Ah, lead generation. The constant befuddlement of many an entrepreneur. It’s the one thing we all know we need to do, and the one thing that perpetually confounds most of us. Where do leads come from, exactly? How, precisely, are you supposed to generate them? Well, the simple answer is to have a cracking lead magnet or two that appeals to your ideal client. They’ll be desperate to get their hands on it and happily hand over their contact details in exchange. You then have the opportunity to market to them directly, nurture that relationship through email and content sharing, or pick up the phone and have chat. Convince them to buy from you or work with you. The (slightly) more complex answer is to then run PPC ads to your lead magnets. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Mistake Most Entrepreneurs Make With Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are an incredibly powerful tool, but the one mistake many people make with them falls under the banner of The Cornfield Paradox. If you’re unfamiliar with this particular paradox, it refers to the LIE running rife among entrepreneurs and – in particular – so-called ‘gurus’ teaching marketing. The lie is simple, and very appealing: If you build it, they will come.
It’s called The Cornfield Paradox on account of this being a famous line from the godawful film, Field of Dreams. The film features a magical cornfield, from which an ethereal baseball team appears one day, solving all the main character’s problems. The main character is Kevin Costner, which in my opinion is problematic in and of itself. But essentially a mystical voice from the cornfield tells him to build a baseball blind and everything will be fine.
If you build it, they will come. And in so doing (apparently) solve all your problems.
And, many an entrepreneur (myself included in the early years before I cracked wise and taught myself SEO) have fallen foul of this particular lie. The fact you’ve built a website doesn’t mean it’s going to magically flood with a ton of traffic.
Creating a lead magnet and making it available doesn’t mean you’re going to instantly get thousands of people subscribing to your list.
For that, you need to be active in your promotion of it. End your blog posts and social posts with a CTA to sign up. Share it across all your channels. And yes, advertise it.
Before you freak out, this really doesn’t need to be a complicated or expensive endeavour. You can effectively advertise a lead magnet using Pay Per Click (PPC) at very low cost. Yes, it’s a cost. But you’re far better off in the long run investing a little in advertising than you are putting your faith in magical baseball players emerging from the cornfield.
Nothing good ever happened in a cornfield.
So, here are 10 highly potent reasons you should run PPC ads on your lead magnets…
#1 Highly Targeted Promo
Let’s start at the beginning of the process and work through. When you have a lead magnet you have (hopefully) designed it with your ideal client in mind. Your intention is to put it in front of as many potential ideal clients as possible. If you’re not familiar with the ideal client premise it’s super simple – why target anyone and everyone when you can target the very specific type of people you most want to work with? The specific audience you are best able to help? The people who will want exactly what you are offering and will happily pay what you’re asking for it?
I put a lot of stock in the ideal client method, so much so that it’s central to Divine Blogging (my forthcoming book and signature content marketing method!). The better you tailor your content to meet the needs of your ideal clients the more likely you are to attract the right people, grow a pack of dedicated followers, and create a lucrative business.
When it comes to lead generation, your priority isn’t to attract as many generic leads as possible,
It’s to attract as many of the perfect people as possible. Not only are they more likely to convert (because what you’re offering is FOR them), they’re more likely to appreciate your offering, find value and genuine solutions in what you do, have a positive experience with you, come back for more in the future, and recommend you to others.
You’ve (again, hopefully) created a lead magnet that will appeal to your ideal client. But how do you put it in front of your ideal client?
If you’re investing in your SEO (and again, I hope you are!) there will be some degree of organic traffic coming and finding you. And if you’re optimising for the right things, much of that traffic will be your ideal clients.
But beyond that PPC offers you a means to get incredibly specific in who you target. SEO is great when it comes to attracting people searching for a particular query, but it doesn’t allow you to filter those people.
To say you only want women, or people between the ages of 30 and 50, or high income individuals, or business owners.
PPC allows you to create highly targeted ads that go out to extremely specific audiences. Sure, it also allows you to advertise to a very broad audience if you wanted, but it’s in the specific that we find the most benefit.
#2 Create A Steady Flow
One of the great things about running PPC ads for a lead magnet is that you’re pretty much guaranteed a steady stream of new leads. It can take a little tinkering at the start to ensure your targeting is right and your ads are performing, but once you get the ball rolling you’re set.
