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You’ve got to spend money to make money.

That’s what they say, right? And yet, for some small business owners, a generous marketing budget just isn’t in the cards.

You can skimp on marketing, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t considered something that you should be thinking about…

And that’s the lifetime value of each loyal customer you attract with your marketing campaigns.

You know that it costs more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one – but how much can you really afford to spend to attract a new customer?

Knowing the lifetime value of your customers is the key to creating a workable budget for marketing. That number should dictate how much you spend. Spend too much and you’re losing money in the long run. Spend too little – and you’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your business.

How to Calculate Your Lifetime Customer Value

Don’t know how to calculate the lifetime value of your customers? Here’s a simple, five-step process to get to the number you need.
  1. Start with your company’s total revenue in the past year and divide it by the total number of purchases in the same period. The resulting number is your average purchase value.
  2. Next, take your total number of purchases in the past year and divide it by the number of unique customers who made purchases. The resulting number is your average purchase frequency rate. (Note: if you make a log of cash sales and don’t request an email, then this number may not be accurate.)
  3. Take your average purchase value and subtract the average purchase frequency rate from it. That gives you the customer value per year.
  4. Calculate the average number of years a customer continues to buy from you. If you’ve been tracking unique purchases this shouldn’t be difficult. This number is the average customer lifespan.
  5. Now, multiply the customer value by the average customer lifespan to get the lifetime value of your customer.
Let’s look at an example. Here are your raw numbers:
  • $100,000 in annual revenue
  • 250 purchases
  • 150 unique customers
Your average purchase value would be $400. You would then take that number and divide it by 150 to get your average purchase frequency rate, which is 2.67.

Next, you would subtract your average purchase frequency rate from your average purchase value to get $397.33, your customer value per year. If you keep your customers, on average, for 10 years, your customer lifetime value would be $3,973.30.

That’s a very simple example but it illustrates the point. This business has a lifetime customer value of nearly $4,000.

How to use Customer Lifetime Value in Marketing

You know your customer lifetime value – now what?

The short answer is that you’ve got a piece of information that can help you attract more customers and make better use of your marketing budget.

But… what does that mean in practical terms? Here are some actionable ways to use your CLV to your advantage in marketing.

Identify Your Most Profitable Customers

If you’ve been tracking unique customer data, then it’s worth your time to crunch the numbers and learn about who your most valuable customers are.

For example, you might look at your LCV by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Location
  • Income
These basic demographics can help you do a better job of targeting your marketing campaigns to the people who are most likely to be profitable to you in the long run.

Identify Your Most Profitable Marketing Channel.

You should also calculate your most profitable marketing channel based on the number of new customers you acquire.

Perhaps you have been running marketing campaigns on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google AdWords
  • Pinterest
Crunching the numbers might reveal that your spending on Google AdWords is earning you a significantly lower return than your Facebook advertising. Knowing that can help you take the next step.

Increase Your New Customer Acquisition Spending

It costs more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones, but once you know your LCV, you may discover that your new customer acquisition spending is on the low side.

You don’t need to send your spending through the roof. However, you can and should look at what you’re spending compared to the LCV you’ve calculated. If you’re spending only a tiny fraction of the LCV to acquire a new customer, it may be worthwhile to spend a bit more in that area going forward.

Allocate Your Marketing Budget to Maximize Customer Value

Your lifetime customer value might not be as high as you want it to be. The good news is that there are things you can do to increase it.

For example, say that you have learned that the people who follow you on Facebook are your most engaged and profitable customers. That’s great information to have.

Instead of sinking money into something that might not be getting you a big return, you can allocate more of your marketing budget to Facebook. Some of it may go toward attracting new customers, but you should also spend some time trying to get existing customers to buy more frequently and spend more money.

One way to do that is to offer return customers discounts or to create a loyalty program. If you can inspire your existing customers to buy more often, then you’ll be driving up your LCV every time they do.

At the same time, incentivizing your existing customers may also attract new customers to your business. You can encourage your followers to invite their friends to your page or allow them to share a discount code or coupon with their friends.

Your Customers Are Valuable

Every customer you have contributes to your company’s success and profitability. Understanding just how much each customer is worth to you can help you do a better job of attracting new customers, increasing their lifetime value, and maximizing your profits.

Why You Should be Doing SMS Marketing Right Now

What does your marketing mix include?

