Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with fresh links and new content. Please enjoy 😉
Original Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Did you know that even the best conversion-focused landing page will fall flat on its face if the lead magnet sucks?
And if that’s the case, then you’re committing one of the biggest sins in lead magnet history.
As Peep Laja over at Conversion XL states:
“What makes a good value proposition?
An offer that’s differentiated from your competitors.”
While the “Free Consultation” is what you want to ultimately end up offering your prospects, keep in mind that this is a lead magnet best offered at the end of the buying cycle. Why?
Why No One Wants Your Free Consultation
A free consultation or a free quote insinuates that your visitors have already done their due diligence and thorough research on you and your organization and that they’re ready to cut to the chase and pay you money.
99% of your visitors haven’t done their research. In fact, this may be the first time they actually get to know you.
This means that your lead magnet for a free consultation isn’t the candy cane that gets your visitors (or cats) excited to take action.
We have to find something else that’s much better at getting you easy conversions.
So what are some better lead magnet ideas?
Well, if your free consultation or free quote isn’t getting you the results you’re hoping for, then you have to get a little more creative.
To help you out, here are 10 high converting lead magnets you can use to get your visitors to take that first conversion step.
1) Free List of Fun/Interesting Stats
This is a low-friction, easy-to-make offer that not many companies use. But it can turn you into a trustworthy industry thought leader.
By giving value in a fun and easy-to-digest manner, Emma, an email marketing company, manages to make their lead magnet part of their building blocks for brand awareness and convincing people to take the first conversion step.
In a post I wrote for Unbounce, I reached out to Cynthia Price (the Director of Marketing at Emma) to ask her how this type of approach works for them. She replied:
“We get that someone seeing a display ad isn’t necessarily interested in learning more about our product just yet.
“It’s all about brand awareness, and more importantly for us, trust-building. So we offer content that we think will be valuable and helpful to our audience’s marketing efforts.
“It starts our brand relationship off on the right foot, helps them understand the strength of our expertise, and paves the way for us to nurture or retarget them in the future.”
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s always an interesting angle you can take on stats and figures that also delight your target audience in an educational way.
2) Free Case Study
If you’re familiar with social proof and the conversion power of other people vouching for your products and services, then case studies should come as no surprise.
In one instance, using a case study as the lead magnet increased conversions by 63% alone.
But with any lead magnet, there’s also a way to do them the wrong way.
Here’s what your case study should include:
– The problem that existed
– What the strategy was to fix the problem
– Visual proof of what you did to fix it
– Before/after stats from your improvements
– Testimonial from the happy customer
Anything else will be overkill.
You can read more about where you should place your case studies, what format to use, and how the layout should look in Kristi Hines’ post on the KISSmetrics blog.
3) Free T-Shirt Giveaway
If you have a product or service where the lifetime customer value exceeds that of a few bananas from the grocery store, then using well-designed t-shirts as a lead magnet could be a great idea to differentiate yourself.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should just buy white t-shirts at Walmart and slap your logo on it.
That’s a redneck marketing style we want to avoid.
It’ll cost you a little more money, but the impression you make is priceless.
But don’t just take my word for it.
There’s a reason why highly respected companies like InVision use t-shirts to drive email subscribers:
Or how Flywheel gets extremely clever with their giveaway:
And last but certainly not least, how Trak.io showcases their happy users who recently received their t-shirt.
Not only does it get people to take that first conversion step we’ve talked about before, but it immediately builds loyalty if done right.
4) The Specific Guide/eBook/Report
We all know that actual PDF guides are awesome, but did you know they work really well when the conversion moment is timed within the same topic that the guide is about?
It sounds confusing, I know.
Let’s use ourselves as an example:
Here at KlientBoost, we offer Google Ads and landing page services.
So if we really wanted to use a lead magnet as a guide with the highest chance of conversion success, then each blog category would have it’s own specific guide/eBook.
Kinda like Unbounce does at the end of each of their blog posts.
While not being as obtrusive as an exit popup, these guide/eBook lead magnets at the bottom of blog posts can seriously help people get more familiar with what you do.
But a blog post isn’t the only place you can promote your free guides and eBooks.
You could use exit popups or blog sidebars, or even as the lead magnet on your Google Ads landing page.
Your goal should be to either create a more appealing version of content that’s already been written before, or cover something new that no one else has.
You may notice that a lot of these ideas we’re covering are ones we aren’t running ourselves, yet.
