How to design a high-converting lead magnet or sales page

Hand drawing with sharpie on paper

Building an effective lead magnet that captures the attention of your members is a hurdle every membership site faces. At Memberful, we’re often asked for advice on best practices for building high-converting pages, and we’ve pulled together our top strategies for pages that work. Fear not - you don’t have to be a writer or a designer to put these four tips into action and build a lead magnet that captures the attention of your audience.

Understanding your target audience

Before diving into the creation of your lead magnet, it's essential to understand your target audience. Knowing who you're trying to reach will help you tailor your content and design, increasing your chances of conversion. Here are the key steps to understanding your audience:

  • Define your 'ideal' member: Identify the characteristics, demographics, and interests of your target customer.
  • Create buyer personas: Develop detailed representations of your target customers, including their pain points, goals, and motivations.
  • Identify their needs: Understand your audience's primary needs and how your product or service can address them.

Be conversational and transparent

What’s the first thing you do when you browse a website? You land on the homepage, scroll, and quickly read by scanning the text. If you’re intrigued, you’ll click to the next step in the process, especially if you’re ready to subscribe to a membership. But what helps you make the decision to move forward in your subscription process?

The content on a lead magnet can make or break the trust you’re building with a potential member. If your text is poorly written, robotic, or unorganized, you may be creating a barrier on their path to subscribe. How do you build trust with a stranger on the internet using content alone?

One of the golden rules in writing copy that converts is to keep it simple.

The average reading level of an American adult is equivalent to that of a freshman in high school. Writing content that is readable and understandable widens the net of potential subscribers you can convert into members. Be conversational, succinct, and avoid complex sentences. (Pro tip: use the Hemingway app to help focus and refine everything you write!)

This gives your reader a clear understanding of how they can become a member of your community and support your work. The more transparent you are on your lead magnet page, the more likely they are to see you as a trusty and reputable source deserving of their membership dollars.

How to design a high-converting lead magnet or sales page

If you have a case of writer’s block, talk through your membership offering out loud or to a friend. Walk them through your process, and explain what it means for someone to join and subscribe. By speaking about it the way other people think about it, you’ll find the exact words you need to convert website visitors into members.

Be to-the-point and actionable with compelling content

Effective calls to action (CTAs) on your lead magnet are key in getting people through the door and onto the next stage of subscribing. You often see them in emails, at the top of a sales page, or at the bottom of a blog post. These are buttons you click because you have the intent to spend.

To convert more members, make your CTAs short and actionable. Tell the user exactly where they’re going next, and what they’re going to get out of it. Keep your content as short as possible without losing the meaning behind your words. The best converting CTAs for the most high-converting lead magnets have only a few words and stay on a single line.

design a lead magnet

An easy way to write the perfect CTA is to write out what you want someone to do when they reach your lead magnet page. Start your sentence with the words, “I want you to…” and end it with the action they need to take. The action itself is exactly what you need to place in your button.

For example, if I’m trying to grow my following, then I want you to subscribe to my newsletter. In this example, I’d push people in the right direction by creating a brief CTA that simply states, “Join my newsletter.”

This clear CTA tells your customer exactly what they’re going to do so there’s no surprise when you ask for their email address. And with a call to action that’s short and brief, you gift yourself some creative freedom to make the font all caps, bold, or stylistically eye-catching. Add a border to your button, or use a bright color to catch the attention of people browsing your page.

To create engaging content, consider the following tips:

  • Address a specific problem: Focus on a single issue that your target audience faces and provide a solution.
  • Offer actionable advice: Ensure that your content is practical, offering clear steps that readers can follow.
  • Include expert insights: Feature quotes, statistics, and case studies to support your claims and boost credibility.
  • Write in a clear and concise manner: Keep your content easily digestible, using short paragraphs and bullet points where appropriate.

Highlight the value you bring

We often think of lead magnet pages as the first opportunity we get to tell people exactly what we’re selling. But how often do you actually find yourself on a random website thinking, “I have no idea what this is, but I’m going to spend my money on it!”?

If someone reaches your page, chances are they’re familiar with you or the creation you’re offering. Instead of using the valuable space on your page to explain to people what they likely already know about you, use that space to let them know why you’re different.

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Talk about the value of your creation. What does it mean for them to have this membership? Why is their money better spent with you? What’s a unique differentiator that sets you and your work apart from others? By highlighting your value, you show people that you know how to solve their problem, or that you can fill a need or want that they have.

For example, this article was written to help you build a lead magnet, or sales page, that converts. (But you knew that already, right?) Instead of telling you why you’re here, I’m going to instead point to the benefit: I’m a copywriter with more than 5 years of experience writing sales and marketing copy. By reading this post, you’ll be able to use my industry knowledge to design a sales page that converts visitors into members. (Much better, don’t you think?!)

Use colors sparingly and smartly

Color and design of lead magnets have a major impact on the decisions we make when it comes to purchases. This infographic has astonishing statistics on how color impacts conversions.

Check out this fun fact: it takes 90 seconds for someone to decide if they want to purchase from you, and 90% of that decision is based on color alone. That’s a short amount of time to make a big impact.

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When picking colors for your sales pages, aim for clean and simple. Leave white space on the page to create breathing room around your content and calls to action, and save that fun splash of color for buttons, graphics, and other links that push people to the next step.

With all the banners and flashy pop-ups that consume our internet experience, aim to cut through the noise by using color to draw someone’s attention to the pieces they need to understand most.

Measuring the success of your membership lead magnet

To determine the effectiveness of your lead magnet, track key performance indicators (KPIs) and make data-driven improvements. Consider the following KPIs:

  • Sign-ups: The number of people who have downloaded or accessed your lead magnet.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of visitors who download your lead magnet after visiting your landing page.
  • Engagement: The level of interaction with your lead magnet, such as time spent reading, clicks, and shares.
  • Lead quality: The potential value of the leads generated by your lead magnet, as determined by factors like their relevance to your target audience and their likelihood to become customers.

Conclusion: How to build a lead magnet for membership

Designing a high-converting lead magnet requires a deep understanding of your target audience, the creation of compelling content, and effective design and promotion strategies.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a lead magnet that not only attracts your ideal customers but also helps you achieve your business goals.

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