How to use a lead magnet to boost your conversions (+53 lead magnet ideas)

Picture of Leo, Boostn blog author
Leo May 20, 2021
Image representing a lead magnet

Here's a one-stop resource if you're looking for building a lead magnet.

Keep reading if you need to:

  • Get familiar with the basic concepts of leads, lead generation, inbound marketing, and lead magnets
  • Draw inspiration on the different options available to build your next lead magnet

If that's what you need, you'll enjoy the list of lead magnet ideas at the end of the article. It's been designed to let you glance through all the options and dig deeper into the ones that interest you most.

Let's get started.

Intro

Have you ever received an unsolicited sales call? Of course, it happens all the time!

99% of cases (I'm being optimistic here), these calls do nothing but pester us. We receive them at the wrong time, they relate to something completely irrelevant to us, or perhaps we're not willing to do business with someone that contacts us in such an intrusive way. And it gets even worse when we think about all the unwanted emails flooding our inboxes.

Please give me a break! 😩

Well, if you agree with me, you certainly don't want to be perceived in that way when we switch sides, and you're the one trying to present a product or service to a prospect.

This is when lead magnets come in handy. Let's say you have a blog post on how to build a killer landing page. In the end, you offer a checklist for implementing your best practices. Of course, you'll ask the reader for her email address before forwarding this precious content.

Simply put:

The idea here is to create an incentive for our visitor to become a lead.

These incentives are referred to as lead magnets: from valuable contents to discount codes, there are lots of lead magnet examples to look at to create a lead magnet.

In this article, we'll look at lead magnets from the basics and then present a roundup of lead magnet ideas you can draw inspiration from to boost your lead generation strategy.

Before undertaking this journey together, there's something worth anticipating: lead generation drastically evolved over the last few years.

In the beginning, simple lead magnets could easily win an email address. Today, we have become more and more accustomed to this kind of incentive, as well as less inclined to share our personal data.

πŸ— Here's the key…

There's only one way to wow our visitors in a snap, catch their interest, and persuade them to take up our offer: delivering outstanding value.

It sounds challenging, I know. And it really is. So, let's go through this together!

Recap section image

Breakdown

Here's a breakdown of the topics we're going to cover.

  • What a lead is, the different lead types, and how a lead magnet can smooth the transition from one lead type to the other.
  • The role played by lead magnets and, generally speaking, by the lead generation process within an inbound marketing strategy.
  • What a lead magnet is, how to use it to make leads, and a few thoughts about its effectiveness.
  • Which are the main categories of lead magnets.
  • A roundup of 53 lead magnet ideas you can draw inspiration from.
  • Bonus: 2 of my favorite lead magnet examples.

Definition of lead and the different lead types

To start from the basics, we need to define what a lead is.

A lead can be defined as someone who is somehow interested in our product or service. There are different lead types according to the stage of the journey from visitor to customer.

Information Qualified Lead (IQL) or cold lead

Information Qualified Leads are at the beginning of the journey. They're looking for information and can also be referred to as cold leads since they haven't yet engaged with you.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or warm lead

Marketing Qualified Leads have already expressed some interest in your offer. For instance, they could have sent you a contact request or subscribed to your newsletter. They could have registered for a product trial or started using its free version.

Because of this engagement, they can be considered potential customers and referred to as warm leads.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) or hot lead

Sales Qualified Leads show a clear intention to purchase (yup, they're the best ones). For instance, they could be interacting with your support team to seek pricing information.

Being at the end of the sales funnel, they're referred to as hot leads.

Back to the lead magnets?

In this framework, we can think of the lead magnet as an incentive to convert a visitor into a warm lead or push someone who's already interacting with our brand further into the marketing funnel by turning it into a hot lead.

Now, let's talk a bit more about the lead generation process.

Overview of the lead generation process

Lead generation is all about uncovering new ways to attract people, induce them to grow a genuine interest in your business so that, in the end, they're willing to hear your voice.

Ultimately, the goal is to warm up prospects and clear their path to become customers. And this is simply one step within a broader inbound marketing strategy.

