5 essentials to creating the ultimate lead magnet

If you’re looking to get as many clients as possible for your business, than it’s essential you’re getting as many people as possible to join your email list.

Through building your email list, you start to grow a marketing channel that you completely own.

This is in comparison to something such as Facebook Ads, which stop being useful as soon as your wallet closes.

Not only this, something like Facebook Ads is subject to change in the future.

This means that, if your business relies primarily on Facebook Ad for your web visitors, you’re putting yourself at risk of a change that could suddenly leave you cold.

Just take YouTube’s recent ad fiasco as an example of what can happen when you rely on a source of traffic that you don’t own.

In comparison, your email list is completely yours, giving you complete control.

As well as this, it has become the de-facto standard for building trust and authority with potential clients.

Both of these reasons mean it’s the most economical and effective way to market your services.

But how do you convince someone that it’s worth their time and energy to sign up to your email list?

A while back, people would just leave their email signup box somewhere on their website and that used to be enough.

Now, people are inundated with promotional emails meaning it’s much tougher to work your way in there.

Over time, companies have come up with a solution to this problem called the lead magnet. A lead magnet helps to overcome the challenge of collecting contact information by providing valuable content in exchange for email addresses.

It’s a simple concept. For example, if your business offers copywriting services, you could offer a perfect blog outline in exchange for signing up to your email list.

To make a success of this, you need to rise above the noise and make your lead magnet stand out. If your lead magnet is ineffective, your lead generation will suffer and so will your business.

But how do you actually go about making one that does work? Here, we’re going to discuss the tactics you need to adopt to be successful  and build the email list that is crucial to generating clients.

Specific, Specific, Specific

To be effective, your lead magnet needs to be targeted to your audience. If it’s not, then it won’t provide a compelling proposition to your potential clients.

People visiting your website simply won’t have enough of a desire to consume your content to get them over that initial hump of resistance, and you’ll lose leads to your competitors.

As a rule, lead magnets should tackle a specific issue for a particular business or person. In practice, that means coming up with propositions which directly affect the people who will see the lead magnet.

Don’t be a bad luck Brian

For instance, if you offer a dog training service, a lead magnet of “The Top 10 Best-Behaved Dogs” might sound like an interesting idea, but in reality it doesn’t tackle a particular issue or need.

Not only this, your audience can search Google to find the world’s top well-behaved dogs and find an article which doesn’t require them to divulge their email address.

A much better lead magnet might be something unique like “the 6 steps to training an old dog new tricks” or even better if you work with a particular type of dog such as “the 4 steps to training your labrador puppy to follow you.”

These lead magnets address particular problems facing certain types of people making them far more compelling than generic articles or advice.

Not Too Long

The attention span of online readers, is typically much shorter than in other settings, thanks to the unique psychology of the online experience.

As a result, using a long ebook as a lead magnet might not be the best strategy.

This is a surprise to many, as they assume that the longer it is, the more tempting it will be – longer = more information, right?

But, interestingly, though an ebook might be more detailed and helpful, 99% of people just can’t be bothered to read 50 pages of information, even if they’re completely confident it would help them. It’s a big commitment on their part and so a lot of people decide not to download it.

The same goes for things such as Video Training Sessions or multiple-part Email Courses.

Instead, what users tend to download most isn’t long, detailed prose, but short, concise content that gets right to the heart of the issue.

The idea here is that you want to focus on providing value, not just length. If you can solve a big problem for someone in one page, then you shouldn’t do it in ten because “it looks more professional”.

As well as writing an ebook, guide or PDF, you can also offer quick videos, short audio recordings and podcasts, assessments and tests, quizzes and many, many more.

However, doing your research and knowing which format of content will be most useful for your particular audience is essential to the success of your lead magnets.

If you’re targeting busy, senior executives in a company, for example, they may be more likely to want to offer a written checklist that they can use quickly, rather than a training video that requires a set time commitment from them.

Focus On Value

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s really important to drive this point home.

It’s one thing to make your lead magnet look compelling before users type in their email addresses, it’s quite another to create content with genuine value.

When creating lead magnets, it’s important to ask yourself whether the content offers immediate value to your audience?

Does it help them solve a particular issue in the here and now? Is it something that can be picked up, read and then applied to a problem? Or is it too general or too complicated to be of any use?

Being critical of your content is essential if you want to keep your audience on your side.

Many businesses use lead magnets as a way to simply acquire email addresses, rather than actually delivering valuable, trust-building content.

While some may feel that’s not too much of a problem – I mean, you got the email right?


If your content doesn’t work, your potential clients might feel as if they have been tricked into signing up for something that doesn’t provide them with any value in return. They get angry, and they lose trust in you.

Your audience will remember how you tricked them and will feel antagonistic towards your business. They certainly won’t want to sign up for your service from you, just in case it’s as disappointing as your content.

