Getting the attention you want online can be a real challenge. Everybody’s fighting for attention and everybody’s competing for more customers. 

With the number of people rushing online to do business, especially thanks to Covid, the online market is even more crowded. It can be difficult to secure customers for your business especially if people aren’t staying on your website long enough. 

On average, visitors are only staying on websites for around 15 seconds. Most of them might never come back – which means you’ve lost out on a customer. 

This is hard to hear and it hurts a lot, especially if you’ve spent a lot of resources trying to build up your website traffic. 

It’s such a waste of all your hard work if most of your visitors disengage from your site without contacting you. So, how can you stop them from clicking that big red x in their browser without getting in touch? 

A lot of small businesses can focus on list building. Building up an email list of potential customers is an excellent way to get your business more sales. A strong email list is the ideal tool for promotion! 

If you’ve already got newsletter sign-ups on your website but your visitors are still leaving after 15 seconds, then you’re not building your email list effectively. 

The best way to build an email list for a small business is with high-quality lead magnets (also known as content upgrades). 

Today we’re going to go through what lead magnets are, why you need them, and what makes a good lead magnet. We’ll also show you 7 examples of great lead magnet ideas for small businesses. 

By the time you’re finished absorbing this blog post, you’ll be an expert in building email lists and delivering high-quality lead magnets. 

What is a lead magnet? What’s a content upgrade?

A lead magnet is a download that you offer to help promote your products or services to potential customers. You offer them something valuable in exchange for their email and their name and sometimes a phone number too. 

If you want to be successful at converting customers online, building a strong email list is key. 

To build an effective email list of potential customers, you’ll have to have a valuable lead magnet ready to go. 

How does a lead magnet work?

Lead magnets are a key tool for small businesses online, and they can really help your business grow and expand online. They’re an essential step in improving your email marketing strategy and getting more high-quality leads to your company. 

Lead magnets are literally a magnet for customers because they’re promising to deliver helpful insight, solutions, tools or frameworks to solve a problem your target audience is facing. 

Lead magnets aren’t about tricking your potential customers into handing over their email. They’re about creating something uniquely valuable so they’re happy to exchange their email for this helpful information. 

What makes a good lead magnet?

The content of a lead magnet should accurately, positively reflect your company’s best work, advice, and solutions. 

At the heart of it, a lead magnet is a sales tool. 

It’s there to showcase what you can do, what you can offer, and why your prospect should work with you. 

You won’t be able to make a decent lead magnet if you hold on to your best material. You should be giving away your high-quality content to show your potential clients that you’re not only an expert in your niche but you’re eager to share your knowledge with them. 

Your lead magnet has to offer something incredible, packed with value, and something that has the stuff to make your prospect feel like they’ve benefited. 

The best way to make sure you’ve got everything right with your lead magnet is to follow this 6 point checklist:

Make sure it’s presented beautifully

You can get a professional to help make your lead magnet look amazing if you’re not quite sure how to do it yourself. Make sure it’s built to a high standard, so it looks professional and makes your audience think “wow I really lucked out getting this valuable piece of content!”

Check that it’s got actionable items in it

Make your lead magnet actionable by giving your users easy-to-follow steps. If they can achieve something or gain something beneficial from downloading or taking part in your lead magnet then they’ll be more likely to do business with you later on knowing you’re an expert that helps them create real change in their business. 

Keep it simple

I know we said that it has to be full of valuable information but this doesn’t mean this information can’t be presented in a simple way. Make sure it’s easy for your potential client to understand. Get rid of any industry jargon and focus on helping your potential client instead. 

Give them instant results

Giving your potential client an instant win is an assured way to get into their good books. By giving them results straight away they’ll never forget you or your company. This might sound difficult, but you can offer things like free templates they can use to streamline their working processes, or free guides they can use to sell their services to their clients. 

Nurture the relationship 

After your site’s visitor has finished reading your lead magnet, steer them into some of your other content. Always be offering up more helpful pieces of content, with the ultimate goal of converting them either into a sale, or a consultation. 

For example, if your lead magnet was a how-to guide then send them follow up emails with links to any other relevant blogs, videos, webinars you’ve created that gives them more information about the guide’s subject.  

Make it share-worthy

Your lead magnet should be so interesting, so informative, and so exciting that the recipient wants to tell everybody about it immediately. Make it worth sharing, and you’ll get plenty of brand exposure as a result.

7 lead magnets for small businesses

1. Checklist

A checklist is an awesome idea for a lead magnet. You can create a neat, professional-looking checklist in the form of a PDF to send out to your potential clients. 

These are helpful lead magnets that your customers will love to have on hand. 

No matter what your niche is, find something you can turn into a checklist that will benefit your audience. 

You get some bonus points if your checklist is printable so your clients can physically tick off what they’ve completed. 

2. How-to guide

People go on the internet looking for solutions to their problems. If you can come up with a how-to-guide that appeals to the problems your audience is facing then you’ve hit the jackpot!

3. Webinar

If you hosted a webinar, or are hosting a webinar, you can give out free tickets or free access to the recording as a lead magnet. 

Webinars are seen as valuable sources of information so your potential clients will jump at the chance to gain access. Plus your webinar will show them that you’re a true expert in your niche. 

4. White paper

Writing long-form content is the perfect way to show off all your industry knowledge. Give your subscribers access to an exclusive white paper that’s chock full of valuable content. 

5. Cheat Sheet

If you’ve written a complex blog post, having a cheat sheet is a great way to help your clients revise what you talked about. Your cheat sheet could be as simple as a glossary of terms or a list of the key points. 

6. eBook

eBooks are a fantastic way to get people to sign up for your newsletter especially if they’re full of valuable and exciting content. 

Find out what topic is of interest in your niche at the moment and put together a short eBook to offer to your clients. 

7. Templates

A great lead magnet idea you can try for your small business is templates. Templates are extremely handy for people to download as they make their life easier. 

You could come up with the perfect template for something in your niche. For example, you could create a template for a Facebook Ad, a month worth of social posts, a financial planner, or something niche-specific. 

A lead magnet is a great conversation starter for casual visitors to your website, and a great way of encouraging communication over days, weeks, or months until you can convince them to convert. 

We hope our guide on lead magnets has given you some ideas on how you can streamline your email list building. 

If you want some extra help optimizing your lead magnets then get in touch today, we’d love to help you out. 

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