How to use lead magnets to capture your first subscribers

Lead magnets are a tried and true method of growing an audience by giving away free value. But why do some work so much better than others?

How to use lead magnets to capture your first subscribers

Lead magnets are an essential tool in the creator’s toolkit. When used correctly, they can help you build a bigger, more attentive audience faster than you thought possible.

That's a big claim. So, why are they so effective?

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is an exchange of value between a creator and a customer. You (the entrepreneur or writer or YouTuber) make something your audience is willing to exchange their contact information for (i.e., an email address).

Below, you'll discover over twenty different types of lead magnets you can make to drive growth.

First, it's important to understand that lead magnets go by a few different names:

  • Lead magnet – Typically, a downloadable item displayed in multiple areas on one's website.
  • Gated content – Protected, member-only style content that customers can only access by subscribing.
  • Content upgrade – A digital good that enhances publicly available content, such as a private video that further explains a blog post.

These terms are often used interchangeably and accomplish the same goal: gather contact information by delivering value.

Why do lead magnets work?

If you’ve ever downloaded a free ebook or a checklist or gained access to an exclusive report by entering your email, you’ve interacted with a lead magnet.

Lead magnets take advantage of a few psychological triggers, which makes them such effective marketing tools.

First, lead magnets are free. Zero-cost items are nearly psychologically irresistible to most people. Second, they offer customers immediate gratification through instant access or delivery. Third, lead magnets can move your audience from the trust to access phase by pairing them with social proof or evidence of your expertise.

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Jamie Larson