Lead magnets

A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details.

In other words, lead magnets are created to add value to a customer in a way that showcases the features or benefits of the product with just enough of a hook that it entices the user to provide data for further sales engagement.

I see this being a really key part of any technology sales, whether for B2B or B2C – its simpler than a free trial, and therefore makes it easier to share and more support of outbound sales and marketing approaches. 

But, its not simply a case of build it and they will come.

The reality is that you need to treat a lead magnet as a micro product, it needs just as much attention in selecting what to build, you need to build a decent version of it, and you need to market it, thus, whilst lead magnets have proven success cases, they aren’t simple and there’s a technical and business debt associated, so you shouldn’t undertake this lightly.

That being said, if the lead magnet is simple enough, useful enough and well marketed (with sufficient hooks to encourage sharing of course) then its a good lead generation tool. What you then need to consider is the follow up, after all, all the leads in the world won’t convert if you don’t have a sales funnel to work them.

I think what also merits further consideration is the level of commitment a product had, versus the effectiveness of a lead magnet, sure the lead magnet might still be useful as far as introducing your business to prospective clients, but if the commitment is very high, the consideration would be very deliberate, in that sense a lead magnet has limited effect on the propensity for a prospective customer to buy, you’d need a much stronger sales funnel to support that. Conversely the simpler the product the more a lead magnet may be effective not just for lead generation, but also for conversion, an example of this is WeTansfer, where the usage of the tool itself is the lead magnet, but also part of the registration to become a free user, from which upselling into a paid user can occur.

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