Lead Magnets: A Comprehensive List of 50 Lead Magnet Examples to Grow Your Email List
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Ever wonder what happens to the 95% of people who visit your website without buying anything?
Many of these visitors leave without ever coming back.
What if, instead of losing a potential customer, you could add them to your email list and build a relationship with them? What if this was something that would lead to them becoming paying customers?
You can, and you should.
As you already know, you can’t make people hand over their email addresses because you made a polite request. You’ll need to offer something of value: a lead magnet.
In this article, you’ll learn what lead magnets are and why you need them to grow your email list. You’ll also find 50 lead magnet ideas for your audience — no matter where they are in your sales funnel.
Ready? Let’s begin.
What Are Lead Magnets?
Before we go deep into lead magnet examples, let’s be clear on what lead magnets even mean.
This incentive could be an ebook, template, video, or case study.
When a visitor agrees to accept your incentive, they are also agreeing to join your email list.
Lead magnets are not the same as the “subscribe to our newsletter” boxes you place on your website. Those boxes offer little or no value to your website visitors, and they don’t motivate visitors to give you their email address.
Here is an excellent example of what doesn’t count as a lead magnet:
Zero enticements. Zero value.
Why Do You Need a Lead Magnet?
Every business that wants to generate leads from their website needs a lead magnet. Period.
These leads could be at the top, middle, or bottom level of your sales funnel.
Now more than ever, customers have gotten wiser and precise with whom they do business. Why? Because every day they come across new websites clamoring for their attention.
Over 100 websites have gone online since you started reading this post.
You need more than a free newsletter offer to gain their attention and make them choose you.
For that reason, you need to use attractive lead magnets that meet them where they are in your funnel. Someone at the bottom of your funnel will need more than a blog post before they join your list. Likewise, you can’t expect someone at the top of the funnel to gobble down case studies and free trials.
An email address is personal, and people are very protective of it. If a prospect hands over their email, you know you’ve interested them in what you have to offer.
How to Create a Lead Magnet That Works
The effort you put into creating a lead magnet will tell how well the magnet converts. If you make a poor lead magnet, you cannot expect to see people join your email list. When you make a great lead magnet, you can expect quality leads to flow through your sales funnel.
Here, you’ll learn what makes a lead magnet work and what doesn’t.
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Elements of a Great Lead Magnet
To create a lead magnet that works, it needs the following elements:
An Ideal Persona
The truth is that your lead magnet cannot be for everyone. Targeting everyone would be like chasing two rabbits at the same time — you’ll end up with nothing.
For a lead magnet to work, you need to be clear on who you’re creating it for. The answers to these questions can give you more clarity:
- Who am I creating this lead magnet for?
- Are they at the top, middle, or bottom of my sales funnel?
- What are their goals?
- What do they hope to achieve by downloading this lead magnet?
What if you have more than one ideal buyer persona? In that case, you’ll need to create lead magnets that work for your different personas.
Treat them like individual personas and create something they would find valuable.
Find details about how to create an ideal persona here.
A Clear Value Proposition
It is not enough to know who you want to attract with your lead magnet. You need to express your magnet’s value in a way that readers have no choice but to join your email list to get it.
You should position your lead magnet as the cure to your persona’s current headache.
Identifying your persona’s pain would help you clarify your magnet’s value proposition.
Do they need a worksheet instead of a guide, or do they need an email course instead of a checklist?
Find their pains and give them the quickest relief for that pain.
A Personal Touch
Calling your lead magnet, a “lead magnet,” is unattractive and dull.
A little personalization can go a long way in making people want to grab your lead magnet.
The name doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to point out the value that people will enjoy when they get it.
For example, which of these titles sound more interesting:
“Roadmap to 1k followers guide” or “Instagram growth guide”?
You get the point.
An Optimized Content Format
A lead magnet can come in various formats, as you will learn later in this article, but no matter the format these lead magnets come in, they all have one thing in common:
They are optimized to meet the needs of your readers.
People want quick solutions, so your lead magnet should be in a content format that is easy to understand.
Would a video be a better option to pass a message across, or would a simple eBook be enough?
Why Most Lead Magnets Don’t Work
Here are some reasons why many lead magnets don’t work or make people join an email list.
Not Enough Eyeballs
It does not matter how much time you spend crafting the perfect lead magnet if nobody sees it. It would be like placing a lantern under a basket — yes, the lantern is shining, but it’s not visible.