Here's how it works:

  • Attract a stranger (or prospect) to your site. This can be achieved through different marketing channels, such as your blog or your social media. Now you have a visitor.
  • Convert your visitor into a lead. Typically, you drive the visitor to perform an action through a specific message. This call-to-action basically consists of providing information, such as an email address, in exchange for something (yay, you got it: we're talking about our dear lead magnet).
  • Close the deal. So, you push the lead all the way down the sales funnel to convert her into a paying customer, most likely through dedicated email sequences.
  • Delight your customer. You keep engaging your customers and consistently deliver value at all times so that they become promoters willing to help you acquire other leads (and other customers).

See?

The lead generation process upon which we're focusing here is essentially the second stage of this methodology. The lead magnet is what you offer to capture the desired data and convert your visitor into a lead.

Now it's time to take a closer look at lead magnets.

What is a lead magnet? Definition and purposes

It should be pretty clear by now.

A lead magnet is a valuable resource that your visitors can access almost for free.

Almost?

Yep because, the truth is, you're going to ask for something in return: their data – usually the email address – which is extremely valuable as this will enable you to start a conversation with your new lead.

So, the lead magnet is basically a marketing tool that helps you generate leads – ready to be fed into your marketing funnel.

πŸ€” Put another way:

Lead magnets serve as an incentive for your visitors to share contact information that otherwise they wouldn't have given away.

Essentially, this is how to make leads using a lead magnet:

  • Set up a call-to-action. This is a message with a button that your visitors can click to obtain the resource you're offering as a lead magnet. More about that later.
  • After clicking on the CTA, the visitor is prompted with a form that she'll fill in with name, email, and any other information that you think is relevant (but don't overdo here). About the form, you could set this up in a dedicated landing page or in a popup (if you go for the latter, be sure to check out our article on popups).
  • Then, you redirect the just acquired lead to a thank-you page or display a confirmation message that invites her to check out her inbox.
  • Finally, you'll need to set up a system for sending a kickback email upon form submission. This follow-up email will contain the expected resource and will open up the conversation.

The question is: does it really work? We'll get there in a moment...

On the effectiveness of lead magnets

Lead magnets are nothing new. As a marketing tool, they've been in use for years.

For sure, they evolved over time.

At first, a simple invitation to subscribe to the newsletter placed in the sidebar of a blog served to build a mailing list. But now, we are swamped with content, and everyone wants our email address!

Thus, we got so used to such messages that we've developed this capability to completely ignore them. Without a proper incentive, simple opt-in forms positioned here and there on the site won't work.

So, marketers developed new tactics and began offering free, premium content to capture lead information.

Yet the story repeats itself...

When a new marketing tactic becomes inflated, its effectiveness drops off. That's why we always need to keep evolving and test new techniques.

The ultimate challenge is creating content that's (at least) one step above the others. If your lead magnet fails to deliver outstanding value, it won't return any results. Even worse, you'll fail at meeting the expectations of those who opted-in.

Long story short.

Lead magnets do work as long as you're actually delivering something valuable and meaningful to your audience.

Delivering value is one thing, but there's more.

Your lead magnets need to be highly targeted: strictly related to the prospects they're addressing, as well as to the content they're consuming.

Later on, we'll further explore the key ingredients to build an effective lead magnet. But now, let's dive into an inspiring roundup of lead magnet ideas.

A roundup of 53 lead magnet ideas

Short disclaimer: I tried to list each lead magnet idea inside a category. However, you could find ways to use one of these lead magnet formats differently, making it fall into a different category.

In other words, categories are not hard-boxed.

With all this in mind, let's go through this selection of lead magnet ideas.

Enjoy...

Educational lead magnets

Probably the most popular lead magnets. The idea here is to teach something to our potential lead. Of course, you'll focus on a topic that relates to your offering.

Educational lead magnets are also great because they allow you to:

  • educate your prospects on why they need your product or service;
  • gain brand awareness; and
  • build reputation.

The newsletter itself is not a lead magnet. We've already mentioned this: simply inviting your visitors to subscribe won't work.

