In this post, you’re going to learn how to create a lead magnet that actually converts.
You can call a lead magnet many things. You could call it a free giveaway, you can call it a ‘lead bait,’ etc.
But how do you create a lead magnet, and what exactly is it?
Let’s define the term, first.
What Is A Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is essentially a ‘free thing’ that you offer to send your visitors in exchange for them signing up for your email list.
A lead magnet gives you an awesome ‘thing’ to offer visitors in an attempt to get them to join your broadcast list, which will then start them down the path of your sales funnel.
But the big question is this.
How do you create that free giveaway item, that you are going to offer on your opt-in page in exchange for the visitor’s email address… so that you can try to convert every lead into an opt-in?
And another great question is this…
What should my lead magnet be?
Miles Beckler does an awesome job of describing the answer to this question in this video…
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But it is actually pretty simple.
You need to give your customers an experience… not just a free thing.
But what exactly does this mean? And how can you get this to translate to a perfect lead magnet that people love enough to sign up for your email list?
This is the entire game… and once you figure this out, you’ll have the first part of your funnel game ready to crush it.
But before we talk about specific lead magnet ideas, let’s first talk about what a lead magnet is supposed to do.
What Makes A Lead Magnet Valuable?
There are a few crucial objectives that you need to check off on your lead-magnet checklist before you can be sure that your idea will work.
Let’s go over them.
It Needs To Provide A Solution
If your lead magnet doesn’t provide some kind of solution, you’re not going to make much headway with it.
People don’t just want free things. Your readers want helpful things that will help them to solve their problems.
It Needs To Be Specific To A Certain Problem
The more specific your lead magnets are, the more likely you will be to help your audience and users in seeking out a solution to whatever problem they are having.
It Needs To Promise (And Deliver) Immediate Results
You are in the business of providing results. But you also need to turn readers into customers.
How do you do that?
By making specific promises about your lead magnet, and then delivering on those promises!
The best lead magnets promise an immediate result, and then deliver on it. The delivery is immediate, the information is easy to utilize, the format is easy to digest, etc.
So choose a lead magnet for your marketing funnel that is not going to just promise actual results, but also deliver on them.
It Needs To Prove To Your Readers That You Are A Professional
Part of the entire lead magnet experience is proving to your users that you actually know what you’re doing.
This is trust and relationship building, and your lead magnet is your first big chance to earn their trust.
For this reason, it is incredibly important that you put your best foot forward. Whether you are delivering a report, a PDF, a tool, a video, a marketing plan, etc. you need to use this opportunity to prove that you are the guy who can give your users the solutions they are looking for.
It Needs To Create An Experience For The User
This is perhaps the most important part of all of this.
Your lead magnet can’t just deliver information.
If you really want to win with it, you must find a way to get it to translate to an actual, positive experience for the user.
This could be achieved in a number of ways.
If you produce a free MP3 file, lay some beautiful music over the words.
If you are writing a tutorial, include a motivational punch that will make them sit back and think “wow, I CAN do this!”
If you’re putting together an Ebook, include a section in the front that is very personal, where you deliver your story and speak directly to the emotions that your reader is likely feeling at this moment in time, as they face this problem.
You need to find a unique way to turn this lead magnet into more than just a free thing… it must also create an experience!
That’s how you create a lead magnet that actually crushes it and wins!
Alright, now that we’ve gone over the important parts of what lead magnets are supposed to do, let’s talk about some specific lead magnet ideas that you can create that will help your readers to become email subscribers!
How To Create A Lead Magnet – 17 Awesome Lead Magnet Ideas
Here are 17 different lead magnet examples that can help you to create the perfect opt-in magnet for your target audience.
1… A Video
A video sales letter can provide you with a great way to share more about your business with your audience, while also giving you the option to connect with them on a more personal level.
This video could be a webinar, it could be a vlog, it could be a video guide or course, it could be the intro to a sales letter that also provides a lot of value, etc.
People love videos because they offer an easy-to-understand format for just about everyone.
Are you in the beauty industry? Offer a free video to your audience that shows them how to do a specific makeup look… absolutely for free!
The Upsides: Video courses are pretty universal in helpfulness. Anyone can benefit from them.
The Downsides: You need at least some minimal video equipment to create this lead magnet.
2… An MP3 Audio File
An MP3 audio file could take the form of a podcast, audio from one of your premium video courses, an audio guide to doing a specific thing, etc.
This can be the perfect lead magnet idea because it can give your readers and audience fantastic examples of what you can do for them.
Are you in the social media marketing industry? Create an audio course where you talk for an hour about how local businesses can increase their social media potential.
