What is a Lead Magnet: 15 Ideas for Your Business
50% of marketers who use lead magnets note improved conversion rates. A lead magnet is a hook that fishes leads out of the general audience. There is hardly a person who has never downloaded a free checklist, guide, or webinar recording. People find free material appealing. Product samples have existed since the emergence of marketing, now they are also available in digital format.
In this article, you will learn more about lead magnets: what they can contribute to your business, how to create effective free materials, and what formats to use.
What is a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a bonus that the user gets in exchange for their data: email address or phone number. This can be a piece of content such as a discount, guide, checklist, ebook, and so on.
Note: the user gets your material for free.
What happens next with the data? Managers call a prospective customer or use targeted advertising. It depends on the type of lead magnet and its role in the sales funnel.
For example, the user has downloaded a checklist on the best countries for vacation. In this case, we email them all favourable options. In the situation when the user shows interest in some particular presentation and tourist route, we call them and give details about this package tour.
Adding a lead magnet to your business is a win-win game: a prospective customer is provided with new information free of charge, and the company gets a lead. Commonly, lead magnets are employed to sell complex products that cannot be purchased with just one click.
There are several types of lead magnets:
- Seasonal. For example, this can be a checklist on choosing a gift for the Year of the Tiger.
- Time-sensitive. Any studies and trends lose relevance after some time.
- «Evergreen». This type is always relevant. Guide: Top 15 At-Home Exercises.
Time-sensitive lead magnet
What tasks does a lead magnet help to solve?
Lead generation. The primary goal of a lead magnet is to get a lead (a prospective customer who fits the target audience of the company and shows interest in its product). Lead generation is the process of attracting prospective customers to your business for sales managers and marketers to work with them, and a lead magnet is a strategy stage.
Identifying your audience. In most cases, interested people download lead magnets. If there are random people, lead scoring will come in handy. Once you find your target audience, you can work with it: send emails, set up ads for specific people on social media, or call them and sell your product directly.
Introduction to your brand. Lead magnets help to start unobtrusive communication with the user. A prospective customer will get to know you through your free product sample.
Building trust. Few people like point-blank offers to purchase something. Especially if the product is complex. Free material from the company will dispel doubts and prove your expertise. If it solves the user's problem, you will be more trusted.
How to create a lead magnet
A solid lead magnet:
- Promotes your business. It is related to your product.
It is better not to create a lead magnet that is vaguely related to your business. Such material might solve users' problems, but your company will not benefit from it. Use lead magnets to show what problem your product solves.
For example, you can give users a free presentation template and mention that there is your service that will make a bespoke presentation for their business.
- Free of charge
You can five a free trial as a gift, or set an insignificant price.
For example, such services as Amazon Prime Video or Netflix often offer users a free one-month trial period.
- Promptly solves the user's problem
A solid lead magnet offers your prospective customers a shortcut to solving their problems.
The «How to Increase Sales in a Crisis in a Week» guide is a good lead magnet. The «Anti-crisis Marketing Theory» e-brochure does not solve a specific problem, so it is a poor example of a lead magnet.
- Easy to use
The user does not need to install special software or perform some other actions to use a lead magnet. Choose formats that are available to everyone.
- Easy to get
There should be no long opt-in forms and dozens of «Enter the code» boxes. The easier it is to get your lead magnet, the higher the probability that the user will not leave halfway through.
Creating a lead magnet
1. Identify the audience and the problem that your lead magnet solves. The brand audience is not always homogeneous, so you need to decide which part of it you want to attract. The easiest way to find out your users' problems is to conduct a survey.
2. Choose the format of your lead magnet. Different materials are relevant at each stage of the sales funnel. Determine at which stage of decision-making your prospective customer currently is. Are they ready to make a purchase?
|Stage||Type of lead||Material to offer|
|Problem recognition||Cold lead||Checklist, infographics, test, guide, webinar|
|Search for information about the problem and solutions to it||Warm lead||Product presentation, demo, case study, coaching session|
|Considering options||Hot lead||Discount, price-fixing, free delivery|
3. Give a name. The heading of a solid lead magnet mentions the problem and promises to solve it. You can use the formula:
Benefit + time limit + objection
Example: How to Double Traffic in a Day without Budget.
4. Arrange your lead magnet. The quality should be that of a product for sale. A lead magnet also represents your brand.
5. Select the method of spreading your lead magnet and the way of communication with prospective customers. Find the place for your lead magnet: you can place it statically in a section on your website, on a separate landing page, in a pop-up, or include it in your advertising. Describe what you offer, follow the questions: - what is it, - why do your users need it, - how can they get it. Add a CTA. Do not forget to thank users for their data (e.g. in the form of an email).
