This is a MASSIVE blog post (over 16,000 words). I highly recommend that you read it in pieces and reference it multiple times in the future.I' have made it available as a printable PDF that you can take with you offline.
A lead magnet is a free offer given to visitors to a website or social media channel in exchange for an email address.
You may have heard lead magnets called by other names like...
- Bribes to subscribe
- Content upgrades
Don't worry about semantics, these all refer (more or less) to the process of giving something in exchange for personal information that can be used to contact visitors in the future.
In this article I'm going to show you...
Before we go any further, let me remind you why you should spend time creating FREE content and going out of your way to give it away.
Why Do Lead Magnets Matter?
Why do people like me PAY to give away things to people we don't know?
Here is why...An email address is the lifeblood of a good online business.
Lead magnets are key to building an audience that you "own" and can contact whenever you want.
Whenever you have a new piece of content, a new product or are part of a new promotion, you can send an email to your subscribers for free.
If you've ever paid for traffic on Google, Facebook or other social media channels, the concept of free traffic should make your mouth water.
One email broadcast to subscribers can result in hundreds or thousands of clicks. If you were to pay for that sort of engagement elsewhere, it adds up . . . fast.
Im not against paying for traffic by any means (I spend a lot on paid promotions myself) but I am the biggest advocate of email marketing and retargeting you will ever find.
Don't worry, paid traffic and email marketing aren't mutually exclusive. Email marketing just lets you get more out of each visitor that lands on your site.
Let's say that you pay $0.25/click to send traffic to a blog post. Each visitor reads a certain amount of the post, maybe they buy something, maybe they don't.
If they don't, they are gone and likely forever. If you are collecting their email addresses by offering them an enticing reason to fork it over (a lead magnet) you can then retarget them until they unsubscribe.
Now, that $0.25 click you paid for can be worth exponentially more!
Giving away enticing freebies is one of the most lucrative moves you can make for your internet business.
You should average $1+/subscriber per month on my email list. Let that sink in. That number is extremely conservative.
If you get 1,000 email subscribers you should be generating $1,000/month in revenue!
- 10,000 subscribers = $10,000/month!
- 50,000 subscribers = $50,000/month!!
- 100,000 subscribers = $100,000/month!!!
Here are some email marketing statistics you should consider...
- A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook - Radicati
- Email marketing has an ROI of 3800% - DMA
- 72% of consumers prefer email as their source of business communication - Marketing Sherpa
- 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly - Marketing Sherpa
This is why I'm willing to spend big money to GIVE people great stuff.
In spite of all the hype around social media platforms, your email list is the only thing that can't be taken away from you.
" ...your email list is the only thing that can't be taken away from you...
You can spend years building a following on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube just to have it all taken away. There are countless horror stories of internet businesses that were decimated when they were booted from their only platform.
So, how do you get email subscribers? It starts with giving value. You can't get email subscribers without giving something of value in return.
Every time I see a blog that says something like, "Join our newsletter," I can't help but roll my eyes. It's sad to think how much money these sites are leaving on the table!
Convincing enough? I hope so.
Let's go on...
What Makes a Great Lead Magnet?
First, remember that email addresses aren't handed out freely like they once were. A clean inbox is a high priority for most people so your readers/viewers don't want emails that they don't care about.
This means that your lead magnet needs to be well thought out, extremely enticing, and of the highest quality.
A great lead magnet should meet the following 6 criteria.
1. Provide Immediate Gratification
Your lead magnet needs to be something irresistible and immediately applicable. Someone is much more likely to download your lead magnet if they can use it in the near future. If it's not something they need right now, they likely won't hand over the email address.
" Someone is much more likely to download your lead magnet if they can use it in the near future...
Your lead magnet can't be vague. It should be extremely targeted to your readers and their current needs.
I have made the mistake many times of associating total value with total opt-ins. The truth is that readers care more about solving their immediate problems than they care about amassing even more information on topics that aren't yet on their mind.
So, if your niche is bodybuilding, instead of creating a lead magnet like "Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle" consider something much more simple like "My Simple Cure for Muscle Soreness."
The latter is less overwhelming and solves one specific problem (muscle soreness) that would relate to your topic of interest.
I can almost guarantee that all things being equal, the shorter, targeted lead magnet would outperform the massive "ultimate guide" magnet.
A good lead magnet should be something that subscribers can access quickly.
