How to Create a Lead Magnet Automation in ActiveCampaign

Lead magnets can play a crucial role in growing your email list.

The less time you spend getting this task completed means you have more time to spend with people who are ready to buy.

In this video I talk about how to create a lead magnet automation that confirms an email address, delivers the lead magnet, and follows up with a new lead.

What is a lead magnet delivery automation?

It’s an automated workflow designed to respond to a request for a lead magnet.

It can be as simple or as complex as you need.

This type of workflow should give your lead a good experience as well as meeting the needs of your business.

Why automate lead magnet delivery?

Automating this process can:

When you create a lead magnet delivery automation, you can do more than collect the email address and deliver a lead magnet.

You can:

How to create a lead magnet delivery automation

Sandy is a professional wedding photographer. She offers other types of sessions, but we’ll focus on generating leads for the wedding photography part of her business.

To grow her email list, Sandy wants to offer website visitors a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.

In this section, I’ll create the lead magnet delivery process.

This will involve:

Making the lead magnet available

How Sandy makes the lead magnet available depends on the type of lead magnet and her web presence.

Sandy’s lead magnet is a downloadable PDF.

I don’t recommend using email links to take the recipient directly to the lead magnet.

Take the recipient to a page where the lead magnet can be downloaded.

The advantage of this approach is that there is an opportunity to build trust.

Create the tags

To reduce errors, create the tags before you create the automation.

Sandy needs several tags for the process.

Create the form

Sandy needs a form website visitors will use to submit their details to get the lead magnet.

Sandy will be using an ActiveCampaign form.

When a contact submits the form, they will be subscribed to Sandy’s Master List, have a tag added, and be redirected to a webpage to confirm their subscription.

From the Site menu, select Forms.

Select Create a form.

The name of this form will be LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

The form name won’t be visible to website visitors.

For Sandy’s ActiveCampaign account, only Inline Forms are available.

When someone submits the form, they will be subscribed to Sandy’s Master List.

They will also have a tag added. LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request.

Select Create.

I’ll change the heading for this form.


Sandy wants the rest of the lead magnet name on a separate line.

Add a Header field.


Sandy wants to let the visitor know what they’ll receive.

There is no text field as such. To add additional text to the form, use an HTML field.

Between the P tags, add “All my tips to make sure you get the right person to photograph your special day.”

Sandy wants to personalise the emails she sends.

To help with this, she wants to collect first name and email address.

I don’t recommend replacing the full name field with the first name field.

Some people will enter type their full name regardless of what is being asked.

ActiveCampaign is smart enough to deal will these situations.

Rename the Full name field to First Name.

Because she wants to personalise her emails, make this field required.

There is the option to use a CAPTCHA field. This field might reduce invalid email addresses but it’s not reliable. You’re also assuming the person submitting the form is not a real person. I’d rather make the experience better for people and deal with invalid email addresses separately.

The Submit button.

Submit sounds very impersonal. Change the button text to the first person.

Send me the guide.

Anyone who submits their details will be taken to a page on Sandy’s website to confirm that their email has been received.

It’s here a message can be shown to check spam or junk folders and for Gmail users, the promotions tab.


And a tag will be added.

LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request.

Disable opt-in Confirmation. The automation will take care of this.

I could select the Integrate button but that takes the long way around to create an automation.

I’ll select Trigger Automation to create the automation.

Create a lead magnet automation

In this section we’ll be creating an automation that will:

I always map out my automations before I start to create them in ActiveCampaign. I find it saves me time.

Here’s the diagram that represents what I’ll be creating in this video.

These diagrams represent the workflow. Not how it will look in ActiveCampaign. Creating your workflow diagram in this way means that should you change email marketing service providers; you can recreate the workflow knowing that it will meet your business needs.

The form being used subscribes the contact to a list and adds the tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request.

Personally, I prefer to trigger automations when a tag is added.

For one, I can see the journey a contact has taken from requesting the lead magnet and then accessing it or not.

Another reason is that I’m not limited to someone submitting an ActiveCampaign form. I can use other behaviours to send the lead magnet.

I’ll delete this trigger and add a new one.

I’ll change this trigger to be when a tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request is added.

There is a possibility that someone will submit multiple requests for the lead magnet. And that’s ok. To deliver it multiple times, set the trigger to run multiple times.

If you didn’t. They’d submit the form, but the automation would not trigger, and they wouldn’t receive it again.

After the trigger, add an email action.

I’ll name the email (E01) LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

This follow Sandy’s naming conventions.