Remember, play the long-game and your potential clients will more likely do the same.

While this may seem over-dramatic, it’s completely true and the bottom line is to make sure that the actual content is valuable. Potential clients need to feel like it was worth giving up information. If they don’t, it’ll be a permanent blot on your record.

So how do you focus on value?

The first thing to do is provide immediate gratification.

When a potential user agrees to trade their email address for content, they almost always want a solution to their problem right now. The last thing they want to do is to keep waiting for an answer – after all, that’s what they’ve been doing up until this point.

The next step is to provide them with that “one big thing” that they really want, rather than offering lots of little things.

This means that your lead magnet needs to focus on the crux of the matter – the problem that your potential clients just don’t seem to be able to solve.

A great example for a personal trainer would be something like, “Learn how to stop binging on junk food and learn to moderate”.

It’s a specific solution to a specific problem many people have when trying to lose weight. If you can help to teach someone with junk food cravings how to not overdo it, they’ll be indebted to you for the long-term future.

Include Calls-to-Action Throughout The Piece

The purpose of a lead magnet is very similar to regular content – to create action. It’s all well and good getting somebody to hand over their email address, but what you really want is for that person to become a client.

Your lead magnet is an opportunity for you to do this. You want some kind of call-to-action weaved into the content to entice people to take the next step. Here’s two ways you can do this:


Have a nice big button at the bottom of the content telling people to “book in a call”.

A clear button helps to communicate to your potential clients that they are just one click away from their problems being solved.


Include images in your lead magnet and add options to start using any services depicted

Having the opportunity to start a book a call right in the content itself makes it a lot more convenient and capitalises on any urges to to start using your service potential users might have while they’re consuming your content.


Calls-to-action are an essential part of any successful lead magnet campaign. They help your business take people from vague interest in your service to the point where they might get in touch.

Reasons to click the call-to-action and to get in touch should be peppered throughout the content, providing readers with a clear idea of which route they should take.

Remember, the best lead magnets are those that change the state of mind of the people reading them, priming them to want to start using your service so that they are more likely to engage with your business.


If you want to build an email list of thousands and create a great impression, your lead magnet needs to be well-designed.

The trick here is to make the content look premium, even though your audience is getting it for free. To establish the idea that your content has real monetary value, make sure your design surpasses a PDF version of a Word Docuemnt.

You may want to also include an indication of how much your video, webinar, course or ebook would be worth, had your business tried to sell the same resources out on the open market.

For this, you can write in brackets the value of your content under the main title. Something like “(valued at £500)” would do the trick.

It’s not just a question of whether your content looks premium, however, the rate at which the material can be consumed is important too.

Like we mentioned before, you want customers to be able to consume the content in only a few minutes.


Content, therefore, needs to be organised around key points of information. This means including lots of heading, contents pages, and quick links to relevant information.

If you can’t afford a professional designer to create lead magnet content that will wow your potential users, Canva provides a cheap DIY alternative. Canva gives you drag-and-drop features to create professional-looking articles with stunning graphics, all at the click of a button.

Though the quality of any design you create still ultimately depends on you, the tool provides practically every option someone would need to produce high-quality documents and presentations for lead magnets, all correctly branded with your brand colours and fonts.


So what have we learned about lead magnets?

First is that they need to be valuable. If a lead magnet doesn’t offer some immediate gratification to your potential users, they will feel robbed, and the trust they have in your business will suffer.

Second, lead magnets need to be concise. Readers should have one of their big problems solved within just a few minutes. If they don’t, then your lead magnets hasn’t done its job, and you need to go back to the drawing board.

Third, any lead magnet content needs to provide readers with the ability to take the next step, be that booking a call jumping straight in with their credit card.

Remember, the more helpful your content is for your audience, the more they will look for your help in the future.

Lead magnets are all about building a high-quality email list over time. If your company doesn’t deliver the right content, then you won’t be getting the most from this powerful marketing tool.

Comments 2

  1. Interesting Read – I am an entrepreneur looking at starting a campaign I have already invested in the programs I need and am making enquiries to a large company now a call to discuss your pricing would be welcome I akready have an idea for a lead marketing strategy but my copyrighting could do with improving in order to launch my idea with sales funnels and in the new mobile marketplace as I feel an old fashioned website will soon be outdated.

    thx.in Adv.


    1. Post

      Hey Sean,

      While copywriting can be pretty difficult, the good thing is it’s not too difficult to outsource if need be.

      Getting a website remade can be a bit more expensive if you outsource but see if you can use DIY software like WordPress or Squarespace to keep your costs down.

      Either way, feel free to book in a call with us, it’d be interesting to see how you’ve set up your sales funnel, and how we can give you a bit of support.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *