11 common lead magnet mistakes

You’ve created a new lead magnet to build your email list. And you’ve made sure that it has all the essential characteristics of a lead magnet that attracts and engages people. But you’re not getting the results you’d been hoping for.

Maybe there aren’t as many people signing up for your lead magnet as you thought there would be.

Or maybe you have lots of people signing up, but very few of them become paying customers.

Is your lead magnet a bad lead magnet? Not necessarily. But there may be something wrong with how you’re promoting it to your audience or with how it fits into your overall marketing strategy.

How can you troubleshoot your lead magnet to uncover where you may be going wrong so you can fix it and get back on track? Take a look at these 11 common lead magnet mistakes.



Need help coming up with a lead magnet that captures your audience’s attention, convinces them to opt in, and turns them into paying customers?
Download my FREE cheat sheet of 42 lead magnet ideas. 


Part A: Lead magnet mistakes that reduce downloads


1. It’s not visible on your website or blog

You may have one of the best lead magnets that’s ever been created for your audience. But if it isn’t highly visible to them on your website or blog, they may not even realize it exists. And if they don’t know it exists, they can’t sign up for it. This may seem like a silly lead magnet mistake. But it’s much more common than you’d think!

The fix: Place opt-in links, buttons, or images for your lead magnet all over your website or blog. For example, consider placing them at the top of your home page, in your sidebar, in your main navigation, or in pop-ups.

Looking for more places to showcase your lead magnet? Check out my post on 16 ways to get more people to see your email opt-ins.

Related: 10 effective opt-in incentives that help you grow your email list + free tip sheet



Melyssa Griffin home page


2. It isn’t visible in other places

Do you showcase your lead magnet in multiple places on you website or blog? That’s great. But if you aren’t promoting it elsewhere, you’re making a common lead magnet mistake and selling yourself short. Why? Because some people may stumble across your lead magnet while they’re on your website or blog. But you also want to be able to attract people directly from social media.

This will help you drive more traffic to your landing pages and the pages on your website or blog that contain opt-in forms. After all, if more people see your lead magnets, you’ll have more people who can potentially sign up for them.

The fix: Promote your lead magnet on social media on a regular basis. Create teaser posts to share on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or wherever your audience hangs out.

Related: How to write social media copy for 5 different platforms + 7 free social media copy templates



email opt-ins


3. It doesn’t look tempting

You may have a gorgeous lead magnet with a great cover and awesome images inside. But if you just throw together the images you use on your opt-in form or landing page, you may have a harder time encouraging people to sign up for it.

It’s true that you should never judge a book by its cover. But you and I both know that people judge based on appearance all.the.time. Don’t let people pass on downloading your lead magnet just because your visuals are lacklustre.

The fix: Use tools like Canva or LeadPages to create stunning opt-in visuals and landing pages (even if you’re design-challenged!).

Related: The 10 best stock photo sites for your blog or website + 15 bonus sites



email opt-ins



Part B: Lead magnet mistakes that reduce engagement and sales conversions

4. It doesn’t align with your paid product or service

You may have a popular lead magnet that gets tons of downloads. But you may find that when it comes time to pitch your paid product or service, all you hear from your email list is crickets. Why doesn’t your high opt-in conversion rate translate into a high purchase conversion rate? Your lead magnet may not align with your paid product or service. Specifically, the reason why someone would download your lead magnet may be different from the reason why someone would buy your product or service.

For example, let’s say that you offer a 6-week course on how to stock your wardrobe with work clothes that are perfect for your body type. If your lead magnet is a list of tips on how to save money when buying clothes, you may have a hard time converting leads into buyers. Why? Because your lead magnet and course cover different topics. Yes, they’re both related to buying clothes. But someone who’s interested in saving money on clothes isn’t necessarily interested in learning how to buy an entire wardrobe of clothes that fit their body type.

The fix: To address this common lead magnet mistake, create a lead magnet that just scrapes the surface of the same problem that your paid product or service addresses. If you sell a course on cooking for kids with allergies, for example, make your lead magnet a list of common mistakes parents make when cooking for kids with allergies. This way, you can ensure that your lead magnet is a natural stepping stone toward your paid product or service.



Amy Porterfield's course creation starter kit



5. It contains too much information

In my post on the essential characteristics of lead magnets, I mentioned that a good lead magnet is easy to consume. Why? Because when a lead magnet is easy to consume, it’s more likely to help your leads get results. And a lead magnet that generates results will show your leads that you’re good at what you do.

For these reasons, one of the biggest lead magnet mistakes you can make is to cram too much info into your lead magnet. You may think that you’re being super helpful by including every microscopic detail in your cheat sheet or guide. But if your leads open your lead magnet and immediately feel overwhelmed by the amount of info they see, they may never open it again. And that’s going to destroy any chances they have of consuming the lead magnet, implementing the info in it, and getting results.