Your newsletter must be really amazing to act as a lead magnet. If you have an exceptional newsletter and want to go down this road, make sure you effectively convey its value.

For instance:

You can show a preview of one of your newsletters – such as the last one you sent – before the potential lead signs up so that she can get a precise idea of what to expect.

Ebooks are certainly among the most popular lead magnets. According to HubSpot, they're used by over 27% of marketers.

As usual, when something is widely used, it also loses effectiveness. Thus, if you go for an ebook lead magnet, keep in mind that it has to be absolutely top quality.

A few tips.

  • Ebooks are supposed to be between 5k-10k words at least.
  • If you already have a blog, the easiest option for creating an ebook is to bundle a series of previously published articles.

Guides are also popular and, in many ways, very similar to ebooks. Of course, they can provide a viable option for building a lead magnet.

Typically what a guide does is explore a particular topic in detail. The starting point could be one of your existing blog posts, possibly the most successful one.

Once you've identified an article suitable for the job, you'll need to extend and enrich it with new insights for adding extra value.

Another example.

You can collect and summarize the best resources available online upon a specific subject (of course, link the sources). This way, you can offer your readers a one-stop resource to refer back to whenever they need information on a specific matter.

Additionally, use your new guide to nurture your leads and educate them about the value of your products or services and why they should go for them.

Audiobooks are on the rise. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that, only in the U.S., between 2016 and 2019, the percentage of people choosing this format increased from 14% to 20%.

This is also related to the increasing consumption of content via mobile. Audiobooks can be consumed over mobile phones while walking, playing sports, or even driving.

So, what about an audiobook as your next lead magnet?

Pro tip:

If you already wrote an ebook, publish it on your blog, convert it into an audiobook, and use the latter as your lead magnet.

If you have a series of training lessons ready to share with your audience, you can use them as a lead magnet by choosing among different formats:

  • Email series
  • Video training
  • Audio training

The email course is definitely easy to set up and gives you a chance to get your leads used to open your emails.

Not bad!

Besides this, within the series itself, you can introduce some call-to-actions to start pushing your leads further into your sales funnel.

Videos are also powerful, and especially if you add a personal touch (hint: use your face), your audience will love them. Plus, they can really boost your brand!

Finally, your short course could be offered as audio training. Just like audiobooks, people with little time can benefit from audio training: they can consume it with more ease, even when they're not in front of a screen.

For increased engagement, present your audio training as a podcast lead magnet and speak directly to your audience. Also, you could simply repurpose a series of pre-existing videos by stripping out their audio.

Sounds like a short course, but focused on one thing in particular.

Basically, a tutorial is a video or text-based content used to explain how to do something specific. A written tutorial could simply be a Pdf document with a list of steps to follow.

Here's another idea:

If you go for a video tutorial, you could publish its written version as a blog post and shoot a short how-to video that sums up the steps described in the written one.

Busy people will love it!

In terms of perceived value, a webinar is similar to a video or audio lead magnet. However, with live webinars taking place at a specific time, we introduce an extra component of urgency, along with the so-called fear of missing out.

Of course, your prospects will have to register with their email address to attend.

The best part?

During the webinar, ask some questions to your attendees and find out more about them. This will help you further qualify your new leads.

This information can then be used to plan the next steps of your outreach.

Of course, a webinar can be offered in both live and recorded versions. So, you can reuse the recording as an additional lead magnet by making it accessible after filling out a form.

Similar to a webinar, although this time your lead will have to get out of the building. First of all, you need to organize a live event. Then, you can offer free tickets in exchange for the email address of your prospects.

We've already mentioned written tutorials, which can be produced as a Pdf. However, many other lead magnets can be delivered in this form.

The easiest one consists of creating a Pdf version of your blog posts.

Tremendously simple to realize, definitely not overused, and even if it doesn't look like that, it can be perceived as high value by your prospects.

Think about it:

In most cases, your readers won't have time to go through your article in one shot. Offering a Pdf download for later reading is therefore very useful. For sure, it'll be more effective than saving yet another bookmark, bound to get lost in our digital clutter!

