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What is a lead magnet?

What the heck is a lead magnet and why do you need one?

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I always tell my readers I won’t blind them with marketing jargon, but “lead magnet” is one of my favourite terms. So, I just had to use it in this post. But, I’m not going to leave it there. Read on to understand exactly what a lead magnet is and why your business needs one. It’ll all be clear by the end. I promise!

What is a lead magnet?

Before we get into that, I’m going to talk about what a lead is. Typically, this is a potential customer for your business. They might buy from you. But you want them to definitely buy from you! So, you need to make sure that the leads you attract are the right ones. To understand who your potential customers are, you need to do a bit of research. Start with your existing customer base and profile them. The better picture you can get of who buys from you, the better you can target your marketing to find new people just like them.

So, now you know what a lead is, let’s move on to what a lead magnet is. Simply put, it’s a piece of content that draws the type of leads you want to your business. It’s a way for you to identify potential customers.

Now, a lead magnet can come in different forms:

A one-page PDF

An eBook

A video

A webinar

I’m sure you’ll think of others. The thing that these different formats have in common, when used as a lead magnet, is value. What you offer should be valuable enough for a person to want it badly enough that they will give you their details in return.

That means no selling! What you put in a lead magnet needs to be informative and solve a problem your target audience experiences. When you put together your lead magnet, think about your audience’s pain points and ask yourself if you’re solving them. If you can say ‘Yes’, then you have yourself a great lead magnet.

Why do you need a lead magnet?

The main reason I use lead magnets is to grow my email list. Once a person has given me permission to email them, that means I can build a relationship with them. I know it may be old hat, but people really do buy people. Particularly if you’re the only person in your business!

Here’s the thing:

If I had a pound for every small business owner who tells me social media is how to get new customers, I’d be on a very luxurious holiday right now!

What you need to remember is that you don’t own the social network you use. It could disappear tomorrow, taking your audience with it. More likely is that the algorithm will change (just when you thought you’d worked it out) and your engagement will drop.

An email list is yours. You have more control over whether your email gets seen or not. In fact, did you know that email converts 3 times as much as social media?

Focusing on growing your email list will give you a ready-made pool of potential customers. That’s no bad thing. In fact, it’s how you’ll grow your business. Because when you have a new product or service to promote, your list will be ready to hear about it. They know you, like you and trust you. So it stands to reason that they’ll be more likely to buy from you.

Grow your email list

So, just how do you create a lead magnet?

That depends on what you’re creating! Here are some ideas:

For a one-page PDF, you can use Microsoft Word or Canva. If you use Microsoft Word, then remember to turn it into a PDF before promoting it. You can do that easily with free PDF converters.

For an eBook, if you have the budget, I’d recommend hiring a graphic designer. If that’s too much of a stretch, then, again, Canva would be my go-to tool. They have templates you can use and you can download your design as a PDF directly from Canva.

If you want to use a webinar, then there are platforms to help you do that. I typically use Go To Webinar, but I have seen more and more people use Zoom.

If a video is your choice, then there’s a great tool I use called Lumen5. You can create your own video in about 10 minutes.

Using webinars in your marketing

Remember this one thing:

The reason you’re creating a lead magnet is to capture people’s details to grow your email list. So, you need a way to do that!

For a one-page PDF or eBook, use Privy. If it’s your first visit to my website today, you will have seen a purple box pop up offering a freebie in return for your email address. I do that using Privy!

I’ve mentioned two webinar tools. The beauty of using tools like this they capture people’s details on the registration page you create. Don’t be tempted to ask for too much information, though. People get put off and will likely not complete their registration.

If you’re going to create a video, consider using a landing page to collect people’s information. Something like LeadPages will work well.

Did you forget something?

Now you have your lead magnet, the important thing to do is promote it. After all, you want to collect all those email addresses! Here are some ideas, but I’m sure you’ll come with your own too.

Share on social media by creating eye-catching posts.

Make the call to action on your blog posts to get your lead magnet.

Don’t forget to tell your email list. I know you already have their details, but what a great way to see who your engaged readers are.

Add a link to your email signature. If you’ve had an email from me (rather than my newsletter), you’ll know I always add something for people to click on.

Change the cover images on your social networks and tell people how to get your valuable piece of content.

So, now you know what a lead magnet is and why you need one, what will you create? I’d love to know, so please leave a comment.

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