A "lead" is something that starts something. Take the lead. In online marketing, a lead is a person or organization interested in your activities. By calling you, emailing you or filling out a form on your website, for example. After that, the lead is registered on a list with a basic set of information like name and email address. Of course, the quality and degree of interest can vary greatly, but this is a lead. A starting point for business.
How to attract?
Once upon a time, the Internet was a place where people seemed to be actively looking to fill out a form. That has changed quite a bit. Now only bots do this for fun and I as a business owner and producer have to be much more active in looking for leads. I have to try to attract leads to me. Like with a magnet. Welcome to the stage: The Lead Magnet.
This magnet is an attractive and free online offer that I make in exchange for some of the lead's information. A giveaway, a freebie. This can be an e-book, a survey, a song, a spoken meditation, a podcast. Something I usually advertise on the website. On a specific page or between the lines.
Of course, I can then also advertise my lead magnet through a post on social media or make the freebie available directly within the posts. And if I'm looking for a lot of leads or my website and social media just don't have enough traffic, I can also buy ads for more traffic.
Lead magnets are not just about collecting emails. They’re about providing genuine value, building trust, and paving the way for creating a customer relationship with your audience. Remember - a lead magnet is often the very first interaction a potential customer has with you and your business. Don’t make it feel like you’re “stealing” their email address. Make it easy. Make it valuable. Make it for the long term. – Justin Welsh
Practical example of a lead magnet
Let me give my wife and business partner's website as an example. She runs a coaching practice for business clients and for visitors to the site, she gives away an e-book. The website was created in WordPress and the Lead Magnet in ConvertKit. That programme is specifically aimed at converting a visitor to a lead.
The hook for the book is: Download the Web Design Playbook for free.
The lead fills this out and then receives an e-mail with a download link to the e-book. And we get the data via email and in they are in then also in ConvertKit's system. The magnet has done its job.
The lead has a wonderful, free gift and we have enough data for the next step.
See also the overview of landing page tools and lead magnets with lead magnet options within Wix, Squarespace, ConvertKit and Leadpages, among others.