The best lead magnets are downloadable and can be opened by the subscriber quickly and easily. Offering lead magnets that require massive commitments of time (think of something like a "40 week training course") doesn't attract subscribers like magnets that provide the content immediately.
2. Attract Your Dream Customer
Many marketers make the mistake of creating freebies that don't define their user base. I've seen people do things like, "enter to win a free iPad!" The problem with this is that everyone likes free iPads! If someone joins your list because they wanted an iPad, they aren't likely to be good customers in the future.
Your lead magnet should relate directly to what you are offering your subscriber in the future. Do you plan on promoting a product relating to weight loss? If so, your lead magnet should be related to weight loss!
Lead magnets help you skim the ideal customers from the masses and segment them in a way that allows you to sell to them more easily in the future without being "salesy" or annoying. If they have already expressed interest in something, you promoting something related to that interest in the future is perfectly natural and welcomed.
3. Have Real Value
The lead magnet is a great chance for you to create rapport with your audience.
Think of it this way, your if your lead magnet provides huge value, the subscriber will ask themselves, "if this is the FREE stuff, what do I get if I buy something?!?" Everything you promote in the future will sell better when you've already built trust and given value freely.
4. Demonstrates your expertise in the field
The free content shouldn't be something you just whip together without any effort. This is your chance to showcase your expertise and impress your new subscribers. Lots of lead magnets end up damaging the reputation of the person or company giving them away because they were put together with little thought or effort.
Lots of lead magnets end up damaging the reputation of the person or company giving them away because they were put together with little thought or effort.
Now, some lead magnets won't check off each of these items. That is ok but the further you deviate from these guidelines the lower your conversion rates will become and you will get subscribers of lesser value.
Creating Your Lead Magnet
So where do you start?
I have good news, if you already have created content, you likely don't have to start from scratch.
Some of the best lead magnets are just repurposed content from blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars etc.
Some of the best lead magnets are just repurposed content....
Are you worried that people will feel cheated since the information is freely available online? They won't care...
No one cares where it came from, it's about value. Just make sure that your magnet provides tons of value.
If you feel bad getting emails for content that could be found without it elsewhere, you can always remove the original content after you have made your lead magnet.
A great piece of content can often lead to more revenue in the long run if you use it as a lead magnet as opposed to making it freely available anyway. Just be sure that you don't leave your site barren of the content that makes people visit it in the first place.
Never remove a piece of content that is driving a lot of organic traffic on its own. I'm sure that if you've created a lot of content there is something that is vastly underrated that would serve better as a lead magnet than a stale post or video.
When it comes to creating lead magnets, start with the end in mind.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Question #1 What is it you're hoping to sell these subscribers in the future?
Even if you don't have an exact product in mind, you should have a general idea of how you're going to monetize your list in the future. Remember, creating and distributing free content costs you time, energy and money so you should have an end in mind for how you'll justify these expenses and then some.
"Creating and distributing free content costs you time, energy and money so you should have an end in mind for how you'll justify these expenses and then some...
Question #2 What lead magnets could you make to target people who would buy this product in the future? Let's say that you are hoping to sell something to weight lifters, what sort of lead magnet would work to attract and segment people who would be interested in products in the weight lifting niche? How about a free report showing how to gain 1 inch on your biceps in 3 weeks? How about a recipe for the perfect post workout meal for muscle growth? Both of these ideas would help attract people who are most likely to spend money with you later on in the weight lifting niche.
Lead Magnet Best Practices
Here are some tips that will help you get more leads.
1. Always Be Testing
"Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving."
- David Ogilvy
At scale, small percentage increases in conversion rates can lead to massive increases in subscribers which means more revenue.
Better optimized lead magnets also mean a better user experience on your website. If more people are opting in, it is likely annoying fewer people.
You will never make the perfect lead magnet (even with testing) but you can always improve it.
Be sure to test one element at a time so you understand what is causing changes in conversions.
When it comes to lead magnets, the more the merrier!
I try and create lead magnets that cover every possible sub niche that my blog attracts and I try to create different media types to resonate with the most readers possible.I don't care if a subscriber prefers PDFs, audio files or workbooks just as long as they are interested in the things I share and could be a valuable member of my email list.
More lead magnets also means better segmentation and targeting later. I can create segments and tags that make sure I don't send emails to people who wouldn't care about them. The more emails I send that aren't relevant to the recipient, the more unsubscribes I get and the less money I make in the long run.
