Picking the right topic for your lead magnets isn’t easy. You don’t want to pour your heart and soul — or, more importantly, your time and money — into a lead magnet only to have no one even click on it.
Of course, you could look for inspiration elsewhere, but that’s only going to get you so far. After all, you can’t just rip off someone else’s idea.
At the end of the day, picking topics for your lead magnets is all about conversion and the potential conversion rate that every lead magnet topic has.
Why Conversion Matters So Much
First and foremost, you’re creating lead magnets to get contact information and eventually customers. That process of going from visitor to lead to customer is conversion, and when you measure this it’s called a conversion rate.
If your lead magnet topics are off, you aren’t going to get any leads, let alone customers, from the content you’re creating. This isn’t the only thing that matters. The right style, voice, and brand are also important when it comes to creating a great lead magnet. But if the conversion rate is low, nothing else will matter. This is because even if page 7 has an amazing illustration on it, no one will see it if they don’t download it in the first place. And no one will download it if the topics and headlines aren’t grabbing people’s attention.
How to Measure Your Conversion Rate
There are a few different measures of conversion you can focus on. Not one of these is the conversion rate you should focus on. Instead of focusing on one number, what you’re trying to do is get a balanced picture of how your lead magnet is performing at every stage.
At the end of the day, though, you want to have a high conversion rate of Views to Customers (or sign ups). That can be a hard number to move, though, so we recommend splitting it up into separate parts of the conversion funnel.
Views to Clicks
To get this number, look at the number of people who view a lead magnet’s call to action versus the number of people actually who click the link. This will likely be the second highest number in your funnel, since there are low stakes for clicking on a link if people trust your blog.
If this number is lower than you’d like, check to make sure that your headline is well-written, A/B test a few variations, and change the placement of the offer on the screen to see what performs the best. As an aside, there are easy-to-use tools like Optimizely, Google Optimize, and VWO can help a lot with this.
Clicks to Subscribes
Once you’ve got the number of clicks figured out you need to see how many people actually give you their email address. This number will likely be the lowest in your funnel, since plenty of people will click on an offered lead magnet but then when they realize they need to give you their email address they back away.
The best way to bring this number up is to test a few different CTAs (“Sign Up Now,” “Get a Free Copy,” “Get a Download Link”) and sub-headlines (the line of text where you explain what they’ll be getting in more detail than in the headline/title of the lead magnet).
Subscribes to Downloads
This number should be your highest one, but it only applies if you’re distributing the lead magnet via an email attachment. It should be near 100%, since people have already given their email addresses to you and expect to get something in return for that.If people don’t end up downloading the lead magnet after giving you their email address you shouldn’t give up. Click To Tweet
If we’re being honest, if people don’t end up downloading the lead magnet after giving you their email address you shouldn’t give up. Instead, feel free to remind them in a follow-up email. Don’t do this 10 minutes after they got the first email. Instead, wait a week and gently remind them of what they’ve asked for. They’ll likely thank you!
Downloads to Customers
This will be the second to lowest number. Yes, people are interested in what you have to say and have downloaded the lead magnet, but that doesn’t mean they want to create an account or give you money. The best way to increase this number over time is to experiment with the content inside the lead magnet.
We recommend including a full page call to action at the end of your lead magnet. Since you will already have built trust with the reader at this stage it’s the perfect opportunity to suggest a next step for them to take. That could be booking a consultation, getting a quote or even reading a follow-on article that picks up where this lead magnet left off.
It’s going to be difficult to run experiments and move this number higher as you’ve likely got a small sample size to work with at this late stage of the funnel, but know that every person you convert here is going to convert to money.
How to Tell If a Topic Will Have a High Conversion Rate
Figuring out before you write a topic if it will have a high conversion rate is easier said than done. We’ve found that there are three paths to figuring out if the topic is going to convert well, which will work depending on the stage of your blog.
Early Stage: Using Your Gut
When you’re just getting started and your audience is still in the four- or five-digit range, you’re going to have a hard time getting great data on a potential lead magnet. What you should be looking for are small anecdotes that people will be interested in a lead magnet on X topic.
These anecdotes could come from looking at which articles are being shared the most, which ones have people leaving comments, or which ones you notice have a low bounce rate.
None of these will be statistically significant indicators, but they will give you an idea of what themes and topics are interesting to your readers. Use that information and create a lead magnet that spins off of that original idea
Mid-Stage: Ask Your Readers
When you’ve seen your audience grow a fair amount you can start to ask them what’s interesting to them. We’ve found that the best way to do this is to create a poll and share four or five ideas that you’ve been considering.
One word of caution about this: this doesn’t really work when you have a very small or very large blog. When it’s small, you likely won’t have many people vote. When your blog is large, on the other hand, you won’t have a community of people who are invested in having your blog and business succeed.
You should make sure to not guarantee any particular lead magnet, but instead, frame this as a way to gather feedback
Late Stage: Using Your Data
When you’ve been publishing content that has regular readers in the tens of thousands, you’ll be able to see which topics are most valuable. At this point in time, you should look at your past articles and examine two measures: bounce rate and time on page. If you’ve found articles that have an unusually low bounce rate and an unusually high time on page, you may consider expanding on them and turning them into full lead magnets.
Adjusting Your Lead Magnets Based on Reader Feedback
Once you’ve published a lead magnet, you may think that your work is done. Oh, if only that was the case! Instead, use the lead magnets you’ve already published and focus on reworking the topics to increase your conversion rate.
Changing the Title
Adjusting the title is one of the easiest things you can do. Look at how people have been sharing the content on social media. Are they writing their own headlines? Are any of those possible inspiration for an updated headline? If you test these titles against one another in an A/B test, you may find that there’s a different one out there that will boost your conversion rates.
Bundling Lead Magnets Together
Your lead magnets can change over time, and not just in terms of rewriting the headline. Once you have a few different lead magnets, feel free to experiment and slice-and-dice them.
To do this, take sections from one and turn them into their own abbreviated lead magnet, or take sections from two different lead magnets and mash them together. You’re looking for the maximum conversion across all of your lead magnets, not just the best conversion rate inside of one.
One Final Thought
Picking a high conversion topic is not something that most people get right on their first try. Truly impressive conversion comes from a mixture of adjusting the dials on different parts of the lead magnet, being willing to experiment, and not being afraid of taking risks. If you’ve got any questions on how to increase your conversion rate, send us a note!