Lead Magnets – What They Are & 7 Ways to Use Them

Lead Magnets – What They Are & 7 Ways to Use Them
 November 4, 2016

One lonely eNewsletter signup doesn’t cut it.

If you’re serious about building a community of subscribers, you need to do more than slap an eNews signup on your site and leave it at that.

Don’t get us wrong, an eNews signup is a good start.

However, a good approach to content marketing and building your own subscriber list takes more than that.

That’s where lead magnets come in.

What Are Lead Magnets?

A lead magnet is generally defined as a free offer you make and deliver in exchange for an email address. They are also part of a serious approach to content marketing, email marketing, & lead nurturing.

Although an eNewsletter signup is a free offer in exchange for an email address, it is not a lead magnet. It can be part of a content marketing and lead generation approach, but it doesn’t make the cut as a lead magnet.

However, things like signup incentives, eBooks, content upgrades, and more are considered lead magnets. They’re valuable offers with pulling power for your prospects.

Good Lead Magnets Are Specific

Vague is not compelling, neither in your offer language nor within your lead magnet. Keep it straightforward and simple. Tell your audience exactly what they’re going to get, and then deliver on your promise.

A successful lead magnet will help a specific segment of your audience solve a specific problem by presenting a specific solution.

Good Lead Magnets Deliver Value

A good lead magnet will not only be perceived as being high value, but it will also deliver high value as well.

Your offer may be free, but it shouldn’t look free. Establish a perception of monetary value by using professional imagery and graphics.

Then, deliver on the promise of high quality and value you’ve made.

This is about building and nurturing a relationship, so it’s about more than just getting their contact information. It’s about keeping their attention and nurturing them throughout their buyer’s journey.

If their first impression of you includes deception and broken promises, you won’t get very far.

Good Lead Magnets Generate Targeted Leads

The goal of a lead magnet is to increase the number of targeted leads you get from an offer.

Targeted is an important identifier here. You need to know your audience before creating a lead magnet. That way, it’s aligned with your buyer personas and you have a better idea of what types of offers will resonate with them the most.

A good lead magnet will help your prospect solve a problem and help you grow your subscriber base.

7 Ways to Use Lead Magnets

You’ve likely seen lead magnets on sites across the web and we’ve briefly mentioned a few of them above. We’ll dive into those a little deeper and provide a few more ideas below:

1.      Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are lead magnets that often appear in blog posts. They usually offer like tips, checklists, templates, etc. related to the blog post topic, or sometimes simply a PDF of the information in the blog post, available for download.

2.      eBooks & Whitepapers

eBooks, whitepapers, and research reports are common lead magnets. These allow you to help your customers solve a problem while educating them about your business. You can also position your brand as an authority in your industry.

3.      Sign up Incentives

When it comes to growing your list, signup incentives are a good way to get a boost. Instead of just receiving a “free monthly eNewsletter,” potential customers get something tangible by joining up, like a promo code, free shipping, discounted membership, free training/consultation, etc.

4.      Tools

These range anywhere from free software trials to an actual toolkit or resource list. Each one is tangible and gives your prospect actionable steps towards solving their problem.

5.      Courses & Training

Courses, mini-courses, and video training are all lead magnets that can provide big results.

These are valuable to your prospects because you’re giving them step-by-step training on how to start solving their problem. Plus, they get to be hands-on.

Sure, you’ll put in effort upfront to create them, especially if it’s a video series, but they’ll return that investment over and over long-term.

6.      Memberships

People like to feel like they’re part of something exclusive. Offer valuable content that can only be accessed through this membership and you’ll have no problem getting relevant prospects to join in.

7.      Contests

Run a contest or a giveaway. Figure out what is most relevant for your audience and will attract the prospects you’re targeting, instead of something that appeals to everyone.

iPad giveaways are great, but they tend to appeal to everyone. So, you’ll grow your subscribers, but they won’t all be relevant to your business. Go niche instead and offer a software or other item specific to prospects in your industry.


Your eNewsletter signup is a good start, but if you want to get serious about building your subscribers and your business, then it’s time to pair your efforts with lead magnets, generate targeted leads, and nurture those leads into customers.


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