Not Getting All You Want From Lead Magnets? Take These Steps…

By Domi Hanc | Uncategorized

Aug 07

Not Getting All You Want From Lead Magnets? Take These Steps…

1. What’s a Lead Magnet?

First things first, have you heard any of these names: “lead magnet,” “freebie,” “value magnet,” “content upgrade,” “opt-in,” “free PDF”? Wonder what the hell it all means & why you should give away something for free? Keep reading. Because if you do not use it yet – you lose a great list building opportunity.

The idea of a Lead Magnet is to give something really valuable to your potential customers in exchange for their email so that you can start building a relationship with them.

2. Why Every Business Needs a Lead Magnet

There are quite a few reasons:

  • When people visit your website, you do not want to lose them. The goal is to stay in contact with them even when they leave your site. For most businesses, this means encouraging visitors to leave their email so that you can stay in touch longer. When you have an email address, you can contact a person multiple times. Meaning more chances to show the awesome stuff you know & offer (and that means sales). After all, isn’t that’s why we all crave more subscribers?
  • The best way to encourage people to give you their emails is to provide them with something in return. Enter: the super valuable free material that they cannot resist but download.
  • A lead magnet is an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Show yourselves as experts who know their shit & create valuable stuff.

Sounds cool?

Of course! Check out our GUIDE to learn more about the strategy on how to leverage Lead Magnets in your business to build you online empire

But it’s not all rainbow and butterflies. Or rather – it used to be before people got fed up with all the free, crappy e-books everyone started offering. You know – the whitepapers nobody really wants or the another-shiny-object ones that stay unopened in your mailbox forever, or the ones that seemed like oh-my-gosh-that’s-what-I-need-right-now but turned out to be a huge disappointment. Well, you get the picture!

So how to make sure your Lead Magnet is one of those good ones?

Just keep reading, baby!

3. What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

In the past, pretty much any Lead Magnet would do. But now, the bar is higher.

So here are the main rules:

  • It needs to be valuable AF. Because nobody wants to give away their email address for just another freebie! So make it useful.
  • Make it immediately actionable. The faster people can see the results after picking up your lead magnet, the better. Bonus points if you can make a lead magnet that people come back to and use it more than once!
  • Make it short & easy to follow. People don’t have time. They don’t want to read tons of pages. They want to go through it, implement it & see the results fast. So the longer and more complex the lead magnet, the more likely they will pass on it. So don’t get carried away, just give them what the hell they want.
  • Don’t solve everyone’s problems. Just make sure it helps to solve the real problems of your potential customers. Not everyone’s problems.

Got it? Good, because that’s not all.

In the past, you could get away with just one “site-wide” lead magnet. It means you could create one freebie and put it everywhere throughout your page, without caring too much if it relates to the content of that particular part of your website.

But now, this is usually not enough. What we’re trying to say is: there are better ways of playing this lead magnet game. And this better way is called a content upgrade.

What is a content upgrade?

It’s a kind of lead magnet that is created specifically for a particular blog post or a page. It’s directly related to the content it appears next to. Wait, what? Okay, let us explain. For example, when you have a blog post about the best vegan lasagna recipe, it can go well with the downloadable shopping list necessary to make this exact lasagna.

And yes, it means you need multiple content upgrades. So if you have other recipes, you’ll need different lead magnets. Yes, it’s more work. But it’s also better results.

Content upgrades drive higher conversion rates than “site-wide” lead magnets. Why? Because they’re just a natural next step for people, who land on your website. If they’re already reading your stuff, give them something that goes with it and makes your lead magnet irresistible.

Okay, so we got that covered.

By now, you should understand what makes a good lead magnet.

Now, let’s talk about some examples of lead magnets that you could use.

4. List of the best Lead Magnet ideas (with examples)

Okay, so here’s the list of simple freebie ideas that we’ve tested & we know work really well:

1. LISTS: People love lists & they’re pretty easy to create. Think about a checklist, a list of tools, a list of steps, a list of ideas, etc. Yeah, it’s that simple!


  • A list of your favorite video editing tools, (btw, we use and love Camtasia to record and edit our videos)
  • A shopping list for sugar-free vegans,
  • A checklist of things to do when creating a Lead Magnet.

2. HOW-TO GUIDES: think of the how-to questions you get the most in your biz and just write down or record your answer. And it will also save you time – because each time a new person asks you that, you can send them to that lead magnet. How cool is that?


  • How do I create my Instagram videos,
  • How to use a product,
  • How to do basic yoga poses when you are a newbie.

3. CHEAT SHEETS /TEMPLATES: short summaries or templates to be filled out that your potential customers need the most. Nobody wants to rediscover the wheel. Got something that works for you, share it with people!


