For many clients, your website will be the first thing to make an impression. You need to make sure people are pleasantly surprised when they arrive. Many of us have a short attention span and will not stay for long on boring or hard to use pages. Keep your business website up to date by following these 5 tips.
Place your contact info somewhere easy to see
Every business website needs its contact page. After you create one, make sure to add a large button somewhere on the menu leading straight to it. If possible, add a box on the main page with the important things. Do not write them in a hard-to-find place. Instead, make sure they are easily visible the moment someone enters your website.
Here are the mandatory pieces of information:
Use top-quality photos and videos
Low-quality photos are an indication of bad products and services. Most customers have high expectations, and will not tolerate such things. Whatever you do, even if it costs some extra money, be sure to use pictures with great quality. If you are certain in your skills, you can take photos yourself. If not, hire a professional photographer to do the job. Another great idea would be to buy images from stock banks.
The same advice goes for videos. Most users would prefer watching them instead of reading long and boring product descriptions. Not using any videos or having ones with bad quality are dire mistakes, and you should definitely avoid them.
Your business website needs to be mobile friendly
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days. And you need be certain – many people find using their phone way easier than their PC. They can view websites while lying on a bed, or riding on a bus, or even while hanging out with friends.
Websites which are not mobile friendly are going to have a rude awakening. So many potential clients can be lost. Never turn your back on this. Even if it costs extra, your website must be mobile friendly and easy to navigate through a smartphone.
Google sees mobile friendliness as something important and will help you rank better in the search results.
Do not spam
If there is one thing which annoys people a lot, it’s spam. They hate it. Never overflow with unnecessary content. Some clients will immediately drop all your credibility and leave without even getting to see your products.
What your content needs to do is answer basic questions. Things like the contact information, types of products, and the prices. Don’t focus too much on your history. Instead, focus on what the customers want to know.
Use calls to action
Let’s say a new client has arrived at your business website and wants to learn more about you. Where do they go? What do they see? Perhaps your store to check out the products? Or your contact page for a personal call/email? You have some options regarding your online marketing plan.
Every client has needs and expectations. What you need to do is give a boost. Add a call to action and explain why your business is the right choice. How do you do that? Here are some ideas:
Add an email newsletter;
Read more buttons;
Links to social media;
A purchase button;
Add a call to action on your site and especially the main page. Like the one down below.
You need to adjust and optimize your website in such a way that your visitors can have an easy access to everything they need. However, you can’t just put everything on the front page. So what should take priority? How can you help all the website visitors?
What exactly are you selling?
You need to be very clear with this. People visit your website for a reason. If they are left to guess it themselves, you will probably lose most of them.
What are the benefits for your clients?
You need to show how your products work. It is very important to point out all the potential benefits for the people who might make a purchase. You can also give some examples. “This product can easily fix…” or “Our services are great for people who want to…”
At what cost?
Next on the list are all the costs. They might be a lot, so if you position a large “PRICES” button somewhere on the main page, everything would be perfect.
In what way is your brand special?
It is vital to have a strong brand. Customers will always trust brands with a good reputation as well as stay away from the unknown ones. Brand means trust.
Also, your brand needs to be unique. Having a strong and different identity will give you an edge over your competitors. For this, you can create an “About me” page. Put it somewhere in the main menu. Your logo is truly important as well. Make sure your logo follows a creative design trend.
A video by Entrepreneur explains just how important your brand is:
The website visitors should be able to easily navigate through all the pages.
Some people might have difficulties with browsing online. Others have small attention spans. Some are in a hurry. Whatever the reason is, you will need to make sure your website is clear and easy to use. Design it in such a way, so that everyone can switch from one page to another and find what they are seeking in a matter of seconds. Any additional delays will just harm your business.
Are there any people or companies who have used your services and were happy?
If the answer is yes, then post about it. Visitors will always want some form of proof that you can deliver great results. Show everyone that your past clients got what they wanted and were grateful for your hard work.
Can people trust you?
Do whatever you can to build trustworthy relationships. Nowadays, many clients suspect even the smallest things.
You should be able to easily contact your website visitors.
Last but not least, there is the “Contact” button. Add every method you are currently using. You should have an email address, phone number, physical location, Facebook or Twitter pages, and so on. Make sure that website visitors can easily find this button. The main menu would be a great location.
