Unfortunately, people rarely buy products the first time they visit a site.
Actually, you can expect around 95 percent of them to leave your site without making a purchase. Most people compare the prices and services of similar enterprises and buy a product only if they are convinced that they have found the best offer. The problem is that the majority of them will forget about your site somewhere along the way.
According to ClickZ.com, a B2B buyer currently does more than 60 percent of the entire research cycle without a salesperson and relies completely on content that is available online. And this is a field where sales traditionally have a more prominent role.
The web is flooded with content intended to influence potential clients. More than 90 percent of B2B companies and close to 80 percent of B2C marketers publish content to raise awareness about their products and increase sales on their sites.
If you want your marketing efforts to pay off, you need to find a way to catch the attention of your first-time visitors – a tool that allows you convince them to come back to your site and reconsider your offer.
Besides retargeting, a highly effective way to achieve this is to set a bait for your users.
Take the “salesy” feeling out of the picture
Even though the gateway drug theory has been debunked, lead magnets – or baits – for website visitors work. The idea behind a lead magnet is quite simple.
The majority of the first-time visitors are not ready to make a purchase anyway. So, if you ask them to make a small commitment first, you have a higher chance to succeed than you would have by forcing a hard sell.
The small commitment most websites ask for is providing an email address or following a Facebook page, but anything else could work if it allows you to connect with your visitors later on.
Of course, people are not willing to give you an email address just to receive one more promotional mail. You need to give them a reason to do so. And this compelling reason is your lead magnet.
The different types of magnets
There are three main categories of lead magnets: ones that offer at least seemingly exclusive information or services for the visitors, ones that offer savings or money, and finally, the ones that do both.
Neil Patel has come up with a brilliant idea for the last type of lead magnet. He offers exclusive webinars for only one dollar. Why does he do this?
People who sign up for his webinars not only type in their email address, they also give credit card details. This will make it much easier for them to pay for his more expensive services later on.
Several SAAS companies use some variation of this model as well, and, for example, allow their visitors to begin the trial period only after they provide their credit card details. Or, companies let their visitors use their service, but only allow access to some important features, such as saving once they provided information.
Perhaps the other type of lead magnets don’t need an introduction, as it could be extremely hard to avoid them. Sentences like, “Download our exclusive report, save $20 today,” or, “Start our trial period without any commitments” probably ring familiar to you. I’m almost certain that somebody has already written a post about “100 Irresistible Lead Magnet Examples that You Should Try Right Now.”
So instead of making this a list of every possible bait you can offer to your visitors, I’m going to show you what I believe could make this method effective, independent from the form you are going to use.
What makes a good lead magnet?
In a nutshell, your lead magnet needs to be valuable and specific.
Valuable is rather self-explanatory. You need to give something to your visitors that helps them in a meaningful way. The better and more memorable gift you can come up with, the easier it will be to convince them later on.
This doesn’t mean that you should offer a 200-page downloadable PDF or a massive price reduction if you are only experimenting with this method and you are not certain about the ROI.
How big your gift is might be less important than how useful it is. For example, if you use content and your visitors could gain useful information from your work or save time with it, and what you promise is actually true, there’s a high chance that they will find it valuable.
By specific, I mean that it should provide value to potential customers, not every visitor that stumbles upon your site. Your bait should help with a pain that your business is able to solve. If you give away free USB drives, you might capture a lot of email addresses, but not the ones you really need.
There’s one more thing that can make a lead magnet successful, and this is part of the reason I didn’t make a long list of all possible variations.
It is originality.
Unlike fish, some of us can remember things for quite a long time, and you can’t expect to achieve great results with an overused bait. We’ve all downloaded useless white papers and accepted offers from companies that didn’t keep their promises so we tend to approach lead magnets with caution.
But if you can come up with something that no one has ever offered before, or at least your competitors haven’t, you can significantly increase the chances of success. Even a small change to an overused formula could help increase your conversion rates.
Your visitors might not sign up for your newsletter, but they would like to receive regular updates from a community of like-minded professionals, even though it means the same thing.
And, of course, you’ll have to optimize your bait too. The first offer you come up with is probably not going to be the most convincing one, and similarly to other elements on your website, tests can help you to find the most effective variant.
Once you’ve perfected your lead magnet, you’ve completed the first step of hooking your visitors. You’ve set up the bait that can take them on a long journey toward conversions.