Generate Leads with Free Digital Goods – Lead Magnet

Generate Leads with Free Digital Goods - Lead Magnet

It’s safe to say that generate leads and converting them into your customers is one of the primary goals of digital marketing. But the question is how do you get your audiences to take interest and sign up for your lead-capturing form in the first place?

Why You Need Lead Magnets

Aside from having a dedicated landing page that made especially to generate leads, it’s clear that with small space (popups and subscription form on sidebar), website owners need to convince the audiences to fill in the email address with minimal prompts.

Although a good site experience and clever content marketing can increase the chances to generate more leads, yet it might be not enough to convince your customers to sign up for your weekly update.

By only coming across one article via a search result, the audiences don’t know what they will get by entering their email address on a site they encountered on the search result page. The audiences need some motivation and here’s why we need “free” products also known as Lead Magnet to get the leads to come in.

The “Free” Products Build a Sense of Value

After you have read the part where examples of “free products” are introduced, I’m sure you must be surprised that these things have little to do with monetary values.

With the “free” good being offered to the customers whether it’s just a simple 30 page of PDF or an exclusive 1-hour yoga training video, people felt as these values worth/overthrow their time and effort to fill in the email. They feel satisfied and happy with the free thing they get without spending a dime.

The Most Popular Lead Magnet – Exclusive Content (PDF, Podcast, and Video)

Being one of the most common lead magnets of all time, exclusive content is easy to create and distribute without spending too much time, money, and effort. Below are some samples of exclusive content you have seen all over the internet.

  • 30 page eBook of How to Get Traffic Online for Free
  • 8 Effective Cold-Emailing Templates
  • Podcast featuring Famous Scriptwriter for Common Scriptwriting Mistake in Newbies
  • 12 Beautiful Digital Drawing Calender
  • 10 Minutes HIIT with Famous Trainer and Here’s the Results

If it’s done right, you might be getting yourself a huge amount of leads. However, for people like me who immune to popup with lazy prompts and bad design, where my eyes instantly search for the “x” button, I would say 80% of these lead magnets are failing to generate leads.

Some of Them Sucks, Why

A great deal of them does not appeal to me because they don’t seem to provide any actual values. For someone who already got used to those popups with “free” exclusive contents offered, it’s a matter of time to immune to the generic popups.

So, what’s made them become “generic” in the first place?

One word to describe it is “repeating”.

The same old popup style, the same old prompt, sometimes even the same lead magnet (or no lead magnet at all). It’s no longer attracting leads, and quite oppositely, it’s really annoying that it’s covering the content that I was reading.

To these days, whenever a popup comes up, I’ll take one second to skim the content. And if my eyes can’t find anything worth signing up in one second, I’ll be looking out for the close button so I can get back to my reading.

But most of the time, my busy self will just close the annoying popup once it appears on the screen without a glance.

Does that mean that exclusive contents as lead magnet are no longer working? Of course not! It still works but you will need to work extra to convince me to sign up for your newsletter!

How to Make Them Appeals to Audiences

Whether you want to create a product to sell or a free product to give people, it’s important to know that the target audience plays a key role in deciding which products you decided to give out for free in exchange for their contact email.

My experience can’t tell you anything about other’s experience, but I ensure you that as a frequent website user, I will definitely appreciate you if you manage to hit all the points below.

Create Content

So how do you create the content for your future subscribers? Most of you will probably Google some lead magnet ideas and pick the one that interested you the most.

But the point here is that your audiences are the ones that choose whether to fill the email and download the free good, or ignore it and walk away.

You audiences are the one who decides on the final decision (sign up or not sign up). Not you.

Now, instead of browsing for the best lead magnet on Google, look at your most viewed articles on your site. And try to create unique, insightful, and useful content from those topics.

This’s because there’s a fair chance that these articles are either ranked very well on search engines, well-received among your fans on social media, or both. This indicates most of your traffic will interest in this particular topic, adding the chances to generate more leads.

Medium for Distributing Content

Now you have your content ready, how do you want to distribute to your audiences? Is it with PDF, video, or podcast? Some people might find the podcast more interesting, while some will find PDF more manageable.

To find out the best medium, you can either make a survey or create a poll on your social media. Or if you find that to be too troublesome, you can also take notes of how the big bloggers in the same community as you create their lead magnet.

Slide-In Popup

In contrast to the traditional popup that covers almost all the content, slide-in lead-capturing forms are less aggressive since most of them slide into the users’ view from the sides of the website.

Most websites nowadays are either 1-column layout or 2-column layout with a sidebar. Thus once the form slide in, it’ll only cover part of the content or the sidebar. This not only will not disturb the content but at the same time, people will also take notice when the sliding animation is triggered.

