5 Steps to a High Converting Lead Magnet That Generates Sales

People love free things. Fact.

If you see a free quiz or a free course that promises to solve all your problems, you're going to go for it, right?

These free things are known as lead magnets, and their aim is to attract a specific kind of person and reel them in.

Businesses use them all over - you've probably seen hundreds of them in pop-ups, sidebars, and at the end of blog posts.

Once someone's downloaded a freebie, they're often put onto an email list and pitched a product - it's kind of like the first base of marketing.

Lead magnets are great for getting people on your list. In fact, they can reach a 30% conversion rate as opposed to a measly 6-8% conversion rate that even the most optimized pop-up can generate.

However, the amount of subscribers you have means nothing if those people don't convert into customers.

You might have 3,000 people on your list, but if not one single person has triggered that buy button on your product, you're doing something wrong.

So, how can you make sure you're attracting people who will actually buy from you?

How to Create a Lead Magnet that Attracts Customers

1. Know Your Audience

Before you even think about creating your lead magnet, it's vital that you know exactly who you're targeting. When you know who your ideal customer is, you can gear the idea behind your lead magnet, the way you pitch it, and your follow up emails towards them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What specific information is my target customer looking for?
  • What knowledge do they already have on my industry or product?
  • What knowledge gaps do they have that my competitors aren't tapping into?

Here's an article that guides you step-by-step through the process.

From there, you can research key questions on forums like Quora to find out the exact information your audience is looking for. It's important to remember that assumptions don't fly here - if you want a lead magnet that works, you have to create something you know your audience want and need.

Say your product helps businesses automate their marketing, you'd have a good place to start with these real-life questions:

Lead magnet idea generation


2. Align your lead magnet to your product

The key to generating more sales with your lead magnet is to align your freebie with your product. If you're selling travel insurance but your lead magnet is about food, you're going to struggle to convert.

Think about your lead magnet as the first stepping stone towards your product. There are two ways you can make sure this happens:

Use a Similar Format

Firstly, you want to create your lead magnet in a format that your audience is familiar with, or a format that they prefer. Here, you're prepping them for the sale, and if they're familiar with one medium, you want to keep providing that so converting them isn't such a big leap. Ask yourself:

  • How does your audience consume content?
  • What platforms are they most active on?

For example, if your product is geared towards busy moms, you might want to offer your lead magnet in a format that can be consumed on-the-go like these real food plans.

lead magnet


And, taking it further, if your product is a video course, ideally you want to hook people with your awesome charm and charisma in a couple of free videos rather than with a bland written document so they know what to expect from your paid product.

Create an Introduction

A lot of people struggle to know what to give away for free in their lead magnet. The easiest way to get past this is to think about it as an introduction to your industry or product.

Your product should reveal the "how", whereas your lead magnet should uncover the "why". Your aim here is to convince your subscribers they need your product in their life.

lead magnet example

Image source

This lead magnet from Blog Marketing shows people what goes into a six-figure blog rather than how they can create a six-figure blog.

3. Make it immediately actionable

Your lead magnet should hook people right away. Remember, people can and will download a lot of free stuff every day, so yours needs to stand out (2 million blog posts are published every day, and if each of those promotes a free download, you've got a tricky job rising to the top).

It's better to dive into detail on one specific problem that can be solved right away rather than offer an overview of everything that will leave them overwhelmed.

Lead magnet idea

This lead magnet from Bidsketch shows people how to create client proposals in minutes. Not only does it just cover one key problem, it also offers a quick solution that people can implement right away.

4. Add subscribers to a funnel

Once someone has downloaded your freebie, the worst thing you can do is ghost them. Don't play the disappearing act and turn up in their inbox weeks later asking them to buy something because, well, they just won't.

Your lead magnet should filter subscribers into a nurturing email sequence that evolves into a product pitch. You can put a quick and easy 5-email sequence in place that looks like this:

Email 1: Welcome email. Introduce your brand and let subscribers know what they can expect from you.

sales funnel email

An example welcome email from The Positivity Blog.

Email 2: Educate. Share a valuable piece of content with them that will actively teach them something.

sales funnel email

This email from BluChic shares an educational blog post.

Email 3: Introduce your product as a solution to a key problem they have.

Email 4: Share a case study. Show them a story from a previous customer who has had success with your product.

sales funnel email

Spruce Rd. shares a video case study in one of its emails.

Email 5: Hard pitch. Go for the hard pitch with your product, outlining how it will benefit them and solve their biggest problem in your industry.

5. Add a Tripwire

People are more likely to buy from you if they've already had a taste for what you offer - which is exactly what a tripwire does. It provides a little taster of what's to come.

Tripwires range from $10-$30 and are the next step up from your lead magnet in the client lifecycle marketing process.

They are the next stepping stone on the way to your product and oil subscribers up to buying from you. A tripwire might be a recorded training that digs into a little more detail than your lead magnet, or it might be a longer e-book that's filled with case studies and step-by-step guides.

Your tripwire should essentially bridge the gap between your free lead magnet and your paid product. Check out this detailed guide here to get started creating your tripwire.

Four Lead Magnet Ideas that You Can Implement Today

Now that you know what you need to do before you create a lead magnet, let's dig into some of the quickest types of lead magnets you can implement - because, let's remember, your lead magnet doesn't have to be complicated, long, or incredibly comprehensive.

1. A Quiz

Find out more about your subscribers and engage with them in a unique way by enticing them in with a quiz.

This is exactly what influencer Neil Patel did with his niche site Nutrition Secrets. By implementing an interactive quiz, he increased his leads by 500%.

Neil patel lead magnet

2. A Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet or a checklist gives subscribers a quick way to learn or complete a specific task that's focused around their key problem.

lead magnet idea

This example offers subscribers a cheat sheet for creating a high-converting webinar schedule.

3. A Template

Templates give subscribers something quick and easy they can implement right away. Instead of learning how to do something, they can simply cut and paste their information in and get started right away.

For this, you could offer something like a viral blog post template, a social media calendar, or a Facebook ad template like Digital Marketer (which actually generated 35,859 leads in just 60 days).

lead magnet idea

4. A Free Training

Although a free training might require more work further down the line, you can implement it right away. Pick a topic, set a date, and start marketing it to your people.

lead magnet idea

Alternatively, you can repurpose a training you've already done and send it as a recording to subscribers, like this example.

Lead Magnets Don't Have to Be Complicated to Get Customers

Creating a lead magnet might seem like a daunting task, but it really just needs to be a simple way to get your target audience on that first stepping stone.

If you provide them with an introduction to your topic and explain why they need your product in their life with your lead magnet, you'll start attracting people who will actively hit that buy button when the chance comes up.

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