15 Lead Magnets That Convert Like Crazy
Do you want to know THE secret to list building?
It's simple really - you just need to use the right lead magnet.
I said those very same words to a client not long ago and she literally laughed out loud.
"There is NO lead magnet in the world that will get people to join my list! It just will not work for me!"
I hear this a lot. How things won't work for them and how what works for others simply won't work in their case.
And man, do I know that feeling. But let me share this truth with you.
The things that really do work online CAN work for anyone, including you.
The Internet really is the great equalizer. Whether you are "famous" online or not does not matter. What matters is helping people.
People do not care who is helping them. People care that someone IS helping them!
People do not care WHO is helping them. People care that someone IS helping them!
Help people and you will do well!
So I asked her this ...
What if your lead magnet was a $100 bill?
Silence. Crickets. Head scratching sound in the background.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
I replied, "How many people do you think would join your list if you were giving out crisp $100 bills just for signing up?"
"ALL OF THEM!" was her immediate reply.
And in so saying she proved my point, and learned a valuable lesson. Choosing the RIGHT lead magnet matters more than most people think.
Now I get that no one can afford to give out $100 for getting a new subscriber. That was an extreme example to make a point. But the point is valid.
If you offer the RIGHT value in your lead magnet you can expect a large percentage of visitors to subscribe.
But that doesn't solve the #1 lead magnet problem, which is ...
What type of lead magnet should I use?
So let's solve that problem right here, right now by listing ...
15 Lead Magnets That Convert Like Crazy!
I've written before about lead magnets - what they are and how to create them quickly. You can read my Instant Lead Magnet article here if you are interested.
Before we get to the list, please understand this list is NOT in order of importance. That is because each niche will respond to one type of lead magnet better than others.
Matching the right lead magnet to your audience (or avatar) is vital, and why services such as coaching and consulting are so valuable.
So look this list over and think about which one seems most well suited to your audience. And the one you would enjoy creating.
Then take action and create a new lead magnet this week!
And be sure to leave a comment letting me know how it goes.
Reports or Guides
Reports make great lead magnets. Some say the report needs to be short. Short attention spans and all of that.
But the best performing lead magnet I have is 55 pages long. And people seem to read every word.
Whether you go short or long, make your report focused on one specific topic. It does seem to be a mistake to go "wide" instead of "deep" when it comes to lead magnets.
Also, be sure to provide your report or guide in PDF format. PDFs can be read on any device, which is perfect for our mobile culture.
Speaking of which, when writing your report or guide, use a 12 or 14 point font for the words. 10 point type used to be the standard in business but it is just not readable on a mobile phone or blog.
Toolkits or Resource Guides
I used to be mystified by why toolkits work so well. Why would anyone care about the tools I use to run my business?
And then I started tracking my own behavior. What a revelation!
Like I said, a little embarrassing.
But it makes sense really. If my company is doing well and I want it to do better it only makes sense to know which tools the "big dogs" are using and use them too, right?
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
But what is right 100% of the time is that curiosity gets people to take action more often than any single other emotion.
Curiosity gets people to take action more often than any single other emotion.
And knowing that means producing
Here is an example from John Maxwell's site. This lead magnet offer popped up as I was exiting his site. Note the use of a Toolkit.
Making a list of the tools necessary to succeed in your field, along with short suggestions of how to use those tools, will convert highly in most cases.
Free Trial of Software
Here's how old I am. The right idea in software used to be giving out a version that had limited functionality and telling people to buy the product to get all the benefits.
Remember those days?
They are long gone.
Today what you want to do is give out a 3, 7 or 14 day free trial of your fully-functioning software as a lead magnet.
But this lead magnet has a twist.
When using software, you want to get the person to join your list AND leave their credit card details.
That way you can bill them automatically when the trial is over.
There are other ways to do this of course. And you MUST fully disclose the terms. But getting that card number when they download can go a long way toward making sales.
Quizzes and Surveys
This one is huge in almost every niche. So really lean in and consider doing this.
As I have already mentioned, curiosity is powerful. We all want to see the man behind the curtain or know what Carol Merrill is hiding inside box #3. (More old guy references)
There are few ways to tap into curiosity better than to use a survey or quiz. Here's why.
- People have opinions, and want to share them.
- People love to compare themselves to others.
- People are curious about what others think.
If you doubt any of these to be true you have never been, or raised, a teenager! 🙂
So HOW can you do a quiz without spending a fortune on the latest and greatest quiz or survey software?
Let me share two ways to get the job done.
Method 1 - Google Forms
Google makes amazing things available free. All you need to do is learn how to use them. Thankfully, that has become SO much easier of late.
Google Forms (completely free) allows you to create unlimited forms. And that means unlimited surveys and quizzes when done right.
