A lead magnet is a tool commonly used in internet marketing to collect contact information from website visitors (leads). It is designed to attract potential customers without a direct cost. To receive the offered gift, consumers are required to provide their contact details on the website. This could be as simple as an email address or phone number, or in some cases, more personal information like preferences regarding the company’s products. The lead magnet serves as the initial point of interaction with prospective buyers, marking the beginning of the sales funnel.

What we talk about

In the B2B sector, a lead magnet often takes the form of a PDF document or technical document that can be used to improve one’s own business performance. However, in e-commerce, there are numerous ways to provide free value, but it requires a good understanding of the preferences and problems of your target audience and skills in creating visual or interactive materials.

Research shows that lead magnets are incredibly effective lead generation tools: 50 percent of marketers achieve higher conversion rates when using lead magnets. Why is this the case? Lead magnets provide insights into what motivates your potential customers to check the box—your sales team can use this information to increase their chances of converting them into clients. That’s why lead magnets are a critically important component of any customer acquisition strategy. Peter Alig, What is a lead magnet? The ultimate guide (+10 examples)

Why do you need a lead magnet on a landing page?

A lead magnet serves several functions that improve business performance:

  • attracting new leads;
  • increasing landing page conversion rates;
  • filtering the client database and improving lead quality;
  • creating a detailed customer avatar;
  • increasing customer loyalty and generating a sense of gratitude for the provided value;
  • simplifying decision-making for the customer, especially for expensive or complex products, by offering a way to test quality for free;
  • introducing customers to new products, successful startup launches, or market innovations;
  • promoting the brand and building a community around it;
  • legally expanding the email address database for email marketing or phone numbers for cold calls;
  • improving the SEO performance of the landing page by keeping visitors engaged;
  • providing ongoing support and maintaining communication with customers, building trust and brand loyalty.

Using a lead magnet allows you to showcase the benefits of a paid product and promote it in a non-intrusive way. It can create a desire for visitors to return to your website. The content of the lead magnet can influence consumer emotions and stimulate the desire to make a purchase. This approach helps in building a positive relationship with potential customers and can ultimately lead to increased sales and customer loyalty.

Classification of lead magnets

Lead magnets can be divided into several main types. This classification is based on the primary value of the free offer, its content, and purpose.

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Practical. Ready-made solutions for customers or discounts and special offers that save potential customers money or time.

This category includes free consultations, demo versions of software or services, price freezes for a specific period, marathons, individual discounts, price catalogs for loyalty program participants, free delivery, gift certificates from company partners, branded items as gifts, and more.

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Educational. Useful materials that do not provide ready-made solutions but help individuals create them on their own.

This category includes series of emails with useful links, whitepapers or full-fledged books or sections, audiobooks or podcasts, case studies (analysis of completed projects presented as a presentation or long-read), reports, reviews, forecasts, educational courses, workshops, guides, and webinars.

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Entertainment. Light, theme-based materials, often with elements of humor or playfulness.

This category includes quizzes, surveys, contests, comics, memes, sticker packs for messengers, desktop wallpapers, and so on.

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Organizational. These are materials that help your customers organize their plans and activities related to your product.

Checklists, cheat sheets, exercise charts, goal achievement plans, recipes, and even mobile applications (the latter requires significant investments and is suitable for large companies with stable incomes).

To save time. Bonuses for those who, for example, want to learn but can’t make it to online meetings. This category can include virtual try-ons. It’s preferable to combine such lead magnets with further consultation with a specialist.

Summaries of webinar or course key points, manuals, workbooks, resource lists, collections of the best materials on a specific topic, online calculators, scripts, and sets of multiple tools.

Motivational materials can include colorful and inspiring content that elicits aesthetic pleasure, enthusiasm, and gratitude.

Quotes, posters, stickers, branded diaries and calendars, mind maps, lists of ideas, and quick start guides (e.g., in sports, writing, or starting your own business) can all be part of motivational materials.

The opportunity to join a community and regularly benefit from it and derive satisfaction can be part of community participation materials.

Challenges, loyalty programs, customer loyalty cards, closed pages and channels, offline and online meetings can be considered as materials for community participation.

What should a Lead Magnet be like?

lead magnet should do its job—attract new leads. It’s important to strike a balance and not overdo it with value so that potential customers don’t limit themselves to free offerings. However, offering to provide personal information in exchange for mediocre materials that can easily be found on Google won’t be effective as it can decrease customer loyalty. Why spend money on a company that doesn’t prioritize its customers or even tries to trick them?

Therefore, in the process of creating a lead magnet for a landing page, we recommend considering key quality criteria.

