How to Attract New Leads and Get Those Email Addresses
The greatest challenge for any business is getting people to buy. But slightly less important than a purchase...is getting people to “opt-in” to your email list. After all, if you don’t have anyone to market to, you won’t have anyone to sell to.
What compels prospects to give you their email address? Well, people only part with their personal info for one of two reasons. Either:
- They want more information from you; or
- You offer something of value (a lead magnet) in exchange for their contact information
It’s as simple as that.
But what isn’t simple is determining the best lead magnet to use for your business. Or making your lead magnet irresistibly appealing to your target market...thereby leading them to “opt-in”.
Never fear. This article covers both of these topics in depth.
Lead Magnet Possibilities
Too often, business owners fool themselves into believing they have nothing to offer. And that’s simply not true. Because there are an infinite number of things you could offer your prospects. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what product or service you sell - there is always something your target market wants from you.
Now, before you determine what to put on your website or squeeze page, have a look at this list to see when and how each of the lead magnets could be used to convert casual observers into prospects.
If you’re working with a business coach or you’re part of a networking group, then someone has undoubtedly recommended that you offer a free report. It’s the go-to lead magnet for a lot of businesses. And here’s why:
- It shows off your expertise
- Assuming it provides real value, it builds trust with your prospect
- Most prospects won’t do anything with the valuable information you shared; rather, they’ll come to you to “do it for them”
Free reports are great because you can use your words to psychologically make personal connections and lead your prospects to the “next step.”
However, the novelty of free reports has worn off somewhat. With so many blog posts and articles available online, potential leads might find a truly “free” way to consume the information you’re offering.
On the other hand, the only thing a free report will cost you is your time to create it. So it might be a great lead magnet to explore. Especially if you are in a consulting services role (i.e. business coach, accountant, lawyer, or trainer).
Can you see yourself offering something similar to these:
- 5 Simple Appearance Changes That Lead to More Opportunities, More Income, and More Respect...Guaranteed!
- How to Legally Save Over $10,000 in Taxes This Year
- 15 Minutes a Day: How to Get the Body You Want in Your Spare Time, or
- The Ultimate Opt-in Guide
One more thing before moving on to the next idea...if you are going to offer a free report, make it good. Make it so good that you become the go-to “expert” to anyone who reads your content. Be real. Share what you know. And provide valuable content that your reader could actually use to improve their life in some way.
The only real difference between a free report and an ebook is the length of the document you create. At least, technically, that’s the only difference. But one of the reasons ebooks are so great as a lead magnet is their perceived value. Anyone can write a 5-page free report on the best places to vacation. But the “true” expert will provide you with 30+ pages of destinations, little-known travel deals, and how to enjoy any vacation spot without looking like a tourist.
When should you consider an ebook as a lead magnet? When you have lots of:
- Interesting &
information on a topic within your industry. If you have so much content to share with your prospects that a free report isn’t going to cut it...by all means, create the ebook.
Back in 2008, a company called Infusionsoft commissioned an ebook to be written for them. The ebook was titled, The Edge of Success: 9 Building Blocks to Double Your Sales. It included 91 pages of content. And that ebook was downloaded over 200,000 times in a single year. That meant 200,000 new leads for Infusionsoft to work with!
The mistake business owners make with ebooks is writing too much. While your industry might be the most interesting thing in the world to you, be sure your prospects are up for 30 or 40 pages of reading. If you can’t keep their attention that long, then a free report is probably the better choice. You may even want to “test” your topic with a free report before writing an entire ebook.
But who wouldn’t love to read even 100 pages on:
- How to Easily Create a Professional Website with WordPress
- Picture Perfect: the Best Way to Make Any Photography Subject Look Good
- The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself “Spa” Treatment
eBooks are a huge investment in time and effort, but the payoff can be well worth it. So be sure to keep this one in mind.
Swipe File or Templates
Because everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time, swipe files and templates are a great lead magnet. They give people ideas. Show them what’s working. And make life as marketers/business owners a whole lot easier. This is the type of lead magnet that says to your prospect:
“Look, I get it. It’s hard. And you’re doing it on your own. Here are some resources you might want to consider.”
