Updated November 2023: If your company doesn’t have a lead magnet, you’re likely losing out on potential customers. Downloadable content that entices visitors to give you their email addresses makes the best B2B lead magnets—and as a marketer, you know that’s the golden ticket to nurturing relationships that convert to sales. That’s why 90% of people are willing to share their email addresses when presented with the right lead magnet.
But, not all lead magnets are effective. No one wants another useless email in their inbox so your lead magnet should provide value and help your audience quickly achieve a goal. This will help establish your company as a reputable thought leader in your industry.
In this blog post, you’ll find out the 3 best B2B lead magnets you should be creating for your target audience.
- What is a B2B lead magnet?
- What do the best B2B lead magnets have in common?
- How to determine the 3 best B2B lead magnets for YOUR audience
- 13 of the best B2B lead magnets to experiment with
- 5 mistakes to avoid when creating the best B2B lead magnets
What is a B2B lead magnet?
A B2B lead magnet is a free, value-packed piece of content that your target audience is willing to “pay for” by giving you their email address. Lead magnets often take the form of content such as white papers, ebooks, cheat sheets, calculators, templates and more.
The goal of a lead magnet is to incentivize visitors to engage with your brand and build trust, thereby increasing the likelihood of converting them into paying customers. Consider it a win-win situation: your audience gets something valuable and, in exchange, you can nurture those leads through email sequences.
The case for lead magnets is strong, which leaves only one question.
What do the best B2B lead magnets have in common?
The best B2B lead magnets provide real value for your potential buyers. To successfully capture email opt-ins, every lead magnet should do these 7 things:
1. Address a challenge
A great lead magnet solves a specific problem. First, you need to understand your prospect’s pain points and what keeps them up at night. This will allow you to pick a topic that resonates and encourages them to opt in.
2. Deliver a win
Your B2B lead magnets should help your audience quickly accomplish a goal. When prospects achieve a quick “win,” they associate your brand with a company they can trust and buy from.
3. Have a specific focus
Keep your B2B lead magnet centered around a single topic. Ideally, the topic of your lead magnet needs to relate to the products and services you offer, but also answer questions or solve challenges that your target audience is likely to have.
4. Be instantly accessible
Your audience should be able to download your resource immediately, so instant gratification is guaranteed. Don’t make people wait to receive an email.
5. Be easily digestible
Your B2B lead magnet shouldn’t put anyone to sleep or overwhelm them. Keep the content engaging and get straight to the point, especially if it’s directed at an audience in the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
6. Have high perceived value
Is the resource you’re offering worth the “cost” of your audience’s email address? If the information in the lead magnet is something you can find with a quick Google search, it’s probably not very enticing for visitors. The best lead magnets offer insider knowledge, expert insight, a faster way to accomplish a goal or a creative solution that relieves a large pain point.
7. Demonstrate your expertise
When someone consumes your lead magnet, it should demonstrate your expertise and unique value proposition. For example, adding success stories can illustrate how your expertise has delivered results for others.
How to determine the 3 best B2B lead magnets for YOUR audience
With dozens of lead magnet ideas out there, it can be hard to decide which format to create. The best B2B lead magnets range from ebooks and white papers to checklists and worksheets to courses and infographics. So, how do you know which to select?
We’ll say it again: you have to know your audience really well to choose the best B2B lead magnet for their needs.
You can take the guesswork out of creating a B2B lead magnet by using data to inform your decisions. Netline Corporation is a lead generation solution for B2B marketers. Its Audience Explorer tool allows you to search for data on the content consumption behavior of your target audience in real-time.
At Uplift Content, our target audience is marketers in the software industry. A quick search shows the best B2B lead magnets for this particular audience:
Source: Netline Audience Explorer
As you can see, ebooks are the clear winner for us when it comes to choosing the best B2B lead magnets, but they might not be for you. Try out the Audience Explorer tool for yourself to find out what content is most popular with your target audience.
13 of the best B2B lead magnets to experiment with
B2B lead magnets can take many forms. The type of lead magnet you choose should be a format that lends itself well to the kind of information you’re providing to your audience. It should also be a format that your audience prefers. Here are the 13 most common types of B2B lead magnets.
Ebooks are easily digestible pieces of content that delve into a specific topic, offering in-depth information, insights and solutions for readers. Check out Uplift’s ebook writing service.
White papers are authoritative documents that present research, analysis and solutions to complex issues. They’re typically used to establish expertise. Take a peek at Uplift’s white paper writing service.
Guides are informative documents that provide step-by-step instructions or advice on accomplishing a task, solving a problem or navigating a process.
Checklists are concise lists of actionable items or steps necessary to achieve a particular goal.
Templates are pre-designed layouts or formats that users can customize to create documents, presentations or designs.
Calculators are online tools that allow users to perform specific calculations or estimations.
Courses are structured educational programs delivered online. They offer valuable knowledge and skills development.
Worksheets are interactive documents that guide users through exercises, planning or problem-solving. They facilitate practical learning and engagement.
Webinars are live or recorded online seminars or presentations that offer valuable insights, training or discussions.
Free tools are online or software-based resources that offer practical solutions or services at no cost.
Product trials and demos
Product trials and demos offer users a firsthand experience with a product or service. They allow users to explore features and benefits before making a purchasing decision.
Case studies are descriptive stories about how a customer successfully used your product or service to solve a problem and benefit from results. Check out Uplift’s case sutdy writing service.
Swipe files are collections of proven marketing or design materials, such as copy, images or templates. People can use them to help create their own content or campaigns.
Fine-tune your B2B lead magnet strategy
If you’re in the B2B SaaS industry, you likely already have an inkling that ebooks, guides and white papers make the best B2B lead magnets because they offer actionable value to readers. They also give you an opportunity to promote your company’s products or services.
Avoid these 5 mistakes when creating the best B2B lead magnets
1. Weak promotional strategy
You can develop a beautiful B2B lead magnet packed with actionable insights, but it won’t be effective if you don’t promote it consistently. Create blog posts that funnel readers to your lead magnet with strong calls to action.
2. Boring cover
People are bombarded with information online, so if you want your B2B lead magnets to stand out, the title and cover design need to be compelling.
3. Missing “impact” message
Offering a free download isn’t enough. You need to tell your audience how your lead magnet will deliver value if you want them to share their email address in exchange for the content.
4. Labor-intensive opt-in form
You certainly don’t need the past 10 years of employment history from everyone who downloads your B2B lead magnet. Keep your opt-in form as simple as possible to generate more leads. See these opt-in page examples.
5. Misaligned topic
Before you create the best B2B lead magnet, take the time to understand your target audience’s pain points and desires so that you can produce something they’ll actually want to get their hands on.
Call in the reinforcements
Too busy to tackle lead magnets on your own? Check out Uplift Content’s ebook writing services and white paper writing services, which provide you with the strategic expertise needed to create compelling lead magnets that you can use across multiple marketing channels.