Whether you call it a lead magnet, opt in, freebie, or something else, many businesses have some form of giveaway that lets potential customers get a little something free from their company in exchange for an email address. This is a great tool because it triggers reciprocity -- a human's natural desire to want to reciprocate whenever something is given to them.
Being generous in business can lead to greater loyalty and profits. These days, companies are doing this in the form of donations to the front lines, or shifting product lines to manufacture medical gowns instead of formal ones, for example. To be sure, these are big business changes -- but here's the connection to lead magnets.
When we see a lot of something, our brains judge it to be more important -- in behavioral economics this is known as availability bias. When customers see sweeping generosity from many companies who may not have had that philosophy in the past, they raise their expectations for all businesses' offerings.
To put it bluntly, even if they don't realize it, people are expecting you and your business to give more than you ever have before.
This higher expectation means your lead magnet needs to be generous and targeted to the current situation. The good news is you potentially have some staff who can work on revitalizing your old opt in to one that meets the times. Here are some things to consider when reviewing your lead magnet:
Does it still make sense?
If your lead magnet was a tip sheet for putting on in-person events, or a checklist to make sure you packed everything before your business trip, it is not going to be useful to anyone right now. Consider your expertise and how it can shift to fit today's needs (just like clothing brands that are making PPE).
What keeps people up at night?
When deciding on a direction for your new lead magnet, it is important to get into the mindset of your target market -- what are they worried about and how can you fill that gap? Perhaps a tip sheet about putting on a virtual summit or how event planners can make up lost revenues. If your opt in isn't solving a current problem, it is creating unnecessary noise that can reflect badly on your company. At best you could look oblivious and at worst you may look cold and uncaring.
Where is the quick win?
Customers' brains are overloaded with lots of extra stuff right now. That means they likely don't have the capacity for a big, cumbersome lead magnet. This is great news for you! It may feel like you need to go bigger to give more value, but that isn't necessarily true. Putting in the extra time and effort to create a clear, simple, easily implemented freebie that helps people gain some confidence or get a quick win will be more impactful.
Does it still fit your overall brand?
Sure, you could make a lead magnet that a million people would enjoy, but if they aren't also potential customers down the road it will not have the overall value for your business. Take some time to think about how this updated lead magnet ties into your company overall. Who is it for and if they wanted to buy something from you (that turns the quick win into a bigger success) how does one lead to the other? And, when we eventually emerge on the other side of this pandemic, are all these new leads you have connected to your business going to stick around? If not, reconsider the strategy.
There are more people online than ever before, and they are shaking up their routines looking for solutions to problems they had never even considered. That means there are opportunities for all sorts of companies to be helpful and become relevant to a whole new set of customers.
Though it is important to remember that the new lead magnet needs to be more about them than it is about you. Give generously and knowing that many of those people may never buy from you, and that is ok. Those who do buy may be further down the line than your regular lead cycle, and that is ok too.
Today's generosity in the form of a well crafted lead magnet will help your business to be on people's minds now and into the future.