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Lead magnet for financial advisors: Create an effective lead magnet to build your marketing list

By March 5, 2023September 8th, 2023Conversion Optimization, Marketing

List building with a lead magnet

Building your email list is one of the most valuable assets you can create as a financial advisory firm. In an industry that relies on considered purchases that have long sales cycles, nurturing your list through strategic marketing can pay off over time. But you have to have the list. How do you get people to willingly give you their email addresses? That’s where an effective lead magnet comes in.

List building is one of the seven essential elements of a financial advisor marketing plan.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a valuable piece of content that you offer for free in exchange for someone’s name and email address. It can be a guide or e-book, a checklist, a template or tool, video training or a webinar, a hard copy or audio book, an evaluation or quiz, or any other type of content that your target audience would find helpful.

The key to creating an effective lead magnet is to make it irresistible to your target audience. It needs to have a high perceived (and real) value so they feel inspired to download it.  In this article, you’ll learn what makes an effective lead magnet and how to create one that will help grow your email list with more of the right people.

5 attributes of an effective lead magnet

1.     Solves a Specific Problem

What keeps your audience up at night?  While it sounds cliché, when your lead magnet hones in on a specific pain point, it resonates. And, it’s more likely people are actively searching for answers to help them.

The more specific and targeted your lead magnet is, the more likely people are to download it.  Here are some examples of compelling titles that get to the heart of the reader’s problems.

  • “Gen Z Saver’s Guide: 4 Proven Ways to Save $200 More Per Month and Build Your Safety Net.”
    • This is a very clear and common structure. I’ll be telling you X ways to do Y so you can get Z.
  • “How to Retire at 55 Without Regret.”
    • The basic how-to, this structure is tactical in that it discusses retirement, but you also tap into emotion with the mention of regret.
  • “What Every 25-year-old Must Know About Their Credit Score.”
    • With this title, you are implying that there are universal ‘truths’ about the topic of interest to your audience. People may wonder if they have a knowledge gap and take a look.
  • “Who Else Wants an Active Retirement? The High Achiever’s Guide to Easing Out of Work.
    • This out-of-the-box title nudges people by inviting them to be a part of the group that wants what they want.
  • “This Wasn’t the Plan: How Divorcees can Take Back Their Finances and own Their Independence.”
    • Another common structure is to start with a negative and end with a positive.

Lead magnet landing page

It’s not enough to have a compelling title.  You also want to attract your audience (and repel those you do not want) by providing specific learnings from the content of the lead magnet.

On your landing page (the page where a person requests the guide by providing a name and email address), be sure to outline 3-4 takeaways they will get when they consume your material.  Cover some negative things, some positive things, and always end on an upbeat.

Lead magnet example


“What Every 25-year-old Must Know about Their Credit Score”

In this powerful guide, you’ll learn:

  1. The three most impactful factors and how to increase your score within 60 days.
  2. When it’s okay to check your credit and when you want to avoid it.
  3. When you should stop paying to protect your credit and what to do next.

Plus, you’ll also learn how much you’ll save as your score moves up for mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans. You’ll be surprised by these numbers!

Complete the form below and hit submit to get your guide.

2.     Provides Immediate Value

As soon as someone downloads or gains access to your lead magnet, they should be able to use the information to improve their lives or solve their problem in a small (or significant) way. This means you need to deliver meaningful content.

Engage with powerful questions, exercises to complete, immediate action steps, summarized takeaways, evaluation results, or other interactive methods to create immediate value. This instant gratification gives the person a quick win and sets the foundation for trust in your relationship. You must deliver on the promise of easing their pain.

3.     Be Easy to Consume

People are busy, and they don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to understand complex information. They stopped to share their information with you, so make your content easy to watch, or listen to or read.

Consider the format and structure of your content. For example, if you are creating a video or audio lead magnet, keep it short and to the point. Avoid rambling or providing too much information in one session.

If you share content that has an audio component, ensure that you have outstanding sound quality.  Developing a video?  Take the time to set up good lighting if your video features you or your team.  For screen recording or webinar content, use clear and engaging visuals, free from overwhelming amounts of text.

Break up downloadable e-book or guides into sections with clear headings and subheadings. This allows readers to easily skim the content and find the information they need without having to read the entire document. Use bullet points, lists, and infographics to draw in the reader.  Clear typography and high-quality imagers will make your content stand out.

No matter which format you use, avoid complex jargon or technical terms unless it’s necessary.   Explain any complicated concepts in a way that is easy to understand.

4.     Boost your brand

The lead magnet is an opportunity to boost your brand in the minds of your audience.  Too many advisors try to DIY a lead magnet. Do not cut corners here.  People are naturally attracted to visually appealing content so your create a well-designed lead magnet.

With a plethora of talent on upwork, you can get project work done quickly and cost-effectively – adding a layer of professionalism to your content that elevates the perception of your brand by the recipient.  This is not limited to graphic design.  Find a videographer to help with video recording and edits, or hire a sound engineer to make your audio stand out.  Investing upfront for higher quality output will increase the likelihood that your audience will want to engage with you.

5.     Easy to find

It’s not enough to create a great lead magnet and hope people will find it.

On your website

First, make it obvious on your website.  While many advisors focus on driving consultations, you also want to make it easy for someone who is not yet ready to engage directly to be able to get to know you by joining your email list.  Make the lead magnet available throughout your website, showcasing it on the home page and/or in the site’s header or footer.  Consider using a pop-up or slide-in box to capture visitors’ attention when they arrive on your website or click to a different page.

Beyond your website

Promoting your lead magnet outside of your website is essential to reach a wider audience and attract new leads. Here are a few options to get the word out:

  • Leverage your social media channels to announce and regularly share your lead magnet.
  • If you run paid ads, focus your message on the lead magnet, rather than a free consultation.
  • Invite your email list to share it with their friends.
  • Collaborate with other professionals or influencers to promote your lead magnet to their audience (and do the same for them). This can be most effectively done through a guest blog post or podcast interview where you offer the free lead magnet to their readers and listeners.

Once you have a compelling and valuable lead magnet serving as the list building element in your lead-to-client conversion system, you are now ready to focus on nurturing leads as they move through your funnel.

How to start your lead magnet

When I work with my one-on-one coaching clients to build a lead magnet, I ask them to complete this exercise:  The 10-10-10.

Think of the client you most want to attract into your business.  What are:

  • 10 aspirations, goals, dreams that audience member has?
  • 10 fears, worries or pain points they experience?

Be as specific as possible, and do not keep the content confined to the financial space. This will help open the possibilities for your lead magnet.  Now, with this information in mind, write

  • 10 titles of lead magnets for which you are able to deliver value.

Push yourself to come up with 10 for each section. This will help you undercover a variety of topics you can develop, either as additional lead magnets, or as blog, podcast or video content that you share openly.

Keep in mind that you can offer more than one lead magnet, so don’t despair if you have more than one good idea.  Develop one at a time, knowing that you can follow-up and email a new guide to provide additional value or expand the free resources on your website as you create more content.

If you decide you want assistance developing your lead magnet or any part of your lead, prospect or client experience, sign-up for a complimentary consultation.

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415-251-5941 | [email protected] | + posts

Kristin is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Managing her own firm, she grew it from zero to six figures in less than three years, completely from scratch. In 2014 Kristin transitioned full time into training and coaching, where she now helps independent financial advisors to grow their firms.

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