It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone in possession of an online business must be in want of a lead magnet funnel strategy.

No, seriously. At LSEO, while we don’t make the online marketing rules, we do try to explain them so that you, as an online business owner, can be more successful. And for maximum online marketing success, you should be employing lead magnets. 

The rationale is simple: if you have a website, your goals should include generating new leads and improving your conversion rates. Having a website that gets clicks is good – but having a website that generates business is even better. 

When it comes to marketing to your target audience, it’s much easier when you already have some information about them. Getting that information is key. In this article, we’ll cover high-converting lead magnets and why you need them for your business. 

What Are Lead Magnets?

A lead magnet is a free resource or service that a business gives away in exchange for contact information. Generally, the business asks for an email address or sometimes a phone number in exchange for the freebie. 

This freebie can vary and will depend entirely on what type of business you have and what your audience is most interested in. Some examples include a free digital download or a quiz, but we’ll get more specific later.  

The intent behind lead magnets is that by offering free content that is valuable, users are more likely to sign up for your email list and eventually become paying customers.

When a customer accepts your lead magnet offer, they enter your content marketing funnel

Content marketing should already be a part of your ecommerce marketing strategy since even those websites need supporting content.

When it comes to content marketing, we already know that customers want information. They want whatever is valuable to them. By including a lead magnet on your site, you create an opportunity for your information-seeking users to become direct recipients of your marketing strategy.

That is why lead magnets are especially effective. You take someone who is otherwise a casual observer and make them a lead.

Do you get it? Your offer should serve as a magnet that pulls them in.

You know, you gotta make them an offer they can’t refuse. This way, you won’t have to rely solely on paid ads to drive business.

Don’t get me wrong, we love a good PPC ad campaign. However, like with everything else, you don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket. Variety is the spice of life and successful marketing strategies.

A man holding a credit card to make an online purchase

The Benefits of Using Lead Magnets 

But why does your website need lead magnets specifically? Well, it’s relatively simple.

Nowadays, folks are generally savvier when it comes to giving away their information over the Internet. They’re not just going to hand over their email address willy-nilly. 

If you want their information, you must be ready to give up something in return. Think of it like a bartering system. If someone already has hundreds of unread emails in their inbox, you need to give them an incentive to hand over their contact information. 

Lead magnets are different from more generic requests for information, and they are more successful. 

If you write a blog post, you may include a CTA at the end along the lines of, “If you liked this article, sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a thing!” You may get some newsletter signups, but there’s no incentive there. 

On the other hand, if you offer something specific that the user can only access by providing their email address, you’ll see a better response. As long as it’s something they actually want in return. 

Lead magnets give people a clear reason to subscribe to your content, and they don’t have to guess the value – they’re getting something in return immediately. 

Characteristics of a Successful Lead Magnet 

Lead magnets benefit all types of online businesses. It doesn’t matter whether you run a blog, have a podcast, membership site, or an ecommerce website. Lead magnets work. 

However, for them to be effective, you need to make sure that they match the wants and desires of your target audience. 

A real magnet only works with certain types of metal.

Similarly, only certain types of lead magnets and offers will work with your target audience. 

Here are six characteristics of a good lead magnet: 

  1. Relevant: Your lead magnet should solve a problem or give your audience something they want. If it doesn’t apply to them, they will not sign up. 
  2. Valuable: Your lead magnet should offer high perceived and actual value. If it’s not insanely valuable, they won’t take the bait. 
  3. Quick: Your lead magnet should promise (and deliver) a quick win for the user.
  4. Easy: Your lead magnet should be easy to get, and it should be free. Don’t ask for too much information upfront, just what you need. People don’t like to fill out a lot of forms. 
  5. Specific: Your lead magnet should be about something specific, and you should be specific about its benefit to your audience. Deliver this in a great pitch for maximum conversion. 
  6. Purposeful: Your lead magnet should solve enough of a problem that the user recognizes that you are an expert and will come to you for more information. Don’t put your best content in your lead magnet. 

When you focus on these qualities, you will see increased conversions. The biggest takeaway is knowing your audience and developing a strategy that will entice them. 

Now that you know the general characteristics of a successful lead magnet idea, let’s look at some specific examples. 

7 Great Lead Magnet Examples

There are many examples of lead magnets you can employ, but not every strategy may work for your content and audience. These are some of the most popular lead magnet ideas that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy today. 

1.) Whitepapers/ Industry Reports 

Having in-depth, industry-specific content will help build your reputation as a brand, especially if you are looking to sell a service. You can achieve this through whitepapers, industry reports, and case studies. 

