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Creating The Perfect Lead Magnet

May 10, 20245 min read

When it comes to list building we often hear the term “lead magnet”. But people have questions about lead magnets that need to be answered.

The three most often asked questions I get about lead magnets are

  1. What is a lead magnet?

  2. Does having one really matter?

  3. What makes lead magnets work?

Good questions all, so let’s tackle each one and get an answer.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a gift you give people in exchange for joining your list. Simple really.

You want people to join your mailing list to you offer them an incentive to subscribe.

Some have called this an “ethical bribe”. Although it escapes me how a bribe can ever be ethical.

No matter what you call it, it is something of value you offer people who visit your site to get them to join your mailing list.

The “something of value” can vary widely depending on your niche, your own preferences and just how much value you believe is right to give for a person to join your list.

Here are a few common lead magnets.

  • A PDF download

  • A resource guide

  • Free access to a webinar

  • A video teaching series

  • Personal consultation

  • Discounts on your product

  • Personal consulting via email

As you can see, the list of what can be used for a great lead magnet varies widely.

Choosing carefully matters because this is your first impression, and you know what they say about those!

Do I really need to use a lead magnet?

Yes. Absolutely. The day of people joining our lists without some incentive are pretty much over.

Back in 2002 and 2009 we could just say “please join my list” or “get updates” and that would get the job done.

Not any longer.

Unless you are a celebrity in your field, getting people to join your list “cold” (without incentive) just does not work.

So yes, use a lead magnet. But by all means choose a lead magnet that is appropriate to your situation.

You don’t want to give away the farm but you do want to deliver the most value possible that does not take away from the main selling proposition of your product.

It can be a tricky balance to find but you will find it.

What makes lead magnets work?

I believe there are six things that make a great lead magnet great and will make it work so well. The more of these attributes your lead magnet has the better you will do.

1 – A great lead magnet is sticky

By “sticky” I mean this – you want something that your new subscriber will look at and keep looking at. This is why a resource guide works so well.

People love resources and often believe the right tool will change things for them. So a list of tools that one needs to succeed with a specific task makes a great lead magnet. It will be referred to again and again, which is what you want.

PDFs work very well here because people almost never purge PDFs from their computer. I’m willing to guess that you have PDFs on your computer dating back years.

If you name your PDF something catchy but honest you will do well. People often scan their hard drives for files and seeing a “Secrets to Free Traffic” PDF will cause them to look, where a “Spring Quarterly Report” will not.

2 – A great lead magnet solves a problem

Your subscribers have problems and want solutions. If they did not, they would not subscribe. Help them solve those problems and you will gain a customer and a friend.

The people on your list will have two categories of problems.

  1. Problems specific to a niche

  2. Problems specific to their situation

Since you can’t know the second (without being a mind reader) focus on the first.

Make a list of problems people in your niche face. Then create a lead magnet that starts your subscriber on the journey to solving that problem.

Remember to give them baby steps so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

If you don’t know where to start, do this – make a list of the problems you faced when you first came online and tried to accomplish what you are trying to help your subscriber accomplish.

You will often find that your subscribers have the same fears and face the same challenges you faced along the way.

3 – A great lead magnet provides results in advance

If your lead magnet can help your subscriber take an action that partially solves their problem you will have found a winner.

Great lead magnets provide “results in advance” by letting the reader take an action today (and have some success today) without providing the complete solution.

If you provide the complete solution in your lead magnet you will not make sales.

Remember this, when you walk into a big box store (like Sam’s or Costco), or your local market, and they offer you a taste of the food they have for sale they are offering you a taste, not a meal.

Follow the same formula in your lead magnet and you will do well.

Let’s leave it there for part 1. In Part 2 we will complete the list of what a great lead magnet needs to be to work for you.

A great lead magnet is more important than most people realize.

Take the time to think about what you can offer and offer the very best value you can that does not rob you of sales down the road.

If you do you will build your list faster and stronger, and make more sales too.

And those are beautiful things indeed!

Until tomorrow …

Charlie Page
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Charlie Page

Helping people succeed online for over 23 years. Content marketing. Course creator.

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