05Nov
By: Keith Holloway On: November 05, 2017 In: Articles & News Comments: 0

We’ve all done it before.

You land on a website, you get value from the content, and you leave…never to return.

This is typical behavior online, where our short attention spans are encouraged, and we’re in control of where we are at all times.

But it’s one thing when you’re visiting someone else’s website and another thing entirely when this is happening on your website, where every visitor that bounces could have been a lead.

The cost to your business is tangible, with every lead you fail to convert costing you potential revenue.

Including a subscription form on your website will help convert some leads, but a bland form that offers little value won’t attract more than a fraction of your visitors.

To maximize your conversion rates, whether that be converting a visitor into a new contact, lead, or future customer, you need lead magnets.

What is a lead magnet? It’s an “ethical bribe” – an offer with high perceived value in exchange for permission to contact. A genuinely useful lead magnet is irresistible because it’s the right offer at the right time for that visitor.

How to maximize your use of lead magnets

To maximize your value from lead magnets, you need to consider where your visitors could be in their customer journey, and create lead magnets for each stage. Let me explain.

You can divide your customer journey into three broad stages:

  1. Awareness (Top of the sales funnel): Your prospect is beginning to identify the problem and is becoming aware of the opportunities and possible solutions.
  2. Consideration (Middle of the sales funnel): The prospect has identified a problem and is researching to find the best solution. This is the ‘solution identification’ stage because your prospect will discover and consider different approaches and solutions to grow further.
  3. Decision (Bottom of the sales funnel): Your prospect is almost ready to buy. This the ‘solution selection’ stage because your prospect compares and shortlists potential solutions and decides to buy one.

Each of these stages requires different types of content (i.e., lead magnets) to provide value to the visitor.

In the early stages, the value is provided through general education of the problems and solutions your business category offers.

In the middle, you continue to educate while also positioning your company as the solution to your visitor’s needs and challenges.

The final stage is product-centric. You need to convince your visitor your product is the right choice. This could be in the form of a case study, product comparison, assessment, or evaluation.

With the help of marketing automation software, you can present a relevant lead magnet at the right time, based on the customer’s journey, which will help move your prospect into, and down your sales funnel.

Now, let’s go over some examples you can use throughout each of these stages.

14 Lead Magnet Ideas for Every Stage of Your Sales Funnel

Idea #1: Free Guide

This is one of the most common and effective methods of generating leads at the top of a sales funnel.

You provide a free guide – in the form of an ebook or a report – to help your audience sort out a specific problem or to achieve a particular goal.

Offering a guide which addresses a real problem your target market is facing along with a solution not only provides value, it also helps you appear as an expert, which is useful later on down the line at the middle and bottom of the funnel when the lead is comparing options.

It also lends you the opportunity to frame the problem in a favourable light for your solution.

Here’s an example from Boxever:

In exchange for visitor’s contact information, Boxever promises an ebook teaching you how to “build customer loyalty in an industry where travelers have a million options.”

In the highly competitive travel industry, loyalty has become a crucial factor of success, making this lead magnet highly appealing to the target audience.

Position: Top of the Funnel

Idea #2: Checklist

Generally, the highest converting lead magnets are simple and very specific. Checklists perfectly fit that bill.

Checklists answer the question, “what is everything I need to do to maximize my results from a particular task?” A good checklist is meant to tell you everything you need to do just that.

Take a look at the example below:

Local Marketing Institute offers this local business Facebook page checklist to their visitors. Social marketing is more important than ever and highly relevant to LMI’s target market of small to mid-sized local businesses interested in improving their online marketing and sales.  

LMI knows this, so they offer a straightforward checklist resource to help visitors make sure they’re not missing an essential component of their Facebook marketing in exchange for converting those visitors into contacts on their email list.

Position: Top of the Funnel

Idea #3: Cheat Sheet

Let’s face it, for most of us, if presented with a way to become more productive while involving little effort – would bite.

We realize that there are no quick fixes, but a cheat sheet appeals to that part of us that wants a quick-and-easy solution.

A cheat sheet plays at this desire perfectly by promising a simple piece of content (typically no more than a page or two) that allows us to “cheat” or hack a particular activity.

For instance, SmartBlogger has been generating leads with this cheat sheet for years:

The title “Headline Hacks” is catchy and communicates big value for little work, but the copy they use on their form is arguably even better.

The first line, “Ever wish you could get the Cliff Notes for writing popular posts?”, continues to communicate the value in a short and easily digestible form.

Position: Top of the Funnel

Idea #4: Resource List or Toolkit

What would you give for a comprehensive list of the best and most useful resources, specific to your problem or industry, in one place?

Or what about a collection of the actual tools that the pros use in your space?

Some people would pay money for that, given that it’s relevant to their industry or a topic of interest to them. A resource list or toolkit offers a ton of perceived value just for your contact information.

Awesome Guests offers “The Giant Guest Blogging Index” as an enticing lead magnet:

The reality is, there’s really nowhere you can go to get a full list of blogs in a particular niche. Even Google isn’t entirely reliable for this.

So, for bloggers looking to expand their reach and draw in targeted traffic through guest blogging, this lead magnet has a high perceived value.

Position: Top of the Funnel

Idea #5: Template or Swipe File

Imagine if you could get your hands on a collection of the most effective headlines Neil Patel has used in his email marketing campaigns?

Or what about his best-performing headlines for driving clicks and traffic from Facebook ads?

Most would jump at that in a heartbeat.

A template or swipe file is great for attracting leads because it offers done-for-you content which has a very specific value. All you need to do is modify the template or script to fit your tone, style, and topic and you’re good to go.

