What Is A Lead Magnet? And Why Should You Care?

lead magnet

Why Every Travel Agent Website Should Have A Lead Magnet


If you don’t know what a lead magnet is, you’re forgiven. It’s something of a technical term in the Internet marketing field.

Simply put, a lead magnet is something of value that is offered “free of charge” to a website visitor in exchange for her email address. I put “free of charge” in quotation marks because there is a “cost” to this transaction — an email address, after all, is a valuable commodity to a marketer — even though it is not monetary.

Most often, that something of value is a free ebook, delivered electronically. Ebooks are inexpensive to create and cost essentially nothing to deliver. Physical products can also be used as lead magnets if they are cheap to acquire and mail. There are any number of such items that appeal to the traveling public, but for now let’s stick to ebooks.

iata lead magnet

Example of a successful ebook lead magnet. To download it, click on the image.

Your first lead magnet

This discussion obviously assumes that you have a website. Most home-based travel agents do these days and since the cost of setting one up has become so reasonable, there’s really no reason not to have one.

Let’s agree that your first lead magnet will be an ebook, but don’t let the “book” in ebook scare you off. You don’t have to write a 30,000-word non-fiction classic!

The key to a successful lead magnet is valuable information that addresses a single problem and that can be read quickly. Let’s look at each of these elements in turn.

  • Valuable Information. Why you became a travel agent and all the wonderful things you plan to do for your clients may be interesting, especially to you, but trust me, it is not valuable information for your site’s visitors. They are always thinking, not of you, but of themselves. For example, if you sell cruises, ebooks with titles like The Three Biggest Myths About Mega Ships or The Cruise Ship Cabins To Avoid Like The Plague or Three Ways To Get Screwed By Using Cheap-o Cruise Booking Sites will appeal to people’s self interest. If you sell dive vacations, why not an ebook on The Five Hottest Dives Sites for 2016?
  • A Single Problem. Maybe you know everything there is to know about Paris, but you don’t want to put it all into a lead magnet. Use laser focus to zero in on things that (hopefully through experience) you know your prospective clients are concerned about. How about How To Turn Those ‘Rude’ Parisian Waiters Into Pussy Cats or The Most Common Ordering Mistakes in Paris Bistros?
  • Read Quickly. People have short attention spans these days. So your lead magnet should take no more than five minutes to read. If you are providing truly valuable information, no one will complain that it’s too short. The titles suggested above should be able to be covered in just a few pages. Yes, you could go on at some length about any of them, but control yourself. Most of what can be said in 25 words can be said in 10.

Producing the lead magnet

Writing your lead magnet is the easy part. Getting it “ready for prime time” is a bit harder, but no too much.

Your best choice for a format for your ebook is a PDF. This will make your ebook available to the widest possible audience. If you don’t know how to create a a PDF, you can find someone on Fiverr.com who does, and who will charge you just $5 to do it.

Slightly more complicated is a cover for your ebook. Don’t believe the old adage that “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Millions of people do that every single day and a crackerjack cover will do wonders for the opt-in rate on your lead magnet. Assuming you are not a gifted graphic designer, the best advice is to turn, once again, to Fiverr.com. If you are not satisfied with the first person you pick, you’re only out five bucks. Simply choose another.

Of course, you can pay more and (hopefully) get even snazzier results. Just do a search for “ebook covers” to explore a world of possibilities.

Delivering the lead magnet

To collect the email addresses of those who want access to your lead magnet, you will need a mechanism for capturing (and then storing) emails and delivering not only the lead magnet but all subsequent communications you wish to send to these new prospects.

That means subscribing to a service such as aWeber, ConstantComment, or GetResponse. These, obviously, cost money, but it’s pretty inexpensive to get started and if you use them wisely the investment is well worth it.

Following up on your lead magnet

So you have collected emails and sent out the lead magnet. What next?

This is where the rubber meets the road. Your challenge is to strike up a conversation with your prospects (that’s what most of the people who downloaded your lead magnet are, although a few may be existing customers).

Don’t bombard them with information and use this communication channel to further segment your audience. For example, let’s say one of your services is to alert people to last-minute deals. Instead of sending out notifications of last-minute bargains to everyone who downloaded your lead magnet, ask the group who would be interested in receiving that information and create a separate list. (Those email providers mentioned earlier will help you do that.)

And always, always, always include in every email you send simple instructions for how to unsubscribe from your list. Failure to provide that courtesy is a good way to get labeled as a spammer!

You will find much more advice on how to market your home-based travel business in the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course.

home-based travel agent course



What Is A Lead Magnet? And Why Should You Care? was last modified: January 16th, 2016 by Kelly Monaghan