needs and problem areas of your target audience.
Hence, it’s important to create lead magnets according to the needs of your target audience. Otherwise, your buyer personas will not be attracted to download your lead magnets.
In case you have multiple buyer personas, you should create customized lead magnets targeting each of them. “Content Upgrades” are a great way to target multiple personas.
2. Decide Your Value Proposition
After identifying your target customers, you need to decide on the offer that will make them download your lead magnets. This offer basically involves a promise to add value to your customers’ needs and expectations. The best offers are the ones that revolve around what your customers need and not what you want to create as a business.
Such value propositions target the common challenges faced by your customers and aim at giving quick solutions.
Suppose, a prospect searches for the query “Email Marketing Strategies”. And while undergoing such a research, he comes across a Hubspot link titled, “19 of the Best Email Marketing Campaign Examples We’ve Ever Seen [+Template]”.
Now, this blog post targets all the prospects who are new to email marketing and really need help. The post besides explaining different email marketing strategies through examples also gives a template. Such a template helps prospects in organizing emails, summarizing results and remembering A/B tests.
Therefore, all this has been done keeping customer at the centre of the business.
3. Select a Particular Outline or Format
Once you identify your buyer personas and value proposition, it’s time you decide the lead magnet type you want to offer. There are a host of lead magnets that you can use to attract your target audience. These range from templates, cheat sheets, checklists, swipe files, toolkits, to tutorials, webinars, ebooks, guides etc.
The lead magnet type that you should create depends upon the need your user intends to meet. For instance, Lead Pages, the Landing Page Builder, offers Lead Magnets targeting specific needs of the prospects. To understand how it achieves that, let’s consider few of the blog posts published by the #1 Landing Page Builder.
Suppose there’s a prospect who needs help in building a plan for his first marketing campaign. Hence, to take some help he searches for the query “marketing campaign plan” in google search bar. Next, he comes across the Lead Pages article titled, “The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Campaign Planning”. The article gives a step-by-step guide on how to plan a marketing campaign.
Now, to add further value to the prospect’s pain area, LeadPages also gives an advanced guide on marketing campaigns at the end of the post. This guide contains blueprints of 6 campaigns that you can use to build traffic, sell your products and grow your business.
Similarly, a prospect searching for B2B marketing strategies on google hits upon a LeadPages link titled, “B2B Marketing Strategies for Lead Generation.” While going through the article, he also hits upon the “2019 Digital Marketing Tool Kit” placed in the centre of the article. This tool kit gives various productivity tools that help the prospect in undertaking B2B marketing.
Notice, that each lead magnet is customized according to the needs of the target customer. It does not give a common lead magnet to all the prospects hitting the LeadPages website.
4. Create The Lead Magnet
Since all the critical work has been concluded, it’s time now to design your lead magnet. There are certain guidelines mentioned above that you need to follow while designing your lead magnets.
Firstly, your lead magnets should solve problems encountered by your target customers. Secondly, these magnets should promise to add value in a specific area, not cater to some generic problem. Moreover, it should be an instantaneous solution that resolves the problem of the target user just at a click of a button. And that too free of cost.
Lastly, it should be easy for your target customers to consume the content. Furthermore, it should be aesthetically attractive as it helps in increasing the conversion rate over a long period.
5. A/B Testing
Just creating a valuable and an enticing lead magnet for your target customers is not enough. You need to test your lead magnet opt-ins for various parameters like its copy, image, headline, call to action button, its color etc.
Therefore, to check for all such parameters, you need to undertake A/B Split Test. A/B Split test is a test that you have to run as a marketer to compare two different versions of an opt-in, webpage or a pop-up. Such a test is undertaken to find out which version of an opt-in or a webpage converts visitors for your website the most.
Accordingly, you can start testing for headlines, opt-in design, call-to-action button, number of steps to fill the form, etc. And once the testing for each of the parameters is done, you should choose the opt-in version of your lead magnet that converts the most visitors.
Types of Lead Magnets
There are a host of lead magnets that can be utilized to entice your target customers. These can be educational, entertaining, useful or community building in nature.
Hence, here is a list of lead generation ideas that you can utilize to attract your target customers:
- Resource guides
- Tip sheets
- FAQ sheet
- Industry reports
- Video tutorials
- Case studies
- Quiz contests
- Random competitions
- White paper
- Swipe Files
- Cheat Sheets
How to Market a Lead Magnet?
So you have created attractive lead magnets that satisfy all the parameters for testing. But still you encounter a situation where your lead magnets have very low conversion rates. Just concentrating on the value proposition, the anatomy and the design of your lead magnet is not enough. Your lead magnets will not turn out to be effective till the time it reaches your target audience.
Hence, it is extremely important that you promote your lead magnets in order to increase your email list fast. Below are few of the strategies that you can use to build your email list with lead magnets.
- Promote your lead magnets through guest blogging.
- Include the link in your email signature.
- Use your website for your lead magnet promotion. You can place the lead magnet in a sidebar, create a pop-up, showcase it in the footer or display it in place of hero image.
- Place your lead magnets at the end of relevant articles or blog posts.
- Send the lead magnets to your email list.
- Utilize social media for promoting lead magnets.
- Insert the link of the lead magnet at the end of your Linkedin Pulse Post.
- Include the lead magnet link at the end of your Quora answers or any other forum where you have posted content.
- Ask influencers to share the links having your lead magnet.
- Use other channels to post your repurposed content with your lead magnet link.
Tools to Create a Lead Magnet
Designing a valuable and an attractive lead magnet is of utmost importance as it goes a long way in increasing your conversion rate. Accordingly, it is crucial that your lead magnet should incorporate a professional tone and feel to it. Hence, hiring a professional for designing some incredible lead magnets might seem an ideal proposition.
But as a small business or a start-up, this can turn out to be really costly affair. Therefore, if you are looking out for some DIY or relatively low cost options, here are a list of tools that can help you in creating some remarkable lead magnets. These tools can be divided into generic or specific tools. Generic tools can be used to carry out work on day-to-day basis. While specific tools can be used to create particular lead magnets.
- Canva – to create visuals
- Freemind – to create mind maps
- Draw.io – to create flowcharts, process diagrams etc.
- Jing – to create basic visual elements
- Typeform – to create online forms and surveys
- Pixabay.com – to download images
- Audacity – open source, cross-platform audio software
Lead magnets are one of the best ways in generating leads for your business. These are impeccable resources that help in building your email lists in a quicker way. And the best part is that they are quite simple to create.
Once your prospects download the specific lead magnets, it’s a great opportunity to nurture them with targeted content. Such nurturing would drive few of the prospects in becoming customers.
Hence, you just need to make sure that your value proposition is exactly what your customer is looking out for.
To know the concept of lead magnet in a simple way, here is a Lead Magnet Infographic explaining how lead magnet can be used in different stages of the sales funnel.