These are eight of the most important things that you absolutely must have on your main page. Website visitors will want to know a lot about you, and the easier it is for them to navigate through the pages or learn valuable information – the better results you will accomplish. A great site will help you find the ideal customer.
As a new entrepreneur, you have big dreams. You want the entire world to know your products and services are available to everyone.
You easily blow your marketing budget trying to attract the world to your products and services, only to find that you’ve overspent your money and you don’t have any new customers to show for it.
It’s hard to get noticed in this clutter filled world, but attempting to reach everybody with your product or service is not only inefficient, it’s also very expensive. That’s why it’s important to narrowly define your target customer and meet them where they are. Avoid making dissatisfaction amongst your customers by focusing on what really matters. Be sure to follow user privacy protection laws.
Russell Brunson uses the analogy of fishing which describes this well in his book DOTCOM SECRETS.
Who are my ideal customers? (Use demographics such as age, annual income and education level. Use psychographic information such as behaviours, hobbies and values.)
What are their pain points? (Efficiency, ease of use, time, etc.)
Why should they buy from me (and not my competitor)?
What are their most common objections to doing business with me? (Cost, time, etc.)
Who is NOT my target customer? (It is also important to identify who is not your target customer, e.g., is there an age restriction, maybe financial or location limitation etc.)
Let’s Build Your Target Customer
Many advertising platforms like Facebook and Google allow you to target customers based on the demographics and psychographics data they can collect from their users.
Demographics: the average or typical characteristics of your target market.
Psychographics: what motivates them to take action.
Here are some of the more commonly used ones:
Age: how old is my ideal customer?
Children: does my ideal customer have children? How many? How old are they?
Region: are my ideal customers located in a particular region, country, province/state or city?
Sex: what gender is my ideal customer?
Marital Status: Is my ideal client married, single, divorced etc?
Education: How much schooling did my ideal customer obtain; high school, college, university?
Values: what values do they share; family, business, success etc.
Income: How much does my ideal client earn? What is their net worth?
Hobbies: Do they have any hobbies e.g., fishing, sports, music, etc.
Your ideal customer is someone who satisfies their exact needs or wants to buy the product/service you offer.
Identifying your ideal customer can seem like a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task. The reality is that most entrepreneurs aren’t clear about their ideal customer. For this reason, they waste a lot of time and money trying to sell their product to people who aren’t good potential customers. Identifying your ideal customer and advertising where they will notice your brand is an important step in growing and improving your business. The process doesn’t need to be overly complicated; download our free worksheet to help you. Follow this plan and you’re well on your way to not only reaching new customers—but the right ones.
You’ve probably heard that “You Need A Website For Your Business” and while that is true it’s so 2008. Having a website is just a part of the puzzle, a foundational part — but you need to have more than just a website in order to have people know, like & trust you enough to do business with you.
What is an Online Sales Funnel?
Your online sales funnel is the process your potential website visitors go through when they turn from your visitors out on the internet into paying customers.
“From the girl walking in the street to the other girl walking into your coffee shop to buy.”
Think of it like a traditional sales process, where the term sales funnel comes from the visual representation of narrowing a broader audience into actual customers similar to what a funnel looks like. It’s like having a 24/7 salesperson working for guiding potential customers through the sales process on autopilot.
This staged process is summarized below:
Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of your product or service
Interest – actively expressing an interest in one of your offers
Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product
Should You Have A Funnel?
Just like a traditional brick & mortar business would have trained salespeople, your website should have a purchase funnel to guide visitors to your desired goal.
An empty storefront with no salesperson will probably only at best convert a very small percentage of people who walk-in. Your website without a funnel will most likely only convert a small percentage of visitors.
If you are actively trying to grow your business or investing in marketing your business through your website this could be the difference between a positive return on your investment versus a loss.
What Makes Up A Funnel?
In the digital world, this can be as simple as a click to call button or a form submission. These are great for hot leads. An emergency plumber site for example probably does not need much more than that to convert lots of website visitors. However, if your product isn’t as time-sensitive or your visitor is a warm-lead then having just one funnel will leave lots of money on the table.
This is where slightly more complex funnels come into play. Say for example you are advertising on social media or other paid advertising platforms like Google but not getting a good enough return on your investment for it to be sustainable. It’s most likely because you don’t have a good sales funnel.
