Help! Why Am I Not Getting Many Opt-Ins for My Lead Magnets and Free Guides?

lead magnet conversions

There are lots of possible reasons why you might be getting a disappointing amount of opt-ins for your lead magnets, free reports, and e-books. And, if you have found this article, chances are you are looking to do something about it. 

I mean, what’s the point in all those visitors if they don’t convert? Let’s do something about that. Join us as we examine the most common ailments that may be costing you those new leads. 

However, just before we start…

What Is A Lead Magnet?

Magnet for leads - a lead magnet!

While you may not be aware of the phrase, you’ll undoubtedly have encountered lead magnets on your internet travels already. Otherwise known as email opt-ins, lead magnets take all forms, sizes, and shapes

You see that attention-grabbing banner, tantalizing call-to-action, or offer of free stuff in the footer? Y’know, the one that’s telling everyone to trade their email address for continued website access, or the subtle message strategically scattered throughout a piece of content? That’s a lead magnet.

The lead magnet’s job is to provide an offer that compels the visitor to opt-in to your email list. If you have been watching too many rounds of The Godfather, you might call it a bribe. Except, it’s not quite as brutal as that. There’s no horse heads under the covers. Unless you specifically ask for that, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

A lead magnet usually provides an all-encompassing offer (that you can’t refuse) and appeals to any visitor that lands on your page. 

Why Should I Want To Maintain Or Create A Lead Magnet?

Lead Magnets

Good question. It’s because, chances are, those first-time visitors won’t be planning on an initial return to your website. Yet, by offering a lead magnet, your enticing offer should capture the attention of those first-time visitors and create an immediate connection

If you can offer something useful in exchange for the visitor’s email address, then a line of communication is born! From that, you can build trust with the user straight through the comfort of their email inbox.

From offering discounts on services and products, to sharing published blog articles, your Return On Investment (ROI) will benefit from a strategically executed email campaign courtesy of lead magnets. Above all, you’ll build authority on the subject or service with each audience member. 

Opt-In

Lead Magnet

First of all, in order to get people opting in, you need people visiting your website. If you don’t have much in the way of website traffic then you won’t get that much engagement. It’s as simple as that.

So, you need to look at your Google Analytics to establish what sort of traffic your website is getting on average each month. If you’re only getting tens of visitors then that’s most likely your problem – low traffic volume. 

Increase your traffic and you will naturally increase your engagement. Two of the best ways to increase traffic are Google Ads and Search Engine Optimization. We would heartily encourage the latter, for various reasons that we will mention later on. 

Next, the system that facilitates the opt-in process has to work! If you’re in any doubt, test it out for yourself! Make sure that you’re able to opt-in for your own lead magnets.

Integration and Implementation 

lead magnet funnel

Something could have gone wrong with an integration. Perhaps people are trying to request your reports but there’s a bug in your system somewhere. Did you change anything recently that could be causing an error?

Another common issue we see on websites is bad implementation. Your website visitors need everything to work smoothly

Any obstacles to them entering their information are going to reduce (or kill) engagement so you must ensure that the opt-in process is easy to understand and requires a minimum amount of thought and effort from visitors.

Don’t ask for any information that you don’t need (you don’t need to know their last name at this stage, their address, blood type, iris scan, or preference over cats or dogs) and try making the phone number optional.

Test out the opt-in process yourself and try to think like a frustrated, skeptical, busy, impatient website visitor, then ask yourself honestly – is this process the easiest it can be? If not, why not?

You really don’t want to lose leads simply because of poor implementation! And don’t forget that more than 50% of your website visitors will be accessing your site on their mobile phone, so be sure to test on your mobile too.

Are Your Leads Magnetic Enough?

Lead magnet

Next, are your lead magnets “magnetic” enough? Is it clear to your visitors what the benefits will be to them of accessing and reading your free report? People will only opt-in if they can perceive some value to doing so. 

What is it that you’re offering them? And what do they “perceive” they will receive. Is there a disconnect between the two? Have you given enough thought to the title of each of your reports? 