Plus, although a blog post may contain insights for your readers, when it's time to get down to business and implement your recommendations, using the article as a reference turns out to be tricky.

And what about a summary version?

If you have a lengthy article or an in-depth guide, your readers will appreciate receiving a summarized version as a lead magnet. Also, consider applying this concept to content produced by other people by summarizing what you've learned from external sources.

Alternatively, if you work with videos, the Pdf resource used as a lead magnet could simply be their transcript. It's true, many people prefer videos, but others may find their written version handy. Why? Because they can look for the information they need by glancing at it. Superfast!

Beware, though.

A Pdf resource is probably the easiest way to build a lead magnet, but at the same time, it's also easy to fall into the trap of doing something rushed with very little value.

Doing so means starting the relationship with your new lead on the wrong foot.

That is:

Don't get tempted to build your lead magnet as a Pdf just because it's easy. Always remember that you must deliver outstanding value.

Generally speaking, gated content is any content accessible only via an action taken by the reader.

In the publishing industry, we usually see this technique applied to premium articles: their preview is freely available, while the rest is obscured (or gated), and you need to purchase a subscription to continue reading.

Here's how it could work for you:

You can block a piece of content, like part of a blog post, and make it visible only after filling out a form.

Needless to say, such a lead magnet works if your content is astonishing and the reader can sense it from its preview.

A roundup post basically consists of aggregating contents or opinions of other experts in your industry.

Have you already published a roundup? Are you thinking of one? Then, you can produce the related lead magnet.

It's simple:

  • Let's say you interviewed 10 experts for your article. 5 interviews could be published directly on your blog, while the others can be made available for download as a lead magnet.
  • Another option: you could summarize the advice provided by the experts in a series of actionable takeaways. Here's your lead magnet!

Are you guest blogging? Then, you'll probably feel that sense of frustration: you can't use on your own site the content you write for others. True, you need guest blogging for many other reasons, such as to acquire backlinks.

Nevertheless...

Well, here's a way to give your guest posts a new life without risking SEO penalties for duplicated content.

You can simply pack up a collection of all your guest posts and publish them as a book. This guest book can then be used as a lead magnet.

Pretty cool...

Physical books generally have a higher perceived value than digital content. For this reason, you could invest in printing some books (or maybe you already have a few just lying around on your desk) and send them for free (or upon a small payment for the shipping costs) in exchange for the email address of your prospect.

This definitely makes a great lead magnet idea! Especially if you ask for a shipping fee, it means you're acquiring leads that have already expressed a strong interest because they've got their hands in their pockets.

Of course, you need a book to pursue this path. Or you need to write one...

Sending a book is definitely not an option if the book itself represents the product you're selling. The same goes for if you're selling a course, and therefore you won't be able to use it as a lead magnet.

In such scenarios, it makes sense to go for a sample of your product. If you're selling a book, it could be a sample chapter. If it's a video course, you could extract some video clips from it or even an audio clip.

These samples will be your lead magnet then.

Now, let's focus on three lead magnet ideas at once since white papers, reports, and infographics hinge on the same concept: creating data-driven content.

Unquestionably, these are among the most complex and time-consuming lead magnets to create.

White papers are lengthy pieces of data-driven and research-driven content designed to address a complex topic or issue while providing practical solutions. Extremely valuable, they underline your expertise and therefore position you or your brand as an industry leader.

On the other hand, reports disclose the results of a study conducted on a specific topic. They convey stats, data, and additional information, also technical, in a straightforward, concise fashion. To build one, you can conduct the study yourself or gather information from external sources.

Lastly, the infographic: "a visual representation of information or data" (source: Oxford English Dictionary).

At its most basic, an infographic is a collection of images, graphics, and texts. Its written element is deliberately short since the goal is to provide a quick and clear overview of a topic by leveraging its visual component.

Visualizing a concept makes it easier to digest, as well as more appealing. As a result, infographics are widely used to generate traffic because of their viral capabilities.