Should be relevant to the queries of your target audience

A large number of low-quality leads can be costly. Imagine this scenario: you’ve invested money in contextual advertising, driven organic traffic to your website, and engaged designers, marketers, or even programmers to create the lead magnet. However, it turns out that the lead magnet attracts users who have no interest in your sales offer at all. Is such a result worth the effort and resources spent? Make sure that your lead magnet serves its intended purpose by attracting only relevant leads and satisfying their needs entirely.

Valuable

An expert opinion, insider knowledge, a faster way to achieve something, or a beautifully crafted creative solution that addresses a real problem for people—good lead magnets should definitely contain something from this list. Even at the initial stage, you should improve the potential client’s life, provide valuable information, or at least inspire them to take certain steps.

Easily shareable

Make sure that links to your landing page or dedicated destination page with the lead magnet can be easily shared on social media and other platforms. Leads that come through recommendations are always more open to collaboration or more ready to make a purchase.

Keep it concise

Try to include useful information and a call to action in a compact file. Of course, in some cases, it may be appropriate to offer potential customers your own book or a series of podcasts. However, more often than not, website visitors are looking for something simple and understandable, something they can go through in 10-20 minutes.

how to create effective lead magnet
Or download the full-size infographic by following the link: PDF, 2.08 MB

How to Prepare an Effective Lead Magnet?

To ensure that the lead magnet truly attracts website visitors, focus on its content and visuals. Here are a few tips on preparing an effective free product.

Define the target audience’s requests

This will be aided by both the customer portrait and an analysis of competitors landing pages. Brainstorm among staff and existing clients regarding the content they would like to receive before making a paid purchase. Choose several options to test the lead magnet in the future.

Work on the design

Rarely does the design of a lead magnet not matter. Most potential clients want to receive something aesthetically appealing and well-structured, ideally bright and unique. Special skills are not needed, as materials can be designed using Canva or any presentation program, such as Google Slides or Prezi.

Develop a pre-launch strategy for using the lead magnet

Plan ahead what information you need from website visitors and how many fields should be in the lead form. The less time it takes to submit an application, the more likely the client will fill it out. However, in some cases, to get quality leads, it is worth collecting more detailed information about consumers in addition to their contact details.

Optimize the lead magnet for search

To attract organic traffic, the lead magnet needs to have a landing page that meets SEO requirements. To do this, you need to find and add keywords and necessary meta tags to the page code. The Landing Page itself should be conversion-oriented and well thought out in terms of usability, design, and textual content.

Conduct Testing

A/B testing different elements of the landing page helps increase its conversion rate. Specifically, replacing and testing the lead magnet can enhance its effectiveness. By refining the call to action, lead form, and the free offer itself several times, you can understand the website visitors needs and offer them what seems most useful and interesting.

Overall, the key to success in creating a lead magnet on a landing page is “meticulousness”. The more good examples you analyze, the easier it will be for you to create the perfect free offer and present it correctly.

Types of lead magnets with specific examples

There are many free offers on landing pages, but not all of them are successful. Consumers are tired of generic checklists, discounts like “10% off today only” and intrusive calls to action that don’t clearly communicate what is being sold on the landing page. Moreover, long-established free consultations and personalized discounts are not relevant for all business sectors.

If we’re talking about the premium segment with affluent target audiences, it doesn’t make sense to offer discounts or free shipping. If you’re addressing business owners, it’s not worth focusing on flashy designs and loud headlines—it’s better to demonstrate the value and expertise of the materials and the potential benefit from using them.

Let’s consider the most popular types of lead magnets with specific examples.

  • Discount combined with a call to join a loyalty program

The cosmetics brand Origins offers a discount for participating in the Origin Rewards program.

How to prepare an effective lead magnet
  • Giveaway or contest

One of the brands that holds giveaways on their website is the Danish wine merchant Jysk Vin. “Subscribe to the Jysk Vin newsletter and win 42 bottles worth a total of $563. We will announce the winner on September 6, 2023”.

An example of an ice magnet
  • Free consultation

Australian consulting firm KeyCommerce offers a virtual consultation as the first step towards collaboration. The company presents a calendar of available 30-minute time slots, and visitors submit their email to reserve a meeting.

how to create an ice magnet
  • Free shipping

The cosmetics online store Elf offers new visitors free shipping for simply registering—just one field to fill out.

Free shipping as an ice magnet
  • Quiz or Survey

Digital marketing consultant John Loomer offers an advertising quiz on Facebook as a lead magnet for his audience.

How to write a lead magnet
  • Access to a Closed Community

The influencer platform AspireIQ offers potential clients access to the “Café” community.

What is an ice magnet in simple terms
  • Valuable Original Materials

Drip, a company, offers access to a library of marketing resources. After submitting their email on the website, visitors are asked to choose their professional category. These surveys help segment the target audience and subsequently send out newsletters with the most relevant materials.

