In an ideal world, every visitor that stumbles across your online store would convert into a customer the first time they visit your website. But sadly, the majority of people aren’t ready to purchase right away—they need some time to decide.
Since they likely come to your store first to browse, research, and evaluate your products, this is a good opportunity to build trust, instill confidence, and establish a relationship with them. But to keep in touch with them and eventually convert them into customers, you need to collect their names and email addresses.
This is where lead magnets come into play!
A lead magnet helps to accelerate the growth of your email list so you can keep in touch with warm leads and build a rapport with them. If you’re just starting out, a few extra subscribers per day can make a big difference to your bottom line each month!
So, if you’re racking your brain trying to come up with an effective lead magnet, you’ve come to the right place. We’re listing plenty of lead magnet ideas in this article to help encourage your website visitors to sign up to your email list and keep an eye on your brand.
Does that sound good to you? Let’s dive in!
What are Lead Magnets?
First things first, let’s quickly explain what a lead magnet actually is.
In short, lead magnets are engaging pieces of online content that offer your audience value so much so that they willingly give you their name and email address in exchange for whatever lead magnet you’re offering.
Lead magnets can be freebies, discounts, offers, exclusive articles, ebooks, or anything else that you think will interest visitors enough for them to provide you with their information.
These days, people are often hesitant to give up their email address because they don’t want to be inundated with spam or an excessive amount of emails, so that means your lead magnet has to be attractive enough to overcome these hurdles. A well-thought-out lead magnet can result in increased email list sign-ups whereas a poorly-thought-out one will barely move the needle.
The success of your lead magnet depends on several factors, namely:
- The design
- The placement on-site
- The quality of your email capture form
- The content of your offer
The best way to outline the nature of lead magnets is with the following example. Here’s what they’re not:
“Please sign up here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter!”
This is a simple call-to-action to get people to subscribe to a company’s email list. You’ve probably come across something like this before. Did you sign up? Probably not—not, unless you’ve already spent plenty of time on the site and you enjoy the brand and its content. Needless to say, this isn’t an effective way to generate leads. It will get some, but it’s not particularly compelling.
On the other hand, if your call-to-action reads something like:
“Download our email marketing checklist for free!”
Then it’s a lead magnet! You’re offering something in exchange for your visitor’s email address. In order to download your email marketing checklist, the visitor would have to provide you with their email address which helps you build your email list while giving your new subscriber valuable content.
So as you can see, the main criteria for a lead magnet is that a clear offer is in place and that its value is directly communicated. Visitors should know exactly what they’ll receive in exchange for their personal details. Of course, you’ll need to deliver on the promise you’ve made, or you’ll lose your subscribers.
The moral of the story? Create great content, then give it up to your visitors as a lead magnet!
But what should you offer them?
Ideas for Lead Magnets
High-quality lead magnets usually solve common issues faced by your audience. This solution typically comes in the form of useful findings, data, stories, an action plan, and/or case studies.
So, the kind of lead magnet you create will depend on your industry. There’s no limit to how creative you can get with these but if you’re stuck for inspiration, check out the ideas below!
Lead Magnet Suggestions for Ecommerce Merchants
In ecommerce, your objective is to secure the purchase which, if you have yet to build a loyal customer base, can be a challenge. However, with the right lead magnet, the first few purchases will come much more easily.
By providing customers with a more pleasant shopping experience.
You could achieve this by offering any of the following as a lead magnet:
- A free coupon
- A free gift with their first order
- Free shipping
- A guide tailored to your niche
- VIP memberships (set up a group that gives advice, support, networking opportunities, etc.)
- Educational materials relating to your niche
Those are just some suggestions—but make sure they’re tailored to your niche! The more focused and targeted your lead magnet is, the better results you’ll get.
Lead Magnet Ideas for Software & SaaS Companies
Purchasing software can be a daunting prospect for some customers—especially if you’re selling your service at a higher price point. So, creating and offering the right lead magnet is essential for building trust with consumers who are unsure whether what you’re selling is right for them.
So, here are a few lead magnet ideas for software and SaaS companies:
- Freemium account access
- A free trial period
- A free demo of your software or service
Or, if you require customers to fill in an application, you could ask customers to provide their email addresses to permit them to save their progress. That way, they don’t have to complete your form all in one sitting.
Lead Magnet Ideas for Info Products
If you’re selling intellectual capital, like an online course or consultancy services, you can attract more leads by offering:
- Free ebooks
- Industry whitepapers
- Mini-courses that you deliver via email
- A short video series exclusive to your email subscribers
- Audio recordings
- Podcast episodes
- Infographics, studies, and reports
- A free webinar
Lead Magnet Ideas for Digital Creatives
If you’re a creative looking to expand your online following and selling your services, you could give away:
- Free templates
- Progress or behind-the-scenes videos
- Design checklists
- Graphics and images you’ve created
- Free online courses, webinars, and/or tutorials
- A percentage of first-time orders
Lead Magnet Ideas for Service-Based Businesses
If you’re selling services, it might be challenging to give away a free sample but you can still provide leads with value to establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
Here are a few lead magnet ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Coupons for your services
- Educational content, like step-by-step DIY guides
- Solutions to common problems that overlap with your service
- How-to videos or walkthroughs of your service
- Examples of client results and testimonials from past clients
- Free online tools related to your service and niche (like planners, workbooks, checklists, etc.)
Lead Magnet Ideas for Musicians
If you’re a musician, you can easily create attractive giveaways to collect more email addresses.
For instance, you could create any of the following as lead magnets:
- Downloadable sheet music
- A free song for listeners to download (make it an exclusive they can’t get anywhere else!)
