5 Keys to a Successful Lead Magnet

Contrary to what you may think, not all lead magnets are created equal. This can be particularly challenging for entrepreneurs that work in passion-based industries.

The reason being, most passion-based entrepreneurs are SOOOO knowledgeable and passionate about getting their clients the results they’re looking for, that they often BLOW THEM AWAY with knowledge.

Sort of like killing a fly with a BAZOOKA … it’s too much!

Let me tell you a little story. This is funny and a little sad, but what the heck, we all start somewhere.

One of my first ever “official” lead magnets was put together back in 2010. At the time we had just celebrated 12 years in business and honestly, I was a little cocky.

So I put this lead magnet together. I didn’t do a buyer persona or think at all about what the customer wanted. I just knew what they needed, so I had this epiphany …

What people really need is somebody like me to come in and tell them the truth, lay it on the line and just stuff them full of killer content.

So my idea was – 30 Tips in 30 Days. Each day, for 30 days, I was going to send an email with a quick tip, lesson or strategy. Just basically dropping knowledge. I started out strong … for the first week, then I missed a few days and got back on track. By the time I hit day 22, I was so sick of it that I didn’t even finish the 30 tips.

The funny part though, was that not 1 person called me on it. So of all the people that had signed up, they lost interest between day 1 and day 22 and didn’t even notice that I didn’t finish writing the tips.

NOT AN ENGAGED AUDIENCE.

That was a horrible lead magnet for a lot of different reasons. After many lessons learned and a lot of experience, we’ve come up with 5 KEYS or rules for lead magnets.

Any lead magnet that we’ve ever seen flop (and we’ve seen our fair share), has been because it broke one of these rules. And without a doubt, if you’ve dipped your toes in the lead magnet world and they’ve been less than successful, you can undoubtedly point it back to one of these five.

They aren’t complicated, but DO NOT underestimate the power of these rules.

Here are the Lead Magnet Success Principles in no particular order:

  1. Specific – Our goal with this lead magnet is that we want to give the prospect a specific RESULT. Once they get that result, that’s when trust is built and when the relationship building starts. We’re not trying to solve ALL their problems. We just want to solve this one nagging problem because that will show them that we know what we’re talking about – we’ve solved this problem and we can definitely solve others as well. The more specific the better.
  2. Easy to Consume – Remember my 30 tips in 30 days … that was too much. Books make horrible lead magnets because they take too long to get through. Small e-books, checklists, short videos – these are all easy to consume. The other thing we want to take in account here is how your perfect client prefers to consume their content. If you’re people don’t listen to podcasts … don’t do a podcast – they won’t consume it.
  3. Address a Known Desire – By known desire, we mean a desire your perfect prospect has. Not what you think they have, but what they’ve told you they have.
  4. Deliver Value – Value can either be real or perceived. Real value would be like – Save $50 on your first week of xyz. Perceived value can be a webinar, some killer content or teaching somebody a skill. This one can be tricky because sometimes there can be a difference of perception in terms of value. Let me give you an example: When we launched our membership site last year, part of the offering was me being on an office hours call every week. From my perspective, this had immense value. An 18-year marketing veteran just sitting on the phone waiting to answer your questions. I know what my bill rate is and that was a lot of $$$$ that we were missing out on. My audience rarely took me up on it. More often than not, I was on the phone just working on client projects. The reason being, the audience either didn’t understand the value or they didn’t see the value – it wasn’t important to them. So when you are looking at value, look at it from your customer’s perspective, not yours.
  5. Aligned with your product or service – It doesn’t have to be directly related but we need to be able to connect the two through our follow-up sequence. Let me give you an example: I have a client that runs a doggie daycare and boarding facility. So the lead magnet that we worked on was a guide to local dog-friendly hikes and beaches.

The target market was active professionals with dogs that were looking for fun outdoor activities they could do with their pets.

What made this work, was that fact that we could tie their weekend excursions to exercise and how exercising their pets made them happier and healthier on the weekends. But during the work week, the dogs wouldn’t get the exercise that they needed when they were cooped up in the house all day, so we introduced some weekday exercise packages so their dogs could be happy and healthy all week long. BINGO!

