E-CommerceMailing List & Subscribers

How to Find the Best Lead Magnets to Boost Your Email Marketing Sign-ups


It all begins with an email address. You can have the best, most engaging copy, fantastic design, but without a list of subscribers, you cannot start growing your email marketing channel. There are many tips and suggestions on increasing and maintaining your mailing list. However, lead magnets are most usually named the best option for boosting the opt-in capture.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet represents something that businesses can offer in exchange for an email address, a sign-up. Lead magnets are nothing new; they’ve been used by marketers for many years now. They have been proven to be a really successful tactic in capturing email addresses (with marketing consent!). 

Here are some examples of popular lead magnets: whitepapers and reports, various free courses and training, checklists or templates, webinars, discounts, free assessments, or gift cards. The list could go on and on.

Usually, you’ll find recommendations for lead magnets to be relevant to your business, your industry. That said, quite often, company swag can sway people to part with their email address information. Who wouldn’t want another super-cute mug or a custom T-shirt, right?

What Makes a Lead Magnet Great

So, what are great lead magnets? First, ask yourself why you want to use a lead magnet. And the answer should be related to generating subscribers and growing your mailing list. Eventually, your end goal should be aiming to convert these subscribers to paying customers. From a business perspective, if your lead magnets are doing their job and getting you new opt-ins, then you’re doing great.

When deciding on a lead magnet, you should always look at them from your customers’ perspective. What would be a great lead magnet to them, and what would be, well, pretty average? Your customers would prefer lead magnets that are relevant, valuable, interesting, or even unique.

How Do You Decide On the Best Lead Magnet?

The best advice we can give you is to do your research. Know the audience you are targeting. Try to answer questions like these to narrow down the lead magnet path:

  • What do they want and like?
  • What do they hate?
  • What problems are they facing, and what solutions are they looking for?
  • What makes them happy? What could make them smile?
  • Where do they spend their money?

Your data and analytics can help you answer many of these questions. Check your sales data and marketing dashboards – what products are your customers purchasing, the volumes and frequencies. Also, analyse the reviews and feedback you receive, questions you get asked. They can give you great insights into the audience you’re trying to build a lead magnet for.

Presentation Matters

Presentation matters. Here’s a fun fact – according to Hallmark research, Americans spend more than $3.2 billion a year on gift wrapping. Presentation, or gift-wrapping, in this example, can make the gifts more satisfactory. But what about digital? 

Presentation still matters. The landing page, the design, the layout, the colours and the images, content and the tone of voice, the call-to-action – all that is your lead magnet “gift-wrapping”. Now, imagine the poorly wrapped lead magnet – with typos, stock images that you’ve seen on multiple websites before. A button that is hard to click on, a page that is not mobile responsive. A super lengthy form that fails to submit for the person to get that lead magnet. Poor presentation will reduce your chances of getting the best possible results from your lead magnet.

Evaluate the Cost of Your Lead Magnets

Don’t forget to evaluate the cost of your lead magnet. For your potential subscriber, the lead magnet should not be something they have to pay for. But from the business perspective, in many cases, lead magnets usually come with a cost. So make sure you take that into account.

The cost of the lead magnets can vary significantly. Evaluate the time investment you need to do for lead magnet research, the spend on build and distribution, whether that’s in-house or outsourced to an agency. Add these costs to your total customer acquisition cost and evaluate what amount you should / should not spend on a lead magnet.

The 4-Step Process 

After you’ve decided on your greatest lead magnet, there are basically 4 steps you need to take:

  1. Prepare the setting: identify and build the customer journeys your potential subscribers will take to get to the lead magnet. Get the lading page in top shape to guide the visitor to your lead magnet.
  2. Finalise your lead magnet: your lead magnet is that “lure” that will eventually get you the increase in subscribers. Make sure it’s ready, working and is error-free!
  3. Thank the subscribers: make sure your web form displays a nice thank you message post form submission. You should also build an automated welcome email that is timely and relevant.
  4. Follow up: this is the part where your marketing and sales funnels kick in. For all who opt-in with marketing consent, now is the time to start your lead nurture funnels and workflows!

Add Lead Magnets to Your Subscriber Acquisition Tactics

When planned well and used correctly, lead magnets can bring outstanding results. We all understand email marketing importance, and lead magnets can definitely help you grow your email channel. And if one of your lead magnets doesn’t work, test different ones and see what works best for your audience. As W. E. Hickson said: “Tis a lesson you should heed: try, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again“.