Your Ultimate Guide in Creating High-Converting Lead Magnets

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Given that more than 95% of your visitors will not convert on the first visit, having an effective lead magnet in place can definitely help in accelerating your conversions.

Why are there no conversion taking place?

It is because there is no established relationship yet between you and your potential customer, and capturing their email address is the first step in creating a relationship.

A well-thought out and executed lead magnet can boost your email list and pretty soon, change the way you earn consumer trust and revenues.

Let this be your guide on lead magnets as we will discuss what it is all about, how it works, how to build your own email list, and some examples you can reference for inspiration.

What is a lead magnet?

Let’s start with the basics.

According to Digital Marketer…

lead magnet definition

The goal of a lead magnet then is to maximize the number of targeted leads you are getting in exchange of that amazing offer.

Remember that getting emails from your site visitors is a form of transaction.

You need their email address to generate revenue. To get their email address, you have to come up with an incredible offer that will be so hard for them to refuse.

Your offer takes on the job of selling the idea of subscribing to your email list.

You know that your offer is indeed irresistible as you think it is if people go through the process of typing their email addresses on your email capture form.

And the speed by which that can take place depends on four factors:

the excitement built around your offer, the design of your offer, its position on your website and the usability of your email capture tool.

comparison between 2 lead magnets

Between these two lead magnets, which one are you most gravitated to respond to?

We trust that you chose the one on the right because it does have an exciting offer, the value proposition is clearly explained and it communicates the benefits of entering one’s email address.

How to build an email list

Building a high-converting email list can be a lot of work. But that does not mean it cannot be done.

Ask yourself:

What is something that will make you feel excited and gladly exchange your email address for?

What is something that can be very useful to your visitors that they will gladly give their email addresses to you?

It’s easy to get stuck with a lot of ideas for this.

You will notice that a lot of business-driven individuals like yourself have come up with many “exciting” offers, such as “free access to exclusive reports” or “sign up now before supplies last”.

Before you get stuck with the same sounding offers, take a step back, see what your competitors are doing and ensure that you will come up with something uniquely different.

Step 1: Understand your ideal customers

It goes without saying that having a clear understanding of who you want to attract with your lead magnet is the first step in creating your email list.

You need people who will go through your lead magnet and realize that what you are offering is something they need, something useful and something of major value to them.

Once you know the people you are attracting with your lead magnet, the bigger the impact your lead magnet will have on your conversions.

Also, the better the push your leads will have as they go down the funnel.

Step 2: Create an attractive lead magnet

Ensure that your lead magnet has these three components:

It creates value. It does not even have to be that extravagant like a new laptop for every new email subscriber.

While that can boost conversions significantly, it is not that targeted and some may even doubt the veracity of your enticing offer.

Think of the best possible ideas next to a new laptop and start “downgrading” from there.

Planning your offer in that manner is better than thinking of a better upgrade to “free access to exclusive reports” or “sign up now before supplies last”.

It has to be realistic. When it comes to your offers, do not lie or set any false expectations. Nothing can be a major turn off than a really great offer that turns out to be completely false in the end.

Coming up with a realistic offer also hinges on what and how much you can offer in exchange of those precious email addresses.

Check your resources and balance how generous you can actually be with your offer.

It has to be the best you can come up with. When you’ve finally arrived at a particular offer, ask yourself – is this the best offer I can come up with?

If you think you can do something better than that offer, repeat the process all over again.

But if you are already confident with what you came up with, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Structure your offer

To make it high converting, make sure your offer is structured. Check out the four points below for guidance.

  • your promise is clearly communicated. What will your visitors get from you after subscribing and giving you their email address? Let them know your promise.
  • establish the connection. Why did you create this particular offer and for whom? Make sure your lead magnet reaches the people who will benefit from what you are offering.
  • outline the benefits. It could be as direct to the point as a series of bullet points that your visitors can easily grasp. Outline the issues that can be addressed by your offer and the other solutions that same offer can provide them.
  • don’t forget your call to action. Tell your visitors what they should do next. Once they have entered their email address in your email capture form, confirm their submission and tell them what the next succeeding steps will be.

