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  • Writer's pictureBen Erdelyi

Top 11 Lead Magnets For e-Commerce

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

An online store can never have too many customers.

You habitually write your blog posts, run Facebook Ads and you even pay attention to your SEO, yet still, 90% of your “leads” never end up buying from you.

So here is the main question: how can you increase the number of actual customers to in turn raise your bottom line?

The short answer: Lead magnets.

A lead magnet is something of value that you offer your leads in exchange for their contact information.

It can take many forms: checklists, eBooks, free reviews or even a coupon code to win some sort of prize.

It’s a real win-win situation: your lead gets something of value, and you get their contact information and so the opportunity to contact them later, offer them more value and potentially sell them your products or services.


What makes a good lead magnet?

One method is to offer a simple and attainable solution to a burning question.

You will need to find out the biggest problems in your market, figure out the answer and then find a way to give it to them on a PDF or even a video.

Another method is to instantly reduce the price on a product they were looking at. Think about free shipping, 10% discount and things of that nature.


The opportunity to win something, i.e. the lottery effect.

You can maybe tell them that by signing up for your newsletter, they will enter a special list where you will draw out one subscriber who will receive a high-ticket item.

Other than that, here are a few best practices:

The knowledge you share is unique - they won’t find it anywhere else.

Make it easy to consume - no need for your “267 habits to make $1 million” checklist... save it for later.

Oh yeah and make sure that it is of high quality and shows your subscriber that you know what you are talking about. It’s quite awkward when some middle-aged overweight man tries to sell fitness advice…

How to tell your website visitors that you have a special gift for them?

Yep, there is a simple answer here as well.

And it’s called:


A popup is a massive box of text (or picture) that appears to your website viewers, asking them to take some sort of action.

Remember when you tried to illegally stream the game of your favourite sports team and for some reason those extra pages appeared, but they just would not allow you to close them?


That’s NOT what I mean.

Forcing them to stay on your page is actually illegal - don’t do that.

A popup on a professionally made online store is not something that should scare your viewers, the aim is to offer them the opportunity to consume “the thing” you are offering them.

It should be attention grabbing enough so they can’t not see what’s in front of them, but not too attention grabbing which would scare them and make them leave your page.

Got it? Good.

Oh yes and I almost forgot for an ecommerce store, popups are actually not the only way to offer your visitors the lead magnet.

You can promote it on your blog, vlog or social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc...

If you have a blog or produce some sort of comment, make sure to include your lead magnet offer at the end in a friendly manner, showing that you have no expectations.

I hate it when someone ruins a blog post with a badly executed lead magnet, which makes me feel like the only reason they wrote the blog post in the first place is to promote the offer.

What Are the Best Lead Magnets?

We gathered 11 different types of lead magnets that we believe work THE BEST for eCommerce stores, let’s dig in:

#1: Coupons

Using coupons is probably the easiest and most effective way to generate leads for your online store.

There are many ways to execute this strategy: depending on your store, you can set a minimum price above which you allow your viewers to use their coupon or it can be applied to all purchases.

For instance, ’10% off on orders above $50!’

There are also coupons that apply to certain categories within your store, such as ’20% off on kitchen equipment!’.

Hot tip: Make sure that these coupons include at least 3 of your top 10 best sellers for that month/year, or perhaps create a coupon code for all your best sellers separately.

Coupon codes can also be applied to shipping costs, such as „Use code X to get free shipping on orders above $35”.


Before you try and get as many email subscribers as possible with the coupon code method, bear in mind that around 90% of your subscribers that get this discount will definitely use them, which ultimately lowers your profit margins on the first purchase.


#2 Daily Promotions

The effectiveness of this method depends on its scarcity and the best situation to use it is if you have a lot of products.

Pick a product from your best sellers and offer it at a discount (or maybe free shipping) in exchange for your website viewers’ email address.

You should then tell your leads about this on either that particular product’s specific page, or via an exit intent popup – it’s important to make it clear that this offer is only valid for 24 hours.

You can also promote this deal on your blog, your social media channels or even on your Google meta description, but the most important thing is to put the message out everywhere in order to get the best possible reach.

Make it clear that this is a ’once in a lifetime opportunity’.

For most people, the so-called ’fear of losing out’ on a product is much more powerful than the desire to get the product at a discount. The game changer is therefore not the discount itself, but the urgency.


#3 Free Product Sample

The idea behind a free product sample is that you offer your leads a portion of your product at no cost so they can try it out before purchasing.

This will likely increase your long-term conversion rates given that your products are of high quality.

An example of this can be those fragrance brands (Hugo Boss, Armani, Abercrombie) at the airport – you can try out which perfume you like and then you know exactly what you are purchasing.


#4 Prize Competitions

The biggest strength of prize competitions is their ability to move the masses and generate a lot of leads.

However, this is also their biggest weakness.

If you tell your leads that they can enter your competition to win something with a product that is very desirable for them but has little (or nothing) to do with your business, you will likely get a lot of angry feedback.

We had an ecommerce brand we worked with who fell into this trap – the spam complaint rate on our general newsletter was the highest I have ever seen.

I would recommend that you pick one of your own products as a giveaway (this works especially well if you sell high-ticket items), and that way you minimize this risk.

Pro tip: While choosing how much value you are offering as the prize, make sure to consider the dollar per recipient (aka how much money do you make for every email sent), so that you will always come out with a profit in the end.

Encourage your leads to share the competition with their friends on social media (maybe you can even say that the more they share, the better chances they will get of winning).