A good online sales funnel will have at a minimum:
A Traffic Source: whether you choose word-of-mouth, blogging, social media marketing, SEO, pay-per-click marketing or a combination of these, you will need visitors to your website. Another great traffic source is through retargeting where you try to get previous visitors back to your website. Get my 303 traffic sources here. ☚
Lead Magnet: A lead magnet is an incentive, a compelling offer to your prospective customers in exchange for their contact details mainly their email address. Examples of lead offers include pdfs, checklists, whitepapers, video, report, a discount, a free trial, an entry to a contest or an e-book. More about leads here. ☚
Thank You Page: the main purpose of a thank you page is to measure conversions and see which traffic sources brought you the most amount of visitors and who completed your desired actions.
Some funnels can get a lot more thought out but I recommend starting simple and build from there. This is what one of our current sales funnels blueprints look like.
This way growing your business becomes a science; analyze your data to see where you should spend more time and money.
I hope you found this helpful. Feel free to leave me your comment below. Now I know that there are technical aspects of building out a funnel that may make it intimidating but you shouldn’t let that stand in the way of you growing your business.
If you have already received approval from your board of directors, set a budget, and acquired grant funding for a new website, it is now time to send out a request for proposal or RFP. A website RFP is sent out by your organization to dozens of web design agencies in order to determine the best agency for your needs.
We get an RFP, orRequest for Proposal, about website redesign pretty regularly. A number of projects and updates are simple and straightforward. Others have much more potential for miscommunication as the term Web Design RFP. A lot of the time, we’ll open up an initial contact from a form submission and see questions along the lines of “We need a new website; how much do you charge?”
It’s crucial you comprehend how web design projects range from basic things like static sites created for less than a thousand to complicated, such as something with a website budget in the six digits. If you’re not able to clearly communicate your specific needs and wants, then no design company could possibly quote it accurately.
Something else we find equally frustrating is an RFP the size of a handbook when one lands in our email’s inbox. These are almost always the product of some committee brainstorm that went off the rails. If a web designer needs a Ph.D., rocket scientist, or lawyer to figure out your RFP, or a few dozen hours are needed for the compilation of a spec response, then you’re not doing it right. Generally, we don’t even respond to such requests. It’s not because we fear hard work, but more because we know how an RFP sets a standard tone for the following project. If you’re not able to respect our time with concise communications when you first reach out to us, what’s going to happen in the middle of a project?
If a client and designer are going to figure out how they can work together, much less if they even can, then they need clearly defined project expectations and requirements.
The right web design RFP clearly and neatly establishes what you all are trying to accomplish with a website, as well as find alignment between the designer and a client’s objectives and goals. It might seem intimidating writing your RFP at first, but it need not be that way. Taking precious moments now can spare you many more hours, later on, ensuring your designer is able to develop a proposal with accuracy about your particular project.
So, prior to even contacting any designer, you should take some time to not just write a request for proposal, but an appropriate one. To give you a hand in this, we’ve assembled a simple guide you can use to go through this process.
A Web Design RFP’s Top 10 Crucial Components
1) Provide A Business Overview:
This is the section that introduces us or someone else to your business. As such, think of content more befitting an introduction than a thesis. Tell us briefly just who you are, what it is you do, the size of your business, your current URL, and what overarching corporate mission or vision statement you might have.
2) Establish The Project Overview:
Write down in a simple to understand language what your current situation is regarding your website, so you can provide us with some overview of just what this project needs to entail. There’s no need to go overly formal or even politically correct in this part, as corporate semantics sometimes muddle this message. Write this just like you would if you were describing your project to a family member or friend.
3) State The Project Objectives And Goals:
This is the section to list out both short- and long-term objectives for this project, and your motivations for investing resources into your website.
It aims to answer the question: “why are you here?”
Is your website outdated?
Have you expanded your services/product line?
Are you marketing to a different target audience?
Are you trying to attract job candidates?
Or are you finding your existing site isn’t converting to enough sales?
Tell us what you want to achieve.
4) Define The Technical Parameters:
This is the part where we often see our client’s eyes start to glaze over. If you already know what your technical requirements entailed in the project will be, you should tell us here.
These parameters range from the basics:
how many pages and unique layouts do you need
do you need hosting
do you need a domain name
To more advanced questions:
do you require programming in one specific language over another
do you have license or preference for a given e-commerce platform
If it doesn’t matter, tell us that too – giving your designer the option to work in their preferred language will save you money and time. Our common recommendation is WordPress, given the cost-effectiveness and flexibility it provides.
