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Much has been written about creating lead magnets. This is not the case for promoting lead magnets.

In my post, What is a Lead Magnet?, I offer a definition of the phrase, explain the purpose, offer advice for creating them and detail ten types that have proven effective for helping digital marketers build their email list. Check out the lead magnet article here if you haven’t already.

And now, stick around for the much needed sequel about lead magnet promotion. I’m going to give you 30 ways to build your email list faster.

When is a lead magnet not magnetic?

I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years consulting clients on how to use lead magnets.

Sometimes clients engage me to promote them, but usually not. Usually, we move on to the next one. That’s a problem.

Your lead magnet, much like any content you create and offer, isn’t effective until the audience of prospective buyers you covet discovers it. Limited exposure equals limited magnetism.

I take great pleasure in delivering juicy lead magnets, eBooks especially, to clients. But sometimes a painful revelation follows. I’m told the results have been disappointing. The lead magnet isn’t converting as hoped.

Is the lead magnet, itself, to blame? I think not. Is the issue the landing page, pop-up or form where it’s offered? It’s possible, but unlikely. The problem is the promotion—or lack of it.

A vital part of your lead magnet strategy must be to increase its exposure. You need to put it in the path of potential buyers and make it clear you’re offering a solution to a problem they face.

In my lead magnet trainings, I offer a long list of ways to promote lead magnets. So here you go: a promotion checklist to ensure your lead magnet does indeed help you build your email list fast.


Promote lead magnets on your website


Your homepage is bound to be the traffic center of your site, so add a call-to-action featuring your offer. Ideas for homepage placement:

  • Place it in a sidebar (if you have one).
  • Dedicate a row or pod to it.
  • Create a pop-up that’s timed, or invoked by scrolling or exit intent.
  • Feature it in your main hero shot.
  • Feature it in your footer (and leave it there as long as it’s converting).

My friend Andrea Vahl,
a social media consultant, dedicates some serious home page real estate
to her lead magnet about Facebook posts.

Resource page

When you have multiple lead magnets, you can centralize them as a convenience for your audience on a resource page where your visitors would expect to find freebies.

  • Consider highlighting your most recent, or most popular, lead magnet(s) with top placement.
  • Create display ads on key pages on your site that link to your resource page or a landing page for a specific lead magnet.

resource page
Here’s a beautifully structured resources page by GetResponse.

Direct readers to your lead magnets from your main blog index page as well as each relevant post.

  • Use the suggestions offered above under “homepage.”
  • Create forms with your offer and embed them at the conclusion of a relevant post.
  • Mention and link to your lead magnets in relevant blog posts (including older posts).


A post on the Alexa blog promotes an eBook with a form (from Optin Monster)
that pops-up when you click the link.

Any page

Any page on your website is a contender for lead magnet promotion.

  • A quick review of your analytics will reveal the pages that earn traffic and may be a smart place to offer your lead magnet.
  • A thank you page for one offer could promote another offer.
  • A 404 error page could direct “lost” visitors to your lead magnet or resource library.

When potential visitors enter a URL that doesn’t exist on Copyblogger,
the 404 page
uses the opportunity to showcase free training from Copyblogger. Smart.

Promote lead magnets via social media


Don’t think twice about offering your free content via social media updates for fear that it’s promotional. Your followers will want the content and some of your key connections may share them.

  • Create posts for ALL your social channels.
  • Repeat often for Twitter (or preschedule more tweets). Repeat occasionally for LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Pin it atop Twitter or Facebook page for an extended period of time.
  • Showcase your offer with images.
  • Experiment with pulling interesting ideas from the lead magnet for your posts.
  • Get the attention of people you might have included in your piece or influential friends by tagging them, using @ mentions, or even sending email.
  • Don’t forget to include a link to your landing page. Shorten it.

An eBook I wrote for CloudShare is promoted often via Twitter updates and LinkedIn ads.

Run ads on social media. Ads based on free offers aren’t the least bit pushy, so they can pull very well.

  • Experiment with Facebook ads or ads on the social media where your audience spends time.
  • In most cases, you won’t pay unless they’re clicked, so you can control the costs and avoid breaking the bank.