2. Segment, Segment, Segment!
We want to ensure that our display rules are optimized.
This means showing the right lead magnets to the right readers at the right time.
3. Be Aggressive
Let that sink in.
When you realize how slim your chances are of turning traffic into long-term followers you'll spend much more time and energy on your lead magnets and optimization.
If you're afraid of pop-ups and annoying your readers, don't be.
"But Nate, I HATE pop-ups, why would I use them on my site if they annoy me so much?"
I struggled with this at first too.
Remember this: you aren't your readers.
What annoys you might not annoy them. Many people love pop ups if it sends them to something that helps them in some way.
Want your pop ups to be less annoying? Create better lead magnets!
Want your pop ups to be less annoying? Create better lead magnets!
People forget all about intrusive pop-ups if they give end with them receiving something awesome.
The Homeless Man and the Pit Bull Analogy
I use this analogy when explaining the art of giving in marketing and why it is the only way to actually ever find lasting success in the business.
Pretend you're walking down the street and a homeless man pops out of nowhere and says,
"Hey! Can I have some money!?!?"
That would be super annoying right?
The odds of you giving him money are next to zero. If you do give him money, it's likely because you're afraid of him and you're going to avoid walking down that street in the future . . .
Now, pretend that the same homeless man pops out when you're walking down the street and says,
"Hey! You don't want to keep walking this direction, there's a pit bull loose down the street."
You gaze over in the direction he's pointing and sure enough, there is a pit bull without a collar, devouring an alley cat and barking wildly at cars passing by . . . (sorry for that imagery, I want to make a point here).
Wow . . . This guy might have just saved you from getting mauled to death like that cat!
Now, you see the homeless man and he has a cup with "homeless and hungry" scribbled on it with a crayon . . .
Are you now more interested in dropping a buck or two in there?
The answer (if you're a human being, which I think you are) is yes.
We don't mind being interrupted if it helps us and we are much more likely to give to people who give to us first. It's basic reciprocity and it's wired deep into our DNA.
This is how lead magnets work.
This is how marketing works.
4. Treat “Money Pages” Carefully
Some of your pages should focus on the content first and the opt-in second. If a post is driving serious conversions, you want to keep readers on the page for as long as possible.
Consider sticking to exit intent pop ups for pages with high buyer intent.
5. Don't Show Opt-Ins to Existing Subscribers
Tools like Thrive Lead's smart links allow us to prevent email subscribers from seeing pop ups to things they've already opted into.
The last thing we want to do is annoy readers by showing them things they already received!
6. Test Display on Mobile Devices
I made the huge mistake of not cross checking an early lead magnet pop up on mobile and tablet. I was annoying my visitors AND they couldn't even opt-in because of a formatting error.
Getting Your Lead Magnet in Front of Your Audience
There are a number of ways to position lead magnets on your websites to get emails.
Note: If you don't have a blog (although I recommend everyone start one) you can still get leads from landing pages. If you have a youtube channel or large following on other social media, creating a landing page (more in the next section) and linking to it in your posts/videos will be your main method of generating email sign ups. Not having a blog is no excuse for not collecting emails!
1. Inline Form
This sort of opt-in is embedded into your websites content and allows readers to opt-in without leaving the page.
Here is an example of an in-line opt-in I use here at EntreResource.com...
ATTN Bloggers: Get a FREE copy of my latest ebook!
Learn How to Make Serious Money Blogging WITHOUT Writing Hundreds of Posts
Users can simply enter their name and email and they will be emailed the ebook.
These are my favorite types of lead magnets because they flow well with the content. If the opt-in is related to the topic of the webpage (blog post) you can get a lot of subscribers this way.
2. Pop Up
This sort of opt-in pops out above the fold of the site and makes the user opt-in or exit the pop up. There are many types of pop-ups and you can control things like when they are shown and who sees them. They can ask for an email directly on the page or redirect the visitor to a separate landing page.
3. Slide In
These are the smoother, less aggressive brother of the pop up. Scroll boxes slide in from the sides of web pages and are easier to ignore. Like pop ups, these are set with display intent rules. They can be set to appear immediately, appear after a set number of seconds or appear after a user has scrolled a certain percentage of the page.
4. Welcome Mat
These are the big brother of the pop up. They are bold and take up the entire page.
Users have two options: Opt-in or exit.
They force a decision and temporarily remove all other distractions.