  • My welcome email template you can steal,
  • Excel formulas cheat sheet,
  • Your daily mantra template.

4. FREE MINI-COURSES /CHALLENGES /TRAINING VIDEOS. It can be something complementary to or a part of your paid stuff. But again – don’t make it too big. It’s not one of those signature courses, big program, or masterminds. It’s way smaller than that. It shouldn’t take too long to consume and see a result. So make it super juicy but don’t overdo it!


  • Five-day challenge,
  • Mini email course (<5 emails),
  • Free consultation (15-45 minutes)
  • A free webinar or masterclass (<2hrs). [add our link to the masterclass]

5. FREE TRIALS / SAMPLES. If you can offer a flavor of what the paid version is about – it can work wonders. Why? It’s the best way to show the quality of your work, get people interested, and later encourage them to buy your full product.


  • A free version of an app or a software tool
  • Time-limited access to a product
  • Sample Class of the online course
  • A free chapter of a book
  • Free Consultation

6. DISCOUNTS / FREE SHIPPING – these are the most common lead magnets used for physical products: like books, all things Etsy, or e-commerce goods. They’re a bit different, as you don’t have to create a document. They’re usually offered as a code or coupon after signing up to your mailing list.


  • Buy one, get one free /half-priced
  • Join our list and get 10% off your next order
  • Sign up for emails and receive a welcome offer of free standard shipping
  • Free + Shipping: Get a FREE book, just pay the shipping / handling fee.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

So it’s time you start working on your lead magnet.

5. How to Create a Lead Magnet that Converts

Let’s go through our simple step-by-step lead magnet system to easily create super effective freebies from scratch.

  1. Stick to very few big topic categories when it comes to creating your content (for example vegan recipes, gluten-free, no-sugar). Every new category needs new content upgrades that are relevant to it. So the more categories, the more lead magnets you need to create. And that sucks. That’s why we recommend niching down categories. It doesn’t mean you can’t add new ones, but be smart about it.
  2. Create 1-2 category-related freebies for each category that go well with multiple pieces of content (i.e., 1-week vegan meal plan, 1-week gluten-free meal plan, 1-week sugar-free meal plan). So not all of the content upgrades will be super specific, but in this way, you don’t need to create a content upgrade every time you write a new post. Because let’s be honest, nobody has too much time to create a new lead magnet, and not all of the posts are really worth it. That’s why our best practice is to mix very specific content upgrades with the ones that can go with multiple pieces of content.
  3. Check Google Analytics. Look for top-performing posts that are not getting opt-ins with your topic-related freebie.
  4. Think about how to expand on this topic. Think about the natural next step for people who read it. What is the possible obstacle that you want to help them with? Think about what they usually need to do next, mistakes they may make, questions you’re asked.
  5. Create a specific content upgrade for that post (i.e., a blog post on “5 ways to make a vegan milk” gets a lead magnet on “my best recipes with vegan milk”). Make it helpful, practical, and damn good in terms of value, but don’t make it too fancy. Don’t think about what will make you look smarter, think about the stuff that will help them take action real quick. Be very specific. Do not overdo it. No jargon, no fancy words. Real human to human talk, please!
  6. Choose the form in which you want to present this information (pdf, spreadsheet, video, audio recording, mini consultation, etc.). Hint: what’s the most convenient form for your audience and the best way to present whatever your lead magnet is about?
  7. Create your lead magnet. What are the top free tools for creating a Lead Magnet?  
    • Snappa to create beautiful graphics (it’s like Canva but with more useful templates; what is Canva? it is an online graphics editor to create great looking graphics for all your online needs – blog posts, lead magnet graphics, Facebook posts etc.)
    • Google Docs for documents,
    • Pages or Word that you simply save as PDF,
    • Google sheets for shareable spreadsheets,
    • Chrome plugin or the WordPress Beacon Marketing eBooks plugin,
    • Or simply your phone and mac to record and edit a video /audio.

No bells and whistles needed. Do not stress over every tiny detail. The simpler, the better. You can always make it more beautiful once you make sure it works. Helpful question: Are your readers going to have one big win after consuming it? If your answer is yes, just publish it. You’ll have plenty of time to refine it with time taking into account the suggestions of customers.

  1. Give it a damn good title. Sorry to break it to you, but this is the main thing people will base their decision on whether they want it or not.  You can use THIS tool to help you with the name.

And you are ready to go!

Yay! So you have your lead magnet created! Now what?

It’s time to place your lead magnet on your page.

Read our full GUIDE on how to leverage Lead Magnets to build your online business and make at least a couple of thousand $$$ a month.