6. Launch your lead magnet and plan further updates. Not all lead magnets can be «evergreen». Plan updates in advance to avoid offering users irrelevant information.
15 Lead Magnet Ideas
There are dozens of lead magnet options. Some of them have become overused: checklists, guides, free webinars. Offer some alternatives to these standard formats.
Presentation templates, Google Sheets to calculate data, etc. Such a lead magnet saves the user's time. It takes a long time to create presentations and sheets with formulas from scratch. Such a bonus from the company impresses the user because you do all the work for them.
Free templates that can only be used after registration — an example of a lead magnet
2. Early-bird price
You can offer the user an early-bird discount on the events where the price increases every month: webinars, major conferences. Create a lead magnet before a sales opening so that the user can share their data to be one of the first to receive your offer at the lowest price.
3. Free coaching session
Tell the user more about your product or offer advice that may solve their problem in exchange for their data. The more serious the coaching session, the more credibility you will gain. Indicate that the user talks with experts, and not an automated system.
An example of an effective lead magnet in the form of a coaching session. The service offers the user a free website report and explains that a real person works on it, so the answer may take a few days.
The only condition is to share the data. Giveaway options:
- instant win;
- there is a winner announcement date.
What can be a giveaway prize? This can be your product, service, or something else related to your business (e.g. your merch). Prepare a bonus for those who will not win: an additional discount on your product or service.
This interactive option of a lead magnet is entertaining and useful. The user takes your quiz and enters their email address or phone number to get a result. If the quiz takes time, a person is unlikely to refuse to share data at the end since the time has already been spent.
Quiz example from Ipsy. Ipsy is a personalized beauty subscription service. During the test, you answer questions about your hair color, eye color, skin type, favorite makeup brands, and more. At the end of the test, the user is offered to share their email to get a result.
6. Series of training emails
It is an alternative to the standard course. If you use this option, your potential customers will slowly get used to your brand. If you send all the information at once, the user may not start taking the course. An email a week does not take much time and effort.
Use infographics for data from your materials. It is more vivid and interesting than just a résumé, checklist, instruction in the text form, or cheat sheet.
Send the user a ready-made sales (or some other) script or invite the user to create one themselves for free. A lead magnet promotes the products of the company (books, methodologies, and so on) or services to create a bespoke script for the user.
9. Invitation to join a private club
It is similar to time-limited free access. However, being a member of a closed community is more prestigious. Allow unrestricted access to the community if it is an addition to your main products and services. If it is your main offer, grant temporary free access.
Lead magnet — participation in the community
10. Skill simulator
This type of lead magnet allows users to train some skills interactively for free (e.g. aural skills, perception of foreign speech, visual experience, and so on).
Online music school promotes its services through a simulator
11. Tool for work
In this case, a company either shares a list of its tools or offers a specific tool to speed up and simplify the user's workflow.
12. Free delivery
It is a small but pleasant bonus that will work if a lead considers several similar options. Special conditions increase the chance to choose in your favour.
For example, Amazon offers free shipping if a user orders $25 or more. To activate this condition, the user should sign up, in other words, share their data.
13. Case study
It is a lead magnet for «warm» leads who consider several options and want to make sure that this product or service is what they need. A case study reveals the inner workings of a company: figures and data. Use this type of lead magnet for complex products since it shows that your company is experienced and trustworthy.
14. Bot or app
A company gives users access to some tool that is used for internal processes or creates a bot/app to facilitate the work with its product.
For example, you can search for air tickets on Aviasales without registration. The company offers a bot that tracks and sends prices. The company uses this lead magnet to reach out to the user through messengers and thus to get a prospective customer.
15. All materials at once
It is a bold option to provide the user with all free material you have. On the one hand, it is a simple lead magnet. On the other, it is an unconventional way to attract a lead.
A lead magnet is used for lead generation, a strategy of attracting prospective customers through a free product sample in exchange for data (email address or phone number). It also builds trust and unobtrusively introduces users to your brand.
A good lead magnet is easy to get and use. There is no need to take several registration steps and choose unpopular formats.
A lead magnet solves a specific task of a prospective customer and advertises the product of your company. It is pointless to create materials that help users but do not relate to your business.
A lead magnet represents your main product, so its quality should be that of a product for sale.
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