Lead Magnets That Convert Like Fire

Content Marketing Strategy Credit: N/A

The cardinal rule of any content marketing strategy worth its weight in leads is that every piece you publish should have a call to action promoting an irresistible lead magnet.

A lead magnet is an incentive—usually some sort of free template or ebook or tool—someone receives in exchange for their contact information. As the name implies, this magnet generates leads that marketing can nurture into sales.

This strategy sounds simple, and yet marketers mess it up every day.



Instead of going through the trouble of making a new magnet for every blog post—along with fresh landing pages, banners, UTMs, and the rest of those necessary evils—we tack on an old lead magnet (or worse, a generic CTA like “Subscribe to our blog”) and then sit back and scratch our heads wondering why conversion is only .5%.

The formula itself is simple:

  1. Write content about a relevant topic based on good keyword research.
  2. At the end of the content, say: “Did you like this content about XYZ? Download ________ that we published on the same subject!”
  3. Link to a landing page where they can download the content in exchange for their contact info.

Step two is the make-or-break step. Your articles should have a lead magnet that’s directly related to the topic at hand—preferably a tool or template that helps the reader with whatever they came looking for in the first place.

Take HubSpot’s article, Email Marketing Best Practices: How to Send Emails Your Subscribers Will Love. At the end of the article, this is the call to action:

The post is about email marketing and the lead magnet is a guide to email marketing.

Bingo, bango, bongo. That’s how it’s done.

Unfortunately, HubSpot has gotten lazy in recent years, too.

Of the top posts currently on their blog, none of them have a relevant CTA.

  1. 9 Secrets to Getting a Response From the CEO in 2018” >> CTA = Click to apply to the HubSpot Sales Partner Program.
  2. How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value” >> CTA = Subscribe now to the HubSpot services blog.
  3. The Sales Manager Job Description Template That Will Help You Find the Perfect Candidate” >> CTA = Get HubSpot’s free CRM.

I understand different posts have different purposes and HubSpot might have good reasons for sometimes omitting lead magnets, but c’mon? NONE of the posts I checked have anything good. For shame.

Instead, the lead magnets and CTAs should be something like these:

  1. 9 Secrets to Getting a Response From the CEO in 2018” >> CTA = Cold email templates for reaching out to CEOs. Download now.
  2. How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value” >> CTA = Download our Customer Lifetime Value calculator for Google Sheets.
  3. The Sales Manager Job Description Template That Will Help You Find the Perfect Candidate” >> CTA = Download 10 bonus job description templates for sales managers and start using them now.

The last two examples are so obvious it hurts. The words “calculate” and “template” are in the titles, so people searching for those terms are already expecting calculators and templates. Give the people what they want!

That leads me to the next piece of advice…

Use tools and templates!

Ebooks and white papers are good. Templates and tools are better.

Webinars and checklists are good. Templates and tools are better.

Case studies and infographics are good. Templates and tools are better.


Your mission is to make lives easier and be as helpful as possible. Sending someone to an ebook or white paper or webinar usually requires them to do more thinking and figure out a solution themselves.

On the flip side, a tool like an ROI calculator or social media scheduler says, “Hey, we’ve done most of the work for you. Check it out and save a ton of time.”

Saving people time is the best source of value. Even if that means putting in more effort yourself to develop tools and templates, it’ll pay off in droves.

To hammer the point home, here’s the most successful post on my blog.

Post: Blueprints for a $20 Million Webinar Funnel, Inspired by Sam Ovens.

Topic: How to build the funnel for Sam Ovens’ consulting webinar.

Lead magnet: Templates for the Sam Ovens funnel.

Not rocket science, right? And yet this post has generated more leads than all my other posts combined thanks to following the simple formula:

  1. Good article with good keyword optimization (“sam ovens templates”)
  2. Call to action with relevant lead magnet (Sam Ovens templates)
  3. Landing page with free lead magnet in exchange for contact info

In fact, this particular post got so popular it was noticed by Sam himself, who then began a campaign with the message “Get off my lawn.”

Can’t say I’m not a little proud about that 😉

Sometimes the basics are better than the best growth hacks. This is one of ‘em.