Inbound Marketing Examples – 14 Ways to Attract Great Clients

Robert Williams

More leads? Who cares. What you want is better clients. And they do exist. They’re out there. The trick is tracking them down. That’s why today I want to share some awesome inbound marketing examples with you. Because you know what is better than finding a good client? Attracting the them to you.

First off, few sites have a truly sound inbound marketing strategy.

That makes it differentiator. Good clients are sophisticated. They get marketing. So they can recognize a good inbound marketing strategy when they see it. By demonstrating one on your own site, you attract better clients.

So what exactly is inbound marketing? It’s a term that’s been around for years. But basically it boils down to creating something that attracts your prospects. These assets are commonly referred to as Lead Magnets, Premiums, or Friend-catchers.

Essentially, a good inbound strategy offers a free incentive of some kind that attracts clients to your business.

You give them something in exchange for, say, their email address or even just some of their attention. That’s how I want you to think of inbound marketing: as an exchange. You are creating and then trading something of value (like a tool or report) to a prospect in exchange for their attention.

You’ve probably seen this in action many times, but if you’ve never used this strategy in your own business, here’s some examples of inbound marketing done right.

My 14 Favorite Inbound Marketing Examples

1 – Search Engine Optimization

Example of inbound marketing: the Wirecutter's SEO

To me, search engine optimization is one of the purest examples of inbound marketing. Your ideal client are typing stuff into Google right now. Search engine optimization (SEO) is knowing what they’re looking for and giving it to them on your website. If you can do it once, customers instantly believe and trust you can do it again.

A great example of this is The Wirecutter, they know people are looking for product recommendations. By anticipating this and creating top-notch product reviews, they’ve become a go-to product recommendation site for millions.

2 – Ebooks

Inbound Marketing Example: Ebook

To win great clients, you need to build trust. That takes time. And Ebooks give you more time to present your ideas to your prospects than a blog post or tweet. They also have higher perceived value. Although I suggest you don’t want create something massive, writing an ebook on a topic your customers care about deeply can be a huge lead generator.

Want to see 5 more great inbound marketing examples?

3 – Email courses

In exchange for a prospect’s email address, an email course is a great example of inbound marketing. By offering a meaty written course, delivered via email, you not only get to explain yourself fully, but you get to keep in touch with clients over the course of weeks or months.

Your clients can even reply to any email in the course and start a conversation with you directly.

4 – Newsletters

The Hustle is a startup newsletter

Similar to email courses, newsletter provide the benefits of email – in a more free form structure. You can promise to deliver value to their inbox around a certain topic, or format, or even just your random thoughts. Newsletter’s have become super popular recently because companies are realizing that direct access to people inboxes means direct access to their attention.

Some recent popular (and great) newsletters include: Morning Brew, The Hustle, and Scott’s Cheap Flights to name just a few.

5 – Quick tips

You don’t need to write a 5,000 word blog post to get inbound leads. Boiling down your expertise or advice to a tweet or simple before/after graphic is enough to bring people to you. Quick tips are easily sharable so more people see what you create.

6 – Guides

Guides are almost a combination of two inbound marketing strategies: ebooks and blog posts. They’re meatier than blog posts and usually written more like a stand alone book. But unlike ebooks, guides are typically free. Because they’re online, guides can even be interactive including graphics or tools to help you make progress on your goals. Julian.com is a great example of this.

7 – Templates

If your clients are looking for them, templates related to the work you do, are a great way to bring in leads. If you provide them with a useful template they can use again and again – they will make your brand natural part of their workflow. DocSketch is a great example of this.

8 – Planners and calendars

Another tool that clients may be looking for in your niche are calendars and planners built to help with a specific goal. These are popular in content marketing, because they help multiple people get on the same page.

9 – Spreadsheets

The business world runs on spreadsheets. But creating them can be time-consuming and complicated. It’s likely you already use a spreadsheet in your business. No matter how basic it might seem to you, a prospect out there might find it useful.

