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A lead magnet allows you to grow your email list with ideal clients. But what happens if your lead magnet isn’t performing as you hoped? Do you need to ditch the whole thing and give up? Start over? Probably not! In this article, I share five ways to assure your lead magnet for eCommerce doesn’t fail – and more importantly how a good lead magnet can convert profits for your business on automation!

What is a lead magnet

A lead magnet allows you to grow your email list with ideal clients. In simple terms, a lead magnet is any article or service that is given in exchange for a reader’s contact information, most importantly their email address. Most are free of charge but you may see some lead magnets referred to as “tiny offers” where they are sold for a small $7 price tag.

Using an opt-in form, you deliver the lead magnet to them and enter them into your sales process and email sequence automation.

As you convert these readers into email list subscribers you then bring them into your sales process to eventually become paying customers.

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Why lead magnets fail

So today let’s talk about why lead magnets fail – and better yet, how to make sure you find success with your next lealead magnet for eCommerce!

Jacob McMillen, a freelance copywriter, says that

“Lead magnets fail because businesses are seeking subscribers when they should be seeking lifelong customers.”

And I couldn’t agree more – In Branding Bites Podcast Episode 7 I talked about why people unsubscribe from my email list and why I’m not bothered at all. And it’s because those people weren’t meant for me to serve right now. 

If I was out here trying to catch every social follower, podcast listener, and reader I could… I would be attracting the wrong audience.

Instead, I’ve pinpointed WHO my ideal client is and know EVERYTHING about their avatar and aim my content right at their problems.

1. Who is it meant to serve

So the first way to assure your lead magnet doesn’t fail is to know who it’s for… who it’s meant to serve. 

Your lead magnet needs to be attractive to your ideal client avatar. 

You want your ideal client walking away thinking “Thank you, I love it. That’s exactly what I was looking for.”

To do this – your lead magnet must provide value and be of interest to your ideal client –  filled with content that is highly irresistible.

You are not trying to prove your expertise on a subject with a lead magnet.

Don’t know WHO YOUR IDEAL CLIENT is? Start here >

2. Target your ICA’s #1 problem

Which leads to the second way to assure your lead magnet doesn’t fail: Your lead magnet, whether an e-book, video, online community, quiz, or workbook should be hyper-targeted to the #1 problem your ideal client is having.

By offering a high-value lead magnet that your ideal clients want, you not only offer a solution to their top problem but it helps your readers get to know your business, product, or method better. 

But keep this in mind…

A free lead magnet should share “the what and why” – and a paid product should share “the how-to.

If you set up your value ladder correctly and your lead magnet is the front of entry for a reader introduced to your brand – your paid product should be exactly what your ideal client needs next.

When done well, a lead magnet simply leads your ideal client onto your next offering. And this sales process takes place inside your email automation and sequences.

3. Give them a Next Step to take

Which is the third way to assure your lead magnet doesn’t fail: There needs to be a definite next step for your lead magnet email subscriber after they give you their contact information in exchange for your lead magnet.

If you give access to your lead magnet and then DO NOTHING else afterward you’ve just lost your chance at a quick sale!

  • So what do you want your subscriber to do next?
  • Invite them to purchase a product, join an online community?
  • Learn more about you?

You want your subscriber to keep coming back for more and going up your value ladder. To do this you must continue to pour into this subscriber every week inside a weekly newsletter, or an automation sequence.

This builds trust and verifies you as a quality educator. Always think of a subscriber as a long-term relationship – it’s not just a one and done transaction.

Just how you don’t create friendships for short-term advantage – the same way goes for building your email list.

You want to continue to show up for them and build that emotional connection.

Episode 19: Why It’s Not Too Late To Be A Beginner: with Special Guest Kelly Shepherd

4. Build Urgency

The fourth way to assure your lead magnet doesn’t fail: Build urgency. You want to know everything about your ideal client so that you can fill their top problem RIGHT NOW.

Bottom line is you want them to take action on your lead magnet right now.

You do this by conveying a sense of urgency… and again, you do this by solving their utmost urgent problem with your lead magnet.

Give your reader a reason and benefit to downloading your lead magnet right this second.

The more specific you can be in your lead magnet title – the more compelling the reader will be to take action right now. Make something so valuable it’s impossible to ignore.

And even if they don’t need it right now they will download it simply to prevent the possibility of forgetting about it later on.

5. Offer enough exposure

Lastly – the fifth way to assure your lead magnet doesn’t fail: give your lead magnet enough exposure. You should be talking about your lead magnet every day to someone.

What it comes down to is you cannot simply post your lead magnet in your bio link or with a cute mock up on your website and assume people will give you their email address for it.

You must be actively promoting your lead magnet and running campaigns for it. Whether you call it out in all of your blog posts, include it on the bottom of all your email signatures, or include it in your social media content on a consistent basis – in order to get reader-to-lead conversions you MUST tell people about your lead magnet all the time forever and ever.

Yes, you’ll get sick of talking about it – but remember if you set up your value ladder correctly and your lead magnet is the front of entry for a reader introduced to your brand – your paid product should be exactly what your ideal client needs next.

This means the more people downloading your lead magnet the more people converting into paying customers.

Lead magnet for eCommerce: Recap

So to recap the 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Lead Magnet Isn’t A Big Fail is to: 

  1. Target your ideal client
  2. Offer the solution for #1 problem your ideal client is having
  3. Must be a definite next step for the subscriber
  4. Build urgency
  5. Give your lead magnet enough exposure 

So you can see why lead magnets are so important to my business… they lead ideal clients right into my sales funnel to do the selling for me. Plus, by using a lead magnet, you cut out all those cold-reach outs because your niche market is your warm market and who you want to be serving!

The more your subscribers trust you, the more your brand will grow.

If you would like help creating, publishing, and promoting your lead magnet I now offer 1:1 consulting. I can take your idea and bring it to life for you. Visit to fill out an application for a complimentary 15-min brand discovery call. Let’s do a brain dump and see where you can monetize your brand better. Again the website is

email marketing for small business
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In the end, don’t get frustrated if your lead magnets are failing – whatever the issue is, we can fix it to get it converting for you.

Other episodes you may enjoy is “Ep 41: Is Your Website Costing You, Clients? How To Best Grab A User’s Attention In Under 12 Seconds.


Ep 23: Why It May Be Time To Marie Kondo Your Content Marketing Strategy

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