March 24, 2017

41 Lead Magnet Ideas That Actually Work

41 Lead Magnet Ideas That Actually Work

Lead magnets are some of the most popular and effective ways to get new leads.

If you don't have a good one yet, you may want to try one soon because online marketing is only getting more competitive by the day.

Lead magnets can become your edge and may change the way you run your business.

In your experience with lead magnets, you will find opportunities to use them in all stages of your online marketing funnel. Aside from lead generation, you can also use lead magnets to generate website traffic, increase sales, and even strengthen brand awareness.

You will have to offer lead magnets that offer real value to your prospects if you want to push them down your funnel.

And we have 41 of these lead magnets to share with you below!

Lead magnets, combined with proper positioning and enticing copy, can multiply your email list even in just one day.

However, creating a great lead magnet is not always easy to do. Before you start producing one, you must know its nature down to the fundamentals.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is an incentive marketers offer to prospects in exchange for their email address and/or other contact details.

Some of the terms you hear that are synonymous to lead magnet are:

  • Incentive
  • Ethical bribe
  • Free gift
  • Irresistible bribe
  • Giveaway
  • Freemium

... and many more.

A lead magnet is always free and gives a good piece of value. It usually comes in the form of downloadable piece of data or content.

How should a lead magnet work?

Your lead magnet must maximize the amount of targeted leads you can get for it.

Also, a good lead magnet solves a particular problem of a particular market segment using a particular solution.

Making long, complex content will not only take you a lot of time to make but may also make things harder to manage because such content will not likely be specific enough. However, if the real value of your lead magnet lies in its 'meat', making it short may not help.

The easier your lead magnet can be digested by your prospect, the better impact it can make, and the bigger chance you will turn the prospect into a lead.

A quality lead magnet can offer great value a few minutes into the opt-in process.

Characteristics of a good lead magnet

Though lead magnets can be created in less time, it doesn’t mean that you can just think of something then offer it to your prospects.

A great lead magnet must:

  • Be a real solution to a real problem
  • Be rare or exclusive
  • Achieve a goal after consumption
  • Have a specific purpose
  • Be easy to digest
  • Immediately deliver value
  • Showcase your edge or expertise
Why should you use a lead magnet?

Great lead magnets are essential tools your marketing toolkit must have if you aim to drive conversion higher.

Why so?

Any type of contact information is a personal matter. Email addresses are no different. Like mobile numbers and home addresses, people won’t just give away their email addresses without any gain or incentive, even if they like you or your brand.

People won’t just give away their contact details just because they read post about a lead generation strategy on your blog.

However, if you give them something valuable, like free access to a PDF list of unique case studies where this certain lead generation strategy worked excellently, they will likely give you their email address or whatever contact information you need.

You have to give prospects a compelling reason to give away their email address.

41 Lead Magnets with Real Value

As promised, here are 41 lead magnets that offer real value to prospects. These lead magnets are proven to work across time. Check them out and see which ones fit your needs and abilities.

1 - Checklist

A checklist is a single-page summary of actionable content. It’s so adaptable and flexible that any how-to content can be transformed into a checklist. Plus, it gives people the feeling of achievement when they finish it.

2 - Cheat Sheet

Cheat sheets are simple. They are one-page sheets that contain a real solution to your prospect’s real problem. Plus, they exist so that people won’t have to memorize things. These exact characteristics of cheat sheets make them viable lead magnets.

3 - Resource List

A resource list is a collection of useful things that are not tools that make tasks easier and faster. Like the two lists above, a resource list helps prospects accomplish a goal more easily. It can be curated and made super-specific as long as it retains its usefulness. This is one of the easiest lead tool to produce because you can make one without writing your own content.

4 - Training and Tutorial

People will always want to learn something useful to them. With the price of formal education only rising, free training and tutorials are growing more and more in popularity. Offering them will also boost your credibility as an expert in your industry.

Format can deeply affect this lead magnet's value because people have different ways of learning. Here are three of the most preferred formats for this lead magnet:

  • Video - This is the preferred medium of most people because they can watch and listen to video at the same time, making it more engaging, entertaining, and easier to digest compared to static text. The quality of your video also affects how people perceive your brand. The better the quality, the better your brand is.
  • Audio - This can be offered to an busy audience because they don’t have to take their eyes and hands off what they’re doing at any moment.
  • PDF - PDF training and tutorials usually take the form of a list or a step-by-step how-to. PDF text is easier to download and store and can be more compact and concise that video and audio because you can easily skim and scan it.
5 - Guide

Guides are one of the most popular lead magnets out there. People use it quite a lot but this doesn’t mean that it’s not effective. Guides are just instructionals that have goals. Thus, they are easy to create. The key to make a good guide is to make one that is useful, scarce, and in demand.

