One of the biggest pinch points you’ll face growing a business is generating leads. While generating leads is difficult, there are frameworks you can turn to that are effective. Today, we’ll look at one proven way to gain new business leads; a lead magnet funnel.
A lead magnet funnel is a reliable method for growing your email list. Once you’ve got your head around a few best practices, the initial setup shouldn’t take you any more than a couple of hours. Let’s start by getting our definitions in order.
What Is a Lead Magnet Funnel?
A lead magnet is an offer you make to people online in exchange for their contact details. Spend a couple of hours browsing online, and you’ll come across numerous lead magnets used by businesses to generate leads.
A lead magnet funnel is where you place this lead magnet on a custom opt-in page. The initial landing page is part of a funnel that includes a thank you page, a download page, and a triggered email sequence. You can drive traffic to the landing page through Pay Per Click ads, your blog, social media, or other channels.
You can see how this all comes together in the image below.
So, in brief, a lead magnet funnel is when you make a value offer in exchange for someone’s email address, and then connect with your new subscriber through an email sequence. In the remainder of this guide, I’ll show you how to create a lead magnet funnel.
How to Create Your First Lead Magnet Funnel
The key to an effective lead magnet funnel is nailing your value offer. There are some offers which will entice just about anybody: free beer, eternal happiness, that kind of thing.
However, in reality, you’ll want to offer leads something which will help them with some tangible problem in their life that relates to your business. One that free beer can’t solve. Let’s look at how to do that.
First Define Your Customer Persona
A customer persona is a fictional version of your ideal customer. The customer persona will include things like income, background, professional status, interests, and pain points.
The best thing to do when creating a customer persona is to start with your existing customers. You should already have a pile of useful data on their demographics. Tools like Google Analytics can provide additional data. You can also leverage customer surveys to supplement this by gathering new data on your existing customers.
How to Create a Suitable Lead Magnet
A good lead magnet will solve a pain point your audience is facing. For example, say you were running an agency offering SEO services. Your customers might have the following problems:
- Knowledge of SEO: create an eBook on the fundamentals of SEO
- Landing Guest Posts: create a video series that provides the framework you use to land guest posts
- Converting Leads: offer a white paper about how to improve online lead acquisition
You can see that I mentioned a couple of potential topics for a lead magnet. Choose the option that you think will be most popular for your first lead magnet funnel. If you’re serious about maximizing conversions, test different offers to see which lead magnet has the highest conversion rate.
Ideally, your lead magnet should have no cost of reproduction. That is, something physical like a tote bag won’t work. Effective lead magnets are things like:
- White papers
- Software (free plugin, etc.)
- Free trials
The type of lead magnet you create will depend on your niche. No matter what route you go down, the key is to create something that a lead would find useful. That product should align with the product or service you offer.
The Fundamentals of a Good Lead Magnet Opt-In Page
Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you need to design your opt-in page. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to create an opt-in page. Most modern landing page builders have dozens of easy to edit opt-in form templates.
According to Leadpages, landing pages should have the following seven elements:
- Benefit driven headline
- A compelling description of the offer
- Clear branding
- A submission form
- Engaging visuals (this often includes a hero image)
- A CTA
- Supporting evidence/ Testimonials
An opt-in page that follows the standard type of template might look something like this:
As with all things in life, rules are there to be broken. Don’t feel obliged to create a standard opt-in landing page, or give away your product for free.
For example, Clickfunnels give away a physical book in their lead magnet funnel. The book is “free,” but you have to pay $9.99 for postage and shipping. The offer is promoted on the Clickfunnels blog through a lightbox and a sidebar banner.
They use a long-form opt-in page. Here’s a snapshot of what appears above the fold.
The opt-in page looks a lot more like a long-form sales page.
What I’m trying to say is, feel free to experiment and do something unusual. Do what you think is right, and if you fail, pivot and try something a bit different.
How to Create an Effective Email Follow Up
Once you’ve acquired a lead through your opt-in page, you’ll also want to use an email verification service, to ensure that your email leads are legitimate.
Next, you’re going to use email marketing to educate your client until they’re ready to pull the trigger. In general, this will involve a combination of educational content and, eventually, sales emails. Of course, the exact strategy is highly dependent on your specific business and your ideal customers.
Luckily, some core principles of email marketing to fall back on. Let’s look at a couple of concrete tips you can use at the end of your lead magnet funnel.
The Importance of an Effective Follow Up Sequence
Welcome emails have an average open rate of over 90%. Good welcome emails also provide a boost to the open rate of your other emails down the line.
An effective welcome email sequence for a content upgrade typically comes in four parts. Here’s what each one achieves:
- Initial Email – This is where you keep up your side of the bargain. That is, they get their lead magnet. You can also start to lay the groundwork by introducing your company in a bit more detail
- Introduction to the Company – Introduce the company to your subscribers. I recommend trying to get them to connect with your business across a couple of social channels
- Set Expectations – Explain what type of content they will receive from you in the future, and when you’ll be emailing them
- Something for Free – Provide another gift, which they’d find useful. This helps build up the goodwill
It’s worth using those first three emails as part of your initial email drip campaign. You can, should you choose, run a slightly longer email drip sequence. This might involve introducing them to your products or services and trying to make a sale.
After the introduction series, your subscribers’ should start to receive regular emails. These are the emails that you send periodically to all your subscribers. It will generally be a mixture of content and sales emails.
Email Design Tips
Your email template should always align with your brand guidelines. Use the same color scheme as your website, use the same font, etc. This helps create a seamless experience for all of your company communication.
Also, don’t be afraid to vary the template based upon the type of campaign you’re running. For example, a sales email might use a different template than an email to promote a piece of content.
Below is a nice example of an engaging sales email I received in my inbox recently. The email starts with a great hero image, followed by a little bit of compelling copy, and ends with a CTA.
This email template is easily scannable.
For making sales, your CTA is the make or break. We’ve said this requires urgency, but what does this mean in terms of concrete design principles? The first part of this is visual. Check out the example above.
High-contrast CTAs are better at catching users’ attention. This has been proven to increase sales.
The way to get more sales out of your CTA is to use compelling, active language. Note that the example above doesn’t use a boring action phrase like click here. Rather, it’s punchy and straight to the point.
How to Create an Effective Lead Magnet Funnel
As we’ve seen, lead magnets are an effective way to meet one of the biggest business challenges you’ll face. Specifically, attracting and converting new leads. Once you’ve got this down, pretty much everything else will fall into place.
Creating a lead magnet starts by considering your ideal customer and how you can make their life easier. You then create a reproducible value offer in order to gain their email address. This can then be used to warm the lead until they are ready to make a purchase.