Lead Magnet

11 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas With Examples To Build Your Email List

You finally realized that it’s time for you to create a lead magnet.

And yep, to make it worth the effort, you need a good one!

The good news is, there are so many options available that could spice up your lead magnet game plan.

If you’re looking for lead magnet ideas, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I’m going to give you options, options, and more options…. 11 options to be exact.

I’m also going to tell you how to stand out from others offering the same thing.

But before we go discuss the lead magnet ideas one by one, let’s get something out of the way.

Let’s talk about what makes a good lead magnet.

From the term itself, lead magnets are used to capture leads.

In the marketing world, a lead is a person that could potentially become a client.

This lead has somehow shown interest in the product, service, or industry so the goal is to acquire the contact information of this person and convert it into a paying customer.

For you to capture this lead, you need something that could “magnetize” or attract them enough to entrust you with their contact details – which is usually their email address.

If your lead magnet is not attractive enough, the reality is, they won’t bite.

Another mistake is using the same lead magnet – forever!

You have to use a variety of lead magnets to continuously drum up interest in your product.

So, if you’re running out of ideas… read on.

1.   Freebies and Discounts

Maybe you’re thinking:

Aren’t all led magnets free anyway? Why is there a separate line item for freebies then?

Well, you’re right. All lead magnets are supposedly free.

If you’re asking people to pay – then that’s not a lead magnet. That’s a sales pitch.

But for the purpose of this post, I would like to differentiate freebies as stuff is directly related to your product – such as free shipping, free trial, coupons, and discounts.

For example, a clothing company can use a free shipping offer as a lead magnet to grow its subscribers’ list.

Or a newly-opened restaurant can offer discount coupons to get potential customers to sign up to its newsletter.

Freebies and discounts are often effective because they offer instant value to the consumer.

They get instant savings if they decide to opt-in.

One important tip when giving away freebies and discounts: don’t be a cheapskate.

Make sure you’re actually giving something that would make them want to sign up.

2.   eBooks

Another very popular lead magnet is the ebook.

And there is a reason for the popularity of ebooks – that’s because they are insanely effective.

If done correctly, giving away ebooks does not only provide information to your consumers but also position you as a thought leader in your industry.

But isn’t it difficult to write a book?

What if you’re not an author?

Will it not take months or even years to do that?

How come it seems so easy for all the others to offer free ebooks?

Let me let you in on a secret.

Lead magnet ebooks are way different from the online versions of your favorite David Baldacci or Stephen King bestseller.

Ebooks used as lead magnets should be concise, specific, and should offer instant gratification.

It means that you don’t need to waste time working on a 3,000-page ebook. Nor do you need to offer a 5-year life plan.

Your ebook can range from around 5,000 to 20,000 words.

It can be around 20 to 30 pages long – and that’s OK. 

If you have a blog, you can compile five popular 2,000-word posts related to a single topic, put a fresh intro, cover, and conclusion – and Voila! You have a free ebook ready to go!

Don’t overthink it but at the same time, don’t make it too basic that it doesn’t give anything valuable. 

All you need is to be super specific on one topic and make sure that whoever will read the ebook can finish it in one sitting – not in one month!

Another tip: you can also call it a toolkit, a guide, or a cheatsheet if you think it’s too short to be considered a book… or just to make it sound a bit sexier! 

3.   Checklists

Let’s go to one of my favorite lead magnets – the checklist.

The reason? They are super easy to do yet they convert very well.

People love checklists because it saves them the time of utilizing their brain power to remember every single thing they need to do.

It gives them an easy to follow task list to make sure they are not forgetting anything.

Checklists are also effective because they target people who think ebooks are too time-consuming.

Checklists are often fast, simple and very easy to digest!

4.   Templates  

Templates are what I call the close relatives of checklists.

This is because they are also quick to produce – compared to ebooks, yet a lot of people love them as well!

When you offer templates, you’re offering people speed and convenience.

You’re saving them the time to make something from scratch.

Whether it’s a template for a letter, a social media post, a printable, a website or a graphic – templates are very helpful.

If you are an expert in your field, it should be a breeze for you to make up a template.

For example, if you run a career coaching business, you can provide templates on how to make CVs and cover letters.

If you have a social media marketing business, you can provide Facebook and Instagram image templates with the correct pixel sizes.

5.   Report

Many companies conduct their own research and studies regarding industry and consumer trends to help them finetune their products and marketing efforts.

If the results are favorable to the company, they distribute these reports to further strengthen their selling points.

If you are one of these companies who conduct such studies, you can turn this data into a lead magnet.

You can offer the report for free in exchange for the users’ contact information.

Just make sure that you package the report in a way that your target market will be able to understand.

Don’t make the content too lengthy, instead, use simple words, avoid internal jargon that only limited industry peers understand, and make the report visual.

Remember that you’re not speaking to your board of directors or to other CEO clients – you’re talking to a potential consumer.

Only cherry-pick information that will be relevant to your customer.

