A lead magnet can be defined in many ways, but essentially, it is an offer made at zero cost to the consumer, in exchange for an email address and additional details useful to the marketer. Because of its wide scope, a lead magnet is often called other names, such as a sign-up incentive or a freemium.
Offering lead magnets is crucial to the general content marketing strategy that builds audience loyalty
Sometimes, it is even referred to as an “irresistible bribe,” giving it a somewhat shady character. A lead magnet, however, is totally legit, with a long history as an indispensable tool in every successful marketer’s arsenal. What makes it all the more special today is its digital component, which allows promises and results to be delivered immediately.
Purpose of a Lead Magnet
The purpose of a lead magnet can be as varied as the definition of the term itself. It mainly depends on the marketer, but the overall motivation is to drive content consumers to provide their email addresses. Once a marketer receives an email address, it will be added to an email list, which will become the subject of future lead nurturing efforts, specifically through email. Needless to say, offering lead magnets is crucial to the general content marketing strategy that builds audience loyalty, in turn reinforcing the business behind the campaign.
The Importance of Email Addresses for Marketers
A mere 2% of first-time visitors to conversion-optimized websites actually make a purchase, while the remaining 98% are either just browsing or researching solutions offered by the websites. When the overwhelming majority are not in the mood to buy, pushing a product or service on them – such as by asking for their credit card information – can be completely off-putting.
However, the fact that these visitors made it to the website already means the interest is there, and it’s only a matter of cultivating that interest until it becomes a conversion. This is the rationale behind asking for an email address. The marketer is indirectly seeking permission to communicate on a regular basis, although the real challenge is to establish a solid and trusting relationship over time and, sometimes, after repeated tries.
Of course, the main point is still to sell. While people who end up in an email list aren’t automatically spending cash, their willingness to join that group indicates a sense of trust and confidence in the marketer, who is expected to return the favor by bringing value. This begins with presenting an enticing idea.
After all, website visitors don’t just give out their email addresses without anything in it for them. For example, a form that simply invites them to enter an email address or sign up for a newsletter won’t suffice. To accept the invitation, they must find three things in it: a value proposition, a tempting offer, and a reason to give in. In short, the offer must be attractive and the call-to-action compelling.