5) Determine The Usability Requirements:
Usability testing is, unfortunately, a step that is often overlooked in terms of the design and development of a website. You’re surely familiar with how companies put a new product through a focus group, or even multiple focus groups as part of the research and development process. Consider that any website also needs to undergo a minimum round of basic usability testing in order to figure out just how strongly the design-build holds up in actual use. This is where you should tell us about user research or persona development. Even if you’re not into such specifics, we still have to know about your target audience. Any relevant statistics you have regarding the demographics of existing website visitors should be referred to here. Run us through the specific flow you’d like any visitors to your site to follow.
6) Illustrate The Functional Parameters:
In the most basic terms, this section needs to pose the question of:
What you actually want your website to do.
This is where you outline functionality and features such as a secure members area, file uploads, content management, newsletter opt-in forms, news sections, an FAQ, e-commerce, discussion forums, blogs, custom admin areas, database development, or contact forms.
7) Write Down Proposal Directions:
This is the spot to ask questions you have for us and let us know how you’d like your proposal to be laid out. Many RFPs we get to ask our designers to talk about professional experience, demonstrate sample work, outline the project process plan, give bios of the essential personnel, and provide references. Many of these are basics that you would think would already be on a designer’s website, and so is likely included in their boilerplate proposals. However, if you have specific questions, toss them in here. Not long ago we got an RFP asking for us to list out our top 10 favourite musicians or groups. That project was pretty standard, but we found the question so delightful, we couldn’t resist responding in person.
8) List Your Contact Information:
This is where you should let us know who the primary contact point is or the project leader. Give us the phone number, name, email, and billing address of that individual. Also, tell us how you want the proposal to get submitted.
Do you want it emailed?
Give us your timeline.
9) What’s Your Budget?
This is a part that quite a few clients just gloss over initially. We know that you’re human, and it’s human nature to get the most you can for as little expense as possible, but we also know from personal and professional experience that some unscrupulous designers pad their quotes to the max in order to stretch your wallet as much as they can. We’re not like that, so we don’t do that. Be honest with us about how much you can afford, and we’ll return that respectful honesty with what we’re able to do with those dollars. Even should your budget lack a little, we know how to make compromises here and there that make things more accommodating. If you have no budget at all, then you’re not ready. Corporate identity and development and marketing should both have existing budgets in your business plan, and they apply here.
10) What’s Your Timeframe?
This one should be easy. Do you have a general idea when you’d like this done? On the other hand, do you have hard deadlines we need to know about? Keep in mind that many designers charge premiums for a rush job, as you’ll be bumping out other paying customers in line to provide you priority status.
When it all comes down to it, each RFP winds up being its own thing. The list provided here is really just a guideline to help you out in getting an honest, robust, and accurate project estimate from a designer. You might need to scale your own RFP to suit the size and scale of your own website, but you’re not likely going to need much more on top of what is outlined in this content.
Whether you choose us or not, we’re always ready to help anyone wanting assistance in putting together their RFP.
It won’t be wrong to say that most people these days go online in order to find new local businesses. If you do not have a website, it may not only result in loss of credibility but you may also lose a lot of sales. Many small businesses like yours often wonder why they need to have an online presence in the form of a website if they only sell to local customers. After all, building a website costs money and you just want to ensure that your marketing budget is spent right.
It is important for you to know that more than 2 billion people all over the globe are corrected online and around 70% of these users get online on a daily basis. Also, the number of people connected to Internet keeps growing. Therefore, it makes sense to establish an online presence in order to reach out to these consumers. Here is a list of some of the important reasons why you need a website for your small business.
1. Be Visible
There was a time when most people used to use the yellow pages in order to find a business but those days are long gone and these days, most people use a search engine in order to find a business. If you do not have an online presence in the form of a website, these consumers may not deem your business credible and you will also lose sales. A website is a much more cost-effective type of advertising when compared to the cost of advertising on local media outlets as well as in phone books. It is not just cost-effective but also allows you to reach new customers.
2. Reviews and Testimonials
Research indicates that more than 90% consumers check online reviews before they decide to spend money on something. When you have your own website, you can add testimonials and also guide potential customers to positive reviews of your business. This can have a huge influence on your sales as you’re likely to get more customers. Also, by maintaining a website, you have slight control over the information available online about your business in the search engines, provided you also practice good SEO tactics.
