Lead Magnets: What They Are & Why You Need One

Good quality lead magnets are arguably one of the most important parts of any business that wants to start generating leads on autopilot.

If you don’t have one, or don’t at least have a good one, then there’s a chance this article could literally change your life and business forever…

So, as your suspiciously overdressed, Lewis Hamilton Wannabe of an Uber driver might say…

Driving Fox Tv GIF by Empire FOX

The best way to think of a lead magnet is that it’s effectively an irresistible, yet ethical ‘bribe’.

It’s a way of offering something of real value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.

What are lead magnets for?

The primary goal of the Lead Magnet is to get potential customers into your marketing funnel; especially those who aren’t ready to buy right now.

Ultimately this will allow you to convert them into buyers over time through an automated marketing sequence.

Image result for lead magnet

The secondary benefit is that it makes the actual sale a whole lot easier. That’s simply because you’re able to build trust and credibility by delivering value upfront.

This is exactly why it’s the first step we take our own customers through when exploring the customer value optimisation process.

How do you create lead magnets?

The good news is that lead magnets don’t have to be overly complex or lengthy in order to be of value.

In fact, a long and complicated Lead Magnet which is speaking to a very broad audience will most likely result in very poor conversions.

You simply need to solve a specific problem with a specific solution for a specific segment of your market.

Oh and that doesn’t mean just promoting your product or service…

A Free E-Book titled “10 reasons we’re the best” does not constitute as value, it only serves to stroke your own ego.

Remember, it’s ALWAYS about your audience, not you.

Check out this highly-specific and hyper-targeted lead magnet from Survival Life for example:

Pretty damn specific, right!?

So, let’s say for example you run a flooring store and you’re looking to target high-value clients who are thinking about purchasing expensive luxury flooring for their home. The objective is to get us more clients towards the top of the funnel (maybe not ready to buy just yet but are doing initial research).

We might create a lead magnet like…

“The 5 Step Checklist To Picking The Perfect Luxury Flooring For Your Home”

This could be included as a free download in our blog titled (3 Things You NEED to know before buying luxury flooring).

Again, the idea here is to position ourselves as the authority in our potential customers’ minds and make sure that we’re the first person they think of when the time comes to buy.

It’s important to remember though that lead magnet can be used for almost any stages of the funnel or buyer’s journey.

8 Requirements For The Perfect Lead Magnet

1. Ultra Specific

Lead magnets should NEVER be vague or “boiled chicken.” They must offer an ultra-specific solution to an ultra-specific market.

2. One Big Thing

Everyone wants a “magic pill” or “silver bullet,” so it’s always better to make and deliver one big promise as opposed to a lot of little ones.

3. Speaks To a Known Desired End Result

What does your market REALLY want? If you can figure that out and offer a lead magnet that promises it, they’ll gladly give you their contact information (and attention) in return. (HINT: Talk about the size of the holes…not the size of the drill bits.)

4. Immediate Gratification

Avoid using newsletters and multi-day email courses as your lead magnet. Your market wants a solution and they want it NOW!!!

5. Shifts the Relationship

The best lead magnets do more than inform…they actually change the state and mindset of your prospect so they’re pre-framed to engage in future business with your company.

6. High Perceived Value

Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it should LOOK free. Use professional graphics and imagery to establish real monetary value for your lead magnet in the mind of your visitor.

7. High Actual Value

If your lead magnet is all sizzle and no steak, you may get their contact information but you’ll lose their attention. To win you must promise AND DELIVER the goods.

8. Rapid Consumption

You don’t want your lead magnet to be a roadblock in your sales funnel, so ideally it should be able to be consumed or experienced in 5 minutes or less. (In other words, avoid long, boring ebooks that take days to read.)

How to name and position your lead magnet

Naming your lead magnet is probably one of the most important points.

Remember, you typically only get one chance to make a first impression so make sure the title grabs your audiences attention.

The key here is to make your lead magnet sound as enticing as possible by combining all of the above steps.

It’s important that the title of your lead magnet contains your big promise and what people can expect to gain.

Conveying the idea of rapid consumption can also be a big help where possible!

We all lives busy lives so we ultimately want something that will make our lives easier; not more complicated.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • The 60 second makeover plan
  • The growth accelerator blueprint
  • 3 things you NEED to know before buying a used car
  • The ultimate beginners guide to Yoga
  • The 3 step formula to profitable ads
  • The essential house renovation checklist

Examples of lead magnets

Lead magnets can take many different shapes and sizes and they’re not always just downloads or PDF’s.

