You’ve heard it before: Growing your business, especially if you sell products or services online, is heavily dependent on your ability to grow and nurture your email list.
Your email list is so valuable because you have complete control over how you use it to reach out to your customers or prospective customers. You can send any email content any time you want with pretty high confidence that your message will arrive in the inboxes of your intended recipients. It’s basically a push-button system to get the attention of your followers.
Compare this with a business Facebook page, Twitter profile, or any other social media account, where mysteriously changing algorithms determine who actually sees your message, and it’s clear that email is a powerful and reliable form or marketing that can’t be ignored.
But there’s just one catch…
People are increasingly protective of their email addresses and won’t sign onto your email list unless you give them good reason.
Gone are the days when “Sign Up Here For Awesome Fitness News” is enticing enough of an offer to attract many new email leads. Even the tried and true “Get Your Free e-Book” offer is much less effective than it once was. Website visitors have seen far too many e-books in the past, many of which didn’t live up to their promises.
Your lead magnet offer needs to be better. It’s time to try something new…
What Makes For An Awesome Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is used to tempt your website visitors into making a transaction with you: They give you their email address (highly valuable to you) in exchange for some free piece of content (needs to be highly valuable to them).
In order to make sure your lead magnet actually provides adequate value to warrant this transaction, be sure that it meets 4 important criteria. Your lead magnet should be:
- Unique – Consumers can’t easily find this information elsewhere
- Compelling – People really want to learn more, experience, or get access to whatever it is you’re offering
- Easily Digestible – In most cases, people want to put in as little effort as possible when consuming your lead magnet. It has to be quick and easy to make use of.
- Exceeding Expectations – It needs to deliver on your promises and then some. Remember, this is often the first transaction your prospective customers make with you. Blow them away with value so that they will make future transactions.
Pretty simple, right?
Now let’s take a look at some types of lead magnets you can use to hit a homerun every time.
5 Lead Magnets That Your Website Visitors Will Love
As I mentioned previously, e-books are old news. Yes, they can still be effective, but there have just been so many low-quality e-books handed out over the years that many consumers have wised up. Here are 5 lead magnet ideas that you can use instead of a boring e-book offer:
- Your Top Tools List
Contrary to what you might think, a longer or more robust lead magnet isn’t necessarily more effective for attracting leads. People want to see instant results, so slugging through a 100-page e-book or 3-week course is often overkill.
Instead, give them something that they can immediately act upon for some quick wins. For example, a personal trainer might offer “The 7 Pieces of Exercise Equipment I Use Myself [all others are a waste of time!]”
Wouldn’t you want to know what the expert personally uses to stay in great shape? And aren’t you curious to know if the equipment you use is a “waste of time”?
Another version of the top tools list could be applied to food: “6 Foods I Eat Every Day to Easily Maintain My 6-Pack Abs!”
Maybe you could list your go-to fitness apps, or running gear that you can’t live without, supplements that have changed your life, or anything else that your audience might be interested in. When they download your lead magnet, they are ready to take action – give them something to act on immediately.
What “tools” do you personally use to stay in great shape? Your audience wants to know how you do it – tell them!
- Program Sneak Peak
You’ve likely seen this technique used many times in the world of apps. You are given an option of downloading a free version of the app to gain access to a limited set of features, but can upgrade (by paying) to gain full access. This is known as a “Freemium” model.
Why not do the same thing with your lead magnet?
Here’s an example from a fitness website called Make Your Body Work. Dave’s flagship paid-for product is a 4-week program that helps people lose 10 pounds. But, he also offers a free “7-Day Reboot” to assist people in taking the initial steps needed to lose weight. This lead magnet is a paired down version of the full 4-week program, therefore it offers great value AND presents a natural segue to upsell those who download it.
How can you offer a “sneak peak” of one of your best programs?
Don’t be afraid of giving away your best stuff for free – in fact, that’s what you want to do. Give away amazing value via your lead magnet and it will be much simpler to sell downloaders on the full version. There’s a reason “Freemium” exists – it works!