After this you can make a huge deal out of the competition – create a live event broadcasted on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram of you carrying out the draw.

During the event, you can already create another call to action for your next competition, hence using the snowball effect of growing your reach.

Free advertising is the best advertising! (Most of the time.)


#5 Product catalogue with coupons and vouchers

I am sure you have heard of the ’Glamour’ days. Yep, that’s the lead magnet I am talking about.

In order to have the opportunity to get a coupon, your lead would first need to buy your ’tripwire offer’, aka the low-cost introductory first purchase.

This tripwire offer could potentially cover your advertising costs, so you break even on your cost per acquisition figures.

The other mechanism that’s happening in the background is the fact that no one will use up all the coupons they receive once they make that initial purchase, meaning that you can ’get in bed’ with your leads without making an extra effort.

Thankfully, you can get all of this done in digital format, so the distribution of this catalogue will become fairly simple.

Insert a barcode inside which you can attach to the discounted products in your catalogue system.

The even better option is just to share the coupon code - ’THANKYOU20’ for instance – so your customers will just have to copy and paste it at checkout.


#6 Gift Card (the secretly clever lead magnet)

I had no idea what to give my mother for Christmas.

And then it hit me – a podiatrist friend of mine started telling me how satisfied she is with her gift card.

Had no idea gift cards existed for getting your nails done…

Grabbed one straight away and it made my mom very happy as she was struggling with her nails before.

She even got a free massage at the end of the session.

Hot tip: Don’t end up like me in the story above – all your customers should know you have a gift card.

In fact, when they hear the word gift card, your online store should be the first thing that comes to their mind.

If you can’t do it any other way, tell them after each unique purchase – a couple of sentences in italic should do the job at the end of your mails/emails/messages as a ‘P.S.’.

In case you want to use gift cards to get new leads (rather than just your existing email list), stick it out in a very clear manner as an upsell or down sell offer on your product pages.

It’s important to set 2 things clear:

- What products or services your gift card is valid for?

- What is the expiry date?

One more thing: bear in mind that this lead magnet should be communicated differently to others, because it does not target your main core audience, it is more of a profit maximiser.


#7 Quiz

Not many people like to fill out a quiz.

However, if you manage to create a set of quiz questions that gives you extra information about your potential buyers, that’s your non plus ultra, your holy grail.

A perfect example could be a web shop I know that sells cosmetics, who managed to put together a quiz which tells their customers everything about which product solves which problem, which skin type and how it all comes into practice.

The description of different skin problems and their recommended products (solutions) will be available on both the website and as a downloadable PDF.

This way, both the leads and the web shop receive valuable information, making this method a real win-win.

This also helps the online store to segment its customers, so that whenever they create a marketing campaign, they know exactly which part of their audience should be targeted and what sort of traffic it should expect.


#8 Waiting List

Companies that sell very popular products (Apple, Ferrari, Armani) LOOVE waiting lists as a lead magnet, because they can hit 3 birds with one stone:

- They can now see the most demanded products

- They can make very precise predictions about traffic and order volume

- They grow their email list with very hot leads

One of the biggest advantages of a waiting list is that you only need to set it up once, and you are done! It is practically an automated cash machine.

They receive the product, the machine sends out notifications to your subscribers saying, “hey guys, our new product is here, you can sign up below”.

That’s it.

This is why Apple does not need an online marketing magician (although I am sure they have a few).

Their brand is so strong while the process is systemised to perfection.

As the icing on the cake, this method also allows you to gather information about your subscribers, putting them all into appropriate market segments.

The drawback is that you need a very strong brand and/or products that are highly popular.


#9 Checklists

We use this method for one of our clients and results have been insane.

We put together a checklist for ‘the perfect wedding’ (niche niche ey?) and we edited it in a way that the customer is able to tick each box after a specific task is completed.

The reader can go through the checklist step-by-step, nothing will be missed.

After that, there will be follow up emails that provide more detail on each step (one step per email), so the unsubscribe rate is very minimal using this method, therefore your customer retention rate will benefit, hence higher lifetime value.

P.S. These emails will also contain upsells, cross sells and all the juicy bits.


#10 Early Bird Discount

This method can either be used similarly to the waiting list (#8) or as a part of your ‘product intro’ campaign.

This one is also similar to a waiting list in the sense that you get an idea of the scope of the demand for your product.

You can either allow your leads to sign up on your email list in exchange for the discount codes, or even as a paying option:

for instance, your lead might be able to pay 50% of the product price within 24 hours, and in return, you let them know when the product becomes available before anyone else.


#11: Closed Facebook Group

A closed group always creates a sense of privilige for members, i.e. they feel like a VIP.

You can use it as a place where your customers share their experiences and how they are using your products, which you can maybe even use later on as testimonials on your marketing campaigns.

You will obviously need to manage and moderate your group, but at the same time you can also provide extra rewards or bonuses to group members.

A good idea might be to give these rewards to members who bring new members and/or encourage others to buy your products, hence ensuring the long-term growth of your special group.



Lead magnets can perform really well or really poorly, but the most important thing is to have one in the first place.

The more the better.

Do not stop at just one.

You should also stop listening to marketing gurus, and let the market decide which lead magnet works best for YOUR online store by testing them all and testing them smart.

Thanks a lot for reading!

Disclaimer: This article was originally written in Hungarian by Rita Szalai, CEO and Co-Founder at and then translated / re-written by Ben Erdelyi from Budai Media Ltd.

P.S. Which lead magnet works best for your business and why?

Let us know your experience and/or opinion about lead magnets in the comments below!


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