As long as you keep running them you’ll have a steady flow of new leads.
If you aren’t using any other means of directly pushing your lead magnet (like pimping it on social media), and you’ve not got a lot of organic traffic going on, PPC will be critical to creating that flow. Even if you are regularly touting it on social media and have exceptional SEO game, it’s still worth adding PPC into the mix for the sake of regulating that flow of leads.
#3 Effective Split Testing
What’s going to be more effective at promoting your lead magnet? A talking head video of you explaining why it’s epic? A whiteboard video? An image? Testimonials from people who have already got it?
What about your landing page? Is a squeeze page the best bet? A long, detailed page?
It’s tough to split test different elements of your campaign without using PPC. With PPC it’s an absolute doddle. Send half your traffic to one landing page and half to another and you’ll soon know which converts better. Switch out your videos and it will quickly become clear which is more effective. Try different headlines, calls to action, and explanations.
#4 Speed Up Your Lead Generation
The number of times I’ve had clients screaming at me “I just need leads!” is incalculable. They all want leads, and they all want them NOW. they don’t want to wait 6-12 months for their new SEO campaign to kick in.
They can’t afford to wait that long.
They need paying clients and they need them now.
Most of the time, they’re happy when I suggest a PPC campaign, either to augment their SEO efforts or to run in the short-term while they wait for their SEO to kick in. Just occasionally though, you’ll get one who doesn’t want to try.
They don’t want the expense or effort. They don’t want to wait. They want leads – right now – and they don’t want to have to spend much to get them.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like that.
If you want to generate leads you’re going to have to pay for them whether you like it or not. The good news is that there are many highly effective ways of doing this without spending a fortune. SEO is great, particularly if you’re able to do most of the work yourself or in-house. Minimal expense and, in the long run, maximum impact.
But for lead magnets organic traffic isn’t usually fast enough or consistent enough to deliver the kind of results you want. Add PPC into the mix and suddenly you have that speed.
#5 It’s A Numbers Game
Why is speed a factor? Lead generation is a numbers game, pure and simple. Let’s say 100 people view your landing page. Most of them won’t signup for your lead magnet. A percentage will. And while there are ways of maximizing that percentage, generally speaking a 1-2% conversion rate is considered reasonable.
5% or above is great!
In real terms that means you’re going to have to send around 100 people to your landing page for every new lead you get. If you’re lucky you’ll get five leads for those hundred people. You need to drive NUMBERS to your lead magnet in order for it to be effective.
If the goal of the lead magnet is to grow your email list, you’re looking at attracting hundreds if not thousands of people.
100 signups at a 5% conversion rate requires 2,000 people to see your lead magnet’s landing page (or equivalent).
With the right PPC campaign you can achieve that far quicker than you will organically.
#6 Automated = Predictable
One of the many joys of automating your lead generation is that it’s inherently predictable. You can – to a reasonable degree – scale your efforts up and down and know roughly what the result will be before it happens.
For example, if you’re generating 20 new leads per day, and converting those leads into sales at a rate of 1% you’ll be making one sale every five days or so. If each new lead is costing you £2 and each new sale is generating £400 in sales, you’re doubling your money.
Ads are costing you £200 per 100 leads and you’re earning £400 per 100 leads.
Doubling your ad spend is therefore going to lead to twice as much profit; if you spend twice as much you’ll generate twice as much.
There can be some fluctuation in this – you may find your Cost Per Lead (CPL) goes up or down a little as your spend increases. But this is usually down, meaning you’ll end up making even more money, because you’re spending less to generate the same amount of revenue.
Suddenly you’re more than doubling your money.
Nothing in life is guaranteed. We can’t say for certain your conversion rate or CPL will hold steady as you scale. The good news is, if it doesn’t, we’ll know very quickly and can revert back to what was working better before. As risks go, it’s minimal.
Generally speaking though, ads are easily scalable with a high degree of predictable outcomes. That predictability is incredibly useful for business owners. If you’re working with passive income products as your ultimate sales goal, once you have your lead magnet effectively converting people to buy your passive income product, you can make as much money as you want.
There’s no limit on how many you can sell, so you can scale your ads until you reach the tipping point where more budget decreases your profit margin rather than increasing it further.
This tipping point exists for every ad campaign; more is not always better. By starting with a low spend and steadily scaling you ensure you find the perfect balance. The point at which you get the most sales for the least cost per conversion (CPC).