6. How to Deliver a Lead Magnet (Step-by-Step)

So the whole process looks pretty much like this:

  • People can sign up for your freebie on your landing page, where they enter their email address.
  • A few minutes later, they receive an automated welcome email with the free material.
  • From this moment they are part of your mailing list (woo-hoo!), and you continue to build relationships with them.
  • With time and a sequence of valuable emails, you can introduce them to your paid offers.

How cool is that, right?

But how to make it work? You need few things to make it run smoothly.

  1. A piece of content where you offer your lead magnet. For example a blog post.
  2. “Call-to-action” (CTA) for your lead magnet. What does it mean? It’s like a quick instruction telling people to take a specific action that you encourage them to take, for example:  “Click here,” “Download now,” “Grab it here,” etc. You can put it on the buttons, banners, or pop-up windows. It works like magic, so you don’t want to miss out on that.
  3. Opt-in Form where people can leave their email address. Usually, it goes with an image to promote your lead magnet, that you can quickly create in Snappa. Hint: put it throughout the page, not only at the end of the post. This way, you’re increasing the number of people opting-in (Sorry, darling! Not everyone reads till the end.) Create beautiful Opt-In forms with Thrive Leads WordPress plugin or ClickFunnels
  4. Landing Opt-in Page /Squeeze Page. It’s a page that only has one role – ask people for their email addresses in exchange for your lead magnet. It may seem like an unnecessary step at this point, but it will work wonders for your retargeting campaigns (we’ll explain it a bit further in this post).
  5. Thank-You-Page that contains the download link of the lead magnet. Hint: Don’t waste the opportunity to add another call to action on this page.
  6. Email Service Provider to send automatic emails with a link to download your file. After testing quite a few providers, we’re super happy sticking with ActiveCampaign for a few years now.
  7. Traffic to your content and lead magnet. We usually go for a combination of Facebook Ads, as they are really versatile. You can use them to drive traffic to your content, get people to download your lead magnet, or retarget those who didn’t.

Read our full guide on how to create a powerful online business HERE

But before you get all excited, let’s be honest here. Your lead magnet may not be a hit right from the start, or it may need some adjustments. Don’t worry if you need to make some changes. I would be surprised if you didn’t have to implement any. You test, you learn, you improve. This is how it works.

7. My Lead Magnet is not working!

If your Lead Magnet is not working too well, there may be few reasons, the most common three being:

  • Your Lead Magnet may not be valuable enough for the readers. Don’t worry. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It may just be the title or description that needs changing. Maybe it’s not hitting the pain point or need your visitors have, or it’s hitting the wrong one. Just talk to your crowd. Ask what kind of freebie would make their life easier. Listen to them and use their own words to describe what you’re offering. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing the title; sometimes you need to come up with a different lead magnet to address a different pain point. And that’s okay. It’s all about testing. Also, be aware that like everything else, the needs of your audience are changing with time. The guide how to use a camera may be less appealing when most people are taking pics with mobile phones. You know what I mean, right?
  • If you are using ads to send people to your page, make sure your landing page and your ads are in sync. Do not promise one thing on your ads (or emails, Insta, podcast, etc.), only to lead people to download something else. The more exact is the wording on your ad vs. your landing page, the better.
  • You’re not retargeting people. So here’s the thing: sometimes it’s not about you at all – life happens & people forget they wanted your freebie. That’s the reality. Most of the people who landed on the page, will not download the lead magnet for some reason – their grandma called or the dog needed a walk, they came back and forgot. But you do not want to lose them since they were initially interested in your stuff. That’s why you want to retarget them. Meaning: find people who already visited your page but didn’t move further in the process & show ads to them. This reminds them to come back and finish what they started. And it’s not magic. Facebook allows you to do retargeting with something they call Pixel. Place the Facebook pixel on the landing page and retarget people who did not download the lead magnet (use Pixel Your Site Pro WordPress plugin to do it in 15 seconds). You can write something along the lines “Hey, I saw that you visited my website, but you did not download the free ebook. Click here to download it now.” or just show them the lead magnet ad again.

Once you get your Lead Magnet working, you’ll be able to build your Lead Generating Machine! Grow your email list, sell your paid offers, and retarget people who downloaded your lead magnet but did not purchase your product. After all, if they were interested in the lead magnet, they are likely to be interested in buying related stuff.  Especially, after you nurtured them with high-quality emails.

Okay, this post got quite long. So let’s wrap it up, shall we? But before you go… We’re already excited for you and dying to learn what lead magnets are you using/going to use. So don’t forget to let us know in our Facebook Group 
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