Lead Magnet Funnel

How to Create Top Converting Lead Magnet Funnel

Whatever the size or scope of your business. Whomever your target audience and whatever products and services you bring to the market. However long you’ve been operating and whatever your annual turnover your success in business and opportunities for sustainable growth depend on two things;

  • Your ability to retain existing customers and turn them into loyal brand advocates.
  • Your ability to attract and convert new prospects.

As such, you probably already have a number of lead generation strategies in play right now. But leads on their own have very little value. For lead generation to be profitable you also need to have strategies in place to drive conversions- establishing value in your brand straight away. You also need to follow your prospects all the way through the pipeline to reduce your risk of dropoff and maximize conversions. 

Fortunately there are marketing tools which allow you to do exactly that.

By leveraging Lead Magnet Funnels you can get more high-quality, motivated leads and waste way less time chasing after leads who will never convert. 

This means higher conversion rates and less money, effort and anxiety invested in Conversion Rate Optimization. Here we’ll take an in-depth look at how to create and use a Lead Magnet Funnel and how to check on its performance to ensure that it’s working as hard for you as it should be. Along the way we’ll also explain some of the key industry terms used in conjunction with Lead Magnet funnels so that you can start creating yours with confidence and authority.

What is a Lead Magnet Funnel?

A Lead Magnet Funnel is essentially just like any opt-in sales funnel, except that at the top of the funnel there’s a compelling Lead Magnet. Therefore, instead of asking a prospect to provide their contact details on good faith alone, you’re giving them something in exchange for their details. 

Check out this 5 minute video from Builderall to get a clear idea of what a Lead Magnet Funnel is and how it works. It covers many of the same bases as this article, although you’ll find much more detail here. 

Despite the name’s implication, a Lead Magnet doesn’t just generate more leads (although it most assuredly does do that). It also helps to ensure that more motivated, high quality leads go into your funnel. If someone is interested enough to take the time to check out your Lead Magnet it means that they have a vested interest in the products and services you offer and is willing to let you explain to them why you have the authority that will give them confidence in your brand. 

A Lead Magnet, assuming that it’s of sufficient quality, also helps to establish trust and build buyer confidence. Paving the way for a great relationship with your brand.

Slow down a second… What is a Lead Magnet?

We’ll take a long look at everything that goes into creating a perfect Lead Magnet shortly. First, however, we need to ascertain exactly what a Lead Magnet is. 

A Lead Magnet is a term used for any form of content which is provided by brands for free in exchange for an email opt-in. It can take many forms, it all depends on what you have time to create (or what you can afford to outsource) as well as what’s important and meaningful for your target audience. 

For example, if you’re a SaaS company targeting busy and time poor B2B clients, they may not be best served by an information-dense ebook. They may simply want a useful quiz to do on their lunch break. Or perhaps a white paper would be able to give them the useful information they need without the time investment that it would take to read all the way through an ebook. 

There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to choosing what form your Lead Magnet will take. It’s simply a matter of deciding what best suits the needs of your target audience… and nobody knows that better than you. 

Popular Lead Magnet formats

  • Ebooks– A great way to establish your knowledge, expertise and authority through long form copy.
  • Audiobooks– The perfect solution for those who are too busy to sit down and read through an ebook. Audiobooks can be enjoyed in the car or on the train, unlike an ebook. However, they do take much longer to create, record and edit.
  • White Papers / Guides– These are authoritative reports and sources of useful information in a format that’s a little shorter than an ebook but just as information dense.
  • Swipe Files– Swipe Files are collections of useful resources like blog posts, email templates, infographics, factsheets and anything else you think might be of value. Users can swipe through like a magazine and refer back to resources that interest them later.
  • Free Reports– A great option for the likes of SEO agencies and SaaS companies. You can identify areas where they are going wrong and thereby qualify and quantify their needs.
  • Case Studies– There’s a good chance that you’ve helped someone just like your new prospect. With case studies they can see what you could do for them by seeing what you’ve done for others. These are especially useful when operating in the B2B space.
  • Digital Training Courses– Don’t just tell prospects how good you are, show them with a free taster of how you can educate and inform them. Some companies use an introductory digital training course to bring value to prospects and leave them wanting to learn more.
  • Coupons and discount codes– Retailers may want to use these to incentivize prospects to give you their email address so that they get curated and relevant discounts delivered right to their inbox. Just make sure that you use unique, single use codes wherever possible, however, to avoid the risk of your coupons being spammed by less than scrupulous prospects, decimating your profit margins.
  • Checklists– Using a checklist as a handy reference guide can help provide your prospects with assurance that they’re doing everything right. It also helps them trust in your ability to guide, inform or equip them if they’re not.
  • Free Consultation– This may not be logistically manageable for some smaller consultancies or agencies. However, in terms of a high value Lead Magnet that has high conversion baked right into the crust, it’s hard to imagine much better. Once you’ve provided leads with a free consultation and outlined all the ways in which your brand can help them, few are likely to turn you away at the door.
  • Quizzes– A quiz can be a fun thing to do on your coffee break, but it can also be a great way to qualify leads and show them what you can do for them. SEO maestro Neil Patel, for instance, displays a full screen pop-up advertising his quiz as soon as prospects alight on his website. He offers tailored advice to prospects and explains ways in which they can increase their visibility and rankings in 30 days or less. All they need to do is spend 3 minutes answering questions to find out how.

