Ah, the lead magnet. It’s a cornerstone of modern marketing, yet so many businesses fail to create successful lead magnets. Many people ask me how to create a lead magnet that really works.
If you don’t know how to create a lead magnet that works, your revenue will suffer. So will your conversion rate.
That’s because people take time when making buying purchases. They might visit your site, enjoy your content, and forget all about it the next day.
You need a way to keep in touch — preferably via email. And that’s what a lead magnet enables you to accomplish.
I created this article so it would benefit newbies and experts alike. Use my tips to create awesome lead magnets, collect more email addresses, and market your products or services more effectively.
What Is a Lead?
A lead is a person whose contact information you’ve collected. It’s that simple. Usually, you’re looking for an email address.
Leads are more valuable than prospects — such as website visitors whose contact information you don’t have — because you’re able to communicate with them directly. However, they’re not going to give you their contact information for free.
Enter the lead magnet.
What Is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a valuable asset you offer for free to convert prospects into leads. We’ll discuss several types of lead magnets below, but you’ve probably downloaded one yourself.
You visit a website and see an offer like this:
Maybe this slider appears on a website that sells wedding attire or a venue website that hosts weddings. Whatever the case, the lead magnet — “free wedding preparedness checklist” — is targeted to the business’s audience and offers significant value.
Why Do You Need to Use Lead Magnets to Take Your Business to the Next Level?
Think of a lead magnet as a gateway. Your website visitors walk through it to enter the sales funnel.
Once you have someone’s contact information, you can send them coupons, information, resources, and other assets to convince them to buy from you. That’s called lead nurturing.
Why can’t you just ask for email addresses? You can, but it doesn’t work nearly as well.
People don’t want to give away something of value — their email addresses, for instance — without getting something in return. A lead magnet balances the scales.
It also builds goodwill. If people know you’re willing to give away valuable content or tools for free, they’ll be more likely to remember you fondly and return to your website when they want to purchase something you sell.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a visualization technique and strategy for nurturing leads from prospect to customer to repeat customer. The top of the funnel is broad because it’s easier to collect leads than to sell products or services. The goal, though, is to usher as many people through the funnel as possible.
You want people to buy from you. That’s the end goal. First, though, you have to build rapport.
A lead magnet starts the process.
How Simple and Easy Is it to Use Hello Bar to Offer Your Lead Magnet to Website Visitors?
Hello Bar offers a tool that allows you to offer your lead magnet to visitors in just a few seconds.
Start by selecting your goal. If you’re marketing a lead magnet, you want to grow your email list.
Next, type your headline and CTA for your Hello Bar.
Click “Continue” to bring up all the options available for creating your Hello Bar. You can change the theme or type and customize things like colors and wording.
When you’re finished, click “Save and Publish.”
That’s it! Just a few simple steps. I created this Hello Bar in fewer than 30 seconds.
What Is a Lead Capture Page?
A lead capture page is any page on your website where you include a form for people to sign up for your email marketing list. It can also be a Hello Bar, such as an exit popup, that allows people to enter their information in a form.
That’s the exit popup that appears on NeilPatel.com. It’s a simple way to capture more leads and enter more people into the sales funnel.
11 Pro Tips on How to Create and Market a Lead Magnet That Actually Increases Conversions and Revenue
Now that we’ve defined some of the most critical terms, let’s explore my 11 pro tips for creating and marketing your lead magnet.
1. Define Your Buyer Persona: Find Out What Your Ideal Consumer Wants
Learning how to create a lead magnet always starts with getting to know your audience. What does your ideal consumer want, and how can you deliver it to him?
Let’s say that you run a wedding-related e-commerce store. Your target audience wants to get married, but you have to dig deeper. Do they want less expensive products? More elegance? Greater diversity in product design?
Once you understand these key qualities, you can design a lead magnet that will fulfill their needs.
What Is a Lead Magnet “Buyer Persona”?
A lead magnet buyer persona is a fictional depiction of your target customer based on data. You have to know what your visitors want before you can serve up a lead magnet that will bost conversions.
For instance, let’s say that your lead magnet buyer persona describes a young couple with a strict budget and a dislike for convention. A lead magnet about creating an elegant dream wedding in a church probably won’t appeal to them.
2. Make Sure Your Lead Magnet Is Ultra-specific and Relevant to Your Audience
There’s a scene in the television show “Friends” in which Phoebe, a licensed massage therapist, bemoans her lack of clients. When asked why she’s lost her clients, she admits she taught a “Massage Yourself at Home” workshop. She says, “Now they’re massaging themselves at home.”
