Lead Magnets - the Digital Marketer's Fishing Lure

How To Use Lead Magnets To Build Your Email List

A.J. Kmetz Email Marketing Leave a Comment

Though they have two very different goals, capturing leads and fishing both use the same mechanic: the lure. And every lure has a different purpose. Are you fly fishing on a river? Deep sea fishing for a record marlin? Catching great white sharks to research their migration patterns? You’ll need a different kind of lure for all three. In the digital marketing world, we have another name for lures: lead magnets.

There isn’t just one kind of lead magnet. There isn’t even a lead magnet that’s effective for every brand. Just like you would choose the right lure to catch a certain fish, you’ll need to pick a lead magnet that your customers are interested in.

So what kind of customers are you hoping to hook when you cast your line? Our guide to lead magnets will help you choose the right lure!

What is a lead magnet?

At the most basic level, a lead magnet is a reward you give your customers for joining your email list. Lead magnets can be just about anything, from website evaluations to recipe ebooks to worksheets for school classrooms.

Capturing leads is essential for anyone doing business online. As we’ve said before, email is one of the most effective ways of marketing to your customers online. Some estimates claim it can net you up to a 3800 percent return on investment! But in order to run a successful email marketing campaign, you’ll need to create a list of potential customers’ emails by capturing leads.

It’s difficult to convince people to give you their email addresses without an incentive, just like you can’t coax a fish into your boat just by using a plain fishing line. The difference, of course, is that you’re not trying to trick your customers like you are the fish. You may have a lot to offer them through email: news, sales, promotions, giveaways, and more. The problem is that your customers haven’t seen those great emails yet. From their perspective, your emails might just be more clutter in an already crowded inbox.

How do I choose a lead magnet?

The key to finding the perfect lead magnet is to strike a balance between what your customers find valuable and what you can provide. Remember, not all of your customers may be eager to join your email list, so you’ll need to pick something that entices your audience. But you also need to choose something that’s affordable and available to you.

Lead magnets can do more than just get you an email, though. They can create a relationship between your company and potential customers. Good lead magnets not only get the customer on your email list, but also prompt them to take further action with your company.

For Example…

Let’s say you run a local gym. Here are a few lead magnet ideas you’ve come up with:

  • Sending a set of workout clothes to everyone who gives you their email address. No, that’s impractical. While the customer might find value in it, it would come with high costs and wouldn’t give them instant gratification or encouragement to continue doing business with you.
  • A years’ worth of free classes. While it might get people in the door, you would probably lose too much money for it to be worthwhile.
  • A fitness calendar. Now we’re getting somewhere. This option likely won’t steal your wallet and set it on fire. Not only that, but it’s something your customers might be looking for.
  • A coupon for a free consultation session when they join your gym. This is another good option. Your customer is encouraged to take further action (actually join the gym) and gets value out of it in the form of a workout consultation, something new gym members might be seeking already. If you can afford to take some time for quick workout consultations with new members, this option could be a great lead magnet.

So you have two good lead magnet ideas. Now what? Try them out and see which one performs well! The best lead magnet will be instantly gratifying, create a relationship, provide value, and have low production costs. Keep this in mind as you make a list of potential lead magnets. And once you’ve decided on one, learn the basics of email marketing to put those new leads to use!

Find lead magnets that suit your business

Pick the right lead magnet and you can start raking in leads for your email list. Become a leader in leads – a lead magnate, if you will.

1. Free Trials

If you run any kind of subscription-based service, you’re already sitting on an easy lead magnet: a free trial! After all, who hasn’t tried to acquire as many free months of streaming TV as possible at one point or another? Not only can trials help you collect leads, they’re also an easy way to turn potential customers into subscribers. Once they find out how much they love your service, they won’t want to leave!

2. Discounts

Using discounts and coupons as lead magnets is a good way for any retailer to build their email list. Small offers like 5 or 10 percent on an item or free shipping can be effective lead magnets. You can also use giveaways and contests to give a sense of urgency to your lead capture efforts. While these options can all be useful, be sure they aren’t costing you too much!

3. Guides

Do you have knowledge others would benefit from? Use it to capture leads! Reports and guides are common lead magnets because they work well. If you have enough material, consider compiling it into an ebook – or condensing it into a one-page cheatsheet format.

No matter what kind of business you run, you can offer a guide based on your expertise. If you run a travel agency or a local news site, you could offer visitor guides to your city. Own a bookstore? Try making a guide to your favorite genre or a list of must-reads.

4. Training

Take your guide a step further by offering a training session or course. Free training can be enticing for certain customers and it’s a good way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Whether you’re offering a demo of your product or teaching customers about good web design, training lead magnets are a great way to put your knowledge to use.

5. Worksheets

Give your customers something they can use! Educators love free handouts and worksheets they can use in the classroom. Worksheets have many applications, from calendars and schedules to journals and self-assessments. Effective tools like these make for lead magnets that customers are eager to get.

6. Toolkits

Put together useful information in one neat package for a lead magnet that gives more than most. A package of templates, a list of resources, or instructional materials all make useful toolkits. You can even compile other materials like guides, worksheets, and applicable videos to make a starter kit for your customers.

7. Assessments

Feedback can be a powerful tool, one you can easily put to use as a lead magnet. At Punch Bug, we use Interact to create customizable quizzes for a variety of purposes. A lead magnet quiz could help customers determine which of your services best fits their needs or what products they would enjoy most.

You can go a step further and offer an assessment performed by you or one of your staff. Whether it’s an SEO checkup for their website or a consultation session about nutrition, there are a lot of ways assessments can appeal to potential customers.

Lead magnets can help you build your email list – the first step in a successful email marketing campaign. But they’re good for so much more than that. A good lead magnet can help you convert and establish relationships with customers. By choosing the right lead magnet for your business, the time and effort you put into it can pay off in big ways. So pick a lure and start catching customers!

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