Growth January 21, 2021

Lead magnets: still needed if you publish lots of free content?

Paolo Amoroso @PaoloAmoroso

Some creators publish tons of valuable free content such as blogs, newsletters, and podcasts. Yet they also offer lead magnets.

Are lead magnets still needed or useful in this case? Doesn't the other free content adequetely sample and showcase the creator's work, as well as providing motivation to take the actions lead magnets are for?

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    Lead magnets are good for collecting emails.

    Many people won't sign up for a newsletter even if the free content is good. But when presented with an offer like a PDF or ebook, it's enough of a nudge to get them to sign up.

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      In a way, a lead magnet has better packaging than unstructured free content.

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        Yes, I think it's just psychological... the reader feels like it is more valuable, even if it's the same content repackaged.

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    Hey Paolo. You're right that free content showcases work and builds some trust, but lead magnets are still pretty important for lead qualification and nurture. That said, there's a lot of value that they have to provide to overcome the friction of providing an email address. I'd expect a lead magnet I enter my email for to be pretty in-depth and provide me with more tangible value than a blog post or a YouTube video.

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      Thanks. So we may consider a lead magnet as part of a hierarchy of free content, from less in-depth to higher, tangible value or specificity.

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        Lead magnets don't always have to be in-depth. They could be something very specific. If your blog post is a large, in-depth guide, then a checklist could make for a good opt-in.

        Take the opt-in on this post for example:
        It's a long and very in-depth post and the lead magnet is a template to help you put all of the info to action.

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          A lead magnet that complements or provides a tool for an in-depth post is a great suggestion, thanks.

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        Yes. In general, the value should be commensurate to the ask.

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    There's nothing more frustrating than a lead magnet that tries to convert you before they've hooked you with the value. I clicked into a SurveyMonkey article on 5 CX trends for 2021 this morning and it didn't even let me past the first paragraph.

    For our blog The Full-Stack Researcher, our current cornerpiece blog post is completely open from start to finish. We're using newsletter prompts to try convert along the way and we're going to start experimenting with retargeting ads soon. Might write a post on this approach once we have some data...

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      So true. I find site-wide lead magnets can also be frustrating. A good lead magnet should be specific to that particular post.

      Great post. I see the newsletter pitch throughout. How well does that convert? I think a good lead magnet could do quite well with this post.

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        The popup that appears once you reach 25% of the way down the page is what converts best. We get a lot of people click through to the dedicated newsletter sign up page. Started to notice that newsletter sign up forms that look for just email and not first and last name convert better too, so adding those once mid way through a post and again at the end.

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      So SurveyMonkey doesn't provide enough information on the lead magnet? I've seen similar cases.

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