Typical day. School run. I take the kids to school. Lots of meetings today then right at the end of the day, I was in a meeting where a member of my team referenced that she’d heard from someone who’d heard from an “expert” on digital marketing that lead magnets are dead. After I mopped up the tea I’d swished out of my mouth (yes, it really got me going), I wanted to correct a couple of misconceptions that may be holding you back in your business. You know me, I’m someone who tells the truth about what’s going on in my business with marketing and I just don’t like the idea that you’re being led up the garden path by so-called experts.
What’s a Lead Magnet and How Do You Use Lead Magnets?
We typically offer a lead magnet as free information, and we offer it in exchange for an email address. Admittedly, these days we’re offering our lead magnets to get more than an email address. It might be that we’re offering it to get a YouTube subscriber or to get a Messenger address. So it’s not just emails, though primarily we started out with emails.
The idea is you offer a piece of value to your target audience to get them to raise their hands and give you permission to email them. It’s a place to start a conversation where you can engage with that other party and find out more about their needs and explain what you have to offer. This works whether you are selling an e-commerce product, or whether you’re selling information products and coaching, as in my business. It can also work if you’re selling services. Lead Magnets Work!
Lead Magnets Have Been Around for Years!
I’ve been in business for about 22 years. When I first started out in business I didn’t have an online presence. I was using articles to attract an interested audience for several years before I got online and grew a multi-million-dollar business online. You’ll see in the example highlighted in the video above, that when I wrote the articles, right at the end, I included a call to action with an 0800 number inviting the reader to dial in for a free report. That free report was a piece of value and a call to action, offering a piece of value inviting the person to take the next step.
We didn’t call that a lead magnet back then, but that’s essentially the same strategy that was working back in 1999 to grow a business that got me corporate clients like Sony, Aviva (Norwich Union back then) and AIG. That’s how I started a relationship with all of those of organisations.
This is the same strategy that I’ve since been using online.
Lead Magnets Are Not Dead!
Here’s the thing. Lead magnets are not dead. The way that they’re used or exchanged may be different, but the strategy isn’t going away.
And the reason I’m getting on my “high horse” about this is if you’re basing your business decisions on the short-term fashion, the fads, and you’re trying to jump from the latest shiny tactic to the other, you’re never going to have a long-term business. I just shared, I’ve been in business for 22 years. I wouldn’t have stayed in business that long if I relied on what the short-term tactics were.
It’s about understanding the marketing principles that go beneath this. It’s not the lead magnet that really makes the difference. Whether you call it a lead magnet, a pink spoon, an ethical bribe, whatever you want to call it. The point behind this is having a target audience, understanding what they want, giving it to them, and making it easy to say yes.
Free information is typically the easiest thing to say yes to, particularly if you package it up in a nice PDF that’s easy for your audience to consume. Instant gratification. That always works well. Then you use that as the starting point. That isn’t changing. I really don’t care what you’ve been reading or hearing online that lead magnets are dead. They absolutely are not! What will never get old and will never be out of fashion is having this precise target audience that you want to sell to, understanding their needs, and giving it to them.
That is the reason I’ve been in business for 22 years. That is the reason I plan to be in business for at least another 22 years and counting and more. There is nothing in the world, there is no magic pill that you can take to eliminate that.
Beware of Bright Shiny Objects
The bright shiny objects are so attractive because it’s easier to jump on that and convince yourself that you’re jumping on the latest tactic than it is to actually do the work. Do you know something? Figuring out what people really want – it can make your head hurt. I’ve been in a Facebook group today for a group of people who are coming to my Sales Breakthrough event. They’re describing brain ache as they are getting really clear on what their lead magnets are for their target audience. They’re getting really clear about using compelling language that really speaks to and resonates with their target audience. That’s work, but it’s work that gets results.
We have used lead magnets to add thousands of people to my email list in the last year. Years ago, when I first started out, I needed an 0800 number, because that was the easiest way to get people to respond. We didn’t have autoresponders. We didn’t have websites for people to go to back then.
These days, people just click a link and they put in their email address and download it. It is exactly the same strategy. Black and white, last century. Full colour, automated, digital, now. Lead magnets are not dead!
That’s it from me. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you been hearing the rumours that lead magnets is dead? Was it ruffling your feathers? Was it perturbing you? I would love to know. Do leave your comment below.