Typically speaking, swipe files and templates are attributed to marketers, business coaches, and writers. Because...they really only benefit you if your target market is other business owners. A dentist won’t benefit from giving another dentist his best postcard templates. But a dental “coach” could easily offer swipe files or templates for other dentists to use.
If this is something you plan to offer, well, it’s got to be solid. You can’t simply throw 10 templates or scripts together and call it good. When you are offering someone a swipe file or templates, keep these things in mind:
- Clean it up. By nature, swipe files are kind of a mess. They’re a collection, usually thrown together of examples to study. See if you can at least group similar writing styles or templates together so they are easy to browse through.
- Avoid plagiarism. It’s okay to study the works of other people. It’s not okay to claim that work as your own or fail to give proper credit to the creator. Be sure to include the authors information, especially when you’re handing that information over to someone else.
- Add an explanation. Simply giving someone more “stuff” is hardly valuable to the person. So, while they may be grateful to you for sharing the documents you learn, study, and grow from, they may not fully understand the value of what you offered. And they may have a very difficult time implementing it. Unless, you provide them with a little direction on each of the pieces you’ve collected.
If you already have a swipe file going, than the difficult work has been done. All you have to do is offer what you’ve collected. But if you don’t have any templates or swipe files to share, you might want to wait awhile longer and see if that’s something your prospects and customers actually want from you.
If you sell luxury goods or services, a quiz could possibly be the right lead magnet for you. More than almost any other lead magnet, a quiz relies on excitement, fun, or wishfulness to attract your target audience. Which is similar to the buying state your prospects have to be in when they make a purchase.
Imagine this...you’re a travel agency. And on your website is content that says:
Which Dream Destination is Right For You?
Take Our Quiz and Discover Your Ultimate Vacation Spot
Someone answers a few questions. Questions like: do you prefer the beach or the mountains? Or: do you enjoy quiet places or more populated areas? They enter their email address. Hit the submit button. And you send them an email suggesting a location they should look into.
The super cool thing about a quiz is that it helps you tremendously with your marketing efforts. Because...you’ve just learned a whole lot of information about your prospect. And armed with that information, you are now able to sell more effectively to them based on their preferences. Most marketers would LOVE to have that sort of insight.
We mentioned luxury goods and services, but quizzes will usually work with any industry. You might see:
- How Well Do You Know Your Superfoods?
- Are You Smart Enough for College?
- The Car Part Quiz - for People Who Think They Can Fix a Car Themselves
- Identify Your Friendship Type
You can see how each of these might be used in various industries. And used well. Because most people feel compelled to know if they know. Plus, if the “results” are done right, you can ease your prospect to the next stage of your sales cycle before they even realize what happened.
Checklist or Cheatsheet
Quick. That’s the name of the game when it comes to a checklist or cheatsheet. People want information they can peruse quickly but still get value from. It’s also a quick solution for you, as it takes very little time to create something your prospects might want.
Can you see yourself downloading a checklist about:
- What to Pack for Your Disneyland Adventure
- 10 Ways to Be Prepared for Any Emergency
- 6 Steps for Getting Rid of Pigeons (and other pests) Permanently
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Job Interviews
- 20 Hacks to Level Up In Your Favorite Video Games
If at any time, you can imagine your prospect saying, “What’s the fastest way to cook chicken?” or, “How do I put makeup on in 5 minutes and still look good?” then this might just be the solution for you.
If nothing else...it’s worth trying. Just be sure that when you create your document, it looks professional, well-designed, and attractive. If your prospect prints out the document and posts it somewhere in their house or on desk, what do you want it to look like? Don’t forget to brand it with your name, colors, and logo.
If none of these ideas appeal to you, you could also consider:
Chapters of a Book
If you have written a book, then you have a ready-made lead magnet because you can offer pieces of your book - traditionally the first 3 chapters.
Note: If you don’t have a book, well, certainly you could write one. But don’t write a book because you need a lead magnet. There are a lot of easier ways to get someone’s email address.
For some industries it’s a great idea. And it can really speed up the sales process. Free trials demonstrate how proud you are of your offering, your faith in its ability to transform lives, and your professionalism.
