Most people that come to your website aren’t there to buy.

Chances are, they’re not ready.

Most likely, they don’t even realize they need what you have to offer.

Instead of going straight for the sale, your primary goal should be to start generating new leads, then you nurture them over time (until they’re ready to buy).

Only problem?

The same old, boring ‘free newsletter’ ain’t gonna cut it. Your conversion rate, or the number of people signing up as leads, will only be as good as what you’re offering them.

The highest conversions go to those companies that have the “most unique, differentiated offers“.

Here’s how to create one.

Step #1. Creating Your First Lead Magnet Offer

A lead magnet is a specific incentive used to generate an early lead.

Breaking down the jargon into English:

  • Specific: Focused on a painful, agitating problem your customers are dealing with daily
  • Incentive: Provides a high value, easy-to-digest solution
  • Generate: In exchange for some customer information (e.g. email address)
  • Early Lead: These people are aware of a problem need, but often aren’t ready to purchase

The term ‘lead magnet’ is a fancy word made up by marketers to describe the things you’re already familiar with, such as: discount coupons, free eBooks, free consultations, and giveaway contests.

While discount coupons might work great for a local product business or eCommerce stores (think: transactional sale), a higher touch offer that’s more immersive or educational like a free guide or tool works better for training, software, or services (think: consultative sale).

So the good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just need to take what already works, and improve upon it.

The first step is specialization. Already have a guide for Amazon-based businesses? Write the Amazon-based businesses for international expats instead.

Look no further than the 114 Membership Site Niche Ideas guide (shameless plug).

It works, because it’s specific. It’s long, where others are short. And it’s actionable, where others are general.

The second, could be depth. Is a 30-day free trial common in your industry? Do a 90-day one.

Some might provide a one-page checklist of tips to follow, but Lowe’s Lawn Care Plan takes this to the next level. It offers a completely customized annual plan that you can follow and takes into account your climate and foliage of choice.

Lowes Marketing Strategy

Last but not least, you can differentiate based on format. Are there a deluge of eBooks crowding the marketplace? Create a free calculator instead.

That’s what one software company does. They provide visitors, who aren’t ready to throw down a credit card, the opportunity to at least get some basic feedback on their current efforts.

A/B Split and Multivariate Test Calculator

Creating a lead magnet is not a new topic on the interwebs. So here’s a few excellent articles by Digital Marketer (including one that generated 35,859 leads in only 60 days), Conversion XL, and Copy Monk to read if you’re stuck at the idea stage.

Step #2. Creating the Landing Page

Once you’ve got the asset created, you’re going to need an infrastructure designed to handle anywhere from two visitors to two hundred — automatically and without your involvement.

Here’s how the process usually works:

  1. A stranger sees your enticing ad and clicks (we’ll discuss this part next week).
  2. They arrive at your specially designed landing page (we’ll touch on this below).
  3. They provide basic information in exchange for receiving the lead magnet.
  4. They receive a carefully-crafted series of ‘drip’ emails to nurture them and then eventually buy something. (we’ll touch on this in a few weeks).

This process could get super complex and sophisticated, but it doesn’t have to at this stage.

For example, after people see an ad, they arrive at a landing page where your lead magnet is strategically ‘gated’ (requiring some kind of sign-up or opt-in to gain access).

You could go hire a designer, developer, and copywriter to build out your page.

Alternatively, you could simply sign up for something like LeadPages and have this system created in minutes (as opposed to weeks).

Lead Page Accounts

It already provides ready-made templates, simply upload images and tweak the copy. You can hook up most major email marketing services that you might already be using, and it’ll take care of the gritty details of form submissions and ‘thank you’ confirmation pages.

LeadPages was used to create, host, and operate our ‘Niche Ideas’ landing page offer too.

Marketer Niche Ideas

The landing page should have a checklist of critical elements to make sure the value in your offer is being communicated loud-and-clear to customers. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the essential ones:

  • Headline: Advertising legend David Ogilvy once remarked that “5-times as many people read your headline as opposed to the body copy.” On landing pages, and for offers like this, it also has to work double time by being the first thing people see in their email subject line or Facebook status update.
  • Hero Image: A ‘hero image’ is named as such because it represents the ideal scenario. It transports the visitor to show them what they’re gonna get (or what they can become) if they take advantage of this incredible offer.
  • Supporting Copy: This section includes ‘teasers’ and previews of the benefits you’ll get from the information inside the book.
  • Opt-In: You’ll also notice that there’s only two form fields. That’s by design, as you can expect higher conversions with less fields (as much as 120% in some cases).
  • The CTA: The key here is to focus on using words that are as specific and relevant as possible (because that, over a generic ‘Sign Up’ button can result in a 213% increase).
  • Credibility Indicators: The phone number in the upper right probably doesn’t get any calls. But that’s OK, because it’s still an important ingredient. It’s subtly communicating that this offer is brought to you by a professional organization that you can trust.

Once you have all of this stuff published and ready-to-go, it’s time to promote and start generating new leads…

114 Niche Ideas - Performance Marketer

… but we’ll cover that in the next post in this series. Stay tuned!