What is a Lead Magnet?
Let’s quickly dip into the basics.
Lead magnet consumers are leads (aka people) who come onto your email list from consuming information you’re putting out there in the world.
A lead magnet is a literal magnet for those leads. And if you’re offering a great lead magnet, they are going to be HOT ONES.
A lead magnet is a way of delivering value, positioning yourself as an expert, and building some all important trust.
The hope is that they consume your lead magnet > they get to know you > they get to like you.
There are so many different types of lead magnets...
PDF cheatsheets, checklists or infographics, reports, ebooks, whitepapers. Video downloads or a video series, An email series, how about a challenge? Webinars (live and replays), tutorials, templates, workbooks, worksheets…. Quizzes/surveys, toolkits, spreadsheets, a free book, a free book sample, share a case study, give away a consultation or a free trial. Offer a coupon, a competition, a giveaway or free shipping on physical products, share a calculator or generator… the list goes on.
Lead Magnets shortcut attention - and I want to share another one of our blogs which covers the psychology behind lead magnets. Take a read of this: The psychology behind high performing lead magnets
A lead magnet is a way of asking permission to arrive in their inbox, and you should deliver your lead magnet via email.
In this blog, I’m not just going to show you how to do it well, but also how not to do it…
Let’s get straight into an example of a great lead magnet email sequence
I signed up for a lead magnet which which ticked all the boxes.
Puppies. Puppy training. It’s hard and all puppy owners need some advice. I allowed myself to reminisce back to when my lovely Dusty was a pup, and to think about the problems I was having back then - the problems which needed solving.
I searched ‘puppy advice’ on google and Purina showed up as a paid ad.
The meta description on the link is very appealing and is already hitting my pain point; “Take the worry out of puppy parenting” I think that hits the nail on the head of being one of the top pains new puppy owners have! It’s clear that Purina knows who they’re talking to and what they’re feeling right now.
I clicked on that ad and went to the page - here’s the link. I’m going to annotate my screenshots so it’s nice and clear what made this first email of a Lead Magnet email series a great example.
But first, the sign-up page for this lead magnet;
So here is me coming in as a total stranger, with no prior experience or knowledge of Purina. Now I don’t currently have a puppy, but in my mind, I took myself back to when I did. Here’s what i noticed:
- In the copy to encourage me to sign up, They talk directly to my pain point. The line ‘Sign up to Growing Pup and take the worry out of puppy parenting’ speaks to me - worrying IS a problem for me, and i want to be a good puppy parent. They get me.
- My interest was attracted, they are talking me at the right point in my journey of having a puppy
- They know about the solution to my problem.
- I don’t feel like a stranger to Purina, they feel friendly and down to earth. They use a helpful tone, it feels like they want to make my life better! And they make it personal and human by including a ‘meet the team’ pic.
- They show personality - there was a quirk in there, I like that.
- They make it super clear what I can expect from this lead magnet email series.
- Trust is already built - i feel like they are experts.
- They include eye catching and cute images which I can relate to.
- The title of the lead magnet email series‘Growing Pup’ is great.
So they’ll be sending weekly advice via email. Grand!
A lead magnet gives you permission to communicate with your lead, permission to land in their inbox and you need to earn that position by giving them what they need right now. Tick and tick for Purina.
Onwards to the sign up form. Here’s what it looks like:
This is a fab form. Simple, yet they’re asking for a fair bit of info. And I feel happy to give it.
A couple of points I want to raise here before we get started on actual the lead magnet email series:
- By them asking for my name (and my dog’s name) enables them to personalise the content they’re going to send through in the emails
- The copy they’ve included before the parts of the form for the dogs info feels like a nice gentle way of requesting the detail. I feel like it’s going to be useful for me if they tailor what advice I receive. I don’t think twice about giving it.
After I submitted the form, it was set up for me as to what to expect next. Nice. they're very clear and I like it!
So onward now to the Lead magnet itself
Here’s The start of the email series. I receive an email from Purina
The first of these two emails - one delivered immediately after I completed my registration, and the second was delivered two days later. I want to look in depth at the second of those emails - which was ‘Chapter 1’ - whereas the email #1 was a bit of an intro and setting up what I was going to be receiving.
A quick rundown of email 1:
- They did more setting up what I’m in for - nice. Reiterated that it’s a weekly email series, and what those emails will contain: “we’ve compiled some expert tips and tricks around nutrition, training, socialisation, grooming, and more.”
- They offer a “free video consultation with FirstVet” as a thank you for joining - that’s great value-add.
