Lead magnets dominate the marketing industry. Everyone seems to have at least one.
But why? And should you follow suit?
The answer is pretty simple. Lead magnets are popular and widely used by marketing experts because they work.
Lead magnets are popular because they work. People download or access them in droves.
And as far as your business is concerned: Yes, you should have a lead magnet.
We’re going to tell you why, then suggest 50 lead magnet ideas and examples to help you convert website visitors into leads.
What Is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a valuable marketing asset that a company offers for free in exchange for something else of value. In most cases, the business wants the visitor’s email address.
Popular blogger, interior decorator, and television personality Layla Palmer uses a Hello Bar on her website with a lead magnet.
At the top of the screen, you see the bar that says, “Get my Free Space Planning E-book!” Next to it is a button that takes the visitor to an opt-in page.
Her space-planning e-book helps people figure out where to put furniture and decor in their homes.
It’s a solid lead magnet. You can create something similar, but designed for your industry and audience.
What Is a Lead Capture?
A lead capture occurs when someone fills out your opt-in form in exchange for your lead magnet.
Let’s go back to the example of Layla Palmer and her website The Letter Cottage. If you click on the CTA button in her Hello Bar, you arrive at an opt-in page. If you click the link to download her e-book, you see a form with a progress bar:
To get the e-book (or lead magnet), you type in your email address and click the CTA (“Get My Free Ebook”).
At that point, you become a lead capture.
The more leads you capture, the more chances you get to make the sale. You can add contacts to email autoresponders and other lists to communicate with them on a personal basis. It’s an ideal lead generation strategy.
Why Does Every Business Need a Lead Magnet?
If you’re not sure about why you need a lead magnet, consider the amount of leads marketer Neil Patel generates every month from his.
His most popular lead magnet, a webinar, provides significant value and allows his followers to benefit from his knowledge.
If you notice in the screenshot above, Neil generates nearly half a million website visits per month from his email newsletter alone. Those visits result in greater brand recognition and higher chances of conversion.
ChefWorks, a company that sells clothing and accessories for the hospitality and health care industries, generates millions of dollars in sales each month. Much of it comes through this coupon, which serves as a lead magnet.
You can massively improve your lead generation efforts by deploying effective lead magnets for your specific audience.
The Ultimate Lead Magnet Checklist
If you create a lead magnet, you want to get it right the first time. Offering just anything for free won’t work. You have to entice your visitors.
Before offering a lead magnet, make sure it fulfills all of these criteria:
- Solves a real problem
- Promises one quick win
- Gets super specific
- Proves quick to digest
- Offers a high degree of perceived value
- Provides Instant Gratification
- Demonstrates your expertise or UVP (unique value proposition)
What Are the 5 Different Types of Lead Magnets?
You also need to know what type of lead magnet will work best for your audience. Following are five of the most popular:
- Educational lead magnets: Teach your visitors something they don’t already know.
- Useful lead magnets: Provide a tutorial, calculator, or other tool with which to solve a problem.
- Community-Building lead magnets: Create a way for your audience to build a community based on the things they have in common.
- Entertaining lead magnets: Inspire or entertain your audience.
- Bottom of funnel lead magnets: Tip the visitor from lead to customer.
50 Effective Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples to Convert Visitors Into Leads
Now that we’ve covered this topic in broad strokes, let’s look at more specific examples. Wade through this detailed list of 50 lead magnet options, then create the one that you think will appeal to your audience most.
Educational Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
Perhaps the most popular and prevalent lead magnets fall under the educational category. They teach the visitor something new (and coveted) in exchange for their contact information.
For instance, one of Neil Patel’s lead magnets promised to teach leads how to grow their websites to 100,000 monthly visitors or more. For a marketer or business owner, that’s a pretty powerful promise.
Let’s look at a few options in the education category.
Gated content lead magnet
Gated content simply means that the user has to do something, such as fill out a form to access the content. Any of these three options would work well:
- Educational video training
- Educational audio training
- Short course lead magnet
The online course industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and people love to learn through video tutorials.
Tutorial lead magnet
A written tutorial, however, can work just as well. It could be lengthy and in-depth, or it could provide a higher level overview of the topic.
E-book lead magnet
People can read e-books on their tablets, laptops, or e-readers, depending on their preferences. This is a great way to get awesome content into your visitors’ hands without having to print and ship physical copies of books.
An e-book can be any length, though most are at least 10,000 words long.
Audio book lead magnet
Some people prefer to listen to content than to read it. They listen on their phones, in their cars, and while on runs.
Record an audio version of your e-book. That will give you two opportunities to capture your leads, and you won’t have to alienate people who prefer one or the other.
Lead magnet PDF version
Computers might have reduced paper clutter for some people, but they’ve created digital clutter in its place. Consumers have overflowing desktop files, bulging bookmarks bars, and copious apps installed on their gadgets.