The fix: Remember that your lead magnet doesn’t have to address every aspect of a problem. In fact, it shouldn’t. Like I mentioned in Mistake #1, your lead magnet should just scrape the surface of a larger problem. Focus on one specific aspect of the problem and provide actionable information to help leads address it and achieve a quick win.

Related: How to write clear, concise web copy that converts + free copy planning worksheet


Need help coming up with a lead magnet that captures your audience’s attention, convinces them to opt in, and turns them into paying customers?  
Download my FREE cheat sheet of 42 lead magnet ideas.

Send me the cheat sheet


6. It’s not scannable

One of the other common lead magnet mistakes you may be making is not making your lead magnet scannable. Content that isn’t scannable contains large blocks of text with few images, subheadings, bold text, or bullets.

Why is it important to make lead magnets scannable? Because these days, people typically don’t read content from beginning to end like a novel. Instead, they scan content by jumping from one section to another depending on what they’re interested in. If your content isn’t scannable, your leads might not find what they’re looking for. Or they might give up on reading and using it altogether.

The fix: Make your lead magnet scannable by using short sentences and paragraphs, subheadings, images and white space, bullets, and bold or italic text. Check out my post on creating scannable content for more info.


7. It’s not branded

This may seem like a small detail, but it’s an important one. You want people to recognize your lead magnets as content that comes from your brand. This way, if they achieve results from using your lead magnet, they’ll be more likely to remember that it was YOUR content that helped them get there. It’ll also make it easier for them to recognize your content when they see it in different places (e.g., on your blog and social media accounts).

The fix: Tackle this common lead magnet mistake by branding your lead magnets. Include the URL for your website or blog, add your logo, and use brand colours and fonts.

Related: How to choose the right voice & tone for your blog or biz + free brand voice worksheet


Melyssa Griffin blog business workbook



8. It contains typos or grammar errors

The ultimate goal of a lead magnet is to showcase what you have to offer to your leads and why they should choose you over your competitors when they buy paid products or services. So if your lead magnet contains typos or grammar errors, you aren’t making just a small lead magnet mistake. You’re giving leads a reason to think that you’re sloppy and someone they shouldn’t trust to deliver a high-quality product or service.

The fix: Proofread your lead magnet before you promote it anywhere.

Related: 8 proofreading tricks to nix typos from your copy and content + free list of 476 power words

9. Your lead magnet delivery system doesn’t work

To offer lead magnets on your website or blog, you need to have somewhere for people to provide their contact info. And then you need to have a way of providing a download link or sending the lead magnet by email (if it’s an electronic lead magnet).

Because this is a multi-step process that may require several online tools to “talk” to each other, it’s easy for technical problems to pop up. If people can’t submit your opt-in form or don’t receive your lead magnet after they sign up for it, they won’t get the value you promised. And they may not trust your brand enough to give it another chance.

The fix: Test your lead magnet delivery system after you set it up. I do this every single time I add a lead magnet to my website or publish a new blog post that promotes a lead magnet.

Related: How to correctly set up content upgrades on your blog + free tool list


OptinMonster resource



10. You don’t tell subscribers what to expect

When you create lead magnets and set them up on your website or blog, you know that your plan is to add leads to your email list. But if this isn’t clear to people when they sign up, they might get annoyed when they receive more than just a lead magnet delivery email from you.

The fix: In this day and age, many people know that if they’re handing over their email address to you in exchange for a resource, you’re going to be contacting them about other things. But not everyone understands this. And even if your audience does, it never hurts to give them a heads up.

To avoid this lead magnet mistake, include some copy on your opt-in form or landing page that tells people that you’ll be adding them to your email list if they sign up.


11. You haven’t planned next steps

If you want to eventually sell a product or service to your leads, you can’t just get their contact info and pitch to them instantly. If you really want to get your leads excited about buying from you and convince them that you’re the ONLY brand for them, you need to build a relationship with them. And to do this, you need to have a game plan for how you’re going to engage your leads after they sign up.

If you add people to your email list and don’t contact them for months or years, they may forget who you are. And it’ll be even harder to convince them to open your sales emails and buy from you.

The fix: Avoid this lead magnet mistake by sending a welcome email series to new leads and emailing them weekly after that.


Steer clear of common lead magnet mistakes

If your lead magnet isn’t giving you the results you were hoping for, it doesn’t mean that your lead magnet is a bad one. But it is a clue that you may not be promoting it the right way. Or it may be a sign that there’s a problem with how it fits into your overall marketing strategy.

Use this list of common lead magnet mistakes to troubleshoot your lead magnet, figure out where you’re going wrong, and learn how to fix it. You’ve poured a lot of time and love into creating your lead magnet. So let’s make sure you can turn it into a lead-generating machine that gets you a steady stream of new email subscribers who ultimately turn into customers.



Need help coming up with a lead magnet that captures your audience’s attention, convinces them to opt in, and turns them into paying customers?  
Download my FREE cheat sheet of 42 lead magnet ideas.

Send me the cheat sheet





lead magnet mistakes

11 common lead magnet mistakes you may be making + 42 free lead magnet ideas

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