Tim Paige Reveals How to Create the Perfect Lead Magnet

Coming up with the perfect lead magnet to attract new visitors to your landing page can be a major block for many business owners.

What do you offer? Should it be something short? Something long? Should it be something people can download? Should it be something you send them in the mail?

These decisions can paralyze you if you let them, which can put the brakes on the growth of your business. Regardless of the size or stage of your business, that can be devastating.

Fortunately, our own Conversion Educator, Tim Paige, has some ideas to help you get over this particular bump in the road. Tim is very familiar with this problem, as he talks about it every week on our webinar.

So How Do I Create the Perfect Lead Magnet for My Business?

Tim has seen what does and does not work as a successful lead magnet across many different fields. He has a lot to say on the subject, but he begins with this: Whatever business you’re in, the same basic rules are going to apply to create a lead magnet that resonates with your potential customers.

“The main thing that we always have to remember is our lead magnet is not about us. Our lead magnet is about our potential customer. You want to create a lead magnet that’s compelling, and draws in your ideal customer, but doesn’t only draw in folks who already are familiar with your company.

“If you want a lead magnet that really draws in the folks that you would want to become customers, then you always need to think about their wishes, their desires, their biggest pains, or their biggest pleasure. You need to provide to them something that would enhance that pleasure or reduce or eliminate that pain. But, for maximum effectiveness, it has to be something that is not dependent on them already caring about you.

When I asked Tim who usually had the hardest time coming up with a good lead magnet, he pointed to folks who work primarily in creative endeavors.

“I always find that musicians, artists, writers, and folks who have a product that is very much based on taste have a particularly difficult time coming up with a good lead magnet.

“If I like a particular painter, that’s a taste based thing. There’s nothing behind that, I’m not looking for a particular result as I may be from a business, self-help, or weight loss product. The result I’m looking for is a beautiful piece of art, or the admiration of friends or family, the feeling I get from having this thing that I’m proud of being able to display it on the wall.

“That’s kind of the “result” that I’m looking for, but it’s entirely a taste based thing. It’s entirely subjective. Because of that, you want to give away something that would get somebody interested in your product without having them already have to be interested in your product in particular.”


Tim was kind enough to give me a few examples:

  • An author could give away a list of the top books in his or her genre instead of a chapter of his or her book.
  • A musician could give away a list of the artists who influenced him or her, instead of a song.
  • A person who is a “thought leader” in his or her space could give away a list of other, related thought leaders in the same, or a similar space.

During our weekly webinar, Tim uses the example of a lead magnet called: “The 5 Most Important Comic Books of All Time (Hint: You’ve Probably Never Read Any of Them).”

Tim points out that the second part of the title is the most important because it tells readers who pride themselves on being “in the know” that they may be missing out on something. This allure can draw many people into clicking on that “Download Now” button because they want to make sure they’re up to date on the latest information.

This tactic is useful because the subject of the lead magnet is not tied to any one specific product. Instead, it speaks to fans of a particular area or topic, which can get you a much broader audience.

Okay, That’s Great, But How Do I Work My Product Into This Lead Magnet?

Tim offered a couple of different methods to solve this problem.

“You can always say something in that lead magnet along the lines of, ‘Interested in checking out a great new horror book? I’ve written this new story about…’ Or, you could do that in your follow up sequence, in your emails.

“It really does come down to creating something that solves a particular pain point, or enhances a particular pleasure, but that is not specifically related to you as a provider, or your products or services.

“Now, the other side of that is, you can tie in whatever you have to offer. For example, when LeadPages® was in our early days, we had a lead magnet that was called ‘The 4 (Dirt Cheap) Tools I Use to Create All My Videos (Including My $80 HD Video Camera).’

“In that PDF, which people would get when they opted in, they wouldn’t have to care about LeadPages®. They wouldn’t have to care about LeadPlayer, which was the product we offered at the time. (We don’t offer it anymore.) They wouldn’t have to care about those two things to want to get the lead magnet. They just would have to care about dirt cheap tools to create videos.

“The list was the little HD webcam, and the editing software, and all these little things, but the last tool, tool #4, was our product. We referenced all of those products, we linked to all of them. Some people actually bought our product, some people didn’t, but it tied our product into this nice little package.

The LeadPages® DIY Video Studio Lead Magnet
The LeadPages® DIY Video Studio Lead Magnet

“The other benefit of these resource guides is they actually invite buyers onto your list, instead of just ‘tire kickers.’ If somebody will go out and buy those other things on your resource guide, they’re also likely to buy your product.”

Why Can’t I Just Ask My Customers What They Want?

I’m so glad you asked.