The conversion rates on these sorts of pages are very high but they are also the most intrusive method.
5. Content Lock
Hide content and require an email opt-in to view it.
I have huge conversion rates on these. Click here to read more about using these bad boys.
6. + 7. Header and Footer Bar
These hover above or below the page and follows the readers as they navigate the site. These are very popular but the conversion rates aren't as good as some of the other options.
8. Side Bar Widget
These are embedded onto the side bar of posts and pages. They are minimally intrusive but I've never found they convert nearly as well as other types.
9. Click Trigger Pop Up
This sort of pop up is triggered when a link is clicked. It appears as a hyperlink and isn't intrusive in anyway. These won't usually convert as well as other methods, but they are great to have if you're timid of annoying your readers (again, I don't think you should be).
Landing pages for Lead Magnets
These are stand alone web pages that showcase the lead magnet. Theperfectblogpost.com is an example of a landing page that I made with Clickfunnels.
If you're giving away something more complex or that costs money ($1 trials, free + shipping etc) landing pages will be required.
If you don't have a blog, you will need to create landing pages to get opt-ins.
There are a number of tools to build landing pages but I make almost all of mine in Clickfunnels.
If you're interested in using Clickfunnels, check out this tutorial I created for making simple 2 step opt-ins.
50 Lead Magnet Ideas (with Examples!)
Lead magnets can come in many forms.
There are 49 types of lead magnets that I want to share with you here and I have included the best examples I could find across the internet.
Some of the examples are relevant to internet marketers like yourself, so feel free to go and download anything below!
Some of these lead magnets are time sensitive (events, coaching calls, etc) so I couldn't provide examples for every single type. You will have to use your imagination for some of these.
These aren't all created equal and what may work for one business may not work for yours.
Some of these lead magnets wouldn't work for my business or I know wouldn't perform well.
I have included EVERY type of lead magnet I could think of so don't think I am suggesting you should go write an ebook, create a full membership course or anything extravagant.
Many of the highest converting lead magnets are drop dead simple. Don't associate complexity and length of the lead magnet with opt-in rates.
Remember the 6 point checklist for lead magnets I shared earlier.
You want your lead magnet to be easily consumable and provide immediate gratification. If you already have a large freebie to giveaway (like an ebook or course) go for it, but don't think you have to have something epic to get conversions.
In many cases, simple lead magnets like 1 page reports out perform epic giveaways like eBooks and 5 hour long web courses.
Note: These are in alphabetical order and not in order of most effective or most recommended.
There isn't a one size fits all solution for lead magnets so approach this list with an open mind and find what works for your business.
1. Audio File (audiobooks or lessons)
A high quality, value dense audio recording of content relevant to your readers.
MP3 files are great because they let you connect with your audience on a more personal level and you can give away a ton of value without tons of writing, editing or formatting.
I created a guided meditation MP3 for entrepreneurs that performs well for me. I wrote the script myself and hired a voice actor for less than $100 on Fiverr to read it.
A simple tool that allows your subscriber to enter data and get immediate insights of some kind.
I have had success with simple calculators I built with Microsoft Excel. You can also pay a developer to create a simple calculator widget for your website that requires an email to operate.
3. Case Studies
Documented examples that show something of interest to your subscriber. Ideally, these case studies show someone who achieved the desired end result that your subscribers want for themselves.
For example, a case study showing how someone added 1 inch to their biceps over 4 weeks would be an enticing lead magnet if you're in the fitness niche.
Case studies are a great opportunity for you to connect back to a product you are promoting or selling and showcase the results that someone achieved by using the product, service or method.
These make great blog posts on their own and repurposing them into PDFs can make great lead magnets.
Digital catalogs or physical magazines showcasing all of your available products.
If you run a store (online or brick and mortar), creating a catalog can be a great way to get emails, physical addresses and sell products.
5. Cheat Sheet
A reference tool that summarizes larger processes into easily digestible points and steps.
This is one of the most common lead magnets you will find.
Quick, bulleted guides showing subscribers how to do something of interest to them.
Checklists are extremely gratifying and easy to digest and therefore, make great lead magnets.
A discount for a product or service you offer.
These are another example of lead magnets that can lead to sales while simultaneously growing your list. If someone doesn't use the coupon, you now have their email and can remind them to come back and complete a purchase.
