You created a product, launched your business, and worked on your branding. Everything has been going smoothly, with each day being a bit of a slow and steady race toward a goal: gaining traffic, then leads, then converting them all to sales.
But there’s a problem: when it comes to leads, you’re pretty much in the dark.
See, there’s a rulebook for everything in business. Need traffic? There’s plenty of solutions readily available, tons of information on it, and a plethora of examples.
But leads? Well… although there’s plenty of guides and blog posts about the subject, everyone seems to have their own method. Everyone seems to just know what to do. And you’re not sure if one method is better than the other, or if landing pages really are needed, or if getting people’s emails is actually even worth it in this day and age.
Cue in this handy, detailed, and highly informative guide to help you sort out all of your doubts and concerns. We’ll be going over everything there is to know about lead magnets, including what they are, why they’re worth it, and of course, listing off examples.
Lead Magnet Basics
First thing's first: what’s a lead magnet really? What is the purpose?
A lead magnet is an offer, usually in landing page form and free, that gives visitors relevant value (usually information or a trial or freebie) in exchange for their email address.
It’s a simple “give to receive” action that shows you’re willing to give out things of value to a target audience. The assumption here is that if they give you their email, you will continue to send valuable things their way. Think coupons, discount codes, exclusive offers, etc.
So, They’re Important?
Yes, because the more emails you get, the bigger your email list is. And that allows you to contact several people directly, offering your codes, discounts, limited edition items, offers, etc.
Think about it this way: if you spend X amount on advertising, you’re essentially, to some degree, gambling, because you’re promoting your product to the masses in the hopes that people will be interested.
But with email, everyone who willingly gives you their contact information is already interested enough to give you that in the first place. There’s already some level of investment there. All you have to do is whoo them enough to get them to stay. Otherwise, they’ll unsubscribe.
Email Isn’t Dead
Here’s the thing about email: it’s old. In fact, it has been around since before the internet became this commonplace thing in every home. It’s easy to assume that it’s dead, on it’s way out, or at the very least, useless.
But look at your workplace. Chances are high that although you may use things tools like Slack or Google Hangouts, your office still uses a lot of email to talk to clients, sort out project details, send reminders, or get ahold of you while you’re away on a trip.
That’s because email offers the most effective way of increasing your ROI, unmatched by anything else.
It also allows you to directly contact people, without having to wait for an instant reply back, unlike messengers.
There’s almost a correspondence quality about it that makes it much more of a letter than just a tap on the shoulder. Much like a physical address, people don’t change their email all the time. Once you have it, you can keep trying to reach out directly. Unless, they’re unsubscribed that is.
Lead Magnet Examples
Yes, they take a long time to write, but they help you build up authority in your space. Consider the topic, be critical of your takeaways, because in a competitive, oversaturated market space, you need to stand out.
Aside from reports, these are still the most popular lead magnets. This is because it’s essentially a how-to, and a goal, all wrapped up into a short piece for people to use for their own objectives.
This is a declaration of your intentions, motivations and views, so your audience understands what your business is all about. It’s a good lead, assuming you have pinpointed your exact target audience, because they should naturally find it interesting.
4) Free Report
Think of free reports as someone doing all the research on a specific subject for you. Not only does it save you time, it tells you exactly what you need to know to make informed decisions.
5) Check List
These are essentially actionable cheat sheets. Basically, they surmise everything that users need to know into a list that they can actually use to complete a series of actions. That way they can check off each step as they go along, hence the name.
This converts very well, because usually it’s a collection of tools used by someone established, so it’s like giving everyone else the key to be just as successful. Take it one step further by being an affiliate for those products, so you get extra revenue while you’re at it.
Imagine an outline that your audience can copy and paste anywhere, like a Google Doc. They fill in the blanks with their own relevant information, and presto, they have a valuable, usable, relatable document that helps them achieve something. Of course, this is typically used in a B2B setting, where a business gives out the template to a well-written email that other businesses can use for themselves.
8) Swipe File
Think of a template that you don’t actually have to change anything in. That’s a swipe file. You literally just use it as it is, nothing changed. That’s even easier for the target audience, giving them one less thing to worry about.
9) Cheat Sheet
Rather than having to spend hours reading an ebook or even a half hour pouring over a blog post, they’ll be getting all of that information in one solid cheat sheet. It’s like SparkNotes for books, when you were in school. You know you didn’t read all those books, be honest.