This is a great illustration of a lead magnet gone wrong. You don’t want to give away all your secrets or render your business unnecessary to the prospect. Instead, you want to help them solve a specific, relevant problem.
Instead of teaching her clients to massage themselves at home, Phoebe could have taught stretching exercises that keep the body limber and pain-free between massages. She’s still necessary to her clients, but she’s providing real value.
See how that works? If you run a massage therapy business, such a lead magnet could help you secure more opt-in subscribers.
3. Make One Big Promise and Offer One Big Desired End Result
Think of the lead magnet transaction as an equation. Get X to achieve Y.
In the example I used above, I could tweak my copy a bit to further illustrate the value I’m offering.
Notice the CTA? It tells the subscriber the exact result of following the lead magnet’s advice. Further, it’s an affirmative statement, which can increase your conversion rate.
4. Deliver on What You Promise
Don’t forget the other side of the coin. If subscribers download your lead magnet and find it wanting, they’ll likely unsubscribe.
They’ll also assume that your paid products similarly lack value. Don’t take that chance. Instead, deliver exactly what you promise in your lead capture form.
5. Make Your Lead Magnet Action-Driven and Free
A lead magnet won’t work if it’s not free. Remember, your prospects aren’t ready to make a purchase yet.
It also needs to be action-driven. In other words, it needs to provide something useful on which your visitors can take immediate action.
If it’s a checklist, your readers should be able to follow it. If it’s a video, it should provide detailed instructions.
5. Your Lead Magnet Should Provide Immediate Gratification to the User
Nobody likes to wait — especially not these days. We’re all about now, now, now.
That’s why a lead magnet that offers free admission to a webinar next month probably won’t work. The visitor figures he or she will probably forget about it anyway.
Make it an instant download. You can either deliver it via email or via an internal page on your website with a link.
6. Your Lead Magnet Should Be Easy and Quick to “Consume”
You might think that creating a long, drawn-out lead magnet would be perceived as higher value. That’s generally not the case.
In fact, it gives the impression that you’re forcing your leads to work harder for information. That’s never a good thing.
Focus on delivering high-value information in easily digestible form. If it’s an e-book, for instance, limit it to 20 pages or fewer. For a video, make it no longer than 30 minutes.
7. Make Multiple Versions of Your Lead Magnet
Some people love to read text-based content. Others like to watch videos while sitting in front of their computers or listen to audio on their way to work.
A single lead magnet can turn into several lead magnets if you repurpose the content. A/B test the different versions to see which ones your audience respond to most.
For instance, if more people convert on your video than your e-book, use the video moving forward. It all contains the same content — you’re just delivering it in a different way.
8. Do More Than Just Inform
Do you know why people pay so much attention to Gary Vee? He has personality.
He knows when to tell a joke, when to drop a curse word, and when to poke fun at others. His off-the-cuff remarks make him insanely entertaining to watch.
You don’t have to copy Gary Vee to make an awesome lead magnet. In fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, imprint the lead magnet with your own personality to entertain and inspire your audience.
9. Add a Sense of Urgency to Your Lead Magnet to Increase Conversions
Lead magnets convert best when there’s a sense of urgency. Let your visitors know they’re looking at a limited-time offer or that your lead magnet will help them solve an urgent problem.
A limited-time offer is difficult to pull off if you want to reuse your lead magnet over and over again. But you can create urgency in different ways.
Remember my example about the stretches to ease pain between massages? Let’s see how we can rework the copy to create urgency.
Notice the subhead? It says, “End your pain today with seven simple exercises.” The word “today” combined with the pain point — in this case, actual pain — makes the offer urgent.
10. Switch From Second Person to First Person
Read the headline, subheadline, and CTA from the exit popup above. Do you notice how I changed voice between those elements?
I wrote the headline and subhead in second person, addressing the reader as “you.” But I switched to first person in the CTA using an affirmative statement.
In other words, you’re writing the CTA in your prospect’s voice. This can be a powerful conversion technique because it plants a seed of desire in your prospect’s mind.
11. Use Only One Call to Action
Don’t do anything to confuse or distract the visitor. If you use more than one CTA, your prospects won’t know which one to choose, and you’ll dilute your conversions.
5 Most Effect Lead Magnet Examples to Inspire You
I’ve shared with you my best tips for learning how to create a lead magnet, but what type of magnet should you create? Following are five of the most popular options from which to choose.
1- E-book (PDF File)
It’s as simple as it gets. Offer a free PDF file that contains actionable tips or steps for the reader. An e-book works because it’s an easily recognizable format that people are used to consuming. Again, you might want to create other versions, such as an audio file, to test with your audience.
