Ingredients: 125g butter, ¾ cup caster sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 egg, 2 bananas (ripe & mashed), 1 ½ cups self-raising flour, and a ¼ cup of milk.

That’s what you need to make a banana cake.

You’ve also got to follow the recipe. But without the ingredients, anything else is irrelevant: No matter what you do, it just won’t be a banana cake.

Similarly, you need the right ingredients to make a lead magnet tasty enough for your prospects to eat up and come back for more.

The Lowdown on the Lead Magnet

Before we go on, let’s spell out what a lead magnet is: A lead magnet is an offer, incentive, or product intended to give your visitor value in return for their personal information (usually an email address or phone number).

A lead magnet is your metaphorical apple pie on a metaphorical window sill, the metaphorical scent wafting out into the world and inviting people to take a closer look.

And if that apple pie turns out to be a tasty treat, then…

  • More and more of your “ideal customers” find you
  • More of those prospects will sign up or start a relationship, meaning more leads, deeper engagement (and ultimately, more sales)
  • Better brand awareness for your business as more people get to know you
  • A bigger and better reputation in the industry
  • The potential to “go viral,” with your lead magnet drawing a flood of leads

A second-rate lead magnet that doesn’t appeal to your target audience is worse than useless. Your email list doesn’t grow, traffic doesn’t increase, and your marketing budget gets eaten up without anything to show for it.

In short, lead magnets can make or break your marketing campaign.

So, I’m guessing your next question after this: “What are the ingredients I need for a lead-generating, reputation-growing, crowd-pleasing lead magnet for my business?”

Three Essential Ingredients of a Perfect Lead Magnet

1. Target the right audience with the right lead magnet

Before you rush out to hire a freelancer to write a report for you, there are two things you need to ask:

  1. What stage of the buyer’s journey are my prospects in?
  2. What form of lead magnet is most relevant and useful to my prospects?

They’re connected: The stage your prospects are in guides what form your lead magnet takes.

At any given moment, your prospects are at different stages of their journey to buy from you.

Those stages can be categorized like this:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

If you’re getting a lot of visitors who’ve never heard of you, they’re still in the Awareness stage. That means you want your lead magnet to…

  • Tell them more about you
  • Show them you’re an expert who understands their problems
  • Convert them…