Rather than posting this information as a blog post, it’s better to create downloadable reports to function as a lead magnet. These are advanced problem-solving guides that should, at the very least, merit an email address in exchange for such detailed information. 

Here’s an example that BigCommerce uses on their website: 

BigCommerce example of an industry report lead magnet

Their target audience is retailers with ecommerce sites. By sharing this guide, they are hoping to show prospective buyers that their service has the right technology for modern business needs. 

The only people who are likely to download this are qualified leads, which makes those email addresses particularly valuable. 

2.) Webinars/ Mini-Courses  

Webinars and mini-courses are a great way to give prospects a taste of what you and your business can offer them. Naturally, you don’t want to give away the secret sauce. 

If you’re a marketing agency, for example, you’re not going to give away all of the secrets because you still need your services to be valuable. 

However, these are great ways to let people dip their toes in and test the waters before committing to paying for the full course or consultation. 

Here is an example from Sarah Turner’s Write Your Way to Freedom: 

example of a mini-course lead magnet

She provides interested individuals with a free masterclass to tell people how she succeeded – and then promotes her paid lessons. 

The best part about online education is that you don’t need teaching credentials. And you can provide all “homework” and assignments at once if you don’t want the added complexity of an email flow. 

3.) E-books 

E-books are a tried-and-true lead magnet idea that can work for almost any industry. And you don’t even have to write one from scratch if you don’t want to. You can turn your most popular blog posts into an e-book format. 

If you have content that follows a content cluster strategy, you can consider creating one master e-book that contains all that valuable cluster content. Add an intro and a conclusion, and you’re all set. 

Small e-books are popular with food bloggers. Often users will make free recipes without further engaging with the content on the website, which can lead to a gap in valuable marketing data. 

By creating an email-exclusive free recipe ebook, you can then market to those people when you publish new content, have a pre-order for your new cookbook, etc. 

Here is an example from Minimalist Baker: 

example of an ebook lead magnet from Minimalist Baker

4.) Templates 

Templates are a great lead magnet example because they emphasize “quick and easy.” They also help people streamline their processes and save time because they don’t have to create an idea and design it from scratch. 

You can create templates for just about anything, including emails, social media, spreadsheets, and graphic design. For instance, we made a template for a content calendar that you can download for free!

Creating a useful template will really come down to knowing your audience and understanding what they need/want. It can be as simple as an Excel document with formulas already in place where users just have to input data. 

Templates are very popular when it comes to finance and budgeting. Here is an example of a template lead magnet from The Budget Mom: 

printable budget template lead magnet example

5.) Quizzes 

Spend any amount of time on social media, and you’ll know that quizzes are popular (hello, Buzzfeed). Quizzes are also a great way to capture information. 

Quizzes are great for everything ranging from entertainment to “which product is right for me,” so no matter what industry you’re in, you can probably figure out a quiz that will be beneficial to your target audience. 

Are you in the real estate industry? You can create a quiz for what home style best suits the quiz taker or something a little more numbers-based such as, “How much home can I afford?” 

Here’s an example from Prose, a company that sells custom hair care products: 

prose hair quiz lead magnet example

Their whole premise is selling hair care products tailored to how the user answered the hair quiz questions. To see the recommended products, they have to fill out this simple form. 

Even if the person doesn’t buy anything, they can access their results in their email for future use, and the company can market to them. 

6.) Discount/Free Shipping 

Most if not all ecommerce retailers have probably used this lead magnet example. 

Offering a discount incentive is sort of the low-hanging fruit of online retail marketing. It’s a great way to get started, but giving away discounts shouldn’t be your only tactic. 

Here’s how Yeti obtains information:

Yeti free shipping lead magnet example

7.) Free Trial 

Just like a mini course’s intent is to give your audience a taste and then convert them into full-blown customers, so does a free trial. 

If you’re selling access to any kind of software or web-based service, offering a free trial is a good example of a lead magnet. 

In fact, most software companies offer a free trial to ensure the customer is happy with the product before they commit. Adding an opt-in step will enable you to target them for campaigns if they decide not to continue beyond the trial period (usually a week or month). 

Here is an example of a free trial lead magnet from Shopify: 

Shopify free trial lead magnet example

Let LSEO Help You Develop a Lead Magnet Marketing Strategy 

If you read through these lead magnet examples and don’t know where to start, it’s ok. The first step to any successful marketing strategy is getting to know your target audience. And for those who don’t want to go it alone, we’re here to help. 

If you want to improve your online presence and generate more leads, contact us for a free consultation today!