More leads equal more potential customers to market to more regularly. When you establish credibility, build trust, and deliver value, you start raking in those sales.
There are many reasons why businesses and brands are always trying to get you to sign up for their mailing lists. Consider this:
- Email marketing is 5x more likely to be seen than a Facebook ad.
- It’s also much cheaper. Email generates $38 for every $1 spent, that’s a mind-blowing 3,800 percent return on investment.
- Where 60 percent of consumers sign up for brand emails, only 20 percent follow their social pages. What this suggests is while consumers will follow you on social, they don’t necessarily want you to message them on the platform.
So it’s clear that your customer database is a gold mine. While many small businesses tend to focus on growing their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram following, you should actually be putting your spend, time, and resources towards building a solid email database.
One of the best ways to get more email subscribers is to use a lead magnet. I’m going to explain what this is and share my step-by-step guide on how to create one.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is what I like to call an opt-in “ethical bribe”—something that’s going to help you to build trust, gain authority, and win new customers.
It’s typically a downloadable piece of FREE content that your prospects are compelled to get their hands on. They are experiencing some form of pain, and your lead magnet is going to make it go away, and fast.
Think of it as a nice, light helium-filled balloon. Give it a tap, and it just launches into space.
The type of lead magnets that you can create are:
- how-to guides
Online or in-store retailers will usually offer a get-$100-off-your-first-purchase discount (or some other amount) when you sign up for their newsletter. You’ll need to determine what works best for you, and to do that, you need to clarify the following:
- What does your market want?
- What is something that’s going to move the needle for you?
The key here is to make it compelling. If you choose a lousy or boring offer, it’ll fall flat. Offers that convert make your marketing and business so much more straightforward. You don’t have to invent weird hacks or crazy marketing campaigns to get traction. You’re going to be gaining traction by default and marketing will just be the rocket fuel that propels you further.
So let’s take a look at the key elements to a great lead magnet.
What makes a great lead magnet?
I want you to understand that your opt-in “ethical bribe” is the start of a conversation between your business and a prospect.
It needs to be short and succinct, and it also needs to demonstrate your expertise. Peppering the content with your personal experiences lends credibility and builds confidence.
Making it instantly accessible wins you favor with your prospect. As soon as they hit the send button, they should receive an email with the document attached or see that it has started downloading.
All of this is meaningless unless your lead magnet delivers the following:
(I’m going to use 5 Ways to Double Your Sales in 30 Days as an example.)
- It solves a problem: How to get more sales quickly.
- It makes a promise: Double your sales in 30 days.
- It offers perceived value: Five ways suggests the methods are tried and tested.
- It’s highly specific: Here’s how to rapidly grow your business.
Now that you know what makes a great lead magnet, I’m going to take you through the framework of putting yours together.
How to create a lead magnet, step-by-step.
I’ve put together a six-step framework for creating a FREE report. This is going to help you to entice your prospects to opt-in to your mailing list and take them further through the buying cycle.
In a nutshell, your lead magnet says:
It seems like X could be one of your biggest problems. I’m going to walk you through how to solve X. And if you’d like my assistance doing Y to solve X, I’d be happy to help.
The framework includes 6 steps:
- The bribe
Here you’ll want to ask yourself, What is the biggest outcome that you can give your prospects? Is it to lose weight, double their sales, find great talent? Whatever it is, the bribe needs to compel them to act.
- The title
Think about what title is going to grab their attention and convince them to download your document. Here’s a great formula for writing a lead magnet title: X ways to Y in Z days/months.
- The problem
Remember you’re here to solve a problem, so you’ll want to demonstrate that you know where they’re coming from and you can relate to what they’re going through. Get under their skin and hit a few nerves. If you can describe what their problem is better than they can, you’ve got their attention.
You’ll first want to state what the problem is, and then validate it by drawing on a statistic. Next, you need to elaborate on the problem and demonstrate your knowledge. Finally, you’ll want to agitate and substantiate the problem.
- The opportunity
Present an opportunity that will lead to a positive result which only you can help them to achieve. It also takes the reader out of problem land and points them toward a solution.
- Start with the transition. It could go something like this, “Despite this, X is making more money, and working less. But how?”
- Now paint the picture. You want to indicate what small change or tactic is going to change the way they do business and massively impact sales.
- Tell a story. Get them to picture what the possibility of change could bring about.
- Next, you want to substantiate the opportunity, then substantiate it again, and expand. Use facts and figures to back up your claims.
- Now comes the direct focus. This is typically a statement that gets them to visualize what could be.
- Lastly, transition to content. This states what your prospect needs to start doing to achieve X.
- The content
Put together an outline of what you want your lead magnet to contain and all the steps that need to follow. These can include—but aren’t limited to—creating your “ethical bribe,” writing and developing an opt-in page, and creating follow-up content to be delivered post sign-up.
- The close
Close with a question. Think of it like a call-to-action or an irresistibly intriguing offer—anything that will keep the conversation going. It could be for more information—to request a free consult or to demo the product. Maybe you want them to join a higher tier package or get a one-on-one class. Whatever it is, if you haven’t adequately laid the foundation for your offer, it won’t convert.
Lastly, you’ll need a design program to make your free pdf look legit. If you don’t own Adobe Creative Suite or have a dedicated graphic designer on your team, you could use a site like PosterMyWall to create the look and feel of your lead magnet. It offers thousands of awesome templates (free and paid-for) that you can access and tailor to your needs.
Remember, a lead magnet is a powerful way to grow your email database quickly. It needs to be helpful and to solve a problem in a compelling way. Get this right and things are going to start looking up for your small business.