- Acoustic versions of songs
- Progress videos, first drafts, a showcase of how you write and produce music (anything that shows the behind-the-scenes process)
- Free music-related tutorials
- Tips for learning an instrument, singing techniques, writing techniques, or whatever’s relevant to your niche
All of these are just a few of many lead magnet ideas. In essence, the possibilities are seemingly endless and can be applied to all manner of industries, so get creative!
When it comes down to it, you just need to pin-point something of value to offer your audience and package it creatively. This is an effective way to entice people to get their hands on your lead magnet so you can get their email address and further continue building a relationship with them.
Building & Executing an Attractive Lead Magnet
At heart, lead magnets (when executed poorly) can still feel like an advertisement. So when they’re placed in the wrong situation, offered at the wrong time, or simply forced too eagerly onto your visitors, your lead magnet can have the opposite effect that it’s intended to have. It can actually turn leads away because you’re disrupting the user experience, and ultimately, annoying them.
This means that in addition to the creation of the actual lead magnet, you also need to focus on building an attractive, professional, and non-intrusive way of capturing email addresses.
For instance, some websites present their lead magnet as a popup once visitors have spent some time on the site. Hopefully, by then, the content on your website should have prompted the visitor to seek more value from you.
If you don’t like the sound of a popup—you could try placing an opt-in form for your lead magnet either at the top or bottom of your website or keep it visible on the right-hand side of the screen. It might be worth split-testing the location of your opt-in form to see whether its placement has an impact on the number of sign-ups you acquire.
Creating Your Lead Magnet
As you begin to design your lead magnet, keep in mind the following questions:
Does it Add Value?
How people respond to your lead magnet depends entirely on how good the offer is but don’t give away empty promises—this will ultimately just break any trust you’ve developed with your audience.
So, start with the ultimate thing, benefit, or solution that your audience desires and then work backward until you think of a lead magnet that provides that solution or at least gets your audience closer to it. Focusing on the end goal helps you to see the big picture so that you can develop the journey to get your audience to that goal and thus, gives them the value they’re looking for.
Ultimately, you want your lead magnet to give something to your audience that they didn’t have before. It has to help them or teach them or give them the tools they need to work through whatever problem they’re trying to solve. Once they can trust you to give value to them for free, they’ll be more willing to let you give value to them at cost.
Once they can trust you to give value to them for free, they’ll be more willing to let you give value to them at cost.
Does it Evoke an Emotional Response?
Nothing connects you with customers like a story that engages them on an emotional level. So, if you have a brand story that’s exciting and inspiring, tell your audience! They’ll get to know you better which will help build a relationship between you both.
Have You Spent Time Perfecting the Content?
Don’t ship out content you don’t care about and haven’t spent time perfecting. If you’re promising value, you should deliver—make your offer as attractive as possible and put in the necessary effort. This may take some time, but it’ll be worth it in the end. And who knows, perhaps your leads might even recommend your lead magnet to their friends.
Are You Being Honest About What Visitors Should Expect?
If you don’t deliver what you’ve promised, you’ll be doing nothing more than confirming your visitors’ initial fears about giving away their personal information for nothing of value. So, be honest about what they can expect and then deliver. Don’t oversell yourself—it will only backfire.
Rinse & Repeat
The best ideas are found by coming up with more and more of them and filtering out anything that isn’t good enough. You might think that you have a great idea now, but in a few days you could come up with something even better. So take your time and really think this through—you might be surprised at how much a little more deliberation can achieve.
Test Your Lead Magnet Ideas Before Creating Them
Creating a lead magnet can sometimes take a long time so you need to be sure that your idea is going to work before you invest hours into making it.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you have a winning lead magnet from the get-go:
- Start by brainstorming. Come up with lots of ideas and try not to be too precious about any of them at this stage.
- Narrow down your favorites and formulate them as headlines or value propositions (just like how they’ll be displayed on your website). Then further narrow down these options to your top 3-5 ideas.
- Now, survey your ideal customers (if you have them, if not, just ask friends or family members who understand your vision) to get as many opinions as possible. Your target audience is your best resource for gathering insightful feedback on what they want from a lead magnet, so make use of them!
- Once you’ve done all this, it’s time to create your lead magnet and implement it on your website. You might want to consider creating a couple different versions of your lead magnet to see which ones are best received. If you don’t get a positive response with any of them, it’s back to the drawing board. Trial and error can’t be entirely avoided still, you can reduce the risk of failure by going through a systematic planning phase.
Structuring a Lead Magnet
If you’re unsure of how to best structure your lead magnet, try sticking to the layout below. By using this as a guide, you shouldn’t go too far wrong:
- The Hook: This is the promise of what the recipient will get when they subscribe to your email list.
- The Connection: Explain why you created the lead magnet, and for whom.
- Key Points: Outline the key issues and solutions you’ll address.
- Call-to-Action: What you’d like them to do next such as subscribe or download your product.
- The Opt-In Process: When it comes to getting your visitors to actually sign up for your lead magnet, asking them to fill out too many fields might be overwhelming for them. This could raise their guard and cause them to exit away from your website altogether. So, unless other information is required, just stick to the basics: Their name and email address.
Have Ideas for Your Own Lead Magnets?
As we’ve said, when lead magnets are concerned, the possibilities are endless! Whichever direction your lead magnet takes, with these basic guidelines and examples you should be able to start accelerating the growth of your email list. Once you have an effective lead magnet up and running, sit back and watch subscribers come in. From there, you can keep in touch with those subscribers and build a relationship with them so they’ll be more likely to purchase from you in the future.