Before we talk about lead magnets, you need to first have an opt-in form on your website.
The purpose of having an opt-in form is to capture your website visitor’s contact information.
Many times, a visitor will stop by your website and spend a few minutes exploring it. They could have been led to your site through a search or found a blog post from another source. There are various ways your website gets traffic. What’s important is having a plan for your visitors once they’ve arrived.
You can create a pop-up opt-in form, which despite people saying they’re annoyed by such a tactic, still gets results (which is why marketers continue to use them). Or you could publish the opt-in form on the Home Page or in a sidebar.
The point is you want to be obvious with your opt-in form. You don’t want your visitor to miss it. So, make it bold. Use bright colors, larger-sized typeface, and persuasive copy.
A Very Simple Explanation of Opt-In Forms
Years ago, I worked with a CPA who was using a CPA website service. I noticed that there was a very bland opt-in form, offering the visitor an opportunity to sign up for a newsletter.
I asked the CPA, “So, I see you have an opt-in form on your website. What happens when someone signs up?”
The CPA was clueless. “I have no idea,” he said. He explained he never saw the names or the email addresses.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Your opt-in form should be a form hosted by your email service provider (such as i-Contact, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Keap, etc.). This is because once someone completes an opt-in form, they’re automatically added to your email list. You can get even more detailed by creating categories and segments for that particular form’s conversions, but let’s just keep it simple and say the person’s contact information is added to a general email list.
Once someone completes an opt-in form, you should have an email autoresponder set up to immediately contact them. Autoresponders are great. Within your email service platform’s dashboard, you will have an ability to set up an autoresponder associated with that opt-in form.
You only need to write an email message once and then set up the autoresponder email with it. Each time someone signs up for your list through the opt-in form, they’ll receive that email quickly.
If you are offering a lead magnet in exchange for someone’s contact information (which you should definitely do), then you can also include a link to that lead magnet in your “welcome” email message.
Lead Magnets and Opt-In Forms
So, what exactly is a lead magnet? A lead magnet accomplishes exactly what it says: it’s a “magnet” to attract leads. Often B2B companies will offer a free report in exchange for a website visitor’s contact information. Because white papers are one of the most complex marketing assets, often a company will ask for more than just a person’s first name and email address on their opt-in form.
Some of the fields required to download a white paper: first name, last name, job title, company name, phone number, a question asking if the company is currently looking for a solution (with choices of 1-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9 months+), a question about what currently frustrates the person regarding the solution, and at times a comment section.
What else can you provide other than a white paper? Here are some ideas:
- Special Report
- Tip sheet
- Free subscription (newsletters, video series, etc.)
- Podcast or recorded interview
- Interview Transcript
- Free Trial
- Exclusive Deal
- Cheat sheet
- Case study
- Sales material
- Free consultation
- A printed book
You can also take a series of blog posts which cover a topic and create a special report or eBook from it. Another idea is taking a video or recorded interview, get it transcribed, and then offer it as a written document. You could even add the transcription as a bonus offer along with the video or audio MP3 file.
Your lead magnet should offer information to attract your target market. For instance, here are some sample titles to demonstrate this:
- Straight Talk About Small Business Success in New Jersey (target market: New Jersey small business owners)
- 5 Ways Boston Dental Practices Lose Money With Their Quarterly Taxes (target market: Boston, Massachusetts dental practices)
- What Most Cincinnati Trial Lawyers Miss With Cash Flow Management (target market: Cincinnati, Ohio trial lawyers)
- 7 Tax Secrets the Most Successful Boise General Contractors Know And Use (target market: Boise, Idaho contractors)
- The 10 Biggest Bookkeeping Mistakes Restaurant Owners Make (target market: restaurant owners)
- How Philadelphia Small Business Owners Can Create a Robust Comprehensive Benefits Program Without Breaking the Bank (target market: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania small business owners)
If you target a specific group of people—and channel traffic to your web page that features your lead magnet in a strategic way—you should receive a good amount of either hot or warm leads.
How to Promote Your Lead Magnet So It Catches Attention
When channeling traffic to your web page, you can use both online and offline methods to get a potentially interested prospect to opt into your offer. Some of the most effective marketing campaigns use both, such as sending a mail piece directly to a list of potential leads with an offer for valuable information if they visit a particular web page (and have a simple website address in the mail piece, such as a sales letter or postcard).
You can also use the link to your web page that features your lead magnet in a variety of ways: include it in your email signature, on business cards, on the last slide if you give live presentations, as a “bonus” if people stay until the end for your webinar, or as a “giveaway” if you’re a vendor at a trade show.
Really, anytime you can include a website URL and lead magnet offer, you should do so. If you use social media frequently, consider promoting your web page on an ongoing basis. Don’t forget to use hashtags (the “#” sign) for your target market. Examples could be #CPA, #Tech, #SmallBiz, or #B2B.
Once you have a lead magnet on your website, you should promote it through multiple channels. If you use print advertising, make sure you offer it there (and add the specific URL address). If you do radio ads, mention the free lead magnet and direct people to the web page.
You can work with your web designer on creating simple website addresses for your lead magnet. The simpler, the better. You don’t want to include a long website address full of random letters and numbers. Instead use something along the lines of www.smithcpas.com/FreeContractorReport or something along those lines.
Often people will jot down the address if they’re hearing it from a radio ad so make it easy to remember. The same approach applies to anywhere you advertise your business.
Simple gets remembered.
Partially excerpts taken from the book, The Maverick Advisor: The New Rules of Marketing for Financial Advisors and Consultants – Get Great Clients, More Respect, and the Fees You Deserve, by Mary Rose Maguire.