Have you ever heard the term “Lead Magnet” and wondered what it was?  Then this article is for you!

If you have a great product, program or service that you know people will love, you need to get them interested in it.  But unless you let people know that it exists, nobody will purchase it.  So, how do you spread the word about your product/program/service?   You create a free gift, that you can give away by asking for someone’s name and email address in return.  And in doing this you build up an email list.

In the old days you could just say “Sign up for my newsletter”, but that rarely works anymore.  Instead, you’ll get the best results if you offer something valuable, like a free gift, that will entice your potential customers to join your email list. This free gift is also called a “lead magnet.”

Lead Magnet – What It Is

Also called an “irresistible free offer” or “free opt-in,” a lead magnet is essentially an offer (usually free) that you make available on your website in exchange for your visitor’s contact information, including his/her email address. Some marketers even call it a “bribe” for your website visitors to give you their email addresses.

You see this happening everywhere online, including this website you are now looking at. Scroll down, and you’ll see a box with this heading: FREE REPORT: “Discover the 7 Most Effective Websites for Your Business.” That’s my lead magnet. By providing your name and email address, you’ll get the PDF report and video for free, while I get to start an email relationship with you and other people who are interested in WordPress and website building tips.

lead magnet opt-in box

Example of a Lead Magnet


What Can I Create As My Lead Magnet?

There are many possibilities that you can use to create your lead magnet! Here are some ideas:

  • special PDF report / tips
  • checklists
  • discovery session / free consultation
  • cheatsheet / quick start guide
  • done-for-you template
  • list of resources
  • videos / audio recordings
  • transcripts
  • live webinars
  • free trial of your service / product
  • quiz / test

So what will yours be?

What Do I Need to Offer a Lead Magnet?

There are some variations, but offering a lead magnet typically needs three things.

1. Your lead magnet

Come up with something your target market would value — something that provides value to what they crave for. You want to be very strategic about the content of your lead magnet, and that alone is too big of a topic to be covered in this post. But again, the most important thing is that your lead magnet is enticing enough so that your website visitors will gladly give you their contact information in exchange. The whole point is to provide value by solving a problem that specifically relates to your ideal client and their challenges.

2. An email marketing system

You need a good email marketing tool that allows you to create an opt-in form, automated lead magnet delivery, followup emails, and a place to store your growing email list.

There are many excellent email marketing tools out there, each with unique features. I strongly recommend spending time to research and test out several of them to determine which one would best work for you. (Most offer free or a low-cost trial for you to test drive them.) But in case you need some pointers, here is my post on email marketing systems.

3. Your website

Use your website to display your opt-in form, thank people who opt in, and immediately deliver your lead magnet. While there are some variations, here are the basic pages you need:

  • Opt-in page: Explain your offer and show your opt-in form on this page. Alternatively, you can use a pop-up form or a form in a side bar, instead of using a whole web page for this.
  • Thank you page: This is the page where you say, “Thank you for your request. Please check your email for your download link.” or “Please check your email to confirm your request.”
  • Download page: This is the page where you can send people to to download/consume your lead magnet. (Sometimes the thank you page and the download page is the same thing.)

And of course, WordPress makes it easy to create the above pages even if you are a non-techie!

Having the right lead magnet is a very effective way to make your website work to grow your business. If you don’t have one yet, what are you waiting for?


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