You see how that worked? We used the lead magnet to identify and call out our perfect customer. We had them pay attention to the dogs wellbeing when they were well exercised, and then simply reminded them that they don’t get that exercise during the week presently, but they could with one of our exercise packages.

So those are the 5 Keys to a Successful Lead Magnet. They are the rules that we’re going to test all of our ideas against to help reduce the chances of us putting out a stinker.

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me a lead magnet that was successful for your business?

The Perfect Landing Page Guaranteed to Make Users Opt-in

The first page users will see in your opt-in process is called your landing page.

A landing page is just a special type of web page that we use to focus the user’s attention on our offer. A great landing page has two and only two outcomes – sign-up or go away. And that’s exactly how we want it.

By putting everybody through a specific landing page, some additional benefits show up.

  1. It’s easier to log user sessions.
  2. It gives us higher conversion rates as opposed to sending traffic to a normal website page (less distraction for user’s attention).
  3. It makes it easy to split test for higher conversions.
  4. It makes it easier to calculate the ROI of your advertising campaigns.

The great news about landing pages is, that as professional marketers, we’ve been using them for years. There is A LOT of data out there about split testing, what works and what doesn’t, so even though marketing isn’t 100% science, and what works for one industry doesn’t necessarily work for another, all of this data can be pulled together to give us what we call a “best practice”.

After sending 100’s of thousands of users through hundreds of landing pages, we’ve come up with what we call The Perfect Landing page.

It has 8 unique elements:

1Headline

The goal of our headline is to grab the user’s attention and get them to continue reading.

80% of people are going to read your headline, only 20% of people are going to read any other text on the page, so if the headline isn’t compelling or if it doesn’t grab their attention – the chances of somebody grabbing your lead magnet are slim.

2Sub-Headline

The purpose of the subhead is to clearly describe the benefit of your offer. The subhead supports or reinforces the headline.

3Bullet Points

3-5 bullet points are used to highlight the benefits of your product/service or call out your Unique Value Proposition (what separates you from your competition).

4Hero Shot/Image

Landing page images can be used to show your product, introduce the team, add human interest to the page or just point to your call to action button.

5Call to Action

These buttons tell the user what to do. Click here to Sign Up. Start My Free Trial. Download my Goodies. Call to action buttons should be large, easy to read and not require the user to scroll.

6Legal & Copyright

Adding copyright and links to your terms and conditions or privacy policy page will not only put web visitors at ease, but will also keep you in the good graces of some advertising sites like Google.

7OPTIONAL: Social Proof

Pictures and testimonials from previous users adds social proof and puts web visitors at ease and lets them feel like they’re making a smart decision. If it’s good enough for Jane, then it’s good enough for me.

8OPTIONAL: Credibility Builders

Awards won, showing the logos of high profile clients, “As seen on” or “Featured in” lists showing where you’ve been highlighted, are all great ways to build trust and credibility with your audience.

There are generally three different options on how to build your perfect landing page:

1.Website Platform Made for Lead Generation

These are relatively new because sales funnels, landing pages, and all the rest are really just not becoming “main stream”. But, there are more and more coming out every day.

Pros: Integrated so there is presumably only one interface.

Cons: To integrate you would be looking at a website redesign or if you don’t have a site, a new design based on one of these themes. In the grand scheme of things, this would be a relatively pricey and longer process so it may not be a good choice for you right now.

2. Just Build it in Your Website

Either you, your developer or your contractor can build the landing page in your website.

Pros: Complete control over the look and feel.

Cons: Developers that can hand code or do custom wordpress aren’t cheap and it is more difficult to make changes on the fly because you have to go through a developer.

3. Landing Page Builder

Pros: Pre-built templates, easily integrate with email autoresponders and can use for landing pages and thank you pages.

Cons: Monthly fee. Personally I don’t like the monthly fee, but I do realize that is the way a lot of businesses are heading. The recurring revenue model makes a lot of sense for businesses, so I just make sure if I’m going to pay the recurring fee, I do it for a tool that I use.

When using one of these 3 options and incorporating the 8 unique elements, your perfect landing page is guaranteed to make users opt-in.

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me if you have a landing page, and if so, how did you build it?

Be Cool Marketing 101: Introduce Yourself

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever signed up or bought something online and then un-expectantly, you get HAMMERED with emails?

