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How to Make a Successful Lead Magnet Funnel That Generates Subscribers

How to Make a Successful Lead Magnet Funnel That Generates Subscribers

Driving traffic to your website is one thing; converting that traffic into leads and customers is a whole different ball game.

You will come across websites with tons of traffic, but the owners barely make any meaningful sales. Why? Well, one of the key reasons is the lack of a proper lead generation strategy. That’s a familiar problem to most marketers.

marketer biggest challenge survey results


In this article, you will learn how to create lead magnet funnels that convert. I will show you how these funnels work and how to create one for your business. Let’s get started.

What Is A Lead Magnet, And How Does It Work?

A lead magnet is something of value that you give to prospects in exchange for their contact details. Lead magnets are used in virtually all industries. An eCommerce business, for instance, could give website visitors a free item. All they have to do to claim the item is fill a contact form. 

When prospects fill a form to claim a freebie, they also consent to receive promotional emails from you. That means you can set up email sequences to warm them up, nurture them through the customer journey, and then make your pitch.

As you can see, the idea behind a lead magnet funnel is simple and effective. So let’s get practical and see how you can build a powerful lead magnet funnel for your business.

How To Create A Lead Magnet Funnel For The First Time

There are two main things to keep in mind when creating a lead magnet funnel. One, it needs to be valuable to your target audience. Two, it should be related to the services your business provides. In other words, the best funnel culminates in a win-win situation.

Here are ten actionable tips on how to create such a funnel:

1. Create Targeted Lead Magnets

As I pointed out earlier, people like free stuff. So when you run a paid ad on some generic item, there’s a high chance that lots of people will sign up to get the freebie. 

But a great lead magnet is not supposed to attract “lots of leads.” That’s not good enough. It should bring “lots of qualified leads.” Qualified leads are people who might buy your products in the future. 

So how do you attract qualified leads?

You need to research your target audience. Find out what makes your prospects tick, their interests, pain points, etc., then build a magnet around this data.

Consider this example from the Search Engine Journal. From the title, it’s clear that they are targeting SEO beginners. People signing up through this page will go through a funnel that is specifically tailored for beginners.

seo for beginners an introduction to seo basics ebook lead magnet example


It’s a straightforward lead magnet funnel.

This unified communications quiz from Nextiva is a bit more complex. They share their content upgrade with people who complete the quiz. It’s a nice way of segmenting an audience before delivering an offer.

unified communications quiz from Nextiva

That segmentation comes in handy as it means Nextiva can send more relevant marketing content to people who accessed the free resource.

In summary, build a buyer’s persona and use the data to create a relevant lead magnet. The magnet should solve a product or service-related problem your target audience is struggling with. 

2. Addresses An Immediate Issue

The best lead magnet funnels solve an immediate problem. Again, you’ll need extensive research to know what issues your potential customers are going through. Then find a way to create a magnet that addresses the issue.

Let’s say you have a digital marketing agency and you want to attract more leads in the affiliate marketing niche. What’s one of the biggest problems that affiliate website owners struggle with? Keeping up with Google core updates and ranking their websites. Therefore, you can set up a webinar discussing something like “2021 google ranking trends affiliate marketers need to know.”

The webinar addresses an existing problem and attracts a targeted audience. 

Brian Dean of Backlinko has a similar funnel. He shares a guide instead of a webinar to get subscribers:

Backlinko guide as lead magnet


The magnet is perfect for his niche. It addresses an issue that his target audience relates to and gives him leads to whom he can market his services down the road.

3. Use Different Lead Magnets For Different Funnel Stages

Very few website visitors convert during their first trip to a website. It normally takes multiple interactions before a prospect can become a customer.

number of website visits prior to checkout bar chart


Your website will always have first-time visitors who are typically at the top of the sales funnel and return visitors who might be towards the bottom of the funnel. If you want your funnel to produce the best results, target both sets of prospects with separate lead magnets. 

Leads at the top of the funnel are usually not ready to make a purchase. You can offer something warmer and educational, like a checklist or a guide.

Leads at the bottom of the funnel are usually ready to make a purchase. So you don’t want to waste any more time taking them through lengthy guides and whatnot. Give them a free trial or consultation to speed up the conversion.

4. Give A Sneak Peek Of Your Content

Consumers are generally reluctant to share their contact details online. So your lead magnet could be enticing, but some prospects will hesitate to sign up. That’s especially true if they are not convinced about the value proposition.

To avoid this, make sure the prospects are aware of the full value of your freebie. What better way to do that than through a quick sneak peek?

So if your lead magnet is an eBook, give a clear description of what it contains and how it solves your prospect’s problem. 

ebook lead magnet example successfully generate leads with facebook ads


If you’re a SaaS company offering a free trial, lay out the powerful features it comes with. If you’re using a webinar, provide a detailed description, or a sneak peek footage of the conversation. 

