7 Qualities of a Successful Lead Magnet


Whether you’re a blogger, online business owner, or internet marketer, you’re probably aware of the importance of an email list. Your website is the most potent internet marketing tool for your brand, with the goal to have as many people visit as often as possible to read your content and examine your product or service. Without an email list strategy to track those leads, you’re no better than fumbling in the dark.

But you also know that asking visitors to subscribe to your blog just so they could receive the latest updates doesn’t work anymore. If you’re serious about modern-day lead generation, then the best way to entice people to sign up is with an attractive lead magnet.

Basically, a lead magnet is a valuable piece of information, product or service given in exchange for an email address. In other words, it’s just another term for opt-in freebie.

As simple as that sounds, do it wrong and your email list will refuse to grow from three subscribers.

So what’s going to make the cut?

After analyzing several different lead magnets, I’ve gathered the seven vital qualities that should define your opt-in freebie.


It should be easy to consume

You probably aren’t the only website your visitors have signed up to, nor is yours the only freebie they’ve opted in for. Your lead magnet must stand out among all the others if you aim to keep the people who just signed up.

The easiest way to achieve this is with a gift that’s easy to consume yet packs a punch. Not a 50-page eBook. Most email subscribers are usually looking for crisp, actionable content that’s easy to remember and put in to use.

Communication stylist Nikki Ellege Brown does it with her freebie, The Conversational Copy Cheat Sheet. It’s simple and tiny at only two pages and full of actionable tips on writing copy that converts.


Blogging expert Sue Ann Dunlevie of Successful Blogging gives readers a 2-page cheat sheet called The 5 Step Blueprint To Your First $1K upon signing up. Packed with helpful tips on how to earn more with your blog, it’s a breeze to read and easy to put into use.



It should provide a quick-win

Your audience doesn’t want page after page of content that leads to nowhere. They are already overloaded with information. Writing twenty pages of theory that doesn’t outline a process or tell them how to achieve something is a recipe for failure.

Your lead magnet should list the steps or provide details on how to get something done. Take a cue from Neil Patel’s lead magnet, The 4-Point SEO Cheat Sheet for Stunning Content Marketing. It’s detailed and precise and simplifies SEO for those who want to increase traffic to their site.



It should be for a specific audience

Your lead magnet cannot (and should not) be for everybody. When you have a specific audience for your opt-in freebie, not only does it become easier to create your lead magnet but it also brings in the right people to your website.

When you try to create a lead magnet that aims to help everybody out there in a bid to bring in more subscribers, you run the risk of ending up with a product that is of no value and also attract subscribers who do nothing for your brand or business.

Jeff Goins, writer, idea guy, and difference-maker at Goins, Writer, guides, motivates, and encourages both new and established writers to take their career to the next level. Whether you’re a writer, a blogger, or an author, his books and courses are all aimed at helping you make a thriving career out of writing. Some of his lead magnets include free chapters of his books and free courses.



It should provide solutions

The most effective way of creating a lead magnet that provides solutions to problems is to ask your audience what issues they need help with.

There are two easy ways you could know what your audience’s pain points are:

  • Discovery email: Adding discovery emails to your marketing campaign helps you find out more about your audience. The simplest way to do this is by asking them to reply to your email and tell you what you can help them with.
  • Facebook poll: If you have a Facebook page for your blog or business, run a poll and ask your audience what they need help with at the moment.

When you want to establish your expertise quickly with your lead magnet, a step-by-step PDF guide is the way to go. A guide is perceived to have more value than just an eBook, and by providing solutions, you can ensure a long list of happy subscribers.

See how blogger and SEO expert Michael Pozdnev of I Wanna Be A Blogger does it with his lead magnet, 101 SEO Tips and Tricks. It’s a complete guide to optimizing your blog and content for more traffic, and comes as a life saver for those who are still finding their way around SEO.



It should deal with ONE issue

Your audience can well have more than one issue, and it can be tempting to answer all of them in a single lead magnet so that everyone is benefitted.

No. Never do that.

Aside from having a specific target audience for your lead magnet, it is also important that you choose just one issue or idea to talk about. It’s okay to have five different freebies for five different ideas, but never make the mistake of cramming all ideas into one. Not only will you make the product too lengthy, but also drift off the point by trying to kill more than one bird with a single stone.


It should be linked to your brand

Your lead magnet should be at the top of your sales funnel and link to a paid offering instead of being a disjunct item. Even if you don’t have a paid offering to link it to, you must make sure the lead magnet matches your brand voice.

Sue of Successful Blogging links her cheat sheet, The 5 Step Blueprint to Your First $1K, to her online workshop that teaches bloggers how to build a profitable blogging strategy and earn more with minimal effort. She also matches the colours used in the lead magnet to her brand colours—red and blue.



It should have a dedicated landing page

Your landing page is where you got to describe your lead magnet and then entice people to grab it with an effective call to action. If you don’t have a landing page for your lead magnet, there’s little scope for you to make your audience curious about your offering.

You don’t need Leadpages or Convertkit to design a landing page. A simple page on your blog will do just fine. Include the following on the page:

  1. Headline – Point out your readers’ issue
  2. Hook – Add to their curiosity
  3. What your lead magnet promises
  4. What your audience should do next
  5. Image of your lead magnet
  6. Sign up form (or link to form)

Your landing page should be free from all kinds of distractions like the sidebar, pop-ups, and ads. Whether you keep it simple or design something eye-catching, make sure it manages to grab your audience’s attention.

So there you have it. These seven features form the framework of your lead magnet. You can always add your own creativity to make it even better.

It’s never too late to create an email list strategy or rehash the existing one. Considering how important collecting your audience’s contact information is to your business, if your lead magnet has been sitting there without showing results, it’s time you either tweaked it or came up with something new. Combine these seven points to create a successful lead magnet that builds value proposition and inspires your audience to take action.


Your turn. Any question? Comment? Leave them in the comment section below!

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6 thoughts on “7 Qualities of a Successful Lead Magnet

  1. ayodeji awosika says:

    Hey Cynthia,

    Great piece! Lead magnets are worth ten times the amount of effort they require to make. A trick that worked well for me is combining a lead magnet into my post as a content upgrade. I haven’t been doing that enough lately, so I will get back to it.

  2. Emenike Emmanuel says:

    Hi Cynthia,

    You have a great post here. Positioning of lead magnet on the blog is very important. There’s something I learnt from Neil Patel and a few other internet marketers – they convert every single long form post to a PDF report and exchange them for their readers email. I think that will make a change.

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