Sometime, people will only notice the form once they lay their eyes on the covered content. This will most likely get more attention from the viewers since they need to find the “x” to close the popup and resume back to the content. And in order to find the close button, there’re slight chances they will skim through the content.

Popup Right Before Tab Closes (Exit Popup)

Certain popup plugins and widgets allow its popup to appear right at the moment the users are about to leave the site, this means that you won’t interrupting the content since the users don’t really read it anymore. And WordPress plugin OptinMonster has the exact function for you to do that,

Full-Screen Popup

Full-screen popup interrupting the users in the middle of their content browsing is not a pleasant way to welcome your users to your site. They are blocking the whole content from head to toe!

But if you paired it with the exit popup that’s mentioned above, you’re getting yourself a grand lead-capturing form! Not only full-screen popup allows you with more possibilities to highlight your lead magnet, but you can have more freedom in design to generate the most leads out of it.

Delay the Appearance of the Close Button

Some popup widgets and plugins can delay the surfacing of the “x” button. This means that users will skim through the popup to find the “x” button. There’s a chance that the users will take interest in the lead magnet shown on the popup and sign up for the sake of it.

Fixed Lead-Generating Bar

With just a simple code or and plugins and widgets, you simply put a bar on the top, bottom, left and right side of the website. No matter how much the users scrolled, the bar will always stick to the edge of the website, waiting for its users to sign up.

And unlike any other popup, fixed bars occupy an empty space on their own instead of overlay parts of the content. Far from your traditional form on the sidebar, this form won’t disappear when users scroll down. Eventually, users will notice the form that seems to never disappear despite how much they scroll.


Imagine sawing a button on the website jiggling, will you notice the button immediately? When color alone is not enough for users to notice the button, people think of adding the animation effect on the CTA button to get attention from viewers.

Usually, the animation effect is added to the button on a fixed form, making the fixed element more noticeable.

Form on The Left Side

We all know that humans often read from left to right. And traditional blog often has a sidebar on the right. As the time passed, we are trained to ignore the sidebar on the right to make our reading more efficient and effective.

So, instead of getting your fixed form on the right of the sidebar, try to get the form on the left of the sidebar instead. Those who aren’t avid internet users will find a hard time to ignore the form on the left as they do with the form on the right sidebar.

High Contrast Between Texts and Background

Although so far I haven’t met someone who uses orange text on a pink background or something like that, there’s a trend where people love to use an image as the backdrop for the text.

And most of the time background image doesn’t really serve a purpose in increasing lead generation and whatsoever. In fact, background images with various hues and lightness can decrease the contrast between text and background, make it harder for users to skim and understand the content.

Image for Better Understanding of the Lead Magnet

Even though a background image is unnecessary and can be damaging, you shouldn’t exclude images from your lead-generating form. A simple image of a book mock-up with professionally done cover photoshopped on it will let the users understand what’s the lead magnet without even reading the text.

This makes users acknowledge it’s about an eBook. At the same time, a professionally-done image with no additional distraction (transparent background) can gain users’ awareness better than plain old text. Make it the perfect elements to include in fixed form and slide-in popup.

Large Bold Text with Understandable Fonts

Style of texts plays a huge role in gaining attentiveness especially for non-aggressive methods like fixed bar and slide-in popup. Use large 24px bold text to make it more visible among 16px text. Sure enough, people will notice it.

A good font for a CTA form is that the users should have no issue in identifying each letter and word. And result in comprehending the lead magnet faster. So, no fancy calligraphy font for today.


We all know color plays an important part in CTA elements. And this time is no different. A color like red, blue, and even gradient can stand out from the majority of the web content (white background and black text).

You can use different colors on the text and button, pair it with animation and you get yourself some attention-seeking CTA form! As long as the text and button are visible to the eyes of your users, play with different color combos for the best result.

Keep the Prompt Straightforward

You need a good prompt to persuade people to buy your thing. Keep your prompt sweet and short. Avoid jargon. Highlight how your lead magnet will benefit the users. Use bullet points if necessary if you have a ton of space, for example, a full-screen popup.

Social Proofs and Credential

How to make your lead magnet appeared to be more valuable? Use social proof like review and credentials such as badges and awards to show your expertise in related fields.

This adds value to the lead magnet by proving to the audience that its quality is trusted by other users (reviews) and it’s being produced by someone who is an authority in the field (credential). This will make the lead magnet worth the effort to enter the email and signing up.

A/B Testing

Never forget about A/B testing when you want to work with CTA form, you can see which version of your popup and fixed form generate more leads. Luckily most popup form plugins and widgets allow you to do A/B testing by providing you an insight of your CTA performance.


Generate leads are important and yet, people always ignore the demand of their users when create lead magnets. And always A/B testing for your popup and form for the best performance. At the same time, user experience shouldn’t be ignored especially if you wish for returning visitors on your website.

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