If list building and getting more subscribers is at the top of your ‘to-do’ list for growing sales, then there is one thing you need to know: creating amazing lead magnets that convert requires careful planning and execution. If you want people to trust you enough to give you their name and email, you need to be offering them something of high value that they need.
Let me explain:
Let’s say you’re hosting a summer family reunion and are hoping to find culinary inspiration at the local market. At the market you find many vendors giving away free samples of their food and decide to give some of them a try, snagging their free samples.
While everything looks, tastes, and smells so good, you’re leaning towards the barbeque vendor because it’s exactly what you need for a summer party. Plus, the packaging of the sauces, meats, and equipment are super convenient and easy. While you really liked some of the other samples, for your immediate need, they just didn’t fit the bill.
This is the same way your prospects may feel if a lead magnet hasn’t been properly tailored to their needs. “Hmmm… I don’t really need this and not sure I could use it, but it looks interesting and it can’t hurt to snag a free copy anyway.”
When lead magnets aren’t designed to cater to the users’ needs or aren’t packaged/framed in the right way, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to convert. If you’re going to spend all that time (and time is money!) developing a lead magnet, you need to make sure the ROI is huge.
If you want to create lead magnets that convert and not just one that visitors will download for the sake of getting something for free, here are some proven best practices to follow.
10 Things Lead Magnets That Convert Have in Common
In one of our previous articles, we showed you examples of highly effective lead magnets that convert. Now, let’s make some sense of what you need to do to ensure that the lead magnets you are creating will convert so you can grow your email list.
1. The Target Audience Is Clear
In order to effectively craft a product or message for the purposes of lead generation, you have to be very clear on who it’s targeting. In other words, does this lead magnet offer appeal to everyone or just a certain segment of your audience?
Think about who will get the most value out of your lead magnet. It doesn’t have to appeal to your entire audience. If you feel that you’re missing conversions with another segment you are trying to build, develop a separate lead magnet!
2. The Lead Magnet Format Fits the Audience
Now that you’ve clearly identified the audience you are targeting, think about the ways they prefer to consume content. You want the lead magnet to convert, so it has to be created in a format the audience will consume and use. If it’s not, your efforts will all go out the window.
If you know your audience has limited time, don’t develop a lead magnet like a white paper that requires patience or interest in consuming. Instead, create a checklist or template that they can easily consume and provides immediate value.
3. The Download Adds Value
In the example of the summer barbeque, I demonstrated how you don’t just want people to be interested in getting something for free. You want your lead magnet to be so valuable they can’t stop thinking about the problem you’ve solved and how much more you can do for them.
Also, be as specific as possible as you can with your lead magnet. By avoiding vague or broad solutions, you won’t have to worry about anyone being confused or feeling disappointed if the offer doesn’t match the value promised.
Deliver strong value and your lead magnet will convert.
4. Existing Products Are Used
If your current content, tools, or templates are already a hit with your audience, repurpose them and turn them into a valuable giveaway. This is smarter than building something completely from-scratch that hasn’t proven to be of value. Plus, this way, you have a good gauge of interest level to ensure you’re not wasting your time.
Just remember, only use the best-of-the-best of what you have to offer.
5. A Professional Created It
Using a professional to create your lead magnet doesn’t necessarily mean going out and hiring a designer or videographer to put it together. It simply means handing the responsibility over to someone who is well-suited to the task.
If you’re handling it on your own, make sure to use professional-grade software to put it together. For example, Zoom would be great for creating webinars and video tutorials. Canva and Photoshop are helpful when it comes to designing digital guides and listicles.
For creating the delivery mechanism for the lead magnet, there are a number of WordPress lead generation plugins that work great for building the on-site promotional elements.
The key is to ensure that there is a high level of professionalism to your lead magnet so that those grabbing it understand you are a professional who offers high-quality products/services.
6. The Promotional Element Is Well-Crafted
To get your lead magnet in the hands of prospects, you need a well-crafted delivery system for it. There are a number of ways to do this:
- A pop-up promotion.
- A Resources page where many different lead magnets exist.
- A dedicated landing page with an introduction to the lead magnet.
- Widgets and in-line banners mixed into the content of the site (a sidebar element is most common).
Ultimately, the kind of promotional element you use boils down to what kind of content you’ve created. For instance, a Resources page makes sense for digital guides like reports and white papers. A landing page works best for webinars, ebooks, and anything else that requires a more lengthy introduction or promotion. Pop-ups and widgets are flexible options and work for most lead magnets where a short message will suffice.
7. The Content Is Succinct
From the moment you propose the free download to the moment they finish perusing or using it, your prospects should be hooked. One of the best ways to do this is to keep messaging succinct and to the point.
Here are some ways you can keep your message succinct:
- Give a quick taste of the content found behind the download button with an image, screenshot, or video clip of it.
- Write a short snippet or summary to sum up the problem it solves.
- Keep the form short. You need an email address, but are any other fields essential?
- Include a strong call-to-action button. This isn’t the time to confuse or distract.
The lead magnet content itself should also be as succinct as possible. Use images when relevant and break up large chunks of text with headers, bullet points, tables, and other special formatting. It needs to be valuable, but also easy to consume.
8. It’s Strategically Placed
Once the lead magnet is created and you know how you are going to share it on the site, you have to decide where and when it will appear.
With something like a pop-up or sidebar widget, placement is very important as you don’t want it to disrupt the flow of content on the page. But you also need it to directly complement what’s there so as to engage visitors when they’re in the right frame of mind.
With all other lead magnets, you have to think about where the pages should exist in the navigation. You need them to be within the natural flow of traffic on the site, so they don’t get missed.
You also need to ensure that wherever you place the opt-in for your lead magnet, it also works on mobile. There is nothing more frustrating than a pop-up box or subscription box on a mobile device that you cannot ‘x’ out of or isn’t functional.
9. Everything Is Triple-Checked
Every element of the lead magnet should be proofread or reviewed numerous times before putting it on the website. This includes:
- The content of the lead magnet.
- The content of the promotional element.
- The design and layout of both on all devices (desktop and mobile).
- The contact form functionality.
- The call-to-action button text and click functionality.
- The on-site Thank You message or page.
- The emailed confirmation message subscribers receive.
- The emailed confirmation message you receive.
- The delivery of the download on the site or via email.
- The upload of their data into your CRM.
Take the time to review every bit of your lead magnet and delivery to make sure the campaign is ready for launch.
10. Lead Magnet Performance Is Tracked
Even the best-planned lead magnets can fall flat if just one tiny element is missed. That’s why it’s essential to have Google Analytics and your CRM configured to track real-time performance.
In addition to tracking the number of opt-ins, you should also use analytics to monitor the user journey to the lead magnet. You can do this with heatmaps installed on your website or watching the behavior path in Google Analytics. If it’s taking visitors too long to find the lead magnet or there are obstacles that prevent them from getting there entirely, you can redesign and reconfigure the path early on.
Build Your Email List by Building the Perfect Lead Magnet
As you can see from this list, much of creating effective lead magnets that convert comes down to knowing your audience. If you have a good sense of their pain, then developing a “free” and valuable solution should be no problem. Just do so keeping all of these elements in mind and you’ll soon be adding lots of new prospects to your email list!