Sandy has a basic email template setup. I’ll choose that.

If necessary, change the From Name. In this case, Sandy from Sandy Brook Photography.
Add an appropriate subject line.

Subject line

FIRSTNAME|TITLECASE%, here’s your guide

Select Continue.

I’ll replace the text in the email.


Thank you for your interest in my guide, “How to Choose Your Ideal Photographer”.

You can download it right here.

These tips have been gathered over my five years of photographing couples on their special day.

I’m sure they’ll help make your day even better.

I’d like to try and solve one problem you’re having right now.

Hit reply and tell me the biggest challenge you’re having when choosing a wedding photographer.


P.S. Like most wedding photographers, I’m usually booked out for the next 12 months. If you have a date in mind, why not start by checking my availability.

I don’t normally use buttons because some email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, may display them incorrectly.

I’ll add a link that will be used to confirm the recipient’s email address and give them access to the lead magnet.

You can download it right here.

When the recipient selects the link, they’ll be taken to a page on Sandy’s website where they can download the PDF.

The tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Downloaded is added.

And the tag

LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request

is removed.

Select OK to save those link settings.

Sandy has a subtle secondary call to action. This is to encourage the recipient to take the next move along their buyer’s journey.

It links to an online calendar on Sandy’s website.

For business’ like Sandy’s, it helps reduce time wasting if the couple have already decided on a date.

Select Next.

To encourage the recipient to open the email, add preheader text.


Close this modal.

Select Next then Finish and Save.

Next, we’ll add a Wait action that will hold the contact in place until specific conditions are met.

The conditions will be Tag exists LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Download.

This tag is added when they select the link to access the lead magnet.

And they’ll be held for up to 1 day.

When they are released from the Wait action, we need to control what happens next.
That will be done using an If/Else action.

The If/Else will send the contact down one path if they have the Downloaded tag and another if they don’t.

If Tag exists LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Downloaded.

Here’s what we have so far.

A lead submits a form. If there is no contact record for that email address, they’re added to Sandy’s Master List.

The same form adds the tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request to the contact record.

When that tag is added, the contact starts this automation.
An email is sent, and the contact is held at the first Wait action.

If the contact selects the download link, the Download tag is added and the Request tag is removed. They meet the condition of the Wait. Are released and move to the If/Else action. They have the Downloaded tag and will go down the Yes path.

If they haven’t selected the link after one day, they meet the other condition of the Wait action and move to the If/Else. They don’t have the Downloaded tag, so they’ll be directed to the No path.

We’ll do the No path.

If the contact hasn’t accessed the lead magnet after 1 day, Sandy wants to send a reminder email.

To improve the chances the email will be read, Sandy wants the email delivered at 7am.
Add a Wait action and set the time to 7am.

Next, the reminder email.

I’ll name it (E02) LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

Select the template and add a subject line.

This time, Did you get your guide?

Because this is a reminder email, the text is slightly different.


I’m checking in to make sure that you were able to download your guide, How to Choose Your Ideal Wedding Photographer”.

If you need it again, I’ve included the link.

Click here to download your guide

Here’s to the happy couple.


P.S. Like most wedding photographers, I’m usually booked out for the next 12 months. If you have a date in mind, why not start by checking my availability.

You may have seen emails that say things like “my robots tell me you haven’t downloaded” or “I’ve notice you haven’t downloaded”.

I think it’s better to take a more subtle approach.

Just like our first email, add the path to Sandy’s web page and the tags to be added and removed.

Tag is added LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Downloaded

Tag is removed LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request

Add the link to Sandy’s availability.


Select Next and add preheader text.

I’ll save that.

After the email, wait for the recipient to do something.

Add a Wait action.

Because this will have the same settings as the earlier Wait, I can drag the previous one and drop it where I need it.

Select Copy single action and Stay at current position.

Select OK to complete the move.

Unlike Emails, dragging and dropping a Wait action creates a separate block. If I was to change this wait, the previous Wait wouldn’t change.

I’ll also drag the If/Else action create earlier. Like Wait actions, copies of If/Else actions aren’t linked together.
Now I’m going to deal with contacts who haven’t selected the download link in either email.

Sandy wants a record of a contact’s journey.

Remove the tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request

Add the tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Unconfirmed

Some people might suggest unsubscribing a contact but if they’re an existing lead or client, this isn’t the best option.

Sandy has clean-up automation to deal with contacts like this.
I’ll show you that later in this video.

They’re not necessary, but I like to add an End Automation.

Back to the first If/Else.