6.   Tutorial

Whatever you want to know, learn, or discover… there will be a massive amount of information available online and offline that you can access.

Now more than ever, the thirst for knowledge is unquenchable.

This is why there are millions of tutorials out there… from something as basic as tying up your shoelaces to making cheesecakes, and to the weird tutorials like how to make people think you’re an alien!

If you think that you have the capability to teach something valuable, then try creating a tutorial.

While a written tutorial is still okay, I would highly recommend doing a video because video tutorials provide more clarity.

With video tutorials, the viewers can instantly consume the information and there will be fewer chances of confusion.

With HD video cameras available even on mobile phones, recording videos is also much easier and convenient.

7.   Access Pass

Giving out access passes is another lead magnet idea.

Usually, when you give out an access pass, you’re giving consumers an inside look to something that would normally be paid or for members only.

This is normally called “gated content” that consumers need to unlock.

Some examples are live webinars, video series, white papers, galleries, and online courses.  

To make access passes more effective, offer access passes within a limited time only or only offer limited slots.

This will create a sense of urgency for consumers so they have more reason to click.

8.   Assessment

If you own a service-based business, a free assessment can be very effective not only in acquiring email addresses but also in converting leads to paying customers.

It’s like giving your potential customers a taste test of your service so hopefully, they will buy the entire paid package.

There are two methods of giving out free assessments:

The first method is giving out a personalized assessment per customer either via a live video call, or a live chat, or even a personal meeting.

This type of free assessment is popular with fitness trainers, nutritionists, life coaches, and career consultants.

You can do this if you can ensure that you have the time to devote to every person who opts-in.

The risk, however, is if you don’t have the resources to do this yourself or you do not have people to immediately respond to opt-ins, you’ll lose the potential customer because let’s face it, nobody wants to be kept waiting.

This brings us to the second method which is much more manageable.

The second method of doing free assessments is by preparing a ready set of questions or scenarios that will be sent to the user upon sign up.

This can be a PDF file or maybe a landing page where they can enter their responses.

Depending on the responses of the user, there will already be an assessment result they can match their answers with.

The second method allows you to still provide free assessment but to a larger number of people, instantly.

For example:

If you are a nutritionist offering to assess the eating habits of a potential customer, you will prepare multiple choice type questions asking about the kind of food they eat for breakfast, how often they eat, or what snacks they normally prefer…

Then at the end of the quiz, there will be an assessment result depending on their answers – if they are mostly As, Bs, or Cs.

Mention that the assessment result is only an overview and you can then offer a more personalized assessment and sell your paid consultation.

9.   Quizzes

Test your digital marketing skills.

Are you an Instagram expert?

What type of CEO are you?

Who can resist these quizzes that are very popular online?

The truth is, many of us can’t help answering these quizzes even if we know that we’ll definitely ace them.


Call it self-validation.

Yep. Having some generic quiz tell us that we’re amazingly brilliant makes us feel oh-so-good!

Of course, not everyone is answering these quizzes do it  just for narcissistic purposes.

There are also those people who are actually interested to know where they stand so these quizzes become super helpful.

If you’re going to use a quiz, a wonderful tip is not to ask for them to sign-up from the very beginning.

Let them take the quiz… hook them in…

And then immediately after the last question, when they’re there to see the results… that’s where you’ll come in.

Ask for their emails or if possible, email them the results!

10.        Generator

There are many different types of generators that exist in the online space…

Headline generators, video generators, script generators, logo generators, idea generators, name generators… and many more.

Just like templates, which we discussed earlier, generators are incredible because they make things easier.

If you’re running out of ideas or maybe you’re just plain lazy to think harder – a generator can definitely help.

Even prank generators that do not generate serious or useful ideas can still help break your mental block and jumpstart your thinking process.

When using generators, you can make the first five to ten attempts free to use so they can first try it out…

Once they’re hooked…

You can ask for their email to continue using the program.

11.        Waiting List

While it’s true that the most effective lead magnet out there are the ones that provide instant gratification, it is also true that sometimes making people wait for something also works.

Using a waiting list can be effective if you are launching a new product or service that gained major PR attention, was featured in the local news, or maybe it created a buzz on Kickstarter.

If your product is so new that you are not yet ready with all the sales and marketing materials to start selling, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose all the interests from the publicity you had – you can create a landing page and ask people to be a part of your waiting list.

When you have a waiting list, it signifies exclusivity.

Even if you’re not really giving away anything to people, you’re giving them an in-demand spot that is currently not yet available.

Believe it or not… It makes people want to know more or hear more.

There’s a sense of mystery and natural curiosity that they will want to satisfy.

The Wrap Up

What I just talked about are the different types of lead magnets you can use to get more leads.

Don’t be limited to just one type.

Try using different kinds of lead magnets to capture as many leads as you can.

Using lead magnets is just one way to build your email list. To learn more about how to build your email list fast, check out my other post! 

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