The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Creating Lead Magnets

Lead magnet mistakes

Hands down, lead magnets are the best way to attract the attention of your prospective customers. Who doesn’t like something for free, especially when that offer is valuable and relevant? However, lead magnets aren’t just about attracting leads. In addition to drawing new leads, the perfect lead magnet multitasks and accomplishes several goals at the same time, such as:

It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise
It establishes trust between you and the prospective customer
It helps you grow your email list so that you can continue to market to prospective customers

No doubt about it, you need lead magnets to grow your business and find your ideal customers. However, lead magnets aren’t infallible. No matter how well-intentioned you are, it is possible to make mistakes when it comes to creating a lead magnet.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the most common lead magnet mistakes and how you can keep them from happening to your brand.

Here’s a free, downloadable checklist to evaluate your lead magnets.

7 Common Lead Magnet Mistakes

When creating your lead magnet(s), here’s a list of mistakes you must avoid.

1. Not Having an Audience in Mind

You must know exactly who you’re targeting when creating a lead magnet. It needs to be in the forefront of your thinking during every step of the creative process: From choosing content for the lead magnet to designing and promoting it.

You simply cannot afford to have a generic audience in mind when creating a lead magnet. That causes you to depersonalize your content.

You simply cannot afford to have a generic audience in mind when creating a lead magnet. Here's why: Click To Tweet

To define your lead magnet’s target audience, define your target customer. It’s far too easy to create a lead magnet that misses the target. Many well-intentioned brands create lead magnets that appeal to a wide (and generic) audience. The problem? Your lead magnet may not appeal to your target customer. And, while you’re certainly helping out a generic audience, you’re not reaching your target customer, so what’s the point?

When creating your lead magnet, make sure that it’s useful and relevant to the people who will ultimately buy your product or service. Your lead magnet is the first step in your relationship with the customer, even though they’re not ready to buy just yet.

2. Not Having a Specific Goal

Lead magnet mistakes

Speaking of goals, let’s discuss the specific purpose of your lead magnet. Your lead magnet isn’t about making a sale, at least not in the short term. While your long term goal is to convert a lead into a customer, your short term goal may be any or all of the following:

  • Establish trust with your prospective customers
  • Grow your email list
  • Boost your search engine visibility (SEO)
  • Demonstrate your usefulness as a brand
  • Create a tie-in to your product/ service

3. Not Choosing the Right Topic

To be effective, your lead magnet topic should acknowledge your audience’s immediate need. Going one step further, your lead magnet needs to be specific and personal instead of generic and universally applicable. Your ideal customer should look at your lead magnet and think that it was created specifically for them. It should address their immediate needs. In fact, you should use the exact language that your target customer uses to describe his or her pain point when promoting your lead magnet.

You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to see the exact phrases that people type into the Google search bar. This allows you to understand how your target audience describes their problem and/ or need. Then, insert those words and phrases into your lead magnet in highly visible areas, such as title, subtitle, and promotional text.

4. Not Proofreading

Lead magnet mistakes

If there’s one thing that the Internet masses hate, it’s grammatical errors. Misspellings, typos, improper word usage — Oh my! Even though your lead magnet is a free resource, you’ll pay for it if you forget to proofread.

But the concern is understandable. Grammatical errors can distract some readers from your overall message. But beyond that, it can affect the audience’s ability to trust you. After all, if you can’t cross-check your content, perhaps your product is inferior and badly made, too. It may not be a fair assessment, but it is a highly likely unconscious conclusion that your reader may draw.

5. Not Choosing the Right Title

Your lead magnet’s title will help attract or deter prospective readers. Once again, you shouldn’t go generic here. You need to insert the top benefit or takeaway that the reader will receive once they download the lead magnet.

When choosing a title for your lead magnet, follow these ideas:

  • Explain what your lead magnet contains in plain English (i.e. Don’t try to be cute with your phrasing)
  • Make a promise in the title
  • Offer a number list (5 Ways to…, 30 Days to…, 7 Tips to…)
  • Use words that suggest usefulness, such as “How to” or “Guide”

Remember also that your lead magnet title can help you with your search engine optimization. This is especially true if you dedicate an entire landing page to your lead magnet.

6. Too Much Content or Not Enough Content

Your lead magnet needs to strike the perfect balance between too much and not enough. Keep in mind that your lead magnet needs to be the following:

  • Instantly actionable – Don’t bog your reader down in a lot of philosophy and theory. Get straight to solving the problem. Provide a quick win.
  • Scannable – No one wants to read huge blocks of text. Depending on the type of lead magnet you’re offering, be sure to break up text with images or other visual relief.
  • Easy to consume – You shouldn’t use heavy language and long sentences in your lead magnet. Get to the point. Make sure that your target audience can easily read the content without referring to a dictionary.

Remember that you don’t have to stuff your lead magnet with everything to produce a valuable offering. Your lead magnet needs to make good on its promise, but it doesnt need to tackle every possible angle.

7. Not Following Up

Creating a lead magnet may help you attract new leads, but you’ve got to have a follow up plan. The audience signs up and receives your lead magnet. Great. What happens next?

One of the best courses of action is to automatically enroll new subscribers into a “getting to know you” drip email series. During this series of 5 to 7 emails, you’ll introduce your new subscribers to your business as well as your products/ services. But, instead of being focused entirely on the sale during this drip series, you can also share with your subscribers other valuable resources that are related to the lead magnet. The idea is to continue showing value and building a relationship even if they’re not quite ready to buy.

You should also have a plan to remarket to this group through social media. Facebook remarketing is a great tool for reaching people who’ve downloaded your lead magnet. After installing a few lines of code in your website, Facebook allows you to track people who’ve visited specific pages on your site. You can isolate just those who’ve made it to your lead magnet’s “thank you for downloading” page. Then, through Facebook, initiate a marketing campaign where you continue to build trust with these leads through a series of ads. Your ads may feature offers, testimonials, and additional lead magnets (like case studies).

Next Steps

Now that you’ve made it through this huge list of don’ts, here’s what to do:

Create a free account and start designing your lead magnet now.

Don’t forget to download your free checklist for evaluating the effectiveness of your lead magnets. Download it here.