5 essentials to turning your content readers into software leads

grantcole Content, Lead Generation Leave a Comment

If you’re looking for to get as many users as possible for your B2B SaaS company than it’s essential you’re getting people to join your email list.

Through building your email list, you gradually grow a marketing channel that you own. This is in comparison to something such as LinkedIn Ads, which stop being useful as soon as your wallet closes.

Not only this, while something like LinkedIn Ads is subject to change in the future, including pricing and algorithm changes, your email list is yours, and yours alone.

This means it’s the most economical and effective way to market your products.

But how do you convince someone that it’s worth their time and energy to sign up to your email list?

Over time, companies have come up with a solution to this problem called the lead magnet. A lead magnet helps to overcome the challenge of collecting contact information by providing valuable content in exchange for email addresses.

It’s a simple concept. For example, if your B2B SaaS company offers a service to help human resources, you can offer a helpful checklist for signing up to your email list.

The problem, however, is that a lot of your target audience are already inundated with requests for their email addresses all the time. As a result, you need to rise above the noise and make your lead magnet compelling. If your lead magnet is ineffective, you won’t get leads, and your B2B SaaS company will suffer.

But how do you actually go about making one that does convert? Here, we’re going to discuss the tactics you need to adopt to be successful, generate leads, and make sales.

Specific, Specific, Specific

To be effective, your lead magnet needs to be targeted to your audience. If it’s not, then it won’t provide a compelling proposition to your potential users.

People visiting your website simply won’t have enough of a desire to consume your content to get them over that initial hump of resistance, and you’ll lose leads to your competitors.

As a rule, lead magnets should tackle a specific issue for a particular business or person. In practice, that means coming up with propositions which directly affect the people who will see the lead magnet.

Don’t be a bad luck Brian

For instance, if you offer a service to build mobile applications, releasing a guide to the “Top 100 apps in the world” might sound like an interesting idea, but it doesn’t tackle a particular issue or need.

Not only this, your audience can search Google to find the world’s top 100 apps and find an article which doesn’t require them to divulge their email address.

A much better lead magnet might be something like “the 6 steps to building an incredible app” or even better if you target a particular vertical “how to develop an effective hotel mobile app.”

These lead magnets address particular problems facing certain types of businesses making them far more compelling than generic articles or advice.

Not Too Long

The attention span of online readers, even professionals from other companies, is typically much shorter than in other settings, thanks to the unique psychology of the online experience.

As a result, using a long ebook as a lead magnet might not be the best strategy.

Though an ebook might be detailed and helpful, offering a 50-page book in exchange for an email address risks overwhelming people and failing to provide real value.

Often what users want isn’t long, detailed prose, but short, concise content that gets right to the heart of the issue. Remember, with a lead magnet, users only get their content after they’ve submitted their personal information, and so managing expectations is critical.

While ebooks are an option, you could also offer videos or a video series, audio recordings and podcasts, assessments and tests, courses and webinars, free coupons, free shipping, educational content, demos, trial software, free online tools, and guides.

In fact, the list of possible content is nearly endless.

However, doing your research and knowing which kind of content will be most useful for your particular audience is essential to the success of your lead magnets.

If you’re targeting large companies, courses and webinars might be more appropriate, for instance, than free shipping.

Having the right format helps you to dramatically cut down on the time it takes to consume your content. A busy business professional could finish watching a quick video in, say, 10 minutes while reading a 50-page ebook might take up half the morning.

Instead, look to hand out quick fixes, like cheat sheets, podcasts, and videos and leverage them to open new marketing channels to potential customers.

Focus On Value

It’s one thing to make your lead magnet look compelling before users type in their email addresses, it’s quite another to create content with genuine value.

When creating lead magnets, it’s important to ask yourself whether the content offers immediate value to your audience?

Does it help them solve a particular issue in the here and now? Is it something that can be picked up, read and then applied to a problem? Or is it too general or too complicated to be of any use?

Being critical of your content is essential if you want to keep potential users on your side.

Many B2B SaaS companies use lead magnets as a way to simply acquire email addresses, rather than actually delivering valuable, trust-building content.

While some may feel that’s not too much of a problem – I mean, you got the email, right?


If your content sucks, your potential users can feel as if they have been tricked into signing up for something that doesn’t provide them with any value in return. They get angry, and they lose trust in your company.

Remember, play the long-game and your potential users will likely do the same with you.

Offering potential users the world in a lead magnet might seem like a good tactic for building email address lists, but it’s unlikely to lead to conversions.

Your audience will remember how you tricked them and will feel antagonistic towards your business. They certainly won’t want to sign up for your service from you, just in case it’s as disappointing as your content.