Going through the effort of creating an infographic and then using it only as a lead magnet may seem like a wasted opportunity. So, a better idea might be to collect more infographics, make them accessible as part of a unique collection, and use the collection itself as a lead magnet.

Like infographics, mind maps also rely on a visual component. Specifically, mind maps facilitate brainstorming by providing a thought framework designed as a diagram developed out of a central topic.

The idea here is to create a mind map to serve as an inspirational lead magnet for your audience.

Here's another set of lead magnet ideas presented together. This is because both states of the industry and predictions imply an in-depth knowledge of your industry.

Similar to a report, a state of the industry focuses specifically on new industry trends. On the other hand, predictions are self-explanatory: if you have a forecast concerning your industry, you can share it with your audience by packing it as a lead magnet.

Some of the contents we've discussed so far can be packaged as a presentation. Indeed, presentations are suitable for illustrating the data of an infographic or for summarizing a report.

To build this type of lead magnet, an idea could be to use SlideShare.

Let's say you put together a series of educational lead magnets. What you could do now is gather them together and give your lead a chance to access the collection in one go.

Of course, this virtual library (or vault) will be gated, so accessible only after providing an email address.

Needless to say, you can obviously apply this concept to any other collection of valuable information that you're able to put together for your audience, even if it comes from external sources.

Useful lead magnets

They're called useful because these lead magnets solve a specific problem and help your potential lead to save time, money, and energy in doing so.

If done right, they're certainly the most compelling ones as they deliver a strong promise: spare your prospect the hard work.

Checklists are very popular because they represent a way to condense a series of insights into an actionable list of tasks so as the prospect can reach her intended goal thanks to an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach.

The starting point for a checklist can be a blog post where you provide instructions on something. Better if it's a lengthy blog post that has already gained some traction.

In these cases, the checklist can make the knowledge you're sharing more digestible and, most of all, usable.

Here's what I mean:

  • Summarize your blog post in a bulleted list.
  • Remove any points that do not contain actionable advice.
  • Group the remaining tips in numbered lists – one for each step of the process – so that the outcome is perceived as easier to achieve.

Also, take a look at some of the wikiHow.com checklists. They're undoubtedly a great source of inspiration for shaping this type of lead magnet.

Cheatsheets and checklists are very similar. The main difference is that instead of presenting a list of tasks, we provide guidelines or outline a process that can help the reader deal with a complex topic.

In other words:

Cheatsheets streamline a series of information in an easily digestible format that can be referred to at any occurrence.

Once again, the starting point can be a lengthy blog post that tackles a tricky subject.

Swipe files are meant to be a source of inspiration: literally, you can swipe between a collection of contents similar to the one you're currently working on, so you can get inspired.

The most common use case is the swipe file containing a series of proven headlines from which you can draw inspiration to draft your own one. So, copywriting and marketing are the main areas of application for this type of lead magnet.

A few more examples:

You can create a swipe file with copy samples for emails, ads, or for a landing page. And there's more to it than just text-based content! Your inspirational file could also contain visual assets, like a collection of sample logos.

While the swipe file is designed to draw inspiration, a template is conceived to be used as it is, or just with some minor customizations.

Basically, instead of starting from scratch, you start from the template and fill in the blanks. Your lead will love you because she'll save a lot of time.

Graphic templates are among the most common ones used as lead magnets. The same goes for templates used to simplify the job of a copywriter.

Moving on.

I decided to list scripts with templates because, as a matter of fact, scripts are actually a kind of template.

However, the focus here is mainly on sales. In other words, they're used to train new sales agents or to improve the sales process in general by following a proven call or sales presentation script.

As for templates, scripts can include blank spaces to be filled in to introduce some details tailored to who is using them.

And so, we presented another duo of lead magnet ideas. What a journey!

Workbooks make a great lead magnet idea that can help you position yourself as an industry leader and showcase your expertise.

As a matter of fact, you're coaching your lead on how to do something using a hands-on approach.

Simply put.

The workbook is a series of mini-exercises that will allow your learner to follow a step-by-step process for developing a larger piece of work.

