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9 Essential Components of A Successful Lead Magnet

February 13, 2018
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With so many companies competing for customers it can be hard to stand out. What can your brand do to catch the eye of your target audience? Is it even possible to do so in 2017? We’re here to let you know that it is possible. Introducing the lead magnet, an essential marketing strategy that can help take your sales funnel to the next level.

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a valuable free offer to promote to your audience in exchange for their contact information, namely their email address. It is an incentive that your audience finds interesting and therefore they are willing to give away their contact information.

Related: What Is A Lead Magnet?

Take this Tone It Up example. The Tone It Up brand is offering a sample of the Nutrition Plan with four of the girl’s favorite healthy recipes. You’ll get all of that and updates by simply submitting your email address.

The purpose of a lead magnet is to capture your audience’s email address so you can continue to provide them value via email. So, taking the Tone It Up example again, they are bringing you into their community by offering a valuable free resource. Then, once that brand has your email, they can continue to nurture the relationship by providing you additional content that will hopefully convince you to purchase on of their products.

Lead magnets are an excellent first touch for brands to utilize. Because lead magnets are a free offering, it is the perfect tool to use with cold traffic audiences. If you are able to get a cold traffic audience member to opt-in, you can then try to turn them into warm or hot traffic by continually providing them value from your brand.

Related: Content To Drive Cold Traffic To

Pro Tip: Don’t ask your subscribers to fill out too many fields. This can affect your opt-in rate as people are less inclined to opt-in if they have to fill out more than a few fields. In most cases, asking for their email alone is the best route to take.

Components Of A Successful Lead Magnet

So, now that you have an understanding of what a lead magnet is, it is important to understand the components of a successful lead magnet. Any old lead magnet will not provide value for your brand. There are certain factors that either make or break a lead magnet. In order to capture email addresses follow the guidelines below to help you create a successful lead magnet that will incentivize your audience to opt-in.

1. Helps them solve a problem/challenge

First and foremost the lead magnet your brand chooses to promote needs to help your audience solve a problem or a challenge they are facing. For example, the Tone It Up lead magnet example above is helping people solve the problem of healthy eating and lifestyle changes. The guide they are offering to their audience not only gives people access to a sample of their in-depth nutrition plan, but it also includes 4 healthy recipes.

In addition to helping them solve a problem or challenge, you actually have to follow through on that promise. There is nothing worse for a brand than setting false expectations and coming through with broken promises. Don’t offer something you can follow through on!

2. Keep it short, simple, and specific

A lead magnet does not need to be a super involved and complicated offer. It can be as simple as a one page PDF. In fact, a lead magnet should be shorter than your average piece of content.

If your lead magnet is too complex it won’t convert as well as a straightforward offering. An example of a simple and direct lead magnet is shown below. Users know if they click the send guide button they will receive an email series they can mirror to help them convert more people into customers.

People who opt-in to the lead magnet above know exactly what they are getting right from the start. It is essential to communicate effectively to your audience about what they will be receiving when they opt-in. A lead magnet should never be vague or ambiguous, but instead, needs to be ultra specific.

Related: How To Use Content To Build Your Email List

For example, if the lead magnet shown above said “Receive a great email series” and nothing else, audience members would be wondering why they should opt-in and how would it help them. But, because the lead magnet actually says “Receive our Top Converting Email Series For Turning Leads Into Paying Customers” people know exactly the value they gain from opting in.

3. Focus on one big learning

Your lead magnet shouldn’t be trying to do too many things at once. In fact, it should really only focus on one thing. Instead of delivering a lot of little promises, your lead magnet should deliver a single promise. Whether it’s helping you lose weight in 30 days or capturing more customers, your lead magnet should provide an answer to one single problem.

4. Has high perceived value

This component of a lead magnet is crucial for your conversion rate. If your target audience doesn’t think your lead magnet has value then they won’t opt-in. In order to capture as many emails as possible you’ll need to offer a lead magnet that people actually want to go through the hassle to get.

A lead magnet needs to be worth it and in order to do so you need to offer something that is valuable. By offering a lead magnet that has a high perceived value you will then in turn have a higher conversion rate because people want what your brand is giving away.

5. Provide value

This should be a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many lead magnets simply don’t provide any value. Why would someone want to give you their contact information if they won’t be getting value in return? In addition to your lead magnet needing to have a high perceived value, you then actually have to deliver the goods.

Trying to capture emails by offering them to join your email list to get free updates isn’t going to cut it. With so many competitors in the marketplace you need to actually give them something of substance. Instead of incentivizing audience members to receive free updates, instead offer them a free trial of your product/service.

6. Align with your target market

In tandem with providing value, your lead magnet should be aligned with your target market’s wants and needs. As a rule of thumb, your brand shouldn’t be trying to capture every single person. Ideally, your lead magnet should be especially attractive just to your ideal customers. For example, if your target audience is girls in their early twenties who like to exercise you need to have a lead magnet that speaks to that specific population.

