But not all lead magnets work the same. But here’s the thing: Lead magnets are nothing new. Brian Harris of Video Fruit is seeing a 20-30% opt-in rate from blog posts where he links not one, not two, but three times to his lead magnet. Let’s say I’m about to create a lead magnet in an industry I know nothing about: Cooking. It’s an “Instant Pot Cookbook,” which means the people buying it are looking for instant gratification: a no-mess, no-fuss meal that basically cooks itself. So that completely changes how you might create, package, design, and even promote this ebook already. This does two things at the same time: It helps you get feedback to incorporate into the creation of your lead magnet. So you need to create content that interests the audience. How to Avoid These Common Mistakes When Crafting the Perfect Lead Magnet Your lead magnet is just the first step in a long journey. That gives you a Catch-22 because it means your lead magnet needs to: Grab attention and interest to get people to opt-in, but also Link back to your primary product or service offerings to eventually convert them.
Getting traffic to your site is nice, but there’s not much of a point if those visitors don’t convert.
There’s one tactic I use above all others to generate new leads:
A lead magnet.
But, ‘lead magnets’ aren’t some newfangled tech trend. They’ve been an essential component in an advertiser’s arsenal for decades.
You give people something for free in exchange for an email and permission that you can continue sending them more stuff. So it’s like the catalyst for a new customer relationship in the end.
But not all lead magnets work the same. There are a few common mistakes that I see marketers make that completely sabotages their efforts.
Let’s see how to use lead magnets to transform complete strangers into loyal customers.
How ‘Lead Magnets’ Can Build Your Business
He proved this with a simple experiment. He gave groups of people the option to select from different Amazon gift cards. Respondents could choose from receiving either:
- A $10 Amazon gift card for free, or
- A $20 Amazon gift card for only $7.
If you were to look at that objectively, based on cold hard math, you’d see that the second option was the better value ($13 vs. $10).
But check out the third column on the far right to see which one won:
It wasn’t even close! Everyone sampled chose the free $10 option instead.
Ariely calls this the Zero-Price Effect because humans don’t see the downside to something that’s free.
Ariely then proved this with a related experiment. They staged a promotion for free tattoos and had people line up outside the store.
These people were waiting in line with full knowledge of what they were doing.
And yet when Ariely asked them if they’d be waiting to get the same tattoo if it wasn’t free, 68% of respondents said no!
In other words, these people taking time out of their busy schedule to commit permanent ink to their skin simply because it was free.
Good lead magnets, when done correctly, have the same effect (albeit without the same long-lasting effects).
They pass along a useful ebook, webinar, or email course, asking for very little (if anything) in return from visitors.
You leverage this intoxicating power of free to kickstart the first step in your customer value optimization process.
But here’s the thing:
Lead magnets are nothing new.
They get a lot of attention today because of how persuasive and powerful they can be.
Yet, this strategy of using free information to get what you want has been around for a long, long time.
Tell me if this ad looks familiar:
That’s one of the most iconic ad headlines of all time.
The backstory is that it’s actually from 1927!
It’s advertising a free pamphlet that people could send away for (you know, in the actual physical mail).
One of the best ways to incorporate them today is with a content upgrade. People are already on your site, seeking something out.
Think about it:
They went to Google and typed in something specific to end up on your blog post.
A lead magnet could just sweeten the pot at this point for them, providing additional insight on the same exact topic they were just reading about.
Brian Dean used the content upgrade strategy to boost his conversions by 785% in one day.
Brian Harris of Video Fruit is seeing a 20-30% opt-in rate from blog posts where he links not one, not two, but three times to his lead magnet.
For example, the first comes right in the introduction:
Then he follows up that up with another two more for good measure down at the bottom:
The blog post goes through an in-depth analysis about how content upgrades can get you more leads. And then it distils those insights and actionable tips down so that you can easily start implementing the same tactics on your site (after downloading the lead magnet, of course).
But if you want to see these same Video Fruit-level results, your lead magnet has to abide by a few rules. There are a few prerequisites it needs to hit to make sure it doesn’t fall flat on launch day.
The form or medium doesn’t matter necessarily. Instead, success typically comes down to a few key ingredients:
- Does your audience care about it?
- Is there value to it?
- Does it solve a problem and/or give the audience something they need?
So how do you figure those things out?
Let’s dive into what the best lead magnets have in common to find out.
How to Get Inside the Minds of Your Customers
Saying you need to “know your audience” at this point sounds obvious and trite. But, it’s one of those things that everyone talks about, without actually living up to it.
The big clue is in the reception. If your digital copies aren’t flying off the shelf when it goes live, your issue typically comes back to a mismatch with your audience.
Thankfully, this can be an easy fix if you know where to look.
Start by looking for what people are already paying for.
That might sound counterintuitive because lead magnets are free.
However, if someone is willing to part with their hard earned cash for something, it’s a sure sign that they’re committed.
For example, one of my favorite places to start is the Kindle Marketplace.
Let’s say I’m about to create a lead magnet in an industry I know nothing about: Cooking. (Seriously, nothing.)
I could guess or make a few assumptions about which cooking lead magnet would work best. Or I could simply head on over to the Kindle Marketplace and see what’s already working well.
It’s not just the topic you’re looking for at this point, but also the ‘format’ that resonates with an audience.
Here’s what I mean.
Go to the Amazon Kindle Marketplace and start by looking at the sidebar on the left-hand…