If you’re like most local businesses, you’re probably doing a mix of online and offline marketing. You might be engaging with customers on social media, hosting local events, blogging, and advertising in the local paper. Perhaps you’ve even targeted mobile customers by using Facebook’s “Call Now” button on your ads.

But guess what? There’s one thing that you’re probably not doing that could help you connect with customers when they’re most likely to engage with your business. And you might not even have considered it.

I’m talking about SMS messaging, more commonly known as text messaging.

More than 2.5 billion people worldwide own a smartphone that’s capable of text messaging.

That’s a staggering number – and it begs the question:

Why aren’t more small businesses using text messaging for marketing?

Texting by the Numbers

Text messaging has the potential to be a marketing superstar for your business. To get an idea of just how effective it can be, check out these statistics:

  • 89% of people always have their smartphone accessible
  • 97% of Americans text at least once a day
  • Texting is the #1 communication method used by people under 50 years old
  • 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes of receipt

That last statistic is particularly important, especially when you consider that consumers open only about 25% of the emails they receive.

People send and receive text messages. They give them priority over other communication, and they spend more time texting than they do talking on their phones.

In other words, text messaging is arguably the best way to ensure that the people in your target audience read what you send them.

Advantages of SMS Marketing

You know people are likely to read your text messages – but what are the other advantages of incorporating text messages into your marketing mix? Here are five that I think are key:
  1. You can track SMS messages the same way you would any other marketing campaign using web-based tools like SlickText.
  2. You can collect data about your text list by creating interactive content that allows them to reply to your messages quickly and easily.
  3. Text messaging provides nearly instantaneous results and stats for you to use to fine-tune your campaigns.
  4. Text messaging can be casual and personalized with direct language and even emoji to build a relationship with the people you text.
  5. Text messages are a great way to connect with your audience when they’re most likely to be in your area or in the market for what you’re selling.
A good example of time-sensitive text messaging might be a restaurant or bar texting out a Happy Hour coupon at about the time most people are getting out of work. They might be planning to head out for a drink or a bite anyway, and you can provide them with a nudge to choose your establishment over others in the area.

How to Get Subscribers for Your SMS List

By law, you cannot send a text message to anyone who has not signed up for your list. That means that you must find ways to attract new subscribers. Here are some helpful suggestions to get started.

The first and potentially easiest way to find new subscribers is to add a mobile field to your existing opt-in form on your website. You can include a message letting people know that if they choose to provide you with a cell phone number, they’re agreeing to receive text messages from you.

Another option is to promote your SMS list in-store with large print posters, flyers and other print media encouraging your customers to sign up for exclusive discounts & offers. Make sure to mention what some of those exclusive offers might be.

You may also want to send out an email to your current email list and give your subscribers a link to sign up to receive text messages from you. Here again, it’s a good idea to tempt them by letting them know you’ll be sending out special coupons and deals via text message.

Using these methods, it shouldn’t take you very long to build up a sizable SMS messaging list.

Tips for Successful SMS Messaging Campaigns

Text message marketing has a lot in common with other forms of marketing. To be successful, you must conceptualize a strong campaign based on your knowledge of your subscribers, create compelling content, and track your results. Here are some tips that may help you.
Understand your audience. You may want to create a quick survey for your email list or social media followers to find out what kind of content they would like to receive via text message.

Keep your messages short and sweet. People are more likely to read your messages if they’re brief and compelling. A good rule of thumb is to make them about the same length as a Tweet – no more than 280 characters.

Offer mobile-exclusive deals to your subscribers. These might include exclusive coupons, discounts, and sales, especially for your mobile customers.

Use casual language that speaks directly to the recipient. Most important, use “you” and “your,” which underscore that the exclusivity of your list and make customers feel valued.

Don’t be afraid to bring some humor into your texts. It’s a casual form of communication and people like to laugh – but of course, keep it PG-rated and steer away from controversial topics.

Add a few emoji to your texts. People use them in their personal texts and they can add personality and fun to your marketing campaign.

Track your results and tweak your campaigns as needed.

Some text messaging providers try to include SlickText, SumoText, and SimpleTexting. You want a provider with affordable prices, an intuitive dashboard, and great analytics.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that if you’re not using SMS messaging to reach your audience, you’re missing out on a chance to build brand loyalty and increase your sales. Text messages are inexpensive to send and easy to write – and they can help you grow your business.