Also critical is to invest on the quality of your offer’s copy as this can make or break its ability to create conversions. Have someone write your offer’s copy for you if you are not feeling confident about it.

Step 4: Use a reliable email capture form

Once you are confident about your offer, start implementing it on your site so you can finally get started with your email list building.

There are tons of tools you can use for capturing email addresses on your website and we have some options we think are worth checking out:

Sleeknote is a list building tool you can use as a pop-up or a slide-in on your website. It is also easy to customize so you are sure that it reflects your branding style.

Sleeknote

SumoMe’s list builder is also a fantastic choice. It is part of a broader list of tools that you can use for list building and capturing email addresses on your website.

Pay a bit more and you can start taking advantage of its integrated A/B testing tools.

SumoMe’s list builder

Elegant Themes list building tool also allows you to implement popups on your site. It is part of the Bloom plugin and is exclusive for WordPress users.

Elegant Themes list building tool

When selecting which list building tool to use, use one that is easy to implement on your website and customize. This way, whenever you need to make changes, it’s easy to do the necessary touch ups.

Step 5: Test it out

Creating an attractive lead magnet takes time.

Start with something you can best come up with at the moment and “upgrade” your offer from there. Test your offers and see which ones your visitors are responding to more often.

Testing regularly should help you gauge the engagement of your offer.

Lead magnet examples for inspiration

Now that you know how to build an email list, check out the following lead magnet examples you can take inspiration from.

Once you get to master creating lead magnets, you can significantly grow your email list and eventually your conversions at the pace that is ideal for you.

Example 1: Planscope.io

Planscope.io is a project management tool for developers and designers.

Planscope.io's lead magnet

To give interested users of the tool a look at how it works, they invite them to enter their email addresses so they can be directed to the tool’s exclusive interactive demo.

Every person who enters their email address and views the demonstration are added into an autoresponder.

If they did not proceed to purchase the tool after a given number of days, the autoresponder follows up on them.

Why this lead magnet works is because people with collaborative job titles want to be as productive as they can while saving project time.

Planscope.io is in itself a great catch so the simple sign up process (it’s just one field) to access to the interactive demo helped encourage interested parties to send in over their email address.

Takeaways:

Capture emails easily in one go! The simpler the call-to-action is, the better for your conversions.

Be concise with your lead magnet copy and get straight to the value of subscribing to your email list.

Example 2: Southwest Airlines

Email list building can be relatively easy among airline companies because they can use their flight promos and discounts as a lure to get people to subscribe to their emails.

And such is the case for Southwest Airlines. On their website, they do have a ‘Click ‘N Save’ subscription button – they even had it registered for their exclusive use.

Southwest Airlines's lead magnet

By clicking on ‘Sign Up’, interested parties will be redirected to a signup landing page.

As it is, people love receiving free stuff so seeing the number of Southwest Airlines’ subscribers climb is truly a treat.

The signup landing page is simple too with just 3 fields to fill up and a drop down option to select one’s home airport.

Southwest Airlines landing page

Takeaways:

If you are redirecting your visitors to your email capture landing page, make sure it’s easily seen on your homepage.

Southwest Airlines could have benefited more if their Click N’ Save ad wasn’t at the bottom of their website.

Again, keep your email capture form short with just a few required actions on the part of your visitors.

Example 3: Marketing IQ Assessment by InfusionSoft

Infusionsoft is a marketing automation company for SMEs. They integrate email automation with ecommerce capabilities plus CRM.

Their marketing IQ test is a 5-minute test that visitors can easily see once they arrive on the website.

Briefly on the homepage, what the marketing IQ test is all about is discussed, what the benefits to be gained for taking such a test are, how quickly it can be accomplished and it also shows a red, catchy CTA button to get the test started.

Infusionsoft's lead magnet

At the end of the assessments, people who took the test were asked to input their email address so they can receive their test results.

This kind of lead magnet works because people by nature like to know more about themselves, see how they measure up against established standards and compare themselves with other people.

Another reason why this works is because we are also naturally risk averse.

What this means is since we have already invested 5 minutes answering the quiz, what’s another 5 seconds to input one’s email address on the email capture field?

Takeaways:

Consider assessments and quizzes as your lead magnet. Establish KPIs so the results you will yield are indeed accurate and reliable.

