What is a Reader Magnet?
The term “lead magnet” was coined by Leadpages, a company that provides a landing page service for digital commerce, in 2012. Marketing experts in the author-publishing space like Nick Stephenson took the term over from general marketing and adapted for writers and publishers and soon everyone was talking about reader magnets.
It’s one of those tech terms that catches on and makes sense if you understand it but creates confusion for everyone else. In essence, a reader magnet is something you give away to your readers in exchange for them doing something you want them to do–most commonly, signing up to your mailing list. Like a magnet to iron filings, your giveaway attracts your reader and draws them in close. Once there, you have a call to action inviting them to sign up.
Usually the magnet is a digital product, but it could also be a discount, a consultation or physical merchandise of some kind. The most common kinds of reader magnets are:
- e-books–chapters, whole books, in some cases whole libraries of e-books
- Discount coupons
- Audio Files
- Downloadable, printable resources e.g. infographics, checklists, cheatsheets, reports, quizzes
- Courses / training in text, audio or video
- Swipe files for social media posts or other communication templates