Not only is this a very entertaining option, it also shines a light directly on the audience, making them feel special. However, the caveat is that in order for them to get their result (the reward for dedicating the last few minutes on the quiz), they have to enter their email address.
11) Audio Training
Similar to an audio course, audio training is much longer, and completely stand-alone. It appeals to people who are very busy and like to multitask.
12) Audio Course
Much like any other course you get people to sign up for, only it’s in audio format, which actually makes it easier on your audience. They can listen to it while working out, or cooking. But remember, tell people what the perceived value is, and how you’re giving it out for free if they give you their email.
13) Audio Splinter
If you made an audio recording, you can give out a few minutes of it for free, to give people an idea of what to expect if they insert their emails.
14) Video Splinter
If you made a video course, give a few minutes of it out for free as a lead magnet, almost like a movie trailer.
15) Event Recordings
Record each time you conduct a live, in-person seminar. This gives you loads of video and audio content you can repurpose into leads later.
16) Video Training
People love this, because it’s easier for people to watch and learn than it is to read. It doesn’t even need to feature you, you can just use a screencast, and keep your voice in the background.
17) Email Course
This is great, because it’s so simple. It’s an autoresponder series sent regularly through email that teaches users how to accomplish something. You write it once, you automate it, and you forget about it. Plus, you can even use it to convert prospects.
18) Comic Strip
Mainly used for entertainment, comic strips can also be a way to share opinions. It works especially well if you typically write about serious topics, but use the comics as a way to incorporate light fun.
19) Resource List
Again, this saves people time, and that’s always a great idea. This is a list of useful tools that people can use to complete a project, like an ebook, for instance. If it sounds too much like toolkit, think of it this way: toolkits help with actions, but resources can be passive.
This helps to instill urgency. Then you help everyone who’s doing the challenge together at the same time by just being there, answering questions, coaching, etc. Because everyone is working toward the same goal, there’s motivation to do well and complete with flying colors, hence spiking your success rate.
21) Give Away
Let your audience win free content, objects, resources, kits, etc. Whatever it is, it needs to be both relevant (audience wants it), and shareable (offer additional entries to win for each social share).
22) Private Facebook Group
This is a community, where you can discuss, share experience and insights, all with people that are in similar positions. It’s valuable, and if all it takes is an email to get access to it, chances are high you’ll do it.
Live webinars occur at specific times, which is great for creating urgency through marketing. Triggering that FOMO (fear of missing out) is critical in getting emails.
24) Free Workshop
This is a pre-recorded event that can be downloaded and shared as a lead. It should be packed with guided walkthroughs, and the actions should lead to an end result in a matter of hours.
This is essentially like giving people a sneak peek at what they’ll be getting if they give you an email. Think sample proposals, which are great for freelancers.
Ideal for an audience that needs to speak publically at events, or write something for promotion’s sake (ebooks, guides). Almost like templates.
27) Give High Value Content
This only works when you have a popular industry pro giving out a step-by-step, valued at hundreds of dollars. But you’re giving it out for free.
Ideal for coaches, obviously, you can give out fifteen minutes of a coaching session as a lead. To make it even more enticing, you can work on a catchy title, such as “You’ll Get 5 Burning Questions Answered.”
29) Free Trial
This is the best tactic for companies with products to trial, such as beauty products or paid software. However, you can also offer a sample box of your product, or a steep discount on your service in exchange for an email address.
30) Software Download
This is one cut above a free trial, this is an outright free version of it. Obviously, this version won’t have all the bells and whistles of the paid version, but it won’t end in a certain span of time, unlike the free trial.
31) Software Demo
It’s essentially a trial, but with software. The demo could last a few days, even weeks, but it also features all of the features of the paid version.
Handpicked, informative, relevant content delivered to your audience once a week. It tells them that you’ll read several articles they should find interesting, you’ll select the best ones, and then share them along with your insights.
These are programming tools, and should often be combined with little video, or copy, guides on how to use the spreadsheet.
If your target audience would benefit from creating something quickly, they would appreciate this lead for sure.
35) Free Book & Shipping
Unlike an ebook, which is deliverable instantaneously, offering a physical book seems rather dumb, but in actuality not so much. Physical books have more perceived value than ebooks, making them pretty much irresistible.
36) Podcast Transcript
People love to listen to podcasts, because they’re usually very informative, and multitasking friendly. But sometimes it’s nice reading the transcript for a change, especially if you’re in an area where speedy internet just isn’t available.
