The majority of people who land on your ecommerce site won’t buy anything. They’ll likely browse your for a few minutes and then leave. So even with lots of traffic, your revenue suffers.

Instead of losing site visitors forever, you need a way to get their attention to improve your chances of boosting your revenue. What you need is a lead magnet.

A lead magnet promises something of value to a lead in exchange for their contact information. Once you have their contact information, it’s easier to convince leads to come back to your page and buy something.

When you figure out what your audience needs and values, create a lead magnet that incorporates the following ideas and gets leads to take action.

Let’s take a look at lead-magnet ideas and how to choose which one to use based on audience needs and values.

1. Discount Code

The majority of shoppers are motivated to buy something when they’re offered a discount. In fact, 93% of consumers say that they appreciate a good deal. This is why discount lead magnets are so popular. People want to feel like they’re getting value in the product they’re going to buy, as well as a good deal.

When to use: Offer a discount to encourage sales of products with slow sales. This encourages shoppers who aren’t familiar with your brand to at least try your products since they don’t have to pay full price.

How to use it: Offer shoppers either a percentage off or a dollar amount off of their first purchase. Ask leads to enter their email address in exchange for the discount code so that you can continue to nurture those leads.

To increase revenue, include a minimum purchase amount in the offer. In this Pickwick & Weller example, leads have to buy at least $50 worth of products in order to use the discount.


2. E-book, infographic, or guide

Studies show that 70% of shoppers buy something because it solves a problem. One way to position your product as the solution to a specific problem in your niche is to offer educational content. Depending on how much information your audience needs before they feel comfortable buying, educational lead magnets can vary in length. For example, if you sell vitamin supplements, an infographic that highlights a few fast facts about the benefits of taking vitamins every day will do more to convert leads than a 30-page e-book will.

When to use: E-books, infographics, and guides work well when your goal is to target people who are in the awareness and consideration phases of the sales funnel. These shoppers don’t know a lot about you or your products yet so informational content educates them on how your product solves their problem.

How to use: Use this type of lead magnet to offer specific product or industry information your audience is interested in. For example, if you sell organic teas, a short e-book that explains how you source ingredients, describes what your manufacturing process is, and shares behind-the-scenes images of your company can educate shoppers who care about what goes into this type of product and may encourage them to buy something.


3. Resource list

Between 2012 and 2017, the number of people using the internet grew by 82%, which speaks to how much information is available online. Shoppers looking for specific information now have more access than ever before. But access to more information doesn’t mean that it’s easier for shoppers to make decisions. In fact, decision-making is harder because there’s so much information to sift through. That’s why resource lists are such a helpful tool. Give leads everything they need in one place to improve the chances of them making a buying decision sooner.

When to use: Like e-books and guides, resource lists educate shoppers. If you have a lot of competitors, put together a list of helpful resources as a way to consolidate the types of information shoppers look for and to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

How to use: Use this lead-magnet idea to offer a solution to a specific audience need. For example, if you sell running shoes, offer a resource list like the one below from Runner’s World. Your resource list can include fitness equipment, clothing, and, of course, links to your products. Not only do you show leads what they need, but linking back to your product makes it easy for them to buy something once they have the information they need.


4. Survey or quiz

Surveys and quizzes are a great way to learn about your leads. For example, shoppers who visited your site in the past but didn’t purchase anything can quickly tell you why. This type of lead magnet works well when it’s paired with another offer. For example, offer $20 or 10% off as a way to incentivize shoppers to take the survey or complete a quiz.

When to use: If you notice that a lot of traffic is coming to your site, but conversions are low, even after you make changes to the format, content, and CTAs, consider using this type of lead magnet to get audience insights to improve sales.

How to use: To maximize response rates, keep the survey or quiz short and include as part of the lead magnet.


5. Free shipping

As an ecommerce retailer, one of the best ways to encourage shoppers to buy is to offer free shipping. For shoppers in the purchase phase of the sales funnel, free shipping may be the deciding factor between them buying from you or one of your competitors. In fact, studies show that shoppers are four to five times more likely to buy something if free shipping is offered.

When to use: Use this option if there’s a large number of shoppers who add products to their carts, only to abandon them shortly afterward. Unexpected shipping costs may explain some of the abandonment. Use your lead magnet to promote free shipping and to ask shoppers to submit their email address to receive a code.

How to use: Set this lead magnet to appear in multiple places so that shoppers browsing your site are reminded that free shipping is an option. For example:

  • Include a banner at the top of your homepage.
  • Include pop-ups that appear when shoppers land on your product and checkout pages.
  • Embed a lead magnet within other pages of your site

Include a minimum requirement, such as “Free shipping for purchases over $50,” or follow the example below: “Free shipping for orders of 3 or more products.”


Best practices that maximize revenue potential

There are lots of lead magnets to choose from that cater specifically to ecommerce businesses. Regardless of which lead-magnet idea you use, there are a few best practices to keep in mind that will help make it easier to generate leads and increase sales:

  • Phrase your offer based on audience values. Discounts are popular, but to get shoppers to hand over an email address in exchange for a discount code, think about what resonates with your customers. Is saving money more important to them, or do they want to get something in return? Think about it this way: Do shoppers want to save $25 or get 10% off their purchase?
  • Time when your lead magnet appears. Your lead magnet shouldn’t be the first thing that pops up when someone lands on your website. It’s annoying, and if they don’t know much about you or your product, they’re more likely to close the lead magnet before they even read the offer. Instead, set your lead magnet to appear when visitors plan to exit the page. That way, they’ve had a chance to look around and are more familiar with your products, so there’s a higher chance that they’ll share their email address with you, so you can keep in touch.
  • Consider using a dedicated landing page. This works for e-books, guides, and resources. One option is to ask leads to enter their email addresses into a field on the lead magnet and then automatically receive the product. Another option is to redirect leads to a landing page that offers more details about the lead magnet — the e-book, guide, or resource list — your products, and the benefits.

The goal here is to maximize the number of leads you get so that you have more chances to connect with people interested in what you offer and encourage them to buy.

Get started

The best way to get started is to choose a lead-magnet idea that matches your needs and goals and then test the effect on lead generation. Adjust your offers until you find the version that generates the most leads. The key to increasing revenue is being able to nurture your leads so that they buy something.

For example, if you offer a discount, test to see whether you get more leads with a percentage discount or a dollar amount off. Next, test the amount of the discount.

You can even alternate between lead magnets if more than one works. Updated content shows shoppers that you’re active and prepared to cater to their needs.