Marketers have used lead magnets to generate marketing leads for decades. At its core, the lead magnet is all about offering the potential customer something for free in exchange for their contact details and the permission to contact them.

Popular free offers include: 

  • Guides or reports
  • Ebooks
  • Toolkits and resource lists
  • Video training
  • Gated content
  • And many more besides! 

Generating leads allows you to build brand awareness, grow interest in your product or service, and enables you to walk the lead towards sales conversion. Effective lead generation strategies can lead to a long-term relationship with qualified customers. 

Lead magnets are a part of the top of the funnel marketing activity. Effective lead generation is about collecting qualified and relevant leads. In other words, the leads you generate should be interested in buying your product or service.

There are two aspects to effective lead generation, addressing a relevant audience and customizing the lead magnet for this audience. Let’s look at each in greater detail. 

Why Should You Segment Your List With Lead Magnets

Segmenting your audience means dividing them into smaller homogenous groups based on common attributes like interests, demographics, needs, and wants. Segmenting large mailing lists into smaller analogous segments ensures that each recipient only receives relevant messages. 

Some common criteria used to segment your list include:

  • User preference
  • Geographic location
  • Purchase behavior
  • Email engagement

Segmenting your mailing list is also a form of personalization. Since the message is relevant to the specific group, each recipient feels like it was crafted for them. 

Without segmenting your audience, your email campaigns will be a one size fits all effort. The emails won’t interest everyone, and people who aren’t interested will delete them, or even unsubscribe.

Strong lead magnets with high-value content will help you build and segment your mailing list.

Source: clx.com

You can also use lead magnets to segment your mailing list based on factors like demographics, purchase behavior, or interests of the recipient. When using lead magnets for segmentation, make sure the magnets are ultra-specific to the targeted segment. It’s advisable to use multiple lead magnets at the top of your funnel for effective segmentation.

The more specific your lead magnets, the more homogenous your segments, and hence you will have a highly focused sales funnel.

5 Steps for Designing the Most Effective Lead Magnet

The singular purpose of a lead magnet is to get the email address of qualified and relevant leads and bring them to the top of your marketing funnel. 

Lead magnets sit at the head of your Customer Value Optimization (CVO) chain and drive focused leads through your CVO framework. To collect relevant leads the value offered in your lead magnet is critical. Let’s look at the five steps to design an effective lead magnet.

1. Create a buyer persona

We have already seen the value in segmenting your audience. The first step in creating an effective lead magnet is to define the buyer persona for each segment. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your target audience. 

A buyer persona gives you deep insight into your target customers’ behavior, it allows you to understand their likes and dislikes, their purchase behavior, and their pain points. Download a buyer persona template to get started. 

As one of our favorite sales quotes says, “Humanize the sales process or perish”. Blunt, perhaps, but it illustrates the importance of relationship building and treating your prospects as individuals. 

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2. Define your value proposition

Your buyer persona will give you an idea of the content that the recipient would consider valuable. Your lead magnet is making a promise to deliver something of value. Make sure you deliver content that solves a problem for them. Here’s an example of a lead magnet loaded with value.

The lead magnet above promises to provide a product pricing calculator and this tool would be invaluable to startup companies. 

Pro tip: Don’t over promise and under deliver. If the recipient feels cheated by giving out their email address, you will never convert them to a customer.

3. Create a catchy headline

A catchy headline will attract eyeballs to your lead magnet. This is your chance to get creative, think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to create a tongue-in-cheek headline or one that is a bit over the top.

A catchy title helps in advancing your buyer persona and gives you a higher conversion rate towards generating leads

4. Choose the type of lead magnet

The choice of the type of lead magnet you use will depend on the audience you are addressing. A SaaS client might be interested in a free software trial, while a retail buyer might be more inclined towards an informative article on how to get the most out of a product. Similarly, offering free shipping on a purchase of a physical product is a strong magnet to encourage a customer to buy. 