Other than face-to-face selling, webinars are one of the best ways to connect with prospects. And they’re especially valuable because you can reach a lot of people in a very short amount of time.
Training or Educational Video
This lead magnet is strategically following the webinar, because this type of lead magnet works well for the same reasons webinars do. They give you a chance to share a lot of great information in a short time period. And, assuming you have the personality for it, people will buy as much because they “like” the presenter as they do the service or product.
Coupon or Discount
This is a great strategy for anyone selling low priced (under $100) products.
Need something fast and easy? It doesn’t get any faster or easier than this. A “newsletter” sign up is your prospects’ way of telling you they’d like to hear from you. You can plan your newsletter for once a week, once every two weeks, even once a month. But what’s cool, is that all you have to do is put a form up on your website, call it a newsletter sign up, and you’re done. You don’t actually have to deliver anything right at that moment.
Specifically, think about Facebook or other social media groups you could entice prospects to join.
Who doesn’t love winning something? And how many people are willing to trade their name and email for a chance to win a new car, a new computer, a dream vacation, or free gas for a year?.
A favorite strategy of business coaches and the professional services industries, this one may sound appealing to your prospects. One or two minutes of genius conversation on the phone and your new prospect will be willing to spend thousands of dollars just for the chance to work with you.
Again, this is one that you may not be able to escape. If you are in a personal services industry (pest control, landscaping, plumbing, etc.), it is highly expected that you will offer a free quote on any job you intend to do. It goes with the territory. Don’t deviate. Don’t be the one company that refuses to offer a quote.
A whitepaper is an informative, authoritative guide. A whitepaper takes a complex issue and breaks it down into simple, understandable parts. The goal is to help readers understand - not necessarily build relationships with them. In fact, you’ll want to avoid making any sort of pitch in your document. They work well for industries where the prospect is doing their homework to determine which solutions will work best for them.
Now here comes the where, how, and other details of your lead magnet.
Where to Put Your Webform
Once you’ve settled on a lead magnet, it’s time to put up your web form so you can capture those email addresses. But where do you put it? Like your lead magnet, the options are endless.
Here are some marketing concepts you may not have known that will help you determine your best location.
- The majority of your website visitors will see the first screen of your site and not much else. Because of this, marketers have long advised business owners to put their webform “above the fold”. In other words, including your lead magnet in the first visible space of your website - the space that is seen without scrolling.
- For secondary lead magnets (like a newsletter sign-up or contact us form) there are some specific places your visitors are going to look. The top, right-hand side of your website is one place. The other is in the footer or at the bottom of your website. It also makes sense to include your form on all pages of your website - not just the homepage.
- The latest trend is to include a popup opt-in form. Surely you’ve seen these. They are the popups that appear as you scroll down the page. Popup opt-in forms have become popular for one very good reason: they’re working. The statistics show that a popup gets more opt-ins for the business than a preset form on a page.
Ultimately, you’ve got to determine the best location for your lead magnet. Using the information above, make a guess and then put your webform up. If, after a few weeks, you find you aren’t getting the new leads you had hoped for, changing the location might be something worth testing.
How to Make Your Offer Irresistible
The word “irresistible” has come up a few times to describe your lead magnet. And that’s because you’ve got to make sure none of your visitors bounce from your website before filling out your form. Otherwise, you’re missing out on your chance to grow your list with potential customers.
But how do you do it? What are the secrets for compelling random visitors into giving you their email address? First, the obvious - your new leads don’t have access to your lead magnet until they opt-in. So they have no idea how wonderful it is. You’ve got to “show” them how great it is. Convince them that the information they are about to get from you is well worth it.
And you’re going to do that in a couple of ways.
Appeal to Your Target Audience
Yes, it would be amazing if every single person who stumbled onto your website ended up giving you their contact information. But that’s not realistic. So instead, you need to focus all your energies on attracting those visitors who have the most potential of buying from you in the future.
Identify that person, and the rest of this section becomes a whole lot easier. Because you start to think in terms specific to your target audience. For example, rather than trying to reach every small business owner with a free report titled “The Small Business Owners Guide to Marketing,” you’ll find you have more success with “The Small Business Owners Guide to Writing Blog Posts That Convert in Just 10 Minutes a Day.”
