What is a Lead Magnet, and How Can it Make Your Business More Profitable?

A lead magnet is something that you give away for free to draw potential customers or clients into your sales funnel. There are some marketing techniques that are old and played out. But creating content that is helpful, educational or entertaining will never get old. A lead magnet is an example of a timeless marketing strategy that works. They are driven by psychology. 

What is a lead magnet and how do you use it to make your business more profitable? The answer is a bit more complicated than you might think. Let’s take a look and see how this marketing strategy can help you take your business to the next level.

What is a Lead Magnet?

If you just typed “what is a lead magnet” into Google, you might get a variety of answers. This is because a lead magnet can take many different forms. Simplified, lead magnets are incentives that inspire customers to engage with your brand, potentially being transformed into paying customers. 

A real life example of this would be a restaurant giving away free bread sticks. This would generate interest and get more customers in the door. While they may initially lose money on the bread sticks, they’ll more than make up for it with increased sales. This is why lead magnets are sometimes called “loss leaders.”

Lead Magnets offered by Content Journey:

  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Infographics
  • Customer Success Stories
  • Ultimate Guides
  • Workbooks
  • Gated Video Content
  • Webinars
  • Cheatsheets

What is a Loss Leader?

Lead magnets might seem kind of risky. You sometimes have to take a loss before you can start making a profit. While this may be true offline, things are a little different online. You see, once you create a lead magnet such as an ebook, checklist, or video series, you can give it away as many times as you want without any additional expenses. This makes the Internet the perfect platform for using lead magnets to gain more visitors and potential clients.

Why Do Lead Magnets Work So Well? 

Simple – it’s because of human psychology. People are wired to want to get something for nothing. Most would jump at the chance to get a freebie – no matter what it is. You can then leverage this hard wired human urge to get people to submit their email address in exchange for the freebie, allowing you to continue this valuable relationship.

When someone trusts you enough to give you their email address make sure you have earned it. Continue to provide valuable and helpful information. They will keep coming back to you as their source of truth.

Now that you know “what is a lead magnet,” let’s go over how to use them. There are many different types of lead magnets but the role they play in your marketing strategy is generally the same. Once you’ve mastered how to utilize lead magnets, your business will almost always see a dramatic increase in revenue flow.

What Role Does a Lead Magnet Play in Marketing Strategy?

Marketing is essentially just applied psychology. People are hard wired to behave in certain ways and once you understand how this works you can create surefire marketing strategies. That said, lead magnets are typically a part of a much larger marketing strategy, eventually resulting in some sort of sell.

Increase Sales and Drive Traffic 

Sales on the “back end” are sales that occur after your business has an initial interaction with a customer. In real life this tends to be after a customer makes an actual purchase and the business collects their contact information. Online it’s a little different. The lead magnet serves as the initial interaction and email marketing then becomes the back end.

The most popular way of doing this is to build a landing page of some sort. As traffic comes along, you offer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. Once you have a person’s email address you can then pitch offers to them as often as you want. This is a tried and true method of generating sales for many online businesses. Since these people have already expressed an interest in your services or products, reengaging them through email marketing reminds them to come back. 

Ultimately a lead magnet’s role in marketing strategy is exactly what its name implies: a magnet that draws in leads. This being the case, you want to make sure that your lead magnet is attracting the right demographic. For example, if your business is all about selling dog products you’d create a lead magnet that has to do specifically with dogs, not pets in general. 

As long as your lead magnet is targeted to your demographic, you should have no problems using it to bring hot leads into your sales funnel.

Why Should You Use a Lead Magnet on Your Website?

Whether you’re a freelancer performing a service of some kind, a brick-and-morter business, or in the business of selling products online, you want to have a lead magnet on your website. Why? The answer is simple: If you don’t have a lead magnet on your website you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Think about it this way, if you have a business website set up and ready to make sales there will always be more visitors who leave the site rather than take action. Those potential leads will be gone for good. However, if you have a lead magnet, a certain percentage of those who intend to leave will get your lead magnet first, allowing you to collect their contact info and market to them again.

Basically a lead magnet allows you to capture a larger percentage of the traffic to your website and monetize it. And let’s face it, monetizing your traffic is the entire point of having a business website in the first place. The more leads you get, the more money you make, simple as that.

How Do You Get Your Own Lead Magnet?

How you go about creating a lead magnet depends on the type of lead magnet you want to create. In some cases it can be as easy as writing a short guide that shows readers how to do something both relevant to their interests and your business. Chopping up a video course or interview you’ve created is an alternative option.

You May Already Have A Lead Magnet

Before you create a lead magnet from scratch you should think about whether or not you already have something that can be repurposed. Getting creative with this can help you save the time and money that would be spent creating a lead magnet from scratch. 

Creating a Lead Magnet

Probably the easiest way to create a lead magnet is to get someone else to do it for you. Here at Content Journey we offer lead magnets with all of our content plans. We know how important lead magnets are to drive engagement. Combined with our strategic content planning and research, our lead magnets have consistently gotten great results for our clients.

Alternately, you could just make the lead magnet yourself if you feel you have the skills to do so. Writing a short ebook or report is relatively simple. If you are familiar with the topic that you’re writing about and have decent writing skills, that’s really all you need to get started. If you are uncomfortable writing, you could record a video series or create a presentation.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your lead magnet offers value to your demographic. The more perceived value your lead magnet has, the more people will take the time to actually sign up to get it. I used to worry about offering information that was too helpful. My thinking was that if I told someone else how to do X then they wouldn’t hire me.