You can fix this by promoting your lead magnet. You can post the lead magnet on other platforms, like Twitter, Quora, and Facebook.
If the organic route does not work, you can decide to run ads to the lead magnet.
Not Targeting the Right Persona
We talked about this earlier: great lead magnets meet the need of your ideal persona or reader.
If your lead magnet doesn’t speak to your ideal reader, you’ll end up with an empty email list, or a list full of people who would never buy from you.
50+ Lead Magnet Examples to Help You Grow Your Email List
Here you would find over 50 lead magnet examples you can use for your business to grow your email list.
This list is divided into three parts containing lead magnet ideas for each stage of a customer’s journey.
Let’s get right into it.
Top of the Funnel Lead Magnet Ideas
At the top of the sales funnel is the awareness stage. Here, readers or prospects know little or nothing about you and your business.
Lead magnets at this stage of the funnel aim to make people know and like you. You can liken it to a simple handshake with a friend or acquaintance.
Here are some top of the funnel lead magnets ideas for you:
1. Blog Posts
Yes, you read that right!
Blog posts can serve as lead magnets to grow your email list. Blog posts are what attract visitors to your site in the first place.
You can use blog posts by adding content upgrades relevant to each blog post you write. We use this method on all our blog posts.
2. Email Courses
Email courses are automated lessons about a specific topic. They work well for introducing a prospect into your sales funnel. During an email course, your prospect goes from the awareness to the decision stage.
For an email course to work as a lead magnet, it needs to be specific and straightforward.
Look how Unbounce uses an email course to generate leads.
People love cheat sheets because of how simple they are. With a cheat sheet, people do not have to do a lot of work because everything they need is on one or two pages.
Here is a great cheat sheet example we use here, at CoSchedule.
Calendars and planners help people organize their lives and work.
Unlike cheat sheets, calendars have specific time frames to complete activities and tasks. This timeframe could be a week, month, or — in some cases — a year.
Let’s assume you are in the food industry. You could offer a planner containing meal plans for people who want to become healthier.
At CoSchedule, we use this social media editorial calendar as a lead magnet. It is a calendar that helps bloggers and marketers plan out their social media content for a year.
5. Interactive Quizzes
Unless it’s about math, people love to answer quizzes. It amuses and interests them. Quizzes make people curious about the weirdest things, like their earning potential or how they’d look if they were cats.
To make quizzes work for you, only provide the answers after visitors join your list.
Copywriter Ashley uses a quiz to generate leads for her copywriting business.
These are one of the most popular lead magnets on the internet. The exciting thing about them is that you do not have to create one from scratch. Your eBook can be a compilation of your favorite or highest performing blog posts.
Adespresso uses this eBook to build their email list.
Like cheat sheets, checklists offer light and actionable information that people can use.
Any checklist you create should help readers complete a goal. Most checklists are one-pagers, so there is no fear of information overload.
We offer checklists at CoSchedule, like this one, that helps you better manage your blog.
8. Swipe Files
You’re not the only one that needs a swipe file when you hit a block — your readers do, too.
A swipe file is a lifesaver when you’re looking for inspiration to write a content piece. The content piece could be a sales page, headline, or social media caption.
Your readers are looking for inspiration, too. You can bet that they’ll join your email list, if you offer a swipe file.
Here is an example from Digital Marketer.
9. Resource List
A resource list is like a packed library full of information about a specific topic.
Resource lists work as great lead magnets because they help people save time.
Imagine you’re looking for the best marketing books. Would you not give out your email in exchange for a list that contains over 100 of the best marketing books?
Julia from Content Hacker shows how you can use resource lists.
You know how spreadsheets work. They help us track expenses, work, and other things.
To generate leads, you could create a spreadsheet that helps people track a goal or event. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be valuable.
You can get inspiration from Say No To Broscience’s spreadsheet.
A script is a done-for-you template that helps people with presentations and pitches.
This lead magnet is great, if your audience includes freelancers and business professionals.
Close.io uses this sales script as a lead magnet.
12. Content Series
Like a good TV show, content series keep your website visitors coming back for more.
You can create a content series on topics that interest an audience at the top of your sales funnel.
By nature, content series are long and updated, at intervals, so you can ask readers to join your email list to know when next you update the series.
Infographics drive traffic and backlinks to your blog, and they can help you gain more email signups, too.
