How to Use Lead Magnets to Convert Followers Into Customers

A large social media following doesn't mean much if those followers never take any kind of action. It's one of many reasons why purchasing followers gets you nowhere. If you really want to utilize your following, you need a way to convert them into loyal fans and even customers. That's where lead magnets come in.

What is a Lead Magnet?

The short version is that a lead magnet is exactly what it sounds like: a magnet for leads.

Here's the longer version.

Marketers use lead magnets as incentives to potential customers, in exchange for their contact information — most commonly their email address.

The incentives are typically freebies like:

  • Checklists
  • Tutorials
  • Reports
  • eBooks
  • Training
  • Webinars

You've probably seen lead magnets dozens of times without even realizing it. For instance, many ads that pop up in your Facebook news feed are offering freebies when you opt in with your email address.

Brands also commonly utilize lead magnets on their homepage, particularly with pop-ups.

woman on laptop outside

Why Should Your Brand Be Using Lead Magnets?

Your brand can benefit tremendously from regularly offering lead magnets. Here are just a few reasons why.

1. Lead Magnets Help Build Trust and Authority

We hate to break it to you, but a lot of people looking at your site or your social media feel no reason to trust you.

It's not because they don't like you. They just don't know you yet. Lead magnets are an excellent way to remedy this.

Trying to sell something to people right off the bat is almost guaranteed to drive them away. It's too aggressive. Instead, offering them some kind of freebie is the perfect way to start nourishing this relationship.

Furthermore, it's an opportunity to demonstrate to your followers that you know what the heck you're talking about. Your lead magnet is the chance to do just that. You're teaching your audience something new — for free!

It doesn't get much better than that.

2. They Bring You Qualified Traffic

Getting tons of traffic online is cool and all, but if none of that traffic converts, you're in trouble.

Google will penalize you for getting lots of clicks but very little engagement and conversions. (More on that in a moment.) Even aside from that, you're not exactly benefitting from traffic that doesn't convert. These visitors don't engage with you. They don't buy from you. At the end of the day, unqualified traffic means nothing.

Such is not the case when you're talking about lead magnets.

They attract more targeted traffic. If you're an event planning company and you offer a lead magnet with your top 10 tips for preparing your convention booth, it's safe to say that people who opt in to receive that list are at least considering planning an upcoming convention appearance.

That is qualified traffic.

girl using phone

3. Lead Magnets Help Improve Your Relationship With Google

We mentioned a moment ago that when you send a lot of people to a web page, and most of them quickly leave without taking any action, Google sees that as a read flag.

Googles want visitors to have a good experience. So, if the majority of visitors land on your page and end up not finding a reason to stick around, they'll just bounce. This hurts the performance of the page.

Because lead magnets help keep people on your page longer, and get them to engage, you're going to score major points with the Google machine. This is good news for your website as a whole.

4. They Help You Grow Your Email List

Are you putting effort into growing your email list? If not, you're leaving money on the table.

Your email list is the heart of your business, because you own it. It's not like your Facebook followers (which you don't own) or your Amazon sales (which you also don't own). But your email list? That belongs to you and you only.

Plus, email marketing has a significantly higher ROI than other kinds of marketing. It's cheap to conduct while simultaneously being a goldmine.

You know one of the best ways to build an email list? Lead magnets!

email on smartphone

5. They Require Mostly Upfront Work But Continue Doing Their Job

If you create a lead magnet that's evergreen — meaning it isn't time-sensitive — guess how long you can utilize it for? That would be... for as long as you darn well please.

Lead magnets obviously requite time and energy upfront. However, once they're complete, all you need to do is promote them and watch as the leads come in. You stand to make significant gains with, ultimately, minimal (and passive) effort.

Important note: You can still indeed take advantage of time-sensitive and seasonal lead magnets. In fact, because there's an added sense of urgency — considering that magnet will eventually go away — you might see real success with something like this. Your best bet is to do a combination of both evergreen and time-sensitive lead magnets.

How to Start Building a Lead Magnet That Converts

All of this probably sounds amazing, but building a landing page that converts isn't as simple as throwing something together and sitting back while the leads pour in. Here are a few tips to help you get off to a good start.

1. Solve a Problem Your Visitors Are Having

You need your visitors to see your landing page and go, "I need that!" This means you have to give them something of high value — something that will solve a problem they've been struggling with.

Think about your target market's pain points. What obstacles do they have a hard time overcoming? What's something that slows them down from reaching success?

If you can solve a common problem, you're on the right track with your lead magnet. It's a way to demonstrate to people that you know what you're talking about and you're able to help them.

2. Help Them Experience a Quick Win

It's not just about solving a problem, though. You want to help them solve a problem quickly. This is key.

If you're a gym owner, you don't want to offer a lead magnet where you show people how to lose weight in six months. That's not enough of an incentive. People don't get excited about changes they'll see in half a year.

Instead, you want to help them accomplish something in a couple of days, up to around one week, at the most. That's something to get excited about.

Let's use an example and say you're a nutritionist. A "quick win" might be a lead magnet with 20 ideas for meals your followers can prepare ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator or freezer. This is something you can offer that will make their lives easier right away — not in six months.

men at computers brainstorming

3. Consider Your Ultimate Goal

You digital marketing strategy needs to be one cohesive plan, where every moving piece works together to achieve a common goal.

Your lead magnet is no different.

When visitors get to the end of your lead magnet, you don't want them to drop off. There should be some sort of call-to-action (CTA) that gets them to continue engaging with you. Whether it's scheduling a consultation, purchasing an item, or signing up for a service, don't let them get away! Give them some sort of action to take.

Whatever your ultimate goal is, it should be something you think about not when you finish crafting your lead magnet, but rather, when you're brainstorming topics for it.

On a related note, you might also consider giving visitors mini-goals throughout the lead magnet — sort of like homework. This will help to keep their attention and help gently push them through the lead magnet. They'll be likelier to see results and, thus, continue interacting with you, after having such a positive experience.

Spreading the Word About Your Lead Magnet

Remember, a lot goes into planning for your lead magnet, and that includes your ideas for promoting it. If you're already getting lots of that awesome organic traffic to your website and social media, you might be good to go.

However, that's not the case for many brands, especially with their Facebook pages. The platform has made it increasingly difficult for business pages to get organic traffic.

Thus, you might want to consider paid ads. They can help drive serious traffic to your lead magnet opt-in page, giving you a better opportunity to convert those visitors into loyal fans and shoppers.

Aside from paid promotions, you should share your lead magnet opt-in page across all of your social media patterns. Additionally, you might be able to embed the opt-in form in blogs and static web pages, and also use it in a pop-up.

Lead magnets are an important part of your digital marketing strategy. They help grow your brand online, build trust and authority, and maximize your number of followers.

Need help with your online marketing plan? Contact LSM today to ask about our services. Not only can we help you with your entire strategy, including paid ads, but we can also build a customized website specifically for your brand, that's designed to sell.