While this may seem over-dramatic, it’s completely true and the bottom line is to make sure that the actual content is valuable. Potential users need to feel like it was worth giving up information. If they don’t, it’ll be a permanent blot on your record.

So how do you focus on value?

The first thing to do is provide immediate gratification.

When a potential user agrees to trade their email address for content, they almost always want a solution to their problem right now. The last thing they want to do is to keep waiting for an answer – after all, that’s what they’ve been doing up until this point.

The next step is to provide them with that “one big thing” that they really want, rather than offering lots of little things.

This means that your lead magnet needs to focus on the crux of the matter – the problem that your potential users just don’t seem to be able to solve.

A great example for a B2B SEO SaaS company would be something like, “Generate leads when you’re on page 100 of the Google search results.”

It’s a “silver bullet” solution to a particular problem many startup businesses face when they’re not yet able to compete with the big names.

Include Calls-to-Action Throughout The Piece

The purpose of a lead magnet is very similar to regular content – to create leads that drive conversions. It’s all well and good getting somebody to hand over their email address, but what you really want is for that person to become a user.

Your lead magnet is an opportunity for you to do this. You want some kind of call-to-action weaved into the content to entice people to take the next step. Here are two ways you could do this:


Have a nice big button at the bottom of the content telling people to “start a free trial” or “book in a call”.

A clear button helps to communicate to your potential users that they are just one click away from their problems being solved.


Include images in your lead magnet and add options to start using any services depicted

Having the opportunity to start a trial or book a call right in the content itself makes it a lot more convenient and capitalises on any urges to start using your service potential users might have while they’re consuming your content.


Calls-to-action are an essential part of any successful lead magnet campaign. They help your business take customers from vague interest in your product to the point where they might buy.

Reasons to click the call-to-action and to get in touch should be peppered throughout the content, providing users with a clear idea of which route they should take.

The best lead magnets are those that change the state of mind of the people reading them, priming them to want to start using your service so that they are more likely to engage with your business when you contact them.


If you want to generate thousands of leads and create a great impression to boot, your lead magnet needs to be well-designed.

The trick here is to make the content look premium, even though your users are getting it for free. To establish the idea that your content has real monetary value, use plenty of pictures and images usually found on high-ticket items.

Also, include an indication of how much your video, webinar, course or ebook would be worth, had your business customers tried to buy the same resources out on the open market.

Try writing in brackets the value of your content under the main title. Something like “(valued at £500)” should do the trick.

It’s not just a question of whether your content looks premium, however, the rate at which the material can be consumed is important too.

Because your lead magnet is your sales funnel, you want customers to be able to consume the content in five minutes or less.

Communicating lots of information in a short space of time requires specific design considerations to be effective. Just spamming business customers with lots of information is unlikely to do the trick.

Content, therefore, needs to be organised around key points of information. This means including lots of heading, contents pages, and quick links to relevant information.

Offering a 30-day course or a 300-page ebook might cement you as an authority in your particular field, but it’s unlikely to generate lots of interested potential users.

If you can’t afford a professional designer to create lead magnet content that will wow your potential users, Canva provides a cheap DIY alternative. Canva gives you drag-and-drop features to create professional-looking articles with stunning graphics, all at the click of a button.

Though the quality of any design you create still ultimately depends on you, the tool provides practically every option a business would need to produce high-quality documents and presentations for lead magnets, all correctly branded with your brand colours and fonts.


So what have we learned about lead magnets?

First is that they need to be valuable. If a lead magnet doesn’t offer some immediate gratification to your potential users, they will feel robbed, and the trust they have in your B2B SaaS Company will suffer.

Second, lead magnets need to be concise. Potential users without any knowledge of your products or services should be aware of how you can help them once they have finished consuming your content.

If they don’t, then your lead magnets hasn’t done its job, and you need to go back to the drawing board.

Third, any lead magnet content needs to provide potential users with the ability to take the next step, be that trialling a service, calling your sales team or jumping straight in with a paid membership.

Remember, the more helpful your content is for your audience, the more they will look for your help in the future.

Lead magnets are all about generating sustainable leads for the future. If your B2B SaaS company doesn’t deliver the right content, then you won’t be getting the most from this powerful marketing tool.


If you need some extra help with your lead magnets, let us manage the entire process for you. We come up with the perfect idea for your lead magnet, write the content and then design it.

We align it with your B2B SaaS’ goals and make sure it is both interesting to your ideal users and also takes them where you want them to go.

Alternatively, if you want some extra help, book in a call with us. We’ll work through what your B2B SaaS company needs right now and come up with a few quick ideas on what we can do to help you out.

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