Lead magnets, in a single sentence, are a marketing bribe to help you tempt the types of customers you want to your business and identify them. Therefore, both a sales funnel and a marketing funnel start with a method to attract passersby to a lead magnet.
This ‘marketing bribe’ can be anything from blog subscriptions, newsletters, cheat sheets, reports or guides, surveys, free training or free software, introductory offers, white papers, case studies, and sales material; basically, anything and everything that can tempt passersby to step into the sales funnel.
The types of lead magnet that marketers like the most are downloadable document formats like eBooks or whitepapers.
Why are lead magnets primarily used?
- To attract only interested people (to build an audience with similar buying intentions)
- To push the audience from one step to the next (oblivious–afflicted–informed).
Now you know what a lead magnet is, let’s look at what makes a good lead magnet:
Easily consumable content:
The world is super-busy, and everyone wants to have it all, with the minimum time spent. Therefore, 50,000 to 75,000 words for an eBook or 5 to 15 pages for a case study are appropriate for today’s world.
Your audience will seldom go in search of whatever action you want them to take once they are finished with the content you’ve gifted to them. A good lead magnet must incorporate a direct writing approach, actionable keywords and multiple keywords that will carry them forward to the next step.
Refined through multiple split tests:
There are more than 150 lead magnets used across the industry. Among them, the top 25 are used more than 90% of the time. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance to run a split test with a few of the most relevant lead magnets before deciding on the best.
Remember, in 81% of cases, the actual sales conversion happens at the seventh contact, or more, but 85% of the time, the communication is disconnected after the second attempt.
Keep it free, initially:
Always remember, the more steps of a sales funnel a customer goes through, the easier it becomes to hold them back. The most crucial part of customer acquisition is turning a passerby into an afflicted lead.
Therefore, keep all the services or offerings free until the customer is at the preliminary engagement stage.
Keep it relevant for your customers:
If you run a home appliance store and use free-training or free-software as your primary lead magnet, will people be interested to know how a microwave is made when visiting your website for shopping? Of course not!
Therefore, your lead magnet must be based on what your customers need or are interested in and nothing else!
Give a clue but don’t reveal it all:
To initiate interest among oblivious customers, sometimes you need to show them what they are going to get by opting-in. For example, as a hospitality management institute, you will have thousands of prospective students who are interested in this field but who aren’t sure where they will end up in the next five years.
A free eBook entitled, “A complete career path in Hospitality Management with risks and advantages in 2018”, will trigger the sales chain of the skeptical student.
So, are lead magnets only useful for the oblivious stage? Contradictory to what most marketers believe, a lead magnet is a mandatory push required throughout the sales funnel. It is only the approach and the analytics which change.
Mostly, there are three types of lead magnet acquisition used in the market:
Oblivious stage or top-of-the-funnel:
At this stage, a casual visitor needs to be converted into an interested customer with content that is easily consumable and that directly addresses the visitor’s concerns.
A few golden rules of the ToFu magnet:
- Be direct addressing the concern
- Don’t ask for too much information (Name, email id)
- Better to split the information required into steps
- Side pop-ups are the best; mainstream interruption is a no-no.
Some good examples of ToFumagnets:
Blog posts, eBooks, free infographic PDF, newsletters, free reports, insightful surveys, giveaways or freebies and sometimes live chats.
Afflicted stage or middle-of-the-funnel:
An afflicted stage is the largest, most dynamic and most complicated stage of a sales funnel. This is also the missing link between people who have no idea about the advantages of your product and people who are almost ready to buy.
A few golden rules of the MoFu magnet:
- The approach should be a combination of educating the audience and implicitly advertising your brand
- Go for comparatively more advanced queries. Apart from contact info, this is the best stage to ask for some preference-oriented questions to create a more accurate buyer persona.
Some good examples of ToFumagnets:
Case studies, white papers, clientele, advanced eBooks and video marketing.
Informed stage or bottom-of-the-funnel:
For this final stage, BoFu, where your customers know what your brand does and how your product is different from the rest, the relevance and importance of a lead magnet is controversial. Some marketers think lead magnets at this stage are the most important ones, others think that there is no need at all for lead magnets here.
However, we personally believe that lead magnets are always crucial for any customer acquisition stage but for BoFu the magnets would be of a different type.
A few golden rules of the BoFu magnet:
- Every lead magnet should be personal and engaging on a one-to-one basis
- This is the perfect time to introduce offers and discounts
- Leverage the FOMO fear.
Some good examples of BoFumagnets:
The audit, free assessments, customized surveys, trials, first-time discount coupons etc.
Finally, here is the list of a few unusual but lead generating magnets that prevail in the market:
- Price comparison
- Cheat sheets
- Swipe file
- Beta versions