Consequently, when someone doesn’t have time to read a blog post or other piece of content in full, he or she often abandons it forever.
Consider offering your blog posts as PDF downloads to be saved for later. They make great lead magnets.
Video transcript lead magnet
Alternatively, create a transcript of your most popular video. Supply it in PDF form so people can read the text rather than watch the video if they prefer.
Mind map lead magnet
Ideas might be a dime a dozen, but many people get stuck. Offering a detailed mind map as a lead magnet can help inspire your audience.
Report and infographic lead magnets
White papers, reports, and infographics offer tons of useful information. They’re also time-consuming to create, so you’ll want to get something in return for them. Your prospects’ email addresses will do nicely.
Make sure to specific what the report or infographic will include. You don’t want your prospects to feel cheated when they download it.
Webinar lead magnet
Webinars also work well, as Neil Patel has illustrated time and time again.
You can offer both live and pre-recorded webinars. Schedule the live event for a specific time, then publish the recorded version on your website, but behind a gate.
That way, you can let people watch it as many times as they want as long as they provide their email addresses.
Prediction lead magnets
Do you have a prediction for your industry? Offer to let others in on your secrets via a lead magnet. People love to find themselves ahead of the game.
SlideShare lead magnets
Great SlideShares can attract lots of interest. They’re a combination of PowerPoint presentations and infographics in that they disseminate lots of information with few words.
Guide lead magnets
Maybe you could create a guide to your city or town, or perhaps you’ve written a how-to guide and illustrated it to help your readers find what they need. Guides are extremely popular.
Newsletter lead magnets
Ask visitors to sign up for your email newsletter. Don’t forget to tell them why they should bother, though. Do you offer exclusive content? Coupon codes? Early access to your products or services? Make it as clear as possible.
Virtual library access lead magnets
If you’ve compiled a virtual library of valuable information, you could easily charge for access. Alternatively, keep it gated as a lead magnet. When you capture a lead, the person gets to peruse the library.
Roundup lead magnets
Create a roundup of statistics, quotes, or other valuable information in one document. It could be a web page, a PDF, or SlideShare. Give access to prospects who are willing to provide their contact information.
Recordings and replays lead magnets
You’ve probably seen the recent spate of “rewind” versions of television shows. They add extra insight and condense the original content. Create similar content for your specific audience and offer it as a lead magnet.
Useful Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
Useful lead magnets help the prospect accomplish a goal or solve a specific problem. They often consist of tools or resources.
Cheat sheet lead magnet
No, you don’t want people to actually cheat, but you can create a cheat sheet to help them solve problems or reach goals faster. For instance, if you sell photography equipment, you could create a cheat sheet lead magnet that helps the user set up the perfect landscape shot.
Checklist lead magnet
A checklist is similar to a cheat sheet, but it’s a list of things the user needs to do or acquire before participating in an event. The Ultimate Travel Checklist might benefit jet setters who don’t want to forget anything when they leave on their adventures.
Examples lead magnet
Some people find it easier to envision an idea when they can see concrete evidence of how it might work. Create a document that supplies examples related to your industry.
For instance, we’ll go back to our athletic-wear e-commerce analogy. If you run this type of store, you could create an examples lead magnet that shows how a certain type of shoe can improve posture, boost speed, or provide other benefits.
Template or swipe file lead magnet
A swipe file is a document that contains lots of inspiration, ideas, and tactics that a user might “swipe” for his or her own use. Meanwhile, a template is a document that the user can fill in based on his or her needs.
Either one can work as an effective lead magnet.
Toolkit lead magnet
You see this type of lead magnet often in the graphic design industry. Experienced designers will create toolkits consisting of WordPress themes and assets, icon sets, texture packs, Photoshop actions, and more.
The user can then apply the items in the toolkit to his or her own design work. It takes away some of the effort required to product the finished product.
Free Script lead magnet
A script is another option. For instance, if you cater to people in the sales industry, you could provide customizable scripts for outside sales, inside sales, and even telemarketing.
These scripts should have fill-in-the-blank entries so the user can substitute brand-specific information. They serve as a guide for training salespeople and improving the sales process.
Other examples of useful lead magnets include the following:
- Resource list
- Plan or planner pages
- Printable template
- Inspiration list
- Idea generator
- Spreadsheet template
Community-Building Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
Community-building lead magnets help inspire your website visitors to interact with your brand as well as each other. They help establish your company culture with input from the people who matter most: current and future customers.
This is a great way to inspire people to become brand advocates and ambassadors. Chris Pearson, founder of DIYThemes, created a forum for his WordPress theme, Thesis. Many brand ambassadors use the forum to help out other users, supply bits of code, and otherwise promote the product.
