If your business is going to sell the products and services you offer and grow, you need to generate a sufficient volume of quality leads, period. Leads are the energy which fuels sales—without leads, your business is like a car with an empty fuel tank. The question for business is not whether lead generation is important, but rather, what are the most effective strategies to generate the number of leads you need to succeed?
Most Businesses Are Failing at Lead Generation
According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017 survey of more than 4,000 marketers around the globe, lead generation tops the list of the marketing challenges they face. On average, for example, marketers spend more than half their marketing budgets on lead generation, but more than 80% of those same marketers report their lead generation efforts are only “slightly or somewhat effective.”
Why the disconnect? How is it that otherwise savvy marketers are coming up short in meeting their lead generation goals? The simple answer is that the strategies they employ to secure new leads are not resonating with their prospective customer base.
What is a Lead Magnet?
Increasingly, inbound and outbound marketers understand the need to provide compelling incentives to turn visitors to their websites into leads, typically by providing them with the contact information they need to nurture them and move them through the buyer’s journey. And, increasingly, the most successful marketers are harnessing the notion of creating effective “lead magnets.” What is a lead magnet? Here’s how Entrepreneur defines the term:
“A lead magnet is content given away to someone in exchange for their email address. Instead of purchasing an ebook, for example, they simply sign up for your email list and then receive a link to download the ebook free.”
In other words, prospective customers have problems they need to solve. Your business can help them solve those problems by providing relevant information (content). If the information you provide effectively aligns with the problems they face, they’ll be willing to provide their contact information (especially their email address) to get it. If you do it right, you’ll have a new email subscriber, and a new lead you can then nurture through the buyer’s journey and who will eventually purchase your products and services.
How to Break Through the Noise
The problem, of course, is that many other companies are also trying to connect with your prospective customers. In this competitive environment, it’s not enough simply to ask someone to subscribe to your emails. You need to give them a good reason to do so. In other words, your lead magnets need to be compelling. Although every business is different, some lead magnet strategies work for most, including the following 5:
- Guides: Guides teach prospective leads how to do something, like understand internet marketing or get a mortgage for a new home. If you make sure that what you’re offering is what your audience wants, and that you know what you’re talking about, offering comprehensive guidance that helps consumers solve their problems is a great way to obtain their contact information.
- Free trials: This lead magnet works especially well for businesses that offer services, like software, for example. Allow prospects to use your service free of charge for a designated period of time (typically, a month) in exchange for their contact information.
- Discounts: People like saving money—if they’re looking for a particular product or service, you can offer a discount if the eventually make a purchase. Your discount can be a percentage of the sales price, or some other amenity, like free shipping when they buy.
- Surveys: If someone is a marketer, they might want to know what other marketers think about a specific marketing challenge (like how to generate more leads!). The quid pro quo in this instance is that prospects will get the results of the survey sent to their email address—which means of course that they need to supply that email address to you.
- Tests: People don’t generally like taking tests unless the results of that test give them the information they need and want. If you offer website design services, for example, you could design a product that grades their website, pointing out how and where it could be improved.
Conclusion – Boost Your Lead Generation With Lead Magnets
Generating leads continues to be among the most pressing challenges facing marketers today. Creating effective, compelling, and valuable lead magnets can help, but it’s not the only solution. To learn more about the ways our web design and digital marketing, photography, search engine optimization, and marketing automation services can help you generate leads, boost conversions, increase profits and help your business grow, contact us today.