Lead Magnet for eCommerce Mega Guide: 7 original ideas + tools to design your own (and enlarge your mailing list)

How many people enter your shop daily?

100? 1,000? 10,000?

Out of all those people, how many end up buying?

We often obsess over the number of visitors we get and we don’t focus on the fact that they leave without buying anything, which means all the money invested in capturing them goes to waste.

That’s why you need them to at least give you their email address so you can keep in touch (and sell them things, of course). 😉

But… how can we get them to do that?

With a lead magnet, that’s how.

This post explains what exactly a lead magnet is and what types exist.

Get ready – your list is about to explode with potential customers. 😉

👉 What is a lead magnet and why do you need to have one for your eCommerce?

According to the definition:

In digital marketing, a lead magnet is a service or product that is valuable and useful to users and that is offered for free in exchange for their contact details in order to create a sales opportunity.

As you can see, it’s not just about getting the email address.

It’s actually the beginning of a marketing strategy that will help you sell more and better since it will convert visitors into subscribers or, in other words, potential clients.

Do you remember when we talked about sales funnels?

A sales funnel is the path that users go through from the time they first visit your shop until they make a purchase.

A lead magnet is how you hook visitors and get them into your sales funnel.

Keep in mind you aren’t giving content away “just because”.

The lead magnet content must be related to your eCommerce products or services and must be useful to your target audience.

Here you have an example.

If you sell sports clothes and your lead magnet is a discount for a restaurant, you will probably get subscribers – but not buyers.

Why?

They’ll subscribe for the free lunch, not because of your products (sports clothes).

✅ Advantages of having an attractive lead magnet in your eCommerce

As we said in the previous section, the main advantage is that a lead magnet helps you to increase your list of potential clients.

Your subscribers are human beings with whom you have the chance of starting up a “conversation” and selling to them through email.

But, on top of that, a lead magnet:

  1. Is easy and cheap to implement.
  2. Increases users’ trust because you offer valuable content.
  3. Helps you establish yourself as an expert in the sector.

As you can see, creating a lead magnet is quite practical, but the question is: what type of lead magnet should you offer?

Glad you asked – let’s have a look.

👉 Types of lead magnets that work for eCommerce (because it doesn’t always have to be a discount)

Offering a discount in exchange for a subscription is the most commonly used lead magnet in eCommerce ­– and it works just fine.

Plenty of brands do it with great results, offering either a percentage or fixed amount off the standard price, such as Shein.

But the aim of this post is to give you some ideas about other types of lead magnets:

  • Original ideas
  • Unique ideas
  • Ideas that drive visitors into your sales funnel so you can boost your conversion rate.

Let’s see them.

✅ 1. Offer a free trial

One of the biggest sales objections from buyers online is that they don’t know the product and can’t try it before they buy it. The solution is easy: let them try it.

That’s what we do here at Doofinder. 😉

In addition to other leads magnet (such as our guide to boost your online shop’s sales), you can try our search engine free for 30 days.

Can you think of a better idea to get to know a product?

If you have even the slightest doubt about how effective “giving something away” can be, just ask yourself how many clients you think Netflix kept after the one-month trial… plenty. 😉

✅ 2. Create an attractive quiz

There are thousands of online quizzes that tell you which cinema character you are or who you were in a previous life, for example.

And people do them without thinking just for a laugh and a bit of fun!

They also share them on their social networks, which increases their organic reach.

The conclusion is clear: Internet users like doing fun surveys online.

So, look for a topic that’s related to both your product and your audience and then create a survey whose result is sent by email. If the questions are in line with your buyer persona, your subscriber list will start growing.

That’s exactly what El Corte Inglés does for Mother’s Day:

Ejemplo de test como Lead Magnet-

A quiz to find out what type of mother your mother is that comes with a gift for her right before Mother’s Day in Spain.

Who could resist?

