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Lead Magnets 101: Best Way To Grow Your Business

Lead Magnets 101

If you aren’t using a lead magnet to attract new clients (or even repeat customers) to your company, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful techniques for growing your leads list.

A solid lead magnet approach can help you generate fresh leads and convert potential consumers into actual clients.

Why does this work so well you wonder?


The old “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.

Back in 1984, Dr Robert Cialdini introduced his 6 principles of persuasion in the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

This book is essential if you’re in marketing and there is no denying why; it actually works.

The notion of reciprocity claims that people, by nature, feel compelled to give discounts or concessions to others if they’ve received favours from them.

This is driven by our old roots.

We are incredibly social creatures and from an evolutionary perspective doing favours and getting something in return has proven to be much more beneficial.

So till this day, we despise feeling beholden to others.

It is something we cannot run away from.

We’re wired towards it.

What’s the catch?

The thing is you can’t just give people things and expect immediate gratification.

Throughout history, our innate need to reciprocate has been manipulated wrongly.

So here’s a little story.

In Cialdini’s book, he uses the example of the Hare Krishna.

A religious organization that formerly utilized reciprocation to its advantage.

They walked on the streets looking harmlessly innocent and handed out beautiful flowers to a chosen passerby, who delightfully received them.

However, instead of a “treat”, it was definitely a “trick”.

In return for the flowers, they demanded a donation.

What happened?

For a time it did work but the people eventually grew sick of it.

It wasn’t genuine and it was forced.

What does this have anything to do with your business?

Well, you want to be the opposite of the Hare Krishna.

You don’t want to trick people into liking your business, you want them to genuinely enjoy it and feel good about buying from you.

The best way to do this is by giving away something that is of value to them without expecting anything in return (at least not right away).

This is what we in the marketing world call a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is any piece of content or physical product of value that you give away for free in order to entice potential customers or clients to sign up for your email list or contact information.

Some examples of common lead magnets are:

  • Ebooks
  • PDF Guides
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Templates
  • Trial Periods
  • Free Samples
  • Coupons

You might be wondering that there is so much noise and content out there, how will these break through and capture people’s attention?

Well, imagine you’re at a party.

The music is roaring and you’re listening to dozens of conversations but nothing really catches your eye.

But, then you hear someone blurt out your name.

From here, you’re all ears.

That is how a lead magnet functions.

You need to call out people’s “names”.

Check out this lead magnet by Search It Local:

It is titled “Don’t Pay For SEO Without Reading This!!!”

Does it work?


It may not be for you but for some people out there it speaks straight to the heart.

It directly solves a problem; pulling the right strings, allowing it to filter through all the noise.

So how do you call out people’s “names”?

Do your homework to figure out exactly what your ideal consumer values are.

What does your consumer talk about on Twitter, Google searches, and learn online and in schools?

What do they truly want? Why do they want it?

The deeper you can go the better and easier it is.

You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • Research Consumer Patterns or Buying Habits

Here’s an example.

If you want to target stay-at-home moms who are looking to get back into the workforce, you would want to create a lead magnet that is along the lines of “How to reenter the workforce after having kids” or “7 tips for writing a killer resume as a stay-at-home mom”.

You could also do something like a free trial period for a service that helps with job placement or offers resume help.

Again, think of it this way, if your lead magnet was a person at a party, would they be the one everyone is gravitating toward or would they be the one standing in the corner alone?

The goal is to make it so good that people cannot help but sign up for it.

Here are a few tools that will help a lot in your research:

  • Answer The Public
  • also asked
  • Google Trends
  • BuzzSumo

This being said, let’s move on to some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to creating an effective lead magnet.

Do: Keep it Simple and Focused

Your lead magnet should be laser-focused and not try to accomplish too many things at once.

For example, if you are a realtor specializing in luxury homes, you would want to create a lead magnet that is along the lines of “The Top 10 Tips for Buying a Luxury Home”.

This is simple, to the point, and provides value.

Don’t: Make it Sales-y

Your lead magnet should not be sales-y or pitchy in any way.

Remember, the goal is to provide value and build trust with your potential customer or client.

If your lead magnet comes across as sales-y, you will lose people’s trust before you even have a chance to gain it.

Do: Make it visually appealing

Your lead magnet should be visually appealing and easy to read.

No one wants to read a wall of text, so make sure to format it in a way that is easy on the eyes.

Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and images to break up the text.

Don’t: Make it too long

Your lead magnet should not be too long; otherwise, people will lose interest before they even get to the end.

Aim for something that can be read in 5-10 minutes or less.

Do: Include a call-to-action

Your lead magnet should have a clear call-to-action (CTA) telling people what you want them to do next.

For example, you may want them to sign up for your email list or contact you for a consultation.

Don’t: Forget to promote it

Once you have created your lead magnet, don’t forget to promote it!

There is no use in having a great lead magnet if no one knows about it.

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