The Marketing Automation Discussion
The Marketing Automation Discussion
Making Better Lead Magnets | Kevin McGrath, Beacon

Making Better Lead Magnets | Kevin McGrath, Beacon


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Recently I was very lucky to talk to Kevin McGrath from Beacon. Beacon is a lead magnet creation and capture tool designed to easily collect email addresses from visitors. In this episode, we talked about how to research and make effective lead magnets.

This is really interesting to me because Kevin has 55,000 users on the application form which he can draw experience and data. So it was very insightful to get some really tactical information on how to better run lead magnet campaigns.

If you would like to read my summarized version of the interview (they are not direct quotations), read more.

Where should you use lead magnets?

What you get out of lead magnets will depend on what stage of the funnel you’re targeting.

Depending on whether you are targeting people who are problem-aware (top of funnel, or TOFU) or solution-aware (bottom of funnel, or BOFU) you should expect different results.

If you are targeting the top of the funnel, then expect to get a lot of subscribers but not many direct conversions. That’s OK.

If you are targeting the bottom of the funnel, then you will need to be looking at direct conversions from the landing page.

What’s the difference between TOFU versus BOFU lead magnets?

In short:

  • TOFU lead magnets will be very broad and general in nature. You’re looking for a high volume of leads but not necessarily direct conversions.

  • BOFU, you will be looking to create very specific magnets to nurture and converting leads on the landing page.

Lead magnets are not always about getting as many leads as you can. This is a common area where people get stuck.

What are some examples of TOFU vs BOFU lead magnets?

Some examples:

  • At the top of the funnel, content like templates, checklists, and similar items work quite well.

  • At the bottom of the funnel, things like playbooks and walkthroughs are more suitable here.

Video generally works well across the whole funnel.

For example, you can use video by curating a collection of related videos about a topic an offer them to capture leads at the top of the funnel. However the same content at the bottom of the funnel wouldn’t work as well because it is curated.

In contrast, however, a product walkthrough that is not a demo but is useful and incorporates your product, may perform very well at the bottom of the funnel.

👉 A factor to consider here is the price point of your product or service.

If for example, you provide a very high-end expensive service in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, then you may invest in customized research for the bottom of the funnel.

On the other hand, if you have a very cheap month-to-month product, then the investment may be as simple as a document checklist.

What is an example of a MOFU lead magnet?

Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) lead magnets generally target people who are problem aware but are unsure of the solution.

These may be questions regarding which solution to use or whether they really need a solution in the first place.

You can think of the jobs to be done methodology, and recognize that you need to help people move away from the current state of doing things, using your content.

An example may be thinking about how to show them what they’re not doing and how that impacts them, and in turn, expose them to opportunities to use your solution to solve a problem.

Is there a difference between SaaS and service firm lead magnets?

Generally, SaaS and service firm lead magnets are the same.

The differences in lead magnets tend to be between B2C and B2B audiences. For B2C, you’re typically looking at providing major discounts in return for an email. For B2B, you’re not as interested in discounts because the customer is not as price sensitive.

What are some of your favorite techniques for finding ideas?

There are lots of different ways to research lead magnet ideas. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Feedback on webinars. During webinars, you may find different topics that people are interested in learning more about which can be turned into lead magnet ideas.

  • Customer support feedback. Customers may give you messages or comments on help articles such as negative reactions that can help give you insight into some of the areas of they’re struggling with. If the area that they are struggling with is not suitable for a help article, it may be suitable for a lead magnet.

  • Live chat logs. Sometimes you’ll find that your users or customers just want to talk about a topic in general. You may find some good ideas come out of these conversations when you identify their pain points. Something we do here is to give users a multiple choice email which we can use to collect qualitative data on where they are struggling.

How many lead magnets should you have at a time?

Some people only make two or three lead magnets per year, but you generally need much more than that.

Aim to have at least 3 lead magnets for every stage of the funnel. That would be a total of 9 league magnets for the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.

But don’t stop there.

Over time your lead magnets will become a little stale so you will need to revisit them and freshen them up a bit. We may consider testing new magnets to add to your stock and replace older, and low-performing lead madness.

If you use the content upgrade approach, then you will need one lead magnet for every major blog post.

How do you evaluate lead magnet ideas?

Originality is one of the best gauges of whether you are creating a good lead magnet.

If you start an idea with enthusiasm and find as you go through that there is no original research being used, then that should be a warning sign. You like you may want to consider whether or not the lead magnet is a good idea or if you have done enough research.

Doing original research is easier than you might think.

For example, you could simply review a marketing practice across 100 websites in an afternoon and come to some original conclusions based on a survey of this type of information.

Do two-stage opt-ins perform better than form fields?

Yes, generally 2 stage lead magnets where users click a button and then enter their information perform better than straight form-field opt-ins.

If you use the fields directly, you may find that users can become blind to these types of meat magnets.

How do you promote a lead magnet?

I would say there are three levels to lead magnet promotion.

1) Basics

  • Share on social like Twitter, Facebook, etc 3–5 months in advance

  • Email to your list (attach, because you already have the email…)

  • Suggest to readers that if they like it, share the landing page link

Note that you may not promote heavily every lead magnet. Some may be more valuable than others so you will focus your efforts on these.

2) Longer-term

  • Make sure the landing page is optimized for search

  • Link to your lead magnet from different places on your website, like your nav bar

You can’t have a hundred lead magnets in your navigation bar, but you can have a resource library. Have a look at the resource library feature we offer at Beacon for some ideas.

3) Specific

  • Connect to blogs

  • connect to companies and foster relationships around content

This is the step where you implement more unique tactics based on the actual lead magnet you have produced.

Can lead magnet landing pages rank in search?

Yes, you can rank lead magnets in search. Make sure the page is optimized for the right keyword and you can use some snippets from the lead magnet itself to add content to the page.

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