Lead Generation Tutorial: How to create a high converting lead magnet

It doesn’t matter what industry or niche you are in, if you don’t have a simple, cost effective way to find new customers your business is in trouble. 

I recently wrote a post about how I generated 38 471 leads for my business and got a LOT of questions about it in the South African Online Business Lab. (It’s a free online community for South Africans building online businesses)

In that post I spoke at length about lead magnets and why it is important to use them to generate leads in South Africa.

Before I show you exactly how to create a high converting lead magnet, let’s recap…

What is a lead magnet?

Before we can create one, let’s look at exactly what a lead magnet is.

A lead magnet is something that you give away to a potential customer or visitor to your website in exchange for their contact details or email address.

In order to ensure your lead magnet converts as many visitors as possible into subscribers, it needs to contain these 4 characteristics:

  1. It must be super specific
  2. It must provide a small win
  3. It must be unique
  4. It must not only have a perception of high value, it must BE of high value

Let’s take a look at what I mean with each of those points in a bit more detail…

Your lead magnet needs to be super specific

You want your lead magnet to be hyper specific for two reasons. Just like a magnet has the ability to attract and repel, you want your lead magnet to do the same thing.  It needs to attract and segment the right people into your business while repelling the people who it’s not for. 

I often find that when people first start building their online business they get nervous when it comes to really niching down. If you try to be all things to everyone, you’ll attract no one. 

It’s when you really narrow down your focus that you’ll start seeing results. When you dial in your specificity your target audience knows that you’re talking to them. 

Let me give you an example, let’s say you were in the personal finance niche targeting single mothers and your lead magnet was a monthly budget template.

Which headline so you think would resonate more with your target audience:

Save money by download our monthly budget template


As a single Mom we know how hard it is to make ends meet. Download our free monthly budget template that will show you exactly how to save at least R500 per month…

An example of a super specific lead magent

I know which one I would choose if I was a single mom. If you’re really being hyper specific with your lead magnet you’re speaking directly to your target audience down. There should be absolutely no ambiguity who your lead magnet is for.

Your lead magnet must provide a small win to satisfy our need for instant gratification 

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to create a 200-word ebook or a 12-part video series as a lead magnet. What you really want to do is create a lead magnet that is easy and fast to consume. 

Something that will give the end-user a small win immediately if they implement what your lead magnet is about. 

As much as those big lead magnets are great to give away, people are busy and very few have the time to read a long ebook or watch a multi-part video series.

Here is an example of a lead magnet that is super specific AND provides an instant win for the person downloading it…

An example of a quick win lead magnet

If you have a yapping dog and this lead magnet can live up to its promise, you’re giving your prospect a win right away so when you offer them more help later they’ll be more inclined to trust you.

You’ll also notice this lead magnet is not simply aimed at dog owners, but Border Collie owners. 

Super specific. 

Also note that there is an input field for the dog’s name too. This comes in super handy when you’re personalising your email follow up, which again builds massive amounts of trust with your prospect if done correctly. More on that in the next lesson about how to actually gather these leads on your website.

How to ensure your lead magnet is unique

This property speaks for itself and can be quite simple to actually get right if you’re being super specific with your lead magnet. 

You want to ensure that what you’re giving away is not widely available. Let me use the Border Collie example again.

There are LOTS of resources for dog owners in general online, but when you start creating lead magnets for sub niches within a larger niche it becomes quite easy to offer something unique. 

Making sure your lead magnet is unique gives you an advantage over your competitors online because you’re offering something for free that your target audience aren’t able to get anywhere else.

You lead magnet must have a high perceived value AND high actual value

Out of the four characteristics of a high converting lead manet this is the hardest to get right. Giving something away with little perceived value will negatively impact the number of leads you generate.

The higher the perceived value, the greater the chances are that someone will opt in for your lead magnet. The easiest way to create a high perceived value is to put a price tag on what you’re giving away. 

Let me give you an example. I created an online course a few years ago that teaches someone how to build a WordPress website. Until very recently I sold that online course for R997. I want to help as many South Africans as I can earn a living online so I’ve decided to give it away. (If you don’t have a website you can get access to it below)

Although that course is not doesn’t adhere strictly to the first three characteristics of a high converting lead magnet it certainly ticks the box for number 4. 

If you opted in you’ll soon realise too that it is worth WAY more than R997 so not only does it have a high perceived value but it also has a high real value.

There is nothing worse than downloading a lead magnet that promises high value but fails to deliver. Making sure your lead magnet looks the part goes a long way to creating a high value resource…

The tools to use to create high converting lead magnets

Once you’ve decided on what lead magnet you’re going to give away, you’re going to need to create it. If you can afford to hire a designer to help with this part I’d suggest you do. 

The tools you use to create your lead magnet will be dictated by the lead magnet itself. If you’re creating handouts or checklists, you’ll need a tool that can publish PDFs. If you’re creating a video download then you’d need a way to record and edit video.

If you’re stumped for ideas, here are 11 examples of lead magnets that convert really well.

The first tool I use for the majority of the graphic design and layout of my lead magnets is Canva. 

How to use Canva to make high converting lead magnets

Canva is a web based design tool that makes it extremely easy for non-designers to create beautiful graphics. They have numerous templates for things like checklists and cheat sheets that allow you to create great looking resources that you users can download.

The second tool I use a lot is Camtasia. Camtasia allows me to record and edit video (also without a lot of video editing knowledge). With Camtasia you can record screen flow videos with ease too which are great for video tutorial lead magnets. 

And then finally the most important tool you’ll need in order to create a high converting lead magnet is email marketing or CRM software. This is the glue that holds this whole process together. 

Your email marketing or CRM software is what allows you to collect the email addresses (and other details you may want to collect) and then sends them the lead magnet you created automatically.

The best email marketing software to generate leads in South Africa

Over the last decade of building online businesses in South Africa I’ve tried most of the email marketing platforms to generate leads. 

The best email marketing software that I have found in South Africa is Convertkit. It is the simplest to use and is packed with fantastic segmentation and automation features. Convertkit also has a built-in landing page and opt-in form builder that allows you to seamlessly automate your lead generation process. 

The great thing about Convertkit is that you can start building your email list with them for free right now. You can learn more about their free plan here

(That is an affiliate link which means that should you decide to upgrade to one of their paid plans Converkit will pay me a small commission for sending you their way. I personally use Convertkit and can safely say there isn’t a better option available)

In the next tutorial on how to generate new leads for your business in South Africa I am going to show you exactly how easy it is to collect the leads you generate with Convertkit. I’m also going to share with you the 7 places you can start to collect leads on your website right now with Convertkit. 

Don’t miss the next of my lead generation and email marketing tutorials, simply complete the form below to get it sent to you right away: (See what I did there? This is one of my lead magnets)

Brad Nadauld

Brad is a full-stack digital marketer with a serious podcasting & Youtube addiction. Over the last 10 years, he has personally created numerous websites, podcasts & online courses. He's worked with large multi-national corporations, built several online businesses and consulted to a number of clients to help them grow their reach, impact and most importantly their income online.

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