How lead magnets are quietly (yet radically) changing the way we buy stuff online

Sometimes I just sit and wonder how life was simple in the 1800’s. If I wanted to drink milk, I would just take ten sweet potatoes (not just any potatoes, it has got to be sweet) to my neighbor and I would get ten liters of milk to feed myself and my starving malnourished babies. Well, that is how I imagine it. My history may be a little bit skewed.

And then it hit me.

The online platform is probably stuck in the 1800’s when it comes to trade. Marketers are busy finding different ways to collect emails and personal contact information belonging to their customers.

It is from the cab guy who picks you up from the airport in Kampala and drops you at Sheraton Hotel and since he was a referral driver, he now has your contacts and decides to bombard you with incessant calls. Well, he is looking for business, no fault of his own.

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It is from going to Cake Festival in Nairobi and every vendor has a book displayed to fill your name, number and email with a feedback section. They never call you to appreciate your feedback but they will definitely message you of new products.

It is from blogs such as this one (thank you for reading), trying to entice you with mind-blowing gastronomical freebies in exchange of your email address.

Well, this gastronomical freebie is what the online folk call a lead magnet. It is actually the ultimate form of batter trade.

So a lead magnet is simply an irresistible bribe which has massive value to your audience in exchange of their contact information and mostly their email address.

Now if you are wondering how to measure massive value; if you cannot charge for the product then it doesn’t have massive value.

If you don’t get that nudge at the back of your mind that says “this is too much to be offered for FREE” then it isn’t massive value.

The more value you give to your customers the more engagement and a better community you build.

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Lead magnets are assisting many solopreneurs, online marketers and influencers make a living for themselves simply by marketing directly to their customers.


With the use of an email marketing software such as Convertkit and Mailchimp, I can view who has viewed my email, how many times they have viewed my email, for how long did they view my email and what outside links did click from the email. With this data I get to study what my customers like and what they find pretty atrocious and despicable. Or probably they will just hate my bold self and unsubscribe.

With this kind of data online marketers are able to study what are the current pain points with their customers.

Lead magnets therefore enable you to build and interact with your potential customers directly. Once you have access to someone’s email address you can market to them your product.

Some of the highest converting lead magnets I have used are:

Cheat sheets, checklists and swipe files

Everyone wants quick results with little effort.

So a checklist/swipe file or cheat sheet is the quickest way to achieve this for your future clients. Rather than beating around the bush and going into details with explanation you go straight to the point.

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You promised impromptu 5 minute nifty hacks to try out with the kids, start delivering those nifty hacks rather than explaining what it will do to your relationship with the kids.

Just deliver valuable information based on your expertise and the service your offering and make it easy to read/scan through.

Definitely add contact information on how to get back to you.

A recording of a talk you gave

Audio files are becoming much better to consume than reading or watching. Reason, your future customers can do it during their commute or their morning run or whenever they have the time.

A recording of a talk you gave means you are making use of something you spent time preparing for and sharing it with a wider audience.

You can tell the audience they can have access to the talk on your website.

The recording can be a speech or an interview or a round table speech you were part of.

A replay of a workshop you hosted/case studies

Workshops are trainings you have given before and the case studies is results from your customers whom it has worked for or not worked for.

Share what they did and it worked. Share what they did and it did not work.

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Case studies make you vulnerable. Case studies will improve your like, know and trust factor. Case studies will enable your future customers become your customers sooner than you thought.


Offer free registration to oncoming live webinars.

They can be less than one hour or more but definitely less than two hours.

Recordings of these webinars can definitely be part of workshop replays in point three.

You can make the webinars with limited time replays or an evergreen webinar. Evergreen mean it is available all year round.

Your webinars can also be a monthly live Q&A with you.

Step by step blueprints or mindmaps

Create step by step process on how to achieve a specific goal.

It could be how to install Joomla.

It could be how to do your monthly taxes.

Whatever service you are offering, pick the pain point for most of your customers and create a step by step blueprint on how to achieve its result. A mindmap is simply a graphical representation of the step by step blueprint.