Method 2 - Your autoresponder.
Yep. Your autoresponder. Every good autoresponder out there lets you create an opt-in form, right?
So why not create a form that asks a question (this is your opt-in form) and then set the thank you page of that form to be ANOTHER form that asks another question?
Your new subscriber will NOT be added to your list twice and you will gather their responses right in your autoresponder.
For more about this consult the help desk of your autoresponder.
My suggestion, and what I use, is Google Forms.
In Depth Sales Materials
For products that are more technical in nature getting the opt-in before revealing all the details of your offer makes sense.
We see this often in the investing and financial niches.
Let's say you sell stock tips. And let's say you are willing to give away a few tips, and some information about your methods, to prospective clients.
But NOT to just everyone.
Enter the lead magnet.
Simply set up a form offering your free tips and methods report and require interested parties to opt in.
This works well in insurance, real estate, banking and other financially-based niches.
We see this often with higher-end advertising sites.
If you want their media kit, you need to enter your name and email.
And then they will either send you the link to the download or send you to a page where you can download their pricing in PDF format.
Why would they do this?
To stop competitors and looky-loos from wasting their time.
Please understand, this is NOT for everyone.
But if you offer a premium service or product it can work very well indeed.
By requiring a person take an action to get your pricing you psychologically get them to agree to take an important step.
Cheat Sheets and Checklists
This is a big one online, and for good reason.
Everyone is busy, in a hurry and multitasking. Personally, I think this is very bad for our culture.
But that is another article!. 🙂
Because we are in a hurry, we want a short cut. And cheat sheets work perfectly here.
By the way, if you are worried about the term "cheat", don't be.
You are not actually helping anyone cheat. And the term has become so common that even John Maxwell, a man of unquestioned integrity, uses it with his lead magnets.
Checklists are similar to cheatsheets in the sense of saving time but have a very different appeal.
The idea behind checklists is most often not missing something important.
If you boarded a plane and the mechanic came on to let you know he or she skipped the safety checklist you would very likely exit ... quickly!
Checklists mean safety. They mean comfort. And safety, comfort (or both) have strong appeals.
Video Training or Webinars
As we move more and more toward the Internet becoming our primary entertainment source, we become more and more conditioned to video.
According to YouTube, every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours of video.
Add to that the almost endless parade of webinars, video sales letters and more and you can see the power of video.
After all, people would not be using video if it did not work. And it does work well when done right.
Your customers are used to video. They like it. And they will watch video from you!
Happily, you do NOT need to be on the camera to make great videos. I have never been on camera and don't plan to start soon. It's okay for others, just not my cup of tea.
Here is an easy way to make videos you can put on your blog or website.
Step 1 - Google Slides.
Yep, here comes Google again!
I estimate having done about 700 slide presentations in my online business. Between teaching and selling, videos made from slideshows work well.
All that means is I've been around the block and tried many things. And I can tell you that Google Slides is free, fast and works like wings.
If you have PowerPoint or Keynote (I have and use both) that's fine. If not, check out Google Slides.
Step 2 - Record using Screencastify.
If you use Chrome as your browser you can get a free plugin called Screencastify. Funny name but it works great.
Full disclosure - this is NOT the tool I use simply because I have owned and used Screenflow for many years.
Coupon Codes or Discounts
This is pure list building power! The people who arrive on your site are not there by accident.
They want something. And they want that something from you!
But they are unsure. Worried about spending the money. Worried they don't know you well enough. Worried their wife or husband or friend will think they made a mistake.
Very few things calm jittery nerves like saving money!
The reason coupons and discounts work so well
But wait ... there's more!
Discounts and coupons also help the buyer justify making the purchase now.
And you do want them to buy now, don't you?
So to get them to do that, ethically, you offer a limited-time discount.
And build your list at the same time.
There are many ways to do this. One of the best is using a popup window on exit intent.
Simply configure your popup to offer a discount (or even better, a coupon code) when the visitor starts to leave the site. The coupon must be timed of course.
Almost all shopping carts offer this feature. And many WordPress plugins exist that will do something very similar. So find the one you like, and start saving sales today!
Tests or Self Assessments
This is similar to quizzes, but with a twist.
Here you are getting the visitor to SELF SELECT as a person you can do business with.
A more advanced technique, it takes a little time to figure out which questions to ask and in what order to ask them.
But it is SO worth doing because your visitor is selling themselves on buying now. And that is what you want them to do.
This can also be done using Google Forms.
Step 1 of the Ordering Process
One of the most overlooked ways to get people on your list is to get them to enter their name and email address BEFORE they order.
This is super-simple to do, and works well on two levels.
Level 1 - By entering their name and email address they are pre-committing to make the purchase.
Will you lose a few sales this way? Possibly. But using an exit pop for those who don't fill in the form is easy enough.