This swipe file from Digital Marketer is an excellent example of a specific, high-value lead magnet:

This template from Echogravity is less flashy, but that’s OK because they clearly know who their target customer is. If your organization has had problems with contractors before, this could be very compelling:

Position: Top of the Funnel

Idea #6: Email Courses

Email courses tend to have a high conversion rate because they have an equally high perceived value.

But the great part about an email course is, while obtaining their email you’re simultaneously securing express consent to nurture that new lead over email.

And, with more advanced email marketing tools with marketing automation technology, creating an email course has become easier than ever before.

Below is an enticing example from Noah Kagan’s Summer of Marketing:

Noah recently gave away the above 12-week email course on various marketing tactics. On the front-end, the perceived value is high (and the headline is specific).

On the back-end, the value from the email course was high with every email offering actionable advice with great stories (as Noah does).

Position: Top of the Funnel

Idea #7: Webinars

There are few things as powerful as a live webinar, which offers a sense of personalized interaction that other forms of content can’t match.

Our customer, Wild Apricot, generates hundreds of new leads per month using webinars like this one:

The time-sensitive nature of a webinar allows not only for sky-high conversion rates on the front end, turn visitors into leads to get access to the webinar, but also on the back end at the end of the webinar where a limited-time promotion can be pitched.

Position: Top or Middle of the Funnel

Idea #8: Value-Rich Subscriptions

In general, newsletters don’t convert very well and are too much work for the payoff. However, some businesses are ideally suited to offering value from a regular newsletter or other subscription-based email offers.

If you can think of a few clear, defined benefits of a regular newsletter from your company, then this could be the perfect lead magnet for you.

To illustrate, here’s an example from our customer Goway Travel:

Goway’s Globetrotting newsletter is an excellent example because their travel deals are happening constantly and those who are avid travellers know they’re difficult to keep up with (and only last a short while).

By signing up to Goway’s newsletter, you’re being provided a service – notification when a new deal from Goway is offered – without having to do the work involved in keeping up with them.

Position: Middle of the Funnel

Idea #9: Early Bird

Is your product or service in such high demand that it sells out within minutes? Or do you have a seasonal offering?

If you’re not collecting emails in advance and offering early access (or some other benefit for getting in first), you could be missing out.

Take Marie Forleo’s course B-School for example:

Marie’s course opens it’s doors only a year and always fills up within minutes. By turning the content of the main course page into a waitlist landing page like the example above, she’s able to collect emails from interested visitors all year long.

Position: Middle of the Funnel

Idea #10: Brochure and Catalog

Sometimes, your target market is actively looking to buy your products or services, and all you need to do is give them a direct line to do just that.

If you’re in a product-centric industry, such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality, or tourism, a brochure or catalog can be the perfect lead magnet.

Take a look at the example below:

Brewster Travel uses Envoke’s form software to offer a collection of brochures with easy-to-use checkboxes, making the process of obtaining multiple brochures simple and pain-free.

Position: Middle of the Funnel

Idea #11: Whitepaper

Whitepapers are great for offering unique perspectives and solutions to problems in a particular industry. And that makes them ideal when you need to convince leads you’re an authority in your space.

But white papers also allow you the unique opportunity to provide value while simultaneously presenting your solution in a favorable light.

Here’s an example from Sage Manufacturing:

Sage understands the challenges facing manufacturing firms and offers this white paper to address those challenges.

They then offer a comparison chart of competitor services and case studies at the end of the white paper highlighting the effectiveness of their service to solve the issues discussed in the white paper.

Position: Middle or Bottom of the Funnel

Idea #12: Case Studies

A case study is the perfect bottom-of-funnel content because it offers a specific, detailed account of someone who has used your product or service before.

Why does this matter? Because with a well-timed case study, you can sway prospects right when they’re in the process of making a decision.

Take a look at the example below from Backlinko:

The case study above offered by Brian Dean, the founder of SEO blog Backlinko, explains his famous ‘Skyscraper technique’ and how he used it to boost his traffic by an astounding 110%.

Position: Bottom of the Funnel

Idea #13: Free Consultation

Once your prospect is in the decision or ‘solution selection’ phase, they’re usually ready to get in contact with a salesperson.

A free consultation is great for this because they’re highly effective at obtaining permission to be contacted from these primed prospects, which, when qualified, yield the highest quality leads for your salespeople.

For example, JnS Education offers a free consultation for their services as a lead magnet:

When considering studying abroad, a live one-on-one consultation with an expert is an appealing option for a prospective student– and a valuable relationship building tool for the university consultant.

Position: Bottom of the Funnel

Idea #14: Live Demo

Live demos are highly effective at the end of a funnel because they give prospects a personalized walkthrough of your offering and the chance to ask questions directly – something your website just can’t do.

This also allows you to ask questions and assess whether your product or service is a good fit and highlight your most relevant attributes.

Below is an example from Outreach.io:

Outreach.io does a great job of making their live demo prominent at both the top (above) and bottom (below) of their home page with compelling headlines clearly written with their target market in mind:

Position: Bottom of the Funnel

It’s your turn

The lead magnet ideas above are both tested and proven to work in almost all niches, but the variations are endless.

To start, pick one of the ideas and implement it at the top of your sales funnel (hint: the free guide, checklist, or cheat sheet are some of the best places to start).

As you see growth, you’ll need a way to deliver content, qualify your leads, and nurture prospects over time.

Sign up here to get a live one-on-one demo of Envoke’s marketing automation software and discover how we can help you do all of this and more.

See what we did there?

Keith Holloway

Keith Holloway

Keith is VP Marketing at Envoke.
Keith Holloway

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