Remember, delivering a lead magnet is not only giving something of value. It’s the start of building a relationship.

Part of relationship building is following up and asking if the resource was helpful.

Sandy knows that to increase the chances of her email being read, it should land in the inbox at 7am.

To do this, we’ll add two more wait actions.

Hold the contact at a wait action until midnight.

And with another Wait action, hold the contact until 7am.

I always create my Wait actions this way so I’m confident an email won’t be sent until 7 am.

Create another Wait action and wait for 2 days.

How long you wait depends on the lead magnet. You need to give the recipient time to have consumed the information. For Sandy, that’s 2 days.

Create the follow up email.

Name (E03) LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Subject : Did my guide help you?


Has my guide given you a place to start? I hope so.

Which tip did you find the most helpful?

Tomorrow, I’ll send you an email that tells you a little about me.

While you wait for that, here are some articles that you might find helpful.

>> How to choose the right wedding photography style

> Top 5 useful wedding apps

>> 7 tips for looking great in wedding photos

Stay awesome


She’s adding more value and asking the new contact to get back to her if they have questions.

She’s also letting them know to expect an email tomorrow.

This is the first of Sandy’s welcome series.

Now she needs to tag new leads.

She’s aware that a contact who is currently a wedding client could request the lead magnet.

She doesn’t want contacts to have the client and lead tags.
To avoid this, add an If/Else action.

The condition will be If tag exists STATUS: Client – Wedding.

For the No path, add tag STATUS: Lead – Wedding.

A warning message is displayed telling Sandy that ‘This block may trigger the “Welcome Series” emails.

I’ll add an End this automation action.

A contact could select the link from the Reminder email.

Under the Yes path of the 2nd If/Else action, add a Go To action.

Drag the green dot to the wait until current time is 0.

Change the name of the automation to LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

Don’t forget to set the automation to Active.

The clean-up automation

This workflow unsubscribes new contacts who haven’t downloaded the lead magnet and aren’t existing leads or clients.

The automation is triggered when the tag TRIGGER: Clean-up is added to a contact record.

The tag isn’t required any more, so we remove it straight away.

Existing wedding clients have the tag STATUS: Client – Wedding.

An If/Else sends existing wedding leads or clients down the Yes path and contacts who are not existing wedding leads or clients down the No path.

Contacts who aren’t existing leads or clients are unsubscribed from Sandy’s Master List.

If you’re considering this type of automation, remember, Sandy offers other type of photography sessions such as engagements, maternity, newborn, and family. She needs to add any tags related to those services to the clean-up automation.

In the lead magnet automation, add the tag TRIGGER: Clean-up.

Testing the automation

It’s vital that automations are tested after they’re created and after any changes are made.

When you’re testing, use email addresses created for this purpose.

Don’t use email address with the same domain name as your business.

Using a different domain name reduces the chances that test emails are identified as spam.

For testing, Sandy uses a Gmail and an outlook.com email address.

The tests for this automation will check that:

If any changes need to be made, start the testing process again.

I’m not going to take you through all of Sandy’s tests.

I’ll complete the form test and the test where a contact selects the download link in the second email.

Start by completing the ActiveCampaign form.

From the Contacts page, select the test email address.

The contact has been added to Sandy’s ActiveCampaign account, subscribed to the list, and has the tag LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Request added.

It’s also in the automation LM: Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

Select the automation.

Select View.

The path this contact record took after entering the automation is shown.

Since this test checks the path of contacts who only act on the second email, select Skip this Wait Action.

The contact will be taken to the next Wait action.

Select Skip this Wait Action.

The second email will be sent.

Here’s the inbox for Sandy’s test Gmail account. Both emails arrived. I’ll select the 2nd email.

Check the email for layout, grammatical, and spelling errors.

Select the download link. The recipient was taken to the website where the lead magnet can be downloaded.

Check other links in the email including links to Sandy’s availability and social media accounts.

Back in ActiveCampaign, the request tag has been removed from the contact record and the downloaded tag added.

In the automation, the contact followed the correct path. Use the Skip this Wait Action link to move the contact through the final stages of the automation.
Check the third email for errors and make sure any links take the recipient to the correct destination.

Making sure there are no errors, and your automation takes contact along the correct path gives a good first impression to your potential customers and meets your business needs.

Wrap up

Create the tags you’ll need before creating the automation.

Name your tags so they reflect the journey a contact is taking through an automation.

Send a follow up email to start building that all important relationship.

Clean-up contacts who haven’t engaged with your emails and who aren’t existing leads or clients.

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