That type of thinking was wrong and I am glad I learned my lesson. By teaching and showcasing my expertise I am showing my audience that they can trust me to build it for them. AND if some choose to do it on their own I hope my guidance helps them be successful.

And remember, stand out from the crowd by offering your potential leads something that will truly make a difference in their lives. Don’t hold back and give them the GOLD.

By teaching and showcasing my expertise I am showing my audience that they can trust me to build it for them.

eBook example of lead magnet from Content Journey

Lead Magnet Examples

Now that you have a good idea of what a lead magnet is, how to make one, and how they can make your business more profitable, let’s take a look at some examples. Remember that you can always put your own unique twist on these examples. You could even combine different types into one unique offering. A lead magnet should never overshadow what you’re selling, however. Let’s take a look at some lead magnet examples.


The most common type of lead magnet online is the ebook. An ebook is simply a publication that has been made available for digital download.This option is super easy to create and distribute. They’re also a great choice because an ebook presents information in an easy to consume manner for your leads. This is why ebooks in the form of guides and tutorials are so popular.

It is important to ensure your ebook looks professional. Formatting, grammar, and spelling are crucial to creating a polished look. If your ebook looks unfinished, it will reflect poorly on your business and you’ll lose credibility.

It should also be mentioned that ebooks are oftentimes viewed as “cheap.” This is because they are so prevalent online as lead magnets. One way to overcome this is to name your ebook something else. Many ebooks are published in the form of cheat sheets or step-by-step tutorials. 

Ebooks have an important strength – the ebook itself as a marketing device. By putting your contact info in the header or footer if you’re a service based business, and/or having a section at the end of the book that makes a pitch and prompts the reader to take action. If you’re selling physical products you can have an ad at the end of the book as well. Ebooks are extremely versatile so there are tons of ways to use them to make sales.

Video Packages

Videos can be more complicated to make than an eBook in some ways. However, they carry a few very notable advantages. The first is the fact that a video automatically has a higher perceived value than an eBook for some type of visitors. This can lead to higher conversions.

At Content Journey, we encourage providing multiple types of lead magnets to target different types of learners.

Another great thing about video packages is the fact that you can offer the first video in a series for free to get people hooked. Once you’ve engaged them this way, you can then offer access to the rest for a fee. You could also offer the entire series for free over the course of several weeks. This strategy allows you to engage with the viewer during the duration of the series.

The type of video that you make is up to you. If you want to have a “face” for your brand, then you can be the star of the video, have an employee do it, or hire an actor to play the role. In any case this is really good for branding.

Another option is whiteboard video. These are great for instructional content or slide shows. Both are extremely simple and cost effective to produce. The video format that you choose should be based on both the needs of your business and of your demographic. You want a video that makes your business look professional while performing its function to deliver information in an easy to understand manner.

If you’re wondering how you can make it so that only people who sign up to your email list can see your video, the answer is simple: use an email gate. Some video hosting services, such as Vimeo, have this built in and make it so that a person must enter their email before watching the video. Other services, like Optinmonster offer a variety of additional options such as the ability to segment leads, link directly to your autoresponder, and make it so that leads who have already filled out the form won’t have to do so again.


Even more simplistic than an eBook is a checklist. This lead magnet is basically just a way to help leads get organized or complete a series of steps to perform a task. While this may seem cheap or low effort, the key here is to make the checklist genuinely valuable to your leads.

If your business is all about teaching people how to shoot videos, creating a checklist that walks them step-by-step through the essentials of creating a video series is an option. This would be useful to readers even though the information would be minimal.

Once again, formatting is important when creating a checklist. Offering aesthetically pleasing content is crucial. By ensuring that the lead magnet is useful, on brand, and beautiful your business ensures that clients are impressed by your services.


Infographics are one of the easiest lead magnets to create. The downside is that it can be challenging to present them in a way that showcases their value.

You’re going to have to get creative with how you present an infographic. Successful infographic lead magnets contain information that is important to your readers. This simplistic version of a lead magnet is not your best option. However, if you’re uncomfortable with the above options, this is a good way to get started. 

How to Present Your Lead Magnet

How you choose to present your lead magnet on your website matters. There are many different options: 

  • Sign up form in the sidebar 
  • Appear as a pop up
  • Dedicated site page 
  • Content upgrade in a post

All of these are excellent strategies to offer your lead magnet to site visitors. Deciding which way to offer your lead magnet is a strategic decision. You need to know how your customers consume your content as well as which is most likely to get their attention.

There are several WordPress examples of implementing lead magnets. Two we use at Content Journey are Popup Ally and OptinMonster. Depending on the goals of your lead magnet we might use either of these or both on your site. Our goal is for you to get the most of of your lead magnet, so if these tools don’t work for you we will work until we find the right solution for your site.

Following Up a Successful Lead Magnet

Getting leads with a targeted lead magnet is just the first step. What you do after you get those leads is just as important. Instead of bombarding your email list with endless offers, a better strategy is to take your subscribers on a content journey. This will increase their loyalty to your brand, and make them more likely to pull out their wallets when the time comes.

Here at Content Journey, we specialize in helping people like you to grow your business through organic traffic conversions. 

We do this by providing ultra-targeted lead magnets to build your mailing list, creating well-researched and engaging content that keeps your subscribers interested and ready to do business. If you need a helping hand with content marketing, check out our plans and then book a call

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