What is a Lead Magnet and How Can it Boost Sales for your Business?

What Is a Lead Magnet and Why Should You Use One?

A lead magnet is an offer in exchange for a prospect’s email address or other contact information. Common examples are eBooks and white papers. Small Business Trends contacted several experts to get their takes on the best lead magnet practices for SMBs.

How a Lead Magnet Works

Call to Action

There’s a path to follow that needs to include a few items. Put these together in order to get prospects to follow your directions.  First off is a Call to Action. This is the tab or button that gets visitors to follow through.

Start with a strong verb like “shop” or “order”. Using an e-book as the incentive? Then words like download or subscribe are best.

Landing Page

A landing page is where you collect a prospect’s information. There’s usually a form to fill our where people can leave their email addresses and other contact info.

Alistair Dodds is the Marketing Director and Co-Founder of London based Digital Marketing Agency EIC Marketing.  He has some suggestions for a small business putting a lead magnet together.

“Brainstorm with your team as to the biggest problems your customers typically have,” he writes.  “Then identify one specific common issue and write out a step by step process path.”

Resource Page

Clients are then led to the page where they can download the resource. Easy Peasy right? Not So fast. Picking the right resource takes more time and effort.

What Works as a Lead Magnet?

You need to decide what kind of resource you’re going to offer. That will depend on a few things like your target market and the industry or niche you’re in.

Alistair Dodds has another suggestion.

“Use Facebook lead ad campaigns as your campaign type choice.  Connect Facebook with a Mailchimp account and set up a series of autoresponders. That helps build rapport with your prospects after they have signed up to your mailing list. “

Here’s a few other ideas that work.

The eBook

Chane Steiner, CEO of Crediful, offers up some advice.

“Create something that has actionable value,” he writes.  “The key to a successful lead
magnet is to create something that provides real value. In the case of content, like a downloadable eBook, you are going to want to provide actionable advice.”

He suggests a ‘How To’ or ‘3 Easy Ways to Do(Something).’ Steiner stresses targeting these to your specific audience is important. Keep in mind the title of your book is critical. It needs to read like a one line pitch to get folks to read it.

Keeping things concise and proofreading your work are essential too.

The Report

These work great in a B2B environment where one business is trying to sell goods and services to another.

“Lead magnets are a great way to build a subscriber list for many businesses,” writes Paul Farmer, VP of Marketing at WOODTEX. “To develop one, you’ll want to identify a subject of intense interest to your target demographic. Then, source a quality writer to put together a 3 to 5 page report.”

Another tip. Stay away from any salesy content. It needs to be educational and engaging. Quality information that is of interest to another small business owner.

The Workbook

These work well because they walk your prospect through the process. Keeping things simple is the key to success. The design needs to be minimal. Here’s a good example.

The Checklist

These are even more effective when you put them together in a printable format. These need to be specific like “10 Boxes to Check to Sell More on Social Media” and satisfying. Here’s some information that you will find helpful on formatting your checklist.

There are lots of other choices. But what ever offer you use, the content needs to be easily digestible. You want to position yourself as an expert in the industry but not a boring one. Remember you’re focusing your efforts on someone who’s not experienced in the field like you.

Lead Magnet Do’s and Don’ts

Here’s a few do’s and don’ts to help you along as you put your lead magnet together.


Make sure your lead magnet is attractive and unique.  Don’t be afraid of having too much value. The content needs to demonstrate expertise, be concise and offer a solution.

In other words, it’s all in the way you present it. Allan Dib, Founder of Successwise, puts it this way.

“In a nutshell, your lead magnet says: ‘It seems like X could be one of your biggest problems. I’m going to walk you through how to solve X. And if you’d like my assistance doing Y to solve X, I’d be happy to help.’”


There are a few things to avoid. For example, a weak Call To Action won’t get visitors to convert. Make sure that the language you use is precise. Tell people to Call Now and Act Fast rather than using language like “Consider This Option.”

Make sure you spend enough money to get a professional looking landing page. Badly designed graphics can cause visitors to turn away and shop somewhere else.

Image: Depositphotos.com 1 Comment ▼

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

One Reaction
  1. A lead magnet is the reason why people sign up to your website. It is the preliminary information that they receive.