July 26

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How To Create An Irresistible Lead Magnet: 14 Ideas

By Hanson Cheng

July 26, 2021


So, you're looking to create a lead magnet for your business? 

Awesome! 

Lead magnets are essential in digital marketing because they allow you to capture new leads from potential customers who have not yet decided to buy. They feed your sales funnel. But how do you know what type of lead magnet will best suit your needs? Fear not. Here is a step-by-step article explaining everything about creating a lead magnet, including what types there are and where to find them. 

There will be plenty of lead magnet examples along the way to inspire you.

Let's get started.

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is an incentive offered to get people to opt-in for your email marketing list. The benefit they receive will depend on the type of lead magnet you make. It could be an e-book, checklist, audio clip, or something more enticing.

You can use lead magnets to turn website visitors into leads and grow your email marketing list.

People who visit your website are looking for value. If that value demands them to give you their email addresses, so be it.

8 Qualities Of An Irresistible Lead Magnet

So, what makes for a superb lead magnet? 

Eight factors shape high converting lead magnets.

1. Eases A Pain

An excellent lead magnet scratches an irritating itch the audience has. People can't help themselves but give their contact information to get it because they want relief from a pressing need.

2. Value-Packed

A powerful lead magnet has a high perceived value. It must be so packed with actionable helpful info people wouldn't mind paying for. Create something valuable enough to entice site visitors to register for it.

3. Focused

A useful lead magnet deals with a topic that's related to the problems your business solves. No matter how powerful your lead magnet is, if it's not related to what you do, it won't help your business one bit.

4. Hyper Specific

A lead magnet must be a specific resource that solves a specific problem for a specific audience. The more specific it is, the more appealing it will be to the target audience.

Each lead magnet should have a dedicated landing page and cater to one buyer persona or customer segment.

5. Consumable

The best lead magnets are easy to digest. They don't look intimidating to prospects. When potential customers look at the lead magnet, they should think: I can consume and put this to action quickly without investing a lot of time or energy.

6. Exudes Expertise

Lead magnets help you demonstrate your expertise or value proposition in your niche. After someone has consumed it, they are convinced you are an expert that brings unique value to the table.

7. Available Now

Today's consumers are an impatient lot. They are used to getting things at the click of a finger so make your lead magnet instantly accessible.

8. Enticing Headline

In content marketing, pages and content pieces live or die on the strength of their headlines. Lead magnets are no exception. Tantalizing lead magnet headlines boost your opt-in conversion rate. Bland headlines lower your conversion figures.

Before you create your lead magnet, make sure it includes all these aspects. Get it right and your great lead magnets will help you generate more leads.

How To Create A Lead Magnet: 14 Lead Magnet Ideas And Examples

Now that you know what a lead magnet is and what makes a good one, let's go deeper.

It's time to explore lead magnet ideas and examples to inspire you as you work on yours that’ll generate targeted leads for your business.

1. E-Books

E-books are one of the most common types of lead magnets. 

If you don't have any topics for an e-book around, come up with a list of tips related to the product or service you sell. Decide on ten major tips and craft content for each tip in a few short paragraphs. Write the total number of paragraphs that you will make and make a total word count for the e-book.

Create your cover and create a 'download now' CTA. Add an email sign-up form after the opt-in form on your website lead magnet page or create two separate pages. Make sure you have the permission to distribute the content of your e-book and then create an opt-in form.

You can easily create a free guide or ebook by:

  • Expanding on a popular in-depth blog post. Simply add more points and data to validate your points.
  • Combining a series of blog posts into a mega guide.
  • Interviewing an expert or several about a topic your audience cares about. Turn their answers into an ebook.

Search Engine Journal uses a free ebook to generate leads for the business.

Note the straightforward headline, attractive book cover, and direct call to action ‘Download Now’.

2. PDF Version Of Blog Posts

A simple yet powerful lead magnet is offering your readers a PDF version of popular posts on your website as a content upgrade.

When users enjoy a content piece they love having a printable version for future reference and so that they read it at their leisure. 

To see which blog post to use:

  • Check Google Analytics to see which posts that drive the most traffic.
  • Identify posts with the most comments.
  • Pick out your most shared posts from your social analytics dashboard.

To make a PDF, simply download the post from WordPress and open it in MS Word. Edit and format it as required. Spice it up with attractive visuals. It’s also a good idea to add a couple of points that are not in the original post so you provide more value than the original post.

Then export the file from MS Word as a PDF document and offer it to your visitors for free.

3. Checklists

People love checklists. They're short enough not to bore them, but they contain useful information.

Plus, they are a lightweight content form that's easy to consume.

For business owners, checklists are great because they are easy to make. You can whip one up in an hour or a couple at most.

Checklists work best for:

  • Breaking down a complex subject into simple points to make it easy for people to understand it.
  • Condensing a lengthy process into a short and convenient one-page template.
  • Summarizing points of a long blog post.

