Ecommerce Growth

eCommerce Lead magnets: Top 15 examples (& 5 mistakes to avoid)

Customers will trust you and stick once you offer them value. Here are 15 unique lead magnet ideas to try + 5 mistakes to avoid

eCommerce Lead magnets: Top 15 examples (& 5 mistakes to avoid)

A common goal for all eCommerce businesses out there is to attract the right kind of customers. Now as important as this is, most businesses find it terribly challenging. 

According to KISSmetrics, 96% of visitors aren’t ready to buy when they land on your website. On the other hand, Littledata’s research of over 3000+ sites in October 2021 revealed that the average conversion rate is about 1.5%

The big question here is—what will make customers trust you enough to want to share their personal details with you? 

Meaningful, impactful content that can help them in some way—and they’ll love you for being the one providing it. 

Enter eCommerce lead magnets that pack in powerful and relevant communication at no cost. 

If you can create a lead magnet that’s truly relevant to your target audience, then bingo! They’ll see the value you’ve got to add in no time and share their contact details with you. 

This is how the best eCommerce businesses grow their email lists in an authentic way and build a brand connection in the process. 

In this post, we’re excited to share 20 lead magnet ideas that you can actually use for your business. 

1. Walk the newsletter way

Newsletters are one of the best examples of good lead magnets since they allow you to add value to customers in return for their details. This can be your opportunity to turn away from the usual sales-y pitch and move towards something more substantial. 

Here’s an example of how Meow Meow Tweet does it. 

Example of newsletter as a lead magnet example

Why it works

  • It’s non-intrusive and scrolls against a backdrop that is all about why MMT is a brand you can trust. The shape of the pop-up is a cat, which further reinforces the brand. 
  • It’s easy to opt out. All you need to do is click anywhere outside the popup. No crazy guesses about where the “x” button sits! 

2. Fall back on the good old quiz

Let’s admit it: eCommerce or not, people are curious. Especially when it comes to how their minds and bodies work. But the truth also is that most stay stuck at the level of asking questions and never finding the answers. 

As an expert, you can resolve that problem for them through a quiz. Take a look at the following example where organic skincare brand Annmarie Gianni does this skillfully. 

Example of quiz as lead magnets

Why it works 

  • It gets the visitor right when their attention is at its peak. As soon as you land on the brand’s website, you find the quiz working for you. 
  • It uses crisp, personalized language that’s instantly meaningful for many of us. The fact that each person’s evaluation is done to offer “personalized results” makes it doubly attractive. 

3. Create holiday-specific content

In the new world, digital natives love relevance. So, the one assured way to draw them in is to offer them content that’s very relevant to a particular day that they’re likely to celebrate. 

In the following example, Blombsterbergs does this brilliantly. 

Example of holiday-specific content as lead magnet

Why it works

  • It celebrates Mortensaften and offers visitors to celebrate too! During Mortensaften, a tradition is to eat wheat buns in the evenings. The brand makes wonderful use of this opportunity to get closer to those who sign up for the cake and dessert club. 
  • It carries the flavor of a value-add considering the recipes can be helpful guides in making accompaniments for the wheat buns. 

4. Create audience-specific content

Most eCommerce businesses have various categories of potential customers. To put together a lead magnet strategy, many choose to attract only a section of those visitors. 

A case in point is the following example of Lowe’s. It creates an attractive possibility for first responders, doctors, and nurses to buy for a discount for a limited period of time. 

Example of audience-specific content as lead magnet

Why it works

  • It uses appreciative language - “build thanks” - and not generic words like “x% off! Enjoy the discount today.” This makes it more relatable for the audience the lead magnet is trying to attract. 
  • The limited period offer creates a sense of scarcity that people respond to very unconsciously. This pushes the idea of the discount a little more than it would have otherwise done. 

5. Entice with a “join the club” appeal 

One of the ways successful eCommerce brands connect with potential and existing customers is by emphasizing a “join the club” approach. Whether it is in the online or the offline universe, people like to belong together. Such an approach inspires confidence right away while making people feel special. 

Let’s take a look at how Kettle & Fire does it, without being loud or sales-y. Their “rewards” button comes in a non-intrusive little package and opens up to more details when you click on it. 

