Lead Magnets: Why Serving Leftovers Is A Bad Move

Conjure up visions of your favorite restaurant. Now, imagine you’ve never eaten there before. But one day, you’re walking past this restaurant you’re no longer familiar with, and you notice a couple of people out the front. They’re giving free samples away to anybody who wants one. You wander over, they offer your favorite meal […]

Lead Magnets: Why Serving Leftovers Is A Bad Move

Conjure up visions of your favorite restaurant.

Now, imagine you’ve never eaten there before. But one day, you’re walking past this restaurant you’re no longer familiar with, and you notice a couple of people out the front. They’re giving free samples away to anybody who wants one. You wander over, they offer your favorite meal (in a mini-portion size) and you dig in with gusto, until…

Ewwwwwww.

The food’s cold. It looks soggy and stale. It feels like it’s been sitting in a pie warmer for 3 or 4 days. And wait a sec… is that a maggot?

You hurl it in the nearest trashcan, shake your head and forget about ever going back there.

No restaurant would ever be dumb enough to promote themselves like that.

But online, thousands of businesses only too happy to dish up samples of warmed-over “seconds” to potential customers.

What am I talking about?

Lead magnets.

Offerings that attract prospects and form a key part of lead generation strategies all across the worldwide web. They might come in the form of eBooks, guides, reports, videos or emails courses. And while these content pieces are most popular, lead magnets can be almost anything you can give to a prospect. Trials and demos are popular for cloud applications. Service-based businesses offer free consultations or audits as lead magnets.

But they all have one thing in common: to attract potential customers with the goal of building a relationship that eventually sees them becoming paying customers.

It makes sense a lead magnet has to be good, if not incredible. If prospects don’t want it, that relationship dies before it was ever born, and you miss out. If it’s garbage, that’s what your prospect equates the business with. Either way, you’re out of luck… and a potential customer.

And while no business wants to be seen as garbage, that’s what they serve up a lot of the time. For example, you’ll see dozens of “How to Write a Killer Headline” guides being used as lead magnets in the marketing world. They all have the same rehashed tips about the length, using a benefit or wording it with little phrases like “one weird trick”. They all offer not very much to prospective customers. And yet, businesses persist in serving up this pap, wondering why so few want to bite (and those who do turn tail and run).

If you’ve got a lead generation or sales funnel that uses a lead magnet, take the time to revisit that crucial offering. Are you serving up your best dish so prospects who step through the door hang around? Or are you handing out leftovers, hoping a few who try it won’t turn up their nose?

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