How to build a great lead magnet for customers

In this blog post I’m going to teach you how to build a great lead magnet for customers.

Great, not just good

The biggest problem we’ll face when creating a lead magnet, especially for customers, is what we mean by great.

A good lead magnet is something that you can offer in exchange for an email address.

great lead magnet becomes a vital part of a business. The business becomes known for this piece of content and people who downloaded it, share it with others.

We need a lead magnet that people will really consume and use. We need to create something that people will use and feel is so valuable, they’ll keep hold of it. We want people to reference this for years to come.

No easy task.

Particularly when businesses ruin a great lead magnet, with a lousy offer and messaging.

I’ve seen all too often, really useful worksheets, templates and other lead magnets ruined by poor quality opt in offers. It’s like having a fantastic product, but a lousy salesperson.

In order to have a truly great lead magnet. We must examine the offer as well as the content.

This blog post isn’t going to outline the different types of lead magnets. For example, e-books, worksheets, templates, cheat sheets etc.

Instead, we’re going to focus on the strategy that creates a great lead magnet out of any content.

It’s all e-books, right?

One of the big mistakes I see many funnel businesses make, when creating lead magnets for their customers, is thinking one type of content is superior to others.

In the past, I have said that e-books need to be phased out as a lead magnet. Instead, I’d rather polish up an e-book and sell it. But when we create lead magnets for customers, though often ask which type of lead magnet works best.

Unfortunately, the content of the lead magnet doesn’t necessarily determine the opt-in rate. The difference between offering a cheat sheet or a template is negligible when compared to any other content with a clear and fantastic offer.

One of the marks of a great lead magnet is a leader magnet that is consumed and used.

I’ve seen absolutely incredible worksheets that are 20 pages long, that I have printed them off over and over again because they’re so valuable. And I’ve seen one-page cheat sheets that are uninformative and dull.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a graphic designer, many of our best-performing lead magnets can be a simple PDF.

We need to look at what makes a great lead magnet, rather than the physical content.

GDP what?

Because it’s a hot topic at the moment, it’s worth referencing GDPR. GDPR has put a lot of people in a tizzy, believing that lead magnets and opt-ins are now dead.

In truth, GDPR makes lead magnets and opt-ins more relevant and important than ever. We need to now offer valuable, insightful and useful content in exchange for contact details.

This is not a blog post about the technicalities of emailing customers after they’ve signed up to a lead magnet. Although there is plenty of content out there on this subject.

If you are getting too many optins because of the fantastic lead magnet that you need to review your GDPR and email automation policies, then that’s a fantastic problem to have.

Don’t let your customers hold off on creating lead magnets, just because of two-year-old legislation.

How to build a great lead magnet

Focus on the results

By focusing on the results the customer will get, you are addressing the most important part of a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is not designed to trick someone into giving you their email address. It’s not designed to look like something that is so important that they feel they need to sign up.

Instead, your lead magnet should be designed to help someone get a result.

You should be absolutely designing all your lead magnets for your customers from the results first perspective.

What this means is you will need to work with your customers to understand the types of results and benefits they bring to their market.

  • What are they known for?
  • What’s the best product or service?
  • What kind of results do they get for their customers?
  • What kind of results of their customers looking for?

When you start thinking about lead magnets from the perspective of the customer, it becomes a much more simple process to design something that will convert well.

Most people go straight to the type of content they should offer, rather than thinking about the types of results they can offer.

The easiest way to think about this is to look at the types of blog content they produce.

A really nice and easy way to audit a lead magnet is to look at their most popular blog posts.

Which blog posts get the most traffic and are the most engaged with? What kind of results is someone looking for when they look for that blog post.

When someone reads that popular blog post, what kind of results are they looking for? This is a great indication of the type of lead magnet you should be producing.

Keep is short and consumable

I understand the confusion around this piece. We are always telling our customers to overdeliver on value. Overdeliver on content, overdeliver on value, overdeliver on expectations.

However, this is been massively misinterpreted as “write a 20,000-word e-book, when a one-page cheat sheet would have sufficed”.

If the content is too long, it simply won’t get read or used. It’s a real shame as all the effort you put in will go to waste.

There might be some genuinely useful pieces inside your lead magnet, that will be missed because it’s too long.

I know why people overproduce on volume, it’s because they want people to think they’re getting a lot in exchange for their email address.

But the truth is that we then can’t demonstrate our value, because they’re not consuming our content.

It’s a bit like someone who joins the gym, but never goes. They honestly can’t experience the benefits that the gym offers because they’re not consuming their gym membership.

Instead, we’re going to create something short and consumable. Think how often quotes, ideas, and synopses are shared. People share and consume in micro-content chunks.

Particularly, when they are new to your business. A new lead or prospect is unlikely to consume all your lead magnet content from the start. They just haven’t built up the relationship enough yet to invest enough of themselves in your business.

If you can demonstrate something that would take an hour, in the space of 10 minutes, you have increased their productivity by 6x.

We can still overdeliver on experience and clarity by actually reducing the amount of content that someone consumes.

Imagine being able to teach someone how to make amazing coffee without having to go to barista training, but instead with a single A4 cheat sheet. People want shortcuts. Capitalise on that.

Faster and easier

Faster and easier are the only two words you need to remember when creating a lead magnet.

Think about the result that you are going to help your customer’s customer get. Maybe your customer’s business helps people lose weight, manage their money or buy their first house. Any content that you produce, such as blog posts and videos for that business, will help the reader or viewer get that result.

The job of your lead magnet is to help someone get that same result “faster and/or easier”.

When designing your lead magnet you want to look at the way that people typically get results.

For example, if you have a customer that helps their customers get out of debt. They’ll write a lot of content on saving money, budgeting, cutting expenses etc. If they have a five-step plan for helping someone create a budget for the household, what could you help them create that helps their customers get that same result “faster and easier”? A budgeting worksheet? A typical household budget example? A monthly price estimate cheat sheet?

You can see how the types of content become obvious when you focus on the result and increase the ease at which someone gets that result.

If you can help someone get the same result faster, they’ll opt in. If you can help someone get the same result easier, they’ll opt in.

Can you explain how to use it?

Once you’ve understood the type of result that you’re helping a customer get you’ll understand to keep it short, and you’re helping them get a result faster and/or easier.

Let’s say you’ve created a budgeting worksheet, it’s now time to ask your customer “could you explain how to use this to new leads?”

We find this is a really good qualifier for whether it actually is a good lead magnet.

If someone can explain this lead magnet to a new lead it’s usually a good indicator of a solid lead magnet.

Is it valuable enough to sell or use in your day-to-day?

Finally, as a bit of a qualifier for the previous question. We like to ask our customers “do you think this is a valuable enough piece of content to use every day?”

First of all, if they already have this content, then they’ll usually respond yes.

But if they have created it from scratch, this is the best indicator that it really is a valuable lead magnet. If it’s something that they would even offer to people at networking events, because it’s so useful and valuable, it’s a really good indicator that it’s a valuable piece of kit.

And with that, we now have a high quality, useful and valuable lead magnet. We have a great lead magnet.

Have you tried creating lead magnets for customers before? Let us know how it went in the comments below.