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Why You Need a Lead Magnet

In a sea of ever-changing algorithms and scrolling newsfeeds, how do you capture real, meaningful attention?

You have a few options. Whether its social media marketing, email campaigns, or bolstering your SEO capabilities, there are certain tricks of the trade that will boost your overall marketing ROI and get long-term results.

While you can try your best to do everything, sometimes it helps to focus on one aspect of digital marketing and really give it your attention. It might seem daunting to do so, but if you want quality leads that help your business grow, then it might be worth investing some time.

The best way to do this? Develop lead magnets.

So, What Is A Lead Magnet Anyway?

Simply put, a lead magnet is an incentive which allows you to quickly and easily collect contact information. You provide some sort of valuable content to a user, and in exchange, they give their name and email address. Lead magnets are designed to be a give-and-take, which is why it is crucial to design something that actually provides a user with something valuable they would not find elsewhere.

Why do you need their email address? Email marketing, of course! The give and take of using a lead magnet establishes a relationship from the get-go. Also, rather than spending time nurturing leads that might not be as useful, the lead magnet identifies which users are truly interested in your brand or service. They would not have accepted your offer if it didn't apply to them. The content of the lead magnet becomes the jumping-off point from which you then have a chance to continue nurturing the lead.

The lead magnet incentive comes in many forms, and there is no "correct" way to do it. Some offer digital, downloadable content such as white papers, reports, or eBooks, while others give out checklists or generally useful information.

How Do You Create a Lead Magnet?

How do you get the process started? First, you must identify who it is that you actually want to sell to. There is no point in developing long-term content if you do not know who you are writing for. Identify your ideal buyer avatars or personas, and establish your current user base. What are their pain points? What problems are they are facing? What valuable content can you offer that can mitigate these issues, or provide more insight? Use this brainstorming as a starting point to determine what type of content you should develop. Remember, your lead magnet will be free to the lead, so it should be something that you can give away but would still be considered valuable to your customer base.

Do Lead Magnets Actually Work?

Yes, but there are some nuances to it that make it more successful. You have to work to make the content look good, drive value, and provide real insight. If you are able to accomplish this, you can use your lead magnet to grow your email marketing efforts and create focused and targeted advertising. Rather than using generic social media marketing strategies, an effective lead magnet helps you understand who your target audience is and learn more about them.

This helps you create better marketing strategies that actually address audience needs, and gives you better overall leads. Think of lead magnets as the first step in a long-term strategy to drive growth. By receiving the email addresses of users who actually want your content, you can deliver better results with your marketing – better open rates, more clicks, and more engagement. You can gather all the email lists you want, but what's the point if a majority will opt-out every time you send an email? Lead magnets allow you to incentivize your products, and receive valuable contact information from genuinely interested customers and prospects.

Case Studies

There are many different ways to approach lead magnets, and seeing how other companies are doing it can be extremely useful in building your own strategy.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Lead Magnet Example

Southwest Airlines is operating in an incredibly competitive market, and they know that. With customers being flooded with deals and offers, how do they stand out? Easy, by offering incentives in exchange for emails. Customers who opt-in to the offer above have a chance at winning some great prizes and are added to their Click 'N Save email list, where they receive special offers, discounts, and flash deals.

Southwest Airlines appeals to its customers by understanding the buyer personas and building their lead magnets and emails accordingly. It allows them to target the top of the funnel users early on, and capture their contact information in a simple way by giving them access to giveaways and deals in return.


Neutrogena Shade Quiz Lead Magnet

Neutrogena uses a mixture of personalization and popular trends to create some lead magnets that capture attention early on. Tapping into that fundamental part of users that desires unique, tailored advice for their situation can often be a challenge, but as Neutrogena shows, it is all about presentation.

By offering a quiz wherein users can learn about their skin type (and the products that might help!), Neutrogena demonstrates that they understand what experience the user is seeking with their products, and offers just that. They also choose to show the opt-in for email at the end of the quiz, rather than the beginning. This is a good way to establish trust and capture user attention early without seeming too eager and promotional from the start.

Neutrogena 15% Off Lead Magnet

There is another effective lead magnet that is used by Neutrogena – they offer 15% off in exchange for your email in a pop up throughout their website. This is another really effective way to gather email addresses for people while encouraging them to buy within a certain time frame. I mean, who doesn't want 15% off a product or service you were already thinking about buying?

Create Your Own Lead Magnet

Ultimately, lead magnets can be an incredibly useful tool for digital marketing, if executed correctly. Focus on building content that:

  • can really provide value
  • solves a real pain point for your customers
  • makes customers say, "Hmm, this looks interesting – tell me more"

By understanding the deeper ideas of what customers want, combined with some creative content development, you can develop lead magnets that help your email marketing grow in an organic way for optimal growth!

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