Website page views and time on page are all well and good, but converting a prospect into a customer is the holy grail of marketing.
Research indicates it can take up to seven interactions to convert a lead into a sale, so having someone visit your website once probably isn’t going to cut it.
The easiest first step on the sales journey is to convert your prospects into subscribers, but in this age of email spam, people guard their personal details like never before.
In order to get, you need to give, and that’s why lead magnets should play an important role in your
content marketing strategy.
What is a lead magnet?
Also known as ‘bribe-to-subscribe’, a lead magnet is a freebie you give away in return for collecting prospect contact details and permission to subscribe them to your mailing list.
For e-commerce websites the most common lead magnet is a discount code, but for businesses selling a service, lead magnets often take the form of an exclusive piece of downloadable or locked content, such as a whitepaper, e-book, proprietary research, checklist, cheat sheet or template.
Why owning your own leads matters
Social media has opened up a whole new avenue of content distribution to marketers, but it’s possible that some companies have become over-reliant on it.
Earlier this year we saw what can happen when a social media platform (in this case Facebook) flexes its muscle. Not only was the content from Australian news websites blocked but a number of brands that produce and distribute content via Facebook were also blocked.
Nurturing and building your own mailing list offers two distinct advantages over social media. The first is that you own your audience – by contrast, when you distribute content on social media, ownership of the audience stays with the social media outlet.
Secondly, the quality of your own audience is superior to any audience social media can provide.
Push vs pull marketing
This is because social media is push marketing – you push out content in the hope that someone scrolling past might be interested in what you sell or the service you provide. In marketing terms it can be a bit hit and miss, more akin to a needle in a haystack than zeroing in on a bullseye.
But your own website is pull marketing – prospects are pulled to your website (either because they searched specifically for your business or came via a search engine) because they are looking for a solution to a specific problem they have.
In that sense, your website visitors are already warm leads, and by converting them to audience members using a lead magnet, you’re nudging them down the sales funnel and are already a few interactions into the seven required to turn them from prospect to customer.
What lead magnets will work best for my business?
Whatever format you choose, your lead magnet needs to be valuable and compelling enough to give your prospects a good reason to hand over their personal information.
Ideally, it should provide a solution to a prospect’s problem, while also demonstrating your company’s expertise.
The table below looks at the lead magnets I use on my own website, and how they solve problems my prospects may be facing. Creating a similar list of problems your audience faces is the best way to brainstorm which lead magnets might work for your business.
Expertise and experience
If you’d like help in planning and creating a lead magnet for your company’s website or simply need someone to execute the creation of a piece of content you’ve already strategised, I’d be happy to help.