A lead magnet, also called an opt-in offer or freemium, can help you grow your email list, traffic and clientele while you sleep! Find out everything you need to know to create an irresistible offer for your readers that converts like crazy.
What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is an incentive businesses offer to potential clients in exchange for their email address or contact information. This opt-in offer is usually of high value and solves a specific problem. Lead magnets are typically digital content like a PDF or video.
The goal of a lead magnet is to gain access to potential clients and offer them high value content in hopes that they will become a customer in the future.
Why You Need a Lead Magnet (or a Few!)
If you run an online business a lead magnet can help you engage and connect with your audience better.
With social media algorithms always changing, a blog and an email list are two things you can control. This is why setting up at least one lead magnet is critical to your business.
A freemium allows you to tailor your content, build value and trust and then offer them a product to help them further along with their goals.
Loving this guide? Check out our Free Guide to Branding Yourself Online too!
How to Create a Lead Magnet
To create a lead magnet, you’ll want to:
- Decide on Who Your Ideal Client Is
- Identify What You Can Offer Them
- Give Your Lead Magnet a Title
- Choose What Format You’ll Use
- Then Create Your Lead Magnet
Once you have your lead magnet created, you’ll want to add a call to action (CTA) on your website and social media channels. This CTA will lead your prospect to a landing page to opt-in with their name, email and any additional information you ask for. Once they opt-in, they should be directed to a thank you page and receive an email with your lead magnet.
Below we’ll look at how to create your lead magnet, the different format options, and our favorite tools to create opt-in offers.
Tips on Creating Your Lead Magnet
When creating a lead magnet, you should tell the reader what you’re offering, why they need it, and how it will help them.
A successful lead magnet:
- motivates your reader to take action.
- solves a specific problem they’re having.
- can be consumed very quickly and mobile-responsive.
- offers high-quality, exclusive content.
- builds your creditability in your niche.
You also want to make sure you give it a catchy title. One way to do this is to Google your topic and look at headlines for inspiration. We recommend that the title be shorter than 10 words and be very descriptive about what’s included.
Questions to Develop Your Lead Magnet
In order to develop an irresistible offer, you want to tailor your freemium to your ideal client. This means being super specific in who you want to help and really focusing in on who needs your product or service.
Here are a few questions to help you develop your lead magnet:
- Who is your ideal client?
- What is their biggest pain point, or why do they need your product or service?
- How can you help them overcome this struggle?
- What kind of content does this person need? (A checklist, tutorial, quiz, etc)
- Which format will you use to share this? (A video, printed words, PDF, etc)
- Are there any freemiums you’ve received and loved? How can you duplicate that with your opt-in?
- When will you make your opt-in?
- How will you promote your opt-in?
- How can you tie in your product or service into this opt-in?
It’s important to identify how your lead magnet ties in with your product or service. You want someone opting in for your freemium to later become a client, and you can do this by creating a roadmap between the free material and paid material you offer.
50 Unique Lead Magnet Ideas
A lead magnet can be anything of value that is offered in exchange for someone’s email or contact information. Some common offers include templates, PDFs, checklists, and how-to videos.
You should always lead with the problem and how you can help solve it with your lead magnet, but you can choose any type of format you feel like connects with your audience. You could even develop multiple lead magnets and see which one converts better.
Here are 50 Lead Magnet Ideas
- Cheat Sheet
- Stock Images
- Bonus Content or Content Upgrades
- How to Video
- Tutorial with Outlined Steps
- Resource Library or Premium Content on Your Site
- Test or Assessment
- Examples or a Case Study
- Free Consultation
- A Free Quote
- Swipe Files (72 headlines for social media posts that you can simply, well, swipe!)
- Meal Plans
- Ebook (of recipes, tips, or best practices)
- Worksheet / Workbook
- Printable (like a shopping list)
- Writing Prompts
- Graphics or Quotes
- In-depth Guide to Learn XYZ
- How-to Video
- Audio Class
- Email Course
- Event Tickets
- Sample Chapter
- Recording or a Replay
- Slides of a Presentation
- Accountability Challenge
- Membership Site
- Facebook Group
- Online Tool, App or Software
- Free Delivery
- 1st Access to a Product, Event or Service
- Free Trial
- Waiting List
- Resource List
Tools for Creating a Lead Magnet
Now they you know what format you’ll use for your opt-in offer, we do have a few favorite tools to help you create it!