How Micro Moments Can Help You Attract New Customers

Right now, potential customers are online looking for your business. And you might be missing them.

Scary thought, isn’t it?

Let’s face it, there’s a ton of content out there. It can be hard to find what you’re searching for – and if the content you’re producing isn’t providing what the people in your target audience need when they need it, then they’re likely to end up with one of your competitors.

The answer? Understand the moments when customers pick up their phones to look for your business and craft content that gives it to them.

One way is to use what Google has coined Micro Moments, I.E. “the Customer Journey.” What are they and how can you use them to find new customers? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Micro Moment?

Google coined the term Micro Moment to respond to what they saw as a growing trend. You already know that most consumers in the US are tethered to their smartphones 24 hours a day. But they’re more intensely engaged at some moments than at others.

A Micro Moment is a moment when a consumer is intent on finding something. They want a quick answer or solution. Google identifies them as:

In other words, a Micro Moment is a moment when a consumer is ripe to learn, experience, and buy things. It’s the ideal time to capture a new customer because they’re already in the right mindset to engage with your content.

There are some interesting statistics to back up the importance of Micro Moments. For example:

  • 91% of smart phone users look up information on their phones while they’re in the middle of a task
  • 82% of consumers consult their phones while they’re in a store – and of those, 20% buy something other than what they originally intended to buy
  • 69% of online consumers say that the quality, relevance, and timing of the content they find affects their opinion of a brand (and their purchase habits)
It’s clear that there’s a benefit to Micro Moment marketing. It’s about capturing the attention of people in your area who are seeking the products or services you’re selling. The trick, of course, is knowing how and when to capture your audience’s attention at those key moments.

What You Need for Micro Moment Marketing

Gathering information about customers is important for every business. You might have a small business with only one location, but you still need to understand who your customers are and how to use the data you collect to your advantage.

Some of the data to collect includes:

  • How your customers find your business and why they decided to buy from you
  • Where and how they prefer to make purchases
  • How they prefer to pay for their purchases
  • What things matter the most to them when making online purchases

For example, 53% of visitors will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load. That’s not much time – and if your site is slow, then you could be losing customers without realizing it.

You also need to understand how customers typically approach buying a product like yours. What information do they need? Where are they likely to go to get it? And – most importantly – how can you capitalize on their habits to draw them in?

Micro Moment Best Practices

There are some simple things you can do to engage your target audience in any one of more than 100 Micro Moments they experience each day.

Let’s start with Google’s definition of a Micro Moment. During a Micro Moment, customers want to know something, do something, go somewhere, or buy something. What that means is, in order to capture their attention, your business must:

  • Be there, meaning that you must have content that’s easily accessible and directly related to the information the people in your target audience want during a Micro Moment
  • Be useful, meaning that your Micro Moment content must provide a relevant digital experience that provides a potential customer with the information they want – and the means to act on it
  • Be accountable, meaning that you must provide a seamless customer experience that makes it easy for customers to buy from you across all channels
How to do all three? Well, here are some suggestions:
Conduct a customer survey using email or social media to get a better idea of the kind of content your customers need to buy from you.

Identify crucial points in your sales funnel, so you can capitalize on them. Here, I’m talking about the moment when a customer realizes that they need what you’re selling or that they have a problem that your product or service can solve.

Craft content that responds directly to those crucial points, providing customers with compelling content that’s both relevant and actionable.

Include in every piece of content a clear call to action that will direct your customer to your business or provide them with a phone number or a link to your website. (The key is to provide them with a way to take immediate action!)

Create your Micro Moment content and refine it until it’s giving you the return on investment that you need.

The most essential part of this process is knowing when your customers are likely to experience a Micro Moment. It might be when they’re making dinner plans or trying to get their kids ready to go back to school. The more information you have, the better able you will be to capture their attention and convert those Micro Moments into sales.

Micro Moments Are Fleeting

The human attention span might be shrinking, but that just means that you have new opportunities to engage with your customers in a way that’s most useful to them – and most profitable to you. Taking the time to understand Micro Moments can help you attract new customers at the point when they are most ready to buy from you.

5 Ways to Use Artificial Intelligence to Increase Your Sales

The robots are coming for your business.

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but the truth is that in recent years, artificial intelligence has become more sophisticated than ever before.

