How to Create a Lead Magnet That Gets You Clients & Subscribers

If there’s one thing most of our clients (and businesses everywhere) have in common, it’s that generating leads is a top priority. 

And this makes perfect sense, because without an ongoing stream of leads, your business will struggle to grow. 

In digital marketing, we use a range of different strategies to attract leads – from blogging and social media for those in the early stages of the buyer journey, to targeted ads for those who are closer to making a decision. 

In capturing leads, a key aim is to have them opt into your email database. That way, you can stay in touch with regular emails, educating these potential customers on your product and service, building trust and authority, until the time comes when they are ready to buy – at which point you’re front of mind and their first choice.

Although the digital landscape is always evolving, a lead magnet remains one of the most effective ways to build your database and generate leads. 

In this article we share our top tips (backed up by real life data and examples) on how to create an effective lead magnet for your business.

So what is a lead magnet anyway? 

In a nutshell, a lead magnet is a piece of content that can be downloaded from your website or landing page in exchange for an email address. The beauty of a lead magnet is that it can be completely tailored to suit your audience and bring them real value – and in fact, it has to do this to be effective. 

Another big plus is that it can be anything you want it to be – from a one-page checklist to a 50-page ebook. The wide scope of possibility can be used to great advantage when you know your audience and understand their pain points. But if you are unclear on this, there is a good chance your best efforts will unfortunately fall flat. So below we’ll step you through the exact process we use with our clients to create lead magnets that result in a steady stream of new leads.

Step 1: Know your audience

With any type of marketing, knowing your audience should always be a first step – and a lead magnet is no different. What we want to know about them is not so much their age and other demographic information – although at times this is certainly useful. 

More important to know when choosing the type of lead magnet you’ll run with is their pain point (their biggest problem) and their desire (how they want it solved). 

On top of this, you also need to know their level of sophistication – as in, how much do they already know? This goes for what they know about you and your competitors. 

For example, if you’re a home builder, there’s no point offering a guide to buying land if your ideal client already has land – you need to provide them with the information they need to take the next step. 

Step 2: Create something valuable

Once you know what your potential clients want and what they already know, you can create a piece of content that’s of high value to them for where they are currently stuck.

It needs to explain how you can solve their problem, quickly/and or easily, and show social proof of how you’ve done it for others so they know it works. What this is and how it looks will be different for every business. 

Ideally, you will also create a couple of different lead magnets to suit each stage of your buyer journey. Going back to the home builder example, for those early in the journey (or at the top of the sales funnel) they may only be thinking about building a home right now, so instead of presenting them with a price list, you might offer them some sort of checklist for what to think about when preparing to build. 

For people later in the journey who’ve browsed your website and checked out your designs they are likely wondering: how much will this cost? The question of whether to include pricing on your website for high ticket items is an ongoing debate, but what we do know from experience is that offering a pricing guide as a lead magnet is a really effective way to gather leads and build your email database. 

This strategy has been key to growing a home building client of ours database from a few hundred subscribers five years ago, to over 30,000 today. The best part is, the document doesn’t need to be fancy (although it does need to look professional). We recently created this simple guide for a telecommunications client, and their database has been steadily growing as a result ever since.

As mentioned, it’s a good idea to have at least two or three lead magnets to compliment your marketing efforts in the early days, and you can add to these as you go. At the end of the article we’ll share some examples of lead magnets as well as some tips to help you decide on the best format to use for your business.

Step 3: Help people find it

There’s no point going to the effort of creating your lead magnet if it’s not getting seen by your ideal customers, so a plan to promote it is a must. A great place to start is to create a landing page for your offer. Your page can be very simple with just an image and a few dot points, or it can go into a lot more detail, depending on your offer and business. 

Once you have a landing page, you can use call to action (CTA) buttons in various places, and every time someone clicks on the link, they’ll go to the landing page.There they can enter their details and gain instant access to the download. 

You can add a CTA at the end of your blog posts and in relevant places on your website. You can also promote the landing page on your social media channels, in your blog articles and in your ad campaigns. When you have an effective landing page to back up your great lead magnet, more often than not your customer will jump at the chance to grab some valuable content and be happy to subscribe to your emails to see what else you can offer.

Tip: Expect your landing page to convert somewhere between 20%–40%. Less than 20% and you might be offering something that’s not an ideal fit for the people viewing the page, either because of where they are on the buyer journey or due to the offer itself. 

How to Choose a Format for Your Lead Magnet

In the early days of internet marketing, you could offer a 30-page ebook and have people clamour to get it, read every word, and ask for more. 

These days there is a lot more competition for people’s attention. They want fast results and a simple way to get them. 

Today your lead magnet needs to be easy to consume and quick to implement. 

Another important factor is to consider what your ideal customers are really wanting. If you’re offering ‘done for you’ services, the person doesn’t want to learn ‘how to’ do the thing. That’s why they’re coming to you. They want to see proof of how you are capable of doing it for them. In this situation a case study or pricing guide would be a good lead magnet.

If you are offering a course or training, or ‘done with you’ type service or product, then the ‘how to’ do something is more appropriate.

Examples of lead magnets

Here are some simple but effective ideas for lead magnets that could work for your business for customers at different stages of the buyer journey. It is by no means exhaustive, so use it as a starting point to brainstorm ideas.

Awareness: Top of the funnel

  • Quiz
  • Ebook
  • Video training
  • Checklist
  • Template

Consideration: Middle of the funnel

  • Webinar
  • Brochure
  • Case study
  • White paper
  • Step-by-step guide

Decision: Bottom of the funnel

  • Pricing
  • Free trial
  • Live demo
  • Special offer
  • Free consultation
  • Free assessment

Lead magnets work – but only when done right

With the heavy focus on digital marketing in recent times, especially over the last 12 months as so much of what we do has pivoted to virtual and online, the content you share with potential customers has to be spot on – or it will get lost in the noise.

When it comes to lead magnets, they need to add value to your audience and be targeted to their needs now, be packaged in the right format to appeal, and be promoted in the right places to get noticed. Tick those three boxes and your database may just skyrocket!

Like to know more?

If you have a question about how lead magnets could work for you, or want help creating the perfect lead magnet for your business, get in touch with our team today.

 FREE DOWNLOAD: New cheat sheet reveals 50 high-converting lead magnet ideas  to help you grow a massive email list on autopilot

Marinda Wilkinson
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