You may have heard the term before and asked yourself, exactly what are lead magnets? Simply put, lead magnets are incentives (such as a discount, freebie, book, or other resources) you can offer potential customers or clients, in exchange for contact information. Essentially, they’re an ice breaker to help you build your relationship with your clients or customers.

You won’t have to browse the web for long, before coming across a popup or banner offering you something, in exchange for your email address. “Free download when you subscribe!”

By offering this exchange of value — a ‘my freebie for your information’ approach — you’re building trust, giving people a taste of the value you offer, and earning the opportunity to connect with people in a more ‘exclusive’ way. Such as within their email inbox.

Types of Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are typically a download offered to encourage email subscribers. Thanks to the ever-evolving web, there are more and more new ideas on how to offer and present lead magnets. So, what are lead magnets you could use as incentives?

Your incentive could be:

  • A free ebook
  • A discount code for your shop
  • A free consultation call
  • Access to a ‘private’ community, such as a Facebook group
  • Document templates or scripts
  • Stock imagery or graphics
  • An exclusive video series
  • A giveaway or competition
  • The first chapter of a book
  • The first lesson of a course

The list of possibilities can go on, and on.

As social media marketing and advertising have advanced, many platforms now offer “built-in” lead magnet opportunities. Twitter and Facebook both have ad types that allow your targeted audience to fill in their details within the platform. That means they don’t even have to leave the social media app or website to ‘claim’ the incentive.

How to Use Lead Magnets

What are lead magnets for? ‘To get email subscribers’ is an obvious answer. But lead magnets aren’t just a way to build your list. You can also use them to reward current subscribers, retarget your quiet customers, encourage repeat orders, and make your audience aware of a shift or addition to your products or services.

Lead magnets shouldn’t be generic. They don’t have to be very long or complicated, either. To attract people, you have to be useful or entertaining, and save either time or money. Solve ONE problem.

And before you get fancy with your lead magnets, make sure your list is set up.

Do you have a welcome email in place? Is your list GDPR compliant? Do you know how you’ll keep in touch with subscribers AFTER they download their freebie?

Find the Right Fit

Magnet is an appropriate term. You want to attract the right people, and repel the ‘wrong’ ones. For example, if you’re a landscaper offering services locally, a free guide to identifying local plants is unlikely to attract people who AREN’T local. And parenting resources are unlikely to attract people without kids. Lead magnets should be highly relevant to the people your business can help.

Not sure what to create as a lead magnet? Ask your audience, whether it’s current customers or fans on Twitter. Don’t spend weeks working on something, before knowing it’s what people want.

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Anna Simmonds
Anna Simmonds

Anna, Head of Social, knows her beans when it comes to social media. She keeps her finger on the social pulse, funnelling her knowledge and experience into creating engaging social media campaigns. She’s also pretty decent with a camera and Photoshop.