37) Gated Content
Gated content is great if you’re lazy, because you simply restrict some content on your existing website, and hide it behind a wall. To unlock it, visitors have to submit their email.
38) Lessons From An Expert
These are things like case studies based on your own learnings along the way, or a collection of advice from an industry leader. Maybe you successfully used SEO to make your post show up as a top Google result, and you want to share how you did it.
39) Membership for Life
Giving away a free for life account membership so that your users can use your online tool for free seems like it’s too much to give away. However, many of those users will convert to paid users in due time, especially if you have more to offer with the paid version.
40) A Resource Full of Value
For this resource, you don’t teach anything, you just give them what they want the most. For instance, handselecting 70 blogs that pay $50 or more per post.
41) Roundup Post
A list of tips or techniques from other experts in your niche. This means there’s a lot of value in the post, and therefore, it’s worth the email opt-in.
42) Content Upgrade
A downloadable PDF of what is essentially bonus content that goes along with a long form post. This adds value, and provides information that is relevant to your audience.
If your audience wants to calculate the significance of an A/B test, or they need to track their BMR and BMI (for fitness brands), then calculators are the way to go.
They can include tasks that your audience needs to fill out to complete a specific goal. Much like in school, where the worksheet worked as a resource to better understand content and find relevance to it.
Say you’re in fitness, and your calendar not only looks fitness guru worthy, but also provides monthly fitness goals and a way to track them day by day.
46) Web Apps
Free tools that require logins, which they only get if they sign up by email first. Just make sure it’s a useful tool that’s actually in demand.
Let people try out your product or service, however small that taste may be. It’s essentially what Costco and Sam’s Club does with their packaged food items throughout the store, where they give free little bite sized samples.
48) Sandwich Content
Offer free content, but only a part of it is available unless they sign up with their email. Just make sure the content is self-contained and standalone. Don’t offer 10 tips and stop your video at number 4.
49) Members Only Area
Again, it’s like restricting part of your existing website and hiding it behind an email opt-in. However, with this, the area is even more exclusive, because it’s understood that paid members are the only ones who usually have access to this.
This teaches people how to do one thing, and it could be in any format, whether it’s a video or a list.
For nutritionists, this is usually a meal planner doc. For professional organizers, it’s a “keep, donate, and sell” list. Whatever your industry, there should be a printable that your audience could use to make their planning even easier.
52) Periodic Content
This could be a newsletter, a weekly video series, you name it, as long as it is delivered every week/month, on the same day each time (every Friday, or every 15th of the month). These have high open rates, because people know when to expect them.
53) Free Job Quote
Rather than offer a free consultation, this is all about offering a free quote for a job. Usually asking for detailed information doesn’t work as a lead, but if you’re enticing them with something grand, like a business loan, prospects may be open to giving out that information.
54) Book Launch Notifications
If you’re well-known in your field and you know your content has demand, then you can let people know when you’re launching your next book. Again, ideal if you have the traffic.
A list of anything that is not a tool, but still makes everything easier for your audience. It should help them complete or understand something.
56) Live Chat Session
It’s essentially like promising a meeting with them, only you’re dedicating time to live chat and offer advice.
57) Fast-Start Guide
This promises that your audience will be able to get a quick start on something, hence saving themselves time and meeting their goals in less time.
58) Mind Map
Whenever your information isn’t linear, mind maps help to get it out there in a less traditional way.
It’s valuable content that your audience can use, but instead of having to read a lengthy piece, they can get the summary and visuals to better understand it all.
60) State of the Industry
Before going into any industry, it’s nice to know where it’s at, and where you can find your place within it. This lead conducts that research for your audience.
61) Case Studies
Show a successful outcome, or provide insight on where things went wrong, and what to avoid. Be as detailed and accurate as possible.
If your prospects would benefit from planning help, this is a good option. Think calendar booklet, or printable agenda pages.
Authoritative information on specific issues that are relevant to your audience. This helps them better understand a topic.
64) Survey List and Share Findings
Often times in business we benefit from conducting surveys, whether it be on preferences, or experiences. If you conduct a survey your audience would benefit from, share it with them.
Rather than a transcript this time, just offer a free download to the podcast episode so they can listen to it while they’re doing something else. This is a great tool for growth.
66) Package Bundle
Giving them several free things all in one bundle, like a calendar, a template, and a recording that all work together toward a common goal.
