Some blogs are decidedly more successful when it comes to getting email addresses or other leads. If your blog isn’t one of these lead generating powerhouses, in spite of high quality content, it can certainly be frustrating.
You may be wondering what other bloggers are doing that you are not.
The answer is actually quite simple. They are offering readers something in exchange for their email address. Basically, a download or some form of gated content is being offered to entice readers to to sign up.
However, it isn’t as simple as offering up something, then asking for an email addresses. Plenty of bloggers do that, and still don’t get good results. Keep reading to learn why lead magnets work, and how you can make them work for you.
An Inconvenient Truth About Your Visitors
You won’t see most of them a second time, unless you do something about it. Think about it. You probably have a fairly static set of websites that you visit on a regular basis. You’ll visit other sites, but that is mostly just to get one off pieces of information that you need. You won’t go back to those sites unless you see something really compelling.
Unless you’ve managed to create the next BuzzFeed or similar site, the same goes for your blog. If you can’t get someone to offer up their email address, they probably won’t give your content a second look.
This is why understanding lead magnets is key.
Making Powerful Lead Magnets
If you’ve ever played with magnets as a child you know they aren’t all the same. The thin magnets on your refrigerator can’t support much at all and are fairly useless, but an electromagnet or industrial magnet has the potential to lift a ton.
Your lead magnet must be strong enough to cause people to get over their fear of passing identifying information to others on the internet. Your first step towards accomplishing this is getting to know your audience.
Think about the lead magnets that you see every day. The best ones offer up solutions and opportunities. Know your audience members’ goals and the struggles that they face. Then offer them solutions.
Once you know this, it is time to figure out how to present your lead magnet. You’ll want to write call to action copy that is very clear, and that quickly garners the emotional response that you are seeking.
Focus on Value And Benefits
The way to get readers to see the value in your lead magnet is to offer them something that has plenty of perceived value. For example, a thirty day trial of the demo version of your software might be mildly interesting. On the other hand, a thirty day trial of the fully loaded version that they can try out in production situations is going to cause some real excitement.
Next focus on benefits. Features are nice, but people really want to know how your offering will make their life easier. Don’t focus on what your freebie offers. Instead focus on how it can make life easier. An app that helps you manage your email is great. An app that manages your email, even while you are asleep, is even better.
Know Your Competition
Keep an eye on your competitors. Know what they are offering as lead magnets. Then, instead of emulating, elevate and innovate. This will help you to uniquely identify yourself and your offerings. You will also want to ensure that the quality of your gated content makes it worthwhile. If you will be offering ebooks or other written content, some professional help may be in order. Just be sure to use paper help for writing help.
Not All Email Addresses Are Created Equal
Remember that your goal is to earn email subscriptions from those who are most likely to progress down your sales funnel. The second most desireable are going to be those who are most likely to link, share, and engage. Whatever you offer as incentive probably shouldn’t be too entry level. Otherwise you’ll only get the attention of those in the ‘barely shopping around’ stage.
Examples of Effective Lead Magnets
Whitepapers, eBooks, and PDF documents tend to be some of the most common offerings, but don’t limit yourself. Here are some other lead magnets to consider:
Don’t feel as if you have to limit yourself to offering just one thing. You can bundle things into toolkits or series. For example, you could offer up a set of five video courses and then throw in a one on one session with a product specialist.
Ensuring Smooth Delivery
The last thing you want is to get somebody interested in taking you up on your lead magnet, and then lose them because your delivery process is all messed up. Enthusiasm over downloading your freebie is going to fade quickly if someone’s browser goes unresponsive for fifteen minutes because the process is a resource hog.
Consider using a hosting service to manage your downloads if they are resource contentious. Hosting it yourself could also cause performance issues on your server. There are plenty of inexpensive cloud server options that you can use.
The Lead Magnet as Content Upgrade
One method of creating a lead magnet is to lead into it with your blog content and then offer the lead magnet as a continuation of that. For example, if you own a lawn maintenance company, you could write an informative blog about getting lawn mowers and other home equipment ready for spring. Then, you could offer a video tutorial on purchasing the perfect riding lawn mower as your lead magnet. This is effective, because you’ve already got your readers focusing on their lawn equipment.
Another option is to offer the same content as your lead magnet, only presented in a different way. Your lawn maintenance blog post could be turned into a printer friendly checklist that your readers can download in exchange to your email address. You could make things even more enticing by adding a couple more nuggets of information to your gated content.
The Matter of Trust
The most compelling offer isn’t going to get you increased email subscriptions unless you successfully establish trust. Not only do you have to get people interested in your lead magnet, you have to provide assurance that you aren’t going to do unseemly things with that email address once you have it. Include trust elements such as badges, images, testimonials, and other items on your blog and landing pages.
A great lead magnet isn’t just a customer’s gateway to truly useful content or other goodies. It is your opportunity to reach out to your audience and eventually boost conversions. Your job is to ensure that your offerings are valuable to your audience and that you can deliver them seamlessly.