Why you should be creating lead magnets (and what is one)

Websites. We need them, we constantly update them, but are they providing the best number of leads that they possibly can for your business?
October 11, 2019

On average, over 70% of your website traffic is likely to be new visitors each month. People are interested in the services or products that you offer, but they aren’t interested enough, or ready, to buy RIGHT NOW.

So how do you enter a conversation with your audience, and give them a reason to buy when they are ready?

Quick answer – start building lead magnets into your marketing strategy.

A lead magnet is quite simply, something that attracts your audience and entices them to provide you with their highly-sought-after email address, or their social follow and share. The benefit for you is that you can start building an interested database, to keep marketing to, until they are ready to purchase.

Think of The Body Coach, Joe Wickes. He regularly gives away free workout sessions, free recipes and free tips, but his business is selling DVDs, cookbooks and membership plans. The aim isn't to give away every recipe in the cookbook, but to get a strong fan-base who have the same values. When they're ready, they will buy the products because they already know what to expect and they trust it.

To be truly beneficial, the content has to be useful, interesting and relevant for your audience. Everyone hates spammy email, and having your branding on top of spammy email isn’t going to do your business any favours. If you look too “salesy”, then the same applies. I only want to buy the services or products from the companies that I deem are worthy of my mullah, and that requires a high level of trust.

On the opposite end, lead magnets can become repellents. I’ve long since dropped any kind of “free” software that makes me put my credit card details in first. I've spent too much time attempting to get out of the never-ending payment hell-hole and it's left a hideous taste in my mouth. It's certainly not led to future purchases,even if they’ve hit me up with disclaimers in advance.  

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that you start giving away your crown jewels for free! Instead, give away a taster. Get their email address, and (with consent), start sending them more useful information. Get them to subscribe to your social channels so they see when new content is available.

With that in mind, here are some ideas to help build a lead magnet.

1. Think about how you’re going to capture the info

  • Design a clear landing page that gets to the point and gives the audience a clear idea of what they’re going to get from signing up. Don’t have distractions on this page so they’re tempted to navigate off.
  • Create short entry forms. Make it as easy as possible for people to provide their details. This could be email address and first name, and bosh, they’re in straight away
  • Provide the download there and then. Make it appear as soon as the details are submitted, or set up an automated email that sends the file within 5 seconds of their data being entered
  • And (in my opinion) - make it free! No credit card details to scare prospects away!

 2. Design content that's interesting

Think about what you can offer your audience that solves some of their problems.


  • Provide a handy list of things that are second nature to you, and that your audience can do themselves with a bit of guidance. Put it in a lovely designed pdf that they can print off and use, with your branding and contact details clearly visible. This provides immediate gratification and usability to the audience. They’ll either want to keep coming back for more useful information, or realise that it’s too hard or time-consuming to manage themselves, which is where your services come in useful for future.

Exclusive offer

  • The classic timed money off promotion. Everyone loves an offer, and limiting the timing provides a boost.
  • Handy hint: Get yourself organised well in advance for this one – prepare at least a month ahead and make sure that you have the stock or staff to fulfil orders.

Examples of how to do something

  • Solve one simple problem that your audience has (and they’ll trust with all of their problems in future..) In my world, examples could be providing hints for social media posts for a whole month, a press release template, webinars on how to design an info-graphic.

Free trial

  • Give access to services which your customers pay for, for free, for a limited amount of time. If you already "sell" a free version of something, offer a trial for a premium account for a limited time so that the user can test out the benefits of the up-sold service.

Free webinar

  • There’s plenty of webinar software out there where you can talk people through how to do a certain service, or how some software works. You can be live, or pre-recorded. If this is too much, direct people to a private social media group where you’ll share a video from your phone (live or prerecorded) talking through the same things.
In everything that you do, remember to always include a call to action. What do your audience get if they subscribe to the full version, where do they call you to ask if you can help with their project?

And make sure that you promote it! Link to it in your social calendars, put it on your email signature, share it as much as you can. If you have some budget, you could also look at being super targeted with some online ad-spend and promoting relevant content to different factions of your audience.

3. Follow up

Once you’ve built your lead magnet, got it live and promoted it, you can hope to see your database growing. This is the beginning of your engagement process with a rapt audience, make sure that you make the most of it!

  • Set up a sequence of automated follow ups. Think about what else is interesting that you can share in a timely manner – get your calendar mapped out so that you don’t lose momentum.
  • Be prepared that it could be a long burn, you might not see a purchase from that customer for over a year
  • Analyse the results. Why did some people not complete the process, where did they drop off? Analysing what might have turned them off means that you can change it for next time

And that's it, lead magnet series complete! You can now build an online audience that wants to hear what you have to share.

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