- Resource Roundup
One of the simplest lead magnets to create also can offer the most value to your site visitors. Let’s say you have a blog post that’s all about the benefits of green smoothies. After reading it, your site visitors are going to be in smoothie mode – it’s the perfect time to offer them a recipe book of amazing smoothie concoctions!
But, don’t do all the hard work yourself…
Find 10-20 smoothie recipes from around the web and make a 1-page PDF document that links to each. This smoothie recipe resource will take just a few minutes to create and will be very attractive to anyone who would take the time to read your post about the benefits of drinking smoothies.
This style of lead magnet is sometimes called a “content upgrade” because it builds (or upgrades) your original content (i.e. your blog post).
Now, you could spend the time to create your own smoothie recipes, but I’m a big believer in proof of concept. Using a resource roundup will let you test your lead magnet concept without putting in much upfront work.
If it bombs, no big deal. If it’s a hit (i.e. gets a high conversion rate), then you might consider making your own proprietary version of this lead magnet in the future.
What resources could you round up into a valuable lead magnet?
Because this style of lead magnet takes very little effort, it’s often worth split-testing a few offers to see which had the greatest appeal. It won’t take long for you to find a real winner.
- Forms and Trackers
A personal trainer friend of mine tracks all of his workouts using a simple spreadsheet (personally I’d prefer using a software like TotalCoaching, but hey, I founded it so I’m a bit biased). Which exercises does he do? How many reps does he complete? How much weight does he lift with each exercise?
It’s all there.
He noticed how easy it became for him to see progress over time using his spreadsheet. He even added graphs to quickly see his strength increase over the duration of a workout program, and to track his body metrics (e.g. weight, BMI, body fat %, etc.) month over month.
He also noticed that many people who saw his work of art asked if they could have a copy. Eventually, so many people were asking for this tool that he launched it as a lead magnet on his website.
This sort of tracker can be used in many areas of fitness. You could offer your own food journal, a sleep tracker, or a running log.
“But these aren’t very unique!”
True. There are lots of options available that track various health goals or metrics, but you just need a little twist on yours in order to make it valuable.
Is yours easier to use? Does it provide even one new insight that others don’t? Or, do it simply look better?
Plus, keep in mind that your followers and readers look up to YOU as the expert. So, if they can use the same trackers or forms that you personally use, guess what? They’re going to want a copy for themselves!
- Video Step-By-Steps
A large number of Youtube content creators make the same fatal error: They talk too much without giving any actionable steps to follow.
Don’t fall into this trap.
Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean. Which of the following two lead magnets would you be more likely to download?
- “4 Steps to Create Fat-Burning Breakfasts Meals [There are at least 2 steps you’re missing out on!]”
- “Fat-Burning Breakfast Tips That You Can Use Today!”
I suspect most people would choose A because it sounds so actionable. “If I just follow these 4 steps I’ll burn more fat – I need this!”
Remember, people generally don’t want to do much work, so giving specific steps for them to follow can be very alluring. Showing these steps via a to the-point video puts this style of lead magnet over the top!
Go back to our example above. Imagine if A was a free video and B was a 20-page e-book. Do you think this would impact the effectiveness of these two lead magnets? I’d bet a lot of money that A would become even more popular.
A step-by-step video gives people simple actions to follow and it removes much of the work because your followers don’t even have to read anything. They can just sit back and watch you demonstrate the key points they need to know.
Even better, a step-by-step video lead magnet gets people watching YOU. This is extremely important if you sell online products or services because it allows your audience to “get to know you” even though they have never met you. Video is just that powerful!
What step-by-step process would your website visitors love to have laid out for them? How can your video make the process simpler, more actionable, or more compelling?
Sure, video might seem like a lot of work, but it’s the ultimate media for your audience to really grow to know, like, and trust you…and that’s exactly what it takes to turn prospects into buying customers.
David Gill is a retired national-team runner, now converted into technology entrepreneur. He founded the TotalCoaching software for personal trainers, where he provides tools and tips to help PTs develop a healthy business.