Also, there is something powerful that happens when a subscriber has paid you any amount of money. If you use a coupon to get a sale, you've created an extremely valuable subscriber who will be much more likely to buy from you again in the future.
Ryan Deiss explains that there is something very powerful about getting that first sale, no matter how large or small it is...
" The conversion of a prospect to a customer, even for $1, is magical. - Ryan Deiss
8. Desktop Wallpaper
A simple, attractive high resolution image that your subscribers will set as the backgrounds on their computers or mobile devices.
A high resolution image can be a great lead magnet.
Pro Tip: Include branding of some kind so you stay top of mind. These are great for artists, bands and creatives.
9. Early Bird Access
Access to a new product or service before the public.
If you're selling a product, early bird access is a viable option that will also make immediate sales. This is a great way to reward your most loyal customers.
PDF, ePub or MOBI versions of books you have written related to the topic relevant to your audience.
Ebooks convert very well as lead magnets, but don't feel like you need to publish novels to get emails. If you have a book, that's awesome, if not, I don't recommend that you make one just for a lead magnet until you try other, quicker methods first.
11. Email Course
An automated sequence of emails that trains a subscriber to achieve some desired end result.
This is a genius lead magnet idea for multiple reasons.
First, it nearly guarantees that your subscribers will confirm the opt-in (which is important for future deliverability).
Second, you will stay top of mind while they are on your sequence and you'll be able to build deep rapport with them. You can even promote multiple products to them organically during the sequence if they are relevant to the topic.
12. Event Tickets
Free admission to an event either in person or online.
If you're doing a free meet-up or live webinar, event tickets are a great way to get opt-ins.
Local businesses that make sales face to face can benefit from this sort of lead magnet.
Gathering information beyond just name and email is perfectly normal when giving away tickets to an event so don't be afraid to ask deeper questions that better segment your subscribers.
13. Facebook Group Access
Access to a secret Facebook group where you share exclusive content.
Facebook groups are insanely underrated. Create a private Facebook group and give the access link only to people who opt-in via email. This kills two birds because it helps you grow a group AND your email list.
I call this, "audience hedging." The more mediums you can get your followers on, the better.
14. Free Book + Shipping
A printed book sent to subscribers on the condition that they cover shipping (which usually costs $4.95-$7.95). This sort of offer generally requires some paid traffic to work and you will likely lose money on the front in after cost to print the book and run ads to the offer.
I learned this method from Russell Brunson of Clickfunnels. If you have a book and can afford to spend some money on the front end, giving away a book can be steroids for your brand.
Since these require a credit card (you have to pay shipping) these work fantastically as part of sales funnels. If you created a sales funnel, you would sell another product that is related to the book as an up-sell immediately after someone purchases the book.
For the sake of basic lead generation, sales funnels aren't in the spirit of this article. I recommend you use a sales funnel like this AFTER you have indoctrinated your new subscribers to your brand.
15. Free Chapter
1-3 chapters of a popular ebook you've written or have rights to promote.
If you have a book that has confirmed value (sales on Amazon for instance) you can create a very enticing lead magnet by offering just 1-3 chapters.
You might also end up selling some books as a byproduct!
16. Free Coaching/Consultation
Free 15 min - 1 hour consultation covering a topic relevant to your audience.
If you offer high end paid coaching, training, SAAS (software as a service) or other professional services you can practice "guerrilla marketing," and really get hands on with your potential clients.
This is an amazing lead magnet because it allows you to build rapport at the highest level.
High dollar sales require lots of engagement and this method is only ideal if you have something big to sell. It just isn't scalable if you're doing 15 min to 1 hour calls just for an email address.
Neil Patel sees the value in getting on the phone with his audience and he offers free consultations to people after they provide some basic information about their websites and business goals.
Note: If Neil Patel is doing something, you can bet that he has tested it and it is working.
17. Free Quote
Free pricing estimate for a product or service that can be done via a software or through an actual 1 on 1 conversation.
This is a great option if the quote leads interested leads to purchase from you. I can't think of a high end service offering that wouldn't benefit from offering free quotes to prospective buyers.
Note: The example above doesn't actually require an email address to use the tool but it does encourage users to take the next step and contact them to find a team of developers to have their app created.
They aren't looking to get tens of thousands of emails, they are trying to find their ideal, high value customers and this tool accomplishes that.
18. Free Shipping
Free shipping on a product you offer (can have a minimum cart size or not).
