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If there’s one thing we want you to take away from our fine selection of Blue Corona blog posts, it’s that your small business website is a lead generation machine. If you don’t have that concept top of mind when you’re thinking about your website, you probably aren’t getting as many leads as you can.
To maximize your website’s lead-generating power, you want to pay serious attention to your lead magnets. As a local business owner, the only leads that matter are in your service area, right? Lead magnets attract qualified leads in your service area. They may not convert right away, but when they work together with a lead nurturing strategy, they create a strong pull towards your business that grows over time.
Reelin’ in the Leads
Let’s segue for a moment. No one expected jazz-rock juggernaut Steely Dan to win the Grammy for Album of the Year with their comeback release “Two Against Nature” in 2001. Steely Dan didn’t even expect to win. But they beat out Eminem, Beck, Radiohead, and perennial Grammy favorite Paul Simon. How did this happen? Did Boomer Grammy judges rise up to defeat rap and “alternative” whippersnappers? Or did Becker and Fagen simply offer the public the ultimate lead magnet—new material from an old favorite? It’s the same (er, almost the same) with small business websites. No one expects your site to attract more leads than big national companies with inflated marketing budgets—but you can win leads in your area if you offer the right content. And often, it’s lead magnets that take you to the finish line.
The Best Lead Magnets Give More than They Ask in Return
A lead magnet’s purpose is to get contact information from a visitor who expresses interest in your product or service. So obviously you don’t want to give too much away—in the end, you want to convert. But you can offer something of value without giving away the store.
Think about the questions your customers ask you. What are they most in need of when they come to you? What do you wish your customers knew before they came to you?
Proven Lead Magnets for Small Business Websites
- Short e-books – Is your service complicated? Do you solve complex problems? Your e-book could help prep prospects for your offerings. Consider ideas like these:
- What You Need to Know Before You Hire a Remodeler
- How to Choose the Right Warranty
- Renovations that Will Increase Your Home’s Resale Value
- A guide or kit – Buyers’ guides are great magnets. If you sell heaters and coolers, a buyers’ guide that explains SEER and AFUE ratings and how they can affect home energy bills is a valuable offering.
- Informational email series – Email series work for a lot of different businesses. If you own a greenhouse, you could offer a series of emails that guide a reader through the process of starting a kitchen garden. Or, if you install or sell home appliances, windows, or HVAC equipment, you could send an email series that explains the pros and cons of all the different energy-efficient products on the market.
What do you gain in return for providing this free expertise? A name and email address and a chance to audition your skills to a qualified lead.
Lead Magnet Must-Haves
Your small business website’s lead magnets must be:
- Specific – Don’t offer a newsletter full of “helpful hints” or an e-book about “great ideas.” Be clear about what the visitor will receive in return for giving you her information. Think along the lines of “The 10 Most Effective Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill” or “5 Things You Must Know Before Hiring an Electrician.”
- Immediately useful – This is part of being specific, but it goes further than that. Your lead magnet content should provide value right away—enough so that the subscriber feels justified in signing up. Promo codes for savings, a free consultation, or free shipping all provide near-instant gratification.
- Easy to access – Make sure the information gets right to the subscriber. It shouldn’t require a complicated downloading process or a long series of required questions.
Another key: Thank your prospect for subscribing or signing up. This can be done via an automated email or a thank-you page that appears after the visitor has subscribed. It’s good manners—and a small gesture that goes a long way!
A Good Lead Magnet is Worth the Effort
Yes, it takes work to create high-quality lead magnets. But if they’re done well, they bring you highly qualified leads. Need more inspiration? Check out some of Blue Corona’s lead magnets. If there was a Grammy for lead magnets, I think we’d be another surprise upset.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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