- They talk more about who the ‘pet care team’ are made up of
- They give direct links to get in touch via email, post or phone
- They mention Purina pro-plan. Dog food is the product Purina sell, so I’m not surprised there’s a short mention of it. They do this in a sensitive way - ie. not right at the start of the email, and not telling me too much too soon. There’s a button to ‘find out more’ but it doesn’t come across as ‘salesy’.
And here’s what email 2 looked like:
- There was further setting up of my expectations - I know that this is a series of emails which will help me with different specific issues. I really recommend you do this if you’re creating an email series. Slitting into ‘chapters’ is a handy thing.
- The email has a sweet little logo .gif at the top - that little dog is walking across the words ‘Growing Pup’ which added some lightness, whilst feeling well-designed and professional.
- The entire email uses high-quality, large-size eye catching images which i can relate to and stir up emotion in me - those dogs are CUTE!
- Purina is making use of that personalisation by including my first name, and my dog’s name too. Did you notice that they used this in the subject line of email #1 to?
- The tone is friendly and human - I feel like I’m being spoken to by a real person, not a big (massive!) organisation which Purina is.
- Toilet training is the big problem I’d be facing with my puppy right now. I want to toilet train my puppy as quickly and as well as I can. It’s hit my awareness levels - Purina knows that I will have a little bit of knowledge about toilet training - I know it’s important, I know my puppy needs it (and that my house needs my puppy to be toilet trained!)
- The content is giving me clear, concise and straight-forward advice. This is what I’m here for, and they’re doing it successfully!
- The email is attractive and clear layout throughout, with on-brand colours.
- The advice is not only clear and not waffling on, but I can action on some of it immediately - and I feel motivated to do so.
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Onward to a part of the email which contains some more detailed advice:
- I feel like this email is super easy to consume, and it also offers up extra info if i want to continue my learning. Including links to further content is a great way to get your leads to visit your website and build trust even further as they’ll hopefully see that you’re a real expert and trusted voice in your industry.
- They’re making further use of the personalisation they asked me in their sign up form. This allows them to give real tailored advice for my puppy’s age of 8 weeks.
- They’re letting me know the possible future pain-points I’m going to have (some I may not have thought of yet) and my feeling is that I need to keep on consuming this lead magnet email series because I will need their further advice.
The email then goes on to talk about feeding, but first - they make it really clear how to make contact. Again, this makes me feel close to the company - they’re only an email away.
The email shares some more in depth info about feeding - if i want to consume it. This link - ‘watch now’ is to a video which mentions their product. I like that they don’t talk directly about their pet food in the email - after all, i’m not at the stage of wanting to find out about that yet, I want what I signed up for - puppy advice.
It isn’t appropriate to talk directly about products in this stage of my lead magnet consumption - so props to Purina for not including sales in the lead magnet - just a little nod to it.
I like that they’re preparing me for the next email in this lead magnet email sequence. I will be looking out for it in my inbox - and you can probably imagine that if they continue to use my name / my dog’s name, it’s going to really attract my attention in a full inbox.
So that’s your rundown of the first email in this lead magnet email sequence.
A simple lead magnet for puppy owners. The info is not in-depth, but it is straight-forward and useful. I can contact the team if I have questions, and I feel like there’s a lot more useful info to come in the email series.
The next emails in the series followed the same format and content blocks as email 1, and more direct calls to action to look at their pet food products only started coming into play from email 6 onwards - nice job Purina!
I’d like to show you another example now, and this is more an example of how NOT to do it!
Example of a not so great lead magnet email sequence
Olaplex is a hair-strengthening product. It’s kind of magic. I wanted to see if they had any lead magnets on their website, and if they did, how magic are they? Here’s what I found…
A quiz! Nice!
Quizzes are excellent for lead generation. You’re getting your audience to self-segment themselves, and depending on how in-depth your quiz is, it’s a shortcut to finding out quite a lot about their habits, needs and desires.
Here’s the Olaplex ‘Hair Diagnostic’ landing page
Notice that there are no images here - I do quite like that as it makes the page sleek and focussed. Some imagery might make this page feel a bit less clinical… but I think it’s likely that ‘clinical’ is part of the Olaplex Brand.
I entered my email address and I’m then asked three questions, one page after the other.
Nice sleek, clinical pages there. The pages have a lot of clarity and the simple layout keeps me focussed on answering the questions. with nothing there to distract me. I also like the quiz is just 3 questions and I think that’s enough for Olaplex to gather some good info on what I need.
Onto the result…
The next page after I click on ‘view results’ is a sales page for the suggested product which would fix my hair woes.
