Let’s face it: no matter how great your newsletter might be, you’re going to want to diversify your lead generation tactics. It takes a lot for most of us to sign up to a mailing list on the promise of a newsletter alone – you’d have to be offering constant doses of golden insight to capture significant leads. Fortunately, there are some alternative ways that even the most cynical users can be persuaded to hand over their contact details.
The secret? Genuinely providing value instantly.
What you’re offering needs to be something your target audience is interested in and often has to be unique. That means you’ll need to get creative — though not without help. I’ve got here seven ideas that can intriguingly address your audience’s needs! Let’s see what they are and how you can use them.
1) A free ebook
If there’s one lead magnet that’s worth its weight in gold, it’s an ebook. Books are content marketing geniuses because they’re genuinely valuable products that you can give away entirely for free without losing money, provided you invest your resources wisely. Added benefits to making a great ebook available as a lead magnet include greater brand awareness (readers who find it helpful might share it with others) and a more substantial reputation in the field for you.
Your ebook could be anything that complements your business: a beginner’s guide, a how-to, a recipe book, or pretty much anything that you think your customer base would be interested in learning about. Try and spot a gap in the market — a genuine need that’s not being addressed — and provide a useful solution to make sure your ebook stands out from the crowd. More and more businesses are becoming wise to ebooks’ mammoth marketing power, so make sure that yours isn’t just one in a million.
While this might seem like a labor-intensive option, ebooks can be put together far more easily than you’d think. For example, if you already have a blog as part of your content marketing strategy, you can easily turn that blog into a book. Or you could leave it to the professionals and collaborate with a ghostwriter to create a perfectly polished ebook to entice leads with.
Not sure you want to give away a whole book for free? No problem! Mini guides, or even preview chapters of a full book, convert well as lead magnets.
2) Access to a private Facebook group
A more interactive form of lead generation offers access to a private Facebook group or closed forum. For example, say your business is a kid’s clothing brand: creating a space where customers can discuss their purchases and wider topics surrounding parenting can be a great way to foster brand loyalty. In this forum, you can answer your customer’s questions and listen to their feedback — it brings in the kind of personal touch that’s especially important for small businesses!
As well as fostering community and creating a supportive customer base, establishing this more direct line of communication with relevant and engaged users is invaluable. In addition, the feedback you collect will most likely come in handy for future product releases.
One thing to bear in mind is that it will require some long-term time investment to moderate an online space like this., But if you’re willing to make that commitment and interact regularly, you can very effectively nurture strong relationships with customers using this method.
3) An email course
This is another more time-consuming method for creating lead magnets, but it’s worth it. Providing a short email course instead of a simple newsletter is a far more enticing offer to potential subscribers since lessons come with a well-defined learning outcome from the very beginning. The people attracted to such a course will also be more likely to have a genuine interest in what you’d have to offer after that. Much like writing an ebook, offering a course related to your business will help solidify your authority in the field.
Again, just as with an ebook, don’t be afraid to pull from content you already have, such as blog posts, to put together your course. Good content is good content, and the convenience of it being curated and landing straight in your customer’s inbox is well worth signing up for. To go the extra mile, up the value of your content and give your course USP by reaching out to experts in your field to collaborate on these emails — and tap into said experts’ follower base in the meantime!
Suppose you can create a quiz that’s either genuinely useful, educational, or even just plain fun (and still relevant to your business). In that case, potential leads will happily input their email to see the resulting land in their inbox. You can experiment with these different quizzes to see which resonate best with your user base and attract the most signups.
The important thing to bear in mind with quizzes as a lead generation tool is that you’ll want to carefully walk the line between shareability and specificity to make sure those users you’re attracting are part of your target market. While a “Which Ariana Grande song are you?” quiz might be more likely to be shared on social media, it’s unlikely to attract relevant users to your online shop front.
If you can get that balance right, a key benefit of quizzes as a lead generation method is that you can segment the leads you generate based on the information you learn from their quiz answers. So, for example, that online kid’s clothing store I mentioned earlier might be able to figure out whether their quiz takers are expectant parents, parents of newborns, or have a toddler, all of whom need different products. This would mean they can better target those users and provide them with the most helpful and relevant information, so you’re simultaneously carrying out market research while generating those all-important leads!
5) A contest or giveaway
Everyone loves free stuff, and people especially love winning free stuff. If you’re struggling to get people to sign onto your mailing list, holding a giveaway or contest is a tried-and-true method of getting people interested. Whether you’re giving away your products or some other prize bundle you think your target audience would enjoy, an email-based giveaway is relatively straightforward to put together – and it’s fun! Consider offering a discount code to a handful of runners up, too; the more rewards to go around, the better.
6) Infographics and printables
If you’re good at graphic design, consider putting together a downloadable infographic or printable PDF to use as a lead magnet. Think planners, calendars, checklists, posters: basically anything your customers might want to use to keep track or present something. You can also provide PDF versions of your blog posts or other available content on your website, visually ready to be shared and distributed.
These downloadable PDFs are great options as lead magnets as they’re relatively easy to produce so that you can be adding more to your website all the time. Plus, if it’s something your audience makes use of, it’s great for boosting that brand recognition.
7) Tickets to a digital (or in-person) event
Whether you’re holding a webinar, an exclusive Zoom call, or an in-person meet-up, providing digital tickets to an event is another high-converting lead generation tactic worth trying. The world is your oyster when it comes to online events: you can organize a tutorial, a Q&A, or even something more social. In-person events might include exclusive sales, meet-ups, or product launches. Inviting an expert guest speaker can also be a natural pull, so you may wish to reach out to names in your field and see if they’d be willing to come along.
While putting on an event like these requires some planning and perhaps a financial investment, your user base might find it very useful and insightful. This, combined with the perceived exclusivity of a ticketed event, leads to high signups, so it’s well worth all the effort. Plus, much like a Facebook group, events like these are an excellent opportunity to know your user base better!
I hope you’ve found something that suits your needs from this list of ideas. If you select the right combination, you’ll be rolling in signups! The next question you need to ask yourself is how you’ll retain these customers for life.
Rose Atkinson-Carter is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors with the world’s best self-publishing resources and professionals like editors, designers, and ghostwriters. She lives in London.
7 Creative Magnets for Generating Leads