Lead Magnets for Local Businesses : You Don’t Have to Be Online to Market Like You Are

lead magnets for local businesses

 

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!

Lead Magnets 101 – Your Online Outreach Tool

lad magnet

 

Today, I want to talk about something every business with an online presence should have, the lead magnet. (I’m working on mine this week.) They go by many names:

  • opt-In/sign up incentives
  • ethical bribes
  • freemiums
  • free gifts
  • content upgrades
  • free downloads

So it’s alright if you haven’t heard them called lead magnets before. I think, however, you know WHAT they are – those magical, wonderful, hopefully valuable items that you get when you sign up for someone’s email list.

Types of Lead Magnets

They typically take one of these common forms:

  • discount coupon
  • free, short consultation
  • short ebook or white paper-type report
  • one to two page resource – checklist, tip sheet, cheat sheet, etc.
  • free trial – software, online community, courses, etc.
  • templates – emails, Facebook ads, LinkedIn profiles, etc.
  • audio files
  • training/how to videos
  • quiz/assessment

There’s nothing wrong with any of these.  And just because everyone else is your business is using a free trial or a discounted coupon does NOT mean you have to, as well. When it comes to choosing your lead magnet, your audience may surprise you as to what works best.

Which brings me to another point – when choosing the type of lead magnet to use for your business, go with ones that YOUR PROSPECTS find most engaging and interesting. Experiment with what you offer until you find one that really clicks and has them signing up for your email list in droves.

Don’t make the mistake, however, of leaving it there for all eternity. It WILL get stale after a while. Switch it out with new content once numbers start to drop off. Fresh lead magnets every few months can really kickstart your opt-in rates again. And don’t be afraid to change the type of lead magnet, either. As your customers grow and change, you may find yourself with a whole new market to woo and win than you had this time last year.

Make Your Lead Magnet Valuable

Reread my description up there. Notice the word “valuable” in it? Don’t make the mistake I see many make – a lead magnet that’s 10% value, 90% advertisement for their latest greatest offer. If you PROMISE a great freebie, GIVE a great freebie. Remember, it’s ALWAYS all about them. Don’t slip up and create a lead magnet that breaks that rule.

Also, make your lead magnet relevant. There is a bit of a difference to relevant content and valuable content, by the way. I can create something very valuable in a holiday marketing idea sheet, but it’s not going to be very relevant here in June. I can also create a rather relevant, summer marketing ideas guide, but if the ideas aren’t that great, or they are just regurgitated from someone else, they won’t be of much value.

Shoot for BOTH – relevancy AND value – and you’ll have a lead magnet they’ll clamor to get their hands on.

Lead Magnets Don’t Have to Be Fancy

Don’t sweat and stress over the “fanciness” of your lead magnets. Focus on value and relevancy. You can create a quite passable lead magnet using the free version of Canva. Or a nifty little video with Lumen5. Or just your mobile phone’s camera. UNLESS you are selling graphic design or video production, no one is going to care much about the looks or style of the thing. (I would recommend you do a BIT of branding so they remember who you are whenever they use it/view it.) The VALUE it has to offer is MUCH more important than how pretty it is.

Need a Lead Magnet?

Here’s the part where I offer you my services. You knew it was coming. And the answer is, why yes, I can write your lead magnet content and copy for you. Whether you want a video or audio script, or an ebook, report, or a one page resource, I can do that for you. Contact Bloomers Marketing today. We’ll get you all valued up.