➡️ Extra trick

If you think about it strategically, you can create a fun test that also helps to segment your list. 😉

✅ 3. Create an exclusive group or propose a challenge

Access to an exclusive group on your social networks works really well as lead magnet because it creates a feeling of:

  • Exclusivity
  • Belonging
  • Participation

Nowadays, Internet fads like “The 21-Day Challenge” are quite the craze (that’s supposedly the time it takes to form a habit). You can organize an event in a Facebook group and suggest an idea or activity each day.

Obviously, the challenge (and activity) must be related to your shop’s products.

  • Do you sell closet organizers? Start a challenge to organize your closet Marie Kondo style.
  • Do you sell printed books? Start a group to comment on a book you sell.

It’s not about creating a super complex or expensive event. Quite the opposite – users will appreciate naturalness and intimacy regarding how your brand interacts with them.

With these challenges, not only do you get their email addresses, but you also generate engagement and foster loyalty to your company and brand, creating a community with your users.

For example, the website How I Learned Code offers extra training courses, both online and face‑to‑face, about programming and new technologies for kids.

They are currently developing an educational project based on an online course about digital electronics that explains basic concepts and relates them to the Minecraft universe.

In order to participate in the #CraftByMe challenge, users need to register and fill out a form that gives them access to all contents of the challenge.

It’s perfectly in line with their audience and they offer daily challenges to increase participation.

Perfect!

➡️ Related posts that might interest you

The strategy to get followers on Facebook and increase your post reach

What are loyalty programs or how to make a client buy over and over again from your eCommerce

✅ 4. Organize face‑to‑face or email courses

If you know exactly what your clients’ pain points are, you can offer them a course by email to solve their problems.

Once again, the course should be aligned with your shop’s catalog.

For example, if you sell cookware, you can create a cooking course with recipes that make use of the cooking items you sell.

Another option is to organize in­‑person classes, like the AMC pot makers do – they organize cooking classes with their own products.

These courses could also boost your social proof, another useful tool to increase sales.

✅ 5. Play with your client – seriously

Have you heard about gamification?

Gamification is an online marketing strategy that uses game‑related skills to encourage users to behave in a specific way.

For example comments, interactions, posts… The idea is that users have fun and show a willingness to interact with the brand,

Royal Canin, an animal food maker, started a gamification program called Club Royal Game where members win points when they play and share content on their social networks while learning how to take care of their pets.

The people in charge of this campaign explain it in the following video.

There’s no denying the results: 8,000 new subscribers in 2 months.

✅ 6. Use your catalog as a hook

Book on a tree is an Italian editorial that creates, edits, and sells picture books for children and teens.

Each season they introduce their new catalog, which can only be accessed in exchange for subscribing.

Ejempo de Lead Magnet Catalogo

If you use this idea, don’t forget to leave a “shop now” CTA that links to the catalog so that you ease the purchasing process as much as possible.

✅ 7. Create a calendar with important dates and activities in your sector

This resource is easy, attractive, and much appreciated by your target audience.

For example, if your shop is related to fitness, you can do what Blogilates does and create a link to download a calendar with monthly activities so that subscribers don’t even have to stop and think.

Ejemplo de Lead Magnet para e-commerce

In addition, this type of lead magnet means you’re entering the offline world since users will print it to use at home. That means you’ll be on your users’ minds all the time.

👉 8 tools to create the perfect lead magnet

We’ve already offered you some general ideas for your potential lead magnet, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Now you must get the ball rolling. Here’s what’s next:

  • Finding a specific subject for your lead magnet.
  • Designing it.
  • Having it on your website so that users subscribe.

And for each of those steps we’re going to provide you with a series of tools that will be very useful.

Let’s get to it.

✅ A. Tools to get subjects for your lead magnet

First, depending on the type of lead magnet you want to create, you must find a concrete idea or subject matter that’s interesting for your audience.

So how do you do that?

With some of the tools you’re about to see.