Here it is:
The ‘What’s included’ part of the page suggests all 9 products within the kit to me. From my screenshot, you can see the ‘step 1’ product, which is product information, it spells out what this product does specifically, along with a pro tip and pricing info. That’s all good and well, and if I was interested, I would have a look through the different products here and get the info I wanted and this would encourage me to make a purchase.
On the left we have some bespoke info for me - the text pulls in what I said my hair issues are - the three answers I gave are referenced to here (my top concern, my hair texture and the types of damage applicable to my hair) this is great, and they are backing up why the products picked out on the right are for me.
But! I would like a bit more information here, personalised for me.
Here’s 2 ideas:
- Having more personalised copy which talks about my hair issues specifically, actually referring back to the types of hair damage and pulling out some more of the pain points of that issue.
- Retitling this section so instead of ‘about the kit’, what about ‘about your hair’ as the title... That would immediately make me feel less sold to, and more like I’m receiving a true hair diagnostic quiz.
My problem with this page (sorry Olaplex!) is that it’s just not very aspirational. It’s all the info on their products with not much aspiration, and having lovely hair is an aspirational thing, right? Copy which talks about my pain points and leads me towards the solution would be aspirational, and images would work well here too - where are the happy people with lovely hair?
Onto what I received in my inbox from Olaplex...
It looks good! They acknowledge that yes, I do want better hair days, woop! And it’s a nice clear subject line which urges me to read it. Top marks!
But here’s where it falls very short… Take a look at this:
Olaplex are in my inbox, I’m opening their email up, it’s a real opportunity at the very start of my relationship with the brand, and BAM - BORINGGGGG.
There ain’t nothing sexy about this email. Here’s why it’s a dud in my eyes:
They never asked for my name, so there ain’t no personalisation, just ‘Hi there’ THIS IS A MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
The email is very very short. It’s kind of pointless. There’s no roundup of my hair woes (aside from relaying my answers to the three questions) and there’s no information on what I might need to fix my hair woes. What I’d like to see in this email is a lovely image of the kit suggested to me too… something to entice me to purchase. It’s worth noting that the automation behind that would be quite slick, but still - entirety possible!
But most importantly…
There’s zero excitement. I feel like the line “We can’t wait to see your #besthairdays” is a little fake as this friendly, aspirational tone is new to me! Give over Olaplex!
You want to know the worst thing?
I haven’t heard from them since. No follow-up. Nada.
They’re really missing a trick here. They have specific info about my hair - they know what I need - that info is gold dust! Hey Olaplex, how about a lead magnet email sequence which not only delivers my ‘hair diagnostic’ in email 1, but goes on to emails 2, 3, 4 with some personalised recommendation for my hare care, and weaves in the right products for me. They could talk about the whole kit they recommended to me, but also the singular products - a nice mix of education and sales.
You know where we are if you need us Olaplex!
Here are my top takeaways for creating a successful lead magnet email sequence:
- Don’t sell yourself straight away. Your lead signs up to get the info you’re sharing - not to get a sales pitch from you. It’s ok to gently mention your services/product, but be sure to do it sensitively.
- If you’re delivering an email series lead magnet, making expectations clear is important. Telling them what they’ve already covered, and what’s coming next encourages a ‘curriculum’ feel - you want them to consume all parts in your lead magnet email series, not to dip in and out, so keep them keen by dangling what’s next!
- If you’re creating a lead magnet which isn’t an email series, is it then silence from you? You need to think of the follow-up - the classic mistake not to have any. Put yourself in the shoes of the lead and what would be useful to them afterwards.
- Pay attention to formatting and design. Make your lead magnets enjoyable to consume, with nicely spaced content, use of images and graphics, no big walls of text. Remember to make it consumable to scan-readers.
- A lead magnet needs to add value to the consumer’s life. It needs to help solve a real problem the prospects might have. Give them something great.
- A great lead magnet has personality
- When creating a lead magnet, think of what the ‘quick win’ could be that people can get from consuming it. What small action can you encourage them to take right now?
- Make your lead magnets specific - drill down into a niche topic. In this case, it’s not just general puppy training, each week focuses on a different puppy-training topic (and there are links to ancillary content which will enhance my learning, if i want it)
- Make your lead magnet instantly accessible - don’t make them wait for it.
Those things all make for an excellent lead magnet.
If you want to enhance your learning around lead magnets, Join the Marketing Automation Academy
We’d love you to drill down on the detail with us. We have a whole module on lead magnets, live training, email templates and worksheets too. Our members are getting a lot of value out of it and you could too!
Your lead magnet needs to:
- Be great. If it’s not, those possible leads are going to think you’re pants.
- Solve a problem, not just promote yourself heavily.
Onwards to delivering excellent lead magnets! Just leave a comment if you have any questions.