They’re everywhere now.
… Content designed to entice people into joining your email list. AKA – the lead magnet.
Do you have one? Or if you do, does your current lead magnet deliver the results you had hoped for?
Here’s the cold, hard truth:
The wrong lead magnet can make or break your list building efforts.
You could have a super well-optimised sales funnel, but that won’t matter if your lead magnet doesn’t convert.
In this post, you’ll find a boat-load of ideas to inspire your next lead magnet. You’ll find examples throughout and a bunch of tips to help you craft a better lead magnet….
…A lead magnet that attracts more of the right people to join your email list.
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Keep reading, and we’ll dive right in:
The simple reason why most lead magnets fail
Most lead magnets fail because they’re not focused on a singular problem – they’re simply not specific enough.
A good example is our “content promotion hacks” lead magnet:
It’s focused around helping those who want to promote their content more effectively, and get more traffic to their website (plenty more examples to come throughout this post).
Think about it like this:
Right now, your “ideal customer” will be facing certain problems. You need a lead magnet that addresses one of those problems.
But one of those problems will be more significant than the others. And it’s difficult to tell which.
A great way to tackle this is to create a lead magnet based on each one, then split test them against each other to find out.
Then, you could use the finished highest converting lead magnet to inform your product offering that you’ll pitch later in your sales funnel.
Now let’s dive into the main event – a big collection of proven lead magnet ideas you can put into action.
These are to demonstrate specific types of lead magnets only and as such, we can’t say which are GDPR compliant or not (we aren’t lawyers). And we’d be doing you a disservice if we tried.
Our best recommendation is to use them as inspiration only and do your own due diligence to ensure your specific offering is compliant. Or, we could say – transparent.
But I don’t want to leave you with nothing on the GDPR front, so go through this post and make notes on potential lead magnets, then give this post by Thrive Themes a read. Their founder consulted with two different lawyers while writing the post.
38 proven lead magnet ideas you can use
There are numerous ways to use videos as a lead magnet.
You can create a video tutorial as a lead magnet, that only appears after the person reading inserts their email address.
Or you can create a free video course and make that your lead magnet.
Video is taking over the internet. According to this study – by 2021, video content will make up 82% of all consumer traffic.
So, it’s safe to say, people are enjoying consuming video.
And it would be a genius tactic to use some video content as your lead magnets. Not just in paid email courses and Facebook lives.
We’re seeing more and more videos in online (paid) courses, because of how valuable they are. So to use them as a lead magnet?
You’ll have people lining up for days to get their hands on them!
2) Resource Library
Carefully crafting a resource library full of goodies you know your customers will fall in love with, is one of the best lead magnets you can offer.
Instead of a single checklist or another single lead magnet – you can dedicate an entire landing page chalk full of your best lead magnets.
For example, Adam Connell offers a large library of resources at BloggingWizard.com:
The amount of things you put into your resource library is completely up to you. And the great thing is you can swap out freebies or just add even more whenever you want.
Printables have become extremely popular on Pinterest, as well as a digital product that entrepreneurs are selling on Etsy or their own websites.
But, you can also offer them as a printable.
A common theme has been creating printables that your people can print out and then put in a frame, if you’re in the DIY or Home Decor business.
You can also offer PDFs (for any niche) that are value-packed! They don’t have to be anything DIY/design related.
People love tangible items.
It’s why libraries still exist. Even though we both know there’s an online version or audio book for any book you could imagine.
So, creating something beautiful and tangible – that people can print out is a real winner these days.
Quizzes are popping up all over the place lately, and for good reason!
Quizzes can be an interactive way to generate leads, while your customers get something fun and a bit different than what’s normally offered for lead magnets.
Krista Dickson has an excellent example. One of her lead magnets is a quiz called “What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?”. Take a look for yourself:
And if you’re wondering how to create these quizzes, be sure to check out Colin Newcomer’s post on quiz & survey plugins for WordPress.
5) Large list of free resources
What’s better than one free resource? A whole whack of them!
You can put together a list of free resources that you know will resonate and solve a problem for your audience.
Elna, of Twin’s Mommy has a gigantic list of free resources put together as one of her lead magnets:
In the business and marketing world, reports full of all the juicy stats and information is quite appealing. Especially if you’re in the B2B industry.
Of course, this will depend on your niche. But for anyone in the marketing world especially, I’m sure you’ve heard of the infamous “State of Inbound Reports” from HubSpot.
Here’s the 2017 State of Inbound report from HubSpot. As you can see, they’re using it as an opt-in lead magnet download:
A handbook is similar to a workbook – and it can be used in a number of industries. Generally it consists of a few PDF pages.
You can jam-pack handbooks with a variety of various (but relevant) valuable content.
