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How to Create Irresistible Lead Magnets That Convert

Lead magnets (or “free offers”, “freebies”) are the free downloads you offer in exchange for a visitor’s email address. They are a crucial part of your email list-building strategy and therefore require careful planning. A lead magnet can make or break your sales funnel.

How to write lead magnets that your target audience will love

  1. “FREE” is not enough. “FREE” is no longer sufficient incentive. The Internet is awash with “FREE”. Your prospect knows why you want their email and they know they will pay a price in the form of being emailed on a regular basis. They’re thinking, “Is this content worth the intrusion?” Your job is to make sure the value you provide overwhelms any doubt they may have. (A “newsletter” isn’t going to cut it). Forget “FREE”, think VALUE.
  2. Think relationships, not emails. Your lead magnet must pass the “I-Could-Charge-For-This” test. Put as much care and effort creating your lead magnet as you would in your flagship product. The lead magnet is not just an email gathering device, it’s your representative. It’s the first real interaction your target market has with you so it must make a great impression. Lead magnets are about building a relationship, not just a list.
  3. Complement your product/service. As well as helping you build your email list, your lead magnet should also pre-qualify those who sign-up, i.e. the offer should only attract potential future buyers and positively deter “tire-kickers”. Make your lead magnet highly-focused to solving a problem that only your target audience would be interested in/affected by.
  4. Be highly relevant. Your lead magnet should make your sign-ups take the first-step towards buying your full product, i.e. it should be a natural, logical progression towards your offer. If your product is a bodyweight exercise program, a good lead magnet would be “Double Your Pull-Ups In 30 Days” (highly relevant); a poor lead magnet would be “5 Unbeatable Cardio Exercises” (not relevant; some members of your audience may be interested in the subject but it’s not a natural step towards your final bodyweight training program).
  5. Solve one problem. Solving more than one problem is counter-productive and unnecessary. One lead magnet, one problem. Decide what you will solve for your target audience – choose a problem that keeps them up at night; break the solution down into five steps; break those five steps into three smaller steps; finally, write up/record each step.
  6. Use a powerful headline. Treat your lead magnet as a product in its own right. It needs a compelling headline if your effort is not to be wasted. A simple, proven method to write effective headlines: How to [achieve X] in a [specific time period], e.g. How to Stop Procrastinating in 5 Minutes; How to Re-Ignite Your Marriage in 30 Days; How to Play Winning Poker in 48 Hours.
  7. Build an effective landing page. A landing page is where you promote your lead magnet. Its sole aim is to convince the visitor to sign-up to your list to receive your freebie. It has just two essential features: the lead magnet copy text and image; a sign-up form connected to a web service (e.g. Aweber, Mailchimp etc). (A third feature that is highly recommended is a short video promoting your lead magnet).
         Below is an example layout from The Landing Page Course (This is a great layout. We recommend replacing the “Features” section with client testimonials, if you have them).

    The 5 elements of an effective landing page

    Source: The Landing Page Course, Unbounce

Takeaway points

  1. Your lead magnet is one of the most important items you will create. Treat it like a paid product, i.e. solve a problem for your target market; write powerful sales copy; use professional design etc.
  2. The more relevant to your product and targeted your lead magnet is, the easier it is to eventually turn those who subscribe into eventual buyers.
  3. Your lead magnet is your representative. It’s likely to be the first direct contact you make with a prospective customer. Make sure you make a good impression.

Action steps

  1. What final product do you want to sell to your target audience? Now, work backwards and brainstorm related lead magnets that (a) will get prospects to subscribe to your list, and (b) will naturally lead to them to buy your product.
  2. Identify the one problem your lead magnet will solve for your audience. (Remember, one problem, one magnet.) What result do you want your subscribers to achieve?
  3. Set aside a day (plenty of time) to create your lead magnet. Keep your topic focused on your target audience and relevant to the eventual product you want to offer them.

Photo credit: Florian Rathcke via Foter.com / CC BY-ND




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