➡️ 1. AnswerThePublic

This website displays the searches made on Google by users about a specific subject.

Here’s an example of how to use it.

Imagine you have a bonsai-tree eCommerce. You’ve decided to offer a free course via email, but you haven’t decided on the specific subject you want to cover (and “Bonsai care” is just too broad for a free course).

In that case, we type “bonsai” in AnswerThePublic’s search bar.

The tool will show you a page like this one, in which we can see various bonsai-related searches.

ecommerce lead magnet

Right away, by putting together our bonsai-tree online store with two of the search results on AnswerThePublic, we get an idea:

  • “Bonsai for beginners”: maybe we could create a course via email with practical advice for those who’d like to get started in bonsai.
  • “What’s the best kind of bonsai for beginners”: what if we included an extra email with this information?

See? Only by having a look we’ve already thought of a potential lead magnet: “Practical course to get started in the world of bonsai (+extra bonus with the best types of bonsai for beginners).”

Useful, right?

It’s not over yet. 😉

➡️ 2. Use keyword research tools

An alternative option is using tools that get us keywords.

It’s a similar approach to the previous one. The difference lies in that, with this kind of tool, you go one step beyond: not only will you get potential subjects for your lead magnet; you will also know how many searches they’re getting.

If a keyword has a large amount of searches, it’s because users are really interested in that topic.

So, first think of the keywords in your field (your products, useful advice for customers, FAQs…). Next, introduce them in tools such as:

  • Ubersuggest: one of the most famous tools for keyword research. Although you must pay for it, you can make 3 free searches per day. Click here to use it.
  • Google Ads: Google’s keyword planner is a free unlimited-search tool. The problem is  —unless you’re running ads— it’ll only provide you with a range of monthly searches instead of the exact amount. In any eCommerce, however, it’s ideal for you to always have one or more active ads. Anyhow, if you’ve never used Google Ads, here’s a tutorial for you to know how to get started.

And even if there are many more tools for keyword analysis, with these two you’re more than ready to start getting ideas.

➡️ 3. Your eCommerce analytics are a goldmine

Nobody knows your users better than yourself…

… or, alternatively, than Google Search Console.

The thing is that this analytics tool by Google provides you with highly detailed reports of the keywords that are actually attracting traffic to your store.

Let’s go back to the example of the bonsai store for you to better understand this.

Imagine you go on Search Console and find out that the majority of users who land on your eCommerce do so after searching “olive bonsai tree”.

This already indicates it’s an interesting subject for your audience and it gives us an idea for a potential lead magnet: a video tutorial or a PDF guide on “The secrets of taking care of an olive tree bonsai.”

Watch out, there’s more.

You can also use the following data:

  • Product cards with the most views: so you can create special content related to those products. This information can be taken from a tool such as Google Analytics.
  • The most read posts in your blog: you can gather these posts in a guide or a manual, and offer it as a lead magnet.
  • The most searched products in your internal search engine: something useful about advanced search engines such as Doofinder is that they also display this kind of statistics.

As you can see, there are many sources for you to obtain subjects for lead magnets.

✅ B. Tools to design a lead magnet

You already have a concrete idea for a lead magnet.

Now, you must allocate a format to it and make it have an attractive design for the end user. And even if you have hundreds of design options available, we have selected the 3 simplest and most popular ones.

Let’s see them.

➡️ 4. Canva

This tool has a pretty complete free version, and it’s ideal for designing and keeping up any kind of lead magnet professionally.

These are some examples of formats you can creatively design with Canva: 

  • Gift vouchers
  • Videos
  • Worksheets (so you can design something similar to the fitness routine sheet we mentioned above).
  • Ebooks or guides.
  • Calendars.
  • Etc.

We encourage you to swing by the website and have a look at the options Canva offers. Who knows, maybe you get inspired as you have a look around.

➡️ 5. Beacon

Beacon is one of the most famous free tools to create lead magnets.

