Why eBooks Are Still The Best Lead Magnets (For Most People).

The recipe behind the candy bar of the digital marketing world.

A box full of candy bars.
Photo by Denny Müller / Unsplash

What's the best type of lead magnet? Is it still eBooks? By now, discerning customers are skeptical. They’ve been burned dozens of times by eBooks that didn’t deliver what they promised.

And yet, they’ll keep downloading them.

Their allure is... inevitable.

Decoding the candy bar of the marketing world.

The timeless appeal of eBooks is their format: huge results in a tiny package. In exchange for an email, they promise either: a life-altering transformation (best case) or a cheap shot of pleasure. Who could refuse?

Imagine a Golden Ticket™ inside a Wonka Bar, or a toy inside a Kinder Surprise: you’re never sure what’s inside, but you must find out.

Like the candy they imitate, eBooks have 3 irresistible elements:

  1. An attractive promise. (The Name)
  2. An attractive cover. (The Wrapper)
  3. A tasty inside. (The Reward)

The Name

What’s in it for me? A promise paints a picture of what’s possible. It’s a by-product of the title, the cover, and the reader’s imagination. An attractive promise is why they’re going to give you their email and click download.

The most elemental form of the promise is a book’s title.

Don’t market an eBook as an eBook. Call it a Blueprint, a Template, a Guide, a Report, even a Recipe, but if you want it to be read: avoid saying eBook.

What’s more persuasive and immediate: How To Build Lead Magnets or Lead Magnet Blueprint: 10 Templates You Can Use Right now?

The Wrapper

The title and the cover are complements. Together, they form the promise. Together, they answer: Why should I trust you?

Beauty isn’t window dressing; it signifies quality, craftsmanship, and trust.

Beauty is an anchor. If the outside gives an impression of high quality, that quality bleeds over into its contents. Beautiful cover design strengthens your promise, and your message — it attracts and amplifies.

Prioritize your cover.

A two by two gride of four highly polished, beautiful ebooks with clear titles, and clear outcomes.
Some excellent promises from close.io for inspiration.

The Reward

Does this taste as good as it looked? Did it deliver on its promise?  An ebook delivers on its promise anytime a customer experiences validation, transformation, or pleasure. I call these: “Wow Moments”, “Wins”, or “Ah-Ha Moments”.

These should happen as early, and as often, as possible. High converting lead magnets don't delay results; they deliver on the tease.

Candy is tasty, but it doesn’t need to linger to be loved — nor does an eBook. An eBook only has to deliver on its promise once to complete the trade.

That's why listicles (12 Ways To Monetize Your Business) are omnipresent. They’re symbiotic: the reader has X number of chances to get a result, and the author has X number of chances to deliver.

It’s an equal exchange, and it’s low-risk, high-reward for everyone involved.


High Converting Lead Magnets Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes
Customers (and readers) don’t want solutions. They want salvation.

Here To Stay.

Yes, most eBooks are formulaic, tired, and boring.

The same could be said about candy bars, yet they’re on every shelf, in every store across the planet. We'll continue creating and consuming eBooks for the same reasons we'll keep creating and consuming candy.

  • They're powerful.
  • They're easy and cheap.
  • Their promise is intoxicating.
  • Together, these qualities cannot be ignored.

The eBook is dead. Long live the eBook. 👑