Are you into guided meditations? Create an MP3 of a meditation, lay some music over it, and offer it as a free download to get people to sign up on your email form.
The Upsides: MP3 audio can give you an unique opportunity to create a more personal bond with your visitors.
The Downsides: MP3 files do require some technical knowledge to create. You need to record them, edit them, complete the meta data information, etc.
3… An Ebook
In some ways, a PDF or ebook can seem overdone… because they are very popular lead magnets.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do them right!
Are you in the advertising business? Create a free ebook showing your readers 10 Things They Can Do To Market Their Business For Free Today.
Are you in the weight-loss industry? Create a PDF about the secrets to losing weight without spending hours at the gym!
Remember, you want your lead magnets to offer solutions, prove your professionalism, and promise and deliver real, actual results!
The better your lead magnet is, the better the odds that you will earn a customer for your business when they download it!
The Upsides: An Ebook is a great lead magnet because it gives you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and ideas.
The Downsides: If you’re not a writer, creating an Ebook can be daunting!
4… A Course
Creating a valuable course that will help your audience to achieve their specific goals can be an awesome lead magnet idea.
A course can build trust because you can use it to teach your audience members to do a specific thing that will help them to solve a problem they are having.
For example… maybe your course teaches basketball players how to dunk? Maybe you used to be a professional boxer, and your course shows younger boxers how to compete better without taking as many hits?
You can create a course using multiple formats. You can use an image collection, text, video, or any combination of these.
The Upsides: Courses can be very customizable. You can create them using almost any medium you wish.
The Downsides: Designing a course can be a challenge if you’ve never actually sat down and gone over your methods before. Usually, this makes the first course you create the most challenging one!
5… A Template
A template tool can be delivered as a simple PDF document, but can give your customer a huge boost by showing them how to lay out a particular thing that they need to lay out.
Does your business know how to hire freelance writers? Put together a template for that, to help other digital marketers who need to do the same thing.
Give them templates for the job descriptions, for the task layouts, for the payment processing procedures… etc.
This will not only give them something very useful, but will also further prove to them that you are the best person to help them solve this challenging problem!
The Upsides: Templates are usually simple to produce, because you likely use them every day anyway.
The Downsides: Make sure that your templates are focused on your target audience. Few things are as uninteresting as a template that you don’t even need!
6… Secret Knowledge
Secret knowledge is an awesome hook for a lead magnet offer.
People love the idea of hidden, secret, forgotten knowledge.
Why? Because it contains an air of mystery.
But it also promises new information that other people aren’t using!
For secret knowledge options, try to spike curiosity and draw users into the idea with catchy, bold headlines.
“Learn This Ancient Japanese Technique For Focusing Your Mind And Achieving Higher Concentration Right Now.”
“This Free Ebook Will Teach You The Forgotten Art Of Brewing This Special Indonesian Healing Tea, To Absolutely Crush Your Weight Loss Goals And Help You Lose 4 Pound In Just Two Weeks!”
The Upsides: People love secret, forgotten knowledge… so this is a very powerful tool.
The Downsides: Sometimes, Google doesn’t like words like ‘secret’ to be included in headlines. So do your research, and make sure that you always check your keywords and split-test!
7… A Checklist
If you know how to do something really well (publish blog posts, paint houses, detail cars, hit home-runs, shoot 3-pointers, score dates, bake bread, etc.), then you can offer a checklist to help your potential customer do better at that same thing.
Maybe you give away a “32-point checklist for publishing perfect blog posts.”
It’s free, contains a ton of value, utilizes your skills, abilities, and knowledge to help your target audience, and also demonstrates that you have a vast amount of experience in this category.
A checklist is an awesome lead-magnet tool!
The Upsides: A Checklist is pretty easy to put together, simple to deliver, and user-friendly for your audience to implement.
The Downsides: If your checklist isn’t detailed enough, your visitors may feel like they didn’t get anything valuable for their time. Make it in-depth enough that it actually contains real, measurable value.
8… A Cheat Sheet
Are you really good at your business? Do you have valuable resources and knowledge that can help your readers?
Put together a PDF cheat-sheet to help them crush a problem they’ve been having lately.
In many ways, a cheat sheet is like a checklist. It gives your readers a process that they can follow over and over again to achieve the exact solutions that they’ve been looking for.
Great lead magnets deliver actual results… and a cheat sheet is awesome for that exact reason.
The Upsides: A cheat sheet is easy to put together.
The Downsides: If you’re not careful, a cheat-sheet that doesn’t offer enough value can feel very lackluster. So make sure to pack it full of value, as you would with a checklist.
