One of the biggest challenges most businesses face is having an effective lead generation process that allows them to capture qualified prospects that they can nurture into a lifetime customer. An effective first step to growing your email list is with a lead magnet. Today we are going to share seven awesome lead magnet ideas any business can use to grow their email list and start boosting sales.
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Hopefully, you’ve built your brand in a way that conveys the utmost professionalism in what it is that you do and what you offer the market. While that in and of itself should be enough to gain the trust of prospects, sometimes a bit more proof is needed before that can happen. Think of it like dating. Most people don’t go on a first date and then jump right into marriage. It takes time and a lot of dates to finally get comfortable enough that you can commit.
Selling online is no different than dating. That’s why marketing, and more specifically content marketing, can be a powerful tool for business. By demonstrating your authority and expertise on a subject and your willingness to engage with your audience over time, they see that it’s not just about the bottom line for you.
But, let’s face it: it sometimes takes a while to generate a good amount of business from content marketing. First, you have to get in front of the right audience. Then, you have to create enough relevant and insightful content to get their attention. But what if you could speed things up and more efficiently convert prospects in the process?
This is the power of the lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a digital “tool” that a company creates for the purposes of lead generation and fostering stronger relationships with consumers. But they aren’t designed to attract just any lead. They are designed to attract high-quality leads with a strong interest in the content being provided. It is these leads that are more likely to become buyers.
Want to learn the secret to exponentially grow your email list and increase sales with lead magnets that convert? Here are some highly creative and effective lead magnet ideas that any business can start with.
Why Every Small Business Should Have a Lead Magnet
In our opinion, every business that sells products or services online should have a lead magnet. The main goal of any lead magnet should be two-fold:
- To give prospects something so unique and useful that they cannot get anywhere else–and will remember you for it.
- To fill your list of leads with high-quality prospects that have a higher likelihood of conversion that you then strategically foster a relationship with through email marketing.
If you can pull both of these things off, there are a number of benefits awaiting your business:
- A valuable piece of content that highlights your expertise that you can promote on your marketing channels to find new prospects.
- The ability to bolster your business’ reputation as a trusted resource.
- An increase in traffic to your website as people learn about this valuable giveaway.
- A big boost in high-quality leads that are easier to convert than users who might be at earlier stages in the buyer’s journey.
- A valid reason to keep in touch with email marketing so you can nurture your prospects and turn them into customers.
With the right lead magnet, you can exponentially increase your conversion rate (see this example of how a lead magnet increased conversions for Backlinks by 785%). To see these same types of results in your business, all you have to do is find the right kind of lead magnet ideas for your small business.
7 Lead Magnet Ideas that Convert and Grow Your Email List
As we said earlier, every business who is selling products or services online should have a lead magnet. However, as with most marketing tactics, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. If you truly want to make the most of your lead generation efforts, you need to get strategic about what you’ll offer. And it cannot just be a ‘sign up for our newsletter’ box on your website. For most, those just are not effective.
So, let’s look at some examples of lead magnet ideas for small businesses that are effective.
People use checklists on a regular basis for task management, so this may be one of the most attractive lead magnets you could offer to prospects who are already familiar with the benefits. The catch is that you need to offer a checklist that’s both relevant to your business and will add value to your leads’ lives.
Let’s say you are an accounting firm and you have a checklist you use with clients during tax season. What if you took that checklist, turned it into a clickable PDF, and made it available for download?
Prospects could then use that checklist to manage their own tax preparation. And, now that you’ve captured their information and qualified them as someone interested in getting help with taxes, you can nurture them by providing more valuable information about accounting and your services in an effective email campaign.
Here’s a great example of a checklist lead magnet – and it happens to be ours! At VirTasktic, we manage a lot of blogs for clients and we use a checklist to ensure we don’t forget anything before we hit the ‘publish’ button. Want this FREE download? Grab it below!
Templates or samples work great for businesses that are already in the habit of educating their audience. Think about it like this: you blog or post to social media often, touting the benefits of X, Y, or Z. You know there’s interest because your content gets clicks and likes, but you know there’s a difference between someone reading your advice and putting it into practice.
A template is a fantastic way to encourage users to take that next step.
Templates are highly effective if targeted at users looking for a quicker and cheaper way to DIY something. As an example, let’s say your business is dedicated to improving HR. One way you can do this is by providing HR managers with communication templates for the hiring process. Your template helps them be consistent and professional in their messaging while also saving them time crafting communications from-scratch for each candidate.