  • Individual Product or Service Selection, Analysis or Audit, Personalized Cost Calculation

Care/of offers personalized vitamin selection and a discount, along with an additional lead magnet: “Get $25 off your first order of $50 or more”.

  • A trial period or product demo version

Leadpages offers a free trial period for using their landing page creation and testing service.

demo version as an example of a lead magnet on a landing page

The full-service internet marketing agency, Marketing Link, offers a free audit and consultation to business owners who are uncertain about choosing a company.

  • A mobile application

Access to all features of the service on a mobile phone is one of the ways to collect data, most attractive to visitors, and unfortunately, most expensive for entrepreneurs. You can order food and track your order in the Sushi Master app.

  • Webinar
  • Checklist

The company UniTalk sends its potential clients a checklist with metrics, indicators, and KPIs to assess the effectiveness of call center operations.

  • Recipes

For a culinary-related business, a great solution would be a lead magnet in the form of an email newsletter with recipes or a ready-made e-book of unique recipe dishes.

Recipes
  • Catalog

Mistakes in Creating a Lead Magnet and Placing It on a Landing Page

At the beginning of the article, we noted that a product or service that requires payment is not considered a lead magnet. Therefore, any discounts for registration, certificates for the first purchase, and other bonuses that are supplements to purchasing the product are considered additional ways to increase sales. If you plan to focus primarily on lead generation, develop a truly free offer.

A common mistake is using a service that requires a lot of resources from company specialists as a lead magnet. For example, if the only thing you can offer new clients at this stage is a free consultation, consider whether this will be too costly for you?

Perhaps the number of requests to receive this lead magnet will be unexpectedly large, and your managers (or you yourself) simply won’t be able to process the applications in time. Therefore, it is desirable to develop a template solution that can be used many times, automating the sending process. If you want to position yourself as a private specialist, a good idea would be to create your own collection of useful materials or write a white paper.

By investing your time in such work once, you will continue to reap the benefits for a long time without putting in additional effort into personalizing the lead magnet.

If it’s not critically important for you to collect the phone numbers of potential clients, consider removing the “Phone” field from the lead form. Many skeptical users and introverts who dislike receiving phone calls may decline the offer precisely because of the requirement to provide their number.

It can be considered a mistake to lack visualization of the lead magnet on the landing page. If you offer a checklist or a book, show the cover. Providing a free trial of your service? Demonstrate a screenshot of the product in action. On one hand, this is enticing for potential clients. On the other hand, the need for visualization requires meticulous work on the design of free materials and the main product.

If you are offering an initial consultation, place a photo of the specialist next to the lead form, who will be speaking with clients. For the offer to visit a gym or any other establishment/community for free, take a photo of the premises and the people inside.

How to design a lead magnet on a landing page?

The lead magnet can be presented on a separate landing page. 

Quizzes are often used not only for lead generation but also for audience segmentation and hypothesis testing. Entertaining and humorous quizzes increase brand awareness through rapid dissemination. You can offer the opportunity to take the quiz without registration, and upon receiving the quiz result, offer a consultation related to the quiz topic or any free product.

There are also several ways to present the free offer on the main landing page of the company.

One of the most popular ways to showcase a lead magnet is to place it on the first screen of the landing page. The International Center “Psycho” offers the opportunity to clarify your concerns and hear the expert’s opinion on your condition during the first free consultation.

What’s next?

Set up the mechanism for receiving the lead magnet so that regardless of the number of requests, everyone receives it instantly (if it’s useful materials) or within the specified time frame in the lead form (if it’s a consultation or something more personalized). Delivery can be implemented through email or messenger.

After submitting the request to receive the lead magnet, the potential client should understand that they shared their information for a reason. To make them feel cared for and appreciated by the company, send a thank-you email or create a Thank You Page that will be displayed on the screen after filling out the form. You can offer more content, a promo code, an offer to extend the free trial version, etc., thereby increasing the trust of the website visitor.

After providing access to the lead magnet, Drip company offers new leads to utilize their service: “Our marketing resource library should be in your inbox. But before that, you can try Drip. (Many ideas from this resource are related to email)”.

mechanism of ice magnet production

Meanwhile, the subscriber receives an email greeting with jokes and an offer to explore the marketing blog and the new e-commerce podcast “Beyond the Inbox”. At the bottom of the email, there is an additional lead magnet—free access to the Drip service for 14 days and the opportunity to attend a platform overview.

additional ice magnet

Encourage potential customers to continue using your product or service by combining a free trial with email marketing. For example, Squarespace, a website development company, sends an email a day before the end of the free trial to ask potential customers if they want to continue it for free. The company also includes links to its customer resources to encourage recipients to continue building their website. Peter Alig, What is a lead magnet? The ultimate guide (+10 examples)

It is crucial to provide ongoing support to captured leads after the initial interaction to ensure that the collaboration does not end as soon as it begins. Therefore, it is important to develop a strategy and create a sales funnel in advance, which typically involves several stages:

  • lead magnet;
  • tripwire (low-cost but paid product);
  • paid offer (flagship product);
  • ongoing collaboration or selling additional goods and services;
  • in some cases—selling expensive goods or services, increasing the average customer check.

