- What is a lead magnet?
- Lead Magnet Tasks
- What makes a great lead magnet?
- Types and examples of lead magnets
- Educational lead magnets
- Bottom of the funnel magnets
- How to create and where to place a lead magnet
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer to your website visitors in exchange for their email address. It usually takes the form of some type of downloadable content that visitors will find useful and relevant to their needs.
The creation and proper placement of such content is one of the most effective ways to assemble a high-quality database of addresses.
There are hundreds of lead magnet options: guides, checklists, cheat sheets, infographics, reports, video instructions, templates and more.
The lead magnet serves to:
- Qualify potential customers (finding whether they’re a good fit)
- Collect their email address
- Impress them with your expertise and helpfulness
A sales funnel typically begins with a lead magnet. But you can have multiple types of lead magnets placed at different stages of your funnel.
So if you use a sales funnel, you’re going to need a lead magnet (possibly more than one).
Lead Magnet Tasks
The primary task of the lead magnet is to attract leads. Not just any leads, but qualified leads i.e. the kind of leads that are a good fit for your business.
- The lead magnet doesn’t just collect email addresses. It helps introduce potential clients to your company/product.
- If customers find your lead magnet valuable and interesting, you will have a competitive advantage over your competitors.
- Besides email addresses, you will also be getting the opportunity to earn your market’s trust and indirectly, to increase sales.
What makes a great lead magnet?
What makes a lead magnet irresistible?
- It solves a real problem that is afflicting your target audience. Alternatively, it can fulfill their desires and ambitions.
- It has a simple title that makes it immediately clear what it is and how it can be used. It should be obvious that you are offering a very good deal.
- It is specific. Don’t try to create a lead magnet “does everything.” Make it about something that you are really good at. The more specific the topic, the higher the conversion.
- It is unique. Try to avoid creating something that has been offered elsewhere.
- It is simple to grasp. PDF checklists usually give a good conversion, because they are simple and easy to view and understand. An ebook or voluminous report may be less effective (at least at the beginning of the funnel).
- It has a high perceived value. The value to the customer should be obvious. Avoid giving out something that is already in the public domain.
- It offers instant gratification. Your lead magnet will work well if your customers can get it right away, without delay. People love instant benefits.
- It demonstrates your expertise or unique value proposition. This will help you turn leads into customers in the future.
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Types and examples of lead magnets
There are 4 types of lead magnets:
- useful lead magnets;
- educational lead magnets;
- entertaining lead magnets;
- lead magnets at the bottom of the sales funnel.
Useful lead magnets
Useful lead magnets are simple and useful tools, or conveniently-packaged knowledge that you can share in exchange for an email.
Copyhackers.com offers a seven-page free checklist for copywriters:
It’s simple — checklists save people a lot of time, and who doesn’t love that?
The checklist itself is in PDF format. This is the first page:
2) Cheat Sheet
The advantages are obvious: a large quantity of information, packaged in a way that can be consumed quickly and easily. And, more importantly, you can consult the cheat sheet anytime you need.
Copyhackers.com also has a cheat sheet for writing headlines:
It is single-page, it can be printed, and the link to the subscription is embedded directly into it. This is great for when people share your content to other people, so that they have a way to subscribe to your newsletter too.
Guide formats may vary. Here are some examples: “5 simple steps to …”, the so-called “road map”, a comprehensive guide, and so on.
Intercom offer this guide on their homepage:
To get access you need to go through a short registration:
4) Toolbox / list of services
It may be straightforward, or highly detailed and elaborate, like the Mention marketing library:
5) A set of templates / bundles:
When you subscribe to Elements.envato.com, you get access to 1.3 million different digital assets, including graphics, video, audio, presentation templates, fonts, etc.
6) Web application / free plugin
An example of such a free plugin is ExactMetrics by OptinMonster:
7) Audio / PDF / infographics
In this section, we’ll talk about how to present the information in your lead magnet.
It’s not just the content that should be relevant to the interests of your target audience. The format should be as convenient as possible.
Let’s say you have a very cool article on your blog, and your website visitor has already read it all, even though it is a really long read. Try turning it into a lead magnet. Make a PDF version that the reader can download, so that they may use it as a reference, just like a cheat sheet.
You may also pack all the information in an infographic. This is practically a win-win scenario. A simple visual interpretation is always easier to consume.
Also, you might want to download our spam infographic to make sure your emails never end up in the spam folder 🙂
Another option is to record an audio version of your content, so that visitors may listen to it while on the go. This is a great option for long commutes, where reading isn’t always convenient.
8) A newsletter can also serve as a lead magnet.