And while you might think that investing in AI is for huge companies with huge budgets, the truth is that AI is more affordable – and more versatile – than you might think.

Artificial intelligence, if programmed and used properly, can help you increase your sales, enhance your customers’ experience, and manage your business more effectively. Here are 5 things you can do with artificial intelligence starting now.

#1: Expand Your Customer Service

There’s no denying that there’s a link between customer service and sales. Customers who are happy with your service are more likely to buy from you again. They’re also likely to recommend you to their friends.

Adding a simple customer service chatbot to your website can do a great deal to improve service. It can:

  • Provide customers with the immediate response they want when they have a problem
  • Redirect customers to self-service options they might not be able to find on their own
  • Let customers know that you care about them and their needs

What if you don’t know how to program a chatbot? Not to worry. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a programmer, there are “build-a-bot” programs online that you can use to create the bot you need. You can find a list of 14 tools here, including several that will allow you to create a chatbot to use with Facebook Messenger.

#2: Learn About Customer Behavior

One of the coolest things about artificial intelligence is something called machine learning. It’s what programmers used with the famous chess program, Deep Blue, that defeated chess champion Gary Kasparov.

Machine learning is something that can help you gather data about your customers based on their behavior and purchase habits. Basically, it’s like re-targeting with a kick. You can already target customers based on past purchases and behavior. Adding AI to the mix just means that you can gather more information and use it in new ways.

80% of marketers know that personalized content is more appealing to customers than generic content. Using AI tools like Convertize and Nudgify can help you tailor your web content to an individual visitor, providing them with the information and guidance they need.

#3: Provide Product Suggestions

One straightforward way to use chatbots to increase sales is to program your chatbots to make product suggestions when customers are shopping on your site.

This idea makes it possible for you to increase sales by letting customers who are engaged with your chatbots know about products they might not otherwise find. Basically, you’ll be turning your chatbots into personal shoppers for your customers.

A client who buys a set of cookware on your site, for example, could get a recommendation for a coordinated set of cooking utensils or even a cookbook or apron. The idea is similar to what Amazon does when they display the “People who bought this item also bought” links when you view a product on their site.

This type of programming is a bit more involved than a simple customer service chatbot, but it can pay off in increased sales.

#4: Improved Productivity

If all of your customer services are provided by employees at present, then adding AI to the mix can help you save their time – and give them more time to spend more time with customers who are at your place of business and ready to buy from you.

Think about it – if one of your sales staff must monitor social media messages or customer service tickets, they’re taking time away from customers who might need personal guidance to make a purchase.

Properly programmed, AI chatbots can deal with simple customer service requests by helping people check the status of an order, reset a password, or track a package. Your employees will spend less time on repetitive requests and more – at least in theory – with customers who are ready to buy.

At the same time, you’ll be improving your customers’ experience by giving them quicker service than they would get from an employee. And, if an employee does need to step in, your AI solutions can provide the information they need to provide top-notch service without asking the customer to repeat themselves.

#5: Respond to Customer Needs

Do you know what your customers want and why they want it? If you don’t – or if you’re only collecting detailed information from your customers sporadically – then you can use artificial intelligence to expand your knowledge of your customers and do a better job of giving them what they want.

Keatext is a tool that collects positive and negative customer feedback in real-time. Instead of waiting for someone to call with a complaint (or the occasional compliment) you can get the information you need immediately.

The benefit here is that you can adjust what you are doing to provide customers with the experience they want. If people are confused by your website’s menu or unclear how to check out, you’ll know about it and can fix problems as you identify them.

There might not be an immediate link between this kind of customer feedback and sales, but in the long run, it can make a big difference in your conversion rates and your bottom line. Monitoring what your customers think about your site or social media pages allows you to make the kind of incremental improvements that will result in more sales over time.

The Robots Are Here…

The bottom line is that artificial intelligence is here to stay. Big companies have latched on to it as a way of improving customer service, streamlining productivity, and increasing their sales. You don’t need to have a huge budget to take advantage of the benefits of AI – and by adopting it now, you can get a leg up on your competitors.
10 Killer Local Marketing Ideas to Try

10 Killer Local Marketing Ideas to Try

Local marketing is a must, but if you’re like most local business owners, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking something like this:

I feel like I’m doing everything I can – why is my local marketing not delivering the results I want?

