Have you ever wondered if there was some kind of magic formula out there to get customers to your site for no cost? Well, there actually is a tried-and- true method that just about every internet marketer out there uses to reach customers.
This free method isn’t like advertising with Google Adwords, where you pay for each and every click, and it definitely isn’t anything like banner ads where you might pay for a thousand eyeballs and not get a single click from them.
This method is free, effective and takes very little effort to set up.
It’s called a lead magnet.
Who Are Your Customers?
But before we get into that, you need to figure out a few things about your business. This information is vital to setting up a lead magnet that is going to work.
If you are new to business – or new to internet marketing in general – you may not have figured this out yet. That’s perfectly understandable, but you do need to have some idea of who your customers are before you can use this method.
A good way of figuring that out if you haven’t been able to do your own research is to look at your competitors and try to figure out the basic makeup of their customer base.
What do Those Customers Need?
The second question that you have to answer is what needs your customers need fulfilled. It starts with understanding who they are and why they would be coming to your site in the first place.
For example, suppose that you knew that your customer base was mostly men, anywhere from 24-60, usually married with children. Now, suppose that you knew one of the things that they were looking for: a toolbox.
You might be able to discern from this information that your customers might want a toolbox that is sturdy and safe, will hold all of their tools, and will lock so that their children won’t be able to pull their tools out.
How Can You Meet Those Needs?
The third question that you have to answer before we get into the lead magnets themselves is how you can meet those customers’ needs. Do you have the products or services that they are looking for or can you get them?
You need to make sure that you can actually solve the problem that the customer is presenting; otherwise, your lead magnets are essentially worthless. So, in the case of the previous example, you should have a selection of toolboxes for the customer to choose from.
This would be perfect for an Amazon affiliate website. You could also offer a free guide to choosing the perfect toolbox in exchange for their email address. The list of possibilities is endless.
The Free Method: Lead Magnets
The term here is “lead magnet” and it essentially means bait.
When you are in the internet marketing business, you often have to offer something to people to get them to come and check you out. The lead magnet needs to be something of value. Something that the customer can utilize and put into action right away.
Usually, these incentives are offered in exchange for something innocuous to the customer, but invaluable to the marketer: an email address for example.
The email address is such an important marketing tool because email subscribers are much more likely to be buyers and the lines of communication are clearer with email marketing. Using a lead magnet may not separate you from the competition, but it does help you compete with them.
Types of Lead Magnets
There are lots of different lead magnets that you could offer someone. What you offer can be anything from the list below, or anything that you can dream up, but it does have to fulfill a couple of requirements: first, it has to be something that you can afford to give away.
For example, if you promised everyone who visited your website a free sports car, you would be crazy. You would get a stampede of traffic and then a rush of disappointed people to the door.
So, your lead magnet has to be something you can fulfill. You can see some examples below. The second requirement for a lead magnet is that it has to be something more valuable than what the person is giving up.
So, if you were collecting email addresses, then you need to offer something that will make the person feel like risking spam is worth the prize. Of course, you should also do everything you can to convince them that they won’t receive spam as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of lead magnets out there and how you can use them to get people to visit your site, give you their email or buy your products.
Webinars are seminars that are conducted over the web, usually through a specific application that is designed for that purpose.
You can have hundreds or thousands of people attending a webinar, and access to tools like slides, whiteboards, audio, video and much more.
Webinars are great because when someone wants to learn something, and an expert in the field is offering to teach it to them, there is a great deal of perceived value. Many people make a good living from doing webinars alone.
But if you want to attract new buyers, offering a free webinar that demonstrates your expertise and allows you to build a relationship with a group of people is a really great idea.
EBooks are definitely the most common type of lead magnet out there. A book has value. If you go to Barnes & Noble, you will find lots of books that teach you something priced at anywhere from $5 to $50.
People know that books have value, and even if you are offering a digital version, they still see it as having that value.
Of course, you must first convince them that the eBook was written by someone with expertise (either you or someone else), or else that value will drop.
Offering a free eBook is a great way for people to opt-in or visit your website.
Reports are short little presentations that cover a niche subject. They can be brief or very thorough, but they should always strive to answer the question that the customer has presented.
So, suppose that someone is looking for herbal remedies to treat eczema. A report with a title like “Do Herbal Remedies Actually Work for Eczema” or “25 Effective Herbal Treatments for Eczema” might be worth something to them, especially if they are skeptical about whether or not herbal remedies work.
The great thing about a report is, once you have given them the report and convinced them of a certain herbal remedy; you can easily sell them on that remedy.
Infographics don’t have nearly the value that an eBook or a report does, because they are available all over the internet for free.
However, they can still be useful as a lead magnet, because you can use them to get people to click on a link. Suppose that you want to convince someone to buy your brand of copier toner.
Getting them to click on a link that promises to demonstrate with an infographic how to buy the best toner can result in a sale. The infographic is both a sales tool and a way to get them to come to your website.
Checklists are another tool that can be very useful if used correctly. You have to know how to market them though. For example, suppose that you wanted to know how to get rid of diabetes forever.
Now, imagine that someone offered you a 10-step checklist called “10 Steps to Getting Rid of Diabetes Forever.” Would you take a chance on it? Considering that its free, and all you had to do was visit the website offering it, you might very well do so.
Contests are another great method for getting people to come to your website, visit your social media profile, share your content or simply turn over their email address.
Contests usually involve some kind of major prize that a random person who enters will receive. For example, suppose that you came across a legitimate contest for a $5000 Amazon gift card. All you had to do was provide your email address.
You would definitely do so, right? Even though the chances of actually winning the gift card are slim, they aren’t impossible, and $5000 is a whole lot of clothing, electronics and books.
Video & Audio Presentations
Audio and video presentations can also be amazing tools to attract customers. They can be used in so many different ways that it sort of staggers the mind. Here is just one example of an effective way to use a video presentation as a lead magnet.
Suppose that you are a budding filmmaker, and you come across a free video series that teaches you something specific within the field – such as pulling focus or camera placement techniques.
As you watch the video, you begin to get more and more interested in the camera that the instructor is using, particularly since they continue praising it at every turn. At the end, you are given the opportunity to buy that camera at a discount.
Can you imagine taking that opportunity?
Video and audio presentations take longer to set up, and can be more expensive to create, but they can be some of the most effective tools you have ever used.
What about memberships? Have you ever considered offering someone a membership in exchange for them visiting your site or giving up their email address?
The main thing that you have to keep in mind with this type of lead magnet is that you have to have something worth having a membership for. Just offering a membership to another part of your site where they can read more content and more sales pitches isn’t going to work.
They need to be getting something pretty substantial out of the membership or they aren’t going to trade their time, money or email address for it.
Finally, the last lead magnet that we’re going to cover is the discount. This is used very effectively by many companies out there.
For example, if you promised someone who orders pizza a great deal discount codes for major pizza chains, they would probably give you their email address.
Just offering a discount on a product that you are trying to sell them isn’t going to do the trick. The discount has to be for something that they are definitely going to buy.
The only way that it might work for your own product is the sales technique where you discount something like 90% off for a “very limited time.” This is known as the OTO or “one-time offer.”
So, we have explored many of the lead magnets that you can use as an internet marketer, as well as what you need to do to prepare to use them.
Lead magnets can be amazing tools if they are used right, and you should carefully think about which to use for each and every product that you are presenting.
Many people use them poorly, and as a result, they get almost no visitors or opt-ins because of it. It just takes research and knowing what your customer wants.