If you sell physical products, offering free shipping in exchange for opt-ins works very well. Free shipping opt-ins allow you to retarget possible customers and give them the nudge they need to make a purchase.
Keep in mind, this is not the same as a "free + shipping" offer. A free shipping offer is traditionally a coupon that can be redeemed immediately or at a future date whereas a free + shipping offer requires the subscriber to cover shipping costs to get something else "free."
19. Free Trial
Free access to a paid product or service in exchange for personal information.
You can ask for credit card information and begin billing after the trial expires or offer the trial for free with no billing information required. The former will lead to more sales but the latter will lead to more trials.
If your product is fantastic, getting more people to try it might result in more revenue. Keep in mind though, when people don't have an ultimatum to actually use the product (they will have to proactively cancel their trial or they will be billed), they aren't nearly as likely to try it.
Yes, many people will use the tool and bounce without ever paying, but they have expressed interest and they are much more likely to buy from you in the future if you retarget them properly.
Note: I know a traditional lead magnet is supposed to be free, but I find something special with $1 trials. Why do I like $1 trials so much? Yes, you will experience fewer opt-ins but you'll get people who are much more serious and more likely to actually continue using and paying for your software. There is a mental barrier that is broken once someone has trusted you with any amount of money, no matter how small. That $1 isn't going to make you rich but it is going to make selling to your trial users much easier. Also, asking for just $1 will reduce the number of fraudulent trial abusers (people who just keep using the tool and opening new accounts with fake emails).
20. Gated Content
Premium content only available to subscribers.
Many bloggers have grown their lists by creating posts that require an email to unlock.
This is a gutsy move since gated content isn't going to rank in Google BUT it can be a clever way to generate leads from the traffic that is already on your site. Thrive Themes gives users the ability to lock down certain blog posts or parts of blog posts (even better IMO) with some simple HTML code.
A free resource that creates some sort of data valuable to the subscriber.
This is an expensive approach relative to the others but I have seen businesses built around simple generators on their websites. Creating one of these could cost anywhere from $1,000 - $50,000+ so it is most likely a long shot for newer marketers.
A promotional campaign in which you award a prize that is relevant to your subscriber.
People love giveaways and contests. If you have something that is RELEVANT to your audience this can be a huge source of email subscribers.
Keep in mind, your giveaway needs to help segment your audience further. You can't give iPads and expect to collect great leads. Yes, you'll get a lot of leads, but they won't be targeted, they won't open your emails often and they aren't likely to buy from you.
When running a giveaway, don't worry too much about the monetary value of the product your giving away. Interesting case studies have actually shown that giving away something simple like cupcakes might actually outperform something like iPads!
The logic is that people can see themselves winning something small like cupcakes but they "never win,' big contests like iPads. The odds can be exactly the same, but people are more likely to enter contests they feel they could realistically win. The human mind is a strange, strange thing.
A simple document showing subscribers how to accomplish something.
I love making guide style blog posts and many of them can easily be repurposed into PDF guides that capture emails in hoards.
Information gathered in an appealing visual manner and shared as a PDF or web page. You can create infographics in the form of a poster by using a poster maker and share them online.
People love infographics BUT there are a couple of reasons I don't like them as opt-ins.
Reason #1: They are amazing backlink bait. People love linking to infographics.
Reason #2: They make blog posts look fantastic and I think they are worth showing to everyone, not just opt-ins.
If you choose to give them away, there is no harm in that, it just isn't my style.
Infographics are also great for backlinks so spending a little bit of money to have a great infographic created might be a great investment. If you want a premium infographic created, I recommend you check out 99designs.
25. Membership Area
A private area with content and a community environment.
Access to a membership area is a great way to get leads and build community. This is a serious investment of time, energy and money so I don't recommend this as your first lead magnet.
26. Mind Map
Diagrams breaking down a process and showing how different steps relate to one another.
Mind maps are easy to create and provide that "instant gratification" that your visitors crave.
There are plenty of free tools to help you create mind maps.
A simple opt-in promising periodic emails relating to a certain topic.
The most basic type of lead magnet, the newsletter opt-in is my least favorite opt-in because it doesn't check off most of the boxes for what makes a great lead magnet.
These do still convert of course but unless you have a huge fan base and have been creating world class content for years, these won't convert well.
Someone like Tim Ferriss can get away with this sort of opt-in because he has written best selling books and has one of the top podcasts on iTunes.
Even Tim has more lead magnets though than just this simple newsletter opt-in.
