How to Drive More Business to Your Venue Using Lead Magnets


Email marketing is an essential tactic for promoting your venue, delighting your repeat customers, and pulling in new customers. This is where your email subscription list comes in. You cannot send a marketing email without a saved list of unique email addresses in your database or email marketing platform. 

Growing your email subscription list should be a top priority in your overall marketing efforts. You should add opt-in forms on key locations on your venue’s website, blog, and social media accounts — but few people will hand over their contact information simply because you ask for it. You will need to incentivize folks to join your email list. One of the best incentives for an opt-in is using a lead magnet. 

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is the act of offering something for free in return for someone providing you with their contact information in the form of a personal email address. Typically, lead magnets are free pieces of downloadable content. In the hospitality industry, we can have some fun with the free offer. 

Using lead magnets is the most effective way to get email sign-ups, and grow your email subscription list to use for future email marketing campaigns. Lead magnets are essential for growing your email list. 

Lead magnet ideas: an extensive list of ideas to get your imagination running

  • Free dessert with the purchase of 2 meals
  • Join our loyalty program. Buy 10 coffees, ice cream cones, take-away order, get the 11th for free
  • Join the birthday club and get a free meal on your birthday
  • Register for a free tasting event
  • Get the recipe for our signature dessert, cocktail, or appetizer 
  • Sign up to win a free ticket to our upcoming event
  • Discount coupons
  • Buy one ticket, get one free for our chef’s cooking class
  • Sign up for free champagne toast for New Year’s Eve
  • Sign up for free chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day
  • Join our March Madness cocktail bracket
  • Help us name our new special, cocktail, or ice cream flavor
  • Get VIP seating on our new patio
  • Help us design our new take out boxes, pizza boxes, logo, or accent wall
  • Sign up to pre-order meal kits, cocktail kits, or decorate your own cookie kits
  • Sign up for a free rose for your mom on Mother’s Day

The goal with your lead magnets is ultimately for them to submit their email address, but you want to entice folks to not only interact with you but also enjoy the opportunity and interaction creating an experience that turns them into long-term happy customers. 

For any lead magnet that you create, give it the time and attention it deserves as this sets the tone for your entire relationship with your email subscribers. Grab their attention, pull them in, and delight them into customers who will advocate for your venue.

Where to place lead magnets

In order for folks to find your lead magnets and convert on them, you need to place them everywhere.

  • Website
  • Site navigation
  • About page
  • Dedicated blog posts
  • Blog sidebar
  • Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Social media posts

Core lead magnets that you want to promote to your entire audience and don’t necessarily expire should be placed on your website, site navigation, and about page, whereas, lead magnets that are for specials, upcoming events, or other activities that will expire should be promoted via email and social marketing.  

How to deliver your lead magnet content

A common way to deliver the content is by using software to create a landing page that includes the form that’s filled out by the customer or prospect containing their name, email address, and other information that you are collecting.  

One way they can access the downloadable content is to provide a download link to the piece of content or a confirmation code on the landing page once someone subscribes. This is fine, but landing pages and website pages are more public and anyone with access to the URL could download the resource without providing their email address. It also makes the offer feel less exclusive for your new subscriber.

The better option is to provide the download link or code in a welcome email that’s delivered as soon as someone confirms their subscription on the landing page. This route is more private since the recipient is the only one getting the email and makes the reader feel as though the offer is exclusive.

Collecting emails through social media direct messages is another way to gather emails and interact with your customer base, but not a route that I would recommend since it would be very manual to respond to everyone individually and having to input all of that information into your database opens up for human error. 

If you are not currently offering any lead magnets to collect email addresses from your current and potential customers, you are missing out on valuable email marketing benefits. The larger your email database is, the more people you can easily and automatically communicate with to plan future events and reserve private dining seating, and order takeout options the more revenue you can generate. Lead magnets are an essential part of email marketing. Start with one, test and optimize, and add more gradually as you become more comfortable with what your customers want to engage with.   

Need more marketing resources?

The best way to demonstrate how lead magnets work is for you to download one yourself! We suggest downloading our 2021 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Playbook to help you jumpstart your outreach to customers and prospects. This guide gives you the tools you need to develop a marketing-driven approach to your sales enablement strategy. Access the playbook below by clicking on the cover image or by visiting the playbook landing page.