How To Create A Winning Lead Magnet

Marketing, Strategy

Not sure you need a lead magnet? Let me convince you. 

A lead magnet is just the first step in creating an automated marketing funnel that will nurture new clients and firmly position you as the expert they need to work with.

The initial investment of time you make to create your lead magnet will repay you many times over. I’ve got high performing lead magnets that have been working well for me for years.

A lead magnet is designed to kickstart building your email list and should be followed by an automated sequence of relationship-nurturing emails and then an offer to buy your services.

And having a robust and engaged email list gives you a solid foundation when it comes to creating highly targeted audiences to use for paid traffic ads, like Facebook and Instagram. (Yes, Facebook as a platform is very much alive and kicking, but we’ll get into that later).

Why you need a lead magnet to build a healthy relationship

The worst first date I ever had was with a French ski instructor. I was working in a pretty little French mountain resort and ski instructors were like gods, swishing down the slopes in their red ski suits. When Fabien asked me to go for a drink after work, I was thrilled. 

He arrived wearing stone-washed jeans with Disney characters printed on them and fluffy moccasin slipper shoes. But who am I to condemn a man for crimes against fashion before a date really gets going? 

Turns out Fabien REALLY loved everything Disney. All of it. The characters, the films, the songs. It’s all he talked about for the whole evening. I learned nothing else about him, because he didn’t let me get a non-Disney word in. By the end of the evening, he was already planning a romantic trip to Disneyland Paris. 

It was intense. And that, my friends, is how love’s young ski dream ended before it began. 

Because it really wasn’t what I’d signed up for.

Sometimes, when we market our businesses, we try to rush the relationship. We don’t take the time to reveal something real of ourselves, or find out what our audience really wants, before asking for the sale.

This is where a good lead magnet comes in. Done well, a helpful free resource opens the door to a new relationship, where you can position yourself as the expert, invite potential new clients to get to know, like and trust you, before inviting them to go on a romantic weekend to Disneyland Paris with you….I mean actually buy something from you. 

I’m going to be talking about lead magnets all week. Drop me any questions you have, and I’ll make sure I answer them or share a link to your lead magnet below. I’d love to check them out. 

What kind of lead magnets really work?

You’re mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and something catches your eye. You don’t give your email away to just anyone, so what’s special about the lead magnet you’ve just signed up for? What makes you click?

Any successful lead magnet solves a real problem for someone by promising to help that person get something done faster, better or cheaper

A good lead magnet needs to tell your ideal client that they don’t need to reinvent the wheel, because you’ve already been there, done that and can teach them too.

A great lead magnet should:

  • be something you are passionate about
  • be in your genius zone (because you’re going to get asked questions about it)
  • be only one part of the knowledge you have on this subject (you’ll need to be able to send follow-up content)
  • be easy and quick to consume
  • contain at least 2-3 big ‘aha!’ moments
  • leave them wanting more
  • have a strong call to action at the end to do something specific (ie. join a Facebook group or book a call)

The two types of lead magnet your audience needs

A really good lead magnet should represent just a small part of your area of expertise because you’ll need to be able to expand on your knowledge as the relationship progresses. 

There are two lead magnet styles that work really well. 

  1. The ‘Tip of The Iceberg’ Lead Magnet

This kind of lead magnet is deep dive into just one aspect of a subject you are knowledgeable about. 

A good example would be a ‘How To Build A Killer Home Page’. 

Everyone fixates on their home page but it’s only one aspect of building a good website, leaving the door open for follow up content covering other pages or features.

  1. The ‘Teaser’

A ‘teaser’ style lead magnet gives little chunks of helpful information about a number of different points. It’s a great entry-level piece of content for an audience who doesn’t know you well yet. 

A good example would be a list-based freebie. 

Eg. 5 Photos You Should Take of Your New Baby. 

You can then follow this up with content which elaborates more deeply on each point in the list. 

Bigger isn’t better

It’s tempting to throw everything but the kitchen sink into your lead magnet, but believe me, bigger isn’t better. 

Remember, people want your lead magnet so that they can take a shortcut, so if your lead magnet sounds like it’s going to be hard work, you won’t get as many takers. 

Similarly, if it takes too long to consume and your readers have to trawl through the content just to find the nuggets of gold, then they’ll just stop reading and consequently, will be far more unlikely to open your follow up emails. 

Every lead magnet needs to contain a moment of revelation that really stands out, leading to a lightbulb moment for the reader. Don’t bury it.

Launching your lead magnet in style

So, you’ve done the hard work and got your lead magnet done. Now it’s time to give it the best possible chance of success. 

Moving Parts

Step One. It’s time to get all your moving parts in place.

  • Sign up to an email service. If you’re serious about email marketing, I’d go for ActiveCampaign or Mailer Lite.
  • Create a sign up page and a sign-up success page to redirect people to once they sign up (you’ll need this to measure the success of any paid traffic).
  • Create a lead magnet delivery page. Yes, you could just send the download via email, but driving traffic to a page allows you to measure how many people are actually reading your lead magnet. Plus, it’s great for building lookalike audiences for Facebook ads. These are your most engaged followers.
  • Set up an automated sequence of emails. Start small if you haven’t got time to write a ton of copy. Just the lead magnet delivery email will do for now. You can always add more emails to the sequence later.
  • Make sure your lead magnet and delivery email has a strong call to action. eg. Book a free call or join a Facebook group.

Organic Promotional Strategy

A lead magnet is ultimately designed to work hand-in-hand with paid traffic ads, but don’t underestimate the power of spreading the word organically on your main social media platforms.

  • Create an easy to understand promo visual that will work for your Instagram grid and Facebook. Square formats work for both.
  • Instagram stories work well for launching lead magnets. Create a multi-story post and pin to your highlights.
  • Create a longer video where you walk through the main points of the lead magnet and get it up on YouTube, with a call to action to download the ‘summary’.
  • Create a long pin for Pinterest.
  • Post it in groups where self promo is allowed.
  • Don’t be afraid to post a link to the delivery page on comment threads, if it’s genuinely helpful. You might miss the email sign-up stage, but if your info and call to action is strong enough, they will end up joining your audience eventually.
  • Look for ‘partners’ who run groups and are happy to share the link to your landing page for you.
  • Write a longer blog post, showcasing your lead magnet.
  • Create a ‘freebies’ section on your website so that casual visitors can easily find it.

Paid Traffic Strategy

This is where a lead magnet starts to pay for itself many times over. Before all things, get your Facebook pixel installed, so that it can start building up a picture of who visits your site whilst also logged into Facebook and Instagram.

  • You can then retarget casual visitors with an ad for your lead magnet, which drives them to your sign up page.
  • You can create lookalike audiences based on the activity of people who have visited your site.
  • As your list grows, your lookalike audiences will become more and more targeted. Over time, you can use your sign up success page as the base for building very warm lookalike audiences.
  • Having your ‘sign up success’ page means you can measure the exact cost per email address you acquire.
  • Lookalike audiences are the single best way to succeed at Facebook ads. Don’t be tempted to boost a post.

If you’d like to join an inspiring online community, you can find out more about Melissa’s online membership, The Marketing Fix, at

Get my DIY Your Website Ebook

+ get 20% off your first order

You don't have to settle for an average website.

Follow my 5 seriously actionable pro design tips to help you level up your website.

1 Comment

  1. Henk Werner

    Amazingly helpful post, Melissa. Thanks a ton!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *