Does your business want to generate more leads and turn these leads into paying customers?
Chances are whether you run a B2B or a B2C brand, your aim and mission is to generate more leads and turn those leads into paying customers and in order to do this, you need a lead magnet.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is an offer, incentive or ethical bribe of some kind that you provide to your visitors or readers in exchange for their information.
To summarise it more efficiently here is a solid definition from ImScalable-
“A Lead Magnet is basically something that you are using as an ethical bribe on your lead generation page to incentivise potential buyers to want to give you their name, email, phone number, address or whatever info it is that you are asking for.”
Basically a lead magnet is how you convince your users to share their details with you, so you can continue marketing to them at every stage of your sales funnel.
This helps to turn your leads not only into paying customers but also into brand evangelists who will promote, support and share your products and services with their network.
And isn’t that every marketers dream?
Many businesses know how important it is to offer a strong lead magnet such as a free gift, ebook or white paper of some kind in order to collect an email address, however it is also so important to continue these lead magnets through the entire sales process.
In fact, many businesses fail to get their leads converting all the way through into a paying customer because they fail to offer lead magnets through the entire sales funnel process.
There are three key places that your business should consider offering a lead magnet-
1. Top of Funnel (TOFU)
During the TOFU stage, your business should be focused on converting visitors into leads. The best way to do this is by offering a landing page with some sort of lead magnet such as a free e-book, that is given out in exchange for their email address.
2. Middle of Funnel (MOFU)
During the MOFU stage, your business should be focused on categorising your leads into sub-groups or into a short-list of people who are more interested in what you have to offer. This can be achieved by offering case studies, e-courses or more detailed information about your industry.
3. Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)
During the BOFU stage your business should be focused on converting the interested leads into customers by offering them access to try your products or services. This can be done through offering a free trial, money back guarantee or even a coupon code.
As you can see, it is important that your business focuses on offering lead magnets throughout the entire sales funnel process and not just at the top of the funnel stage. This is going to help keep your leads moving through your funnel and will ultimately earn your business a better conversion rate.
It can be difficult and time consuming for your business to come up with multiple lead magnet ideas, however we have created a comprehensive list that will help you select the perfect offer for the right stage of your sales funnel.
Lead Magnet Ideas for Top of Funnel (TOFU)
1. Free Report or Ebook
Free reports and ebooks are often overused as lead magnets however, if your brand can work out what is truly important to your visitors then it can be a very effective way to generate leads.
When it comes to selecting a topic to write on for your ebook or free report, think about what sort of information is most valuable to your visitors. For example, if you run a website for new parents, topics like “How to Tell if Your Baby is Healthy” or “Signs Your Baby Needs to See a Doctor” may be a good place to start.
Once you have selected your desired topic, it is also important that your report or ebook is filled with well written content that is detailed, educational and backed up with research or statistics.
There is so much free information available for anyone on the internet, so making sure that your free ebook or report offers something unique or special is important in order to be effective.
2. Infographic or PDF Version
If your website has comprehensive blog posts or detailed content, offering your visitors a PDF version or infographic could be another effective way to collect information from your visitors.
This strategy may also be easy and less-time consuming for your business to generate as it doesn’t involve writing any new content and the infographic could be outsourced or easily put together using an online tool.
Sometimes people may want to receive information in a different format either so they can better understand it or teach it to other people, therefore offering multiple formats may be a good incentive.
Quizzes are fun, entertaining and can be a great way to get your visitors engaged, in fact sites like Buzzfeed are famous for creating quizzes that go viral over social media.
The reason why quizzes can be so popular is that people love to gain insight about their personality or what “type” of person they are.
When it comes to crafting your quiz it is important to think about your demographic and what they would be interested to know about themselves. For example, for a marketing site you may have “What Type of Marketer Are You?” or for a travel blog you may have “What Country Should You Live In?”
Quizzes are also versatile lead magnets as you can ask for your visitors details either before they complete the quiz or after they have completed the quiz in order to get their result. You can also make them input their email address in order to gain more information on their ‘personality trait.’
4. Giveaways or Freebies
Offering something for free is a great way to generate lots of leads fast, however it may not be the best way to generate quality leads.