One of the other advantages of the Internet is that it allows you to get a lot of information about the demographics and habits of your potential customers. Use of Google Analytics allows website owners to find a lot of useful information including the location of the users as well as the typical age range of these visitors. This is powerful information and you can use this information to refine your online presence and reach more targeted customers. Analytics also allows you to find the exact time of the day people visit your website which allows you to target that particular time frame for marketing.
4. Remain Competitive
If your competitor already has a website, they are likely to be seen as more credible. In case they still don’t have a website, it allows you to get a leg up and have one in place before them. Do not forget that Internet is used by people for searching business information in the same manner as printed phone books. These days, people are more likely to use online search engines to find business information, and once you have a website, you will always be open for business.
5. Lead Generation and Data Collection
You can collect a lot of data from visitors and generate leads. Maintaining a presence at a local trade show or a home show is not cheap and not as effective. Having a website allows you to maintain an online presence at a fraction of the cost and add prospects to your mailing list by offering a free download or guide. It will give you a way to keep in touch with potential customers. By adding a blog to your website, you should be able to find out the kind of content your site visitors want, and it will allow you to get more organic web traffic by writing on those topics.
6. Lower Acquisition Cost
Acquiring new customers through the traditional ways of advertising is much costlier as compared to the cost of acquiring customers online. In fact, it is estimated that you can gain new customers at just 1/10 of the cost as compared to the cost of acquiring customers through traditional channels. Also, by maintaining an online presence you have the chance to continuously refine your marketing methods as well as your website by keeping track of customer habits and using this information to make your marketing much more efficient over time.
7. Take Advantage of Web Rooming
Web rooming is a new concept and it’s the opposite of showrooming. This is the trend of customers using the Internet to do some basic research before they go to a brick and mortar store in order to make a purchase. Keep in mind that around 90% of sales still happen in the traditional manner but most people these days go online to do some research before they set foot in a brick and mortar store. Therefore, even if you do not sell anything online, you need to maintain a website to take advantage of this trend.
8. Better Customer Service
One big advantage of maintaining an online website is that it is accessible 24 x 7, unlike a brick and mortar store where employees are present only for around a third of the day. Once you hire customer service teams for your website, you can sell all around the globe at any time your potential customers want to buy. Local businesses can also use this in order to set up appointments or pre-sell items before a physical visit by potential customers.
9. Integration with Social Media
It won’t be wrong to say that one of the best ways to get more local leads is through social media. It is estimated that 70% households go online in order to buy local products and services, and one of the best ways for local businesses to reach these households is through a website that is integrated with social media. For instance, you can advertise on Facebook to a very specific audience in your local area and link the advertisement to your website. Just take a look at the number of people present on social media and you will quickly realize the importance of maintaining an online presence.
10. Brand Identity
If you do not want to create a full-fledged website, you should at least buy your domain name through one of the many registrars and have a basic landing page that has the contact information of your company. If you do not reserve your domain name, someone may buy your company domain name and build their own website around it. Therefore, it’s better to grab your company name and build a basic website in order to have control over your brand name.
There are a number of other reasons to build a great website for your local business. These days, customers expect all businesses to have a great website which means you will be meeting their expectations. Maintaining a website will also allow you to get your hands on some analytical data that can be used to grow your business further and take it to the next level.
You invest plenty of resources, time and effort to drive traffic to your website. Between search engine optimization, social media marketing, design, Google Adwords, web development and blogging, you are taking all the necessary measures to get prospective customers to your website. The big question is, is it enough that they get on your page?
The reality is a majority of the people that land on your website do not take the actions you would like them to take and many never come back to your website again. The minority that sticks around, will probably be clicking around the website not sure whether or not to stick around.
Ultimately, the purpose of your website is to be able to capture these leads, as many of them as possible and convert them to buyers, maybe loyal customers. But how can you achieve that kind of success when most of your website visitors vanish without a trace on your website? These visitors come in, look at a page or two and leave without leaving a comment or their contact info. You barely know who they are.
What if you had a way of collecting their contact information? You would be able to get back to them later, follow up, build a relationship with them and ultimately earn their business.
That is why attracting leads to your website is not enough, it is equally important to capture those lead. A lead magnet helps do just that.
