Generate leads in your sleep: The essential guide to an enticing lead magnet

Lewis Folkard

Lewis Folkard

Suffolk-based conversion copywriter.

All you need to know about enticing lead magnets

Your sales funnel is the process of turning nobodys into somebodys. From top to bottom, it takes an unengaged market and turns (some of) them into customers. For some businesses that’s a quick process. And for others, it’s not.

So, to smooth out their sales process, many businesses bridge the gap with leads. These are folks who’ve made a small commitment to your business – or, in other words, shown an interest in what your business offers.

A lead magnet is the low-risk, attractive force that pulls them in. And how you make one that entices your market is what we’ll look at today. Read on.

The commitment wedge: a lead magnet explained

A lead magnet is the value you provide in exchange for the “right” to contact someone. It’s a solution to a smaller problem that ultimately serves to better sell your main product or service. Usually, this happens by creating or drawing attention to another (larger) problem that your product or service fixes. 

Similarly, a lead magnet is your potential customer’s first commitment to your business – the start of their journey. And they’re paying for this value with their time (to consume) and contact details. Over the rest of your sales funnel, you’re going to drive that commitment wedge further until you make the sale.

sales funnel with increasing commitment

Generally, they’re free and sold on a landing page. But we’ll look at circumstances when they’re not free later.

Why do you need a lead magnet?

Simply put, warm, engaged leads are much easier to sell to. You already know that. So, a lead magnet is what engages your lead. If your sales process isn’t as smooth as you’d like, using one can help rub out some of the friction – and help you fill your funnel and convert more customers.

How do lead magnets actually work?

Okay, down to the nitty-gritty. In $100M Leads, Alex Hormozi shares…

“People buy stuff based on how much value they think they’ll get after they buy it. And the easiest way to get them to think they’ll get tons of value after they buy it is to provide value before they buy it.”

And with a lead magnet, this is your chance to do so. 

So, by providing loads of value before they become customers, your leads think they’ll get even more when they do. You establish more trust and rapport, meaning your later sales pieces get more bang for their buck. 

(Can you see why they’re so important to the sales process?)

Once they’ve entered the middle of your funnel and become leads, they might buy your product or service immediately after using your lead magnet. Or, as is often the case, you might need to nurture them further with an email sequence or sales call. 

Who needs a lead magnet?

A shorter route to revenue minimises the chance of drop-off. So, it’s always worth trying to sell your product or service without a lead magnet first.

But not all products (and markets) are created equal. Some products and services are more expensive. Some bring more risk. Some markets are more sceptical. So before they feel ready to buy, your market needs to know more information and feel like they can trust you.

So, if your sales process feels clunky and isn’t performing well, a lead magnet could help you smoothen out that process. Heck, even if your sales process is working well, using one might help it work better. 

Generally, lead magnets are suited for high(er) ticket offers (because cost = risk) or where markets are particularly sceptical. (Think, you don’t need a PDF guide before you buy toilet rolls). This is their chance to “try before they buy” and minimise their risk. It’s also a chance for you to attract more suited customers whom you can then get better results for, helping you market your business better. Everyone wins.

But if you don’t provide enough value in your lead magnet, it’s going to be very hard to win them back after.

Try these lead magnet ideas

According to Hormozi, there are three main categories.

  1. A lead magnet that makes your leads aware of a (bigger) problem
  2. A lead magnet that solves a recurring problem for a short period of time
  3. A lead magnet that solves one step in a multistep process of a bigger problem

For ease, let’s give them names.

  1. The Revealer
  2. The Short-Term Solver
  3. The Single Stepper

The category of lead magnet you choose will depend on the ‘smaller’ problem you need to fix for your market. And how that leads to the ‘bigger’ problem your core offer fixes.

Let me give you some examples. It’ll help explain.

The Revealer

This type provides value by identifying a problem that could grow into something worse. It invites them to “nip it in the bud” before it causes more severe damage. You can sell the solution or a prevention.

Examples of “The Revealer”: SEO audits, financial health checks, copywriting checklists, and fitness quizzes.

The Short-Term Solver

Think of these as free samples or trial periods. Your leads get the full value of your product or service but only for a limited time. If your product or service provides enough value – and your leads like it – they’ll want to keep using it. Which they’ll have to pay for.

Examples of “The Short-Term Solver”: software free trials, skincare samples, and food or drink tasters.