I bought a light for my wife’s meditation room from Pottery Barn and without knowing it, I was automatically on the force feed diet of promo emails. I was getting daily (sometime multiple times per day) emails about lights, sofas and everything else I would need to deck out a room.

Normally I don’t mind getting emails from larger companies. I consider it to be research. I like to see what they put together – I like to see their offers, their frequency, their design, etc.

But these guys…it was even too much for me, so I unsubscribed!

This is what we’re trying to avoid! So, as soon as somebody opts in to our list, we’re going to be totally transparent and let them know exactly when and how we’re going to communicate with them.

Simple right…. but nobody does it.

This introduction campaign is quite possibly one of the easiest campaigns that we will ever put together because most of the time, it’s only one email – but the purpose is profound.

By being very clear up front we accomplish a few different things …

  1. We set the stage for the relationship.
  2. We in essence get their OK for this type and frequency of communication.
  3. We tell them what to do next.
  4. We start to build value.

Let me give you an example….

Here’s the one I use:

SUBJECT: Welcome to Black Dog Marketing! Here’s where to start…

Hey there … Mike Linville here and I’m the Founder & CEO of Black Dog Marketing. I wanted to take a second to say hello and welcome you to the family.

Seriously, on behalf of myself and the entire Black Dog Marketing team I want you to know that we’re truly excited and grateful that you decided to join us…

Here’s what you can expect from us…

We’ll publish fresh pet marketing content to our blog once per week on Thursday, then once it’s live we’ll send you an email with a short description of the new article, why we think it’s important for you and a link to read the full article.

We’ll also send you emails about new expert Black Dog Marketing courses, software and other cool premium resources from time to time BUT only once we’ve vetted them.

Sound fair?

GOOD! 😉

Here’s what you need to do now to get started…

STEP 1: Make sure you’re getting our emails! 

Whitelist and prioritize all emails from “blackdogmarketing.com” and “Mike Linville”.

This is important!

If our emails aren’t getting through, you’ll miss all the important updates about what’s working in pet marketing right now (and you won’t receive the full benefit of being a Black Dog Marketing subscriber).

So please take the following simple actions to make sure nothing slips through the cracks:

1) Follow the whitelisting instructions for your email provider at this page:

Email Whitelisting

2) If you are a Gmail user or you use any other web-based email that filters broadcasts away from your main inbox, be sure to “drag” any emails from Black Dog Marketing or “Mike Linville” into your Priority Inbox. (Again, you don’t want to miss something.)

3) Create a special “Black Dog Marketing” folder where you can archive emails from BDM as well as “Mike Linville” AFTER you have read them. This is important…DO NOT setup filters to automatically direct our emails into these folders, or again, you are likely to miss something. Simply move them manually to the folder after the information in the email has been consumed.

STEP 2: Let’s get social …

Take two-seconds and join Black Dog Marketing on Facebook or Twitter, as these are our primary methods of communication outside of email updates, and again you won’t want to miss a thing:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackdogmarketing

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blkdogmktg

Talk soon,

Mike Linville, CEO, Black Dog Marketing

P.S. Did you know there are actually 5 different reasons to market your pet business?… and building a big business in only one of them.

I’ll give you all 5 tomorrow, but for now spend a little time thinking about what it could be. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get more benefit from the “thought experiment” than from the answer itself.

Be cool, and introduce yourself when somebody opts in to your list. Let them know what they can expect and when to expect it. Being transparent will reduce the number of unsubscribes to your list drastically.

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me how do you introduce yourself to your subscribers?

Get Leads to Opt-in with These Alternative Methods

No doubt about it … landing pages will undoubtedly give you the best results when encouraging prospective customers to opt-in your lead magnet, but there are a couple of other methods that should not be overlooked.

1. Sidebar Opt-in

  • Great options inside of a blog-based website
  • Form or Graphic
  • Key is to make them stand out
  • fiverr.com or canva.com

2. In Content Opt-in

  • Many options for placement – top of content, in content, bottom of content
  • Form in page
  • Graphics that link out to landing page or popup
  • Great success with these because when they’re done right – you’re making an offer that makes sense. It’s like saying … Hey I hope you enjoyed this article about X, would you like to learn even more – check this out.
  • Great marketing is the right offer to the right people at the right time…this definitely takes advantage of the right time

3. Popup Windows

I know a lot of you aren’t fans of the popup window, but I would ask you to keep an open mind here because it’s not really about what you like…it’s about the customer and people still use these because they work.