It could look like an educational lead magnet because you're basically teaching something but, instead of doing it with an ebook, you motivate your audience to take action by completing practical exercises. That's why workbooks can be considered a useful lead magnet.

Just a couple of examples.

A classic workbook is the one that helps you write a blog post. Another possible workbook can be aimed at guiding you through the drafting of a business plan.

In the end, don't miss the opportunity to add a call-to-action to the workbook to explain how you can further support your audience in applying the new knowledge they have gained by using your products or services.

Prompts are simply questions or statements to be filled in. They are intended to nudge your prospect to think about something.

Your lead magnet could therefore be a collection of prompts.

I know what you're thinking. This one is complicated. Indeed it is. First, you need a developer (if you're one, lucky you).

Either way, it pays off.

It could be:

  • a web app helping your potential leads accomplish a specific task; or
  • a calculator (which definitely makes sense if your business deals with data and numbers); or
  • a generator to help your prospect create something quickly.

These software tools can serve as very effective lead generation machines.

Is this going to be the right lead magnet idea for you?

Are you an Excel guru?

Like web apps, calculators and generators, spreadsheets are also powerful tools that can solve some headaches for your readers.

They allow you to do even very complex things, as long as you have some Excel proficiency (which is not for everyone). You could then exploit your expertise to create a spreadsheet template for your prospects, include a user guide, and package it up as a lead magnet.

A toolkit is nothing more than a list of resources, such as tools. Specifically, you should list the tools you actually use for your daily work. These resources may indeed help other people doing a similar job.

An example.

A web designer could put together a toolkit with the WordPress themes or plugins she uses the most, online libraries on which she finds images or other visual elements, the hosting services she relies upon, etc.

Now, here's an extra tip for you.

Many of these tools will have an affiliate program. So, in addition to creating your own lead magnet, a toolkit will also generate additional revenue thanks to the fees received as a result of your referral link purchases.

That's a win-win.

People look for examples all the time, no matter the topic. So, give your readers a list of examples of how to do something.

Why not include a few examples in a pre-existing blog post, and make them accessible only to those who share their data with you? The title could be something like: How to Create a Lead Magnet (with Examples).

And by the way, this is called a content upgrade. Brian Dean explains tremendously well what this is all about in this article he wrote. He also tried the content upgrade technique on his own blog and got an insane 785% increase in conversions. Mind-blowing! 🀯

This lead magnet leverages upon the curiosity of your audience. In practical terms, you're offering to reveal a secret that will allow your reader to achieve a result.

An example could be the secret email subject that your leads can use to drastically improve their conversion rates.

Here's a yummy lead magnet idea... Recipes!

There are indeed plenty of recipe sites around today, but if you do something special, carefully curated, or targeted to a specific niche, you can still carve out your own space.

Just as always, it all depends on the value you're capable of conveying. Also, recipes don't have to be necessarily food-related. Use your imagination!

Planners are basically calendars that map out a series of tasks that your prospect will need to accomplish daily, weekly, or monthly.

The idea is to offer help in achieving a goal by following your own proven process.

Virtually every industry offers ideas for creating a planner: from workout calendars to productivity plans, the sky is the limit.

But keep this in mind:

Design plays a key role here. Your planner needs to be finely curated. Also, consider that some people might even want to print it.

And speaking of printables, this is itself another lead magnet idea!

Essentially, we're talking about a downloadable lead magnet that comes in a printable format: famous quotes, artworks, to-do lists, or other kinds of templates – the important thing here is, once again, that the aesthetics are well taken care of.

If you're in the creative industry, you might want to think about it...

Community-building lead magnets

Community-building lead magnets are meant to inspire your potential leads so that they grow a willingness to engage with you and to connect with each other.

Your goal here will be to build a community around shared interests. These lead magnets also help foster company culture.

This is a classic: the challenge.

The great thing is that challenges have viral capabilities, and they leverage a sense of urgency which makes them even more attractive.

Besides their potential to spread, these lead magnets are also excellent for identifying qualified leads. They certainly are since they're demonstrating such a high level of commitment to embark on a challenge!