For this reason, it is really important to think about what free gift you are offering your visitors and whether it is really going to pay off for your business in the long run.
For example, if you run a weight loss website and simply offer a free box of protein bars, chances are you are going to get a lot of people signing up just to receive the free food. Instead however, you may benefit from offering a free dietary plan or video workout to get people excited about your weight loss program and to attract people who are actually serious about losing weight.
Templates for landing pages, sales emails and more can be a great way to offer your readers an additional service that can help support and compliment your existing content.
There is only so much explaining you can do, but offering a template where all your visitors have to do is fill in the blanks can be an extremely valuable tool.
Templates are also easy to create and can give your visitors an inside look at how your business operates and communicates with other businesses, customers or networks.
Newsletters can be a great way to offer your visitors access to more information or updates about your blog and services. It can also be a good way to send your readers a short list of your top posts or insights for the week.
When it comes to drafting your newsletters, it is important that you offer your readers additional value to what they can receive on your blog and that you tailor your newsletters to your specific target audience. This helps to increase the perceived value of your newsletter.
To keep your newsletters consistent you may also want to send them out at the same time and day each week.
7. Live Chat
Offering a live chat feature is a great way to connect with your visitors in real time and point them in the right direction when they come to your website.
To use this strategy effectively, simply ask your visitors to enter their email address or make an account to start the live chat process. This can be done through a program like Google Hangouts or a plugin.
Another benefit for offering a live chat feature is that it convinces your visitors to take immediate action and it can also help you as a business owner to understand what main questions and queries your visitors have when they come to your web page.
Other examples of TOFU lead magnet ideas include-
- Proprietary research or data
- Breakdowns, cheat sheets and summaries of your content or popular topics
- A replay of a live event or webinar
- A members only area or content that is only for members
- Resource lists or References
- Workbooks or worksheets
- A physical Book or CD
- Audio training or video course
- A podcast
- A Slideshare or Powerpoint download
Lead Magnet Ideas for Middle of Funnel (MOFU)
1. Account Registration
This is a great step for e-commerce stores as it requires interested users to create an account in order to start shopping and continue with the checkout process.
Having users create an account means that it is more likely for them to purchase again as they won’t have to continually enter their billing and shipping details.
Amazon is a great example of this lead magnet in action. They allow you to shop and fill your cart with whatever your heart desires, but in order to check out, your details have to be entered and an account needs to be created.
2. Tickets to a Live Event or Workshop
Face to face contact can be the fastest and most effective way to move your leads from the MOFU phase into the BOFU phase.
If your company runs live events or ticketed events, offering free tickets to prospective customers is a great way to keep them engaged and interested in what your brand has to offer. It also helps to generate excitement around your brand and what is has to offer.
You can also do this for an online event like a webinar, however often live events do have a greater perceived value and may yield you a higher conversion rate.
3. Case Studies
Case studies are like a testimonial and a how to article rolled into one and are a great way to establish and promote your business as a leader in its field.
Offering your interested leads access to how your company has worked with other brands and helped them to solve their problems also provides your visitors with step by step instructions, ideas and tools for their own use. This helps to develop trust between your brand and the consumer.
Case studies are also an effective way to ease leads in to purchasing high ticket items or expensive services.
4. Free or Lite Versions
Giving your leads access to a limited or watered down version of your services or software can be a great way to give them a taste of what your business has to offer.
This strategy works well when your business is offering expensive software or e-course or a paid app that you want to allow people to experience the benefits of in order to persuade them to purchase.
A lot of gaming apps do this all the time where they offer a lite version that has lots of ads and only allows users to play up to a certain level or restricts certain rewards. App developers do this in the hopes that users will get hooked on the game and then upgrade to the paid version to receive all of the benefits.
Offering a lite version also helps to build trust between your brand and the eyes of the consumer and can be one of the most effective ways to turn your leads into paying customers.
5. Mailed Brochures or Catalogues
Sending mailed brochures and catalogues is one of the oldest forms of marketing around, however it may be one of the best tools that your business can use, especially if your leads would benefit receiving a physical copy of something.
A lot of people also love to still receive magazines, or hard copy images and content, especially if they are making a big decision such as writing their will, designing a house or signing up to a school or college. This is because sometimes it can be easier to sift through all the information when it is laid out in a single format.
