Small Business Magnetism – how using lead magnets can grow your business

I’m not a fan of marketing jargon if I’m honest with you, but sometimes there’s just no escape, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been seeing ‘lead magnet’ everywhere.

Let me break the mystery and guide you through what a lead magnet is, and why you need one to strengthen your digital marketing efforts.

Magnet attracting leads to your small business in Derbyshire

What is a lead magnet?

We all know what a lead is, right?

It’s a potential customer that might buy from you, someone at the start of the sales process that you need to convert into a paying client. We need to be sure that our ‘leads’ are attractive to us – that they belong to our target audience and are what we’ve identified as our ‘ideal customer.’

The ‘magnet’ is what we use to attract our ideal customers to us.

It’s a piece of content that your target audience will see as attractive and lead them through the doors of your website, enabling the sales process to get started.

A lead magnet attracts the right leads to you by being attractive to your target audience

Now your lead magnet needs to offer value. When you see a freebie on social media and it asks for your email address, you tend to think twice before giving it, right? You need to make sure that the lead magnet is so valuable to your ideal customer that there are no doubts in their mind whatsoever.

Common examples include:

  • Free email course
  • eBook of pdf
  • A kit or guide to creating something – a marketing plan, for example
  • A webinar
  • Templates

There’s a lot you can offer, and you need to ensure it’s appropriate for your business, but the one thing you really do need to be clear on – no selling!

This is content marketing.

That means your lead magnet needs to be helpful and informative. You need to ensure it meets your target audience’s pain points and either solves them or shows them the solution (which will be the service or product you happen to sell).

A small business owner using a magnet to attract revenue through content marketing

If a lead magnet isn’t selling, how can it benefit my business?

Traditionally, lead magnets are used to grow an email subscriber list.

In return for the freebie, you get an email address that you can use to grow a relationship with your leads. Using a series of emails, sharing blog posts and other content and engaging with your target audience enables you to develop the trust and rapport that will turn them into customers.

There seems to be some debate on the future of email subscriber lists thanks to the introduction of GDPR. If you decide that this isn’t a route you want to be going down, a lead magnet can still be useful to you, because:

  • You can share it on social media to raise your brand profile
  • It gets your target audience landing on your website
  • You can introduce paid offerings on the thank you page
  • It improves your SEO when people spend time on your website, improving your search result ranking

Picture of a phone with GDPR because lead magnets are still legal

Can lead magnets be GDPR compliant?

Yes, they can.

Although it seems contradictory to collect personal data to give a free resource according to GDPR, there is some provision in place that enables businesses to continue to do so. It says that:

There should be a legitimate reason for processing the data (i.e., the email address) that’s consistent with the service being offered. For example, a company selling peanuts could collect email addresses from a lead magnet that’s ’10 recipe ideas using peanuts’, as a legitimate interest has been shown in the goods.

It’s reasonable for the data to be handled. You couldn’t handle the data for something that is out of interest according to the sign-up. So, if the lead magnet was a free ebook on SEO services and you used the email address to promote a gym membership, for example. Anything you use that email address for has to be directly related to the original legitimate interest.

There should be a minimal invasion of privacy. Make sure the mailing list program you use is GDPR compliant, or EU Privacy Shield if they’re in the US, and that you have the correct privacy policies, etc. in place.

Specific consent has been given that is clearly unambiguous. No pre-filled tickboxes, but a statement explaining what the individual will receive if they give their email address that’s clear and specific.

Data processing will stop when consent is withdrawn. You must make it easy to unsubscribe from your email list and stop any data processing once that has been done, with immediate effect.

If you have concerns about GDPR, you can find some information and a useful checklist to help guide you through the process of making your business compliant here.

Why might a lead magnet not work for my business?

Often, a lead magnet will fail when it hasn’t been planned properly.

You should be identifying how you’re going to turn the leads you acquire into sales and work backward when creating your lead magnet.

  • What do you want them to do after they’ve downloaded the freebie?
  • What’s the next step in your sales strategy?
  • How will you engage with your leads after you’ve collected their email address?
  • What’s going to stop them from unsubscribing from your list?

If you’re not clear on those answers, you will struggle to turn those captured leads into paying customers.

To find out more about how a lead magnet can help you build your business, and how we can help create and implement it for you, get in touch with me today.

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