7 eCommerce lead magnets for email marketing

by Florina Coca Marketing

Lead magnet is a term that describes something you offer for free in exchange for people’s contact information. You have surely downloaded an ebook with useful information or received a free product sample for which you had to fill in your name, email and perhaps other information as well. Based on this data, your received email marketing campaigns with educational and commercial content. 

Why use a lead magnet in your eCommerce campaign? 53% of marketers say that newsletters are the most efficient lead generation strategy (Demand Gen Report, 2021). If you have an online store, you must create this kind of “magnets” to help you build an email list and start building a long term relationship with clients. 

Moreover, a lead magnet helps improve your marketing efficiency. Let’s say you run Facebook ads to get traffic on your website. However, most visitors visit your shop once and you will have to invest even more money to bring them back. But when you use a lead magnet, you get some of their contact information so you can keep communicating with them through a newsletter, without having to invest in ads for the same people. 

In this article, we explain how to create a great lead magnet and we offer some ideas and examples of lead magnets to use in email marketing, in order to enjoy an ever growing list of subscribers and clients. 

The 5 ingredients of a successful lead magnet

As stated above, every eCommerce business needs at least one lead magnet to capture attention and interest. But not all lead magnets are created equal. 

A frequent mistake is to offer something that is not valuable or relevant enough. It’s free, so people will want it anyway, right? Wrong. 

People value their data and they will not offer it in exchange for anything. We all have access to plenty of free resources online, so your lead magnet must be valuable to convert visitors into newsletter subscribers. Here are the five ingredients of a lead magnet that works

  1. It solves a real problem. Let’s say you sell home & garden products and you noticed that people find it challenging to differentiate between indoor and outdoor plants. A valuable lead magnet can be a guide that explains the difference between the two and offers concrete advice on how to pick the right plant for each environment.
  2. It offers a quick, clear solution. Continuing with the example above, no one wants to get a botany text book (with all due respect to the botanists), but photos and examples to help them buy the right plant for their apartment or garden. 
  3. It is easy to digest. Content must be clearly written and presented. The design must be professional, user-friendly and the final product easy to use by anyone. 
  4. It is truly valuable. If you convince people to fill in the form and they feel fooled when they get the free resource, they will unsubscribe and become reluctant to trust you again.
  5. It demonstrates expertise. Clients must trust you in order to buy. Besides being useful, a lead magnet is a way for you to show that you are good at what you do, be it plants, fashion or software.

Subscription form for lead magnets that convert

There are many types of lead magnets but let’s quickly talk about the importance of the subscription form first. This form is integrated with the email marketing platform you use and should have a great, simple design, and be customizable. 

NewsMAN makes it easy for you to create GDPR-compliant signup forms, with a user-friendly and responsive design. Moreover, if you have a complex website – as is the case with online stores, you will enjoy features such as duplicating forms and exporting-importing forms. 

Pay attention to the form you use because a faulty one can annoy visitors and affect your lead magnet conversion rate. 

Now, let’s see what types of lead magnets to use in email marketing campaigns

7 types of lead magnets for email marketing

Discount code to attract subscribers

A discount code can be a simple and efficient strategy to convert visitors into leads. You have probably seen popup forms offering a 5-10% code for subscribing to newsletters. Online retailers use this strategy often because it works: people get the benefit quickly and they can use it immediately when shopping. 

Test this lead magnet for your email marketing strategy but be creative. For example, why not use a wheel of fortune newsletter pop-up? This type of form is interactive and gamified, making the entire process more attractive. 

wheel of fortune newsletter pop up

Free delivery for online orders

Another quick and easy way to convince visitors to give you their contact information is by offering free delivery on all orders. As many shops already offer free delivery, this strategy alone might not work. An idea is to offer something extra besides the free delivery, like a surprise gift, a free sample, a discount coupon for future shopping or something simple like a hand-written ‘thank you’ note. People appreciate when businesses put in time and effort into the little details.

Ebooks and tips & tricks for attracting leads

Educational resources take more resources to create and implement, but the effort is worth it. Here are a few ideas of what you can offer:

  • Shopping guide
  • Product guide
  • A course with different modules delivered over time by email
  • Ideas and inspiration for decorations, fashion, accessories, gifts etc.
  • A checklist for a complex activity
  • Ebook with useful resources, depending on the business (recipes, diets, exercises etc.)

Make sure that the educational resource is easy to read and that it has a great design. Create a dedicated landing page or a pop-up with a sign up form where you promote this resource, like in the example below. 


Webinar as email marketing lead magnet

A webinar is an online event broadcasted to an audience who has previously signed up to watch it. The webinar can be a conversation, a presentation, a Q&A session etc. The advantage of a webinar is that it helps you demonstrate expertise while having a useful and entertaining discussion. 

According to Hubspot, 83% of marketers say that video resources have helped them generate leads, while 53% have said that webinars are the best source of quality leads.

Even though eCommerce is rather a B2C business, and webinars tend to be used more in B2B marketing, you can still use them. Let’s say you have an online bookshop. Why not organize an online meeting with people’s favorite writers? Or, if you have a fashion store, why not host a webinar with a designer or fashion consultant to talk about upcoming trends? People who sign up to watch the webinars become part of your newsletter audience and leads you can nurture. 

Here is a webinar idea which can be organized by any business selling to parents and children. 


Podcast to promote your eCommerce business

Podcasts have been trending for a few years in many countries around the world. Podcasts tend to have a very loyal audience, even if sometimes quite small, so they are great for keeping your leads engaged. 

Any business can create a podcast because you can literally discuss any subject, in any format you want. You can do interviews, offer educational resources or just have an informal conversation with colleagues. 

You can promote your online store in the podcast and invite people to subscribe to your newsletter to get the latest episodes as well as discounts and offers. If you don’t want to create your own podcast, you can advertise on an existing one, promoting a valuable lead magnet, like a webinar or ebook and indirectly gaining new leads. 

Free sample for eCommerce leads

Clients are often convinced to buy if they get the chance to try your product. You prove that the product is valuable and that your business is trustworthy. Free samples can be offered upon subscribing to the newsletter, independently or together with an existing order. For digital products, apps, web services or platforms, you can offer a free trial, an upgrade to the premium package  for a limited time or an extended warranty. 

If you offer services, a free consultation is also an option to gain leads. 

Gamification (contests and quizzes)

According to LeadQuizzes, contests have, on average, a 31,6% conversion rate. It’s an impressive number, so it’s worth creating contests to convert visitors to newsletter subscribers. 

Remember the quizzes that were once popular in social media, such as “What type of animal are you?”, “Who is your sitcom character?”, “What is your true age?” etc. Imagination is the only limit when it comes to quizzes like these. 

They are created to entertain and make people curious about the result, so that they have an incentive to sign up to see the results. Depending on your business, your quizzes can be more or less humorous and creative. Besides the signup form, at the end of the quiz you can recommend different products depending on the results and you can offer a discount code. Here are a few quiz ideas:

  • “Find out what outfit fits you this summer”
  • “Answer these 5 questions and discover your perfect glasses”
  • “Do you know your complexion type? Fill in the quiz and find out”
  • “Tea or coffee? Tell us more about your favorite product and win a 10% discount code”

We hope that these ideas inspire you to create one or more lead magnets for your email marketing campaigns. Don’t forget to follow up with email sequences that include different types of newsletters and to communicate on a constant basis, so that your efforts to convert leads are not wasted. 
Visit our blog to discover how to create successful eCommerce email marketing campaigns and try NewsMAN for free to see how easy it is to integrate your online shop and follow leads from their first visit to their first buy.

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