When choosing the type of magnet, keep in mind your in-house content team’s strengths and weaknesses. If your audience requires a compelling professional video or a detailed, persuasive report, it may be best to team up with an external digital marketing agency

5. Placing your lead magnet

With your lead magnet ready to launch, the next issue is its placement. For maximum conversions, you would need to place it strategically on your website. Some commonly used placement locations include:

  • The header of your homepage, above the fold
  • The footer section of the homepage
  • As a slide-in on your home page. It is less intrusive but offers lower visibility.
  • In the sidebar of your blog pages
  • As an exit intent pop-up. The lead magnet is triggered when the user tries to close a page.

For best results, choose at least 4-5 placements across your website. But don’t overdo it, either!

6. Bonus: Measure results

Measuring the results of your lead magnets answers questions like which type of magnets are giving the highest conversions? What are the best placements for your lead magnets? It enables you to double down on things that are working and modify what isn’t. 

How to Segment People Onto your List

Let’s take a look at some segmenting techniques for audiences on different platforms. 

Segmenting your blog audience

Before we look at how to segment your blog audience with lead magnets, let’s understand why we need to segment them in the first place. The two main reasons behind segmenting your blog audience are:

  1. Monetizing your blog with promotional content.
  2. It allows you to maximize your monetization by addressing each segment with a relevant message and lead magnet.
  3. It enables you to do 1 & 2 without alienating the rest of your audience.

Segmentation allows you to address your promotional content to only those readers who are interested in it. The first step is to cull and segment the audience interested in paid promotions based on your total blog base. 

Let’s say that another section of your blog base is interested in affiliate marketing. These readers can be segmented by using lead magnets built around coupon and deal sites, and content sites that span the spectrum from mommy blogs to online communities.

Segmenting based on paid ads

Social media platforms like Facebook offer the most granular way to segment the audience. Based on your target buyer persona, you can segment across variables like gender, demographics, behavior, income, education, and interests to name just a few. 

The power of this super-segmentation gets amplified when you overlay it with each audience member’s stage in the marketing funnel:

  • Prospecting new customers
  • People who have visited your site but are yet to convert
  • Existing customers

A paid ad campaign based on granular segmentation yields a high conversion rate and ROI on your marketing dollar. 

Your ads can then take the consumer to the relevant landing page, or launch a mail sequence aimed at informing and converting the consumer. 

Segmenting with retargeting

Have you ever looked at a pair of jeans online and then had that pair follow you around wherever else you browse? Welcome to the world of retargeting. Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit, retargeting targets the 98% who bounced away from the site without making a purchase.

Retargeting is effective because it focuses your ad dollars on customers who are already familiar with your brand and product, and have shown an intent to buy. Hence, retargeting ads have the highest ROI among all digital channels. 

Retargeting works best when it is a part of a larger digital strategy, and aligned with your inbound and outbound strategies. Strategies like content marketing and Google ads can drive traffic, but they have a low conversion rate. Retargeting can’t drive traffic, but it has a high conversion rate. When you align the two, you get marketing magic.

B2B Guide to Retargeting: How to Bring Quality Leads Back to Your Website

Segment Your Audience for a Promotion

All brands run promotional campaigns from time to time. These promotional campaigns are often targeted at specific customer segments. From the brand’s perspective, they want to spend their marketing dollars on segments that are more likely to engage and convert.

You can create a lead magnet designed around the promotion. The lead magnet would contain a link to a downloadable PDF. This lead magnet can then be placed on the brand website and its social media platforms.

By collating the people who clicked on the link you would build a customer segment who can be targeted with details on the promotion.

Wrapping up

Lead magnets are an integral part of your digital marketing arsenal. They offer the consumer something for free in exchange for their email details.

Lead magnets are vital in driving qualified and relevant leads to the top of your marketing funnels. These leads can then be segmented based on different criteria to create homogeneous segments for messaging and conversion.

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