5. Make Use Of Your Most Successful Content

Sometimes building a lead magnet is as simple as repurposing your most successful content. If you’re in that position, tap yourself on the back.

All you have to do is repurpose the content into a downloadable eBook, cheat sheet, etc. Then build the perfect form to attract subscribers.

You can use the same approach with virtually any piece of content. You can take the most successful testimonial from one of your loyal customers and build a case study around it. Then use the case study as your magnet.

Do you have a random webinar that blew up out of nowhere? Good, put it behind a form and let it generate leads for you. 

6. Use Content Upgrades As Lead Magnets Within Content

If you don’t want to repurpose your precious best-performing content, consider creating a content upgrade.

Let’s say you have a weight loss blog and your best performing article is on a general topic like “what is the keto diet.” Instead of repurposing this blog post, create an extra piece of content that builds upon it. You could, for instance, create a 7-day keto diet meal plan or even a 30-day meal plan. Then display this meal plan somewhere on the Keto diet article.

The content upgrade will ride on the success of your best-performing article to give you more leads. SmartBlogger uses a similar approach:

Content Upgrades As Lead Magnets example


The free training is included in an article discussing how to make money blogging. Therefore, people who land on that page are probably interested in learning about the most profitable niches as well.

The article is also ranking number two on the SERPs, so it’s definitely generating a lot of traffic.

7. Don’t Limit Yourself To eBooks

There are several reasons behind the popularity of eBooks as lead magnets. For starters, eBooks are generally well-detailed. That means prospects can get more value from it. Meanwhile, eBook creators get an extensive platform to showcase their expertise.

However, there are scenarios where eBooks are simply not that effective.

In such a case, something like a quiz could get you the results you want without breaking the bank or wasting your time. A simple but interesting quiz funnel with around ten questions is enough to get you the email addresses you want.

That’s what the copywriter Ashlyn of Ashlyn Writes does. She has a brief quiz magnet of just 11 questions. The goal of the quiz is to help business owners identify their brand voice. The quiz is a mixture of personality questions. At the end of the quiz, she asks her prospects for an email address to send the results. It’s a simple, super-effective strategy.

personality quiz as a lead magnet example


Quizzes aside, you can also use cheat sheets. These are a bit easier and cheaper to create compared to eBooks. So you can make one for skincare, haircare, and other product categories.

The bottom line is you should not limit yourself to eBooks simply because other people seem to be getting impressive results from them. You need something that your target audience is interested in. 

8. Provide A Package Deal

The whole point of a lead magnet is to present an irresistible deal. But everyone knows this, and that’s why lead magnets are commonplace in the digital world. So what can you do to make your value proposition stand out? Simple, raise the stakes by providing more than one resource. 

So, instead of giving your prospects a “checklist every aspiring blogger needs,” take it a step further. Include a top 10 or 20 list of the most profitable niches. You can even take it as far as providing a guide on SEO copywriting. And make sure to mention all the resources in the description.

package deal guide on SEO copywriting as a lead magnet


Will this approach consume more of your time and finances? Yes, it will. But on the bright side, your package will probably be more compelling than what most of your competitors have to offer.

9. Test Lead magnets With A/B Testing

The performance of a lead magnet varies from one industry to the next and how you present your freebie. For example, a sidebar form could be better than a pop-up. Even the landing page design can influence how many people sign up to your email list.

That’s why A/B testing is an integral part of lead magnet funnels. You need to perform split tests to see which variables favor you.

So test different magnets, change up the CTAs and design of your landing page, switch your signup form from a sticky sidebar to a pop-up, and so on. These tests will show you how to get the most out of your lead magnet funnel.

10. Consistently Deliver High-Quality Content

One of the biggest mistakes you could make with your funnel is to make a promise you fail to deliver. Remember that a lead magnet is only effective if it has value. It must solve an existing problem and show your business positively if you want the prospect to be impressed.

You have to create a high-quality freebie. There’s no way around this. Think of something your audience can’t get with a simple google search. Create an actionable resource, not some general, vague stuff. And avoid using clickbait on your landing page.

Wrapping Up

Lead magnets remain one of the best ways of generating leads. It’s also a fairly simple marketing concept once you master the basics. 

First, understand that a lead magnet is a free resource of value offered in exchange for contact details. 

Second, know that all lead magnet funnels do not perform the same. Some are more effective than others. And that’s why I’ve given you ten actionable tips on how to create an effective funnel for your specific needs.

The bottom line is this; a lead magnet funnel should be mutually beneficial. Your prospects should get valuable information, and you need to get the contact details of someone who can benefit your business. Give your target customers the freebie first, and then warm them up with a series of follow-up emails. Then make the sales pitch. It’s that simple.

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