In preparation for this post, we looked at over 100 of the most-visited ecommerce sites and one thing is painfully clear: sites have a really hard time coming up with lead magnets for ecommerce.
Even the best ecommerce stores can’t seem to come up with anything that’s NOT just the same old coupon/discount that everyone else offers.
It’s kind of…weird.
Despite the huge surge in online shopping over the last decade, it seems modern ecommerce is still a decade behind of lead magnet best practices (don’t even get us started on the blogs, or lack thereof, on these sites).
No doubt part of this is due to everyone copying everyone else, resulting in endless discount offers.
But there’s another, more subtle reason: lead magnets are digital products. And businesses seem to have trouble bridging the gap between digital products and physical products.
After all, it’s easy to create a lead magnet if your paid products are already digital. Just create a mini version of your product or splinter off a piece of your product and boom! You’ve got a lead magnet.
That’s how it works for most online businesses. Since they operate only in the digital world, it’s a breeze for them to produce digital products like ebooks, checklists, and guides to give away.
But it’s a bit trickier when you sell physical products. This applies to physical services, too, like real estate lead magnets. So, most ecommerce sites take the easy path. They just toss up a discount and call it a day.
But that’s good news. Especially if you understand why lead magnets are important. It means there’s opportunity for a lot of easy wins.
And none of those wins is easier than creating a good lead magnet for ecommerce.
First, let us briefly explain what we mean when we say “lead magnet”.
A lead magnet is simply a free offer given to potential shoppers in exchange for their email address. As we mentioned, most online stores offer a percentage-off discount to people who sign up to their email list.
Now, we’re not hating on discounts, but there’s two major reasons why they don’t make the best lead magnets:
Only about 3% of people who come to your site will buy something. By collecting the email addresses of the other 97%, you can continue to engage them, eventually converting them into customers. And at a cost far below that of acquiring customers from scratch.
There’s a reason why email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
And ecommerce sites know it.
It’s why nearly every online store has some way to sign up for their email list (aka newsletter). Sadly, beyond offering a discount or merely asking, few of them make any real effort to drive sign ups with effective lead magnets for ecommerce. As a result, their lead magnet conversion rates languish.
So, we’ll propose some lead magnet ideas for ecommerce sites in different niches, so you can see how you might create them for your own store. Then, we’ll show you a few live examples of great ecommerce lead magnets.
First, we’ll start with Gymshark—the ultimate Instagram fitness brand. They design workout clothes and gym gear that “has your progress and the best results in mind”. A quick look at their Instagram and it’s clear who their target audience is: people who are absolutely ripped (and, especially, those who aspire to be).
Bearing that in mind, lead magnets for this niche should appeal to that specific target audience and align with their goals. Here are a few lead magnet ideas:
Workout video series featuring one or several of their influencer partners.
Cheat sheet with nutritional tips for getting ripped.
Checklist for a maximally effective workout.
Workout calendars for specific routines.
Diet planners to help bulk or cut.
The Sill lets you order potted houseplants online. It goes without saying that people who are ordering houseplants online have horticultural interests. As such, any lead magnets for this site should appeal to that interest:
Evergreen workshop webinars for plant care (they already offer workshops, but they appear to be one-time only and they don’t leverage them as an ecommerce lead magnet).
Inspiration catalog featuring beautiful shots of their plants in homes and offices.
Resource list including a number of trusted vendors for a variety of plant care necessities.
Guide on artificial lighting.
10 Crucial Tips to keep plants happy and healthy indoors.
Allbirds immediately tells you what they’re about when you visit their site: “Break A Sweat, Not The Planet”
So we know their target audience is environmentally conscious and cares about sustainable living. For this demographic, here are the options that could work as a lead magnet for ecommerce:
A roundup of the best sustainable, non-toxic versions of common products.
Green gift giving guide.
Tips on how to shop sustainably and common mistakes.
Zero-waste worksheet to help reduce a person’s carbon footprint.
List of must-visit, eco-friendly travel destinations.
Next, we tackle the billionaire cosmetic queen herself. Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics targets Generation Z females. Considering the target audience and the niche, it’s easy to see makeup and skincare would be popular topics with this group. So, here are some ideas that would be effective for their ecommerce lead generation:
Video tutorials for certain looks using Kylie Cosmetics and featuring Kylie.
Before-bed and wake-up routine checklist.
Guide on how to find the best kind of X for your skin type.
Ebook on all the common essential oils and their uses.
Skin essentials cheat sheet for summer and winter.
Email course for crafting the perfect personalized yoga routine.
30-day self care calendar.
Audio lesson for a 5 minute breathing exercise to balance mind, body, and energy.
Matcha green tea recipes to help start the day mindfully.
Infographic of yoga poses and their specific benefits.
We’ve all completed an online quiz before. They’re so effective that we even do them for fun (e.g. “Which Disney princess are you?”)
And that also makes them incredibly powerful lead magnets for ecommerce. Quizzes like the one used by the skin care brand Annmmarie allow you to personalize your marketing messages to your audience based on what they most need or desire. And once someone completes a quiz, the curiosity and investment in seeing the result will force them to hand over their email to receive the result.
So, not only do quizzes boost your email signups, they make it easier to market to your subscribers. It’s no wonder some of the most successful online brands use quizzes.
Popflex is the ecommerce branch of the Blogilates brand. They offer a free workout calendar as a lead magnet that draws their target audience into their entire ecosystem. Four things make this one of the best ecommerce lead magnets I’ve seen:
Fitness brand Fab offers yoga lessons right at the top of their homepage as well as in the bar that runs along the top of the site. It’s perfectly aligned with something their target audience would want and has higher perceived value than a text version of the lesson, making it one of the best lead magnets for ecommerce they could use. They’ve clearly mastered the fundamentals of getting people to sign up for lead magnets.
As you can see, there are a huge variety of lead magnet ideas for ecommerce. While we here at Magnnetic specialize in professional lead magnet design for the PDF format, we’ve seen lead magnets across every medium. You are only limited by your imagination.
You may have also noticed, however, that a critical part of coming up with a creative, yet effective lead magnet for ecommerce is understading your target audience. Knowing your target audience’s interests, desires, and goals lets you craft compelling lead magnets that are much more effective than a generic discount.
Best of all, you can create different lead magnets for different segments of your audience. For example, you could have one for women and another for men. Or, if you were Alo Yoga for example, you could have different lead magnets based on specific interests: one for spirituality, another for mindfulness, and yet another for yoga. You know your audience better than anyone, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
For more guidance, see our article on how to choose the perfect lead magnet.