How to Create a Lead Magnet That Attracts Visitors and Converts Customers

No bait-and-switch here: Quality, relevant offers are the real way to get website users to opt in.

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By Ehsan Jahandarpour

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Not every customer who visits your website is willing to buy immediately. In fact, it takes time to build trust and prove your value. After you've done that, you might get a few customers to pay for your product.

However, there are efficient growth-hacking strategies you can use to increase your conversion rate and get more leads every day. One of the best techniques is to set up a compelling lead magnet.

In plain English, a lead magnet is a tempting offer that provides a very specific value to a very targeted customer segment. In other words, when you offer your lead magnet, you bribe your visitors to exchange their contact information for your free offer.

Characteristics of a phenomenal lead magnet.

Lead magnets exist to increase your lead-conversion rate. The secret to higher conversion with a lead magnet is to offer a particular customer segment an explicit solution that addresses a specific pain -- at no cost to them. That's why the generalization rule doesn't apply here.

To create your lead magnet, you must pay attention to two important factors:

  • Your customer's persona
  • Your competitor's offering

Knowing your customer persona helps you tailor your message and offer toward their needs and desires. On the other hand, conducting comprehensive competitor research enables you to discern what matters to your potential buyers and easily target your rival's audience.

Related: 3 Tips for Converting Sales Online

The best lead magnets.

Depending on your niche or the nature of your business, different types of lead magnets will attract more customers. Your lead magnets should be visual, attractive and provide value. Yet you mustn't provide a complete service or product. After all, your magnet exists solely to help you convert unknown visitors to leads you can add to your sales funnel.

Online, gamified surveys are one approach. These encourage website visitors to test their knowledge, attitude, personality or even IQ. The structure allows you to ask for their contact information while entertaining them in an engaging way.

If you suspect your customers are looking for insights, data and information, offer a free report. Depending on your industry, a useful -- but incomplete -- report can increase your conversion rate and also help position you as a thought leader. If you invest in the design of the report, save it in a downloadable PDF format. This provides convenience to visitors, making your resource even more attractive. Thoughtfulness on your part can encourage them to opt in more quickly.

Software companies and businesses with intangible products have found great success with other types of free downloadables. Everyone likes the feeling of getting something for nothing, and offering trial or slimmed-down software versions can significantly increase your conversion rate. Simply ask your visitors to opt in before downloading your free product.

Related: 5 Lead-Generation Tips for Your Ecommerce Company

Video tutorials can boost your conversion rate as many as five times over. Several technologies allow you to capture your screen at no cost, making it easy to create a step-by-step video product in a matter of minutes. Tutorials are an attention-getting way to help customers understand a process or see how easy it is to use your product.

A related lead magnet, the webinar, also is highly efficient and currently quite popular. Regularly scheduled webinars are a great way to encourage your visitors to learn more about your company, your products/services and even your business culture. The secret to webinar success is to avoid making it purely promotional. In fact, you must offer value before asking for commitment from your leads.

Ecommerce and online businesses can achieve stellar results with discount vouchers -- consistently one of the most amazing bribes to help you acquire more leads. The only problem? If you keep offering the same discount all year long, you'll actually lose customers as they realize your promotional price actually is your real, everyday price. Today's consumers are too savvy for the nonstop "for-a-limited-time" ploy.

Related: Tips to Writing Short and Catchy Headlines

Title optimization.

Once you've decided which type of lead magnet to use, it's time to focus on optimizing it for higher conversion. You have only a few seconds at most to grab attention, so it's no surprise your title is the most important element.

Your magnet's title must speak directly to your customers -- and I do mean directly. Your visitor's eyes are looking for intriguing calls to action (CTA). They're more likely to opt in if your bribe meets the following criteria:

  • Be specific. Offer a measurable, specific value your visitors can perceive immediately.
  • Promise only one thing. Visitors are looking for a great value. It's your job to make sure your big promise is crystal clear and highly specific.
  • Don't skimp. Although you're not setting a monetary value for your lead magnet, it must not look cheap or undervalued. You must spend enough time and effort to make it look like a decent offer.
  • Deliver value. If you show merely a great look and feel, you might get visitors' contact information. But if you don't deliver on your promise, your unsubscription rates will skyrocket. You'll lose out on all those leads you worked so hard to get. Even worse, you'll have damaged your credibility, making it less likely you'll get a former subscriber to convert in the future.

Ehsan Jahandarpour

Growth hacking Influencer and Start-up Coach

Ehsan Jahandarpour is a startup coach and growth hacker. He helps companies like Microsoft, PETRONAS, and BBDO grow their business. 

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