What is a Lead Magnet: Definition, Importance, and Strategies


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Over the years, lead magnets have helped massively in the marketing sector, as they help pull in leads. The digital era has made it easier to connect with more people around the globe to enable you as a brand to not only offer value but also increase your chances of getting leads. With a lead magnet, you can skyrocket your website conversion rate and be many steps closer to achieving your business goals. 

According to research done by Marketo, approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy. However, that they are not ready to buy now doesn’t mean they wouldn’t later. Many times, they will be willing to provide their contact information in exchange for valuable content. The valuable content you give them will be your lead magnet. You can then make use of their contact information in line with strategies you have in place to nurture leads into customers. 

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a term in the marketing field that refers to an incentive (which could be a free item or service) given away for the sole purpose of getting their contact details, such as their name and email address, in return. This may include ebooks, trial subscriptions, newsletters, email courses, consultations, opt-in incentives, and more, all for free. In return, the recipients give out their data and you can use that for marketing purposes, both in the short and long term. 

From the word “magnet”, you have to create an incentive that is valuable and attractive enough to pull in website visitors and convince them to take action to become a lead. This is also where email marketing comes in handy, as it is a great way to communicate with your lead and persuade them in the most creative ways to become your customers.

Why Are Lead Magnets Important?

Running a successful business in this digital age needs some form of online presence, considering that 66.2% of the world’s population uses the internet. You will be leaving a lot of money on the table by not embracing the digital world.

Whether you’re a small business owner, solopreneur, creative, or you own a podcast, you need to have people who would consistently stay loyal to your brand. Below are some of the ways lead magnets can be beneficial to your business. 

1. Build Email Lists

One of the most effective ways to build your email list is through an enticing lead magnet. If a potential subscriber is convinced that they will get value upon submitting their contact details, they would easily give out their email address. This helps you build your email database over time. Compared to social media, email marketing helps you connect with your audience on a more personal level. This especially helps small business owners and solopreneurs who are still trying to grow and network with their audience. 

2. Develop Trust

When someone signs up with their email address to get your lead magnet, it signifies the slight trust they have in your brand. With strategic email marketing, you can build on that trust and give them the chance to learn about your brand. This can further inform their purchasing decision and eventually win them over as customers.

3. Develop Customer Relationships

Your website can get random visitors in a day but if there are no strategies in place to know these visitors, they will remain random and may never convert to customers. However, by getting their contact details through a lead magnet, you are beginning to build a relationship. Customer relationship starts from the moment they visit your site and take an action. This lead magnet that prompted them to take action would help you develop your relationship with them over time. This can also contribute to a high customer retention rate

4. Increase Sales

Lead magnets can help you increase sales, as statistics show that 50% of marketers who start using lead magnets report higher conversion rates. Also, as mentioned earlier, about 96% of your website visitors aren’t ready to make a purchase at that minute. However, getting their contact details means you can persuade them even further and give them reasons to make a purchase. You can also follow the marketing Rule of 7 which states that a potential customer must see the message at least 7 times before they can take action to make a purchase. While it may not happen the first time they visited your website, it might happen before the 7th time. What you do between the first contact and seventh (or more) contact plays a huge role.

The sales cycle would look like what we have in the image below. 

sales cycle; lead magnets
Source: Zen Flowchart

5. Build Authority

Beyond increasing sales and conversions, you also want to make your brand known on the internet. By collecting information on prospects through lead magnets, you can grow your audience and generate niche-specific content for them. You can also work on getting them to engage your content and stay loyal to your brand. This will help solidify your authority in your industry and you can even get referrals from loyal customers who would advocate for your brand. 

What Makes Great Lead Magnets?

Understanding what lead magnets are is not enough. You also need to know how to create the best lead magnets and how to include them in your marketing strategy. The following points highlight what makes a great lead magnet, should you consider creating one. 

1. Highly Valuable

A lead magnet is meant to live up to its name, i.e it should be a “magnet”. This means you need something that will be irresistible to your target audience. Don’t just randomly come up with an idea that no one would be willing to grab at first sight. To create a highly valuable lead magnet, you must consider two things – your audience and your business. 

Focus on what your audience wants, which could either be what you think would be of value to them or what they are already asking for. Ensure that your lead magnet helps your audience to establish trust with your brand by creating an extremely targeted and valuable resource. 

While focusing on your audience goes a long way, you also shouldn’t neglect your business. How will this lead magnet be tied to your business’ paid offer or service? How can you connect it to the sales sequence in converting a visitor to a customer? These are questions you should ponder on to avoid spending a lot of money and not seeing the rewards in your business. Focusing on your lead magnet could bring you a lot of leads but not necessarily help your sales sequence if you don’t factor in your business needs.  

Always remember the primary goal of the lead magnet, which is to help you convert leads into customers. How valuable your lead magnet is can determine whether or not your lead moves up the sales funnel. 

2. Super Specific

Make your lead magnet as specific to your brand and target audience as possible. If you create a general lead magnet, it might not be helping your business that much. However, on the flip side, you can get creative and narrow down your offer to one specific thing and this can persuade more visitors. You can also personalize the lead magnet to a specific landing page for a more intentional approach. 

3. Quick to Digest

A lead magnet is not meant to be one long boring report or an ebook with many pages. Instead, opt for quick-to-digest options such as a worksheet, infographic, checklist, or template. To build trust from the onset, you need a material that they can quickly consume and that will establish you as an authority in that field.

4. Instantly Accessible

Let your leads have instant access to the resource or service you promised them upon collecting their contact details. This keeps your brand top of mind and you can begin building trust. 

5. Shows Your Expertise/Authority

Since the end goal of the lead magnet is to convert these leads into customers, it’s best to demonstrate your expertise in the free resource or service. The first impression matters in this case, as it helps inform the buyer’s decision. 

Lead Magnet Types

Lead magnets can be in any form, and the graphical illustration below shows how different forms of lead magnets perform. 

lead magnets
Source: GetResponse

Video has the highest percentage, as it is highly visual content and easier to digest.

Lead magnets can also be classified into the following: 

  • Useful
  • Educational
  • Entertaining 
  • Community-Building
  • Bottom of Funnel

Your choice could depend on your brand and target audience. For example, an online content creator could primarily use a community-building lead magnet to attract their audience.

Lead Nurturing Email Sequence

After successfully creating a lead magnet and getting your leads, you need to nurture these leads to make sales. This is where a lead nurturing email sequence comes in. In this case, you create a series of automated emails that are only triggered after the lead takes a specific action. For example, a visitor adds an item on your website to their cart. If you have a lead nurturing email sequence set up, they would get an email reminding them of their purchase or a discount offer. The email can also be personalized based on their purchase history. For example, how Netflix sends personalized emails to suggest movies to users based on what they’ve watched. 

To get the most from your email sequence, you need an email marketing service platform that would let you create and automate your mail sequence. A great example of this is the MailDrip marketing platform where you can create drip emails and set them to be sent automatically at specific times or triggered based on certain actions. 

Bottom Line

Lead magnets are great for business owners. However, to make the most of it, you need a working email marketing strategy. At MailDrip, we have created a template to help small business owners navigate the email marketing field. If you struggle with creating an effective marketing strategy, this template is for you, as you can customize it to suit your brand. All you have to do is fill out the form below and you will have the template in your inbox. 

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