Challenge lead magnet
A great way to engage your audience is through a direct challenge. Some challenges even go viral, such as the nonprofit-based Ice Bucket Challenge that stormed the Internet and engaged hundreds of celebrities.
You could challenge your audience to create something, accept a dare, or do anything else. If they hand over their contact information, they’ll be listed as a participant in or winner of the challenge.
Membership site or forum lead magnet
As mentioned above, forums can become extremely engaging for active users. They can share tips and pointers, ask and answer support questions, and even discuss their personal and professional lives.
Forums exist on nearly every topic.
Alternatively, you could create a membership site. Offer a free month of access to anyone who signs up for your email list as your lead magnet.
Facebook or Slack groups lead magnet
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of creating your own forum or membership site, you can take the conversation elsewhere. It’s free to set up a membership group on Facebook, Slack, and other applications.
Entertaining Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
Sometimes, lead magnets don’t have to offer anything particularly useful. Consumers like to be entertained.
Informal lead magnets give prospects a brief reprieve from everyday life to just enjoy themselves.
Quiz lead magnet
Facebook quizzes have been popular for years. So have other sites that host quizzes, whether you’re finding out which Harry Potter character you resemble the most or you’re learning which interior design style best suits your tastes.
Create a quiz related to your industry, but consider coming at it from a pop-culture angle. For instance, if you sell athletic wear, you could create a quiz that tells users which “Friday Night Lights” character they’d most likely play.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Just make sure that users get the answers instantly and that you include more than just the answer. Include images, descriptions, and other engaging materials on the page.
Survey lead magnets
Surveys can be both fun and useful. Prospects get to supply their opinions and brands collect the data.
Your survey could be on any topic related to your industry or category. Just make sure the questions are fun and easy to answer so your participants don’t get bored halfway through.
Giveaway lead magnets
Who doesn’t love to get something for free? In exchange for their email addresses, prospects get entered into a giveaway for a free product or similar prize.
Ideally, the reward will be something in your catalog. You don’t want to give away a free iPad just because people love iPads. If it’s not related to your business, it won’t have the desired impact.
You could also use one of these as an entertaining or community-building lead magnet:
- List of quotes
- Mobile app or game
Bottom-of-Funnel Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
When prospects get to the bottom of the funnel, they’re ready to convert. They’ve already done their research and they want a reason to buy your product or service.
Educational and useful lead magnets aren’t very attractive at some point. You need an offer that helps tip the scales in your favor.
Free shipping lead magnet
Consider handing over a promo code for free shipping on any order. Consumers who are opposed to paying for shipping might convert on the offer even if they were going to pass it up.
You see this in the auto industry a lot. Hand over your name and email address to get a free, custom quote.
Other options for bottom-of-the-funnel lead magnets include:
- Free service session or a free consultation with you or your team.
- Free trial of your service, online course, or product.
- Instant access to a free add-on
- Coupon, discount code, or buy-one-get-one offer
- Case studies
- Moving up a waiting list
What Are Some Tips for Great Lead Magnet Opt-in Design?
The most important thing when designing a lead magnet opt-in page or Hello Bar is to communicate value. Tell your audience exactly what they’ll get.
Use contrasting colors to make your offer obvious. Then select a different background and foreground color for the CTA button.
If possible, ask your visitor to answer a yes-or-no question. According to Neil Patel, that simple hack can increase lead capture by as much as 30 percent.
That’s exactly what Quicksprout did. And, when prospects clicked the “No” button, they were offered a different lead magnet based on optimizing for conversions. It’s a great way to keep people engaged with your content.
Finally, make sure you use a software program that makes it easy to design your lead magnet opt-in assets. Hello Bar allows you to fill in the blanks, select design features, and deploy your opt-in form immediately. No coding required.
When Should You Use Lead Magnets?
Any time you want to collect information from your audience, deploy a lead magnet. Change up the actual lead magnet content to reflect the audience you’re targeting.
Add a Hello Bar to your website that describes your lead magnet and includes a call to action. When users click on the CTA button, they’ll arrive at the opt-in page. Here, provide a bit more detail about what they’ll receive as the lead magnet.
In other words, communicate value over everything else. If your prospects don’t view the lead magnet as valuable, they won’t bother signing up.
Lead magnets are pretty popular among marketers.
There’s a reason for that. It’s because they work.
If you want to grow your email list and build a healthy backstop of leads, you need a way to attract prospects among your target audience.
That’s exactly what a lead magnet provides.
Provide something of value. Offer instant gratification. Ask for something small in return.
It really is that simple.
Best of all, you can set up your opt-in form with Hello Bar. Let the software collect your leads in the background.
What’s your favorite type of lead magnet (and why)?
That sure is one pretty site you have there. Can I ask you a very simple question? What kind of fertilizer do you use to make it grow so wonderfully?
thanks for this list. lots of great ideas!