Above Header

Lead Magnet Offers

Lead MagnetOne of the keys to list-building, is to offer people an “ethical bribe” in the form of a “lead magnet”.  

Lead magnets are usually free offers for information or products in exchange for people signing up to receive your emails, often referred to as your “newsletter”.

So, clearly, you are bribing people to join your list.  But the bribe is considered ethical in the sense that you are giving them something of value in exchange for their opt-in (or sign-up).


Compelling Lead Magnets

This is all nice, but it only works if the lead magnet you offer is compelling enough that people really want it.

Make sure you know your niche, and understand what people in your niche struggle with.  You’re looking for their problems so that your lead magnet can help solve them.

If you don’t know what the biggest problems are in your niche, try reading some forum threads, or facebook group conversations to get familiar with the concerns that dominate your niche.

Once you have that information, create a lead magnet to solve one key problem you have identified.

Then you can rest assured that your lead magnet will be compelling to your visitors.

Relevant Lead Magnets

Make absolutely sure that your lead magnet is relevant to the type of mailing list you want to build.

If your ultimate goal is to sell people weight loss products and information, don’t offer a lead magnet on good nutrition.

You may think that people interested in good nutrition will want to know about weight loss, but in fact, you will be attracting a large number of people who are only marginally interested in your main topic.

That means that a good many people who opted in to receive your “good nutrition” ethical bribe, will have a low level of interest in your weight loss newsletter, and will seldom open your emails, or they’ll unsubscribe altogether.

If you want to sell weight loss products, offer a lead magnet that is clearly focused on weight loss.

Types of Lead Magnets

Anything that conveys the information you want people to get is a good lead magnet.

It could be an ebook, an mp3 track, a video… anything that delivers the valuable information you want your visitors to have is a good idea.

That said, many folks in the online marketing industry seem to favor video products over text.  So webinars and video tutorials are generally thought to be more compelling than ebooks and special reports.

Keep in mind though, that if you have a “reading” public, you may still do better with text offers.  If your blog, for instance, revolves around a lot of text information as opposed to infographics and videos, you might very well be attracting visitors who prefer to read than watch videos.

In a follow up article, I will explore some different ways to create your own lead magnets, or obtain ones that are already done for you.

I’d love to have you share this article on your social sites, and look forward to your comments below.  

What sort of of lead magnet offers are you thinking of using, or have you used with some success?


Image credit: alluecup/ 123RF Stock Photo

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

, , , ,

18 Responses to Lead Magnet Offers

  1. Michael Shook February 26, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    Lead magnets are one of those things can easily go astray when done in a heavy-handed way. But when the gift offered is appropriate to the market and to the people opting in, exactly as David is saying, then they can work wonders.

    I have offered ebooks and video series, and I think that overall the written gift gets better response. Just my results, for sure, overall, I don’t know the statistics, but an ebook of the Best Of my site has been well-received.
    Michael Shook´s last blog post ..How To Get Positive Thinking Tips

    • David Merrill 101 February 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      A bit surprised to hear that you did better wit ebooks as a lead magnet, Michael.

      But not so surprising if your site tends to appeal to “readers” rather than video watchers.

  2. Chery Schmidt February 27, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    You did a great job here explaining all the different ways to get capture leads David. I am looking forward to your follow up article to see what you have to share about creating my own magnet. I do have an offer but it doesn’t convert all to well. How does your video do? See you again soon Chery 🙂
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Trust For Yourself, Trust For Others, Trust For Something Greater

    • David Merrill 101 February 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      I always find video converts best, Chery.

      Unless, of course, you’re up to doing webinars… which are really the same as videos unless you’re doing them live.

      But test, test, test.

      Offer 2 lead magnets and see which performs best. Go with that one… but then test it against yet another offer. The testing process really never ends, it just keep refining your marketing strategy.

  3. Dena-Lynn February 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Great advice, David. I like that you highlighted that the lead magnet must make sense to the audience that we want to attract using the example of offering nutrition info to a weight loss niche. On its face it seems to make sense – but when you dig deeper, it’s not what they want at all. And that is the key… digging deep and really knowing your target market so well that you can give them exactly what they want while solving their problem. I look forward to your follow up article on this topic!

    Dena Lynn
    Dena-Lynn´s last blog post ..Your Essential Network Marketing Success Factors

    • David Merrill 101 February 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      Nice to see you, Dena.

      I can see you’ve been working at building your list, because only by DOING it can you appreciate the nuance of appealing to your “laser-targeted” crowd, as opposed to your “targeted” audience.

      It may seem trivial to the outside observer, but to folks like you and me who are in the trenches… it means everything!

