Ideas for Lead Magnets to Sell your Online Course

19.07.21 06:33 PM By The Stella Way

Your course is ready to go! Now you are ready to (organically) sell your course to your email list. 

The thing is, you don’t yet have a list of nurtured prospects. So how do you build your email list? 

Through an attractive lead magnet!

What is a lead magnet?

Consider a lead magnet as a way to attract potential clients to your business using either a free or low-cost offer. 

Also known as a “freebie”, this is a form of lead generation. You provide immediate value to your leads in exchange for their email address. 

This is an opportunity for your potential clients to ‘try out’ your services. An opportunity for you to both build trust at the beginning of your relationship. This is the perfect opportunity to start a nurture series, where you turn them from a lead to a client.

What is the difference between a lead magnet and an evergreen?

You have probably heard both terms before, but do you know that there is a difference? 

An evergreen offer refers to a free opt-in that is relevant for a considerable length of time, is kept updated and encourages repeat returns. Evergreen is content that has longevity and prompts continual interaction.

Some examples of evergreen opt-ins include a sign up to a blog page or YouTube page with periodical and relevant content, a template that can be used repeatedly (of course with your branding), a monthly content calendar, a short course that is kept up to date, a fillable PDF template, and a pre-recorded webinar.

Why have a lead magnet?

A lead magnet will help you continuously build your email list. Once a lead has opted in for your freebie, you can then nurture them through email campaigns.

Each person in your email list has opted to be there, they want to receive your content. Furthermore, if you were to lose access to any of your social media accounts, you can always rely on your email list! And there are no algorithms at play here!

The emails that you send after a lead accesses your offer are imperative to building a relationship and converting your lead. 

Your lead magnet is how you can build your email list and continuously generate leads.

Now you know the what and why of lead magnets ... What is a good lead magnet for your online course?

Firstly, what does your client journey look like? That is, once someone accesses your offer, what path will you guide them through?

Regardless of how many stages, funnels, email sequences your lead goes through, this is the client journey you will take them on. 

If you attempt to build a lead magnet without the bigger picture in mind, it can become confusing for both you and your leads. This is where I recommend you reverse engineer your client journey to identify what a good lead magnet is for your potential clients.

Secondly, ask yourself, what is the ultimate goal? Want to tackle this question together, schedule a free 20-minute consultation here

Let’s look at an example, you may have a client journey that looks like this:

Freebie Opt-in > Low Cost Offer > Enrol in Course > 1:1 consulting service


Freebie Opt-in > Sign up to Membership > Enrol in Course > Enrol in Bundled Course

Every client journey is different and depends on many factors. These factors include who your clients are, their goals, their current struggles, and the services you provide. You can learn this information directly from your ideal clients by conducting market research.

The success of your lead magnet depends on you immediately solving a problem at each stage of the journey.

How do you reverse engineer?

With your client journey mapped out, work backwards from the final service identifying what you offer in each service.

For example, let’s use the below client journey example:

Freebie Opt-in > Low Cost Offer > Enrol in Course > 1:1 consulting service

Let’s assume that this journey is for your health and fitness business. 

The final service you provide is 1:1 personal training. You offer customised fitness plans and workouts based on each client. Additionally, you support them to learn and master exercise routines that you create.

Before 1:1 personal training, you offer a self-paced course for those clients who cannot yet work with you privately. This course is a 7-day meal and workout plan for all body types. It consists of 7 daily meal plans including grocery lists and recipes and 14 videos demonstrating different workouts that your clients can follow along with - all pre-recorded.

To encourage clients to join your courses and personalised training, you have several mini-courses and low cost offers to suit your different client profiles that all consist of a 3-day meal plan and 6 different exercises. 

This is reverse engineering. You have taken your highest service where you support clients with implementation, and you have broken that down into a self-paced course. A course that clients can watch and learn, however, they need to practice without your guidance.

Now comes the lead magnet.

For this example, here are ideas for a lead magnet:

  • A webinar discussing ‘5 ways you can improve your health and fitness’

  • A PDF weekly meal plan

  • An eBook on ‘10 fitness myths and what you should do instead’

  • Free access to the first module of your course

  • If your course is new, free beta test to the first module of your course delivered live

  • An invite to a live group exercise class

  • A ‘5 day create your routine’ challenge

The reverse engineering process has helped you to define the journey you offer your prospects and have scaffolded each service so they are all aligned.

How to use lead magnets.

Now that you have identified your lead magnet, it is time to create both the content and how your leads will access it. 

Depending on which lead magnet you decide to create, there are many platforms to support you. I recommend using Canva to create templates, eBooks, PDF downloads, and checklists. You can then use websites such as to add fillable sections and checkboxes.

I am more than happy to discuss tech options when it comes to creating your lead magnet, schedule a free 20-minute consultation here

Once you have designed your content, create a quick and easy way for your leads to access it. 

The most common way is through a simple landing page. 

Ensure you include:

  • An attention-grabbing headline

  • Clear information about what is included and the problem it is solving

  • An easy to use (and locate) sign up form that at minimum requires an email address

The sign-up section must not be over complicated nor hard to use. I know that you want to give as much information as possible, but, this is best left for the content, not the landing page. 

Once your lead has entered their email, ensure they can access the content immediately. Either through a second landing page or an email with a link. 

Remember, the lead magnet is not the end of the road for your potential clients it is just the beginning. What is the next step you want them to take? 

Ensure the end of your lead magnet includes a call of action (CTA) guiding your prospects to the next step in their journey.

How to promote your lead magnet.

Use social media to promote your lead magnet. The most popular method is to share a segment of your lead magnet in a post on your page and groups/hashtags in which you participate. Your posts reveal the problem, how you can help, and a link to learn more (e.g. access your lead magnet) 

In addition to posting the above content, consider adding a clear link to access your lead magnet in the following areas: 

  • Your social media bio/about me section 

  • Cover pages photo with CTA 

  • Pop up on your website

  • Facebook Business Page button

  • Pin posts to the top of your profile/group

  • In live videos and stories

  • In the about section of your pages and groups

  • Through Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads

Wrap it up!

A lead magnet is a marketing strategy to attract potential clients to join your mailing list. From here, you will nurture them through a journey to convert them to a client.

It must be simple and easy to access your lead magnet, which you promote across your social media platforms.

Want to learn which lead magnet is best for your online courses?

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The Stella Way