April 19, 2021

How to create a Lead Magnet and automate Lead Generation

In this insightful article we are going to define the optimal creation of a lead magnet and the ideal set up for automatic lead generation for any real estate business turning into digital. The theory will then be applied to the exemplary case study of Coliving Insights.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers and prospects to capture the interest in a product or service and later nurture these targets until they become actual clients or customers. Lead generation is one of the most important aspects looked after by marketing and sales teams since it allows to target different locations and segments, generates brand awareness, and most importantly fosters business growth.

“61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge.” (Hubspot)

Real Estate businesses, ranging from traditional commercial real estate, to student housing and PBSA, to coliving and other shared living concepts, strongly rely on lead generation to achieve a higher brand awareness, expand the target audience, boost sales and leasing of rooms, as well as gather useful information on the target group.

What is a lead magnet?

While there are many ways to generate and collect leads, one of the most successful solutions is the creation of a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is a free incentive that is offered to prospects and potential customers in exchange for contact details and/or email addresses. The most common lead magnets are free events / webinars or downloadable content which can have a wider range of formats, such as reports, white papers, eBooks, etc.

In the case of real estate, the creation of a lead magnet can ensure an increase in lead generation, while at the same time providing valuable information to prospects. The content of the lead magnet can be also beneficial for marketing objectives as it can be crafted with a mixed character between informational and salesy. Nevertheless, the messages inside the lead magnet need to provide insights that are truly resonating with the target, which should be looking for more after understanding the benefits.

How to create a lead magnet?

There are different ways to build a lead magnet, but the most effective is to offer a product or service for free in exchange for an emailing list subscription. While products and services vary greatly according to the different business sector, the optimal steps to follow to create a successful lead magnet are the same.

Step 1 - Targeting & Research

Before even starting to consider the implementation of a lead magnet it is necessary to define a target for the lead generation campaign, which can be specific, but also very broad. After individuating the target it is important to conduct research to understand their pains or needs in order to choose the best lead magnet format.

Step 2 - Craft the Lead Magnet Product

The following step would be to choose the most appropriate type of content that will resonate with the chosen target, based on the previous research. The content of the product should tackle the pains or needs of the target, providing a clear and irresistible value. Among the many possibilities, here is a list of product ideas to consider when creating a lead magnet:

  • Industry Report or White paper
  • E-book or Audio book
  • Video lesson or course
  • Webinar registration
  • Coupon / Discounts
  • Cheat sheets
  • Access to a private group

Step 3 - Build a Landing Page and Form

After choosing and creating the product, this needs to be hosted in a landing page including a lead collection form to gather contact details. The page should feature a compelling copy to explain the benefits of downloading the content or accessing the offer, making it irresistible for the target users to follow the Call-To-Action.

The form needs to be built in a way that ensures an optimal segmentation of the leads in any emailing list or database. There are hundreds of online services that can be used to create lead collection forms, not to mention that most website builders feature this functionality as part of their native options.

Step 4 - Automate the Collection of Leads

The most efficient way to automate the collection of leads is to set up and integrate an existing marketing automation tool to do the work for you. The current scenario of digital solutions offers a variety of alternatives, from all-inclusive systems such as Hubspot, Salesforce to comprehensive email marketing services such as Mailchimp or Sendinblue. At Digital Estate we are huge fans of  easily integratable no-code solutions that can simplify internal processes, this is why we have to mention as our go-to choice the integration of Webflow with Zapier.

The Coliving Insights Case Study

Digital Estate has been commissioned by Coliving Insights, the leading coliving media platform, to individuate the most appropriate digital solutions to overcome the challenge of lead generation and segmentation.

Coliving Insights is mainly known for its coliving-themed quarterly publications which feature a wide range of innovative content pieces by industry thought leaders to individuate the best practices to start, operate and efficiently scale coliving businesses, among other relevant topics. Coliving Insights represent a one-of-a-kind periodical knowledge base for a wide, but specific target, including established developers, designers, operators, community managers, shared living investors and other stakeholders. The specificity of the content and the pre-definition of the target ensure favourable conditions for the creation of a lead magnet.

The main challenge faced by Coliving Insights in the initial stage was to foster the growth of the media platform and maximise its reach for a greater brand awareness. The digital environment was therefore built to support the record and analysis of the audience interested in the publication. In order to understand and nurture this community an automatic collection and segmentation of leads has been set up.

To address the challenges of Coliving Insights, after an initial website migration to Webflow, the publication pages have been rebuilt to feature additional information to highlight the content and contributors, as well as dedicated web forms for each edition. Having separate forms for each web page ensures differentiation from general forms and lead segmentation by download type.

Through the use of the no-code platform Zapier, native Webflow forms have been seamlessly connected and integrated to the currently used CRM and email marketing tools: in this case respectively HubSpot and Mailchimp. At the same time, in order to maintain a backup database of downloads and enquiries, all form submissions have been also connected to dedicated Google Sheets, which get automatically updated thanks to another Zapier integration. The Google Sheets enable the Coliving Insights team to set up filters to find specific information at any moment as well as create graphics for multiple purposes.

Since its involvement in the project, Digital Estate was able to support Coliving Insights to reach 4000+ publication downloads and, most importantly, to generate over 2500 unique leads, segmenting them in other platforms by different tags and demographic variables for easier marketing communication. Moreover, the automatic collection of leads in pre-determined databases enabled the Coliving Insights team to save several hours of manual and repetitive tasks per week, removing human-mistake factors, while simplifying the process of audience segmentation.

Click here to get your copy of Coliving Insights No.5 - Co-Tech: Innovating Coliving with Technology

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