I was watching The Godfather for the 20th time the other night, and it hit me that Vito Corleone had a great lead generation strategy.
His special, yet dead simple strategy helped him overcome competition from the other “families,” and made him the most powerful mobster in the country.
What was his strategy?
To help people in ways no one else could. To add value to the lives of people who would later help him in one way or another.
In the first movie, the Godfather uses his political connections to save Enzo “the baker” from deportation. Talk about a unique service, huh?
As a content marketer you also have to help your prospects achieve a goal or give them something they want. And it all starts with your lead generation offer.
Here are 4 ways to come up with a killer offer.
1. Offer longer trial period for your service
Most of the time, your offer will be in the form of downloadable content–an eBook, a slideshow, a video, a podcast–but, you can also get emails by letting prospects test drive your service.
Adobe lets you try their Creative Cloud (basically all the Adobe products) for 30 days.
If your competitor offers a 30 day trial, maybe you can edge them out by offering a worthwhile free plan like Wistia?
Notice that free doesn’t mean watered down: “Includes all Wistia features.”
“Free Forever” relieves the limited-time-offer pressure.
2. Offer something no one else offers
You can give yourself a huge advantage over your competition by being the only one who offers that thing your prospects really want.
A a service provider on the Internet this is darn hard to do.
The good news is your offer doesn’t have to be a one of a kind item. You just have to make it better than what everyone else is pushing.
For example, you can offer more than your competition.
- Dropbox gives you 2GB of free storage.
- OneDrive gives you 7GB of free storage.
- Google Drive gives you 15GB of free storage.
If you can’t offer more, and if it makes sense, offer more features.
Microsoft doesn’t offer as much storage as Google, but they include a basic version of Microsoft Office with their OneDrive service, and they give you the option of upgrading to the full Office suite.
7GB of free cloud storage + Microsoft Office = unique offer.
Here’s a hardware example from Apple. They consistently launch products with features no one else has. They were first to come out with a laptop and tablet with a Retina display.
This also goes to show you that being the first to come out with something can pay off. Now you can’t even say “Retina display” without thinking of Apple.
3. Make your lead offer easy to use
The less layers you put between your service and your prospect, the more likely they’ll be to give it a try.
Optimizely immediately lets you try out their A/B testing service.
Obviously, you might not be able to come up with an offer like this one. In that case you should always…
4. Make your lead generation offer easy to get
And by easy I mean super easy.
The goal is usually to get your prospect to give you his email address.
To improve the chances of this happening, use the fewest number of fields as possible. The more fields you use, the more friction you create because your prospect doesn’t want to work to get your offer.
ConversionXL.com uses only one field.
The “Right Now” in the headline communicates that you will immediately get the results you want.
What lead generation offers do you use?
If you’re cooking up an offer for a landing page, let me know what you’ve come up with so far.
Don’t be afraid to that your offer is going to be lame or ridiculous. After all, if you’re afraid to look ridiculous (“And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous!“), you’re in the wrong business.Follow me!