And they're community-building because they naturally grow a sense of belonging: more people are joining simultaneously, motivating one another.

Why are they lead magnets?

Because to join in, be nominated to win a prize (if any), or simply be listed as a participant, your future leads will need to share their contact information.

There's a forum for virtually any topic. Pro-active users love them.

You could then host a forum or create a membership site around a topic related to your business. Membership sites and forums can be indeed a valuable resource for attracting new leads.

The goal is the same as membership sites or forums but without creating/hosting the platform.

Instead, the membership group can be created within other social platforms, such as Facebook, Slack, Telegram, or Discord. The best option depends on your niche and the type of leads you want to attract.

You'll be surprised to see how much people value communities.

Entertaining lead magnets

Pretty self-explanatory. Contents like quizzes and games fall within the entertaining lead magnets, and what they do is... entertaining your audience, of course!

Here's another classic: the quiz.

Simply ask your potential lead to answer a series of questions. And to find out the result of the quiz? Of course, she'll have to fill out a form...

It's really entertaining and, if well done, it can convert well. Obviously, make sure you choose a topic capable of attracting targeted prospects.

Just like the quiz, a survey is also a series of questions. However, you won't spit out a result. Instead, you'll simply collect data (like feedback on the usability of your website).

It's critical that the survey is not lengthy and that the questions are, in fact, entertaining! And, by the way, the same applies to the quiz lead magnet we saw earlier.

Why is this a lead magnet?

It's true, here you mainly collect information for your business or for market research. However, with the right call-to-action, you can actually turn the survey into a lead magnet.

How?

For instance, if you're collecting data for market research, you can ask your potential lead for her email to send her the survey as soon as it's ready.

Very nice...

The assessment is also a kind of quiz. You'll provide an expert opinion to your prospect based on the answers to some questions.

This lead magnet is useful (and entertaining), especially if you're selling services.

Giveaways are powerful because you're basically giving your prospects the chance to receive a prize if they join and share their data.

And who doesn't love free stuff?

This is also an opportunity to educate your potential lead about what you're offering. So, the giveaway should be related to one of your products.

Plus, make sure that those who share the giveaway have more shots to win to stimulate social effect.

Is there anything more inspirational than a great quote? Of course, yes :-)

But, jokes aside, quotes do have their edge: they're direct, short, and therefore inspiring and entertaining at the same time. People just love quotes! That's why you could build a lead magnet around it...

For example:

You could email a quote every now and then to those who sign up or send a collection (e.g., as a Pdf resource).

And it goes without saying... Both the type of lead magnet and the sort of quotes you choose should be relevant to your business.

Like the software tool but, in this case, instead of something used to complete a task, you develop a game. Needless to say, your prospects will have to create an account (and share their data) to log in and play.

This lead magnet is worth it only if a game is actually effective in attracting targeted leads. And that depends on the underlying business...

For anyone working in the visual or creative domain, such as artists and designers, it makes sense to offer lead magnets in the form of one of the assets you produce as a result of your work: a drawing, a collection of photos, a comic strip, a wallpaper, you name it.

Bottom of funnel lead magnets

Finally, the bottom of funnel lead magnets can be used for leads that are ready to purchase, and therefore it makes sense to give them an extra reason to seal the deal.

The lead magnets we've seen so far are designed to push your prospects into your marketing funnel so that they can start recognizing you and evaluating your offer.

Here instead, you'll target hot leads that have already entered an advanced stage of their customer journey.

We're so used to this lead magnet that we almost don't think of it as such, but it really is. We're talking about the free trial: a must for any software or app.

It consists of allowing your leads to try the service for free for a certain period. Once they've created the account to access the free trial, you'll have acquired the data you need to push onto the premium version.

Pro tip:

If the goal is to get your potential client email, making the sign-up process as easy as possible and not asking for any payment details upfront will help.

If you offer a service, a free consultation will make a great lead magnet for those at the bottom of your sales funnel. The same goes if you're a coach, so you can offer a free coaching session in exchange for an email address.

