How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet

In theory, lead generation seems so darn simple, doesn’t it?

You create a lead magnet, set up a landing page, launch ads to attract traffic, add a hello bar to your site or a LeadBox to the copy to convert blog visitors too and … voila.

Nothing could go wrong.

And yet….

The reality is so different, isn’t it?

You launch the campaign, eager to see your list growing but…

There’s nothing.

An occasional signup maybe but that’s just about it.

You begin to hope that once your posts start attracting greater organic traffic, signups will flow but that doesn’t happen either.


Perhaps because your lead magnet wasn’t something prospects found valuable.


And in this post, I’ll show you how to develop one your audience really craves for.

What makes a good lead magnet.

I’m sure you know what a lead magnet is:

A resource you offer in exchange for a person’s email and a chance to develop a relationship with them.

And I’m also sure you’ve heard how well they work:

According to Marketing Week for instance, 40% of customers are willing to sign up in return for something of value.  And 66% are likely to make an online purchase as a result of a marketing message (source).

But to catch your audience’s attention first, an ideal lead magnet should:

Relate to knowledge they lacks

Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

And yet this is one of the most common lead generation mistakes.

Creating a lead magnet teaching the benefits of business blogging may seem like a good idea. But if your customers are more interested in growing blog traffic, there’s very little chance that it’s going to grab their attention.

It should also solve their particular problem

For someone to be wiling to exchange email address and perhaps other personal details for your lead magnet, it must offer them a high practical value – teach them something new or help overcome a particular problem.

Be easy to consume within minutes

A person must also be able to obtain a lead magnet within minutes. Signing up for an email course or to download an eBook is an emotional purchase.

And your prospects will expect almost instant gratification.

But also….

For your lead magnet to work it also needs to relate to their buying intents


People buy for different reasons.

They have different needs, wants or desires that make them seek a particular product or solution.

But they go through a similar journey to purchase:

They first recognize a need. They realize that something’s wrong and needs fixing.

Next they begin to seek information about it. They want to learn as much as possible about a problem and also, available solutions.

They begin to evaluate alternatives. At this stage a person begins to assess different solutions. This is the stage when they might begin comparing you with competitors.

Once they made a selection, a person makes the decision to buy. And pull out their credit card.

Lastly comes the buyer’s remorse. This is one of the most important stages of the process. It’s a time when customer begins to wonder if she’s made the right choice. It’s also a time when she might decide to cancel or return a product. It is therefore important to also have a strategy in place to reassure customers of their choice.

And for your lead magnet to work, it needs to correspond to a particular need they have depending on the stage of the buying cycle they’re currently at.

How to do it?

Simply, you need to pair it to an appropriate buying intent:

1. Intent to Learn

That’s the intent customers at the early stages of the buying cycle have.

They know they have a problem. But perhaps they haven’t fully realized it yet. Or know quite a lot about it but have no idea how to solve it.

And thus they’re seeking more information about it.

At this stage, their buying intent is low but their potential to become leads is huge.

Lead magnets that attract this type of prospects should relate to anything that would help them understand and gain more knowledge about their problem.

Content types that work best for this type of customers include:

How-to or Ultimate Guides,

Educational Resources,

Email courses,

What all these lead magnets have in common is that they educate a prospect about their problem and serve as a great introduction for further study.

Their goal is to build brand awareness, introduce a prospect to your company and sign them up to your list so you could nurture that relationship until they’re ready to buy.

2. Intent to Compare

These prospects already understand their problem. They most likely conducted an extensive research on the topic and are familiar with its ins and outs.

And what they’re focusing on now is considering available options.

They cautiously research solutions and compare vendors, seeking the best possible option.

Lead magnets that attract this type of customers must focus on highlighting the benefits of a product.

When creating content to attract this type of prospects you must remember that you’re now communicating with people who are fully aware of their problem and also know what solutions are available on the market.

Your goal is to highlight why your solution is better than competitors and present yourself as an authority.

Here are some suggestions for the best lead magnets for this buying intent:

Free Tools

A tool based lead magnets could be actual software. Hubspot for instance offers a marketing grader, free to use but you need to give them your email to receive the full report.

They also offer a Mobile Assessment tool:

But a tool based lead magnet could also simply be something useful – a workbook, checklist or a template, for instance.

Case Studies

Case studies make up for interesting lead magnets.

Offering case studies as lead magnets is a surefire way to attract and convert prospects who want to make up their mind about buying your solutions.

Free Reports and Studies


Whitepapers help to position your company as a leader in the field by:

Many prospects will download whitepaper to assess your expertise and justify their decision to buy from you.

Demos and Trials

3. Intent to Buy

The final intent involves people who are ready to buy. They already know what they want and are almost ready to place the order.

Customers with the intent to buy don’t need much nurturing to convert; they might however need some final convincing.

And the best lead magnet to capture these prospects is:

Demo walkthrough

So how do you pick the best lead magnet format and topic?

You may already have a long list of topics for eBooks, Infographics and other lead magnets.

But unless you’ve verified that this is the information your audience lacks, these ideas are based on nothing else but a gut feeling.

Of course, there’s a chance that one of them will work.

But there’s also a strong possibility that they will flop.

If you really want to develop a irresistible lead magnet, you need to start with the audience.

Ask yourself:

Next, fire up a web browser and start confirming your suspicions:

Talk to your sales and customer service teams.

If possible, check if your sales and support people heard customers mentioning the problem. What information were they seeking? Why did they inquire about it?

Review your previous content on the topic

If you’ve been writing about the topic already, research how your audience engaged with these posts. What did they say about it on social media. What comments did they leave?

All this research will help you to establish if your idea is viable but also:


Lead magnets work. But for an ebook, infographic or other material to attract leads and prospects it must related to something they need, solve their particular problem but also, directly correspond with a particular buying intent they have now.