Will this second title appeal to every single small business owner out there? No. There’s a lot of business owners who are not blogging. And there are a lot that either have blogging figured out, or they pay someone else to do it for them. But for that segment who are interested in some blogging secrets, the second title actually has a chance of getting them to opt-in. The first one...not so much.
Note: If you have 2 or more distinct target audiences, consider putting together unique landing pages for your different audiences with lead magnets to match.
The more specific you are in with your content, the more likely you are to get new leads.
Title Your Lead Magnet Correctly
Just like writing a great headline, you should come up with 10, 20, even 30 titles before you settle on something. And, if you get the chance, ask some of your contacts what they would be the most attracted to.
Here are a few titles - pulled from random places around the internet:
- 101+ Tips to Grow Your Web Traffic (an ebook from blogger Jeff Bullas)
- 30 Day Street MBA: Perry Marshall’s Definitive Email Series for Scrapping Marketers and Entrepreneurs
- How to Reach Chiropractic Affluence Without Making Costly Mistakes (title to offer the first 2 chapters of the book “E-Myth Chiropractor”)
- Get a Quick Quote to Discover Unpublished First and Business Class Airfares
- Receive a FREE, Two-Hour Matchmaking Session
- Discover Your Travel Personality (quiz for a travel site)
Do any of those grab your attention? If you’re in the market for these businesses, would you be willing to give your email address in exchange for the offering?
So what makes one title great and another one only so-so? Specificity. But in addition to that, you need some sizzle. Something that triggers the right response with your visitor. And that is most quickly achieved by using compelling words (known as “power” words) like:
- How to
You know these words. You’ve seen them used in advertising for years. And maybe you’ve felt a little silly using them yourself. Well, don’t! They work. Used the right way, they make any offering sound significantly more exciting. (Oh - there’s another one...exciting!)
Now, hang on to those power words as you move into the next section.
Entice New Leads With Your Description
As mentioned, your visitors don’t yet know what’s in your lead magnet. That’s why you need to use the space surrounding your lead magnet to write a description they can’t resist.
Since the space surrounding a lead magnet is going to differ for each person, focus on how to write the individual pieces for each space.
Single Sentence - Since you can’t possibly describe your lead magnet with one sentence, focus instead on what makes it special. Is it only available for a limited time? Has it been downloaded 20,000 times? Does it contain over 100 pages of incredible business building secrets? Find what sets it apart from similar offerings and write your sentence about it.
Here are some good ones:
Using a handful of words, these lead magnets generate enough curiosity to get visitors to opt-in. And they don’t require a lot of space on your website.
Also, take note of the words being used. You probably already recognized these as power words: FREE, gift, personalized, trusted, mastery, latest.
Short Description - If you have a little more space in which to write, you’ll want to focus your content on benefits. Describe what your lead magnet entails, certainly, but then take that next step and help your prospect understand why it should matter to them.
For example, you should be more interested in “finding little known deductibles that save clients hundreds, even thousands of dollars” than simply offering a great tax service. Your lead magnet should help your new leads “easily shed unwanted fat and get the body they deserve” rather than inviting them to download comprehensive, full-body workouts.
As you write your description, keep those power words in mind. They can help a so-so description sound much more enticing.
Here are some good longer descriptions:
And perhaps the best one…
It’s not as well designed as other websites, but notice how this company used 3 steps with slightly different offers to suck you in? And each description makes the quizzes relevant to the individual:
Plus, if you have a few technical skills, and you’re willing to put just a little more effort into your lead magnet description, you could try creating a video like this one:
Include an Image if Applicable
Remember, your visitors are only going to opt-in if they feel you are offering something of real value. You need to also remember that most people are visible creatures. They want to see what they are getting.
If your lead magnet is a free report, ebook, chapters of a book, etc. create an image to look at. It makes your offering more tangible. It helps your visitors say, “Hey, here is something that I may want to have.” If they can physically see it, they can picture themselves possessing it.
Okay, you’ve got all the tools you need to make this happen. Now go get those leads!
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