Let’s take a look at some examples and potential use cases:

Guides/Case Study Lead Magnets

Guides are one of the most common types of lead magnet, but be careful not to fall into the trap of vagueness here.

If we take Yoga as an example here, something like “The Guide To Yoga” is very vague,.

It doesn’t really speak to a particular audience and has a very good chance of being overlooked. Especially if your audience is already familiar with Yoga and has reams of books on the topic.

However, when you begin to dial into your audience and where they are on their journey, you can meet them where they’re at.

In this case, something like “The Beginners Guide To Kundalini Yoga” is much more specific. As a result, it will have a much better chance of converting when presented to the right audience.

Checklist/Swipe File Lead Magnets

Checklists and swipe files make brilliant lead magnets. Mainly because they’re quick and easy to consume and they are also keep people coming back.

If you haven’t heard the term swipe file before, don’t worry! It’s effectively a template or “fill-in-the-blank” worksheet that people can use to reach their desired outcome. For example, if we wanted to produce a lead magnet for content marketers. We might offer a “swipefile of 92 content marketing headlines proven to produce sales”. 

This swipefile would then contain a list of marketing headlines that we’ve used to generated sales from. But with blank sections they can edit to fit their product or industry.

The idea here is to make people’s lives easier and again bring them closer to their desired outcome.

In the case of a checklist, it’s the kind of thing people could print up and put on their desk as a daily reminder/action plan. Think of what kind of checklists might be useful and desirable to your customer.

Toolkit Lead Magnets

A toolkit can make a great lead magnet for somebody looking to get started with something. But bear in mind, this type of lead magnet may require multiple different resources to make it really enticing.

Think of this as a starter kit or a toolbox of resources that a potential customer can use.

For example, a DIY store might provide a free decorating toolkit.

This might include samples, a handy measurement guide, and an inspiration/mood board to help people decorating their new home.

Free Trial Lead Magnets

A free trial can make great lead magnet for businesses that rely on a recurring client base or subscription-based services.

Ultimately, it allows people to “try before they buy”

This could be a free trial at a local gym or even a free trial for a new app or software company.

Quiz/Survey Lead Magnets

A quiz or survey can make a brilliant lead magnet when done right.

However, it may require some initial data to create conditional quiz logic when deciding the outcomes.

An example of this might be a gym or fitness course advertising a quiz on social media like:

“What fitness class is best suited for your body type?”

Or maybe an online bodybuilding program running a more light-hearted, fun quiz like:

“Which Mr. Olympia are you most like?” 

The quiz would then go on to ask a series of questions relating to the topic.

In the Mr Olympia example (which is a bodybuilding compeition). The quiz might ask people about their current exercise routine and then find the closest match to a famous bodybuilder.

Not only is this helping you to gather additional data and information on your leads, but some fun quizzes also have a very high chance of being shared organically.

Let’s be honest, what aspiring bodybuilder wouldn’t want to share a post saying they’re like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Oh, and remember when almost everybody on Facebook was finding out what Disney Character they were??

Yup…That’s the power of quizzes!

Video Course/Training Lead Magnets

When targeted to the right audience at the right time, mini-video workshops or training videos can be extremely effective lead magnets. Especially if you already have some social proof or review to show that you or your company know what you’re talking about.

The key here is to make sure they deliver some instant (or at least quick) gratification.

For example, if you’re a small business wanting to learn Facebook Ads; a mini-workshop on Facebook Ads could work well.

But if we called it “Get your first Facebook Ad Campaign up and running in less than an hour” it would probably seem much more appealing.

Especially when faced with the alternative of having to search through countless YouTube videos or figure it out yourself.

How could this look for your industry?

This can also be extremely effective when creating an online course. For example, you may want to consider making the first 3 lessons free for a limited time to not only give value to your audience but also entice them and get them wanting more.

Now it’s your turn to create an effective and irresistible Lead Magnet


That’s just a few examples, but hopefully, by now you have a better idea of what a lead magnet is and how to create one to help your business grow!

If you’d like some ideas of how you might be able to use a lead magnet for your business along with a tailored strategy make sure you book our FREE Digital Review today!

Tom Peyton
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