If you are producing a great newsletter, you can use it as a lead magnet. Of course, you need to clearly state the benefits for subscribing. For instance, every week you could review hundreds of pieces of content from your industry and curate the top 5 to send to your readers.
9) Previews or summaries of book chapters
Before you buy a book, you can usually get an idea of the contents by reading a preview of several pages or even the first chapter for free. Here’s an example from The Bookseller:
10) Notification of launches and releases.
This option isn’t just for publishers. Intercom is the perfect example.
Next up, we have some more “expert level” lead magnets. They take a bit more work, but they’re worth the effort.
This is great for when you have considerable experience in your field, along with a collection of anecdotes and scenarios from your industry. With a little bit of effort, you could collect all this knowledge into a book.
This is something that has worked very well for us.
We’ve written two books about marketing and communication automation for online stores and for online services. Our readers have found them really useful and have given us amazing feedback. In fact, you might want to download them too.
12) Reports / studies / data
This format isn’t usually suitable for the top of the funnel, but it works great in the middle stages. Such content will be especially valuable to those who are interested in your field.
For example, Statista publishes part of its data and research:
Mention can safely brag of reports, in their library of 5 actual and detailed reports:
13) Invitation to a closed professional group on Slack or Facebook
This is a special kind of lead magnet. Your role here is to be the expert that brings people together into a community. Giving them access to a professional community and the possibility to exchange opinions and consult with others within their industry is absolutely invaluable. And the best thing about it is that you don’t need to produce content, because the community produces it by itself.
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Educational lead magnets
14) Short video course
Here’s a great example of this – a future-oriented crash course from Hubspot:
Note that there is no lead-collection form. The chatbot collects all of the data. In order to access the video lessons, you need to chat with it.
15) Email Course
Close.com is a great example of this. Over the period of a month, you receive free basic course materials.
Once they have established authority and proven the value of their content, you will need to pay to continue accessing further materials. But by that time, you will want to do that.
16) Webinar or recording of a lecture / event
This is done by universities, infobiz and generally those who sell knowledge. For instance, this could be a course for beginners:
Here is the entry form for one of these courses:
Or you can make part of the course materials available. This is what Intercom does – they have lots of materials in the public domain.
How NOT to do webinars:
Entertaining lead magnets
ProProfs specialize in creating cool “tests” that are entertaining but also informative:
19) Curated entertainment content
BuzzFeed is the king of entertainment content, and with your permission, they will send you curated collections daily:
Bottom of the funnel magnets
20) Free shipping
A very common strategy for online stores:
21) Discount / bonus on your first purchase
Also often used in online stores.
For example, British online book dealer awesomebooks.com gives you a 20% discount code when you subscribe:
And DesignLazy offers 35% off:
22) Free trial or demo
A free trial is a great tool because it relieves the customer of any risk. They can try the service for free and make sure they like it before spending money.
This is common practice in subscription services such as:
We also do this:
23) Free consultation
Earlier in this article, we talked about building an email list. But for some businesses, it makes more sense to collect phone numbers. For instance, this is common practice in legal services.
24) Free quotation
Here’s a simple example from a window/door/furniture manufacturer:
How to create and where to place a lead magnet
Lead magnets work better when they are properly planned. Your top priority should be to understand who you are creating it for. Who are your ideal consumers? What problems and desires do they have? And which of these problems and desires can you help them with?
So, your first step is to study your audience and draw up a portrait of your consumer. Next, you should select a value and, guided by it, create a lead magnet.
Your own blog and social networks can help you with this. Here’s how you do it.
Create a lead generation form or pop-up — design, headline and text. Next, determine where you will place it on the site, or select pages and triggers for the pop-up.
You can place the lead form on the most visited pages of the site, for example on the homepage. Here’s a big and very beautiful lead generation form on the Hubspot homepage:
You may also put it in the sidebar.
Or in the header:
You can also place the form in the footer. Here, French online clothing store Vertbaudet are offering their readers a 20% discount for subscribing to their newsletter:
Here’s a similar offer. This time, it’s a free trial period from Hulu. Notice that it’s presented in two places simultaneously — in the fixed top panel and at the bottom of the page.
Another convenient and effective way, is pop-ups:
Here is another example from Hubspot, where on one page you immediately come across two lead magnets – a block after the article, and a pop-up:
You will need to consider all the places where you can place the form, and adapt the design accordingly. But don’t overdo it. And, of course, you need to test.
For the same Hubspot guide, there are at least two more options for the design of the lead form, depending on where it is located.
Be proud of your lead magnets, boldly distribute them, and remember that giving is much nicer than receiving!