As you know, infographics use rich visuals to make information easier to understand.
Visitors who prefer images over texts would love to join your email list to get an infographic.
14. Branded Swag
Do you want more leads, boost brand awareness, and grow your email list — all at the same time? Then offering branded swag is the way to go.
You can offer readers branded swags, like t-shirts, pens, and mugs when they join your email list. Be careful not to offer something too expensive so as to not attract the wrong type of audience.
Worksheets are useful because they help people focus on achieving a specific goal.
Most worksheets come with a bit of text and editable fill-in-the-blanks spaces. You can be sure people will download your worksheet, if it helps them reach their goals faster.
Printables are downloadable files or templates that you can print on paper.
Printables work great as lead magnets because they give people the freedom to use the material on their devices and print it on paper.
Artists and designers can find an excellent use for this kind of lead magnet to grow their email list.
17. Audio Recordings
Audio recordings work for audiences that enjoy listening to podcasts or audio shows.
These recordings can be podcasts or audio versions of your videos.
Transcripts are the text version of your videos or podcast shows.
Not everyone can catch what you say in your audio/videos especially when there are no subtitles.
With a transcript, your audience will be able to read everything you say and understand your message better and at their own pace.
19. PDF Blog Summary
Do you often publish 3,000–4,000-word blog posts? Your audience might not always be ready to read such a long post, so why not offer them a PDF version of the blog — something they can read offline and always come back to?
You do not have to repeat the blog post word for word in the PDF version as a summary will do.
20. Free Tools (Headlines and Title Generators)
Are you marketing a software product? You generate more email signups by using free tools aside from your main service-offering as a lead magnet.
This tool needs to be very valuable to your target audience.
At CoSchedule, we have a headline analyzer tool. This tool helps marketers and bloggers determine their headline’s strength.
21. Mind Maps
Mind maps are like infographics. They both explain complex ideas and turn them into smaller understandable bits.
With the effective use of visual elements, readers can grasp an idea in a single glance.
We all love it when we get five items for the price of one. You can use the same method to grow your email list with lead magnets packages.
With packages, you can offer three to four lead magnets at once to a reader.
For example, instead of giving out only one eBook, we decided to add a worksheet and a template to the mix.
There is a reason why most cake shops offer you a sample tasting before you even decide to buy a cake. These cake shop owners are smart and know there is a higher chance you’ll buy their cake after a taste.
You can do the same for your business and offer samples as lead magnets.
Offering a free sample of your product or service allows your audience to have a taste of what you have to offer. If your offer tastes good, then they will bite and buy from you.
Not only will you build your email list, but you will also guide prospects to become paying customers.
24. Web App
A web app can be a free or freemium tool you create for your business.
Users would have to sign-up with their email addresses before they can use the app.
ListGoal uses a web app as a lead magnet.
Do you have a newsletter where you share exclusive content? Such a newsletter can serve as a great lead magnet example.
Your audience will want to join your newsletter because they don’t want to miss out. Include sneak peeks and testimonials about the newsletter that would prompt people to sign up.
Who doesn’t love a giveaway?
A giveaway is a great lead magnet example for growing your email list because people love free things.
Since you’re aware people love free things, it makes sense to offer something that only your ideal persona will want. Offering a general freebie, like an iPhone, will get you more attention but will reduce the quality of leads you generate.
27. Error Pages
Ever wonder how you can make the best use of your site’s error pages? You can slide in a lead magnet on the page and use it to gather more contacts for your email list.
The lead magnet you use could be anything you’ve read from this list.
Instead of greeting your visitors with only a 404 error message, you can now greet them with a lead magnet.
28. Sandwich content
You can make a part of your free content incomplete but only available after readers give you their emails.
This works great with eBooks or a video series.
When using this lead magnet, offer the readers so much value with the free content that they can’t wait to access the remaining content you have to offer.
Middle of the Funnel Lead Magnet Examples
At this stage of the funnel, prospects are already aware of their problems and the solution you offer. They are now considering who to choose between you and your competition.
You’ll need to offer more useful and valuable lead magnets if you want prospects to choose you.
29. Group Membership
Not only will you build your email list with group memberships, but you’ll also grow a community.
You can create groups on platforms where you know your ideal prospects hang out. Many marketers prefer to use Facebook because you can create private groups. Others have found more success with slack groups.
Your audience should determine the kind of group you create.
