Do you offer a free ebook, checklist, or cheat sheet on your website? How effective is it at converting website visitors into leads? If you’re like most people, the answer is “sort of effective.” Offering a lead magnet is a great first step to improving conversions, and you likely saw a lift in conversions when you put your lead magnet into place. But is it performing as well as it could?
Here are six factors—some common-sense, some rarely discussed—that can make your lead magnets more effective:
1. Instantly Usable
Your lead magnet should be instantly usable.
When a website visitor comes to your website, they are looking for the answer to a problem or question. They don’t want that answer to come next week—they want it now. What does that mean for your lead magnet? You should try to create a lead magnet that’s easy to use and can be used right away.
If you offer a 96 page ebook, you might actually be scaring prospects away. It depends on your audience, but a lot of people just don’t have the time to read 100 pages that may or may not solve their problem.
This is intimidating. You want your lead magnets to be easy.
If you’re currently using an ebook or long-form guide as a lead magnet, consider testing a switch to a checklist or cheat sheet. These formats can be used right away, which makes them a compelling offer.
2. Targeted at a specific problem
A lead magnet is more effective if it promises to solve a specific problem. The more specific the problem, the better. It’s a rule of marketing that it’s easier to get people to remember one idea than 10 ideas. Similarly, the reason it’s a best practice to put a single call to action on a page is that it makes it easier to get conversions. If you run, say, a fitness website, offering an ebook on how to live a healthy life is probably less compelling than saying “use this book to lose 8 pounds a month.” Note that in some cases, you don’t even need to change the actual lead magnet. If your ebook on living a healthy lifestyle helps people lose weight, all you need to do is tell people that in your opt-in copy.
3. Relevant to what people are reading
If you’re just starting out, it’s probably good enough to have a single lead magnet that you offer everywhere on your site. But as you get a bit more advanced, you’ll want to start customizing your lead magnets to individual pieces of content. This tactic, called the “content upgrade,” can generate a massive increase in conversions. If you have a blog post about dieting, offer a cheat sheet lead magnet for healthy recipes at the end. If your article is about how to find a workers compensation attorney, offer a list of local attorneys as a free download. Offering lead magnets specific to each page makes your offers hyper-relevant. You know your readers are interested in that topic, so offering them a download about it is likely to be effective.
4. Prominent on the page
If your opt-in form is hard to find, it doesn't matter what your lead magnet is. No one is going to subscribe.
If you never say hello, how can you expect to start a conversation?
Make your offer as easy to find as possible. You can use a variety of pop-up types to draw attention to your offer. You can put a clearly visible bar at the top of the screen. You can have buttons and calls to action weaved into the body of your post. Whatever your chosen method, increasing the prominence of your lead magnet will increase your conversion rate.
5. Compelling copy
It seems obvious, but too many sites forget to make their lead magnet copy, well, good.“Subscribe to our newsletter” isn’t compelling copy. “Get our free ebook” isn’t compelling copy either. Lead magnets have become such a popular tactic that you need to make a real, specific promise if you want people to opt in.
How can you cut to the heart of the problem your lead magnet solves? Take a look at some examples.
- Would you want to “sign up for a free course on email copywriting” or “learn how to write emails that get sales?”
- Would you want to “get a free ebook on diet and exercise” or “find out how to get the body you want—without having fitness take over your life?”
- Would you want to “get an online business checklist” or “see every step you need to take to build an online business?”
6. Instant Follow-up
What happens immediately after someone downloads your lead magnet? Of course, you need to deliver the lead magnet. And you need to do it quickly—you don’t want to leave someone sitting at their desk refreshing their inbox.
But after that, you have a massive opportunity to get value out of your lead magnet. Engagement rates are always higher immediately after someone subscribes.
A marketing automation platform like ActiveCampaign can help you build a welcome series or nurture sequence—or even separate sequences for each of your lead magnets. If you aren’t sending an automated follow-up sequence, you’re missing an opportunity to help a warm lead get hotter.
Conclusion: Good Lead Magnets Get Conversions
If your lead magnets aren’t converting as well as they should be, there may be steps you can take to fix the problem. How quickly does your offer solve a specific problem? How clearly do you answer a website visitor’s questions? How strong is your follow up? Tweaking and testing your lead magnets, using these six factors, can help you get more conversions and turn more visitors into customers.
Benyamin Elias is a content marketer at ActiveCampaign. He’s created content strategies for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike, and specializes in SEO, email marketing, copywriting, and creating compelling content that results in a measurable impact on business goals.