In this blog, we will explore how to choose a lead magnet, types of lead magnets and examine how you can automate the process to help you convert new leads to customers more effectively. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is A Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is an incentive, a compelling offer to your prospective customers in exchange for their contact details mainly their email address. Examples of lead offers include pdfs, checklists, whitepapers, videos, reports, a discount, a free trial, an entry to a contest or an e-book.
Effective Lead Magnets
The reality is, a customer’s email address or other contact information is private. For one to give you this kind of information, you must offer them something that is truly valuable.
For a minute put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Consider that you are a prospective customer and you are presented with a blog post on “top 10 ways to generate leads for your website”. At the end of the post, the website owner asks you to join his emailing list so that you get the latest updates. Another website owner presents you with a similar blog post and at the end asks you to join his email list and offers you an e-book offering detailed information about the various ways to generate leads at a minimal budget. Which offer would you take?
I bet you will go for the second on. Right? The second offer is compelling because you are being offered something valuable and practical.
Today’s customers are looking for value. Gone are the days when you could easily capture leads by telling customers to sign up for newsletters or by simply telling them “enter your email address here”. You must make it worthwhile for the customer to offer you their private information.
For your lead magnet to be effective, it must be valuable to your prospective customer. It should offer practical and effective solutions to a real problem that your prospective customer is facing. It must be compelling and specific. Once the customer enters their contact information, they must be able to get access to the promised content immediately. Ensure that your offer demonstrates your expertise and the unique value proposition of your brand.
Value of Businesses: Magnets for Business
Lead magnets are a win-win for both the website owners and the prospective customers. While the website owner gets the customer’s contact details, the customer gets access to valuable information that will help them solve a real-life problem they are facing. Whether the lead magnet is a course that helps your customers develop a skill, or it is a quiz that helps them understand their personality better, or a sample product that the customer may want to experience before buying, both the website owner and the customer get what they want which goes a long way to building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Getting a potential customer’s contact information allows you to start a conversation with them. It allows you to turn a stranger into a fan and a customer. The real value derived from a lead magnet is in follow up. Just like a normal networking event, the real relationship begins not after you get their card but after you email or call to follow up. That is how successful businesses begin communicating.
Lead Capturing and Nurturing Automation
However, follow up can be a challenge especially when you have a lot of people to follow up on. If you followed up with each individual one by one, it could consume all of your day. That is why it is important to automate the process from capturing leads to nurturing them. Marketing automation software allows you to automate the entire process.
Infusionsoft is one of the most popular marketing automation software in the market. It combines both marketing automation and customer relationship management to allow you to deliver your lead magnet, capture the customer’s contact and follow up with the prospective customer without thinking about it.
Marketing automation software works such that once a customer fills in the form on your website requesting access to the lead magnet, the software automatically sends the incentive to the customer’s email and saves the customer’s contact details in a database for future reference.
In the following days, the software sends automated emails to the customer. You will have predesigned the emails so all the software does is send them to the appropriate people at the appropriate time. The content of the emails could range from enquiries asking the prospect about their thoughts and questions or simple, practical tips on a topic of interest to the customer.
In the meantime, the software tracks the customer’s behaviour by recording the emails she/he opened, therefore, allowing you to evaluate the customers’ interest to be able to plan appropriately on the next move. Marketing automation and CRM software have a lead scoring feature that enables you to determine whether a new lead is ready for conversion into a customer.
How To Choose A Lead Magnet In 3 Steps
There are 3 steps to strategically creating a lead magnet that effectively converts leads to customers.
Accurately Define Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal customer? That is the kind of person you want to use your lead magnet to attract. The answer to this question should not be everybody. In fact, you should be so clear about who your target audience is versus who is not, that your lead magnet only attracts who you want and repels who you do not want.
Your lead magnet should be able to qualify prospective customers to avoid wasting time and resources in trying to sell to everyone. For example, if you are a real estate agent specializing in luxury homes, a guide entitled “10 steps to selling a million-dollar home” will convert better than one entitled “10 steps to selling your home”. For help in targeting your ideal customer download our worksheet “How to identify your target market”.
Identify a Suitable Compelling Offer
Once you are clear about who your target audience is, carefully consider what kind of a lead magnet would be irresistible to them so that they are willing to give you their email address. As mentioned earlier, it is paramount that you deliver value. A good place to start when choosing a compelling offer is to list down all the questions your customers ask and brainstorm lead magnet ideas to address those questions.