Example of join the club as a lead magnet


Why it works

  • It promises a deeper engagement with the brand - but with amazing benefits in return, including referral rewards. Now, who wouldn’t love something like this!
  • It uses heartwarming, human language that will instantly pull both existing and potential customers. Add to this the fact that they’ve kept it non-intrusive and non-salesy. 

6. Turn the sign-up into an “event to remember”

Given how dynamic engaging with most brands have become (considering most allow guest checkouts), if your lead magnet is able to offer an “event to remember”, then nothing like it. 

Take a look at how Design Essentials, a women’s hair product brand, does it. 

Example of events as lead magnets

Why it works

  • It is exclusively meant for first-timers and first-time sign-ups. By saying “begin beautifully”, it immediately conveys to the visitor that the rest of the journey will be beautiful too! See how crafted copy works to create a mood, even in simple communication?
  • Along with a discount, the communication clearly suggests that the visitor will now have access to exclusive videos, tips and other content. Combining an immediate reward with a long-term benefit is the trick they have managed to perfect here. 

7. Emphasize on the learning element

In the world we live in right now, if there’s anything that’s given as much importance as new experiences, then it’s new learning. Traditional thinking around formal education has given way to learning on the go. This makes people love brands that make the effort to teach them something new. 

While making this list, we came across Baristalab. Baristalab is a modern brand that offers both home brewing equipment as well as the education it needs for someone to become an expert home brewer. 

Example of educational content as lead magnet

Why it works

  • There’s a promise in it. The language it uses is confident and clearly states that you’ll need quite a few things to “go from coffee basic to coffee pro”. Understood by almost everybody, which is a good thing. 
  • What is offered as learning is decently substantial. Not many brands can claim to offer a 5-part mini-course for free. 

8. Build connection for a cause

In a world overwhelmed by commercialization, people are always looking to support brands that in turn support a cause. Take the example of Tsuno, a sustainable and disposable sanitary napkin and tampon brand. 

Let’s see why the approach they take in their lead magnet is a promising one. 

Example of supporting causes as lead magnet


Why it works

  • The language is humane. It sets its intention of connection, right from the word go. 
  • The communication also carries a whole lot of clarity. The brand ensures potential buyers know that updates will be monthly and along with being “interesting” they will be “empowering”.

9. Introduce rewards at every step

There’s a big difference between creating the promise of a one-time reward and declaring the consumer will be able to enjoy rewards at every step. The latter is a clear indication that if a potential customer chooses to engage more with a brand, they will not be wasting their time. 

Here’s how Elcie does it without sounding sales-y. 

Example of rewards as lead magnets


Why it works

  • The narrative is instantly clear to the viewer. There’s something to be earned every step of the way when you become an Elcie loyalist. 
  • The idea of choice is introduced right from the start, clearly telling visitors what they are in for, if they choose to shop with Elcie. 

10. Add the promise of consistent value

Despite how inundated people are by brand messages every single day, they’re still looking for authentic engagement. eCommerce brands that offer consistent and relevant value to their customers are valued for a good reason. 

In the following example, we analyze how Home Chef manages to do this when they ask people for their email and contact details. 

Example of a strong value prop as lead magnet


Why it works

  • It directly speaks to the people who are likely to buy from a brand like Home Chef. 
  • The brand promises to churn out recipes and offers, every week! Now that talks about commitment without actually talking about it. 

11. Introduce a relevant add-on service

If you drill down to the last detail of any customer’s frame of mind, amongst a few other elements, you’ll always find the need for convenience. People are likely to come back to your brand more if they feel like you are not only solving a specific problem but also some ambient problems around it. 

Here’s what affordable pet brand Chewy does to ensure leads aren’t lost to browsing or short attention spans. 

Example of add-on service as lead magnet


Why it works

  • While most people know the brand for pet food and treats, this magnet promises to help get a vet consultation. It supports people instantly looking for this support and also helps the brand promote their less frequently advertised vet and pharmacy services. 
  • The communication also clarifies that this service will be at no extra cost for those who decide to schedule automatic deliveries from Chewy. A smart way to make people sign up and inspire them to shop.

12. Offer an analysis 

All great eCommerce brands have one thing in common—they know people turn to them because they are experts at what they do. As an eCommerce brand, if you’re able to leverage this approach, then you are on the winning side. While people instinctively turn to brands knowing they are facing problems or would like to improve some aspect of their lives, they expect the brands to tell them more. 