A simple document showing how to do something efficiently.
People love plans. They are straightforward and gratifying.
If you have a simple plan to share, this could easily become your highest performing lead magnet.
A simple document showing an educated guess to future happenings.
If you're serving the financial sector this sort of lead magnet can be fantastic.
A short test with questions relevant to the niche the subscriber is interested in.
People love quizzes. The secret to generating leads with quizzes is to request the email address after the participant has completed the survey.
Is this an underhanded tactic? I don't think so. Ask yourself, when you take a quiz, are you caught off guard that you need to provide an email to get the results? It's very standard.
There are a lot of tools you can use to create quizzes for lead magnets. Check out Interact first, but there are plenty of other options.
A plan for cooking something (usually offering some sort of health benefit).
If you are in the food or fitness niche, recipes make fantastic lead magnets. They are quickly digested (pun intended) and highly actionable.
Recordings of webinars or trainings relating to the topic of interest.
Webinars are great lead magnets on their own, but you can get a ton of mileage out of just one value packed webinar.
I recommend using a tool like EverWebinar from Webinar Jam to host your replays and visitors can view them as if they are live.
Kissmetrics has a massive database of past webinars you can watch by opting in to their mailing list.
33. Resources/Tools List
A document containing a collection of the tools and resources that help subscribers achieve better results in a topic of interest.
People love things that make their lives easier. Humans are tool using creators so play to the primal desire to make things easier.
A collection of comments or links from influential people or blogs in a niche.
A roundup lead magnet is a piece of content that you crowd source from others in your industry. These are great because they leverage the expertise of others and create credible, interesting pieces of content.
Scripts work great in the B2B market. The best example of this would be a sales script for people in sales selling high ticket items or cold calling.
36. Slack Group
Access to a community relating to a topic of interest on Slack.com.
Slack is a communication platform that allows communities to engage with each other. This is a great way to build a sense of community and work towards growing your 1,000 true fans.
A powerpoint file showing showing a user something relating to a topic of interest.
Powerpoint slides are great way to share information quickly with your readers.
38. State of the Industry
A report showing data from a certain field of interest.
Everyone is curious what is happening with their industry. If you can gather great data on the state of your industry, it can make a great lead magnet.
Short, simplified explanations of larger processes.
Quickly summarize large concepts. If you have an "epic post" you can create a summary of the post as a lead magnet.
Similar to the quiz except there aren't right or wrong answers. The purpose is to collect data that would be of interest to your subscriber.
Create a survey and then share the results in exchange for an email.
41. Swipe File
Swipe files are collections of proven marketing materials that are used for reference when creating new copy. If you're in the marketing niche, these are great lead magnets.
Neville Medhora has created a great resource called swipefile.io (although he isn't collecting emails, which I think is a missed opportunity) if you're curious what a swipe file is.
Something that helps a subscriber complete a task in less time. Templates often leave some room for customization (names, dates, etc).
Do you have something that you have simplified into a fillable template?
People love this sort of "paint by numbers" content.
Typed text of the words spoken in audio or video files.
If you create a lot of audio or video content, transcripts can be great "content upgrade" lead magnets.
If you already have something that is transcript worthy, check out Rev.com to get that audio turned into a written transcript.
Pro Tip: Transcription services are good but not perfect. You will want to read over the final transcription to check for errors. Often times terminology is misheard or misworded by transcriptionists who aren't familiar to the industry jargon.
Clear, step by step explanation of a task that could benefit your subscriber.
Tutorials are great lead magnets for a number of reasons. My favorite use of tutorial lead magnets is to drive affiliate sales AND increase the odds that your buyers actually keep paying for the product or service if it's a recurring type.
Many marketers make the mistake of assuming that once a sale is made, their job is done. You need to continually improve the buyer's chances of getting value out of the tool they purchased. When they don't, they stop paying for it. It's a perfect win-win opportunity and in internet business, this is where real money is made.
If you have your own product or service to sell, tutorials are just as valuable.
PS: If you are this far into this blog post already, the playbook above should be your next read. Opt-in to that!
Access to a locked area of premium content.
If you have a blog, locking some of your premium content can be a tremendous way to get leads.
This is a very extensive process and might be considered overkill for a simple lead magnet.
There are a number of ways to create a vault/library. I recommend that you create a simple membership site with Clickfunnels. You can also mage a page with a Thrive Leads content lock. This allows you to show the contents of a page only after someone provides an email address.
