So, you’re the florist on the corner. The coffee shop next to the courthouse. The diner down the street. You don’t have much in the way of an online “business” – maybe a “presence” or some reviews, but that’s about it. You don’t need a lead magnet, do you? Lead magnets for local businesses CAN be a vital part of any local marketing campaign. Today, we’re going to show you how.
Lead Magnets for Local Businesses – Step 1: The PLAN
As in everything with your marketing efforts, you should start with a plan. A reason WHY you are contemplating a lead magnet. What types of leads are you looking for? Online lead magnets generally “lead” people into an email series, which helps convert them into buyers. You can do the same with your brick and mortar local business, but lead magnets for local businesses can serve many purposes. They include:
- building a mailing list
- creating an email list
- reaching new customers and bringing in new business
- reigniting former customers you haven’t seen in a while
- introducing a new product or service
- announcing your new online “property” – website, estore, social page, etc.
Decide which of these you want to accomplish, and we’ll go from there.
Lead Magnets for Local Businesses – Step 2: The Nature of the Beast
Now that you know what you want to do with your lead magnet, now we have to decide how you’re going to do that. What sort of lead magnet will you use? Here are some suggestions, based on successful campaigns in the past:
- a coupon – real AND digital – for a discount, free product or service, or an “add-on” product or service with purchase of another
- a coupon to apply to “your next purchase” – great way to bring them back in again
- free information that applies to one of your products or services – how to keep your bouquet fresh, how to prepare for your carpet cleaning, which product is right for your hair, DIY instructions for doing or making something on their own, etc. – this shows them you care about them and want them to be able to use your products and services to THEIR best advantage
- free information PLUS a discount coupon for a new product or service – educate and inform them about your new addition AND entice them to give it a try
- a simple postcard or business card dropped in their package or handed to them with their receipt announcing their new opportunity to find you online
Notice how all of these add VALUE to your customers’ experience with you. That’s what lead magnets do for your customer – they help the customer see you as a valuable resource, as THE source, for what your business has to offer. Both online and in the brick and mortar world, the more valuable your lead magnet is for your customers, the more effective it will be as a marketing tool.
Lead Magnets for Local Businesses – Step 3: Getting It in Front of Folks
Your lead magnet can be a perfectly crafted piece of valuable content. It can be directed at your ideal customer. But until that ideal customer knows of its existence, it’s not going to do much for your business. The next step in our lead magnet campaign is to get it in front of its intended audience. And that is determined by the GOAL you chose in Step 1. Let’s break those down:
- Mailing lists, email lists, introducing something new, making announcements – All of these should be directed to your general market. Everyone who is a customer or potential customer should be given the offer or opportunity to participate. For existing customers, the best place and way to make them aware is at the check out counter. Here’s where a postcard, coupon, or other “drop in” comes into play. For a mailing list, have a box on the counter. Provide them with the card, and let them do the rest. For emails, you can remind them to do it once they get home, through your online email app, or right there, via mobile. Your new offer can be on hand – either in physical or graphic form – for them to explore and evaluate. Announcements of online goodies can be made in a variety of ways, from a script your cashier says, to signage in the store.
- Reigniting old customers and/or reaching new ones – These two present a different, but not necessarily more difficult challenge. You can’t use in-store tactics because they aren’t in your store. You have to reach out. There are a variety of ways to do this, using both traditional and digital methods. The US Postal Service has a service for mailing a direct mail piece (postcard, flyer, brochure, or letter) to every address within an area of your choosing. It’s quite economical and easy to use. The newspaper and other local outlets like radio may be a choice, if you’ve got the money for the investment. And then there’s the digital world. If you have social media properties already, use them. Tweet about it. Use Insta or Pinterest and let them SEE what they’ve been missing. Blog about it. Get all of your Facebook fans talking about it. You could, if you have the skills or the money to invest, create a Facebook ad campaign to get the word out, too. Combining offline, traditional marketing and online methods has been shown to be more effective than relying on strictly one way or the other.
You may find that your inhouse people need a bit of coaching or even a script to help them talk to customers about your lead market campaign. That’s perfectly natural. Not everyone has the natural ability to explain new concepts or entice less-than-enthusiastic prospects, and lead magnets for local businesses aren’t exactly common yet. Help can be had, even with something as simple as pointers on an index card.
Lead Magnets for Local Businesses and You
Do you have a lead magnet for your local business? If so, let us know about it in the comments, please. If not, and you’d like to give the idea a try, or wonder just what it would look like for YOUR local business, please contact us here at Bloomers. We can help with all the steps, from planning, to creating, to creating awareness. Get started creating a lead magnet for your local business today!