Thus, you “warm up” the customer and build relationships with them so that from a random visitor to the landing page, they become a loyal, regular customer and a brand advocate.

It should be noted that a lead magnet may be relevant not only at the beginning of the customer interaction. The appearance of new free offers at various stages of the sales funnel is primarily relevant for service-oriented businesses and B2B.

At different stages of the sales funnel, it’s worth using different types of lead magnets:

  • at the awareness stage: motivational and entertaining lead magnets, free trials, product demos, infographics, checklists, templates;
  • after initial interaction: case studies, thematic research, invitations to communities;
  • later stages: contests and challenges, videos, excerpts from books or educational courses, etc.
Julia Sotnikova

Expert’s comment

Lead magnets are indeed a crucial solution for service-based industries, without which businesses won’t generate leads. People will definitely want to “experience” the product before making a purchase, especially if the service is non-traditional. All advertising agencies offer free audits, share checklists, and conduct webinars.

If the service industry is clear, then e-commerce also has its own secret techniques. For example, our client, a separator manufacturer, sends the machine for a trial period, and if the farmer doesn’t like it, they take it back for free. Similarly, a manufacturer of high-end office chairs offers furniture for two weeks so that potential buyers can “get a taste” and experience the comfort firsthand.

It’s great when lead magnets have rotation: you can track their effectiveness and change them when you feel that the free offer is close to burning out.

Keep in mind that people are wary of anything free. Our society is accustomed to banking scams and financial pyramids, so they are reluctant to leave their phone numbers.

Offering services/products that cost money for free can be very damaging to your business. So, think about some standardized solutions that will be minimally costly for you but maximally beneficial for the customer. For example, it’s not wise for hair salons to offer a free first haircut appointment because people might take advantage of it. Instead, it’s appropriate to add a free haircut with coloring or offer every tenth visit as a gift.

Julia Sotnikova, marketer in marketing.link

Frequently asked questions about lead magnets

How to create a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is any free product, service, or valuable material related to the company’s activities and its core offering. To create a quality lead magnet, you need to study the needs of potential customers and develop a product that you are willing to provide in exchange for visitor data on your website.

Where can you create a lead magnet?

You can create a lead magnet in a Word document, on the Canva website, or in another program, depending on the direction of your business and the value you can provide to customers for free.

What is a lead magnet in simple terms?

In simple terms, a lead magnet is an offer that attracts leads, meaning requests for free consultations, material downloads, getting testers, etc. It’s a small but valuable product that increases the loyalty of website visitors and encourages them to cooperate with the company or make a purchase.

How is an offer different from a lead magnet?

An offer can be paid. It’s a proposition to buy something, schedule a visit, etc. Typically, an offer also includes a call to action and a lead form, and it’s placed on a landing page. Therefore, a lead magnet can be considered a type of offer, but it’s typically free and designed to attract leads rather than directly sell something.

What should a lead magnet be like?

A lead magnet should be relevant to the needs of potential clients, valuable and useful, optimized for search engines or social media, strategically planned, and well-designed. It should also build trust, serve your business goals, and not fully reveal the essence of the main paid product.

What is not a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is not a paid product or service with a nominal price. An offer with a call to pay a small amount is called a tripwire and can be used as the next stage in the sales funnel after the lead magnet. Also, a gift as an addition to the main purchase or a discount code cannot be considered a lead magnet.

Conclusions

Lead magnet is a powerful lead generation tool that requires strategic use and planning for further interaction with customers. With a free offer, you can attract new clients or remind people who have already contacted the company about your presence.

The lead magnet should be relevant to the inquiries of the target audience, useful, well-designed, unique, and viral. It’s great if you can impress a potential buyer even at the acquaintance stage. And for this, you will need a valuable solution that does not require constant investment of time or money from you.

The main task of a lead magnet is to collect contact information from landing page visitors for further communication with warm leads interested in the product. If the sales funnel is important for the business, we recommend using multiple lead magnets. In the case of selling goods or providing relatively simple services, one lead magnet that effectively demonstrates the advantages of your offer and serves as motivation to purchase paid products will be sufficient.

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