It’s a good question. After all, local marketing has a lot of moving parts. You’ve got to think about SEO, content marketing, social media, and PPC ads – it’s a lot for anybody to handle.

The real key to effective local marketing is knowing what ideas are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t. Here are 10 killer local marketing ideas that can have a serious impact on your profits.

#1: Master the Art of Locational Marketing on Facebook

You should always be marketing your business to your local audience on Facebook. Increasingly, consumers are turning to Facebook for information about businesses. There are two types of ads that can help you:

  • Brand awareness
  • Website clicks

Starting with brand awareness can help you break down barriers and prime your local audience to visit you. Following up with a website click promotion will capitalize on your brand awareness campaign and help you attract new customers.

#2: Revisit Your Yelp Categories

You know that reviews are important – and Yelp has a huge SEO advantage. One of the best ways to boost your visibility online is to make sure that you’re using the right categories on Yelp.

A lot of local businesses choose their categories without giving them much thought. Go back and look at them – and keep your most important keywords in mind. Choose categories that highlight your capabilities and keywords and you’ll get more organic traffic from Google.

#3: Build Unique Landing Pages for Every Campaign

It might seem like a lot of work to build a unique landing page for every marketing campaign you run, but you can do it quickly using a tool like Unbounce. The benefit is that you’ll be sure that every click you get on an ad will lead people to a page that’s selling exactly what you’re advertising.
Conversion is an art and a science. The easier it is for people to draw a line between your ad and your call to action, the higher the chances that they’ll convert. Make it simple and you’ll see an increase in sales as a result.

#4: Use Remarketing Ads to Get Reviews

A huge majority of consumers rely on reviews to make buying decisions. The trick is getting your existing customers to review your business.
One way to do it is to set up a simple remarketing ad for people who buy from you or fill out a form on your website. Try a headline that says, “Happy with your purchase? Leave us a review on Google+, Yelp, or Facebook!” Not every customer will respond – but some will and every positive review you get will help increase your visibility and credibility.

#5: Create Guides for Local Activities Related to Your Brand

Local marketing is all about embracing where you are – and helping your customers to do the same thing. For that reason, it makes sense to create a local guide for an activity that is likely to appeal to your target audience.

For example, if you sell cooking equipment, you might create a guide to local farms. Or, you could create a guide to hiking trails if you sell outdoor equipment. The key is to marry your local knowledge to your brand to give your followers something they can use.

#6: Automate Responses to Your Twitter Mentions

Social mentions can have a big impact on how your brand is perceived. One way to maximize that impact is to automate responses to your mentions on Twitter.

A tool I like is Zapier, which allows business owners to set up triggers that send out instant responses when someone mentions their company. It gives an instant boost to your engagement and makes the people who mention you feel valued.

#7: Use Third-Person Ad Copy

Sometimes, online advertising can seem like a relentless wall of noise. Everybody – including your competitors – is out there shouting about how wonderful they are. If you want to get through to your audience, you’ve got to stand out.

One way to do it is to use a third-person voice in your ads. For example, you might pull a line from a testimonial and use it as your headline. “Hiring ABC Company is the best choice I ever made” is a headline that will grab attention and use the power of social proof to bring you leads.

#8: Use Radius Location Targeting on AdWords

Targeting your ads on Google AdWords is really an art form. By using their radius location targeting, you can maximize the chances that your ad will be seen by the people who are most likely to buy from you.

In AdWords, set up a series of radius targets so that your store looks like the center of a bullseye. Then, evaluate your data and adjust your local bids accordingly. Doing this can make a huge difference in your ads’ performance.

#9: Mention the Distance to Your Store in Mobile Ads

The chances are good that more people are seeing your ads on mobile devices than on computers. Since that’s the case, it makes sense to play up your local connection by including the distance from your store in your mobile ads on Google.

It’s easy to do. Simply use the Google Search Console to find new ad groups in your area. Then, add your zip code to your headline and see how easy it is to steal clicks from your competitors.

#10: Add Storefront Pictures to Your Ads

As a consumer, you’ve probably driven by local businesses many times without going inside. One easy way to entice people to come see you is to add a photograph of the front of your store to your ads.

Seeing a photo will trigger a, “Hey, I’ve seen that place!” response from your audience. It’s a simple, inexpensive trick that can entice people to stop and visit you instead of driving past.