Plan Your Follow Up
Set up the whole system from the beginning. Think about what will follow after the prospects download your lead magnet. How do you intend to follow up with the prospect? Your follow up strategy should guide your prospects towards buying your products and services. It should help to convert your prospects from cold prospects, to warm prospects and eventually to hot prospects who are ready to buy.
Keep in mind that the nature of your lead magnet will depend on your business and what your customers want to buy. Take into consideration the information, time, and money they need to buy.
Businesses with a short buyer’s journey can use lead magnets such as discounts, free trial or a promo code or any other offer that motivates the prospects to quickly make a purchase. On the other hand, for businesses whose buyer’s journey is long, educational lead magnet such as informational content will work better in helping push the prospect to make a decision to buy.
For example, a prospect considering to sign up to a yoga studio membership may only need one free trial class before purchasing the package classes. On the other hand, for someone considering a six-month diet and fitness program, it takes more time, money and research ranging from educational guides to videos to help the prospect decide whether the program is right for them.
19 Types of Lead Magnets
Here are 19 types of lead magnets you can use to capture as well as qualify your prospects.
e-Books or Content Guides
Choose a specific topic related to a problem that your prospect faces and write an e-book or guide on it. This kind of content helps to showcase your company’s expertise while providing the prospects with the valuable information they need to make an informed buying decision.
Create the e-book or guide in PDF form to ensure that the readers cannot alter the content. PDF format enables you to maintain a consistent design and font across all devices. Tools such as Canva provide free photos, graphics and templates to help you design your e-book. On the other hand, you could simply convert a Microsoft word document to a pdf (it won’t look as appealing as the one designed on Canva). If you need help with writing the content, consider hiring a freelancer on Upwork or Freelancer.com
No matter how well you have presented yourself, your products and services, some customers will wonder “but how can you help me?” Such customers require more than compelling websites and marketing materials to convince them. They require a case study on one or more customers.
Describe in details the problem of a past customer and how you assisted the customer to solve that problem. Preferably, present pertinent statistics to illustrate your success. You can present the case study in the form of a PDF or a video requiring an email address to get access. Encourage the prospects to ask questions or give feedback in regards to the case study.
Checklists convert highly because they are easy to consume. They are also easy to make. A checklist condenses everything that a user needs into one actionable list. For example, a financial planner can put together a checklist that outlines the documents required and goal setting checklist to help prospects prepare for their first financial consultation session.
Do you have a list of tips that would be valuable in the future? Compile them into a cheat sheet that can either serve as a preview of your services or content that can be downloaded. For instance, a blogger can offer a cheat sheet regarding writing top quality article headlines, driving more traffic to a website, and more.
Do you think you are an expert in your field? Prove it to your prospects by creating a downloadable white paper. The white paper should be an in-depth report on an issue affecting your industry. Although some people may consider a white paper similar to an e-book, they are different. A white paper is detailed and research-based while an e-book is information-based. A white paper is the marketing equivalent of an academic paper. White papers are ideal as lead magnets if your goal is to present yourself as a thought leader in a given subject.
Consider whether your product or service could benefit more from a visual representation. Videos allow you to associate your brand with real people which helps in building a relationship with your customers. To use a video as a lead magnet you can either use a hosting platform to capture the email addresses or send prospects a link to the video once they request for it.
Consider shooting a video to demonstrate your goods and services, to share tips in your area of expertise or to offer a tutorial. Tools such as Animoto can help you create professional looking videos. Wistia is a video hosting platform that enables you to track where your videos are watched and capture viewer email addresses.
Quizzes tend to be irresistible. If the quiz present engaging and thought-provoking questions, people will want to keep clicking and responding until they can reach the final results. Quizzes can be fun or educational or both.
To use quizzes as a lead magnet, consider hosting them so that the prospects will be required to give their email address to see the results. The answers from the quizzes can offer valuable information to enable you to qualify your prospects without asking questions directly. Platforms such as lead quizzes and Qzrr can help you create custom quizzes that capture email addresses.
Free Stuff or Discounts
This one must have worked on you too at some point. A promo code in exchange for an email address. It is an ethical bribe that works practically on everyone. However, using discounts as a lead magnet can be ineffective in qualifying prospects as some people could only sign up to get the freebie or the discount only to unsubscribe later.