Because I asked Tim the same question. He pointed out that most of the time, customers don’t have an answer to that question. Really, your best bet is to look at your customers and make the decision yourself.

“If you say to your customers, ‘Hey, what would help make your life better,’ you’re not going to get a really clear answer. You’re going to get some opinions, some things that people might want, but not necessarily what would make the best lead magnet. Let’s face it, the iPhone changed the world, but nobody knew they wanted an iPhone.

“We need to be really thinking for our customers, based on the experience and interaction that we’ve had with our customers. Regularly, when I’m on a webinar, people will say, ‘Well, what should my lead magnet be? I am a … ‘ Insert business type here.

“I always say, ‘I don’t know your customers like you know your customers. You’ve worked with them, you’ve interacted with them. Maybe you’re one of them. The real magic is figuring out what would really make your customers’ lives better, and providing those things to them in the form of a list, or a guide.’”

Tim also warns against overloading your customer. That can drive them away too.

“You want to be careful of giving too much. This doesn’t mean don’t give too much value,  it really means don’t overwhelm your customer. We’ve found that a 15-part video course is not an effective lead magnet, because people don’t want to devote the time, effort, and energy to watch these massively long video courses. Especially if those things are doled out over the course of 6 weeks or 6 months.

“By that time, people have already lost their interest. They’re already done. They’ve completed their purchase of whatever it is that you’re selling, or they’ve found another service provider. All of that interest and value that was in the initial offer is gone because it’s taken too much time.

“You want to give your customers something that is simple and easy to implement and provides a quick win. A resource guide, a quick checklist, a little worksheet or some kind of marketing- specific swipe copy. You want to give something that would be an easy tool to implement. (Note: For more on the concept of the quick win, see our CONVERTED Speaker Series interview with Pat Flynn.)


“One of our most effective lead magnets, if not our most effective lead magnet here at LeadPages® is our templates. One of the main facets of our software tool is landing pages templates. These are our sales pages, opt-in pages, webinar pages, you name it. They’re all templates that you can edit within our template editor. But we also have all of those templates in HTML format.

“For many of the blog posts that we publish, the lead magnet is our templates. You can actually download a particular template and use it. That has been an insanely effective lead magnet. It’s generated a ton of leads for us because that speaks to what our audience wants.

“Our audience is looking to get better results from their business, so what better way than to give them something to use to get better results from their business. Again, it goes back to the pain and pleasure thing. Go and speak to people’s pain and pleasure, and give them something that will really get the results, and then they will trust you or your company, as the expert.”

Once you’ve learned Tim’s strategies, you should be able to put together a new lead magnet in about 30 minutes—getting the maximum effect from minimal effort. (For more on how to do that, check out this 4-step tutorial from our CEO, Clay Collins)

But I’m in B2B. How Does This Apply to Me?

If you’re a B2B business owner, you may think that this model doesn’t apply to you because you’re selling to another business, not to an individual. You have to remember that businesses are made up of individuals who have decision making power.

You may not be able to find a pleasure or pain point for the Coca Cola Company, but you can certainly find a pleasure or pain point for an executive at that corporation.

Somewhere in every business, there is one person who you can appeal to for your particular product. This person has a boss breathing down her neck to get results. There are things her employees and superiors do that drive her nuts. And most importantly, she needs to find a solution to a problem she has. A problem that, if she solves it, might just get her a promotion.

So focus your lead magnet on that person. Speak to her specifically, not to her organization. Show how your product or service can solve her problem and end her pain or enhance her pleasure. Give her a reason to believe your product will give her the results she’s looking for.

Keeping these things in mind, especially in the B2B arena, will help you create a great lead magnet.

How to Measure Success

So once you put your lead magnet into play, how do you know if it’s working or not?

One measure would be the number of opt-ins you receive. However, that’s not all you need to look at. You need to look at your entire funnel or opt-in process.

Measure everything from the ad or post a person sees before they arrive at your landing page, all the way through to your thank you page. You need to look at several factors, including:

  • Do they opt into your list?
  • Do they share your ad or post?
  • Do they use the social share buttons on your thank you page?
  • Do they sign up for your webinar?
  • Do they buy your product or service?

You’ll get everything from people who go all the way through your funnel and become loyal customers to people who download your lead magnet, unsubscribe from your list, and disappear forever

If you find that most of your landing-page visitors fall into the second category, you need to look at the entire process, then figure out which steps may be broken. But if you start with a great lead magnet, you’ve won half the battle. “Once you’ve got that part down,” Tim says, “you can focus on the other broken points in the funnel.”

Got a Great Idea for Your Lead Magnet?

Tell us what you’re using for your lead magnet in the comments below. Or tell us if this article has inspired you to create a new lead magnet for your business.