The cool thing is, popups have been around forever but they’ve gotten more sophisticated over time. Now we can only show them once every 10 times you visit the site, or after 30 seconds on the same page, or only when you’re leaving the site.

I use what are called “exit intent” popups. My popup window only shows up under certain circumstances and only when you’re leaving the page. So when somebody moves their cursor up to the top of their browser like they’re going to either close the browser window or go to type in a new web address, then the popup shows up and is like … Hey!!! Before you go, don’t forget your free gift!

Again, I am very non-aggressive with these and I’ve seen conversion rates from 7.5% all the way up to 13%. That’s 13% of the people that are leaving my site stop and give me their email address.

Here are some links to some Opt-in Software Programs:

There you go. Now you know some alternative opt-in methods that I recommend you play with – test them out and see which ones work for you.

If you’re generating the right type of traffic you don’t want to let these people slip through your fingers so easily. You’ve already done the hard part of getting them on your website…now you just have to offer them your free cool stuff. Who doesn’t like that?

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me what opt-in methods have you tried?

Fill Your Cup with Value Using These 6 Marketing Campaign Types

Question: What is a campaign?
Answer: A series of communications and actions with a specific purpose and a desired outcome.

The reason it’s important to think in terms of campaigns is because the relationship you have with your prospects is a delicate one. Especially early on in the relationship.

If we just start sending random messages to our newly added prospects, they are either going to unsubscribe or just stop responding to our emails.

Getting a prospect on our list is important, but keeping them on the list and engaged is a whole different ballgame.

I think about it like this …

My relationship with my customers and prospects is like a glass of water.

It starts out empty and then every time I add some value to the relationship, it fills up a little. I can fill it up with a ton of different actions including; a great service provided, a compelling blog post, a thank you card, a free downloadable thing, a coupon, etc. These are all relationship building activities that fill up our cup.

Anytime I ask something of the relationship – download this, signup for this, buy this – I’m in essence emptying that cup and our relationship goes back to even. Now, before I can ask anything else from my prospects or clients, I need to get busy filling that cup back up.

This is why it’s important to think of campaigns. We don’t want to have our backs against the wall and just start shooting emails at random because we need to fill up some time-slots. This is what we call “SPRAY AND PREY” marketing and it does not work.

Instead of this reactionary marketing, we want to be thoughtful and purposeful in our communications. This is where campaigns come in. By thinking about the communication and where we are at in the relationship building process, we can actually plan out our marketing in advance and the results will be better.

There are 6 different types of marketing campaigns.

Campaign #1: Introduction

This is one of the first things a user will see when they opt-in for one of our lead magnets. The purpose of this campaign is to set the tone of the relationship with the prospect.

Campaign #2: Engagement

You’ve heard everybody talking about engagement but how do you get it? This campaign’s goal is to get your new prospect engaged with your business and to take the relationship deeper.

Campaign #3: Ascension

This campaign is used to sell prospects or customers large ticket items with your company. For example: if you just groomed a new prospects dog, you may have an ascension campaign that tries to sell the person on a large ticket grooming package.

Campaign #4: Re-Engagement

As much as I’d like to think I’m perfect at nurturing my prospects and customers – I’m not. So over a period of time a certain portion of my list became disengaged. They haven’t unsubscribed, but they just aren’t clicking like they used to. A re-engagement campaign is used to get them interested in our stuff again.

Campaign #5: Segmentation Campaign

We know that good marketing is all about putting the right message in front of the right customer at the right time. So, the more we know about our list, the better we can serve them. Segmentation campaigns are used to get information from our list so that we can break it down further into more specific segments. Some great examples of this type of campaign are surveys or segment specific content.

Campaign #6: Nurture

When we run specific types of campaigns, they run for a relatively short period of time and then we fall back into more passive mode of staying in front of our audience. This method of staying in front of our peeps is called nurturing and we do this with a nurture campaign. During a nurture campaign you are basically just staying in front of your audience providing value while waiting for your next active campaign to start.

Use these campaigns to add value to your relationship with your potential customers. Keep filling that cup with water!

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me what type of campaign have you been using in your business?