Or you can stick to one pain point or issue your customer needs help with – and you can dedicate the handbook to that one particular subject.
Like I mentioned earlier, Adam’s lead magnet here on Funnel Overload is a handbook that consists of one subject that he knows his audience will find useful:
8) Case Studies
Case studies have grown in popularity in the recent years, and depending on the niche of your business – they can be tremendously beneficial to your customers as a lead magnet.
We all like to see results. Whether these are your own results you’re highlighting, or someone else’s – it’s fantastic
So if you can craft a well thought out study to do, and execute it well – it could potentially blow up your email list.
We’re all busy, so who doesn’t enjoy a done-for-you template?
Probably no one on this earth when given the chance!
Templates are a versatile option, and they can be used for any niche or business.
You can incorporate them as your lead magnet no matter what type of business you run, because literally anything can be turned into a template.
You can create email templates, freelance contract templates, and so many more.
I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me motivated like a workbook that I can print out and begin filling in.
Especially if the person who created it made it feel like it was specifically created for me and me alone!
Workbooks may be a common option for a lead magnet – but there’s a reason people craft them time and time again.
Because, they’re highly effective.
So don’t toss this idea out the window just because it’s been done a thousand times. Make it your own and use your own creativity.
But, above all – get inside your customer’s heads and create this workbook to solve an issue or challenge they’re facing.
11) Free stock images
Stock photo websites are popping up left, right, and centre.
They’ve become super popular, mainly because as a business owner, you don’t typically want to use the same photos everybody else is getting off of sites like Pixabay.
Generally stock photo sites offer memberships or sell their photos on their site. And almost all of these types of websites are created by entrepreneurs. Also, they generally offer free stock photos as their lead magnet.
An amazing example is Ivory Mix. Ivory Mix is run by a photographer named Kayla, and she offers hundreds of stunning images as her opt-in:
If you have a knack for photography, this may be something you want to pursue, and use some of your images as a lead magnet.
Which will also help bring in more sales for your memberships or paid photos!
You may think that a checklist is considered pretty bare-bones when it comes to lead magnets.
However, depending on the context – they tend to be quite popular and well received.
Mainly because they’re easily consumed and you’re able to solve a problem your customer’s having on a one page PDF.
Some people prefer something quick and easy over a lengthy training or an e-book. It all depends on your customer base.
If the information is value-packed and it hits their pain points – it can certainly be a great opt-in/lead magnet to offer in exchange for a customer’s email address.
Don’t underestimate the power of a checklist! They aren’t time-consuming for you to craft, and often times visitors on your website will opt-in without a second thought.
13) Cheat Sheet
A cheatsheet is pretty similar to a checklist. A single PDF that should solve a problem your customer is having in one swoop.
They can be handy in a number of scenarios so don’t discount them just because it’s only one page. As with checklists – many people love a swift solution, opposed to something more in-depth.
You can also use them as content upgrades in your blog posts, if you don’t want to use them as your main opt-in.
Even seeing the words “cheat sheet” is powerful in itself. It gives off a vibe that they’re going to receive something “forbidden”.
You can interpret a toolkit in a number of ways.
However, toolkits are usually a bunch of smaller opt-in freebies, almost like a resource library.
But, you could interpret this in a literal sense and hire a developer to create a small selection of free online tools for you. These could be calculators, generators or something else.
However, it’s always worth considering whether you’d get more mileage from offering those sort of tools ungated, with a strong content based lead magnet on the landing page.
15) Swipe Files
Swipe files are quite appealing to any customer or visitor on a website.
Many lead magnets are packed with useful information, but are not meant for copying. But, with a “Swipe File” you are giving away something extra special – as they can actually “swipe” it.
Swipe files are popping up all over the place, and the great thing is they can be used and applied in any niche, for any business.
The only “rule” you want to follow, as with any lead magnet you create, is making it informative for your customers. It should always offer a solution to a problem or challenge they are having.
Sometimes we need someone to hold us accountable.
Or, sometimes, we just enjoy being apart of something (like a challenge) that we know will offer insight into a topic we need help on.
And that’s exactly what having a challenge as your lead magnet can assist with.
You’ve likely seen the ads on Facebook. “7 day challenge to get bikini-body ready”. And other challenges of the sorts.
The great thing is any niche or business can utilize a challenge as their main opt-in.
Blog Brand Hustle offers a challenge as her lead magnet (ironically about lead magnets!). It also has a mini email course as well. Which really packs a punch:
17) A module of your online course
Most of us can’t get enough of online courses. But sometimes your not sure if it’ll be a good fit for you in particular.
That’s why people started offering a little teaser of their online courses. Just enough to gauge interest and show what it has to offer.
You’d want to be strategic about which part of your course you gave as a lead magnet on your website, to ensure it draws them in.