Level 2 - Because they are joining your list, you can set up a sequence of messages to go to them if they do NOT complete the purchase.
This is often called a "save a sale" or "order trapper" sequence.
It's very simple, comprised of a series of three or four short messages asking if you can help them complete their order.
If you take the time to do this you will not only save sales but you will also gather amazing insight into why people choose to not buy your product.
Once you know that, you can solve the problems and see conversions take off!
"Do You Qualify?"
You can actually require that a person qualifies to do business with you AND make a friend at the same time!
This works especially well for coaching clubs or any offer that contains an element of exclusivity.
Here's how it works.
You set up a series of questions they must answer in order to meet with you or buy your product.
As they fill in the forms (there are always more than one) they are directed to the next form based on the answers they gave.
If they give the answer you want, they move forward.
If not, they are given valuable free information that will help them based on where they are right now.
And THAT is how you make friends while basically saying "you are not yet qualified to buy this product or service."
This works wonderfully well when set up properly.
If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were confused, overwhelmed and did not know what to do next I would have a lot of nickels! 🙂
Doing business online sometimes seems to be needlessly complicated and confusing.
Our inboxes are flooded with offers. We get trapped in endless "upsell loops" when all we want is the dang product we already purchased!
And this is exactly why action plans are one of the best lead magnets.
And action plan should be short, simple and based on either experience or deep research.
It should help the person reading it navigate through ONE problem or task and help them achieve a measurable result.
One of my best lead magnets has to do with using the Yoast SEO plugin. A free WordPress plugin, Yoast works wonders in getting you higher rankings in the search engines.
When used right of course!
And that is where my lead magnet comes in.
My lead magnet walks a person step-by-step in using Yoast. And once you use Yoast well the first time you can repeat the process again and again. All free.
I have one client who fully optimized all his blog posts after using my free lead magnet and the free version of Yoast. And he is ranking well!
Notice - both the lead magnet and Yoast were free. He took action! Good job, Peter!
Notice too - and this is HUGELY important - I did not invent Yoast. I am not an SEO expert. I simply used Yoast well, achieved a result and documented my process.
Presto! Instant (and highly effective) lead magnet.
The point? In some cases, you don't even need to create the lead magnet yourself! And that is a beautiful thing indeed!
One of my personal favorite lead magnets is the free mini-course.
So what is a mini-course and why do I love them so much?
A mini-course is just what it sounds like, a short course that helps the reader take real action and achieve real results.
But it is NOT your complete course.
So the reader who DOES take action, and now has achieved "results in advance" is super-excited to buy your product.
Because you gave without expecting to receive. Because your mini-course enlightened him or her. And because you helped them.
And now reciprocity kicks in and they want to help you in return!
Another reason I love mini-courses is because they are not "one and done".
By that I mean the person does not come to your site, fill in a form, download a PDF and then totally forget about you.
How many times have you opted in and not even read the lead magnet?
It happens all the time.
Free mini-courses fix that.
With a free mini-course, you have time to share openly with the reader. They get to know you. They can reply to you (if you so choose) and ask questions.
You build relationship. And relationship leads to trust, sales and lifetime value.
And, you help people!
AND ... one of my favorite things ... it can be fully automated!
It is a true win-win-win!
Creating a mini-course is fun and easy if you have great content to share. Just outline the steps necessary for the reader to go from where they are now to where they want to be.
If you know your avatar, this is easy to do.
Then make each step of the customer journey either one or two messages. If you want to provide pure information, use one message per topic.
If you want to sell things AND share helpful information, insert a short solo in between the content messages.
I call this the "breathing method" and have used it for all my marketing since 2006. It works!
And finally we come to the grandaddy of them all. Giving away your core product.
Not for the faint of heart, giving away your main product is risky, expensive and requires a proven upsell flow that converts.
Please note - I am not talking about giving away just any product. This would be your MAIN product or one of your core products.
For me, it would mean giving away memberships to the Directory of Ezines. Since we sell memberships every day of the year, that is a huge risk.
But IF your upsell flow is right, and IF you know your lifetime value and IF you are willing to risk it, this can work like nothing else.
So there you have it - 15 lead magnet ideas that convert like crazy. And they really do convert like crazy by the way. That's not just a title.
The keys to making them convert for you are as follows.
- Match your lead magnet offer to your avatar or niche.
- Choose something you CAN and WILL create.
- Don't limit yourself to only one type of lead magnet.
- Take action today on this article. Make notes, make a choice or make a plan.
I have said many times that having your own list is true marketing power. That statement is played out in my life, and the lives of my clients, every single day.
That is why I believe you should always build your list when you can.
And using the right lead magnet can increase your conversions to record rates.
And high conversions are a beautiful thing indeed!