Here’s an excellent Facebook ad promoting a free course.

Cover photos
Most of the major networks feature some version of a cover photo, a place to prominently feature an image on your profile page. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube, you can use top real estate on the page to show your lead magnet and the landing page URL (if you wish).

Unbounce promotes its new “Convertables” service with a free trial offer
showcased on their Facebook profile page cover shot.


LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ all offer groups where members with common interest gather online to exchange ideas. Most will allow you to include links when they’re helpful and relevant. Don’t make promoting your content your one and only pursuit in social media groups. Participate in the discussions and add value.

Special features

Social media networks are forever changing, but are usually experimenting with new features. Tune into the networks that matter most to your audience and take advantage of special feature, such as:

  • Pinterest showcase page
  • LinkedIn company page
  • Twitter moments
  • SlideShare content boxes
  • Facebook tab sections

Swanson Broth (By Campbell) is using the new Pinterest Showcase feature to
offer free recipes and its cooking newsletter.

LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile accommodates a variety of media, so it’s an ideal place to promote lead magnets with:

  • Posts
  • SlideShares, video and media files in your summary
  • The publications section
  • The portfolio section


Here’s how social selling expert Koka Sexton uses his LinkedIn profile page to
promote a variety of the lead magnets he offers.

Pin an image and description of your lead magnet on one or more of your Pinterest boards.

  • Dedicate a board to content specifically focused on your topic.
  • Include a link in the pin and description
  • Consider “rich pins” if you qualify


I create pins for the lead magnets I offer and organize them in a pinboard
I’ve labeled “eBooks/Guides/Pointers.”


Make a quick video about your offer and add it to your YouTube channel.

  • You can show a live link within your video by layering an annotation or card (a small image) on it.
  • Put a link to your landing page in the description of your video.
  • Simply show the URL for your lead magnet in your video.


The publishing and training company, Digital Marketer, promotes its Facebook advertising products with a YouTube video. Note the clickthrough card displayed in the upper right corner of the video.

Livestreaming channels

Go live on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter/Periscope, YouTube Live, Snapchat, or any livestream channel (they come and go) to talk about your offer.

    • Show it if you can.
    • Offer excerpts.

Use hashtags.

  • Create a hashtag related to your lead magnet for Twitter and Facebook and track it.
  • Identify relevant hashtags to include in your updates to increase discovery.

Share buttons and prompts

Your exposure can increase exponentially when your content is shared on social channels. Make it easy for your readers to share your stuff.

  • Place share buttons within your lead magnets.
  • Place share buttons on your landing pages.
  • Use “click to tweet” widgets on your pages and within PDFs.

embed-click-to-shareShare buttons and “share this” prompts are generally a bit subtler than this one where
I dedicated a page at the end of “The Planner to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing”
to social media sharing.

Promote lead magnets on content hubs 

LinkedIn SlideShare is a top destination for professional content and one of the web’s most trafficked sites.

  • SlideShare has retired its lead collection feature so you’ll want to publish presentations or PDFs with prominent links to a lead capture page on your site.
  • Therefore, rather than posting your lead magnet there, create a related asset, or an abbreviated version that entices viewers to click-through.

Article directories

The web offers a ton of article directories (of varying degrees of quality and integrity). Search for trusted communities that publish articles relative to your niche and select a handful to submit to with posts that mention your lead magnet.

Open content hubs

Various content hubs or communities are essentially blogs—simplified so that anyone can publish there. Two I recommend trying are:

  • Medium—Medium is a well-reputed website and app “where everyone has a story to share.”
  • LinkedIn—Their publishing platform enables any member to publish long form posts and embed media.

It’s quick and easy to syndicate your blog posts on Medium where you can publish content
that includes links to your lead magnets.

Aggregator sites

Aggregator sites allow subscribers to submit news and articles and typically present a voting system that determines their placement on the website.

  • For starters, checkout,, and to see if they’re a fit for your content.
  • Reddit—Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website where community members submit content. Reddit is the 24th most trafficked website in the world and had 82-billion pageviews in 2015.


Forums in every industry enable you to post, interact, ask and answer question.

find forums in your niche

Find forums in your niche by doing a search for “niche” and “+forum.” 

