If you want to generate more leads, the single best thing you can do is create a lead magnet.

What’s A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet can take many forms, such as:

  • Free report
  • Free video presentation
  • Free webinar
  • Free coupon
  • Free demo

Typically, it’s a piece of free information. And I typically recommend you start by offering a free report because it’s the easiest for most people to put together (and often has the highest conversion rates).

You may be wondering…

Why Offer a Free Report?

Why not just ask for the sale right away?

Good question!

When you offer a free report, you’re using what’s known as multi-step marketing. And this approach has many benefits, which I’ll detail in a moment. But first let me explain why it’s a good idea to break your marketing down into steps.

Most people aren’t ready to buy right away. At any given moment, only a tiny percentage of prospects are ready to do business with you right now. But the vast, vast majority are not ready. They want to do some research first. They want to compare their options. They want to think it over.

Let me give you an example. Over the years, we’ve created and managed lots of e-commerce websites, where we’re selling products online. Across all of these sites, the average click-to-buy conversion rate has been about 1%. That is, roughly 1 out of 100 people are ready to buy when they first land on a website. That’s a tiny fraction!

However, if you offer a free report on a landing page, you’ll often get conversion rates ranging anywhere from 10% all the way up to 40%. That’s an increased response rate of 10X to 40X!

So, here are the 3 reasons to offer a free report…

1. You’ll Generate More Leads!

As I mentioned, when you break your sales process down into multiple steps, and offer a lead magnet as your first step, you’ll attract more prospects into your marketing funnel.

When you offer a free report, you’re allowing people to learn more without making a big commitment. Lots of people don’t want to speak with a sales person. They’d rather do research on their own, without any sales pressure.

Plus, here’s another good reason…

2. You’ll Be Seen As An Expert!

One of the best reasons to offer a free report is because of how it positions you to your prospect. If you provide a free report that provides helpful, useful information — who do you think your prospect is more likely to hire? Of course, it’ll be you.

Just imagine that your back hurts. You’re in excruciating pain. Your friends have recommended you go see a chiropractor, but you’re a little nervous about the idea. The whole thing sounds weird. So you start researching online.

And you come across a website offering a free report on how to fix back pain naturally. You request the report, download it, and get lots of helpful tips on posture, stretches, and exercises you can do to fix your back pain.

You start following some of the advice, and you start feeling better. And then as you keep reading the report, you realize it was written by a local chiropractor in town. And the report includes a section on chiropractic that helps to answer many of the questions you had.

If, at that point, you decide to see a chiropractor — which chiropractor do you think you’ll see? Obviously, you’d be very likely to see the chiropractor who wrote the report because you already see him as a trusted expert.

3. You’ll Close More Sales!

By offering a free report in exchange for your prospect’s contact information, you now have the opportunity to follow up.

And multiple studies have shown that the majority of sales are closed after repeated follow up.

On the other hand, if you don’t offer a free report, then most people will hit your website and then just bounce — never to return. You’ll have no way of following up with them to close the sale.

In other words, if you’re not offering a free report on your website, you’re losing customers!

Here’s What To Do Now…

Here are the 3 basic steps to generate more leads by offering a free report on your website:

1. Create Your Free Report

Make sure to give your report a good title, and keep it focused on solving a problem your customer already knows she has, or answering frequently asked questions.

Your report should obviously be good, helpful content. But don’t agonize over it. Don’t worry about making it perfect — get it done.

2. Get an Email Service Provider (ESP)

If you don’t have one already, you’ll want to get set up with an Email Service Provider, or ESP.

Here at Main Street ROI, we use InfusionSoft for email marketing and lead management, and we love it. If lead generation is a big aspect of your business, and you want a full customer relationship management (CRM) program to track and manage your leads, I recommend going with InfusionSoft. To get a free demo of InfusionSoft, click here.

If you’re just getting started with lead generation and email marketing, you might want a simpler solution.

Popular ESPs include:

3. Sync Your Free Report with Your ESP

You’ll also need to build a web page that gives away your free report in exchange for email addresses, and then automatically adds those email addresses to your ESP. This takes a little bit of technical knowledge.

If you’re not a technical person, I’ve got a solution for you. A friend of mine developed a technology to simplify the process of offering a free report on your website. It’s called Digioh.

Digioh makes it really easy to offer a free report on your website. No tech knowledge required, you just upload your free report file and you’ll be setup in a few clicks.

And Digioh integrates with major ESPs including MailChimp, ConstantContact and Aweber, so all your new email addresses automatically go to the right place.

To learn more, go to: http://www.digioh.com. You can try it free for 14 days.