A step by step guide to creating a great Lead Magnet

A high converting funnel starts with a compelling Lead Magnet. This in turn requires the creation of high-quality, useful and highly relevant content. If your brand already uses content marketing to build brand value and keep in touch with its target audience, you likely already know the principles that generate compelling content. Still, even if you create your own content regularly, there’s no harm in taking a refresher as you get to know Lead Magnets a little better.

 

Let’s look at the stages of creating a high-converting Lead Magnet and the boxes your content needs to check to make your content compelling and relevant to consumers.

The planning stage

When planning your Lead Magnet it’s important that whatever your create covers the following bases;

  • It establishes your knowledge and authority, helping to build trust in your brand.
  • It should tie in explicitly with the products and services you offer.
  • It is of practical use to the recipient.
  • It is specific. You don’t want to give too much away or provide prospects with a full library of resources. You need to be able to help them solve a specific problem.
  • It’s not too dry. For many your Lead Magnet will be your first exposure to your brand and you want to make sure that it is imbued with your brand’s authorial voice and sense of personality.

Take the time to map out your content before you start to create. This will ensure that it is relevant and valuable. Even if the recipient never becomes a paying customer you should seek to provide value for them. You never know who they might wind up talking to about your brand.

Design and creation

Creating your content can be a time consuming affair, so by all means take steps to make your own life easier and get your Lead Magnet up and running faster. For instance, don’t be afraid to reuse or repurpose content marketing materials such as old blog posts and infographics. These have likely already proven useful in establishing yourself as an authority in your field and building your existing customers’ trust in you. Your new resources will introduce your previoius work to a whole new audience.

If you don’t have the time to create your own content, you might want to outsource it to a copywriting or marketing agency. They will be able to check all the right boxes inherent in your brief and be able to replicate the tone and style of your existing content. 

As well as putting time and effort into the content itself, it’s vital that you not overlook the design. Large chunks of text can be off putting to readers, especially if they’re short on time. BoxShot King, Canva and Place It are all useful tools to help you to intersperse your text with eye catching graphics. Even if you have no graphic design experience to speak of. However, outsourcing to a freelance graphic designer may increase the content’s value if you have the budget for it.

Review

You might feel very proud of the content you’ve created (and rightly so), but don’t forget the importance of the review process in your zeal to share your content with new leads. Take the time to check for spelling and grammatical errors before your lead magnet goes live. Remember that this Lead Magnet will be many people’s first taste of your brand. You wouldn’t want to render it an inaccurate representation with embarrassing mistakes.

Choosing a platform

Whatever form your Lead Magnet takes you need to choose a platform or channel on which it will be distributed. Using a tool like Amazon S3 for storage and distribution of your Lead Magnet is an affordable and efficient way of doing this for everything from ebooks to audio files. 

Amazon S3 generates a link which can then be sent to your prospects via an automated email upon filling out an opt-in form. Once they click on the link embedded in the email, they will be able to access your Lead Magnet and save it for later consumption.

Design your opt-in page

Finally, you need to ensure that you have an opt-in page that convinces prospects that they would be foolish to resist the unmissable prospect of your Lead Magnet. Your opt-in is where your prospects will submit their details in exchange for your Lead Magnet and thus become new leads. If you have no web design team to speak of and aren’t sure about your ability to create a new opt-in page from scratch, using a web building tool like LeadPages or OptimizedPress can make it quick and easy.