6 - Quick-Start Guide

Quick-start guides are designed to help people easily take action and achieve results as soon as possible. If most of your content and offers are useful but a bit complicated and toilsome, a fast-start guide can help your prospects deal with them with less effort.

7 - Quiz

Lead magnets that engage people are some of the most effective ones, especially the topic is interesting and requires the audience to look into their own personalities. “What type of ____ are you” quizzes are an example of this.

8 - Worksheet

Worksheets are simple yet actionable lead magnets. You’ve probably encountered tons of worksheets back in school and they must’ve been boring to do. Thus, you have to make worksheets that your audience will actually want to answer, like a worksheet that will help them learn something useful in business.

9 - Infographic

Infographics are visually appealing pieces of content that contain huge amounts of information. This combination of features is what makes it worth a prospect’s email address. All you have to do is give the right information to the right designer and you will have a good infographic to give out.

10 - Mind map

Mind maps work because the information it contains is organized based on how the mind processes information. They’re particularly useful when the information you want to share cannot be organized in a linear pattern.

11 - Manifesto

A manifesto is a text that states the intentions, views, and motives of the ones who produced it. It helps your audience understand what your brand is all about. If your manifesto manages to touch the hearts of a fraction of a big market, you may have gotten yourself a segment in your hands already.

12 - State of the Industry

A highly comprehensive report on the state of the industry your working in can help you assert your position as an authority. This report should contain huge amounts of data, expert analysis, and a breakdown that will make it useful and actionable to your audience.

13 - Free report and Whitepaper

Free reports are authoritative reports that provide information regarding a certain issue. Whitepapers are the same but their purpose is to convince other businesses to work with you. If you’re in an industry where free reports and whitepapers are a common thing, make sure you position yours properly so you can stand out.

14 - Case Study

Case studies are the best proof you can give to your prospects. They contain the details of the problem, the solution done to solve it, and the results produced by the solution you have. It serves not only as a testimonial but also a how-to guide. They are good lead magnets for businesses that sell high-priced goods.

15 - Toolkit

A toolkit is a bundle of tools your prospects need to achieve their goals. The tools must at least automate hard-to-do tasks and solve a single problem for them to be actually useful. A bunch of random tools, no matter how good they are, will not make a good toolkit.

16 - Calculator

Calculation is one of the most toilsome tasks in any big activity. Even if your prospects have an Excel sheet to help you, they still have to configure the mathematical formulas. Calculators helps them bypass this struggle. They don’t have to be expensive or complex as long as they solve a single crucial problem.

17 - Generator

Generators produce content or material that are hard to produce from scratch. They typically require some input to produce output using programmed instructions. The less the input needed, the faster the processing is, and the more output produced, the better.

18 - Template

There are times when prospects just won’t get instructions right. Templates solve this problem by offering an outline or a format of what the results should look like. All your prospect has to do is fill in the blanks and they will get their results.

19 - Swipe file

A swipe file is a collection of content that serves as an inspiration for prospects to produce ideas. It’s like a template but with real output, not just a format or an outline. The content of a swipe file should contain content that has been proven to work already.

20 - Planner

A planner helps prospects organize their tasks. This can be just a weekly calendar booklet with enough space to write on or one that has extra tips targeted to as specific market like doctor, marketers, or even designers. You can add any spice to it as long as it serves its main purpose.

21 - Video of an event

You can repurpose your events by shooting videos of them. After a number of events, you will have a batch of useful videos that you can offer as a lead magnet. If people were willing to pay good money to attend your events, people will definitely want a free version of it, albeit in a video.

22 - Podcast

You can compile bundles of select podcast episodes as a lead magnet for prospects with specific needs. You can give away your best episodes, never-before-seen episodes, or even ones that are off the record.

23 - Audiobook

There are people who are eager to learn but have no time or preference for reading books. Audiobooks give your prospects a more engaging alternative that will also help them go through your content while doing something else.

24 - Ebook
lead magnet ebook

Ebooks are a classic. They are an alternative way to publish content if you don’t have the funds to produce a physical book. Publishing ebooks helps you build your authority and prospects acquire knowledge without spending money.

