Why your lead magnet doesn’t work: a landing page copywriter’s master checklist

Lewis Folkard

Lewis Folkard

Suffolk-based conversion copywriter.

lead magnet not working

Your lead magnet is the attractive force that pulls in leads to your business (hence the name). It sits in the middle of your sales funnel. 

But whilst it attracts leads, it must also set up future sales. How? Simple. By solving one problem and then highlighting another. A problem your core product or service should solve.

When it’s firing on all cylinders, a lead magnet is a very powerful tool that smoothens out your sales process. When it’s not, however, it’s a burning hole in your sales funnel

Today, we’ll find out why – and fix yours for good.

The main reason why your lead magnet doesn’t work (in both cases)

Both functions of your lead magnet connect through the problem it fixes. And it’s here where we’ll start. 

Consider these two scenarios when looking at your lead magnet:

  1. You have the right problem, but you’re not fixing it well enough
  2. You’re not fixing the right problem

Scenario 1

Scenario one means lacklustre sales. You’re not proving your worth, so your leads aren’t inspired to get more from you. This could also mean you’re not setting up – or revealing – the main problem your core product or service solves. 

A good example would be this: if your lead magnet provides the knowledge to become “financially free”, the new problem becomes the time, effort and stress involved in using that knowledge. Your core service uses it all for them.

If you’re already generating leads, you’re in the right territory – you’re working with a relevant problem. But if you’re not generating sales, then maybe your lead magnet isn’t setting them up like it should.

Scenario 2

If your lead magnet isn’t generating leads, then the issue is more likely the problem your lead magnet fixes (assuming your landing page is OK). 

Of course, if past experience indicates that the problem you’re focusing on does resonate, then maybe it’s worth looking at how you’ve framed and delivered it. 

You could also consider speaking with a landing page copywriter to help. 

We’ll look at other reasons why your lead magnet isn’t generating leads shortly.

Choose your bottleneck… and break it

So which one resonates most – scenario 1 or 2? Once you’re content with the problem you’re fixing – and you know it works, you can rest assured you’re on strong foundations. From there, you can move on to the following checklist and get more granular with your bottleneck.

Checklist 1: No leads

The number of leads you generate comes down to three factors. As Brian Kurtz shares in Overdeliver, they are: audience, offer, and creative. Usually, in that order too.


  • Does your landing page traffic source match the problem?
  • Can you narrow the traffic source to increase relevance? (And then maybe create other lead magnets to suit other sources)
  • Is your traffic volume high enough?
  • Can you pre-sell in the traffic source (e.g. social ads)?

Offer (your lead magnet)

  • Is the format of your lead magnet right? Could you try another? (e.g. video)
  • Is your problem right but too broad? Try narrowing and going deeper with it.
  • Have you checked market sophistication? Are competitors offering the same thing? Adjust to stand out
  • Does your lead magnet look visually appealing?


  • Does the headline and lead type suit the traffic awareness level? 
  • Is your headline compelling enough?
  • Do you open any curiosity loops?
  • Do you have enough types of proof? (Read this for help on landing page proof)
  • Are you speaking in a way your audience understands?
  • Are you assuming knowledge? Don’t.
  • Have you clearly shown the benefits of your lead magnet?
  • Have you clearly shown the pains and problems they’ll leave behind?
  • Could you try a ‘call-to-value’ rather than a ‘call-to-action’? E.g. “Get more leads” vs “Download”
  • Have you asked for too much information? Try name and email only.
  • Can you add more ‘taking action’ opportunities? Buttons and anchor text.

>> For help writing a landing page, read this.

Checklist 2: No sales

There are several reasons your lead magnet isn’t generating sales. We’ll look at them here.

Lead magnet

  • Is your lead magnet genuinely valuable? Are you overdelivering?
  • Does it provide immediate value?
  • Do you establish your credibility? (E.g. include enough reviews, authoritative customers, results/transformations, places you’ve featured, etc.)
  • Do you make it easy to take action?
  • Are you offering enough opportunities to take action (once they’ve received the value)?

Pre- and Post-Communication

  • Is your delivery email being opened? I.e. are your leads actually using your lead magnet?
  • Does your delivery email keep the reader sold? (Remind them of what they’re getting and the pains they’re now removing)
  • Do you have a nurturing email sequence that keeps your leads warm?
  • Do you have a sales page to collect the nurtured leads? 

>> To write a sales page, follow this.


Oftentimes, the success of your lead magnet comes down to the problem you focus on and how you solve it. Always over-deliver. And make the value your leads are getting clear. 

Once you’re set on the problem and you know it’s relevant, you can run through this checklist.

If you still have questions or need further help, my inbox is always open. You can contact me here.

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