Have you tried to grow your email list and generate good leads and get little more than an underwhelming single- or double-digit response?
Maybe you’ve been churning out blog posts, faithfully posting to Facebook, and trying to figure out how to make people actually engage with your content.
Trust us—you’re not alone.
Here’s the thing. If you aren’t using lead magnets, you’re wasting time with all those other marketing strategies.
This is not to say content marketing and social media don’t work. They do.
But they work better when you know who is actually interested in what you have to offer.
Lead magnets cut through the noise and directly connect you (no algorithms needed) with prospects who are interested in what you offer.
Creating a great lead magnet can require a substantial investment of your time. But done properly, the payoff can be exponential.
In this post, you’ll learn what a lead magnet is, what makes them successful, how to create a lead magnet, and how to cleverly implement it into your marketing plan.
Before we dive in, let’s start with a lead magnet definition to make sure we’re on the same page.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is an online incentive offered to prospective customers in exchange for their email address or phone number. They generally offer downloadable digital content, such as an ebook, PDF checklist, whitepaper, or training course. But a lead magnet can also be an email course, coupon, or video.
The main components of a lead magnet are:
- Form: The form users fill out, usually with their name, email address, phone number, title, etc.
- Content: The downloadable item offered to prospects in exchange for their information.
- Delivery email: The email sent to users who fill out the form, which includes a link or file with the content.
- Thank-you page: The page users see after they download the content or fill out the form. This is optional, but a good way to kick start the relationship with your lead.
Businesses then use the contact information gathered to create a lead nurturing or retargeting campaign to guide those prospective customers through the lead magnet funnel to conversion.
Extra resource: What is a lead magnet funnel?
A lead magnet funnel is a visual representation of the path that leads to a lead magnet offer. The messaging of the offer is refined at each stage of funnel until the lead is convinced to take the plunge and sign up for the lead magnet offer.
What makes a good lead magnet?
A good lead magnet is mutually beneficial—the prospective customer gets something of value, and the business gets direct access to their target audience.
Here are a few other qualities of a great lead magnet.
- It’s valuable: Nothing in life is free—including building an email list of prospective clients. In order to give up their contact info, future customers want something of value. Your lead magnet should have a high perceived value (like a resource that solves a problem) or something of actual value (such as a free software trial).
- It offers instant gratification: People who sign up for lead magnets are looking for a solution right now. Your lead magnet should be easy to sign up for and quickly deliver on your promise. The longer it takes to apply or receive your offer, the more likely your lead will get distracted or lose interest.
- It’s well-designed: If your lead magnet is sloppy or hard to consume, your audience isn’t going to have much faith in your company. Lead magnet design is a core part of creating an asset that builds trust with your audience. Make sure your magnet looks professional and is easy to scan.
- It aligns with your business and highlights what you do best: Your lead magnet should build consumer trust in your company, so the content should align with what your business does. For example, a paint manufacturer might produce a video series on how to professionally paint a room, but they wouldn’t offer advice on how to unclog a drain. Furthermore, focus on your unique selling proposition (USP); what makes your business better or different from your competitors’.
What are the benefits of using a lead magnet?
From the company’s point of view, the benefits of a lead magnet can include building an email list, developing customer relationships, and, hopefully, increasing sales. It’s an audience that’s far more receptive to your marketing efforts—ads, email campaigns, and even sales calls—because they’ve already demonstrated that they want the content you’ve offered. And when that lead nears the purchasing stage, your lead magnet leaves you in good standing with that person—drastically increasing the chance they’ll use your services or products.
Prospective customers benefit from lead magnets by receiving something that helps them solve a problem they are facing. For example, a job recruitment company might offer a list of interview questions and answers. The company gains contact information for people who are looking for jobs, while the person receives a list to help them ace their next job interview.
How will you deliver lead magnets to your new subscribers?
Once your lead magnet is created, you’ll need to set up automated delivery so that your subscribers receive your offer shortly after they submit the opt-in form.
This can be achieved in one of two ways: tag your subscribers and set up an email automation within your email service platform (ESP), or use Leadpages built-in Lead Magnet Delivery system (free with any Leadpages subscription).
Jump ahead to learn:
- The benefits of Leadpages Lead Magnet Delivery
- How to set up your first automated delivery email in Leadpages
How to create your own lead magnets
Check out these different kinds of lead magnet examples.
1 – Go beyond PDFs
With the Leadpages Lead Magnet Delivery, all you need is a link! You can use a link to a downloadable asset, a web page, or a link to a digital resource such as:
- A Google sheet, templated/collaborative, Canva templates
- A file to download (like a Dropbox file full of design assets)
- A zip file (full of goodies)—Remember, zip files aren’t downloadable on mobile, so you should include messaging that people should download it on desktop.
2 – Include your Calendly link or a link to your Calendly landing page
Calendly is an awesome feature that pairs with Leadpages. With it, you can
- Ensure the prospects go open your email before they register.
- Ensure that you get a valid/qualified email address.
- Train people to engage with you in their inboxes.
3 – A coupon link or code
Everyone likes getting a good deal. In fact, 93% of online shoppers say they will use a discount code at least once this year.
That’s why offering discounts or free shipping is one of the most effective lead magnets for e-commerce stores. Coupons or discount codes are easy to create, and most users are happy to hand over their email addresses for a few bucks off their orders.
In this lead magnet example, Primary.com, an online kids’ clothing brand, uses a coupon and free shipping to get new users to sign up for their email list. It’s simple and effective.
There is one caveat. These kind of leads might not be the most valuable. You may get a lot of deal seekers mixed in with prospects who will buy over and over again. For this reason, consider using lead scoring or lead qualifying to find the most valuable leads.