To increase its effectiveness, in the email offering the discount make sure you explain what future emails contain (helpful tips and exclusive offers) so that customers can see the value of staying subscribed to your email list. Ecommerce platforms help to create a promo code for a discount that can be applied to a specific product or service.
To learn more about how to create email campaigns with a limited time offer refer to this guide: “Cash in a Flash: How to manage a flash sale.”
Course or Content Series
Courses and content series work best if the information you want to share is too much to fit into a single e-book, content guide or video. Organizing such information in a course or content series makes it easily consumable by the prospect. Use automation software to automatically email the content to prospects in instalments over the course of days or weeks.
Webinars will enable you to give a real-time presentation to prospects across the globe. They are an effective way to share a tutorial, a presentation or an interview with an expert. Prospects who learn about you and your company through a webinar are more likely to buy from you especially if you follow-up. You can use platforms such as join.me or GoToWebinar to host a webinar with screen sharing. To learn more on webinar basics, download our “Guide to Hosting a Webinar” guide.
Consider an ice cream café’s staff standing on a sidewalk offering free samples to the passersby. Some people will pick one and walk straight ahead while some may stand and engage with the employee. The same happens with free sample lead magnets. You want to maximize capture and conversion of those who stand for a moment to engage. Follow up with an enticing offer once the free sample campaign is over.
A contest entry is ideal for when you cannot afford to give free samples and discounts to all your leads. It gives every prospect a fair chance to become the lucky winner. Host a contest and let participants qualify by giving their email addresses. Since you make the rules of the contest, you may as well ask for more information about the prospects such as their demographic information that will inform your future marketing efforts.
While not all participants will stick along after the contest, create an effective and efficient follow-up and conversion plan for those who remain. To create a contest use tools like Raecoptor or Woobox can host the contest and collect contact info through entry forms and social media platforms.
Free consultation works best for service-based businesses. Offer a little free advice to the customer to entice a relationship with them. For example, a personal trainer may give a free initial consultation. You can invite potential customers to sign up for a free seminar or workshop. In each case, the prospects gain some valuable information but they will have to pay to continue getting access to that information.
The best way to experience something new is to try it. Give prospective customers a free trial and then follow it up with a time-sensitive offer to help them commit. Examples of free trials include a free gym class or a one month trial for subscription services among others.
You can show potential customers a demonstration of how your product or service works either through a call, video or interactive experience. A demo gives them a better understanding of your product or service. However, before you do the demo ask for their email address.
While customers will need to see information on pricing and say scheduling before buying, you do not have to make it available for all to see. You can “gate” the information so that prospects must enter their email address to access it. Gating helps to qualify serious buyers from casual browsers helping you to capture high-quality leads.
Do you have printed materials such as brochures, books and catalogues that are best experienced offline? Ask your prospects to give both their mailing and email address to facilitate delivery and then follow up with an email seeking feedback, questions or thoughts after receiving the material.
Create a portfolio of your previous work and present it well. Some prospects will require seeing your work samples before working with you. Make the work sample available for download in exchange for an email address.
Infographics present information in a graphical; easy to consume format. They help to simplify complex concepts. Instead of writing a blog post, you could consider presenting the same information in an eye-catching infographic format.
Attracting people to your website is good. Capturing their email address and contact information is better. However, people visiting your website won’t give you their information just because you want them to. You will have to make it worth their while by providing something valuable in return. These lead magnets serve as a bridge between attracting prospects and converting them to customers. A lead magnet helps you to build and nurture a relationship with your customers. It allows you to eventually earn from the customer.
SSL is a system that secures the connection between your web site and your web site visitor’s browser. This allows for the safe and secure transmission of important information such as credit card data. SSL connections are mandatory for any online business that runs a PCI compliant website.
On today’s modern web we recommend every website use SSL to secure their site. Google themselves recommend this approach and even reward websites with higher placement in search engine results. With better search engine ranking, better security, and no cost to get started – there’s no reason not to SSL enable your website today.
We offer Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates issued by Comodo. EV certificates are only issued after your business credentials are reviewed and confirmed by Comodo. This means the visitors and customers to your website can have increased confidence that you are, who you say you are.
EV SSL certificates also activate the green bar in the URL section of the web browser – a visual indicator becoming more and more common, to prove a site has been validated