#7 High Volume Enables Fine Tuning
The more people you have running through your funnel the more data you have to work with. When you’re relying on organic traffic to fuel your funnel, even if you have a lot of organic signups, you will always be able to push a higher volume of traffic through your funnel by advertising your lead magnet.
The more data you have the more you’re able to fine-tune and tweak things. The more you’re able to refine how everything works to improve efficiency. Your split tests, for example, require a certain volume of traffic before they will produce meaningful results. You may find after you’ve worked with converted clients that something about your ad is attracting individuals with a particular way of thinking that is not aligned with you and your business. Likewise, you may find that many people are abandoning your funnel at a particular point, without converting, because something is putting them off.
These kinds of trends are only noticed when you have a consistent, steady stream of traffic running through your funnel. When you can say with certainty which new conversions came from what marketing activity.
Trying to figure this out from organic traffic can be very tough. Unless you’re blessed with very regular, high volume traffic, and your SEO is so on-point that you only attract the people you target, fine tuning your funnel is far easier (and more effective) when you’re running ads.
Between the ability to split test your audience and notice these trends, you can consistently test and tweak your ads ensuring they continue to perform. Initially you’ll want to fine tune them so they are performing as well as they possibly can. Later, you’ll need to be able to tweak to maintain that performance.
#8 Engage Your Social Audience
One surprising benefit of running PPC ads on lead magnets is the boost it gives your social media efforts. If you don’t usually run ads on your social channels, the fact you are doing will give you a big boost in reach. This is particularly true on Facebook, which hates all organic efforts and generally despises anyone that doesn’t advertise with them (it didn’t used to be that way, but alas, they are well out of the golden age). Instagram is going the same way. These days if you want genuine organic reach without the need for any ads at all, you need to be on TikTok.
Running PPC ads – even very low budget ones – will give you greater reach and better engagement, not only with new people but your existing audience. More of your existing followers will see your lead magnet, not just through you targeting them, but because you’ll see an uptick in organic reach also.
#9 Boost Your Organic Conversions
Speaking of organic reach, whatever you’ve got going on in the organic department – be it on social, Google, whatever – can only benefit from ads pushing your lead magnet. The Google gods like to see traffic going to a site. If they see a healthy amount coming your way from social media they will also start sending more in your direction.
Nothing demonstrates your content is worth viewing like a lot of people viewing it. So while you’re paying for the instant traffic generated by your PPC ads, there should also be a knock-on effect that helps your organic traffic grow and your domain authority increase.
#10 Maximise Your ROI
The upshot of all of this is super simple: you invested in your lead magnet. Either in time and effort, or by forking over some moolah to get a pro to do it for you. A lead magnet is an asset for your brand, but like any expense its value is determined by how much revenue it generates for you in return.
Whatever the ROI you’re achieving on your lead magnet organically, or could achieve organically with a new lead magnet, it will be greater if you run ads to promote it. For all the reasons we’ve seen, PPC ads are a great way to promote a lead magnet. Done well, you’ll gain a steady stream of leads who, in turn, will convert into a steady stream of new revenue.
Yes, you’ll be spending money to do that. Yes, it’s an investment. But so was creating the lead magnet to begin with. By spending more – as counterintuitive as it may seem – you create the best possible chance of earning back your expenditure, and then some. Without that PPC boost you may find it takes months, if not years, to recoup the production costs of your lead magnet.
And remember, just because you’re spending money on ads doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. Some of the most successful ad campaigns I’ve run were on an absolute shoestring budget. As long as you’re smart about it, and have an effective funnel in place to ensure your leads are nurtured and converted, running PPC ads on your lead magnet will maximise your ROI.
Need Help With Your PPC Ads?
If you’re sold on the notion of pimping out your lead magnets via PPC but you’ve no idea where to start, don’t fret. We can run your ad campaign for you. Just let us know what you’re hoping to achieve and we’ll advise you on the best type of ads to run and the ideal budget. Don’t worry, you can get really effective results with the right lead magnet and as little as £2 per day in ad spend.
And if you love the idea but don’t actually have a lead magnet yet, we can help with that, too! Check out this free Wheel Of Life workbook we recently made for life coach Anna Miller (psst we wrote, designed, built and optimised her website too ????)…