Lead Magnets, Opt-Ins and Freebies...
You might have heard the names bandied about, and may even have one or more in your business, but:
- What are they?
- Are they just a passing fashion, or are they still useful?
- And do you *really* need one for your business?
Let’s explore what a Lead Magnet is and whether they're worth all the fuss...
What is a Lead Magnet?
A Lead Magnet, commonly referred to as an opt-in, freebie, or freemium, is a vehicle for collecting a potential customers contact information.
They can take many different forms, but they're always something of value that you offer your website visitors or social followers, and usually they're offered in exchange for the customer's name and email address.
Common examples of Lead Magnets include:
- A free 15 minutes consultation - these are great for Service-based businesses
- A Free download – like the many we have here in our free resource library
- A free chapter of your book
- A quiz or survey
- A webinar or event
How does a Lead Magnet help your business?
Statistically, the majority of your first time website visitors (that being 92%), don't take action on their first visit.
That is because, 80% of all purchases are made when someone has come in contact with your brand 7-20 times.
This is because, in order for someone to use your business, they need to trust your business, and it takes a while to earn someones trust.
Imagine that a large chunk of the 92% of first-time visitors who don't take action on their first visit are potentially very interested in your business, they just need to get to know you a bit more before they're ready to buy...
That's where a Lead Magnet can really help...
By creating a piece of high-value content for your audience, and having them opt-in to receive your emails, it gives you a chance to "carry on the conversation" with your prospect, establish yourself as a business they can trust, and give them more information about how you can help.
But - no one ever opens their emails do they? So is it *really* still useful to create a Lead Magnet, or are they out of fashion?
This is such a common objection I hear when I'm working with clients! Because we are all accustomed to clicking "archive" each day and deleting a bunch of bulk emails.
But, the numbers might surprise you!
Email marketing is, and continues to be, the top marketing channel for results per dollar spent. And despite what people think, the return on investment for email marketing has improved, not worsened, over the last few years:
A few years ago, it used to be that for every $1 a business spent on email marketing, they'd get an average of $38 back in return. But, last time I looked that up, the return had increased up to $44 back in return!
That’s a HUGE return on investment and one that far outperforms even the most successful pay-per-click advertising such as Google or Facebook Ads. On these platforms, companies can often only expect to see returns more in the region of $3-5 back in return.
It’s also one of the only marketing channels you have that you actually own and have full control over.
If you’ve been in business a while, you will be aware of times when Facebook, Google or YouTube have made big algorithm changes which resulted in many businesses literally losing ALL their traffic, or exposure to their audience overnight.
So, if you are solely relying on social channels to market to your audience, you are making your business very vulnerable.
How does a Lead Magnet Welcome Sequence compare in open rates to a regular "newsletter campaign"?
When it comes to sending your regular email newsletter, industry standards show that typically you can expect 20-25% of the people receiving your campaign email will open it.
However, the beauty of a Lead Magnet is that statistically between 60-80% of the people who subscribed will actually open the email.
That means, your Lead Magnet and follow on emails from it, are prime marketing real estate you can be utilizing to speak directly to your ideal customers.
What is involved in setting a Lead Magnet up?
There are 6 steps involved in creating a Lead Magnet:
- Decide on your strategy – your Lead Magnet can’t just be random. It must be well designed so that it a) appeals to the people you’re trying to target and b) helps you achieve your desired result (whatever benefit you want your business to get out of it)
- Validate your idea – before you spend any time developing your idea, I recommend asking some of your prospective customers whether it will be something they’ll be interested in. Otherwise, you risk wasting a whole lot of time.
- Design your free resource
- Write your Welcome Email Sequence - these are your follow up emails which will help your prospects get to know you, and hopefully inspire them to take action and use your business
- Set up all the tech - to get your Lead Magnet working. Make sure you test everything before moving on to the next step.
- Advertise your Lead Magnet - time to splash that link all over your other marketing channels so that you can aim to convert some of your social followers into email subscribers.
What tech do you need to set up a Lead Magnet?
The tech you require for setting up your Lead Magnet varies depending on the platform you use for your website – e.g. whether you use WordPress, Squarespace or Wix.
And, it also depending on what platform you choose to use to deliver your emails – e.g. Mailchimp, Mailerlite, ConvertKit, Active Campaign etc.
We specialise in matching you with the right tech for your business. So save yourself some time and contact us for some advice regarding which tech is best for you.
I have a newsletter sign up on my website – is that the same thing as a Lead Magnet?
The really short answer is no. Sure, it’s better than nothing, but think of your own subscriber behavior – how likely are you to sign up for someone’s newsletter?
The best way to incentivise people to subscribe, is to offer them something valuable.
From my own business’s experience; prior to having a Lead Magnet, The Helpful Academy had a pop-up for asking people if they want to sign up to our newsletter. Most of our blog posts have sign ups at the bottom of them.
Despite producing helpful content – very few people subscribed.
However, when we launched our first lead magnet “50 Ways to Promote Your Business” we received 100 new email sign ups in the first week alone.
A pretty compelling difference!
You can see the actual difference it made to our own business here:
What's the most valuable type of offer, to encourage people to sign up to your Lead Magnet then?
That really depends on your business, and your customers.
When it comes to picking what to offer, I'd always recommend picking something that is related to your main offer. This way you're attracting the right kind of people into your customer pathway.
Think about your main product or service:
- What problem does it solve?
- What is something that you could offer which will help build people's trust to work with you, related to that same problem?
Not all Lead Magnets are created equal, and they take a bit of work to set up. That's why you'll be wanting to pick something that is going to actually appeal to the right kind of people.
This is something I help my clients do inside my signature Flight Club program.
What's the most successful ways to collect email addresses for your Lead Magnet?
This is something that there is always great debate about in my Flight Club Coaching group and with my clients, because there is usually resistance to my answer here...
Statistically, the most successful way to get people to opt-in to your Lead Magnet on your website, is to have an exit-intent pop-up.
What is an exit-intent pop-up?
It's one programmed to pop-up, just as people are about to leave your website.
So many clients I've worked with have tried to avoid having these on their website, because they fear they'll be seen as "spammy". But, time and time again, exit-intent pop-ups continue to out-perform fixed forms.
But, they always perform better, without exception.
Recently I helped a client who already had a Lead Magnet. She had opt-in forms dotted about her website in the footer, and in several of her blog posts. Her opt-in rate was about 0.18% and it had been months since she'd made any sales as a result of it.
We converted her opt-in rate to an exit-intent pop-up on a Friday afternoon and that was all we changed. The offer, copy and welcome emails all stayed the same.
By Tuesday afternoon when we met again, she'd had 25 people opt-in and made 3 sales as a result of the offer. And she only had a small number of people visit in that time.
Needless to say, she was grateful for the changes made.
I believe that a Lead Magnet is a helpful tool for all businesses to use.
The key is to their success is to choose something which will be of value to your unique customers, and designed to lead people into your Customer Pathway, so that you can improve your sales results.
Ready to create a high-performing Lead Magnet?
Download my free resource: The Lead Magnet Checklist
About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).