Whether you are the sole sales person for your business or you have a team of sales professionals, your business is probably looking for ideas to increase sales. The trick is to increase sales in the most efficient and effective way – that means more (and warmer) leads. So how can you bring in more warm leads to get your sales machine working better? One effective, and often overlooked tool, are lead magnets.
What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a piece of downloadable content that your business creates and offers to potential customers in exchange for their information. The content that you provide should represent your expertise, and can be created in many different formats (a downloadable ebook, presentation, white paper, case study, checklist, etc.).
Lead magnets are the key ingredient to a successful lead generation strategy, and are integral to content marketing strategies.
Only 18 percent of manufacturing marketers say they are effective at content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute. That presents a pretty significant opportunity not only to increase your company’s leads and sales, but to stand out from the competition.
How Does a Lead Magnet Help Increase Sales?
Lead magnets provide useful, valuable expertise on a topic that your target buyer is interested in for free. The only thing they need to provide in return is their contact information (and possibly additional information, depending on your strategy and goals).
Once the target buyer has downloaded your lead magnet, the intention is to build trust, provide value, help establish thought leadership and credibility, and hopefully begin a conversation.
With the target’s contact information in hand, as well as information about the topic they downloaded, you can now follow up with this warm lead. They already know who you are, and have invested in reading something that you published.
The top benefits of using lead magnets as an idea to increase sales are to:
- Attract the right visitors to your website
- Generate leads (hence the name…)
- Build lists for lead nurturing
- Attract prospects even before they realize they need your service or product
- Capture valuable information (needs, struggles, problems, opportunities)
- Qualify leads (attract the right visitors, not just any traffic)
- Categorize leads based on form submittals
How Do I Create a Lead Magnet?
The more valuable your lead magnet is to your ideal buyer, the more willing they will be to provide their information in order to obtain it. To create a valuable lead magnet, you first need a clear understanding of your ideal target buyer.
Creating a strategic and effective lead magnet involves several important steps:
- Create buyer personas to identify and understand the motivations, goals and pain-points for your target customers
- Conduct keyword research to identify what common problems your target customers are trying to solve, and what kind of information they most often seek
- Decide which product or service you want to promote
- Gather data, do research, frame your knowledge
- Write and design your lead magnet
A lead magnet can come in many different formats, which depends on what problem you want to solve for your target audience. It could be an:
- Case study
- White paper
- Cheat sheet
- Buyer’s guide
- Online course
- Entertaining quiz or survey
- An assessment or a test
It may take a multi-disciplinary team to create, implement and promote lead magnets, but try not to let it become overwhelming. While a single lead-magnet may be time-consuming to produce, if it’s done well, the resulting leads will be well-worth the effort. (And if you don’t have the internal resources to get the job done, you can always outsource the lead magnet.)
Once you start collecting leads from your lead magnet, then what!? If you call them immediately and try to force the sale, you’ll likely lose them. Lead nurturing is all about understanding the nuances of your buyers' timing and needs. When you gently nurture leads through the sales cycle, you can build trust and demonstrate value at each stage.
Learn the basics to strategic and highly successful lead nurturing with our 82-page ebook, "An Introduction to Lead Nurturing.”