List Building

#124: Lead Magnet smackdown – which one is best?

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There are so many different types of lead magnets to choose from to help you grow your list. In this episode we’ll look at the pros + cons of each and which one is going to actually help you attract the right leads and grow your biz…


Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Doing it Online:

  • Why choosing the right lead magnet for your biz is SO important..
  • The 3 most common mistakes people make when choosing (+ assessing lead magnets.) 
  • The most common types of lead magnets + the pros/cons of each…

There are SO many types of lead magnets out there, but they are not all created equal…

And some are going to be better at different stages of your biz than others, it can change over time. 

But what doesn’t change, however, is the truth that choosing the right one to build your list with (in line with your goals + offers) matters. 

A lot. 

Because that one innocent lead magnet is going to impact the audience you attract and then also your results and sales…

So, it’s important to know what your options are, and then cross-check them with your goals…

As well as knowing what to look out for as you track their performance. 

This episode has got everything you need. (Probably want to check out the full episode as it’s super juicy!)

Lead Magnets + Opt-In Bribes

Just going to interrupt myself here to quickly explain for those who aren’t sure what we’re talking about here. A lead magnet (also known as an opt-in bribe or a freebie), is a valuable, free resource that’s designed to attract your ideal client in return for them joining your email list. 

The idea is that you can continue to send them value and information about your offers, promotions and products, and hopefully convert that brand new person into a customer down the line. 

Attracting Potential Customers with Lead Magnets

Not everyone is aware, (and they need to be) but different lead magnets attract different potential customers…

Typically, most audiences break down into categories like this:

  • Ready to buy.
  • Ready to buy…but not yet.
  • Never going to buy. (Maybe they just don’t value the problem enough, or they don’t have the capacity to solve it, there can be a number of reasons for not buying.)

And the type of lead magnet you put out into the world is going to impact how many in each category you’ll get. 

(Obviously, we want to try and avoid filling up our list with the third category as much as we possibly can!)

We want to create and promote a lead magnet that will attract as many as possible from the first 2 categories. And, if you’re looking to make sales sooner rather than later, we really want to be appealing to category number 1: ready to buy. 

Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing + Assessing Lead Magnets

Mistake #1: Focusing on the cheapest leads

The first common (super easy) mistake people make is to focus on the cheapest leads, not what is actually converting to a sale. So, are you bringing in heaps of people onto your list (cheaply!) but…then they’re not ever buying. It kinda defeats the point. 

Every business and niche has its own buying rhythms. Over time, you’ll be able to notice patterns and trends and say that most people end up buying (X) amount of weeks/months/years after first jumping onto your list. 

Knowing this number is important, and you can’t guess it, it can only be known over time and without proper long-term tracking it can be really hard to know. (That’s why we make sure our eCourse Empire members get their tracking set up properly right from the start.)

Types of lead magnets

Mistake #2: Forgetting that leads are not JUST for your first few days…

Another common mistake is that people forget that the value of a lead is not just what happens in those first 7 days, 14 days or even 30 days, and they switch the lead magnet off. But, if they’d given it more time it could have been the thing that made them the most sales later on down the track. 

Again, this is another reason why tracking is so important. 

I get it can be hard though, especially if you’re just getting started with ads and sales, the budget for testing lead magnets long term just isn’t there. You don’t want a list builder that’s going to get you sales in 90 days, dammit. You need something that’s going to get you sales as soon as possible. 

(Which comes back to why choosing the right list builder for your goals is so important.) 

Mistake #3: Over Delivering with their Lead Magnet

The last mistake we’ll dive into here is that they overdeliver (or overwhelm) their clients with their lead magnet. 

They’re afraid they won’t attract paying clients and think they need to give so much + over-deliver so that they’re worthy of their audience’s time and email address. 

This is based in a mindset issue which we’re not going to flesh out here. (If you’re in eCourse Empire you could hop on one of our monthly mindset calls and dive into it though!) 

However, in terms of the practicalities of this, what happens is that they don’t end up buying from you, for a couple of reasons. 

  1. You’ve already solved their problem. (We want to help people, of course! But you’re creating a business, and you deserve to be paid for your work.)
  2. Because you’ve handed them so much value – for free – they don’t value it. 
  3. They’ve still got homework. You’ve also just placed a whole heap of mental work in front of them that they need to get through before they can take the next step from you. (And why would they pay for your services if they haven’t finished the last thing they got from you for free?) 

This is why we have a golden rule in eCourse Empire (and Hello Funnels) that your opt-in bribe should take no more than 20 minutes to consume. (This rule doesn’t apply to a webinar that directs them to a sale.) 

Different Lead Magnets + their Pros/Cons 

Now, I could have made this episode 3 hours long for you, but I held back. So, I gave you a run down of the pros and cons of each of the most common lead magnet options out there so you can choose which one is going to work for you and your biz goals right now. 

Listen to the full episode to get the scoop on:

  • Quizzes
  • Free Mini Courses or eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Checklists, PDFs, Templates, Cheat Sheets

Paid Workshop as a Lead Magnet

Just wanted to give you a quick overview of the pros + cons of what we call a ‘Mini-But-Mighty’ offer (also known as Self Liquidating Offers), these are usually around the $27, $37 amount and aren’t designed to generate profit, but to cover the marketing costs of building your list.

We recommend that you only consider paid list builders like this after you already have a proven offer and funnel set up. 

The pros of a paid workshop:

You’re attracting buyers to your list. Not just freebie seekers. If you look at the statistics, (we’ve been tracking ours for years) a much higher percentage of people who buy a smaller offer will buy from you again. 

The cons of a paid workshop: 

They’re a bit fiddly to set up. There’s a lot more moving parts compared to a checklist or quiz etc. 

With changes to Facebook tracking, it’s going to become harder to track sales and see if it actually is attracting buyers. 

Which One is Right?

There’s a lot to weigh up, but hopefully this gives you a framework to help you dial in what’s more important to you and your business right now, and making the choice for the right lead magnet is going to be easier. 

We’d love to hear what you end up deciding! Tag us or DM us over on Instagram. 



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