Is what you're using the best lead magnet?

Probably not.

Most of my posts, courses, and tutorials recommend offering a discount or a coupon as a lead magnet.


A few reasons:

  • It's easy to setup – you don't have to develop a checklist, write an eBook, or develop a course. All you have to do is send an email with a code.
  • It drives sales – the only way to take advantage of a coupon is to use it.
  • It works – people like to save money and will happily give away an email address in exchange for savings.

But is it the best?


Why Coupons Suck As Lead Magnets

  • They're easy to duplicate – just as they're “easy to setup” they're also easy to ripoff and duplicate. Nothing can really stop someone from using it multiple times.
  • They cut into profit – that discount has to come from somewhere …
  • And … the biggest reason …

They only apply to those that are about to buy.

Why is this a bad thing?

Don't we want people that are going to buy?

Yes. You want people that are going to buy and coupons help drive sales; however, in offering one as the lead magnet … anyone who is “just browsing” isn't going to care about a discount.

They're in the research phase, trying to learn more, and you're trying to “force” a sale.

Doing this will turn people off.

Instead … do this:

Give coupons to “warm” leads and helpful info to “cool” leads

  • Warm leads – those that are already on your email list and know about your business and what it offers
  • Cool leads – those that aren't on your email list and are learning about your business and what it offers

Makes sense … right?

What's The Best Lead Magnet?

The best lead magnet is one that moves the individual to the next step.

Sounds simple, but what does it mean?

Figure out the individual's problems and solve them.

The solution is then the lead magnet.

C'mon Nathan! You're not helping!

OK! Here are the steps:

Scenario: we sell tools.

  1. Pretend like you're a visitor that just landed on your website. Why are you there? What are you looking for? What problems are you having that would cause you to find your site?
  2. Write out the problem(s) – ie. I need to put a screw in my wall that will support a 20lb picture frame.
  3. Solve that problem – ie. Checklist: 5 Essential Tools To Hang Heavy Pictures | Guide and/or Video: How To Properly Hang Heavy Pictures On Your Wall
  4. The solution you provide involves a drill, a level, a stud finder, a measuring tape, and special picture frame screws that are exclusive to your business and are guaranteed to hold up to 100lbs each!

So … If I'm a guy that's trying to hang a big, heavy, picture on my wall that the in-laws gave my wife and this business was offering a “how to” video tutorial for hanging big, heavy, picture frames … I'd grab that up in a heartbeat! And, while watching the video, I'd learn that I need a stud finder and some special screws, and I'd purchase them.

Whereas, if I landed on that same site, but was only offered a 20% off coupon … I probably wouldn't grab it, because it wouldn't be helpful at that point in time … I'd still be trying to figure out how to solve my big, heavy, picture frame problem.

Make sense?

Test, Test, and Test!

The great part about all of this is that it's easily testable. You can offer multiple lead magnets various ways.

There's A/B testing where half the people that visit your site are offered one lead magnet, the other half is offered the other one, and you compare optin rates and sales (because this is what truly matters; however, it may be a little harder to track).

You can have different ads link to different optin forms that offer different lead magnets.

You can have different lead magnets for each blog post or page on your website, like Nick Loper does on

You have to test them all.

You do not simply “pick a lead magnet” on day 1 and that's it for years to come.

Try a coupon, a checklist, an eBook, a mini-course, a contest entry, etc. Try them all and on multiple topics … maybe the first checklist you create falls flat, it doesn't mean all checklists will … it simply means that first one did.

Try a coupon at 10% and one at 30%. Does it increase optin rates? Does it increase sales? You'd be surprised … more often than not, higher discounts don't result in more optins or sales and only result in smaller margins on the same number of orders.



Don't get me wrong. I still recommend offering coupons as lead magnets because, again … they're easy, they drive sales, and they work.

However, know that they're probably best served to “warm” leads who are on your email list already as opposed to “cooler” leads just learning about your business. These “cooler” folks are looking for more guidance and information, provide it in the form of a lead magnet that moves them to the next step.

At the end of the day … test, test, and test!