Top Mistakes You're Making With Your Opt-In/Lead Magnet

4 Lead Magnet Mistakes That Make You Look Like An Amateur (And How To Avoid Them)

You’ve probably heard of lead magnets before. These freebies entice potential customers to opt into your mailing list. They can include anything from ebooks to checklists to webinars. The idea behind them is simple: If someone signs up for your email subscriber list, then you send them something valuable to thank them for their interest (and their email address, which these days, is a pretty hot commodity!).

Done correctly, lead magnets can be really powerful tools for growing your email list.  But if they are done poorly? They can do more harm than good for your brand. 

As marketers, we’ve seen A LOT of lead magnets. And there are five common lead magnet mistakes we’ve seen businesses make. We’re sharing them with you right now so you can avoid looking like you don’t know what you are doing. 

1. Not delivering your lead magnet. 

You would think that this one doesn’t happen. But in our experience, it happens A LOT. 

Usually, the reason your lead magnet doesn’t get delivered is the result of a technical glitch.  Something in your email system or chain of events gets broken. But the result is the same–an empty Inbox and a potential customer going whaaaa?

***Usually this reaction is followed by simmering anger that they gave away their email address for nothing and wondering what the fastest way to Unsubscribe from your list might be.**

Frustrated customer wonders why the lead magnet she signed up for isn’t showing up in her Inbox.

If a customer can’t trust you to deliver on the small things, they sure aren’t going to fork over any money later on. This bad impression of your brand is one that can potentially last for a VERY LONG TIME. 

Better not to promise anything at all than to promise and not deliver! Be sure to test your lead magnet from sign-up to download to make sure everything is working like a well-oiled machine.  

2. Poorly designed documents. 

If your lead magnet looks like it came from the ‘80s (and not in a cool, retro throwback Stranger Things kinda way) then you have a problem. 

Your lead magnet is setting the tone for your brand, just like your website is. And for that reason, it should be free from grammatical errors and weird spacing (that much goes without saying). But we’re going to go a step further and say that it shouldn’t include off-brand graphics and color schemes.

Concept image of branding on a computer screen.

The fonts and colors that your brand uses in your lead magnet should be an extension of a larger cohesive brand for your company. 

3. Content that could quickly become outdated. 

If your lead magnet is of the trendy variety, that’s great news–staying relevant is a good thing. But if it is chock full of information and sources that might lead to broken links (or out-of-date information) then you are in for some trouble. 

Old-fashioned floppy disks

Only include this kind of information in your lead magnet if you are committed (no, really, we mean actually committed) to keeping it up-to-date. Be realistic about the time this will take you to do. And then be sure to give your lead magnet a refresh as often as needed.

4. Offering no *actual* value. 

While it is okay to tell your story (perhaps to give your readers all the feels or to represent yourself as an authority) you can go too far on this. 

Take, for example, a guide to “Nutrition for Those Struggling with Diabetes” that has 5 pages of biography detailing the founder’s life history going all the way back to their gap year in college (but only 1 page of actual nutritional advice). 

Women points at herself to demonstrate concept of being self-absorbed in your marketing lead magnet.

Making your lead magnet all about you will not go over well. It will not sell you but will rather irritate your reader because you aren’t delivering on what you promised. So be sure that the content you said you would give them is what you said it would be–and that it is actually valuable. 

Lead Magnet Mistakes–A Common But Fixable Problem

Lead magnets are a great way to get new customers. But lead magnets aren’t always effective. Avoid the four common mistakes we have shared above, and you will be well ahead of the game. 

Want to stand out within your ideal customer’s crowded inbox? Get 75 powerful plug & play email subject lines now… And did we mention they’re FREE?


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