I was speaking with a private client about a new marketing campaign he was putting together, and he shared the headline and lead magnet he was considering using. Honestly, they weren’t good. I think many people don’t understand what makes a good lead magnet, or understand lead generation in general, so I decided to do a breakdown of the subject. I don’t plan on getting too far into the weeds here, so if you want to know if audio, video, or PDF is better, you’ll be disappointed. But if you want to better understand what will improve your response rates and get more leads, then this article is for you.
I’m going to use my company, The Newsletter Pro, as an example. Most people create lead magnets simply based on what they do. If you’re getting my newsletter in the mail, then you’ve likely also received my book The Ultimate Guide to Newsletter Marketing, which is a lead magnet based on what I do. This type of lead magnet is good and necessary, but it usually works best when you’re targeting a warm audience. If you were watching behind the scenes, you’d see that I mainly offer this kind of lead magnet on my website, after I speak at an event, in my booth at an event, or after a webinar. We’ve offered this book cold but had very limited results.
Why doesn’t it make sense to offer a book on newsletter marketing to cold traffic? In my case, people don’t think they need a newsletter. It isn’t until they’re educated on all the benefits of communicating with customers and prospects that they’re interested in having a newsletter.
All of that means that I need to make other types of offers in order to get someone into the funnel. The number of educated prospects out there is low, and this might be true for you too.
Most people don’t wake up each morning and say, “You know what? I want to call and interview lawyers today.” Also, there aren’t many people who say, “I should order a new phone system today for my office.” When you advertise “get my phone system” or “I’m the best lawyer,” you may get a few people, but they are ones who need to buy now. This is a primary reason behind so many marketing failures. The failure had nothing to do with the media but everything to do with the offer.
The funny thing is that when an offer fails, entrepreneurs almost always blame the media, but that’s amateur-hour stuff. They blame the media because they themselves came up with the offer, and heaven forbid the entrepreneur got it wrong. Most of our egos don’t allow that kind of thinking.
Can you guess what happens next? The entrepreneur takes the same offer, or a similar one, moves to the next media, and lo and behold, that doesn’t work either. So, now what? I have my product-specific lead magnet, but how do I come up with another (not new) lead magnet that will work? How do I attract people who are not aware my newsletter may hold the solution to their issues? To come up with the answer, ask yourself 2 easy questions:
What are the benefits of your product or service?
The Newsletter Pro offers benefits like increased referrals, fewer lost customers, the ability to close more prospects, the ability to upsell additional products and services, and many more. I could look at this list and decide a lead magnet for getting more referrals may work, but why would that work better than a lead magnet for newsletters?
It’s simple! Most people already know the value of generating more referrals, which means a larger number of people will opt in because of my lead magnet. If I can get them to opt in for the referral lead magnet and provide value while simultaneously educating them on the value of newsletters, then over time, I can convert more of those leads into customers. See how I went upstream a bit there? Now, here’s the second easy place to look:
What are the outcomes your customers get?
Another way to come up with ideas for upstream lead magnets is to look at outcomes, then create a lead magnet around fixing an issue that moves people closer to their desired outcomes. If I switch examples and use phone systems (or, really, any other B2B company), I would create a lead magnet around the most effective ways to close more deals. My #1 most effective way of closing more deals is by recording calls. Of course, to get the outcome of more closed deals, you need to record calls, and to record calls, you need a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system.
Do you see how we can go upstream and get more people into the top of the funnel?
Before you place a lead generation ad of any kind, you have to ask yourself, “Is the audience predisposed to buy whatever I’m selling?” If not, leading with the main product won’t work well, at least in most cases. Instead, lead with the outcome or benefit, and set up a system to educate, entertain, and delight the prospect. In short order, you’ll see more effective marketing.