Also, consider including testimonials to encourage other people to take the test too.

Example 4: James T. Noble Consultancy Agency

James T. Noble is a consultancy agency for web designers and developers.

They created a lead magnet where they encouraged their site visitors to download their latest case study in exchange, of course, of their email address.

On the landing page, they discussed in brief detail what the case study is all about – how a new content strategy helped SalesForce.com net over 10,000 new leads in a month.

Why this worked is because naming the big client in the landing page somehow helped stir interest among its site visitors. Although SalesForce.com wasn’t a client of James T. Noble, they still leveraged on the impact SalesForce.com has in the industry and they clearly benefited from it.

Another reason why this worked is because people are interested to know what strategy helped an agency or company similar to theirs generate results they also want to see for themselves.

Also, people love reading stories in general. These are great sources of practical lessons and inspiration, helping them save dollars, time and mistakes from doing trial and error on their end.

Takeaways:

While name dropping helped James T. Noble get great conversions from its lead magnet, it is still wiser to be honest and upfront about the facts of the case study you are passing off as a result of your service.

Talk about the great points your case study has on your landing page. Talk about the juicy ones and the secrets worth discovering to help boost your conversions.

James T. Noble Consultancy Agency's lead magnet

Example 5: Ikea’s product catalogue

Growing your email list is also possible by giving out marketing materials related to the products you are selling.

And such is the case for furniture brand, Ikea. They invited their customers to view their latest product catalogue either by inviting them to sign in with their registered usernames and passwords or by signing up with their email addresses to be granted access.

Also, customers are given the option to have a copy of the physical product catalogue or simply as a downloaded digital copy.

Aside from the fact that Ikea is a trusted brand, their idea of a lead magnet is also effective.

As you can see, the length of the email capture form is quite lengthy than the previous lead magnet examples we have so far.

Ikea's lead magnet

While a shorter form would be seemingly ideal, a long email capture form that still converts is an indication that you are indeed getting qualified leads.

Remember – anyone who goes out of their way to fill out a long form displays a higher level of interest and a bigger motivation to make a purchase.

Lead magnet ideas according to product or service

As a bonus, we have here some lead magnets ideas you can use depending on the product or service you are offering.

If you are a consultant, a trainer or a subject matter expert, your lead magnets can be in the form of the following:

  • Assessments and tests
  • Free webinars and courses
  • Podcasts or recordings of your seminars
  • Video series
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks

If you are in the world of ecommerce and want to boost your email list, give these lead magnet suggestions a try:

  • Product catalogues
  • Discounts and vouchers
  • Free shipping
  • Membership perks
  • Free gifts with first purchase
  • Educational materials related to products

If you are a SaaS company and want to give people a peek at how your service works, you can experiment your lead magnets with:

  • Live demonstrations
  • Free trial
  • Freemium accounts

And if you are in the service business, you can do lead magnets with:

  • Free coupons
  • Educational materials related to the service you are offering
  • Access to premium how-to articles on your blog
  • Free tools (free converters, free calculators, etc.)

Conclusion

When done right, lead magnets can boost your email lists and your conversions to significantly new heights.

List building is a lot of work and the quality of your lead magnets certainly has a lot to do with its growth.

Before you come up with ideas for your lead magnets and start testing on your site, make sure to never to skip the pre-work. This way, you won’t waste precious resources on a lead magnet that nobody will respond to.

Brainstorm!

Do it by yourself or with your team depending on how you feel like going about it.

Write down your ideas and try creating headlines around it. The catchier the headline is, the better.

Trim down your choices and stick to at least eight ideas and survey that with your customers.

Use survey tools and ask them which of your ideas are they most interested in, what they will likely react more to and give their email address in exchange.

Once you pick your winning ideas, work around it and build your lead magnet from there. For as long you are off to a good start, email list building should follow suit as well.

What has been your experience like when it comes to creating high-converting lead magnets? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

About the Author

John Komarek is the founder of Pixelter. He helped over 63 e-commerce businesses boost their mobile sales by up to 183.5%. He uses advanced UX research, A/B testing, and AI-driven personalization to deliver the results. Learn more about how he can help you grow your sales.

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