When you host a challenge, only interested or qualified parties would likely join. Challenges also allow you to build a community.
Webinars are online seminars that air for a limited number of people on a specific date.
The time and attendance constraints on webinars help you attract the right kind of prospects you want for your business.
32. Webinar Replays
Webinar replays can help you attract more leads for your business and email list. Replays are simple to make, since you’ll be sharing a recording of a previously held live webinar.
While replays save you some time and effort, they still contain so much value that would attract qualified prospects.
33. Video Courses
Another great lead magnet for prospects in the middle of your sales funnels is a video course.
Since videos take longer to make and need more resources, people consider them more valuable than other content formats.
34. Industry Reports
These reports work best in the B2B industry, where CEOs, CMOs, and marketing experts are always on the lookout for new trends and data in the industry.
If you ever decide to use industry reports as a lead magnet, make sure that it is up to date.
35. Free Guides
Guides are like eBooks, but they contain more information.
You would need to offer more than your best blog posts, like you did with an eBook. A guide usually contains more outsourced information about a topic.
36. Free Book Chapter
Do you want to sell a book? You can offer a free chapter of the book in exchange for an email address.
Most of the folks who enjoy the free chapter have a higher chance of buying the rest of the book.
37. White Papers
White papers are authoritative reports that detail a business’ growth methods and strategies.
You, too, can publish white papers to convince prospects in the middle of your funnel to do business with you.
38. Case Studies
Case studies are like white papers in the sense that they are detailed reports, too.
The reports from case studies are about how you help other people grow their business or lives.
The end goal of case studies is to show potential clients that you can help them because you have helped others like them, thus building their trust.
39. Premium Content
Do you have a piece of content that is unique to your blog? If so, you can turn it into a lead magnet by placing the content behind an “email” paywall.
Anybody who is considering buying from you would be ready to get their hands on your premium content.
Brochures contain information that prospects in the middle of your funnel would want. Don’t waste the opportunity to capture these in your email system. Offer them a brochure in exchange for their contact details.
41. Video/Audio Splinter
Splinters are like sneak peeks into a bigger picture. They excite your prospects and tease them on what’s to come.
If you have an interesting audio file or video course, you could offer the first 10 minutes free to your prospects. You then collect their emails when they show interest in the rest of your material.
42. Referral Reward Systems
Get eager prospects to join your email list by offering them rewards when they refer others to your business.
43. Exclusive Interviews/Videos/Podcasts
Did you recently bag an interview or record a podcast with a celebrity or top name in your industry? You can turn it into the perfect lead magnet.
Allow people access to the interview podcasts or videos only after they join your email list.
44. Waiting List
Content creators can use a waiting list to collect emails even after selling out their courses or services. Instead of losing out on prospects who might not revisit your website, you can make them join your email list.
Bottom of the Funnel Lead Magnet Ideas
The bottom of the funnel is where all the fun happens. This is where prospects decide to buy from you. They have their credit card and need a gentle nudge on the shoulder to finally buy.
The lead magnets in this category provide the nudge.
45. Free Trials
Almost every SaaS company has a CTA button that encourages prospects to try out their software for free.
Any prospect who tries out the software joins your list. Most of these prospects end up converting and becoming paying customers.
Everyone loves discounts. Use it to your advantage by giving people a small percentage off the full price of your product or service.
47. Free Shipping
Lower the barrier for prospects to become customers by offering free shipping.
Make the free shipping deal only available when they join your email list.
48. Live Demos
Live demos attract prospects that are one step away from opening their wallets.
If you sell software, show prospects what your software can do to improve their work or life quality.
49. Free Consultation Calls
Free consultations attract interested leads for your service-based business.
For a consultation to happen, prospects would have to give over their email address, name, and other information. You can add this information into your CRM and then nurture the leads until they become paying customers.
50. Free Quote
Prospects at the bottom of your funnel are already convinced that you have what they need. To become paying customers, they need to know how much it would cost to work with you. That is why the free quote lead magnet works so well.
With this lead magnet, prospects provide more information than their names and email addresses. You’ll need details about their needs to give them a quote, and that’s why they work so well.
Start Using Lead Magnets
Are you ready to start using lead magnets to grow your email list?
You now have 50 lead magnet ideas you can choose from for each customer stage in your sales funnel. Many of these magnets are easy to create, and you can start using them right away.
November 4, 2020