We’ll get there 😉
5) Pre-Recorded Webinar
Have you ever held or been part of a webinar that got great results and helped out a ton of people?
Then why not use that pre-recorded webinar as your lead magnet?
KISSmetrics does this with over 100 webinars and allows people to watch and learn in exchange for a completed form.
You don’t necessarily need a specific pre-recorded webinar software to do this.
Make it simple, but only allow people access to the specific URL the video is hosted on after they fill out your form.
With live webinars, it’s common to see high conversion rates on the actual sign up page anywhere from 40-80% like KISSmetrics does.
But do keep in mind that they’re also a thought leader type of site, so you may not see the same results if you’re just starting out.
If your business model requires human interaction, then there’s a good chance that your clients and prospects want to hear from you first, either through a pre-recorded webinar or podcast.
6) SlideShare Slides From Your Webinar
This tactic goes hand in hand with the slides you used for your webinar. But this time, you get to repurpose them as another lead magnet.
With SlideShare, you’re able to use a tool called LeadShare that allows you to collect leads within your SlideShare presentation.
If you design a beautiful presentation that will get people’s attention, there’s also a good chance that you can capture their information on the last slide.
There have been many stories and case studies of how companies have used SlideShare as a way to generate traffic, leads, and sales.
The visual collaboration tool FrameBench used SlideShare to get 500 sign ups in just three days.
The marketing software Marketo uses SlideShare to trigger certain alerts when leads come through containing specific keywords.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless when it comes to lead magnets, and this was just the sixth one we covered.
7) Engineered Marketing Tool
Have you ever wondered how your site or performance stacks up against the competition?
They’re created to increase trust and establish the companies who offer them as the authority in their spaces.
But what happens when you use an engineered marketing tool for lead magnet purposes?
Like what Neil Patel’s QuickSprout does:
Not only does it give value to a visitor who’s truly interested in learning what they can improve, but it allows you (the owner of the tool) to have your visitors take that first conversion step we so frequently have talked about.
This is obviously more of a programming/coding commitment than the other lead magnets we’re talking about. Just don’t rule out the value of it when you have enough traffic to justify the time and money spent to build it.
8) The Free Trial/Service
No brainer, right?
So many software brands offer the chance to try their services for free.
And while there are over seven types of freemium, we’re just going to focus on one: Giving a free test-drive to your bread-n-butter offering.
Whether you’re B2C or B2B, SaaS or HaaS (human as a service), giving your prospects a taste-test of what you can do for them before they buy can increase your chances of closing more business.
Not to mention that it’s a phenomenal lead magnet.
The more quality traffic you drum up, the higher your likelihood of getting more free trial conversions and beating the average of a 2% conversion rate.
But you may be thinking:
“I can’t do that. My business isn’t software – I’m a human being that does human things!”
And I’ll be like:
“You’re right! But none of your competitors are doing this! You should give it a shot!”
And then I’ll raise my eyebrows and you’ll wink at me like this:
If you’re confident in what you do and you bring results, but your site or landing page look as sketchy as Robert Downey Jr. winking (just kidding, hopefully that’s not you), then a free trial can be a great way to get your foot in the door.
Don’t believe me?
It’s how we got five bigger companies to agree to do case studies with us in exchange for showing them what we can do.
Because we’re a young company, we’re willing to put in the free work to generate social proof for ourselves, and at the same time, potentially sign on some new clients.
Even if you’ve been in business for a long time, a free trial can outperform a free consultation all day long if no one else is willing to do it.
Just like the guide and the eBook, mini-courses can offer the value of education.
Online education is a $275 billion industry where business can sell their services showing their expertise while making a quick buck.
But how does this help grab leads? Well, you don’t always have to give out your course all at once. That would kind of defeat the purpose of advertising your business to get leads all together right. You’d be giving away your own formulas.
These courses can consist of weekly emails, videos, audio recording, quizzes that separate the lessons over time. This way your business still holds value to the subscriber/purchaser over a duration of time.
Continuously offer your services to these people; be sure to sell them on the convenience factor of becoming a true customer rather than just a mini-course subscriber.
Now calculators aren’t the easiest of lead magnet ideas to pitch; they can be complicated and require coding skills or developer assistance.
If that isn’t a problem, this can be a very effective way to point out some opportunities that prospects are missing out on.
There’s nothing more persuasive than showing people straight up data.
Once they’ve seen for themselves the room for growth, it can be a much easier sell for your sales team.
It’s crucial that the calculator works and doesn’t give false numbers. The last thing you want is angry emails from downloaders.
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