A checklist is a great lead magnet to complement a blog post. You can add it as a content upgrade. 

A good example of a checklist is from Chart Mogul. While the headline says ‘cheat sheet’, the lead magnet is a list of SaaS metrics.

What I like about this lead magnet offer is that it:

  • Uses a simple headline—website visitors know exactly what they are getting.
  • Gives a bullet point sneak peek into what’s inside which tempts site visitors to grab the lead magnet.
  • Uses a simple, active call-to-action ‘Download PDF’.
  • Promises to give you all the SaaS metrics, it’s the ultimate.

Grow your subscribers with checklists.

4. Cheat sheet

Cheat sheets are close cousins to templates.

They are a fan favorite because they take away the need to work hard to do something. Since people are naturally lazy, they welcome shortcuts to doing things. A cheatsheet gives them exactly that. As the name implies, they cheat their way to success. 

Here is an example of a cheatsheet freebie from Smartblogger.

This lead magnet works because it:

  • Addresses a common pain in content marketing circles—headline writing.
  • Uses an alluring headline that teases visitors to consider grabbing the lead magnet.
  • Taps into an irresistible benefit every marketer dreams of—going viral.
  • Promises instant access to the PDF which feeds into human nature’s need for instant gratification.

5. Videos

Video is another good lead magnet type because people watching videos.

Stats show over 50% of people prefer watching videos to reading. So you will never go wrong with a video lead magnet.

Many people create videos for marketing purposes. As an incentive to get someone to check out your video or audio, create a lead magnet that contains the opt-in form on your website and create links in the description to where they can download it.

Types of videos you can make include:

  • A how-to video that helps your audience solve a specific problem.
  • A case study that showcases a customer success story.

With videos, go all out on lighting, picture quality, and sound.

6. Courses

An online course has a higher value than an ebook in people’s eyes. People pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to enroll in courses.

So by offering one for free, you can impress your audience with the super value you provide. 

You can deliver your course via:

  • Email as an email course
  • Learning Management System Portal
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Printable Worksheets
  • Social Media Group, e.g. Facebook

Just make sure you choose a topic that fills an important need in the lives of your audience. 

A course leads naturally into your paid products or services. You can create a more in-depth version and ask those who are interested to upgrade.

If your free course impresses them, many will upgrade to the paid version so they get more value.

Enchanting Marketing has a very good course as a freemium.

The offer is superb because it:

  • Uses a lot of social proof by displaying logos of sites they have been featured on.
  • Includes a testimonial from an influencer to emphasize their authority in the industry.
  • Highlights the top benefits of the course using brief bullet points.

7. Free Trials

Free trials are the ideal lead magnets for SaaS brands.

Lead acquisition is a big part of a SaaS marketing strategy.

Rather than try to explain the capabilities of a tool to prospective buyers, it’s easier to show them what it can do. That’s why a free trial or software download is a vital part of a SaaS marketing strategy.

It gives users free access to a tool so they test drive it.

Free trials pack a lot of value because they give users a real-world test of the software. The most successful free trials give users ample time to explore every aspect of the tool. Importantly, longish trials allow users to get so used to the tool it becomes hard to let go.

Convert Kit has a free trial offer.

Unlike most brands that offer the lead magnet straight away. Convert Kit does it differently. They assess the prospect’s needs by asking a series of questions so that they understand their needs better.

This is a smart move because they learn more about the needs of their customers.

8. Webinars

A webinar is a great give away for lead generation. 

Webinars have high conversion rates. 

You can use both live and prerecorded webinars. Webinars combine the power of the spoken word with stunning visuals. No wonder they are popular.

To ensure your webinar succeeds:

  • Pick topics from posts with high engagement levels.
  • Back up your presentation with stats.
  • Make a sales pitch towards the end of the webinar.

9. Reports and Whitepapers

If you are in B2B, reports and whitepapers are a great way to generate leads.

B2B stakeholders want facts and hard data to convince them or help them make sound decisions.

That's what reports and whitepapers give them-a logical data-driven treatment of an important topic. Whitepapers establish your business as experts in your industry.

To put together a mouthwatering report:

  • Pick a topic your audience cares deeply about.
  • Conduct thorough research to back up your points with data.
  • Cite reputable sources.
  • Include fresh data instead of relying on dated material.
  • Get quotes from industry experts to strengthen your argument.
  • Make your report long enough to cover the essentials of your topic but not too long to turn prospects off.

Get Response has several reports as part of its lead generation strategy.

This is a commendable ethical bribe because:

  • They offer many reports to cover different customer segments.
  • Their reports are visually attractive to draw in visitors.
  • They loaded the reports with original data readers can’t find anywhere.

10. Consultations

For service-based businesses, a free consultation is the perfect lead magnet for generating and qualifying leads.

