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how to design a lead magnet to convert your visitors into customers

How to Design a Lead Magnet to Attract Your Customers

Feb 7, 2020

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When I first heard the term lead magnet three years ago, I’ll admit, I had no clue what it was. As someone who considers themselves pretty savvy in the world of marketing, I felt pretty dumb.

After doing a little research though, I figured out that although the term was new to me, the concept was all too familiar. In marketing, a lead is a potential customer. Therefore a lead magnet gets its name from the fact its primary goal is attract more customers.

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Coming from a background of working at a marketing agency, we used to call lead magnets white papers or e-books. In the fast-paced digital world, I guess those names seem pretty old school, but in reality they all work the same. Lead magnets, white papers, e-books… they’re all simply pieces of digital content that exist to warm a potential customer up to the sales process (and make them more likely to buy because of the value you’ve offered them through that content.)

One of the biggest benefits of lead magnets is that when you choose the right topic, they can be super effective at helping your grow your email list. In 2019 alone, after implementing a few strategically placed lead magnets on my site, I added over 1400 subscribers to my email list, all on auto-pilot. Pretty cool, huh?

So, how do you create your own lead magnet?

First decide what your lead magnet is going to be about. Here’s where things get tricky. You don’t want to pick just any topic. It needs to be something that your audience will find value in. Especially if you are going to ask for your visitor’s email address, the topic needs to be valuable enough that they are willing to fork over that precious info. Here are some questions to help you brainstorm your lead magnet topic:

  1. What questions do people frequently ask you about your product or service?
  2. How could you offer a sampling or taste of your product/service at little or no cost?
  3. What don’t your customers know, but might be surprised to learn?
  4. What simple tool could you create for your customers that would help them?
  5. How can you address the objections your customers have about your product/service?

Think on these questions and see if anything comes up that sparks your interest.

Decide on the format for your lead magnet.

At the same time, you’ll also want to be considering what format you are going to use for you lead magnet. Your topic and the format will go hand-in-hand so it’s important to deliver it in a way that your audience will be receptive to. We talked about white papers and ebooks, but there are a ton of ways you can get your audience to engage. Here are just a few ideas you might consider:

  1. Email / Video Series
  2. Facebook Group Challenge
  3. Interactive PDF Workbook
  4. Online Quiz ie. Interact
  5. Downloadable Checklist
  6. Mini-Course
  7. Graphics Template

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your lead magnet. If it’s something that will truly benefit your ideal customer, you can’t go wrong.

Outline the content for your lead magnet.

Now that you’ve got your topic and your format, you should start outlining your content. You can start with just bullet points and then flesh out the rest of the content as it comes to you. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to length. Depending on your topic, your audience might be looking for a quick win or they may need something a little more in-depth. Use your best judgment to parse out your content in a way that will be palatable, always with your ideal customer in mind.

Design your lead magnet.

Once you’ve got a solid draft of your content, now it’s time to design your lead magnet. The format of your lead magnet will dictate what to do next. If you’re doing an email series, you’ll want to use a email software like Mailchimp or ConvertKit. If you are creating an e-book or checklist, you could use Canva to create your design. If you want to make a quiz, a tool like Interact will be your best bet. Since adding a quiz to my website, I have been able to achieve a 38.5% conversion rating for my quiz and it bring me in interested leads daily! Whichever format you’ve chosen, it’s so important to make it look good. People interpret images before words and also more easily than words so using color, photos, and icons can have a big impact.

Related Post: How to Design Drool-worthy Graphics in Canva

Share your lead magnet with your audience.

After you’ve completed the design of your lead magnet, get ready to share it with the world! The easiest place to promote it is on your website, but don’t stop there. You can also share your lead magnet on social media, on your blog, in a podcast interview, heck, you could even put it on your business card! Really the possibilities are endless. People can’t get it, if they don’t know about, so don’t be shy about putting it out there. My favorite place to plug my lead magnets are at the end of my blog posts and also on Pinterest. With only a modest social media following, using these as my main vehicles for promotion is how I was able to grow my email list so rapidly last year.

Related Post: How to Create Gorgeous Pinterest Pins That Explode Your Traffic

Stay in touch with your subscibers.

The last step is the most important part, because it’s how you are actually going to convert those subscribers into customers… which is what we, as business owners, all aim to do, #amiright? The worst thing you could do is rack up a giant list of new subscribers and let them collect dust. If you want to turn those subscribers into actual customers you need to stay in communication with them. That could be with an email newsletter, sending them emails about new offers or enrolling them in an email nurture sequence.

Related Post: How to Engage Your Customers with Your eNewsletter

My favorite no-hassle way to stay in touch with my subscribers is through an automated weekly newsletter. My email software pulls my most recent blog post every week and automatically sends an email out to my audience. It’s all automated so the only thing I have to do is make sure I write an amazing blog for you all to read. Chances are, if you are reading this post right now it’s because you got that very email! Pretty nifty, huh?

So, there you have it – Lead magnets are by far my favorite and most effective way to grow my email list? How about you…have you used a lead magnet before? Let me know in the comments! Need some help designing a lead magnet for your business? Shoot me a message!

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kristin pruis

Before I enrolled in design school, I was *this* close to switching my major to become a writer. But God had other plans, and here I am, 10 years later, designing gorgeous brands & websites while nurturing my love for writing on the side.


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Teaching others everything I've learned about branding, design, and marketing over the past 10 years is a passion that truly fills my cup. No matter where you are on your journey of owning your business, I hope you'll find something here that you can take with you and leave you feeling inspired.


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