If your audience is eager to learn but lacks the time, this is the way to go about it. It’s engaging, and personal, especially if you narrate it.
68) Free Shipping
Everyone loves free shipping, especially if they don’t need to spend more than $25 to get it.
69) Online Community Access
Much like the Facebook group access, only this time it’s to a forum or other useful online community.
70) Early Bird
People love getting free discounts. Get their email and let them know the second there’s a great deal or discount code to use.
71) Free Consultation
72) Discount Coupon Code
Everyone loves to save money, and still get what they want. Discount codes are always a safe bet.
73) Free Product
What’s better than getting a steep discount? Getting something completely for free, but it needs to be something people genuinely want, like a product or consumable. If the product is good enough, you may even see your conversion rate spike up.
If people missed your live event (it always happens), you can give out a recording of it for free, as a lead.
75) Food Recipes
This goes without saying, but if you run a nutrition or fitness business, people are always interested in what you eat. Clearly you know a thing or two, so they trust your judgement.
76) Account Registration
If you offer accounts that are packed with useful tools and information, it would be a wise move to offer registration for free as leads. It’s essentially telling them that they need to create an online account to make a purchase.
If they refer a friend, they get to win anything from points toward a purchase, or special discounts.
78) Event Updates
If they sign up, you’ll send them an update each time a relevant event is taking place, so they don’t miss a thing.
79) Use Tool and Save Account
Create a tool and let people use it assuming they opt-in, that way their account is saved. It saves the work they’ve completed, and gives them a way to log into it.
80) Expert Review and Teardown
If you’re an industry expert, you can give your review on something, and really dig your teeth into some valuable detail.
81) A Library of Content
If you have a ton of educational content, you can essentially give out access to a virtual library. And that’s super valuable, so you know people are going to sign up.
It’s essentially a digital presentation full of information that your audience can use to complete a task, learn something, etc.
Works extremely well when it’s an interview with an industry leader. Make sure to tap into their audience as well, for extra traffic.
Predictions of future trends, so your audience can better prepare for what’s to come. It works if you’re an expert.
85) Newsletter Subscription
Newsletters aren’t compelling enough to sign up for all the time, so be careful with phrasing here. Ensure you highlight the value provided. Works well if it’s a daily newsletter.
86) Personal Tips
If you’re an industry leader, offer your tips, because those are definitely in high demand.
Perfect lead for people in the middle of your funnel. This gives them a product catalog to look through, so they can better understand what it is you offer. Make sure to offer a discount too, to make it more enticing.
88) Free Book Chapter
Like a sample, only it’s of a book, rather than a product or service. This will make them want to keep reading, assuming it’s good.
89) Branded Material
Brand merch, including t-shirts, can be sent out as leads.
Ask your audience what they think about your content, and how you could improve. Make sure to use this for people who have come back at least a few times.
Much like a quiz, but at the end, there’s a score towards a particular goal.
92) Free Magazine Subscription
This is great if you run a publication or blog, and actively post written content.
93) Event Tickets
Those who opt-in, get exclusive tickets to an event that is in high demand.
94) Comparison Charts
If you’ve found a way to display information visually, and compare your product with a competitors, this is a great way to get prospects to opt-in, and prove your value.
Work well for the middle of your marketing funnel, and offer a special way to display information.
96) Loyalty Programs
Much like memberships, only with loyalty programs, people are often getting reward points toward a free item.
97) Needs Analysis
A sales rep will figure out your audience’s needs and issues, to identity problem areas. This is ideal for B2B.
If your audience is working toward a goal, this is a great way to get them to plan out when to complete certain steps.
99) Social Media Contest
Things like giveaways count as social media contests. Or have people submit images in which they tag your account, hence increasing your engagement and follows.
100) The “Coming Soon” Page
Have the page be exclusive, full of value. And then announce that it will be available soon, but that you can send out some sneak peaks of what’s to come to their email.
101) Error Page Opt-In
This happens to everyone who has a website. So, why not make the best of it and add an opt-in option there?
That was a long journey, but here we are. Way more knowledgeable and informed than before, right? It’s easy to assume that leads are this ever complicated, tedious thing that you’ll never quite wrap your head around, but alas, it’s not the case. There are plenty of lead magnet ideas out there, so there’s something for everyone to try, regardless of how simple, or complicated, they want to make it.
So, which of these tactics do you think you’ll implement moving forward?
Leave your answer in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!