25 - Online Community Access

This lead magnet is based on the ‘online forum’ concept. Science proves that people tend to look for communities they want to belong to. Thus, people are likely to give their email address to enter exclusive online communities where people interact and talk about common interests.

26 - Members Only Area Access

Members Only Areas are free, gated membership sites. An outside area of a website contains un-gated content but its MOA contains exclusive, in-depth content. To gain access to this valuable content, prospects will have to give their email addresses.

27 - Access to Locked Content

If you, somehow, do not have a Members Only Area to offer but have a number of separate exclusive content locked away, you offer prospects access to them in exchange for their email addresses. You don’t even have to create new content.

28 - Curated newsletter

By curating content, you’re saving your prospects from the toil of looking for new, valuable content all over the Web. Through newsletter emails, you can give them a head-up on what you will serve them so they won’t be caught off-guard and forced to unsubscribe.

29 - Roundup

Roundups are content made up of contributions from other experts, not you. This would be attractive to prospects that are not new to your industry. The best part of this is you don't have to make content to produce it.

30 - Package

A package is pretty much a bundle of some or all the lead magnets in this list. You can use your existing lead magnets or totally make new ones and give them away as one package. The more useful stuff you can give in exchange for an email address, the better.

31 - Webinar

Webinars are like live chat and live online coaching, but it's you plus many other people who want to talk to you. It's what it is: a seminar conducted over the Internet. However, too many signups can make it hard to conduct this one so it's best to have a team help you, limit the slots, or target a manageable amount of prospects.

32 - Free shipping

People love free shipping. They would even purchase more items in an online store if needed just to get it. What more if you're just asking for an email address? This lead magnet will work for online merchants and stores.

33 - Free trial

If you're selling software, you must at least try offering a free trial once and see what happens. Prospects who accept free trial offers are very likely to become customers because they already expressed interest in using your product or service.

34 - Free version and software demo

Free versions and software demos are limited versions of whatever you're selling. Since they're free, people would love to get them but they won't be enough to satisfy the hunger for more. With these, you can not only get leads but also get customers.

35 - Early bird promo

People love getting things early. People also love saving money. Why not take advantage of both? This is what early bird promos are about. Early bird promos are easy to make and can get you a good amount of leads that can even turn into customers.

Free consultation

Free consultations can get you in touch with a prospect in real-time and help you deliver value. This is very useful to businesses that offer high-priced goods. Be careful not to turn this one into a sales pitch.

36 - Free quote

Free quotes help your prospects gauge how much they have to spend to get your products and services. The fact that they even asked for one shows their interest in what you're offering. You can try including free shipping in the quote to add more value.

37 - Free sample
lead magnet free sample

This one works for businesses that sell products and consumables. If people enjoyed their experience with your free samples, they'll likely to come back for more even if they have to buy.

38 - Replay

Your live events online will likely be missed by some people. That doesn't mean that people don't want to see your stuff. Replays are a good lead magnet to people who couldn't see you live.

39 - Discount Coupon

The good thing about using discount coupons as lead magnets is that you can be sure that you'll get leads who aren't in it only for free stuff. These people want to buy your offer but only for a lower price. However, if your brand is well-known for offering premium products at a high price, don't use this.

40 - Web and mobile apps

Apps and software programs are not so easy to produce but they’re a surefire way to get leads. Why? Because they’re essentially tools and tools, being helpful, will always attract people. Just make sure that you’re giving away an app that is actually related to your brand.

41 - Live Chat

People would love to talk to you and your team more than read your content. A Live Chat lead magnet would actually make that possible for your prospects. Live communication improves trust and opens up exchange of ideas. Just make sure you don't monopolize the chat. Talk less, listen more.


Real value drives prospects down your funnel and builds your email list. Whether you want to turn your prospects into visitors, leads, or even customers,  they will only agree to do business with you when they get something valuable.

That's why lead magnets are the way to go in online marketing.

Once you create your lead magnet, you will need a platform where you can easily manage your online marketing campaigns. Setting this platform up from scratch can even consume more time and effort than creating your lead magnets.

You can go through the effort or opt to use a tool like UpViral that automates the whole process.

UpViral seamlessly runs viral giveaways, contests, and product launches where you can use your lead magnets to drive more and more prospects down your marketing funnel through viral marketing. It also offers solutions that will help increase your lead magnet's perceived value.

Which lead magnets do you think will work for you? How can we help you maximize their potential?