Lead magnets. What are they and how can you use them?

Lead magnets. What are they and how can you use them?

By Steven Bennett


A lead magnet is an incentive, offered by marketers, that encourages potential buyers to share their contact details or complete an action, such as take a survey. They come in many forms with common formats being eBooks, videos, webinars or other downloadable content that a prospective buyer finds valuable.

There are countless examples of lead magnets that can be found on online. From your favourite wellbeing website offering an eBook that promises to improve your happiness in six steps to a marketing blog that asks for your email in exchange for a free marketing template, lead magnets are a very powerful tool for gathering the contact information of potential customers.

An additional benefit to lead magnets is that they can be used to qualify prospects before they are contacted by your sales team. Due to the interest shown in your lead magnet, a well-crafted incentive can give you a list of potential clients and the problems they are trying to solve.

Who is your ideal customer?

Before you create your lead magnet it is essential that you define who your ideal customer is. Ask yourself, who are they? what do they need? where are they? and why should they care?

By defining your ideal customer, you can create a lead magnet that has a specific purpose and is focused around the wants and needs of the people you want as customers.

Creating lead magnets, their landing pages and promotional material without defining a target customer is almost guaranteed to lead to poor results, expense and wasted effort.

At what stage in my customers journey should I use a lead magnet?

Due to their nature, many believe that lead magnets are used exclusively towards the top of the sales funnel. With the customer journey running as follows:

  1. Your brand is discovered through advertising or a search engine
  2. Once on your landing page a lead magnet is used to encourage visitors to share their email address
  3. Customer downloads your eBook covering a topic such as “how to create high performing Facebook ads”
  4. A relationship with your lead is developed by your sales team using the contact details provided
  5. Further steps are taken to convert the lead into a paying customer

Although lead magnets are often used at the top of the funnel, they are also commonly used near the bottom.  Free trials, coupons, free samples and other methods are lead magnets often used to influence action towards the end of the buyers journey.

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What makes a good lead magnet?

As a general rule there are 5 things you should consider when creating your lead magnet.

Your lead magnet offers value by solving a problem – People are always looking for solutions to their problems. The goal of your lead magnet is to help solve a problem that your potential customer has.

Be specific – Don’t try to solve every problem your potential customer has. The intention is to solve one specific problem not to provide a master class.

Quick and easy information – When solving a problem craft your message in a way that is quick and easy to digest. Long winded or complicated information can quickly turn the attention of your potential customers off.

Instantly accessible – Keep it simple and don’t make your customers jump through hoops or wait for information. Simply ask for an email and provide instant access to the information.

Positions you as the expert – By providing your potential customers with the information they need you are setting yourself up as the authority on that subject. When the time arrives for building a relationship or converting a lead to customer you will be less likely to experience resistance.

Lead magnet types

There are countless examples of lead magnets currently out there. Some are creative and others are straight forward. To get started we always recommend a simple approach, so here are four lead magnet types that you can use in your lead generation campaigns today.

  1. Educational – lead magnets that help solve a particular problem are great for capturing the attention of your potential customers. By giving your prospects a solution to their problem you will instantly gain their attention and position yourself as an expert, drastically improving your chance of building a relationship and converting them to paying customers. Examples of educational lead magnets include tutorials, eBooks, reports and guides.
  2. Entertaining – Quizzes, surveys and giveaways are all great examples of entertaining lead magnets. Perfect for gathering information on your prospects and encouraging them to share results on social media, entertaining lead magnets have been proven to be very rewarding for marketers.
  3. Tools – Simple downloadable tools such as checklists, calendars and planners can be very useful to your potential customers. People are always looking for ways to improve productivity and efficiency. Due to this, simple downloadable incentives can work extremely well. As a bonus, printable solutions can include a logo that gives your potential customers a constant reminder of your branding.
  4. End of funnel – Discounts, free delivery incentives, free trials and waiting lists are all ways of using lead magnets further down your sales funnel. They can be used alone or alongside sales funnels that reside further up the funnel.

Lead magnets summary

Lead magnets can be a great way of boosting your newsletter lists, converting sales and raising your brands profile in the eye of your potential customers. They are simple to create, easy to distribute and can allow you to build relationships with your customers like no other marketing tool.

A good lead magnet, like many things, comes from good planning. Always make sure your incentives are focused and your target audience is defined.

As a final point, don't forget to test and monitor the performance of your lead magnets. The more test you perform the more data you have to improve you future lead magnets.

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