The strength of this lead magnet? Well, requesting the contact information will be a very logical step: to access the free consultation or coaching session, your lead clearly needs to get in touch by exchanging an email or a phone number with you.

And there's more...

By accessing this type of lead magnet, your prospect will obviously expect a sales pitch from you at the end of the call and will be willing to listen to you since you'll have just shared a valuable asset with her: your time.

Sometimes simply offering a free quote can be the lead magnet. That makes a lot of sense if preparing it requires an effort on your end, such as to analyze your prospect needs.

Some shoppers love to flip through catalogs. So why not offer it as a lead magnet?

Of course, remember to ask for the email address before sharing.

When a prospect is on the verge of buying, she may sometimes want to find the best possible deal.

Thus, offering a coupon code to use on your e-commerce, or a discount on a particular product, service, or software, can push a lead in this stage to take the final step and seal the deal.

And if we're talking about online shopping, free shipping is one possible way to showcase this lead magnet. After all, it's a discount, but it'll be greatly appreciated by those shoppers reluctant to pay for shipping.

A discount can also serve to create a sense of urgency.

This comes in very handy if timing plays a significant role. For instance, if you're selling tickets for an event, you'll need to make as many sales as possible before a definite date.

In such cases, you can then offer a time-limited discount or an early bird discount.

If you're launching a product, or if you have an event to announce, consider offering your most excited leads the opportunity to sign up for a waiting list and be notified upon release.

Possibly, consider an early bird discount to reward your most enthusiastic prospects.

Leads at the bottom of the funnel are usually interested in case studies as well.

A case study provides a glimpse of how other customers have used your product or service. We're talking about people your prospect can relate to, so she can ease her final concerns and get that final push to commit to a purchase.

Cut to the chase.

Describe the experience of a real customer you've worked with: talk about her needs and enrich with metrics. The resulting content can then be previewed in a blog post and fully shared as a lead magnet. Of course, ask for permission from the clients you plan to mention.

Anyway, case studies don't have to be about your clients. Another option is using the case study to examine success stories from other people or showcase your skills in a specific area.

This way, the case study could be framed as an educational lead magnet. Remember: these lead magnet categories are not hard-boxed! In the end, it depends on how you use the lead magnet...

What's next

Let me be honest.

When I started drafting this article, I wanted to put together a comprehensive resource to reference whenever working on a lead magnet.

The idea was basically to pull together the fragmented content already out there and create a one-stop resource: lead magnet ideas and examples, best practices to create one, resources to be used for the purpose, and the like.

However, exploring lead magnets from the ground up, and presenting the various options available, definitely took more than expected.

It's been an incredible journey so far, and I hope it helped.

So, instead of keeping expanding this article (which is already quite long), I decided to leave the task of talking more practically about how to create a lead magnet to another post (currently work in progress).

Specifically, this is what I'm planning for the following article:

  • Key ingredients of an effective lead magnet.
  • Common mistakes you need to avoid when it comes to lead magnets.
  • Best tools to use to create a lead magnet.
  • How to promote a lead magnet.
  • How to test the effectiveness of a lead magnet.

Drop me a line in the comments below: I'd love to hear what you think and if you have suggestions on any additional topics we should cover about lead magnets!

Thanks for checking in.

Bonus: 2 of my favorite lead magnet examples

Now, I want to really wrap this up with a couple of marvelous lead magnet examples.

The authors are Dan and Louis-Xavier of Growth.Design, and Harry of Marketing Examples. The goal in each case is to grow a mailing list.

So, Dan and Louis-Xavier craft educational case studies. Harry, instead, presents a collection of, well, marketing examples...

Check them out here and here.

You'll notice that both of them push for newsletter sign-ups with the incentive of staying up-to-date on new content releases.

Also, Growth.Design offers to send a cheatsheet at the end of some case studies in exchange for an email address.

Outcomes?

Of course, they've been successful. And the reason is simple.

Beyond having terrific expertise in their respective fields, they put a lot of work into what they're doing. Once again, value is the key. Chapeau!

And that's all folks.

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment below...