A lead magnet is basically a bribe.
In a world where marketers clamor for “eyeballs,” views, and clicks, a lead magnet cuts through the noise by actually delivering something of value.
Yes, you’re angling for something in return—a name, an email address—but you’re getting it honestly. You’re getting it through reciprocation. People like what you’re offering and they want to give you that information in exchange.
The problem is that you can’t just give away just anything.
The type of lead magnet you choose to use needs to align with your customers’ needs, with your value proposition, and with your market.
Picking the right kind of lead magnet could mean the difference between a campaign that flops and one that brings you thousands of new customers.
Something your market needs
An effective and successful lead magnet will demonstrate the kind of value that your business can offer. It’s not “giving away your product for free”—think of it as an exchange. You offer a potential customer something useful and different that gives them a taste of what your company can offer. In exchange, they become familiar with your business and hand over valuable contact information and data that you can use going forward.
A popular lead magnet for B2B SaaS companies is the free tool—the little engineering side-project that helps bring in new customers by actually helping them do their jobs better.
One company that has built a free tool as a lead magnet and gotten great results is Clearbit, a SaaS company that sells product and data APIs to businesses.
Their Gmail add-on, Connect, provides users with some of the basic functionality of Clearbit for free. It’s an extension within your Gmail inbox that shows you a bunch of personal information about everyone who sends you an email. It also allows you to search for anyone’s email within a specific company. Get an email from the founder of Clearbit, and you’ll see this in the sidebar—a brief rundown on where he lives, links to his social media profiles, and valuable data on the company domain that the email was sent from, including the number of employees, the amount of funding, and address.
This tool is free and accessible for people who may not be data specialists, while keeping the brand visible and useful within a potential customer’s Gmail inbox. It familiarizes would-be customers with the kind of services and value that Clearbit provides at the premium level. Put simply, it’s something that their ideal customers (marketers, sales representatives, business development folks) would actually want to use.
That simplicity and alignment with the needs of their customers is probably why Clearbit has been able to drive 100,000 inbound leads through free browser extensions and APIs. By offering a lead magnet that is relevant to their core business and gives the customer immediate and valuable payoff, Clearbit has been able to close some of their biggest deals through Connect.
Something you can leverage Facebook ads for
One of the most obviously powerful things about Facebook is the targeting. You can narrow in on a demographic as broad or narrow as you want:
- Just the friends of very recently engaged people
- Just the people interested in adventure travel and ecotourism
- Just the suburban, single dads who play fantasy football, have multiple lines of credit, a dog, and a compact car
The best lead magnets target specific niches. You want to get your magnet in front of the right kinds of people, not just any Facebook user, so you can make the most your advertising spending. You don’t want to throw your lead magnet (and your advertising budget) in front of people who aren’t remotely likely to take you up on the offer, wasting money in the process.
Let’s say you’re selling a monthly subscription meal box meant for busy tech professionals. Recipients enter their height, weight, and typical activity information before their first order. Then the recipes are nutritionally optimized to provide just the right amount of calories, the right macronutrient breakdown, and the right supplemental vitamins.
While you might be tempted to go broad with your Facebook advertisement reach and target all young people, or all tech people, it’s going to help you out in the future to validate in a more specific market first. If you do this, you’re going to see a higher return on your ads. You would probably want to target a Facebook ad audience made up of people who work at tech companies and have expressed interest in cooking, recipes, health, and wellness.
Once you’ve narrowed in on these potential customers, bring them in by offering an eBook as a lead magnet. Presenting them with your monthly subscription fee might only turn them off. If you advertise your “30 Healthy 30-Minute Meals” ebook you can start familiarizing them with your service and why it’s worth the sticker price.
Say you’re not selling specialized software to businesses or monthly subscription boxes in major tech hubs. Say you’re selling a product with a much wider appeal and a fairly low-profit margin like flowers. You’re going to need to think a little bigger and with more creativity.
“You can get far by making your marketing valuable and inviting,” as the founder and CEO of Wistia, Chris Savage says.
Facebook can still help you out by integrating videos into your ads. Within one person’s Facebook feed, video ads flow naturally with other video content. They don’t stick out or annoy the user too much, and they can be very helpful if you’re nurturing or even generating leads with your video:
If video production is beyond your current capacity, coupon codes can be another effective way to ramp up customer acquisition.
While coupon codes can attract new customers to your business and encourage first time purchasers to take the plunge, coupon codes can be a tricky thing to balance. Going back to the flower sales example, you want to think carefully about coupon code campaigns. You should use them wisely to reward loyal customers, or else bring new customers in at crucial flower-buying moments, like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
When it comes to making the perfect lead magnet and getting amazing results, a little preparation and wisdom can go a long way. Here are some more articles to read as you get started with your lead generation campaign:
- Lead Generation with Facebook Ads — The Definitive Guide
- How to Create Facebook Lead Ads and Sync Them With Your CRM
- The 5 Emails You Need to Nurture Your Leads
- The Comprehensive Guide to Building an eBook For Your Lead Magnet
- How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet
Happy lead generation!