46. Video File
Short, value packed video files giving quick wins to your readers.
47. Waiting List
Confirmation that someone will be able to purchase something once it is released.
If you have an upcoming product or service creating a waiting list is a great way to get leads and also build hype for your launch.
48. Web App
A simple web based tool that helps subscribers complete some sort of task relevant to your topic of interest.
Similar to the generator, a web app attracts subscribers like nobody's business.
Live video showing something of value in the topic of interest.
There are few lead generation methods more powerful than webinars.
I create my webinars with Clickfunnels and Webinar Jam, but there are many other options as well.
Offline tools (calculators or fillable templates) that help users accomplish something related to their topic of interest.
These are quite possibly my favorite lead magnet. I am an Excel nerd so making these worksheets comes easily for me.
Have an idea that isn't on this list? Go for it!
Anything you can give to get legitimate, targeted emails is a good lead magnet.
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How To Turn a File into a Downloadable Link
Many new marketers are unsure how to convert their files (lead magnets) into a format that can be downloaded by their subscribers.
The answer to this question depends on the service you are using to collect emails and the
I haven't run across a professional email opt-in tool or
All of the tools (in the next section) will allow you to convert files into URLs that can be shared with subscribers.
Usually these services utilize another 3rd party program like Amazon AWS to host the files for you.
Here is what this process looks like in ConvertKit (my email marketing software of choice).
If you aren't ready to commit to an
The file will be turned into a URL that might look something like this (click on it and see what happens).
It should trigger a download of one of my lead magnets (feel free to use that as well, I think it's pretty cool!)
Tools for Lead Magnets
There are a number of tools you can use to distribute your lead magnets.
This is my email marketing provider of choice but I really dislike using ConvertKit for forms and opt-ins. They just don't look great and I don't know enough CSS to make them look great.
Yes, you can edit them if you know CSS but why would you when there are so many other (low cost) alternatives that integrate with ConvertKit seamlessly
When I first wrote this article, I was using Clickfunnels for nearly every landing page I created. I've since transitioned to predominately Thrive Themes for landing pages but Clickfunnels is still a valid option.
I created my financial freedom calculator opt-in with Clickfunnels. I integrate Clickfunnels with Convertkit for most of the actual email broadcasts I send.
This is what I used predominately for my pop-ups, welcome mats (full screen opt-ins) and some in-line opt-ins when I first wrote this article but I no longer use it.
It is still a solid option but I highly recommend Thrive Leads (mentioned next)
Formerly known as "SumoMe," Sumo is a powerful and affordable suite of tools to help you get more email subscribers.
Thrive Leads comes with the Thrive Themes suite (which is what I use for my blogs).
It is all I use for opt-ins now.
This was the first email opt-in tool I remember using. It is good but I didn't fall in love with it like I did Thrive Leads.
Currently, I don't use OptinMonster on any of my sites but over 11 million people do!
It certainly has everything you'd need to create great looking lead magnets.
I recommend that you test out the solutions above and then decide which one is best for you.
You don't need them all.
I drive a Mercedes, but I'd also drive a Lexus or BMW... but I can only drive one at a time! That is how email opt-in softwares are. You don't need them all.
77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns. - DMA
I have written at length about organizing your email list but it is very important to mention here briefly.
#1 Each lead magnet you create should aid in segmenting your list and helping you better serve them going forward.
#2 You should contact each subscriber ASAP every time you get an opt-in
You don't have long to make a good impression on your new subscriber AND you don't want to have to go back and organize your list long after a subscriber signed up.
Alright, there you have it! Now go and create some lead magnets, build your list and make some money!
Did I miss something? Comment below and let me know!
Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve been trying to think up of some good lead magnets for 2018 and this helped me think of a few more . Cheers!Cynthia
Happy to help 🙂
Hi Nate,With your audio meditation recording, can you please tell me your method of delivery for this? I am about to set up a Facebook Group and want to offer one of my guided meditations as an incentive to give me their email address. Would it work by hosting it on Dropbox and then sending them the link in an email (automated through Group Convert, Zapier and MailChimp)?Thanks in advance,Tricia
Hey!Yeah DropBox works. I honestly forget how I deliver mine lol I always recommend people avoid over thinking it, there is no real right or wrong way as long as the subscriber can get it as easily as possible. Start with dropbox though 🙂
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