Case Study: How to Use Lead Magnets to Persuade Total Strangers to Follow You

Today we’ve going to look at how to seduce total strangers…

Don’t worry, it’s nothing sinister.

This is completely ethical (and has nothing to do with dodgy dating techniques).

This is about attracting and then seducing the people who visit your website…

They might have discovered your site through a recommendation or through social media…

…or simply be searching Google for information.

Whatever the reason, you need to do everything in your power to grab their attention there and then.

Entice them with an offer, and then encourage them to make micro commitment.

Think of it as being a bit like digital speed dating…

Except you’re not looking for ONE partner.

You want HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of long-term relationships.

One of the best tools for doing this is to create what is known as a ‘lead magnet’.

If you don’t have one on your website yet, you’ll love this because it can make a HUGE difference.

A lead magnet is a gift which you offer for free in order to encourage, or ethically bribe, a target ‘lead’ to share their email address with you.

Once someone shares their email address with you, you can start to enter a meaningful relationship with them.

Now you have permission to send them regular emails, including upsells to your paid services.

There are other advantages too:

• By offering something that they find genuinely valuable, you gain the trust, confidence and gratitude of the prospect right from the get-go.

• It’s a great way to show prospects what you’re all about, without pressuring them into buying something immediately.

• You will genuinely help people solve problems and achieve goals – which is an extraordinarily satisfying feeling. (With the added bonus that it will also directly improve your bottom line!)

• You can target different types of prospect with different lead magnets… or use different lead magnets to target different needs and emotions.

• Once you have an email list you can test different offers and marketing copy, create special launch campaigns and get valuable feedback from your best customers.

Here’s an example….

This ‘lead magnet’ is a free report given away by, a US blog that has grown to one million in sales every month. (So they’re clearly doing something right!)

Case Study: How to Use Lead Magnets to Persuade Total Strangers to Follow You

It’s a very simple box which contains a single, clear promise. It’s quirky, unusual and very specific.

All the visitor has to do is enter their email address to get the report.

Here’s another example…

Case Study: How to Use Lead Magnets to Persuade Total Strangers to Follow You

Again, there’s a clear hook with a big promise: it’s about extending your lifespan through your diet.

Or here’s an example from a business-to-business marketing consultant. One of his prospects’ challenges is getting their advertising to work for them.

So he’s come up with ‘7 Steps to A Successful Ad that Doubles Your Response, Leads and Sales’.

Case Study: How to Use Lead Magnets to Persuade Total Strangers to Follow You

Again, this is a big, clear, specific promise with a tangible outcome.

And look, even IKEA use this technique:

Case Study: How to Use Lead Magnets to Persuade Total Strangers to Follow You

How to create a lead magnet

A lead magnet can be a video, podcast, email series, physical book, ebook, software download… anything of perceived value.

But on the most basic level, I recommend you create a document of around 1,000-5,000 words containing actionable information in a simple, easy-to-read form.

It could be something as simple as a checklist, a template, a calendar, series of tips or a list of resources.

You can call this anything you like – a Report, eReport, eBook, White Paper, Blueprint or eDossier – but the essence is the same for all: they must deliver information that solves a pressing need or problem that your prospect is likely to have. Your title should show this as clearly as possible.

It should also have the following qualities:

• One easily achievable outcome – Your lead magnet should help a prospect to easily achieve a goal or avoid one problem.

• Specific – It should focus in on a tangible goal with a specific outcome. For instance, ‘Golfing Tips’ is too general. Whereas: ‘Better Golf Swing in 24 Hours’ has a much clearer goal.

• Easy to read – It should be quick and simple to digest the information in your lead magnet.

• Practical – There must be some practical advice, whether it’s a tip, recipe, blueprints, series of steps, exercise or useful links.

• High perceived value – Your lead magnet should feel like something that the reader would normally pay for.

• Instant – Offer this as an instant download. Even if there’s a physical product you should offer a PDF or something they can access immediately.

Let me give you an example…

Imagine you run a computer advice website which helps older, less savvy users. Their main goal is that they want to feel less ‘digitally excluded’, so they can keep in touch with families and use things like online entertainment, shopping and banking.

In this case your lead magnet could be something that helps a newbie get set up with free email, without hassles and confusion.

Here’s a real example from a website called PC Knowledge for Seniors. They offer a special report: 47 Top Tips and Tricks for Your PC in return for email addresses.

Case Study: How to Use Lead Magnets to Persuade Total Strangers to Follow You

Here are some more examples:

eBay StartUp Kit: How to Turn Rubbish from Your Attic Into £200

7 Proven Ways to Prevent Panic Attacks

8 Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Perfect Your Golf Swing in Just 3 Days

21 Dairy Free Cake Recipes

How to Grow Organic Vegetables Without a Back Garden

The 5 Best Warmup Techniques for a First Time Marathon Runner

How to get the content for your lead magnet

There are three ways you can do this:

• Outsource it: you can commission your own report on a very low budget using a freelancer website such as or, if you have a little more to spend, try

• Compile it: you can seek out public domain content that addresses the problem, and then compile that into a report. Make sure you’re aware of any copyright issues.

• Research your own content: this final option frightens many people but it’s easier than you think and it’s what I’d recommend you try, because you can tailor it exactly to what your prospects most need, and inject some of your own personality into it.

Full members of Digital Upstart can find out more about researching free content, including tools for automating and organising the process.

If you’re not yet a member, then please keep your eye’s peeled for our next invitation to join.

Full membership includes blueprints for all the important elements of your business marketing, including templates, step-by-step blueprints, swipe files and cheat sheets.

We also share the tools and platforms that can save time and money, improve efficiency and increase your profits.

That’s it for today. Please feel free to share your questions or experiences using lead magnets in the comments below.


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