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  • Jennifer Heppell

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

Updated: Feb 12

Imagine walking into a store and being offered a free sample. You’re more likely to buy when you can try first, right? This is the concept behind a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a marketing strategy that involves offering value to potential customers in exchange for their contact information. The ultimate goal is to convert casual website visitors into leads, and eventually, into paying customers.


How do lead magnets work?


Lead magnets work in a simple three-step process. First, a person visits a web page where they see a form to get a special offer. This page is usually found through things like ads, website banners, social media, or just a regular search. Next, the person puts their contact details into the form and becomes what’s known as a “lead”. Then, the lead gets to see a thank-you page where they can get the offer, like downloading an ebook. At the same time, they get an email that tells them how to get the offer. Once all these steps are done, the lead usually gets added to an email list for future contact or gets sent to the sales team.


A hand holding a magnet.

Key Characteristics of a Good Lead Magnet

The following characteristics should be present in a good lead magnet:


1. It matters to the audience

A good lead magnet is one that’s relevant and addresses the needs of the audience. It should solve a real problem that your customers have, not just something you think they might have. Understanding your audience, their main concerns, and their online habits is key. It’s also helpful to get input from your customer service or sales team about common questions or concerns. All this information should be used to make your content and overall marketing strategy more effective.


So, a good lead magnet isn’t just about being relevant, it’s about being informed, interactive, and strategic.


2. It is simple and easy to understand

Lead magnet should be straightforward and easy to grasp. While it might be tempting to use your latest document, case study, or ebook, the most effective lead magnets are those that can be quickly understood, even by those new to your product or service.


People often have short attention spans, so your lead magnets should be concise and clear. Avoid using too much technical language.


You might want to rethink using the usual ebook or white paper format. While they’re packed with information and insights, they’re usually long and require a lot of time to read. This could turn off your audience, particularly those who prefer quick and actionable information. Instead, consider turning long content into shorter, yet still informative formats like:

  • Infographics: These break down data and stats into easy-to-understand icons, graphics, and images.

  • Videos: These help simplify and retain complex information.

  • Checklists: These make a process easier to follow with a step-by-step format.


3. It provides a (perceived) quick solution

Good lead magnets solve immediate problems. People download them for quick solutions. Checklists and videos are popular because they offer instant results. When creating a lead magnet, focus on what people think they need, not necessarily what they actually need. For instance, someone might think they need healthy recipes when they actually need a calorie tracking system. Offering what they think they need keeps them engaged until they understand their real needs. As an expert, you have knowledge your audience lacks, so meet them where they are to truly help them.


4. It highlights your expertise

Focus on your area of expertise when creating your lead magnet. This ensures that your authority and knowledge on the subject are clearly demonstrated. While it’s not forbidden to explore topics beyond your expertise, it’s more beneficial to utilize your industry-specific knowledge. The valuable information and insights you provide will attract your target audience and solidify your position as a trusted authority in your field. By doing so, you’re not only providing immediate solutions but also building a long-term relationship based on trust and expertise.


5. It provides actionable steps

An effective lead magnet should offer at least one simple and actionable step that leads to an immediate benefit. This means providing your leads with something they can readily apply as soon as they finish reading. This could be in the form of a checklist, a useful hack, or a practical tip that motivates the reader to take immediate action. The key is to ensure that this single win makes the customer feel appreciated and valued, reinforcing the effectiveness of your lead magnet.


According to some studies, about 50%of the marketers who use lead magnets see higher conversion rates. In fact, 47% of them found that video and text-based lead magnets performed best as their opt-in incentives. However, the success of lead magnets can vary greatly. It depends on how strategically they are used and whether the content resonates with the target audience. So, while these statistics are promising, they might not directly translate to the percentage of businesses seeing success. The effectiveness of lead magnets can depend on various factors such as the industry, target audience, and the quality of the lead magnet. So, it’s not just about using a lead magnet, it’s about using it effectively.


How to create a good lead magnet?


Choose the right number of fields

The form in your lead magnet should have just enough fields to meet your lead goals. If you want more leads, consider fewer fields. If you’re after high-quality leads, you might need more fields. Remember, leads who take the time to fill in multiple fields are often more valuable.


Send a thank-you email

After a lead has shared their contact details, send them a thank-you email. This not only shows appreciation for their time and trust but also confirms that the entered address exists and that the lead will receive the content. You can also include a call to action in this email to bring the lead back to your site.


Make it SEO-friendly

Use keywords that your audience would use to find your solution. Make sure your lead magnet page loads quickly and is shareable on social media. Use both internal and external links to boost its ranking. If many people visit your lead magnet page, that shows search engines your content is reputable. Over time, the engines will place your page higher in the search results.


Test your lead magnet

If your lead magnet isn’t working as expected, try A/B testing. Change one thing at a time and see which version gets the most conversions. You can create separate landing pages for your lead magnet and change a single feature: the call to action, the number of required fields, the type of content you offer, etc. Once you’ve created these variations, see which page garners the most conversions.


Final Thoughts

Creating a good lead magnet is both an art and a science. It requires a deep understanding of your target audience, their needs, and how your product or service can meet those needs. By providing something valuable, you can draw in top-notch leads who have a higher chance of becoming paying customers.


Remember, the goal of a lead magnet is not just to grow your email list, but to build relationships with potential customers. So, make sure your lead magnet is valuable, relevant, and solves a real problem for your audience.


If you’re ready to take the next step and start creating effective lead magnets, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can book a call with me or contact me now to begin this exciting journey. I’m here to help you every step of the way!


A woman holding a yellow cup.

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