Lead magnet or lead repeller – How not to attract customers | The Chameleon Guide
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Lead magnet or lead repeller – How not to attract customers

When is a lead magnet not a lead magnet? When it repels!

Have you got a lead magnet? If not, why not?  It seems the world and his wife has one these days.

A lead magnet is an item of value that you give away for free in exchange for some information about the person wanting that item – usually their email address.
They get something of value, you get a new contact for your mailing lists and hopefully someone who is more receptive to your offerings (on the assumption they were interested in your item of value).

The value item can be an e-book, a list of top tips, a how to guide, a free webinar, a diagnostic tool and so on. Generally anything you can deliver on-line.

You want to give something that leads them naturally on to your offerings. Once you’ve got their details you can then nurture them with further emails giving more valuable information. Hopefully drawing them in to trust you, so when the time is right for what you offer, you are front of mind and the person/company they will come to for that service.

That’s the theory. The reality seems to vary wildly and unless it’s done properly it can actually cause damage to the brand. The mistakes people make:

  • Demanding an email address for something that has no perceived value. I saw an interesting looking article on Facebook, but when I clicked on the link to read it, I was asked to provide an email address to get the full content. Hellooooo! This is 2016 not 2005 when that sort of practice was common.
    It made me grumpy. And I said so in the comments.  Needless to say, they didn’t get my email address and judging by the other comments, I hadn’t missed much in any case.

    • You get a download which is vaguely useful, but which is actually a thinly veiled attempt to get you to buy something.  Also very annoying as you’ve given your precious details away for little to no value.Consequently I spend a lot of time unsubscribing from things. Sometimes less successfully than others. Note to companies – If I have unsubscribed, it means I no longer wish to get emails from you. Ever. Again. The days of it taking a week before your name can be removed are also long gone.
      • You get a download which is actually pretty good and has some useful tips or adds value.
        Then, before you know it, you are bombarded with a squillion emails a day telling you about an amazing offer that you NEED to take advantage of in the next five seconds otherwise it’s going to be gone and rather than only pay $29, it will go up to the usual price of $799. Yeah, right and I can tap-dance blindfolded on a tightrope 300 feet off the ground. In the dark.

        • And the one that prompted this article.
          A company, let’s call it Jet Sweet; I must already be on their mailing list as they sent me an email about a report on benchmarking in the Professional Services arena.  Very interesting I thought to myself and downloaded it.  And yes, it was a fascinating read and I shall probably write a blog about how the findings can be interpreted for the smaller service business.Within half an hour I had a phone call, except no-one was there when I picked up the phone. I then got another call a few minutes later to be spoken to by someone who had clearly been hauled off the streets at 9am that morning and plonked in front of a telephone and told to talk to me. She stumbled over her words, she had no personality and clearly couldn’t operate beyond a script.  Her opening gambit was – I see you’re interested in buying our product.  Errr? And you are from? Oh Jet Sweet. Remind me again what you do?  And by the way, no, I’m not interested in buying your product, I was interested in the document I downloaded.Here’s how to do it all wrong:

            • Mistake #1 – provide a valuable research paper, but that has no relevance to your business.  I could not tell how an article on bench-marking Professional Services organisations had anything to do with an accounting package.
              • Mistake #2 – assume that because someone has downloaded your item, they are interested in your products. And immediately start badgering them. By phone preferably to make the most negative impact.
                • Mistake #3 – Get someone completely inarticulate to make those phone calls and who knows nothing about your products or how to interact with potential customers.
                  • Mistake #4 – Attempt to continue to sell even after the person has said no.  The young lady I was speaking to kept trying to pass me onto their sales executive by allegedly not understanding the pricing structure. Until I finally got her to admit that probably their accounting package wasn’t appropriate for a business of my size.
                    15 minutes of my life wasted.

          In summary

          Bad lead magnets don’t provide real value, they are used as thinly veiled excuses to sell to you immediately and having got your email address are used to bombard you with hundreds of offers and then make it very difficult for you to unsubscribe.

          Don’t be the type of business that does this – these are lead repellers and you’ll alienate your potential customer base.

          Good lead magnets provide real value and are the start of an on-going conversation where your subscribers are happy to receive more emails because they add value and leave them receptive to any sales offers when they do come through.  And really good ones will be referred on. There are certain businesses who provide immense value on-line and I tell others about them.

          That’s a pretty good outcome for a lead magnet too.

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About the Author:

About Karen Espley, blogging for The Chameleon GuideKaren Espley of The Chameleon Guide works with ambitious small business owners on her Profit Accelerator Programme. She brings pragmatic and real world advice in a group setting to help her clients make a significant difference to their business through increasing profits and running a highly effective business.

Offering workshops and group profit programmes for companies wanting to reach their full potential.