Just remember to keep it punchy and concise. Make bold claims, but don’t over-promise and certainly don’t make claims that your operations can’t back up. What’s more, keep your opt-in form short and sweet. People may want your Lead Magnet, but they’ll be very selective about what data they’re willing to surrender to you to get it.

The power of the CTA

When designing your opt-in page, one of the most important things you can have on there is a compelling Call To Action (CTA). This can make all the difference between users downloading your Lead Magnet and bouncing away from your page (possibly never to return again). 

Your Call To Action can take many forms. Even something as simple as an anchor text link is an example of a CTA. A “Click Here” button is another commonplace example of a CTA. Of course not all CTAs are created equal but there are some encouraging statistics that demonstrate that they can be devastatingly effective. For instance;

  • The presence of a CTA on an email opt-in page can increase clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.
  • Adding a CTA to your Facebook page can increase click-through rate by up to 285%.
  • More than 90% of visitors who read the headline of a page will also read your CTA copy, even if they don’t read anything else on the page.

If you can spare 5 minutes, this short video from Sleeknote has some great tips for creating high-converting CTAs and some examples from which you can draw inspiration.

There are many things that can make a CTA less or more compelling from positioning to size, and even the colors and fonts used. Sometimes, the difference between a great CTA and a bad CTA is just a couple of well chosen words. Our friend Neil Patel has a great example of how a Lead Magnet CTA can be transformed in just a few simple words right here

In promoting a free e-book to users, two subtly different CTAs were used. Version A featured the text “Get It Now” and Version B used the alternative “Grab Yours Today”. As you can see Version B offers a far greater sense of urgency with the verb “Grab”. It also pre-emptively implies ownership “yours” as well as implying limited availability (although neither is actually true). After all, an e-book can be replicated an infinite number of times and can stay available for as long as you want it to.

Still, that kind of emotive language definitely works because Version B had a conversion rate 5% higher than Version A.

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Composing your delivery email

The final step in creating your Lead Magnet will be to compose your delivery email. This is the vehicle by which you will make personal contact with the lead and give them the gift that is your Lead Magnet. Keep it friendly, positive, excited and above all short and sweet. 

It’s also a good idea to compose and schedule a follow-up email to be sent 2-3 days after the Lead Magnet has been accessed or downloaded. Make sure that every new lead is automatically added to your email follow up list unless they’re within the EU. Which brings us to…

GDPR Compliance- Essential for those in (or trading with) European markets

If you do business within or with consumers in the European Union, your email lists and Lead Magnet practices will need to adhere to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation to keep your business on the right side of compliance. 

While you can find out more information on GDPR, Lead Magnets and email lists here, for the sake of brevity let’s look at some important things to keep in mind when sending Lead Magnets to prospects within the EU;

  • You need to get separate consent for EU prospects to opt-in to your newsletter even if they’ve accessed / downloaded your Lead Magnet.
  • You cannot make opting into your email list a prerequisite of being able to access your Lead Magnet.
  • You can add a “sandwich” page thanking the prospect for requesting your Lead Magnet and asking them to subscribe to your email newsletter.
  • You can add a separate CTA in your delivery email to encourage leads to opt-in to your email list.
  • You can include a subscribe CTA within the Lead Magnet itself.
  • You can add a voluntary checkbox (must be unchecked by default) or a dropdown (yes or no) to your opt-in page asking if they also want to subscribe to your email newsletter.
  • You can use your follow-up email to explain the benefits of your newsletter and ask for specific consent to join your mailing list.

This short video by speaker and content strategist Jennifer Bourn has some useful tips on keeping your Lead Magnet Funnel GDPR compliant.

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Using a Lead Magnet in conjunction with your sales funnel

How your Lead Magnet ties in with your sales funnel will depend on the nature of your business. An online SaaS startup will have a different operational model than a brick and mortar store. A consultancy or other B2B professional service will run its sales funnel subtly differently to an e-commerce store. However, in the following we’ll take a look at how a successful sales funnel should look and how your Lead Magnet can make it more effective.

What does a successful sales funnel look like?

While this model may vary depending on the size and nature of your business let’s take a look at a successful sales funnel and how it can be enhanced by the use of a Lead Magnet. You should be using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to track the movement of leads through your funnel and schedule appropriate actions to make sure that they don’t slip through the net. 

Appointment/call scheduled

Ordinarily at this stage, the widest part of the sales funnel, prospects would be cold called and appointments / follow up calls arranged to ascertain whether your product or service meets the needs of the prospect. However, because we know that the lead has accessed (and hopefully consumed) the Lead Magnet you won’t be going in completely cold. They’ll probably have also received a follow-up email so they will be accustomed to hearing from you.