You can offer an entire module, or just a few lessons.
This will also increase sales of your online course, for those people who weren’t sure about it.
18) Free training
Having free training on hand as your lead magnet is an excellent way to go for many businesses.
Many people prefer watching videos to reading text – so this may be your ideal customer’s preferred way to consume content.
Free training are typically video’s that you prerecord.
And it gets better:
A perk of utilizing free training video’s is you can actually mention your paid offer or services at the end of the training. After you blow their minds with a well-done free training video that leaves them feeling as though they’ve learned something valuable, of course.
19) Quick start guide
There’s not a person on this planet that wouldn’t opt for an easier explanation, if they had the choice.
So give them the choice!
A quick start guide could be absolutely anything. A quick start guide on fixing your car, starting an online business, or building a table. You name it.
Your customers will appreciate you breaking down whatever topic you’re covering into a simple, easy to follow guide. There’s already enough hard to comprehend jargon out there.
20) A free consultation or coaching session
If you’re a coach or offer any type of service, you have a lead magnet goldmine on your hands already.
Your customer will find this particularly great if they don’t have the money or just want to try out your services first.
And not only can this ignite your email list, but – you’re more than likely going to find that prospects who grabbed your lead magnet will end up being paying customers/clients!
So ensure you give it your all and blow their socks off.
You never know what person will end up being a customer/client for years to come. If they enjoy and find your free session extremely valuable and informative they very well could be!
Ah, the ever so popular e-book.
While sometimes they get tucked way and people mean to read them, chances are, if someone has a relevant e-book that solves some sort of issue for their customers, they’ll go like hot cakes.
You obviously want your customers to take advantage of your e-books so they can be prepped for your paid products or services.
The best way to ensure they actually read the e-book is to make it clear and concise why they absolutely have to have this e-book and what’s included.
And don’t forget to use clever and captivating copy to draw them in!
22) Physical products
If you sell physical products it may make sense to ship out some sort of product as your lead magnet.
Something small – like a trial or travel size of one of your products. Or some sort of sample at the least – without making it too small.
Alternatively you could flip this idea on it’s head and include free branded merch (even just a wristband) when shipping products to paying customers.
Then, include a small card with a link where they can download a bonus guide or some other type of content they’d find useful.
You’ll have made a great impression by including a freebie, you’ll potentially get an email subscriber, and the branded merch can work well for brand awareness.
Who doesn’t enjoy saving money? I can’t think of such a person that exists!
Depending on your business – this may be the perfect option. Not only does it get your leads to purchase your products and/or services right away – but it’s more likely they’ll become a returning customer.
If you sell physical goods, this is a fantastic option. However, you can also give coupons out for just about anything!
So if it’s digital products you sell – you can create some stunning coupons in a program like Canva – or you can simply give out a coupon code.
This is highly popular among digital product creators.
In the business world, whitepapers are an excellent route if you have informative data to share, or something a tad more formal than your typical cheat sheet could offer.
Whitepapers are highly valuable if they’re targeting the right people.
Like giving out reports as lead magnets – they tend to do well for B2B businesses.
If you think whitepapers would jive with your customer base, and you can solve a problem with them – give them a go!
Visuals are far more potent than most of us think.
According to this study, we only remember 20% of what we read, but 80% of what we see and do.
The same study concluded that the human brain responds 40% better to visuals like infographics than they do to plain old text.
It’s safe to say that no matter what niche you’re in – infographics are a winner.
Chances are you’ve been on a webinar (or 10) – as they’re more common than ever. But there’s a reason businesses are using webinars as lead magnets.
They’re a great way to engage your customers and provide something valuable, while still benefiting your business massively.
Webinars are generally a live event, which adds to their appeal.
And like free trainings, which are similar – you can add a pitch to your products/services at the end of the webinar.
27) Email Course (AKA, e-course)
Email courses are wildly popular.
Why? Because they’re effective.
Generally e-courses cost anywhere from $40 all the way close to $1000. So there’s the significant perceived value that they have.
That makes them a tried and true choice for any industry.
You can use whatever email service provider you use and set up your email course to trickle out over a set amount of days. Such as 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days.
I wouldn’t suggest going over 7 days ( 7 emails) as it’s a lot of content to consume.
28) Free trials
If you have an incredible product, one of the most optimal ways to get prospects interested is giving them a taste.
Free trials are everywhere – and if you look closely next time you see one, I bet you’ll see you must opt-in with your email address to receive the free trial.
They can be an excellent lead magnet for so many niches.
If you have an online program, you can give out a 30-day trial.
If you own a gym, you can give out a 30-day free trial.
The list goes on! If it fits with your business, then it’s worth a try to see if your customers respond.