  4. Shelley Alexander February 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Good advice David! When I first decided to start building a email list I put together a lead magnet giveaway for a free article on how to build your energy level naturally. I have received good feedback on the article from people who signed up for my email list so I’m glad I made this available.
    Shelley Alexander´s last blog post ..Anti-Inflammatory Orange Avocado Chia Smoothie

    • David Merrill 101 March 1, 2013 at 1:51 am #

      Free special reports like yours are great lead magnets because they can narrowly focus on a specific problem your readers face.

      Also, they are pretty easy to put together because they are short… but don’t forget… people often value them more than an ebook BECAUSE they are short. Your readers appreciate a quick-read answer to a very specific issue more than a rambling “tell-all” overly generalized ebook that might take them an hour or two to get through.

  5. Dr. Erica Goodstone March 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm #


    You have made me stop to think and I will be checking it out, whether my lead magnets do, in fact, address the issues I want to be focused on. I think they do. Personally, even though videos can be enjoyable, I prefer them to be very short. They take a lot of time and it is difficult to do something else at the same time. I like short blogs posts, short videos and small free gifts – succinct and to the point.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone´s last blog post ..YOU CAN Succeed in Business and in Your Life

    • David Merrill 101 March 15, 2013 at 1:24 am #

      It’s important that your lead magnets be designed to attracted EXACTLY the prospects you want to work with, Dr. Erica.

      It’s not a bad idea, even, to split test one lead magnet against another… on a continual basis to keep your lead magnets current and optimal.

  6. Raena Lynn March 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Hi David,

    This is an excellent article on lead magnets. The name certainly describes it’s purpose but I’ve been compelled to sign up for offers which were more random than targeted. One very important point you made is “Make absolutely sure that your lead magnet is relevant to the type of mailing list you want to build.” You must offer a solution that is compelling to a specific, targeted audience.

    I’ve offered videos and eBooks with good results. At the present time, I am considering resurrecting a product I created and establishing a lead magnet for my product. Thanks for sharing your guidelines and wisdom. Thank you David!

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn´s last blog post ..Oh No! Not Another Challenge!

    • David Merrill 101 March 15, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      It’s nice to hear people getting good results, Raena.

      Video has always been my best lead magnet, but I know a lot of people still swear by the eBooks.

      Good luck with your resurrection project.

  7. Beverly Knox March 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Great Information I like the way you broke it down what the lead magnet is all about. This was something I could stand to freshen up on with my blog. Thanks again.

  8. Marty Diamond March 24, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    You’re so right about understanding your market and what they want. Only way to figure it out is to test out a few different offers and see which one gives you the best response rates.

    Looking forward to your series on offers – a really important topic for online marketers!

    • David Merrill 101 March 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Testing is the key to understanding your market for sure, Marty.

      I like to use surveys or even open questions for people to let me know what they care about, what their struggles are, etc.

      Then you’re positioned to make your offers! That’s next.

  9. Rachel Lavern March 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Hi David,

    I’m working with a coach right who told me that we should, of course, create content that our niche wants, and that we should have subscribe boxes all over our websites. If you have a 100 page website, you should have 100 newsletter subscribe boxes on your website, she says.

    I personally think it is a little bit much, but she suggests that you could add one just before an article starts, in the middle of an article or even at the end of the article. As long as we have good content on our website, we will not have a problem getting people to subscribe to our newsletter.
    Rachel Lavern´s last blog post ..I Love My Home Business Tax Deductions

    • David Merrill 101 March 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      I guess I’d agree, Rachel, that you need to offer opt-in opportunities so that they are always visible.

      You don’t want to be overly intrusive, though, and I’m still of the school of thought that pop-ups are intrusive. Some more than others. I guess it’s okay if you use them very sparingly.

      As for static opt-in boxes, yes they need to be on each page a reader visits.

      But the most import way to court subscribers is to interweave you newsletter invitations seamlessly into your content. So, if you’re writing an article about gardening, remind people that they can get a lot more great gardening tips by subscribing to your newsletter, then give them a place to sign up right then and there. This is the least intrusive, and most effective way to build your subscription list.

  10. Kathryn Maclean August 2, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    Hi David Excellent information on lead magnets. I liked how you broke it down.

    Your lead magnets should be designed to attracted EXACTLY the prospects you want to work with,.so focus on what that market would want to know about.

    Also I saw that it’s a good idea, to split test one lead magnet against another… on a continual basis to keep your lead magnets current and optimal. Great stuff!!
    Kathryn Maclean´s last blog post ..Free is Not a Good Idea with a Website

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy
error: Content is protected !!