WTF Is a Lead Magnet?

An effective lead magnet is one of your business’ most important marketing assets. It can help you to attract potential customers and convert casual website visitors into tangible leads.

Here, we explain exactly what a lead magnet is, what it does, and offer examples of powerful lead magnets you can use to start generating more traffic and leads.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

It’s far less complicated than it sounds. A lead magnet is a product or other special offer that you give away for free in exchange for a potential prospect in exchange for their email address or other contact information, thereby creating a new prospective buyer.

It’s called a lead magnet as it’s designed to attract people to you. Just like a regular magnet attracts things made of iron.

attracting leadsCreating a High-Value Lead Magnet

Customers place an incredibly high value on both their time and their personal information. They’re unlikely to give up either unless there’s something they want.

This might be a tool or a guide that allows your prospects to learn something or solve a particular problem. They might want to develop healthier eating habits, grow their own food for sustainable living, or cater a dinner party with only ethically-sourced food.

Examples of Lead Magnets

How you solve this particular problem is up to you (or at least up to your market research). But if you’re struggling to come up with a lead magnet that really works, you might find the following suggestions helpful:

Guides / Reports

Typically downloaded as a PDF, this could be anything from reports on the proven benefits of a vegetarian diet, a guide to creating your world-famous nut butters at home, or any “secrets” or little-known facts or insights that users would willing give up their contact details to get their hands on.

We have a selection of guides including email marketing tips, a calendar of food-related Twitter chats and a list of tools for running contests and giveaways. For an example of a more consumer friendly guide, check out the Ultimate Guide to Reducing Food Waste at Home over on Eco & Beyond.

Email Courses

An email course consists of educational material delivered via a series of daily or weekly emails. These are particularly effective if they help users gain a new skill or develop a new habit. This might include switching to a new, healthy lifestyle or learning to cook a new exotic food in an authentic, traditional way.

Video Content

Live and pre-recorded video are great mediums for communicating something visual in an engaging way. Video is a great way to spread your message or demonstrate something practical. For a double whammy of valuable content, why not shoot videos for each instalment in a series of emails welcoming new subscribers and educating them about your brand’s mission and values.

video content

Checklists and Cheat Seats

Checklists and cheat sheets are popular in the business to business marketing space. They can be equally effective at delivering a quick win for consumers. If you’re a brand with an environmental cause, why not put together a cheat sheet to going plastic free in the kitchen?

You could put together a checklist for weekly meal planning. How about a list of key store cupboard ingredients for prepping vegan or plant-based meals?

Other lead magnets you might want to test include:

  • Calendars
  • Discount coupons
  • Free shipping options
  • Planners
  • Toolkits
  • Templates
  • Web Apps
  • Worksheets

Bonus Definition: Upgraded Content

Similar to lead magnets, upgraded content works in much the same way but with a twist.

It still offers a valuable, usually free, product in exchange for contact information. But where it differs is that upgraded content offers a next step relating to an existing piece of content – like a blog post.

For example, you may have an article that outlines the benefits of going vegan. The content upgrade might be for a free vegan recipe book in exchange for an email address.

You might plan to use lead magnets, content upgrades or a combination of both. Offering a free gift in exchange for contact details is a great way to attract potential customers and start to build a deeper relationship with them.

For more examples, read our article: How to Convert More Website Visitors to Subscribers with a Compelling Lead Magnet.