Another industry that may benefit from offering hardcopy brochures and catalogs is the travel industry. If you are putting together a tour package for people, having a glossy brochure full of images, itineraries and menus may be more beneficial at enticing readers to book and travel with your company.
In order for this strategy to be effective and worth the investment, you need to really understand your target audience and what it is that they are really looking for.
Other examples of MOFU lead magnet ideas include-
- SMS notifications for events or sales
- Early bird discounts and deals
- Free samples
- Free Shipping
- Free Quote
- Free screensavers or toolbars
- Free plugins
Lead Magnet Ideas for Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)
1. Discount Coupon
Discount coupons are great for e-commerce stores or for any business providing a paid service of some kind. They are also very easy to create and are strong at enticing leads to purchase.
The one thing to be mindful of when offering a coupon is your overall brand image and goals. For example, a company like Apple never offers coupon codes or sales as they believe in having their pricing being fair and consistent across the board. If your company is the same, then offering discount coupon code may not be the best fit.
Coupon codes can sometimes also be more effective than ‘freebies’ as it can help your brand to wean out any leads that are simply just looking for free stuff.
2. Free Consultation
A free consultation that leads to a sale is a great way to give your customers a taste of what you have to offer and also allows you to sell them on your business.
Of course, you don’t want your free consult to appear salesy, but your strategy should be to subtly direct them to purchasing your product or using your service. Usually when you offer your time for free, leads may also feel more indebted to purchase your products or services, especially if you offer lots of value straight away.
It is important to remember to not offer your free consult too early on in the sales funnel process, otherwise you may find it difficult to get leads that are actually interested in converting into paying customers.
3. Free Trial
Free trial offers are great for software companies or even for product based companies that offer something special or exclusive.
When you offer customers a free trial of your services for a limited time period it allows them to not only test out what is on offer, but it also motivates them to sign up to the full paid version.
There are a few companies that do this effectively, one being Amazon.
Before checking out they offer customers a free trial of Prime which gives them access to free two day shipping plus other benefits. Customers agree to the free trial for 30 days and then after the 30 days, if they don’t cancel the service they are automatically charged and signed up to Prime.
Another company that does this effectively is Proactive. The skin care company offers users a free trial of their acne face wash and a guarantee that if it doesn’t work they can return it at the end of the trial period. If they don’t return it, they are billed the full amount.
Even though this strategy can be effective, one thing to be mindful of is making it easy for customers to opt out of the paid version after the free trial period. This will help your customer retention rate and will avoid any negative backlash from customers who weren’t expecting to be charged.
4. Loyalty Program
Using loyalty programs as a lead magnet can be a great way to entice leads to purchase, it is also a great way to keep returning customers coming back for more.
There are many loyalty programs that your company can test out including reward points and free upgrades. You can read more about creating the perfect loyalty program for your business here.
5. Comparison Chart
It can sometimes be difficult for your customer to make a decision about whether they should purchase or not. For this reason, offering a comparison chart may be a good way to simplify their purchasing decision.
Comparison charts help your leads to know exactly what they are getting at each level and at each different price point. This may help them to feel more informed and therefore more trusting to make a purchase.
You can also make the decision process even easier for your customers by creating one or two options that are clearly far better value than the other options.
Other examples of BOFU lead magnet ideas include-
- Software demo
- Sales or needs analysis call
- Tear Sheet/ Paper Coupons
- Free coaching session
Lead Magnets are truly the secret sauce to keeping your leads moving through every step of your sales funnel from TOFU to BOFU.
When it comes to choosing the perfect lead magnet, no matter what stage of the sales funnel your are focusing on, it is important that you take into account your demographic and what will really be of benefit to them.
Studies have also consistently shown that offering a tool rather than information based content can be more successful when it comes to generating leads.
These tools include free software demo’s, spreadsheets, quizzes, samples, templates or lite versions of your services.
If your brand is really looking to generate some serious leads, starting with a tool based magnet may be the best and quickest way to go.
Of course, like with anything in marketing, it is important that you keep testing and assessing your lead magnet and whether it is powerful enough to draw in the right type of leads for your business.