29) A chapter from your book
Like free trials, a teaser of a book you’ve written is an excellent tactic when it comes to lead magnets. While you’re giving something of value, it gives you the opportunity to promote your book.
30) How-to Guides
Most of us go to the internet for information – and one of the most powerful ways to convey information is in an “ultimate guide”, or a “how-to guide”.
Believe it or not, they’re not just irresistible as blog posts.
They have their place as lead magnets too. You have the ability to make them as short or as long as you please. But typically with How-to’s or Guides you’re looking at a few pages of in-depth information.
If you already have popular long-form content on your website’s blog, you know you can pull this off as a lead magnet and it’ll do well.
31) A planner
These days printable planners are all the rage in the online world.
You can purchase them on websites like Etsy – which makes them an appealing option if it fits with your ideal customers.
When something normal costs money, it’s perceived value skyrockets – making printables an amazing choice if it works with your niche.
For the most part, everyone can benefit from a planner to organize their days. However, you’ll still want to look at your target customer to make sure it’s something they’d find valuable.
32) Blog post PDF
Offering a PDF version of a blog post is a simple, but effective opt-in that will have customers and readers typing in their email address so fast.
If your reader is particularly moved by your article, this allows them to save it for another time. Where they can reference it whenever they please.
While this is majorly used as a content upgrade opt in; if you execute it well you can use it as a regular lead magnet opt-in.
33) Free fonts
Everyone loves free stuff in general, but, when it comes to something that normally business owners have to pay for – it becomes ultra-valuable.
There are sites out there where you can download free fonts, but many times you can only use them for personal use.
If you can step that up and offer free commercial fonts (fonts that can be used wherever in your customer’s business), then you’re going to have major success.
Blog Pixie did just that. She does have other fonts for free, but as you can see below – Blog Pixie offers free commercial fonts:
The only difference is she doesn’t require an opt-in. Which is rare.
So you can certainly use this as a lead magnet – as they’re high in demand and would go like hot cakes.
34) Access to a private Facebook Group
There’s no denying that Facebook groups are all the rage right now, and more and more keep popping up.
For a little bit it seemed like everyone was closing their groups – but are they ever missing out!
If you don’t have a Facebook group yet, you can create one and work on filling it up with potential buyers/your ideal customer.
Then it’ll be easy-peasy to set up your lead magnet to be an invite to your Facebook group.
35) Powerpoint presentation
Another awesome idea for your lead magnet – turn a blog post into an easily digestible presentation (or create one from scratch).
Either way, people love visuals. And going through a presentation can be much more appealing than reading a long text-based article, for some people.
It’s all about your audience. If you think this would do well with your customers/audience – then go for it!
36) Ask your email subscribers
While you can do your own, quiet, market research – you can also just go straight to the source.
You can send out a survey, using one of the many free survey tools such as Typeform. And simply ask your subscribers and customers what they need help with the most.
Or what their biggest challenge is right now.
This information will be literal gold and also help you plan out your paid products and services better.
37) Social media graphics
Crafting stunning social media graphics is an awesome lead magnet idea that will have your email list exploding in no time.
These could be a set of stock photos with plenty of personality that isn’t normally found in most stock photos. Something that your audience would love to incorporate when designing images for social media.
If you’re in business or marketing – you’re on social media. There’s no doubt about that. Making this a handy lead magnet that can work in multiple niches.
38) Audio recordings (or podcast episodes)
These days, everybody is on the go. Which is likely why podcasts have become so popular in the past few years.
Any type of audio recording allows you to consume content no matter where you are. That’s the power of technology nowadays.
If you don’t have a podcast – don’t fret. You can easily create audio recordings to offer with specific blog posts (otherwise known as content upgrades), or create a recording on a particular topic and use it as an opt-in lead magnet.
Or, you can create a podcast! There are endless entrepreneurs out there who would likely love the exposure of being interviewed on your podcast. Or you can make it more of an audio file where you are just talking and offering valuable information for your customers.
Marie Forleo of Marie TV has a podcast on her website, and she offers podcast episodes once you opt-in to her email list:
Free Download: Content Promotion Handbook
Struggling to get eyeballs on your content? No problem. You'll find everything you need in this free handbook - 37 tactics you can put into action.
Putting it all together
As we’ve seen, there’s no end in sight to the types of lead magnets you can offer.
The main idea is to ensure your lead magnet:
- Solves a specific problem or pain point your customer is having
- Is tailored specifically for your idea customers (do your research!)
- Is insanely valuable
- Is easy to consume
Some of the ideas on this list may take a bit of time to create – but that usually means a higher perceived value which will likely get you more subscribers as a result.
However, others will be quick to produce and still generate solid results.
It’s all about finding what works.
Once you’ve got your lead magnet sorted – be sure to check out our definitive guide to getting more email subscribers.