What are lead magnets – how can they improve website performance?

There is no doubt that online search has dramatically increased due to more people working from home, so it makes sense to consider if there are ways to make the most of these extra website visitors and how lead magnets can improve website performance.

As marketing practitioners we have access to website performance statistics via software such as Google Analytics, but this only gives you limited information.

What are lead magnets

A lead magnet is a call to action banner that ‘pop’s up’ on screen at certain points as a visitor navigates their way through your website. It could be on certain pages, or it could be programmed to appear just as you exit.

They are designed to entice the visitor not to leave your website without taking some form of action that will benefit them, and in doing so they are willing to complete information about themselves which may help you contact them in the future.

Website Forensic Software

There are website forensic software providers who claim to be able to give you data on who has visited your website. However, be wary of the value of these services, particularly if the majority of your traffic is SME business or consumers.

This is because most can only report on who has visited your website by tracking their ISP address (Internet Service Provider). As most SME’s will generally use a shared ISP provider, their ability to provide the actual email address for SME’s is limited because these reports only give you a domain URL, which often tends to be the URL of the ISP.

Generally, only large global brands have their own ISP, so if large multi-nationals is your target market, this software may be worthwhile.

How do lead magnets work?

If you really want to get information such as name, company and email address of your visitors you either have to entice them to buy something, or if you are not selling online, provide something worthwhile in exchange for them providing this information.

Having clear calls to action such as an enquiry form may entice visitors to engage, but let’s be practical and realistic. Most of us are reluctant to give up this information for fear of then being bombarded with unwanted communication. So the trick is to ensure you offer something of value that will benefit the browser.

Love them or hate them, this is where lead magnets can play a vital role in helping you build your database and gain a better understanding of your customers.

Similar to a poorly conceived marketing campaign, a lead magnet that has no value to the browser will give the good lead magnet a bad reputation – and hence why they are so marmite!

Merritts Lead Magnet

What are the best lead magnets?

We have searched the web and as you will expect, there are plenty of lead magnet ideas to draw inspiration from – remember, not all lead magnets have to be a content download.

The use of a lead magnet tends to work well in the following scenario’s:

  • Toolkit advice and how to guides
  • Subscribe to receive a single advice articles and white papers with content that has high value and benefit
  • Invitation to subscribe to future e-newsletters
  • Not ready to buy yet – invitation to leave details to contact when time is right
  • E-books – similar to toolkits, but more in-depth
  • Promote sign up and for events and webinars
  • Promote surveys
  • Offer free trials and demonstrations
  • Offer free consultations and advice sessions
  • To entice people to complete a survey from which the results will benefit them
  • Membership offers
    Finch Lead Magnet

While there is no doubt these pop-ups can be annoying, but when designed, and programmed to appear at an appropriately timed points as visitors browse through your website, there is clear evidence to support that lead magnets can be a useful and beneficial tool for both parties.

Finally, if you do choose to use lead magnets, please consider the implications of GDPR.

If you need to revitalise your website or would simply like to professionalise your approach to marketing so it is more targeted and done on a regular basis – get in touch we can help.


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