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What is a lead magnet and why should you create one?

Apr 12, 2022 | Marketing

Fifty percent of marketers who use a lead magnet have reported a higher conversion rate. From this statistic alone, it is clear that a lead magnet is a powerful way to attract new clients and get their contact information. But, for many new business owners, there is still an element of mystery surrounding them. There’s no doubt that lead magnets require a lot of time, dedication, and effort to produce: you want this free piece of information to showcase your work and expertise to the best of your ability, but you want to get the formula right. Not enough information and care might lead to a lost potential client, but too much, and you could be giving away a lot for no reward to you or your business. 

At Steph Corrigan Design, I have used various lead magnet types. For example, I did an SEO Masterclass, which I found was a great way to showcase my expertise to a participating audience, and with a free replay option, those who can’t attend on the day but still want the information can watch it at a later time. You can still access my SEO masterclass here. Currently, I am also offering a Brand Clarity Workbook and a general tools and resources page, and of course, this blog – I always make sure that my website is filled with useful information for my readers. 

As business owners, you are absolutely right to question the validity and usefulness of a lead magnet and face some uncertainty about which one is right for you. I hope that this blog will explain the benefits and highlight the most popular choices for lead magnets right now. 

What is a lead magnet? 

In the most fundamental terms, a lead magnet is a marketing tool designed to generate leads. It does this by offering a short-form or long-form resource to gain the contact details of a potential lead. A lead magnet can come in many forms: webinars, templates, ebooks, masterclasses, and whitepapers. I’ll explain more about this later, but first I want to really help you understand that the type of lead magnet you pick, matters for you, your business, and your clients. 

What do you mean by long-form or short-form?

When creating your lead magnet, you will face two distinct forms or styles of content to produce. These are short-form and long-form pieces of content. Let me explain this further: 

  • Short-form is typically newsletters, ebook samples, smaller files, and checklists. 
  • Long-form is typically email courses, guides, reports, whitepapers, ebooks, and spreadsheets. 

It should be mentioned that 58.6 percent of marketers say that short-form content pieces produce a higher conversion rate when used as a lead magnet. So, consider these statistics when opting for what content length to go for your lead magnet!

How do you make sure your lead magnet is the right choice?

There are three ways to ensure that your lead magnet is the right choice. I’m going to briefly list them out here first, before going into more depth below, so that you can be super clear on all the different factors you may want to consider! 

Firstly, think about what your ideal client would likely need or desire. Secondly, consider if you need your lead magnet to be knowledge-based or resource-based. And finally, think about what you are comfortable offering as a long-form, free piece of information. 

When considering your ideal client, there are certain factors you might want to consider. You have already done all the work in creating this ideal client in your head, and likely created a lot of your website and marketing products with their needs in mind. (Check out this blog if you haven’t yet begun your branding and would like a few expert tips from me!) When it comes to your lead magnet, you will need to do this all again. Focus on what it is they will need and create some ideas based on those needs. 

This brings me to my next point: whether your lead magnet will be resource-based or knowledge-based. Again, this will ultimately depend on what your ideal client wants or needs. Think back to when you were creating your brand and what key factors you decided your ideal client would be looking for when they would find your product or website page. Feed this information and background work into your lead magnet work too, so that every element of your brand and offerings, works for your ideal client. 

Finally, consider yourself. Are you in a good position to offer either of these types of lead magnets? Do you strongly prefer one over the other? There’s already a lot to consider regarding the types of content to offer, but if your expertise lies in one format, you can play to your strengths.

What types of lead magnet are there?  

There are many different types of lead magnets that you can choose from. These include: 

  • Workbooks
  • Webinars
  • Whitepapers
  • Product samples
  • Mini guides
  • Ebooks
  • Training videos
  • Templates
  • And so many more!

Of course, there are preferred lead magnets over others. But this will also depend on the type of business you have and the industry you’re in. According to Hubspot, Ebooks are the most popular type of lead magnet amongst marketers, with 27.7% opting for them. Following this, 24.9% use webinars, and 21.3% use free tools. 

So, it’s up to you which one you go for! But, you might still be wondering–what is the point of a lead magnet?  

Why should you create a lead magnet?

There are many reasons why you should create a lead magnet for your business. Not only is it a great way to let your audience see your expertise firsthand, but it’s a great way to collect emails and begin to build your database. Let’s delve into this a bit deeper. 

Show off your expertise

You’re an expert at what you do, and that’s why you have your own business. From coaching to marketing, business to accounting, you will be an expert within your own industry. But, how do you convey this to your audience? A prospective client might just be browsing through many different websites that day, searching for the best offer, the best website, and the best person to work with. While you might have sold your messaging to them, because you carefully curated your brand for your ideal client to connect with, they might need something more. This is where your lead magnet comes in. With a quick download, they’ll understand you on another level. 

Grow your email list 

Your email list can enjoy some serious expansion once you have created a lead magnet. This is because for anyone to get the lead magnet, aka your piece of valuable expertise, they’ll have to enter their email for it to be sent. It’s as simple as that – with one click of a button, you have another contact to add to your email list and a much stronger prospect of a paying client!

P.S. If you’re new to email marketing, I highly recommend signing up for Flodesk. Flodesk’s beautiful templates and intuitive platform make emailing your list fun, easy, and rewarding. Click here to start your free trial and score 50% off your first year.

Warm-up cold leads

Lead magnets are a great way to warm up a cold lead. This is because not only will they get your free download, filled with useful information that they can either watch, complete, use or read, but they will also be added to your email list. Once on your list, you’ll be able to email them directly to their inbox with useful bits of information and friendly correspondence that will hopefully eventually land you a sale. 

Upsell to a paid offer

Often your lead magnet will have a direct link to a paid service you offer. Whether it’s a consultation, a day rate, or an extension of what you’ve detailed in the magnet, you can use this freebie as a way to entice potential clients into becoming paying ones. 

There are so many benefits to using a lead magnet. Whether you opt for short-form or long-form; video, webinar, template, ebook, or other, a lead magnet will benefit your business in the long run. I know that this might seem daunting, as lead magnets do require a lot of work, particularly if you do truly want to create something that will have a high conversion rate. Well, that’s where I can help. With your expertise, coupled with my experience and design skills, we can create a lead magnet that will get you the clients you deserve. Simply book me for a day to get started. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission. I only affiliate with products and services that I’ve personally used and genuinely recommend.

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Steph Corrigan Design Blogger

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BRAND AND WEB DESIGNER + FOUNDER

I’m here to break down everything you’ve been wondering about when it comes to starting and scaling an online business in the most aligned way possible. From branding basics to tried-and-true marketing strategies, you’ll get my unfiltered thoughts and advice on how to make your brand stand out.

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