4 – Email course
An email course is a sequence of lessons delivered by email over a predetermined period of time. This is an ideal lead magnet for coaches or brands looking to educate their prospects.
Here’s an example of how to do it:
Customize the email (text and button)
Give people a rundown of the first 3 action steps they should take:
- Download the content offer (perhaps a pre-worksheet to the email course)
- Join the FB group to connect w/ others, ask your questions/ take action now
- Subscribe to the blog for more free content
- Wait for the email course to begin!
5 – Good old PDFs
A good old PDF can take you far! Here are three examples of them:
Case studies use real-life examples to show how your best customers use your product or service. Putting together a report on these customers helps prospects visualize and understand how to use your product or service and persuade them to convert.
Case studies also have a reputation for being dry and boring. But, they don’t have to be.
Successful case studies should be short and focus on storytelling, rather than being a dry recounting of stats. Focus on the customer and their successes. Include engaging elements, such as a video, charts, or infographics. Case study lead magnets tend to attract more qualified leads, making it an ideal way to market.
A resource guide is a collection of tools or other guides that help prospects solve a specific challenge. For example, Updater, a website that helps people move, has a list of moving resources, including packing guides, where to find a moving company, and how to estimate your costs.
Rather than offering this information on their site, they could gate the content and create a lead magnet to help build a list of people who are planning to move soon.
Remember, a resource guide doesn’t have to be complex—it could be as simple as a list of books on your industry or recommend tools.
Checklists help people stay organized, but they also give a satisfying feeling of progress. If you have how-to guides or instructional blog posts, those can easily be distilled into downloadable checklists.
Start by taking popular blog posts and simplifying them into a bullet point list, removing any points that aren’t actionable. Split the list into numbered steps, gate the content, and voilà, you’ve got a checklist.
Consider offering your checklist in a printable format so people can physically tick-off each item on the list as they complete it. That positive sense of accomplishment will leave leads feeling good about themselves—and your brand.
6 – Webinar
Webinars are live training events that can also be used as valuable lead magnets. For example, Search Engine Journal asks attendees for information about where they work and their work phone number. These details help better qualify leads.
Webinars allow brands to attract highly qualified leads by selecting a topic that speaks to your core audience. For example, if a social media tool is wants to attract B2B leads, they could offer a webinar on social media for B2B companies.
Webinars are easy to produce, using free tools like Zoom and Slideshare. But, don’t make the entire webinar a pitch—the primary goal should be to educate.
Why use Leadpages for your lead magnets?
Leadpages really does make it easy to send lead magnets; you don’t need to mess with any code or send your lead magnet to a developer who spends months setting it all up.
You can do it yourself in just a few minutes. And it’s fully customizable with the ability to share your offer with a customizable email subject line, message, and call-to-action.
Here are a few other reasons why Leadpages is a cut above the rest when it comes to collecting leads:
Instant opt-in delivery
Once you’ve added your lead magnet to your form, anyone who submits it will receive an email with a link to download your file or external URL.
No need to connect a third-party email service provider
Rather than integrating with an email service provider and setting up automation, you can use Leadpages to deliver your opt-in offer. It’s all free and easy inside of Leadpages.
Backup delivery for your existing ESP
In the case of most major email service providers (ESPs), such as Mailchimp and AWeber, email confirmation messages are only sent once (when a new subscriber is added). So, unless you’re utilizing tags or advanced automations, any existing subscriber who opts into your list will not receive your lead magnet. That’s where the Leadpages Lead Magnet Delivery comes in! We ensure every opt-in (whether or not they’re already on your list) receives the free content that was promised to them.
Mailchimp & AWeber integration
If you’re already on the list, you won’t get the confirmation message again (therefore, you won’t get the lead magnet unless you have an automation set-up. This Leadpages feature then serves as a backup for those types of services.
If the link changes, it auto-updates!
If you change the link of your lead magnet, just update the setting within Leadpages, and Leadpages will update the link inside the emails. For example, if you send an ebook, then update it—simply update the link inside Leadpages and when your subscribers open the email, they’ll have the most recent asset!
How to use Leadpages to deliver your lead magnet
Our Lead Magnet Delivery system makes it easy to deliver content to your leads fast. Start by creating a good piece of content to incentivize visitors to opt-in.
1 — Upload your lead magnet and customize your delivery email
- Log in, then click the profile option in the upper right corner. Select Lead Magnets.
- Click Create a New Lead Magnet.
- Add a name, upload your lead magnet file or URL, and fill out the sender fields.
- Write the message that will show up in your lead magnet email and write the button text.
- When you’re done, press Save.
When we send your lead magnet, the email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org using the “Sender Name” that you specify. If anyone responds to your lead magnet delivery email, it will be sent to your Sender Email.
Now that you’ve got your lead magnet uploaded and the email created, you’ll need to connect it to a form on a landing page or pop-up. Then, anyone who submits information in your form will automatically receive an email with the message you wrote and a link to download your file.
2 – Connect your forms to your lead magnet delivery automation
- Add a form widget or pop-up to your site (or use an existing one).
- Click the form and open settings, then select the Actions tab.
- Click Add a Lead Magnet and select the lead magnet you created from the menu.
- Press Save & Close. Make sure to update or publish your page!
Note: If your lead magnet doesn’t show up as an option, click “⟳ Not finding what you’re looking for? Try refreshing.”
Harness the power of lead magnets
Lead magnets are a powerful tool for building a real relationship with leads. Your first step should be to find out what types of resources your leads are likely to be interested in, then create and launch your lead magnet.
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