Besides, the platform is very simple to use and gives you the possibility of creating your own designs or using templates —to make it even easier for you.

Its value proposition states it clearly: “Create a beautiful lead magnet without hiring a designer”.

It also allows you to create content upgrades.

This is, turning a post from your blog into a downloadable document you can offer in exchange for their email.

For example, if on your blog you have some content like “5 recipes for refreshing and healthy smoothies for the summer”, at the end of that very post you can offer the user to download it so they can always have your recipes at hand or print them.

You can also complement the content of the post.

For example, by creating a “downloadable shopping list” in which you add a checklist with the necessary ingredients to prepare the recipes.

Note: if you’re thinking that offering a checklist is a very simplistic idea, you should know Brian Dean (SEO renowned guru) got 785% more conversions with one of those. 😉

➡️ 6. Designrr

Designrr is another option to create lead magnets in ebook format.

Designrr also allows you to convert your blog posts or Word files into a lead magnet. In addition, it has other features, such as transcribing the audio of a podcast or a video and turning it into a downloadable file.

However, unlike the previous one, this is a paid app. But given its various features, we have found it pertinent to add it here.

For you to get an idea of how it works, here’s a video tutorial taken from its YouTube Channel.

✅ C. Tools to start getting leads

This is it.

Your lead magnet is on point and now it’s time to offer it to your audience in exchange for their email.

For that, we need more specific tools such as the ones we’ll show you next:

➡️ 7. Sumo

This tool allows us to create a pop-up offering the lead magnet in exchange for the user’s email.

Something like this.

lead magnet ecommerce

This is only an example, but Sumo allows you to choose many pop-up formats, including:

  • A window that covers the entire page.
  • A frame embedded in the web layout (such as the typical subscription boxes at the end of a post).
  • A pop-up form rising from the lower right corner when the user scrolls down (less invasive to the user).

Also, you get to decide whether the pop-up should include a subscription form or only a CTA that takes the user to a registration page (such as in the example in the image).

We suggest you have a look at these examples so you can see the amount of available options out there.

➡️ 8. Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect

These two plug-ins belong to a group of tools known as Thrive Suite.

What do they allow you to do?

  • Thrive leads: it’s the tool to create forms. It offers a large amount of customizable features such as the ones we mentioned with Sumo. Click here to learn more.
  • Thrive Architect: this plug-in will be useful to design your lead magnet’s squeeze page (a special kind of landing page whose mission is to get a person’s email).

Having these two tools in your arsenal will make your mailing list keep on growing. 😉

✅ BONUS: Active Campaign to manage your mailing list

There’s more.

Last, we need a tool that gathers all those emails in a list and creates segments out of them.

This way, we can apply different strategies for the user to go further into the sales funnel (thus achieving what we mentioned at the beginning of the post: turning them into a customer).

Active Campaign can help you with this, since it will allow you to:

  • Set up automated email sequencing: that is, creating an autoresponder so that it automatically sends a sequence of emails when a user subscribes. For example, a welcome email right when they subscribe, another one a couple of days later showing them your top products, and then another one with a discount to encourage the user to make their first purchase.
  • Set up Lead Score: this is a technique that allows you to segment your users in terms of how close they are to completing the purchase in order to email them specific content. Click here if you’d like to learn more about this strategy.
  • Segment your leads by interests: this way you can send personalized content to every subscriber. For example, if you have a pet food store and you have created two lead magnets (one for dog owners and one for cat owners) you’ll be able to segment these users and send each specific content according to what pet they have.

That’s it! That would be all to make the most of your store’s lead magnet.

👉 Have you already chosen a Lead Magnet for your eCommerce?

The time is now to start working on growing your subscriber list with the help of a lead magnet.

But we don’t want to go without giving you one last trick:

Link your lead magnet to your posts that get the most traffic.

That way, you’ll get subscribers via those posts without them ever even having to go to your homepage. 😉