I like checklists because they’re easy to create and highly actionable. People can print them out and use them however they see fit. Checklists work best when you’re offering a lead magnet on following through with a process or creating something.
3- Guide or Report
From infographics to whitepapers, guides and reports are highly diverse. You can exercise maximum creativity when creating this type of lead magnet.
4- Video Training
YouTube’s insane traffic along is enough to convince me that people love to learn by watching videos. They consume hundreds of thousands of hours every day, learning everything from how to bathe a dog to what ingredients to use in a recipe.
5- Cheat Sheet
A cheat sheet gives your audience something of value while cementing your credibility, integrity, and authority in your industry. Provide actionable tips your readers can follow to make reaching a goal or solving a problem easier or faster.
A/B Test Your Lead Magnet With Hello Bar to Constantly Increase Conversions
In the Manage section of your Hello Bar account, you can automatically A/B test your offers to determine which ones perform best among your target audience.
See that A/B icon? Just click it to create a variation.
Once Hello Bar has collected sufficient information from your test, the software will tell you which one championed the other. That way, you don’t have to pore over reams of data to understand the test.
How to Design a Lead Magnet: 3 Amazing Free Tools to Help You Create and Design Your Own Lead Magnet
You might think that figuring out how to create a lead magnet will be difficult. That’s simply not the case. It’s also not expensive.
I’ve used three free tools in particular to create lead magnets in the past. They’re all simple to use and quick.
Using Canva to Create a Lead Magnet
Canva is a freemium tool that allows you to create tons of different visual assets, from infographics to invitations. Use it to design the perfect cover for your e-book lead magnet, for instance, or to prepare a slide deck-style presentation.
These are just a few of the many options.
Let’s say you want to create a presentation. Just click on the icon to open the design interface.
Once you choose a layout, Canva will automatically populate it with dummy photos and text. You can change any element you wish or add more pages as necessary.
Using Piktochart to Create a Lead Magnet
Piktochart is similar to Canva. The freemium tool lets you choose from lots of free, pre-made layouts to create a lead magnet.
For instance, you might want to create an infographic. Piktochart will present you with layout options. Just choose one to enter the editor.
Simply use the editor to change icons, text, and other elements to fit the story you want to tell with your infographic.
Using Smallpdf to Create a Lead Magnet
I’m also a huge fan of Smallpdf. It’s an excellent resource if you don’t want to invest in a professional tool like Adobe.
If you want unlimited access to all the tools you see above, it costs just $6 per month. You can use it in limited mode for free.
Create, edit, and convert PDF files based on your lead magnet needs. It’s a great way to customize your lead magnet at low or not cost.
Lead Magnet Checklist
We’ve talked about checklists for lead magnets, but I want to leave you with one here. As you figure out how to create a lead magnet, keep these essential qualities in mind:
- One Big Promise
- Delivers What is Promised
- Free and Actionable
- Easy and Quick to Consume
- Offers Instant Gratification
- High Perceived Value
- Transforms Leads Into Potential Clients
Start Using Hello Bar and Transform Your Website Visitors Into Leads Today
If you’re not a Hello Bar user yet, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to capture leads. We’ve created a tool that lets you surprise and delight your website visitors with amazing lead magnet offers…
Use a top bar, page takeover, or slider to capture email addresses from prospects. Just fill in the simple information needed to present to your audience and customize the look and feel however you want.
Best of all, you can demonstrate your GDPR compliance and make your offers more transparent to your readers. Just turn on GDPR in the Hello Bar interface.
Lead magnets probably aren’t the only thing you want to show your audience, though. That’s fine because, with Hello Bar, you can display other CTAs.
Let’s say you want more Twitter followers. Just use the Social goal in Hello Bar and add an icon to your top bar.
Visitors can click that icon and immediately follow you on Twitter. There’s options for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and more.
Lead magnets are a critical part of conversion rate optimization. You need to give people a reason to give you their contact information. Something of value.
I’ve given you all the information you need to learn how to create a lead magnet, what tools to use to create it, how to advertise it to your audience, and what to remember when collecting leads. Now it’s your turn.
Have you created a lead magnet? Do you plan to?
Lead magnets are still a key factor in building any online business. However, I would recommend using FB messenger bots as well and grow your messenger subscribers. Their open rates and CTR are higher than emails.
Hi Rahul, great point! Facebook messenger bots certainly are an important part of ensuring that there are no holes in your sales funnel that visitors might exit through. Using both in combination is the best approach – then you’re covered in all arenas!