Q&A sites

  • Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.
  • Here are 10 Q&A sites including and Yahoo! Answers, two popular choices.

Promote lead magnets via email


Announce the availability of new lead magnets via email with any or all of the following tactics:

  • Send email notices to your list announcing your offer.
  • Make mentions of your offer in your newsletters.
  • Partner with other companies to be included in their newsletters.
  • Send personalized emails to key contacts and partners to inform them about your lead magnet (and encourage them to share it).
  • Link to your latest or most popular lead magnet in your email signature.
  • Consider sponsored email programs where you pay to reach selected audiences.

Promote lead magnets where you present

Consider ways to increase interest in opting in for your lead magnet with webinars.

  • Conclude a webinar with a lead magnet offer.
  • Use them as a bonus for registering for the webinar.

Conferences and tradeshows
You could promote your lead magnet at conferences and tradeshows in a variety of ways.

  • Dedicate a kiosk or a computer display to offering lead magnets.
  • Equip your booth attendants with a tablet to secure opt-ins in real-time.
  • Distribute a handout that promotes the offer.
  • Hand out a printed version of your lead magnet in exchange for a business card.
  • Many conferences enable companies on the expo floor to collect email addresses by scanning name badges.

Speaking engagements

When you speak or participate in a panel, be sure the audience is aware you have a free and valuable bonus for them.

Promote your lead magnet wherever content is consumed

Guest blog posts

Guest blogging is an ideal vehicle for promoting your lead magnet. Build relationships with editors of prominent blogs in your industry and take advantage of opportunities to drive traffic to your landing pages.

  • Mention your lead magnets in your story when appropriate.
  • Display it, if possible.
  • If you have a favorite lead magnet, perhaps a guide or assessment, or some offer that’s ideal for first-timers, ask for permission to include a link to it in your author bio.
  • Look for opportunities to share your content in the comments, when it’s helpful.

Talk about your lead magnets on podcasts.

  • Mention them in relevant episodes.
  • Display them on the blog posts where the episodes are embedded.
  • If you don’t have a podcast, seek out interview style podcasts (most of them) where you’d be considered as a future interviewee and suggest topics related to your offer or freebie.

Search engines
Got budget? You can vastly expand the reach of your lead magnet with online advertising.

  • Google AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising service you can use to rank high on search engine results pages and pull prospects to your landing page.
  • A very similar program is offered via the Yahoo! Bing network to cover these other two popular search engines.


Retargeting (or remarketing) aims your ads at people who have been on your website. Click-through rates for these types of ads are enormously higher than other ad products.


Online advertising (beyond the types already mentioned) is not a sandbox I play in often, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore opportunities to promote your lead magnets this way.


It’s subtle, but amongst the content presented on the home page of the popular Mashable website
you’ll find sponsored content (native advertising) like the post above from Shell,
which matches the look of the website.

Increase your pulling power with attractive packaging

One more thing…

Of course, when I help clients with lead magnets (request a consultation here if you’d like), I stress how important it is to give the content you’re offering a great title with pulling power. I also believe if you “package” your lead magnets attractively—and sometimes, provocatively—it can drastically improve clickthroughs and conversion.

Consider these ideas to improve the presentation of your lead magnet offers and checkout the many examples I offer below:

  • Present it in physical form of some sort. A eBook, webinar, course, etc. is obviously something you’ll deliver electronically, but you can make it come to life and be perceived as more tangible by putting attractive cover artwork on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • You can also uses plugins, online services, and design apps to give it a 3D look in the form of a book, booklet, magazine, binder, disk, etc.
  • For social media, that is plain old organic posts (unpaid), I often treat the lead magnet as a product and write headlines about it. Sometimes I go straight and narrow to make the benefit clear and other times I write headlines to create curiosity.
  • When I present these types of “postcard” or “billboard” style lead magnet ads for blog posts and web pages, I add buttons to make it even clearer an offer is being made.
  • In most cases, I include the company logo for branding purposes.

Packaging lead magnets

Above are several examples of how I like to “package” lead magnets for on-screen display and use in social media updates and blog posts.
[RIGHT-CLICK to enlarge your view or save the image]

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