They’ll have familiarity with your brand and have already built some trust in you. Still, at this point it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. 

Qualified to buy

At this point, you need to verify that the lead is qualified to buy. This means that they have a genuine need for your products or services and are at least in a position to buy. If this is the case, the lead is considered an SQL or Sales Qualified Lead. 

Qualified to buy

At this point, you need to verify that the lead is qualified to buy. This means that they have a genuine need for your products or services and are at least in a position to buy. If this is the case, the lead is considered an SQL or Sales Qualified Lead. 

Demo/Pitch

In some business models if it’s been ascertained that the product or service is a good fit for the lead, it’s good practice to demo or pitch the product (either remotely or in person) to make sure that they know that. This gives you an opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise that’s inherent in your Lead Magnet and build on the brand trust you’ve developed.

Proposal/Trial

Hopefully, at this point the lead sees enough value in the product and your brand to be close to converting. A proposal can be arranged or a contract prepared. Some businesses may want to further build brand value by implementing a trial which allows them to see the product’s full capabilities. This may be free or at a special introductory price.

Close won

Your lead is impressed! They’ve made it all the way to the bottom of your funnel. You won them over with the quality of your Lead Magnet, you’ve followed up without being intrusive and you’ve taken steps to further ensure that they see the value in your brand and product. They should now be motivated to convert. Now it’s up to your sales team to close the deal and convert that lead into a customer. 

Close lost

At various points in your funnel it’s natural that some customers will fall out of touch, never get around to properly engaging with your Lead Magnet or miss a call from a member of your team. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to let these warm leads go cold. They may still be motivated to buy, and can still be chased up and closed. And by keeping your CRM up to data you need never let a qualified lead slip through your fingers! 

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Measuring the performance of your Lead Magnet Funnel

Now that you have a compelling Lead Magnet, your funnel is all set up and your team are watching on your CRM as leads travel through the channel, there’s only one thing left. Making sure you know how to measure the performance of your Lead Magnet Funnel.

After all, if it can be measured it can be improved. It’s just a case of keeping an eye on the right metrics to ensure that your Lead Magnet is doing its job, driving conversions and helping prospects to see the value in your brand. 

Using an analytics suite (Google Analytics is as good a place to start as any) and knowing where to look can help you to improve your Lead Magnet Funnel’s performance.

How do your Lead Magnet interactions measure up against web traffic?

In other words, how many people who visit your website also take the time to provide you with their details and take advantage of your Lead Magnet? Once you have this expressed as a percentage you can implement strategies to improve it such as making your opt-in more visible, experimenting with different positioning on your homepage or implementing pop-ups.

How many people who applied for your Lead Magnet actually accessed or downloaded it?

What’s the point in putting all that time and effort into a sensational Lead Magnet if people aren’t going to engage with it? The more focus and specificity your Lead Magnet has, the higher this number should be. If it’s lower than expected you may want to revisit your opt-in page copy to make sure that it’s quick and easy to access your Lead Magnet.

How soon after downloading your Lead Magnet do they open it?

Again, specificity is the key here. If the Lead Magnet is billed as helping to solve a specific problem that the lead encounters regularly they’ll be likely to open it quickly, even if they have a busy schedule. If users are downloading it but not engaging with it, it may still be a little too broad and need a re-draft.

Is your Lead Magnet driving traffic?

Get it right and more people will come to your website because of your Lead Magnet. Again, the focus and specificity of your Lead Magnet help here, but it can’t hurt to do an SEO audit of your opt-in page to ensure that keywords are used optimally and that there are no technical issues that might cause search engine crawlers to pass over it. Here are some tips for making your landing pages more SEO-friendly.

Does your Lead Magnet drive social sharing?

Hopefully your Lead Magnet will get people talking about your brand, your services and your products. If you see that more and more people are coming straight to your opt-in page via social channels this is an encouraging sign that people are sharing the good news about your Lead Magnet on social platforms.

In conclusion

A well organized sales funnel is crucial when it comes to securing the new customers that will drive growth. By putting a compelling, well crafted, laser focused and useful Lead Magnet at the top of your funnel you can reduce your proportion of cold prospects, move leads through your funnel faster and even drive more traffic to your website!

We’ll help your company develop targeted, high-converting mobile advertising campaigns that keep your business thriving and current. Ask one of our advertising superstars how mobile targeting can fit into your strategy today.