The Single Stepper

If your product or service has multiple steps (as many do), this lead magnet solves – or helps to solve – one step of that problem for them. They’ll still need help with the other steps, which your product or service should do.

Examples of “The Single Stepper”: Advert headline templates, free courses or ebooks, checklists/cheatsheets*, webinars, case studies and whitepapers.

*Checklists are very versatile and can help “tick the boxes” so a problem doesn’t occur. But if you can’t tick every box, they also reveal a bigger problem. Hence why they’re in two categories.

You might find some more ideas in this blog from Copyhackers.

What goes into a lead magnet

The “content” of your lead magnet is going to be the solution to the problem it fixes – and in a format that makes the solution easy to action. Remember, this is your chance to prove your worth and engage your leads.

The content MUST be valuable. If it’s not, you’re squandering a valuable opportunity to win over a potential customer.

So ask yourself, is this lead magnet so valuable you could charge for it? If it’s not, then keep adding value. The more uncomfortable you feel about the information you’re giving away, the better it’s going to be.

Give away the secrets (because it’s the secrets that build trust). And charge for implementation (or the full thing). 

5 ½ steps to create a high-converting lead magnet

Let’s have a look at creating your lead magnet.

Step 1: Choose your problem

Take the most pressing problem your paid product or service already fixes and work backwards into the lead magnet categories above. Find a smaller problem that leads to the bigger.

Step 2: Decide how to deliver the solution

Are you going to turn it into an ebook? A course? Are you going to give full access? A template? A guide? Choose the format that best supports the value.

Step 3: Overdeliver

Make it so damn good your lead won’t believe you’re giving it away for free. That way, when you do ask for money, they’ll know to expect good things.

Step 4: Make action easy

With the huge amounts of value you’re providing, your leads will inherently sell themselves. They’ll want more because they’ll want to fix their bigger problem you’ve drawn attention to. So don’t get in their way. Make it super easy for them to get more.

Step 4½: Make it shareable

The Reciprocation Bias suggests we feel inclined to give back when we get something great. With a lead magnet that’s shareable, they’re more likely to reciprocate to you (via purchasing) but also pay it forward to others by sharing.

Step 5: Test

Like all copywriting, testing is an important part of any conversion rate optimisation. So, once you’ve got your lead magnet live, test different elements of it and see if you can improve its performance.

Where do you put a lead magnet?

Generally speaking, a lead magnet will sit in the middle of your sales funnel. After the lead magnet (if your leads don’t buy right away), an email sequence will follow that then directs to a sales page and seals the deal. These emails will keep your leads warm – or warm them further – until you sell your core product or service.

How many lead magnets do you need?

In short, there is no “right” amount. You should always test different variations and/or formats to see what works best. Also, depending on the number of “personas” in your market, you might have multiple lead magnets to suit their different problems.

If you have lots, you can cycle the lead magnets to build more scarcity (“…they’re only available until the end of the week”) and encourage faster action and hence better lead generation.

Of course, your pre- and post-lead magnet communication will need to suit your lead magnet.

Should you charge for a lead magnet?

I know it can be tempting to charge for them, especially when you’ve offered so much value. But generally, lead magnets are free. It minimises the risk and creates the opportunity to prove your worth to as many people as possible. Putting a price tag on it would deter some. 

But there are times when you can charge for lead magnets. Just they’re not often called lead magnets…

Charging for value before the main offer is often called “productisation”. And it works in the same way lead magnets do. When you’ve got a (very) high ticket offer, a smaller ticket offer can help bridge the gap and minimise the customer’s risk. This, in turn, helps qualify high-paying customers and filters the less committed from the more. 

Again, the more committed customers are more likely to get better results, which then helps you market (and grow) your business.

But, depending on how you structure your funnel, you might need a free lead magnet before the paid one though…

The leading takeaways…

There you have it. Everything you need to create the ultimate lead magnet. My two key takeaways are…

  1. Fix a problem that leads to one bigger, using one of the three mechanisms (categories)
  2. Make it so damn valuable you feel uncomfortable giving it away for free

If you need help creating your own – or want to know how to sell it on a landing page – contact me, and I’ll do it all for you. 

If you’d like to find out more about my landing page copywriting services, head here.

(Or, if you’ve got one already and it’s not working well, you can read this)

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