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What Is a Lead Magnet and Why Do You Need One?

Even if you’ve never heard the term lead magnet before, you’ve probably read or used a lead magnet without even realizing it.

Think about all the times you’ve visited a website and pop-up window appeared asking you to enter your email address in exchange for a freebie of some kind. That’s a lead magnet. And we’re big believers that your business needs one.

Build Your Email List With a Lead Magnet

Before we talk about creating your own lead magnet, let’s back up a little and explain the powerful work a lead magnet does for your business.

It’s about giving prospective customers something that will build their trust and loyalty.

Perhaps the most effective thing you can do right now to grow your business is to expand your email list. Why? You own your email list. It’s not at the mercy of the changing algorithms of any social media network. And it’s made up of people who actually want to hear from you.

As you know from your own online habits, people don’t hand over their email address to just anyone. It’s a big deal. You have to make it worth their while.

Sometimes businesses will simply offer a subscription to their newsletter in exchange for providing your email address. But we think a great lead magnet is a lot more enticing. It gives you another opportunity to show your expertise. And it’s the first step in building a warm relationship with a target customer.

What Should Your Lead Magnet Be?

A lead magnet can take lots of forms. Some of the common words you’ll see in the names of lead magnets include toolkit, cheat sheet, guide, list and training. See if those spark some ideas for you.

As you start to consider the possibilities, it also helps to look at other lead magnets:

  • Of course, we’re fond of our own lead magnet: Your Unstoppable Brand. It’s a free guide to creating a business and a brand that your dream customers will fall in love with.
  • We also think our client Joshua Smith developed a completely amazing lead magnet: Sacred Space With Style. If you’re into home design at all, download it right now. We loved helping Josh bring this generous giveaway to life.
  • And here’s a lead magnet for you travelers out there. We worked our client Ambhasaa to create a packing guide for chic beach vacations. The guide shows Ambhasaa’s expertise and builds interest in their travel-planning service.
  • A lead magnet doesn’t have to be a guide, though. Marie Forleo does an audio training. Kris Carr gives away a starter kit with recipes. If you sell a product, a coupon can be a great lead magnet. That’s what our sister company Boots & Arrow offers.

The bottom line is that your lead magnet should speak to your dream customers’ needs and desires. It must be something they’ll find valuable and interesting enough to offer their email address in exchange for. You want them to hold onto your lead magnet, use it frequently (getting reminded of your business every time they do, of course!) and pass it along. Consider writing about a topic you get asked about often or a topic you know better than anyone else.

What shouldn’t your lead magnet be? Salesy. A lead magnet isn’t about asking. It’s about giving prospective customers something that will build their trust and loyalty. Of course, you hope that it starts the customer down the road to a sale. But right now you should be focused on generosity.

Using Your Lead Magnet to Grow Your Business

After your create your lead magnet, it’s time to get it in front of your potential customers:

  • Use a pop-up on your website to promote your lead magnet. To keep your site visitors from being annoyed, make your lead magnet pop-up match the “voice” of your site (both in writing and design).
  • Consider a landing page for your lead magnet. (See the DesignGood lead magnet link above for an example.) And then link to this landing page from your social profiles.
  • Use social media posts to promote your lead magnet. You may even want to try out promoted posts.

An Investment That’s Worth It

A lead magnet is an investment, but it’s one that pays off many times over. After working on lead magnets for ourselves and for clients, they’re one of the business-building tools we’re most excited about. Contact us today to talk about what a lead magnet can do for your business.

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