The Internet is littered with listicle-type content. 25 Things You Must Know Before Adopting a Dog. 13 ½ Reasons to Go to Jamaica This Year. 49 Ways to Build a Website on a Budget.
There’s a valid reason why listicles are so popular, too: they’re easy to consume. Lists typically don’t require users to sit down and commit serious time to read a heavy piece of content. They know exactly what they’re going to get from it because it says it right there in the headline.
The nice thing about listicle content is it can be whatever you want: practical ideas, quick tips, resources (with clickable links), or images or quotes. You choose!
While most any business can find a unique spin for a list, to be effective it has to be succinct, unique (it doesn’t cover the same ground and suggestions like everyone else), and add value.
4. Business Tools
When we think about business tools, we often look to technology that powers our operations. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Lead magnet tools are usually very simplistic in nature and yet highly useful. For instance:
- A yearly calendar with major holidays for online retailers.
- An inspiration workbook for writers.
- A calculator for potential new homeowners.
- A worksheet to help you calculate business profits.
- A toolkit for the startup entrepreneur.
When offering a tool as a lead magnet, you should aim to get leads thinking about their problems and offering a solution that helps them solve them. This initial ‘problem’ you are solving should be a smaller part of bigger problems your ideal clients face so that the prospects you gather can be converted to sales of your other solutions.
5. Digital Guides
For those of you feeling ambitious and who enjoy the process of developing original content, digital guides and reports can be a very worthwhile undertaking.
While a template or checklist gives prospects something tangible to use at the moment, there isn’t much to learn from it. With a guide, however, you’re empowering them to take matters into their own hands, while at the same time sharing your expertise. This can go a LONG way in building trust with prospects.
Digital guides come in a variety of styles and should be developed based on what your expertise is, what industry you are in, and what your audience’s pain is.
- An ebook that educates small business owners on email marketing.
- An infographic that presents original statistics and conclusions regarding the state of e-commerce.
- A case study that demonstrates how one household reduced grocery costs by using an app.
These guides can be repurposed from content you’ve already created or taken directly from research you’ve done. This makes the time invested in creating a comprehensive piece of content less daunting.
6. Educational Videos and Webinars
If you enjoy being in front of a video camera, video tutorials and webinars can pay off big for your lead generation efforts. Video gives your prospects the chance to ‘see’ you and your business in action, which can deepen the connection.
The success of using video lead magnets, however, depends on two factors:
- Your ease in front of the camera.
- Your audience’s learning style.
And, of course, you need to have a lesson worth teaching or a message worth sharing. If your audience doesn’t walk away feeling fulfilled and that they’ve gained something they couldn’t get elsewhere, then you just wasted their time – and that’s a big no-no!
Video tutorials work well if you target those who would greatly value a lesson or shortcut in something that makes them more money.
Webinars, on the other hand, are a good idea for targeting prospects who want to go deeper into a subject. Webinars are the perfect tool for targeting specific problems that your audience faces and providing the solution. You just need to be sure that you are focusing on in a ‘real’ problem they face and that you offer valuable solutions they can use immediately after the webinar. From there, it’s your job to nurture them to the next stage in the sales process.
7. Discounts or Demos
For those of you in the business of digital commerce, this last lead magnet idea is for you. It might not seem like anything revolutionary, but it is indeed an effective way to grab the attention of potential buyers on the fence.
Typically, by offering a coupon, free trial or demo, you can pull in prospects who have a strong interest in what you do and are close to making a purchase. Once you’ve captured these folks with the lead magnet, it becomes about getting them to the sale. So, make sure you have a strong follow-up email campaign or sales process in place that follows up with these prospects – because you’ve got them on the line…you just need to reel them in!
Making the Most of these Lead Generation Ideas
Email marketing is something that every business should have in its marketing arsenal. However, it’s hard to do when your list of leads is minuscule and populated by unmotivated, or unqualified, prospects.
By using one of the awesome lead magnet ideas above to create your own valuable giveaway, you can easily turn that around and grow an email subscriber list of higher quality leads.
Just keep in mind that a lead magnet needs to be the following for it to work:
- Valuable — it answers or solves a real problem
- Authoritative and well-composed
- Narrow in focus
- Exclusive -only subscribers get access
- Easy to download
- Easy to consume
- Evergreen – you want to be able to leverage this tool for years to come
Now that you know why you need a lead magnet and you have some ideas to work with, we hope you start creating your own! Still need help? Our team at VirTasktic has created hundreds of lead magnets that convert for our clients. Let us help you, too!