If you’ve only tested one lead magnet for enticing email subscribers – or, worse, don’t have a lead magnet at all – you could be literally throwing valuable leads away.
It’s not uncommon to double opt-in rates – or even more – simply by crafting a lead magnet that hits a nerve with your target market.
After all, the lead magnet is just the “offer” in direct marketing terms.
And even the best copywriters can’t shift a product that the target market doesn’t want (without high refund rates and an unpleasant visit from the FTC, anyway).
Unless you’ve got a strong offer – something that the target market really wants – your opt-in rate is always going to be limited. You could test 100 headline variations, CTAs, images, copy themes and other elements…but it’s the lead magnet (or offer) that sets the ceiling for the success of your copy.
Unfortunately, many marketers put almost no thought into their lead magnet.
Or they brainstorm lots of lead magnets, choose one and then never test other options.
If that’s you – don’t worry! This article is all about how to quickly create and test lead magnets.
What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?
In a previous post, I wrote about how you can increase the “perceived impact” of lead magnets to generate more subscribers.
But in this article, I want to talk a bit more about what makes an effective lead magnet.
Here are five components of the most successful magnets:
- Unique or not widely available.
- High value.
- Highly consumable.
Firstly, a lead magnet should be perceived as unique to your business. The reader shouldn’t feel like he can easily get it elsewhere – especially not for free.
This could be because you’re providing genuinely unique information…have packaged existing information in a new format…or have just positioned your lead magnet differently to your competitors.
Secondly, a lead magnet should be perceived as high value.
It should create an emotional response in your ideal prospect – “wow, I can’t believe that’s free!” Readers should be excited by what you’re offering. And they must clearly understand the benefits of consuming the magnet.
Next, specific lead magnets nearly always perform better than broad or unfocused ones.
Ask yourself: Can I describe the primary benefit of my lead magnet in one sentence? If not, it probably needs to be more specific.
Also, the customer should be able to gain those benefits fast. As I mentioned in a previous post, you have to earn the right to your prospect’s attention – so aim to help him in five to ten minutes.
You want your prospect to feel that the potential payoff of your lead magnet far outweighs the time commitment.
After all, who has time to read a 400 page eBook unless they are absolutely sure it’s relevant to their interests or desires? Prospects are also likely to question why you would give away a 400 page eBook if it had any real value.
Finally, the lead magnet should be highly consumable. If a prospect downloads the lead magnet but never uses it, you’ve missed a golden opportunity to establish a relationship.
Not to mention that a good lead magnet should always sell.
The first goal of a lead magnet is to provide value – no arguments there. But the second is to continue the prospect’s journey through your marketing funnel.
If your magnet is never consumed, it won’t achieve either of these goals.
Brainstorming Effective Lead Magnets
Now you know the key ingredients of a lead magnet, here’s some questions to help you brainstorm ideas:
- What is my ideal prospect’s main goal?
- Is there a lead magnet I can create that helps them move one step closer to this goal?
- Or is there something I can teach to help them avoid a common fear?
- Is there a small but common problem that my target audience doesn’t know how to solve?
- Is there a common wisdom I could challenge?
- Can I reframe existing knowledge in a new and exciting way?
- Is there a new or trending issue that I could use for relevance?
- What are my competition offering as lead magnets? Can I offer something that prospects haven’t seen before?
- What format is my target market most likely to respond to? (there are many options here – PDF reports, free tools, whitepapers, video training, software, coupons, interesting quizzes, even physical products).
At this stage, brainstorm as many ideas as you can.
Make sure you mix and match different topics, angles, and format types.
Then once you have a long list of potential lead magnets, compare each to the five components listed above. Cross off any that don’t match the criteria.
Keep in mind: you don’t always need to create an entirely new magnet. Sometimes you can improve conversion rates simply by changing how you position it.
For example, an “industry whitepaper” sounds more appealing than an “eBook” to industry professionals, even if the content is the same. In some markets, repackaging an existing lead magnet in a different format – such as a video or physical book – could make a big difference to the perceived value.
How to Split Test Lead Magnets…Without Spending a Fortune
All this talk about testing lead magnets, but I haven’t mentioned an obvious problem:
High-quality lead magnets can be time-consuming and expensive to create. How do you test them without spending buckets of cash?
Firstly, the potential conversion boost means that it’s always important to test your lead magnets.
Yes, it’s time consuming. And expensive.
But even if you could boost opt-in rates by 50%, would it be worth it?
Secondly, if you’re following the rule of creating specific and fast lead magnets, it shouldn’t cost too much to create them.
Aim to provide “high density” value. In other words, pack value into a small, digestible format.
You can also survey customers to learn which magnet they are most interested in.
Surveying takes time – and you need to have existing customers – but it’s the cheapest way to get real data.
Once you’ve chosen your top lead magnets, I recommend split-testing just two at a time – unless you have HUGE traffic.
It’s always important to get statistically significant results in any A/B test. But it’s vital when each test requires you to create a new lead magnet.
So make sure you get plenty of data before deciding which magnet converts best.
Start Testing Your Lead Magnets Today
In summary, your lead magnet is one of the most important components of an opt-in page. Consequently, it should be one the first components you split test – and never an afterthought.
By thinking about what your prospects want – and following the five components listed above – you’ll be able to create irresistible magnets that generate more opt-ins for your business.
Are you struggling to create an effective lead magnet? Or don’t know how to improve your conversion rates? Contact me today for a free chat about your business and how I can help.