10 – Reports

Reports are a great way to get more inbound leads because they get have a higher chance of getting linked to from large media companies. Bonus points if you can run a study or survey in your industry.

11 – Free consultations or assessments

Inbound marketing example - consultation

Another great way to attract inbound leads is to offer a free consultation or assessment of your clients business or problem area. This is a good one to start with because it takes almost no time to create.

12 – Calculators

Calculators are great for inbound marketing, particularly in the financial or accounting space. However, you’d be surprised to learn how many different industries use custom calculators on a regular basis.

13 – Analyzers

This is similar to a calculator – however instead of a numeric output – an analyzer can give you almost any result. For example, a free analyzer can give you an SEO report, a headline analysis, or even a personality test. We all love tailored information so analyzers are attractive to clients.

14 – Software

Free software is another great example of inbound marketing. It works by creating a tool that you give away for free. I’ve seen all types of software be used this way, from: entire SEO keyword planning tools to background noise generators.

Why inbound marketing?

There’s a recurring theme around all of these examples. Email marketing. I’ve used email to make hundreds of thousands of dollars both in project work and selling products. And while I don’t mind cold emailing, I prefer emailing “warmer” contacts.

That’s what makes inbound marketing so great. It allows you to grow your audience with trust from the start. By using inbound marketing, you’re able to not just claim expertise, but prove it by showcasing it.

So does inbound marketing and creating lead magnets actually work?

Yes. I’ve found that having a good lead magnet is still an untapped resource. In fact, lead magnets are 2-3x better than your portfolio alone at attracting clients.

An actual inbound marketing strategy, like creating a lead magnet performs 2-3x better than a portfolio at attracting clients in my experience. Click To Tweet

The caveat is that in order for any marketing strategy to be worthwhile, it must provide value to your audience. So you need to drill down and figure out how you can help them, without giving away all of your secrets for free.

What should you create?

You might be wondering where to get started with your inbound marketing strategy. If you don’t already have a list of ideas derived from your client’s needs, start with some research. For example:

Pick a format from the inbound marketing examples above

Once you’ve identified a problem area you’d like to solve with your inbound marketing, now simply choose a format that makes the most sense out of the options above. Think about what your prospects are most likely to want to consume.

You can also mix and match inbound marketing examples. For example, you might create an SEO blog post that offers a free downloadable template.

How will you get people to sign up?

Here are a few tips to consider for getting people to come to your site.

  1. Copywriting. Make your headlines and supporting copy agitate pains and provide solutions to compel them to take action.
  2. Numerous offers. Show several different opt-in boxes on your website. Give multiple opportunities to sign up.
  3. Design. Think about the flow that you want new people coming to your site to experience.
  4. Promotion. Make sure to budget time promoting the content you create.
  5. Consistency. It takes time to build an inbound engine. Keep a regular cadence and publishing cycle.
Here are 5 awesome swipe-worthy ideas for lead magnets

Tips for effective inbound marketing that attract clients

I have a few final tips for you as you build your inbound marketing strategy. Firstly, follow this checklist:

Inbound marketing strategy checklist:

  1. Does your content clearly identify the audience and ensure your language / voice targets them?
  2. Did you identify a real problem that your  audience has and can help solve?
  3. Are you promising at least one “quick win” – something that your audience can put in place and achieve quickly?
  4. Does it demonstrate your expertise and leave you curious for more?

Secondly, monitor your results! Are you getting sign-ups that you’d expect? Do you need to make any changes about how you market or present your offer? What impact do those changes have?

Focusing on what your clients want is at the core of my new course Endless Clients. I teach you how to find 10+ $10,000 client opportunities in under 30 minutes whenever you want, as well as finding endless content ideas through advanced client market research.

It’s currently closed (we only open twice a year) but if you sign up below you’ll get notified when spots open up again.