Check out how Sunday achieves this by offering analysis in exchange for customer contact details. 

Example of analyses as lead magnets


Why it works

  • The messaging is deeply personalized and hits anyone who deeply cares about their lawn or is seeking to learn how to. 
  • A precise and adequately detailed analysis can create confidence in customers. If you can analyze something for them, higher are the chances you can solve it too.

13. Clearly highlight the benefit of signing up

Given how many brands are trying to get a visitor’s attention, your eCommerce brand has to ensure using words for the impact you intend to create. 

Check out how Heb, the family store brand, does it. 

Example of using exclusivity as lead magnets

Why it works

  • The focus is on the rewards someone will have access to, instead of the stale “sign up” message. 
  • The communication also ensures people know that this is an email-only form of engagement. A move that can put many people who constantly fear intrusion from brands, at ease. 

14. Create an offer that lasts for a while 

There’s nothing like continued and meaningful brand engagement. One strategy to have your lead magnet create the impact it must is to feature a benefit that has a sustained life of its own. 

Just like Hers manages to achieve by calling out to people to act on “start free trial”. 

Example of long-lasting offers as lead magnets


Why it works 

  • Before suggesting a steep monthly discount, the brand asks anyone a number of questions including where they live, what their skin type is like, and what their skin goals are. Any potential customer notices that the brand takes a real personalized interest. 
  • The magnet offers not only a discount but one that ensures monthly savings. A smart move to convince people more easily.

15. Create a one-time offer that’s too good to be turned down

The best eCommerce lead magnets inspire trust in potential customers. The idea is for someone needing help or support in a specific way, feeling like a brand can do it for them. 

Take a look at how well Lively achieves this. 

Example of lead magnet by Lively

Why it works

  • Potential customers have a sense of the science-backed expertise the brand brings in. And along with a thorough two-step hearing aid test, the brand promises a 100-day risk-free trial. This means that if a customer isn’t happy using the product during this time, Lively offers a full refund. 
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5 lead magnet mistakes that can cost you customers

Once you know them, they will seem obvious. These are mistakes that even the most well-intentioned folks in business can make. Let this be your easy reference when you’re trying to write one for your eCommerce business. 

1. Many pages of content BUT no big idea

It’s important to remember that in the current eCommerce context, customers negotiate thousands of hooks created by businesses. Some sound like clickbait, some too good to be true, and some so bland that people don’t know why they should waste their time on them. To avoid all of these traps, what you need to introduce into your lead magnet is ONE BIG IDEA. And this has to come out with ease in the title of your lead magnet. Avoid generic titles that go like “Sell more this winter season”. It’s too wide and too vague to convey why visitors can’t afford to miss what you’re offering them. Contrast that with “5 Unbeatable Hacks to Sell More this Christmas”. Do you see what we mean?

2. Helpful advice BUT way too many lead magnets

Some brands are so eager to make an impression that they keep hankering for the attention of existing and potential customers by dropping multiple lead magnets. While this sounds like a good thing, it can be a shattering experience for the audience. Unless the lead magnets are somehow building on a narrative or creating a flow between similar ideas, sticking to just one newsletter or whitepaper might be a good idea. 

3. Everyday, engaging communication BUT no goal

It is essential to be clear about why you are putting in place a lead magnet. Is it to grow your email list? Is it to improve the way people perceive your brand? Is it to get them to shop and refer your brand to people? Without having a clear goal, your lead magnet can sound like too many things at the same time. This carries the danger of people getting frustrated, bored or worse, not wanting to engage with your brand any further. 

4. Well-intentioned BUT with no audience in mind

It’s not enough to talk about how great your product is or what vision your brand carries if you don’t have an audience in mind. The voice you craft to communicate in is influenced by who you are speaking to. If that’s not in place, even the most well-intentioned ideas will fail to create the intended impact. 

5. Lots of promise BUT no follow-up

While a lead magnet is the perfect means to build anticipation in your audience, it’s not everything. To engage visitors and customers in the long run, you will need to get a follow-up plan in place. Without this, anything you say or declare will seem empty when your audience expects you to have moved from communication to action. 

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