Don’t waste your time on ideas that don’t work…

Stop guessing which marketing ideas are worth trying. These 10 simple local marketing tricks can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting customers and growing your business.

5 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas for Local Businesses

5 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas for Local Businesses

Everybody knows that if you place a magnet close enough to a metal object, the object will be drawn to the magnet without resistance. That’s basic science even though it might seem like magic.

What if you could adapt the principle of magnetism to your business?

The truth is, you can. Lead magnets are commonly used to attract leads. The problem that some local businesses have is that they’re not sure which type of lead magnet will prove to be irresistible to their target audience.

One reason for the confusion is that many of the online resources about creating lead magnets focus on online businesses. Local businesses need to take a different approach. Here are 5 ideas for lead magnets that will help you attract new leads and customers.

#1: The Mini eBook

Our first proven lead magnet idea is the mini eBook. Giving away a book is enticing to consumers because they’re accustomed to paying for books. Getting one for free is exciting and, if you choose your topic wisely, can be enough to get people to fill out a lead form or subscribe to your list.

The key, of course, is choosing a topic that will appeal to the people you want to attract. Here are some suggestions.

  • A book that explains the biggest mistakes people make in an area related to your niche. For example, if you own a CPA firm, your lead magnet might be about the most common mistakes people make on their tax returns. The idea is to help your target audience in a concrete way.
  • On a related note, you might try a book that explains things not to do or things to avoid. A pet store might have an eBook that explains the 10 things you should never do when house training a puppy.
  • The third option is to focus on the things your customers should be doing – in other words, to give them tips, hacks, or training advice. An example might be a kitchen supply store giving away an eBook that gives readers tips to perfect their baking skills or create the perfect dinner party.

The idea here is to put together a short book – 10 or 15 pages is sufficient, although you can write a longer book if you choose – that provides such obvious value to your target audience that they won’t be able to resist it.

#2: The Checklist

The next option is very quick to create and can be useful to your customers. Checklists are one-page items that are designed to help your target audience complete a task or get organized.

Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that make for interesting checklists:

  • Packing list for students leaving for college
  • Checklist for spring cleaning a house
  • A checklist that lists the steps to prepare and plant a garden
  • A how-to guide for preparing a car to go into long-term storage

These are just a few ideas. The key is to focus your checklist on one task or area and then create something that is both functional and beautiful. Some local businesses give out laminated checklists (or mail them to leads), while others may choose to create a printable checklist.

#3: The Resource Guide

Resource guides can be sort of a hybrid between an eBook and a checklist. It’s always helpful to provide your audience with something they can put to practical use – and a resource guide does precisely that.

Your resource guide might be focused on a service you provide. A party planner might include a list of local caterers and other related service providers in their resource guide.

You might also provide a list of resources to help your clients do something. A tax attorney might put together a list of online resources that includes links to the IRS website and other resources to help clients prepare to file their taxes.

#4: Case Study

What if your business is service-based? If that’s the case, you may want to consider creating a detailed case study as your lead magnet.

A case study isn’t actionable the same way an eBook or checklist might be, but it can be the ideal way to illustrate the value you can provide to your clients.

For example, a wedding planner might create a case study that demonstrates her ability to organize a beautiful wedding on a shoestring budget. An accounting firm might do a case study explaining how they saved a client thousands of dollars in taxes.

Here, your goal should be to show yourself and your business in the best light possible. Your case study doesn’t need to be long, but it should be something that’s designed to appeal to the audience you want to attract.

#5: Free Coupon/Discount

We’ve saved our least complex lead magnet for last. Everybody loves to get something for a discount (or for free!) and offering a free coupon or discount is a proven way to attract leads.

Of course, you can get creative with this option, too. Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer something complimentary to get new customers in the door in return for an email address.
  • Create a birthday club and send subscribers a free gift on their birthdays every year (Sephora does this and people love it)
  • Create a VIP club that awards points for purchases and sends rewards based on a customer’s purchases
  • Offer a buy one/get one free coupon for first-time customers in exchange for an email address

The offer you create will depend on how much you want to give away and what your goals are. The key is to think about your target audience and what will appeal to them. Then, measure that against what you’re willing to spend.

Any audience can be drawn in by the right offer…

Your job is to consider the people you want to attract, and then create a lead magnet that is so irresistible that they’ll line up to give you their email addresses or fill out your lead form.

After that, the rest is easy.