By MaryEllen Tribby
If you have an online business such as an Inbox Magazine or a blog and you do not have a lead magnet, you are turning away customers by the boatload.
Even if your main business is a physical brick and mortar one such as a spa or bait store, you still need an online component and a great lead magnet.
Unfortunately many entrepreneurs do not have a lead magnet. When I solicit as to why they do not, too many times it's because they don't understand what a lead magnet does or the power it harnesses.
So listen up because this one issue can change the way you do business and build your community faster then you ever dreamed.
A lead magnet makes an offer in exchange for someone giving you his or her name and e-mail address.
In most cases, your lead magnet will be the first piece of content a subscriber/reader/member receives from you. This is where you need to put your best foot forward and make a great impression. This is where you show your potential customers why your business is different and better! You should think of your lead magnet as the ambassador for your business.
The More Relevant, The Better
The beautiful thing about a lead magnet is that you can change it at any time to make sure it stays current and relevant. The more relevant you make it, the better it will serve your subscribers, not to mention increase your conversions as well.
You can even have different lead magnets, depending on where you place your offer. If you provide content to an Inbox Magazine targeting working mothers, then your lead magnet might offer a free e-book on how to manage your time. If you provide content to an Inbox Magazine about making money, then you would want a lead magnet that caters to the idea of making more money. If you own a spa, your lead magnet might be on the ten hottest hairstyles for 2014.
The ability to change your lead magnet to target a particular audience at a specific time is what makes your opt-in offers so flexible.
Think how Sports Illustrated markets their magazine. Most people who watch Spike TV are young guys, so Sports Illustrated might emphasize their swimsuit edition and swimsuit calendar. On ESPN, people are more interested in sports, so they might offer a commemorative Super Bowl football. In the winter, they might offer a fleece pullover. Same idea, different lead magnets. They're just customizing their lead magnet for each particular market and season.
Now you may ask, why use lead magnets? It's because your subscribers/customers/members want immediate gratification. The job of your inbox magazine or blog or website is to provide valuable information and maintain a relationship over time. But it may be more difficult to describe the value people will get from your services at first glance.
So you have to give them the immediate gratification by giving people a compelling reason "Why?" that offers an immediate promise and benefit. More important, when people request your lead magnet, make sure you tell them that they'll be signing up to your website at the same time.
You may be proud of your product for sale, but don't pontificate on its greatness since they can't experience the value yet.
Let your product do the talking once you have them on your list. For now, just focus on the lead magnet.
Types of Lead Magnets
A lead magnet can be a digital product or a physical product. Examples of a digital product include reports delivered as a PDF file, an audio stored as an mp3 file, or even an infographic. A physical product could be a CD or DVD if you want to ship something.
You need to promote your lead magnet as a special or secret report that's hot off the press. When you do this, customers are more likely to read it. And that is what you want-consumption from your subscribers. This is how you turn your subscribers into readers, your readers into fans, and your fans into advocates. If they do not consume your lead magnet, they can never be your advocates or buyers of your product.
A traditional lead magnet entices readers to give their name and e-mail address in return for something valuable. If you omit a lead magnet and direct people straight to a sales letter, that might feel too aggressive and actually drive people away.
So give all your potential customers value with your lead magnet and build your list and soon you will start seeing exponential sales in your business. If you are ready to put your lead magnet to the best possible use, you need to watch this presentation right now!
And by the way here is my favorite infographic.