Consultations are excellent because they:

  • Prove your expertise powerfully.
  • Have a high perceived value in the eyes of prospects.
  • Help you identify the pain points of your potential customers.
  • Double up as a research lab for new products or services.
  • Allow you to offer personalized advice which impresses potential clients.
  • Naturally connects to your paid services.

To avoid scope creep. tell your leads how long the consultation will be and the exact issues you will tackle during the meeting.

Christian Communications agency InChrist Communication feed leads into their funnel using free consultations.

They kept things simple.

The emphasis of the bold headline is that the strategy session is free and it’s available immediately.

11. Infographics

Because of their rich visual nature, Infographics are a hit with prospects.

They simplify complex concepts. Another advantage of infographics is that they have viral potential. So if your infographic catches fire on social media, you can generate a massive number of leads in a short time.

Because infographics live or die on the quality of visuals, make sure yours is well-designed. 

You can use free tools like Canva to make your infographic. Funds permitting, take things a notch higher by hiring a designer to make it immaculate and also give it that polished professional look and feel.

Campaign Creators use an infographic to good effect on their landing page.

Why this works:

  • They only ask for prospects’ names and email to make it easier for them to sign up.
  • They include a testimonial from a satisfied customer.
  • They use a direct CTA ‘Get My Infographic’.
  • They summarize the contents of the infographics with bullet points.
  • They include a colorful cover to cajole users to sign up.

12. Tool Kit/Resource List

No matter which industry you are in, you need to have the right tools to succeed. 

But with a bazillion options available, searching for the right tools can be an uphill task.

Enter the tool kit.

A tool kit is a curated list of all the leading tools in a particular industry.

For an enticing list:

  • Cover the popular tools in your industry.
  • Include fast-rising up-and-comer tools.
  • Cover both free and paid tools to cater to everyone.
  • Make your list exhaustive so users get everything they need to succeed with the tools on hand.

The best part of a resource list?

It ties up nicely with affiliate marketing. Just include affiliate products on your list and make money from the freemium. Industrial Strength Marketing uses a toolkit as a lead-gen tool.

Here’s what they did right:

  • They used a powerful call-to-action ‘Get Your Free Toolkit’.
  • They highlighted the benefits of the lead magnet in bullet form.
  • They included a tools graphic that matches the nature of their offer.

13. Workbooks

People learn best by doing. Many studies have shown that when people take part in a learning activity, they remember more information about the subject.

That's why workbooks are supreme lead magnets.

As people work their way through a topic. To craft a decent workbook:

  • Choose a topic that appeals to your prospects.
  • Check the FAQ section to see if there is a question on how to do/achieve something that keeps popping up.
  • Arrange your points logically so they build into one another.
  • Leave gaps in the PDF document so people fill in the spaces as they go along.
  • Provide answers to the questions at the end.

14. Calendars Or Planners

People in every niche value efficiency and productivity.

Calendars play a crucial role in helping people plan their year and become more productive. So if you can create a niche year planner you can get a steady stream of leads.

Some quick tips on how to nail your calendar:

  • Start promoting your calendar lead magnet in the last quarter of the year before people outline their plans for the year.
  • Include special industry events in the planner.
  • Make a print-ready version of the planner so people can print their calendars.

Blogilates use a planner lead magnet.

They persuade visitors by offering not just one but a bunch of planners which makes the offer more attractive.

I’m sure by now you’ve seen lead magnets work. No matter the type of content you wrap them in, freebies are a list building superpower.

Create A Lead Magnet That Meets Best Practices And Grows Your Email List

Your humdinger lead magnet won’t help your marketing and sales if your entire strategy isn’t up to scratch. 

For your lead magnets to get visitors and grow your business, you need a smart marketing strategy that covers.

1. Traffic Source:

drive traffic to your lead magnets using paid and organic SEO methods—without traffic, your lead magnet won’t have any takers.

2. Landing Page:

a poorly designed landing page with lousy copy and a weak offer will nosedive your conversion rates. Landing page optimization is key.

3. Customized:

have specific lead magnets to fit all your buyer personas. Nailing your buyer personas is crucial in marketing automation.

4. Design:

don't stint on design because it can be the difference between success and failure.

5. Content Upgrades:

offering lead magnets a content upgrade hikes your conversion rate.

6. High-quality Images:

use high-resolution images as they embellish your offer and boost your conversion rate.

7. Convincing CTA:

use a simple, short, and direct CTA to get prospects over the line.

8. Social Proof:

include social proof such as testimonials, influencer endorsements, sites that have featured you, and more to show prospects you are the real deal.

8. Pop-up: 

pop-ups offering downloadable lead magnets convert higher and grow your email subscribers faster.

Massage these qualities into your lead magnet offers to keep up with the trends and enhance your chances of success.

Grow Your Business With Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are an integral part of digital marketing.

They help you capture leads and nurture them into buying customers. The more leads you generate, the more customers you get down the line.

Use these tips to craft high-converting lead magnets that draw leads like a moth to a flame.

Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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