If your report titles are too bold in their claims then people might be skeptical about the content and, equally, if the title is bland people are unlikely to be interested in whatever you are offering

Changing the titles of your reports could very likely have a huge impact on the number of people requesting them! A bit like how John Lennon and Paul McCartney enjoyed a larger impact changing the name of their band from The Quarrymen to The Beatles. Don’t say we don’t teach you things.

Trust! 

lead magnet trust

Finally, is there a trust issue which could be preventing people opting-in? Does your website look trustworthy? Do your report titles align with the rest of the messaging of your website? Can people trust that you have the knowledge and expertise to help them?

Perhaps more importantly, can they trust that you won’t spam them with emails and phone calls and make them regret that they gave you their contact details? Perhaps you add some text (or a video) to reassure these people who are feeling nervous and skeptical that you genuinely want to help.

After all, modern digital users don’t tolerate spam. Nobody likes spam. Not even spammers likes spam.

Increasing Traffic With Organic Growth

Lead Magnet SEO


By increasing your traffic, you are highly likely to reap a larger number of opt-ins through larger audiences. While paying for Google Adverts may look like the quickest way to gain this audience, there is a drawback to note.

As soon as you stop paying for those Google Ads, then your positioning on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) will literally disappear. Whereas Organic, which is admittedly slower for audience results, is starkly different.

By investing in organic aspects of SEO performance, you can create a bedrock foundation that appeases the Google overlords and gets you into their good books. In doing so, you craft a secure future with Google and the web’s other search engines.

Going for adverts won’t require too much effort, but it can be difficult to justify the costs depending on your subsequent visitor numbers. Organic is usually cheaper, but does take some elbow grease and effort with content – alongside a knowledge of how SEO works.

Don’t panic if this all confuses you. Get in touch with us at any time through our contact page. We’d be delighted to talk you through the process!

Appropriate Types of Lead Magnets

lead magnet problems

It sounds like a silly statement and common sense, but don’t offer things that don’t make sense, or don’t have a purpose. Try to go for something along these lines:

  • A free ebook that would usually cost money.
  • A promo code.
  • A free trial subscription to something that usually rests behind a paywall.
  • A free white paper.
  • A worksheet or workbook.
  • Free advice or guidance.
  • A free 30-minute consultation.
  • An email course.
  • The first chapter of your most recent publication.

You get the idea! Don’t just stick to our recommendations. If you have an idea and think it will work, then go for it! 

In Summary: Best Practices

Lead magnets best practices

Hopefully you now grasp the importance of lead magnets, and how they can create a lucrative pool of trust and subject authority with users. It should all come together for repeated visits from individuals who eventually convert and become a client!

So, to finish the lesson, here’s a few pointers for lead magnet success:

Create an evergreen offer. By gifting an offer that doesn’t suffer from seasonality, you can sit back and reap the benefits of a solid lead magnet without having to constantly update it.

Make it relevant. And we don’t just mean in terms of subject material or offer suitability. Make it relevant to the majority of your visitors!

Pictures/Images! By making a mockup image of the lead magnet download, you can grab people’s attention. Especially if positioned correctly on the page. It’s all about planning!

Make it an offer they can’t refuse! Follow the above list of types and give the user something they will want to utilize. After all, if something is useful or insightful or helpful, the chances of that visitor returning will be much higher. Especially if you offer a series of lead magnets.

So there we have it. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to turn that failing lead magnet into a powerful tool for conversions. Good luck! 

Want to talk further about this subject? Get in touch with us through our
contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

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A version of this article was originally published in Paul Gough’s Cash is King Newsletter in March 2019. 

About The Author

Flemming Arnott

Flemming helps PT business owners all around the world to acquire more new patients by building websites that educate prospects, establish trust and ultimately generate leads. He has worked with Paul Gough for over 10 years and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Flemming is the "go to" expert for PTs who no longer want to rely on doctor's referrals and who put the patient experience first, with a desire to succeed in the new healthcare world.