Related: Why Understanding Search Intent is Key to Engaging Your Target Customers

The Tone It Up lead magnet would work excellent for this audience whereas an offer for a free trial of Men’s Health Magazine would not work as well. Knowing your audience will help you craft the perfect lead magnet and capture your target market.

7. Deliver immediate gratification

Another important aspect of a successful lead magnet is to deliver immediate gratification. A lead magnet should solve a problem right away. Lead magnets that have high opt-in rates are those that immediately fulfill the promise that was presented. If the problem is losing weight, a good lead magnet would be 8 exercises to help you lose weight at home.

It would be a downloadable explaining or showing how to do those exercises. This lead magnet is giving immediate value and the people who opt-in can instantly participate in the exercises. The idea behind delivering immediate gratification is so your audience will see the full value right away.

If your opt-in audience has to do to many things in order to see the value of your brand than they most likely won’t continue along the buyer’s journey. The lead magnet is supposed to be the entry point for your brand. If your audience cannot receive value from your offering with ease and in a short period of time than your lead magnet is not doing its job.

8. Easily consumable

One no-no that many people do when they promote lead magnets is offer a complicated or long-form piece of content that isn’t easily consumable. Ideally, you’ll want your audience members to be able to absorb your lead magnet in 10 minutes or less. If you make it to hard for them to finish, chances are they won’t. And, the whole point of a lead magnet is for them to see value in your brand and want to continue down the customer journey.

If they don’t read or consume your lead magnet they won’t see the value. This is very similar to creating a lead magnet that can deliver immediate gratification. The whole point is to offer an easily consumable lead magnet to your audience that will provide them with immediate gratification.

9. Don’t forget about design

Of course what’s most important is the actual content and value your lead magnet offers, but it needs to look good too. Just because you are offering something for free doesn’t mean it can look free. If you are offering a PDF downloadable the design needs to align with your brand.

Related: How Does Design Fit Into Your Marketing Efforts?

Use your brand colors, fonts, and style to design your offering. It needs to be attractive and draw the audience in, but it shouldn’t be too busy. Keep it simple with a clean design. On the flipside, design shouldn’t be everything. If the content isn’t worth it, it still won’t be successful no matter how pretty it is.

Examples Of Good Lead Magnets

Now that you are aware of what the components of a successful lead magnet are we will give you some examples of types of lead magnets you can use.


Webinars are a classic type of lead magnet that many brands utilize in order to capture their target audience. Webinars are intended to both teach the audience as well as promote the brand’s products/service throughout. You can choose to do a live webinar and then record it to use it continually as your lead magnet.

Free Trials

Everyone loves free trials! This type of lead magnet is a win-win scenario for most brands. Not only does it offer something extremely valuable to their customers it also doesn’t take much prep for the brand either. 24 Hour Fitness for example offers a free trial of 3 days. This allows potential customers to try out the product before committing fully.


Quizzes are a fun way to engage new customers and current customers. Interactive quizzes are on the rise and can be an effective tool in order to bring new people into your brand’s community. At the end of the quiz you’ll need to offer the quiz taker some sort of incentive to input their email.

Related: Designing Online Quizzes That Convert

This could be a discount, free trial, or anything else that would convince someone to give out their contact information. Or if your quiz is very engaging then you can ask for their email in order for them to see their quiz results. We’ve seen the offer work better in this scenario, but you can test both options to see what works best for your brand.


Yes, coupons are considered lead magnets. This involves giving away a percentage off in exchange for the audience’s information. For instance, see kate spade’s lead magnet below. They are offering 15% off plus free shipping for inputting your email address and zip code. Why would they do this? Well, if you give them your email then it shows them that you are interested in their products. Then they can promote new products and deals right in your inbox.

Coupons are also very successful in contending with your competitors. Sometimes a coupon is the deciding factor between someone purchasing your products versus a competitor’s. A coupon also works well because it directly sends someone to your store. Rather than other lead magnets that will just give you value and then hope to convert you down the line, a coupon lead magnet is trying to convert customers right then and there.

Free shipping would work as a lead magnet as well, but nowadays everyone already expects free shipping. So, instead of offering free shipping as a lead magnet instead offer a percentage off. Additionally, capturing the first purchase from someone is one of the biggest challenges brands face, so, by offering a coupon it can prompt those people to make that first move.

Continue To Test

So, you’ve read this list and you think you have an idea for a lead magnet of your own. Great! But, it’s not enough to just have one lead magnet. You should have a few that you can rotate and test to see which is converting at a higher rate. It is necessary to always have a back-up plan. If one lead magnet isn’t performing well you can switch to another.

Related: Advanced Tips & Tactics for Conversion Rate Optimization

If you already have a lead magnet in place, take the checklist above and compare it against your content. Is it valuable? Does is deliver immediate gratification? Is it easily consumable? Does it align with your target audience? A successful lead magnet will hit all of the components above.

If you don’t have a lead magnet, know that it takes time to build a strong one. You don’t necessarily have to launch with the best one possible, but understand that you will need to continue to optimize it in order to see the best success.


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