What is a Lead Magnet?
If you’re a beginning blogger, you’ve no doubt heard that buzzword “lead magnet”. There are literally hundreds of blogging terms that will make your head spin when you’re new! And not being in-the-know can be disheartening and a bit annoying, to say the least.
A lead magnet, at it’s most basic level, is any enticing digital or printable “product” you can offer your readers that will build your email list (help you collect email addresses).
But the heart of a lead magnet is providing value to your audience in order to help them solve a problem or make their lives easier. When you give helpful information and solutions away for FREE, this builds relationships and trust. They know you care.
Encouraging your readers and providing them with really good information for free eventually leads to customers for your own products and affiliate sales. This is how you monetize your blog. It’s truly a win-win.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, we may be compensated. Full disclosure here.
What makes a lead magnet successful?
The objective is to create something valuable and helpful for your audience that serves a specific purpose. This offer is usually free.
It can be a small-ticket item leading to a high-quality, more expensive eBook, course, or masterclass etc. Lead magnets can also be workshops or a free email course!
Knowing your readers, and staying very niched with your offer, is THE key to a successful lead magnet.
For example: A homesteading blogger might offer a free PDF download for “Best winter vegetables to grow in cold climates”. That would be very effective within a post about winter gardening.
Write epic posts your readers love, and come up with a simple and helpful giveaway that solves a very specific issue related to that topic. Or offer a PDF with valuable additional information that compliments your post.
A great lead magnet can be as simple (and helpful) as offering a PDF version of a big, meaty post so they can have a printed copy to keep.
Components of a great lead magnet
- It is simple but well made. Put some time and effort into the aesthetics, but don’t make it too busy…simple is best.
- A lead magnet should be highly relevant to your audience and what they need the most help with.
- It should be highly relevant to your blog niche and topics. Don’t offer “Ten Ways to Invest” on a gardening blog.
- Don’t make it too detailed or wordy. It only needs to solve one problem.
- Make it easy to digest and read. No huge blocks of text and no small fonts.
- You can use fun colors (or brand colors) to catch people’s eye, but make sure they compliment each other.
- Use enticing titles and copy for your offers. Use a headline analyzer or study some copywriting tips.
- Feature your lead magnet in prominent places on your blog. The home page, at the bottom of relevant posts, a pop-up subscription box, and hello bar, to name a few.
- You’ll need a reliable email service provider to deliver the product to your readers when they sign up for your offer.
**I prefer ConvertKit, hands-down, to the other email providers (I tried three of them before settling on CK!).
They have a nice variety of opt-in forms — including pop-ups. You can even make a super simple landing page for your offer.
I highly recommend utilizing their amazing tagging feature that tags each reader with which lead magnet they opted in for.
This provides great insight into which of your paid or affiliate products is a good fit for them! ConvertKit pays for itself if you use it correctly. They offer a FREE 14-day trial AND provide help migrating from most other email service providers!
Getting started with lead magnets
The term sounds kind of scary and complicated at first, but lead magnets can be as simple as a condensed version of a post in PDF format. This shouldn’t take much longer than a couple of hours even for a newbie.
Lead magnet creator
You can easily create a PDF list (like the above example of “Best Winter Vegetables to Grow”) or condensed blog post with Word, Excel (which has dozens of great templates for lists etc.!), Google Docs, or Canva to name a few.
Whichever platform you’re most comfortable with, I encourage you to start playing around with it today! Your email list can be off to a strong start with a simple and helpful lead magnet.
Intermediate level lead magnets
Of course, not all lead magnets will be that simple. As you learn the ropes of creating the easy stuff, it’s wise to come up with more in-depth offerings as well. Try a free 3-5 page guide about something that solves a problem for your reader.
The homesteading blogger (from the above example) could create a beginner’s guide to buying the right hens for maximum egg production. *Word to the wise: don’t go out and buy eight pretty hens. Someone I *know* did that… wink, wink!
Short eBooks make great free and low-priced offers as well. I created a free 13-page eBook on how to set up a Pinterest business account several months ago. It’s been a very successful lead magnet so far.
Do a little research and find out what your audience struggles with… or ask them! Their answers could make a perfect eBook.
For lead magnet guides and short eBooks, I like to use Canva — but Word and Google Docs would work also. Canva has great templates and totally customizable sizes to use for digital products.
You can search in their templates section for book covers, brochures (which can make great guides), lists, and dozens of other ideas! There are also plenty of free and very cheap graphics, clip art, and images to spice up your designs.
Great lead magnet ideas to grow your email list
- Checklists — people love these! What to take camping, clean your house in a certain order, to-do lists, etc.
- Worksheet lists — I made a PDF for my readers to write down blog topic ideas.
- A condensed version of a popular blog post in PDF format.
- Templates for readers to use. If you’re good with Pinterest, offer a handful of nice pin templates to customize.
- Guides — “Complete Guide to…”
- Blueprint — maybe a nice infographic that shows a quick way to get from problem to solution.
- Offer an eBook on a topic your audience already loves, or a problem-solving topic.
- Planners or calendars make great lead magnets.
- A budget worksheet.
- A free short email course that offers help or solutions to a particular problem.
- A video masterclass (think simple — even 30 minutes or less) demonstrating how to do something.
Creating high-quality lead magnets can knock your email list numbers out of the ballpark! Just make sure to provide relevant answers and information to your audience. My best advice is to make sure your offers look good. Put time into your creations and it will really pay off.
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