Graphic Design and Technical Help
Creating a Quiz
QuickTime or Audacity are both great audio resources.
You could upload your videos to Youtube and mark them as unlisted; however, we prefer our freemium videos to be on a self-hosted service. This keeps them a little more private. We like Wistia or Vimeo.
Presentation or Slides
We also like Gleam for contests and Free Conference Call for group calls.
Putting Your Lead Magnet into An Email Service
Once you have your lead magnet created, you’ll want to have a way to collect emails and send your offer.
You’ll need a form and a way to email your new leads.
We personally use Convertkit as our email service, but Aweber is another email service that we’ve liked in the past. Both allow you to set up automated emails. This automated feature is essential because you want your reader to receive an email with the opt-in as soon as they opt-in.
Testing Out Your Lead Magnet
Before you start incorporating your lead magnet into your social media and blog, we recommend taking a few minutes to review it.
- What information am I providing? Is that clear?
- Based on just my landing page, what can I assume I’ll receive by opt-ing in?
- Are my graphics and text easy to read?
- Does my landing page and lead magnet match my overall brand?
- In the first 10 seconds, what catches my attention?
If you already have an ideal client you love working with, you could also ask him or her these questions to make sure you’re on track.
Where to Promote Your Lead Magnet
Your marketing strategy for your lead magnet should include social media and website. We’ll look at 12 places to put an opt-in option for your offer below.
1. Facebook Cover Photo
You should include a call to action on the photo and a link in the caption for people to opt-in.
2. Social Media Posts
Anytime you talk about the specific problem you’re solving with your freemium, include a CTA in the post to opt-in to get access to it.
You can include a link in your bio to the landing page of the lead magnet. We like to reference it in our Instagram stories at least 1x a week.
Consider doing an ad on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest for your lead magnet. A clear photo with brief description of what they’ll receive or short video (under 60 seconds) works great!
5. Email Signature
Include a link and brief sentence about what the lead magnet is and how it could help someone.
6. On Your Bios & Guest Posts
You may even consider listing your lead magnet on your social media bios and guest posts. It may be tempting to list your website instead, but if someone opt-ins they’ll likely see your website anyways. Plus, someone opt-ing in to your freemium could be a higher quality lead than someone just visiting your site.
7. On Slides
If you give a speech or presentation ask if you can include a call to action for your lead magnet as one of your last slides.
You can also feature your lead magnet across your website in a few places.
8. A Feature Box
You’ll notice on our homepage we have an email opt-in right after our 3 featured pages. This is a great place to add a subscription box because it’s one of the first things people see on your website.
9. Your Sidebar
Your sidebar is something people will see on every page of your site when they’re on their desktop or laptop computer making it another high-value spot to include an opt-in.
10. Inside A Blog Post
If you are creating content that relates to your freemium (which you should be!) you can link to your freemium right inside your blog post. This offers value to your readers and can be the next step they need to move forward in solving their problem.
11. The End fo a Blog Post
We’ll also often include a link to the opt-in at the end of the blog post. If someone makes it to the end of the content, that means they found it helpful! Adding a link to opt-in for your freemium gives them the next step you want them to take.
12. Using a Pop-Up
A pop-up box can be helpful to both you and your readers if done well.
With Leadpages, you can customize your pop-up to only appear after a certain amount of time or when someone goes to exit the page as well. We like to have one open up after 30 seconds.
13. On Your About Page
If someone is checking out your About page, we can assume they’re pretty into you!
This is a great time to share a little bit about your story and how you possibly overcame an issue your reader may be struggling with. Then, it’s a natural layup to include an opt-in for your lead magnet.
If Your Lead Magnet Isn’t Working
A few reasons your lead magnet may not be doing well are that the wording is too vague, the competition is too high, or you’re asking for too much information.
Also, you want to make sure your opt-in is mobile-friendly and that the topic resonates with your audience.
2 Final Notes
As we wrap up our guide on creating and promoting freemiums, we wanted to include a few additional notes.
Expect slow and steady growth on your email list.
You may see only a couple people opt-ing in each day or even each week. It’s okay – just like anything else, it will continue to grow if you’re continually offering good, relevant content.