9… A Swipe File
A swipe file is basically a collection of awesome inspiration pieces, templates, and examples that can be used to help you generate your own concepts and designs.
Swipe files are very commonly used to create awesome titles for blog posts, but they can also be offered up as lead magnets for people who need to design marketing materials.
Swipe file lead magnets will usually include a dynamic collection of examples to help people create the thing that they want to create.
This is especially common if you are trying to help writers, bloggers, and/or marketers… because you can give them a PDF filled with a huge number of headlines, titles, bullet points, and other awesome examples to help them crush their own writing/marketing projects.
The Upsides: If you are a content writer or copywriter, you probably already have awesome material for this.
The Downsides: This is probably not going to be a useful lead magnet for your visitors if you’ve never put a swipe file together before. Knowing what to include, and what not to include in your swipe file, is actually a pretty important skill that you only learn through experience.
10… A Script
If you are trying to help people sell to other people, then giving out scripts as lead magnets can be incredibly beneficial.
Maybe you are a master car salesman, and you are now offering your incredible car-selling script to young up-and-coming salesmen in return for them joining your email list?
Maybe you are the master of business-to-business high-ticket sales, and you are now offering your custom high-ticket sales script to your target audience in the form of a valuable magnet to help them level-up their own sales game!
The Upsides: A script is usually easy to put together and give away, as long as you actually have one that has proven that it can convert and sell.
The Downsides: Don’t be tempted to make your script too generic. If you usually throw bits of your personality into it, those are probably important… and you should probably include them when you put one together as a lead magnet.
11… A Web App
Web Apps are actually really awesome lead magnets. If you can design a free app that will help your customer to do something that they need to do quick and easily, you can offer this in exchange for their email address… and provide a ton of value while also building that mailing list!
Not long ago, I came across a site that was running a pretty cool funnel, and they were using an app for a lead magnet.
I downloaded the app because it helped me with some table-top gaming stuff I was doing. But pretty soon, I found myself going back to that site, because the app was so useful that I was interested in what else they could offer.
This is what you want! Deliver so much free value that people come back looking for more great options.
And they’ll do it, too… because once you prove that you can deliver solutions, you will become valuable to everyone who needs what you’re offering!
The Upsides: Giving away an app, or at least a free version of it, is one of the more powerful types of lead magnets available.
The Downsides: Designing an app takes real knowledge and skill. And if you don’t know how to create one yourself, you will have to spend money to hire someone to build it for you. This is one of the more difficult lead magnets to put together.
12… A Resource List
A resource list can be another awesome lead magnet. If you are in a particular type of business, and have knowledge of many different resources that people can use in that business, then compiling a list of them and offering to share it with your audience can be a fantastic way to gather new email addresses and opt-ins for your broadcast list.
Are you a digital marketer? Why not compile a resource list of the Best WordPress Tools Online, and offer that to people landing on your opt-in page?
The Upsides: Resource lists can be quick and easy to put together if you are on the front-lines of your industry.
The Downsides: If you don’t make your resource list exhaustive enough, it can feel like it isn’t really valuable.
13… One Of Your Authority Blog Posts In PDF Form
Sometimes, you don’t have to work very hard to create an awesome lead magnet that converts.
Some websites use existing content to do this.
If you have a blog post that is longer than usual, you can offer it as a free download in PDF format.
All the customer needs to do to get the blog post as a PDF is give you their email address and sign up for your mailing list!
This way, they can read it later at their leisure, or have it on their tablet when they need it.
It helps them, but it also helps you… because it gives you something to give away that won’t cost a bunch of extra money to produce, either.
Plus, you can do this with more than one of your authority posts… creating multiple different lead magnets for different pages.
The Upsides: This is a very quick and easy lead magnet to put together.
The Downsides: Resist the temptation to make it too much like the original. It is better to re-purpose it, add some extra content, and enhance it if you are going to offer it as a free download.
14… A Detailed Plan / Guide
If you know how to do something that other people struggle with, then you can provide an awesome solution in the form of a free, detailed plan or guide.
Sure, your readers may be able to find everything they need online.
But wouldn’t it be convenient if they could just download your detailed, step-by-step plan instead?
You can offer this on a relevant landing page, and basically give them the entire key to succeeding in one handy download!
All they need to do is put their email address into the form to get it. Super easy!
The Upsides: This is one of the most powerful lead magnets you can create, because it speaks specifically to providing a solution to a problem.
The Downsides: This one can be labor-intensive to put together.
This is one of the more situational lead magnet examples… but we’ve seen it used to great affect.
For example… if you are in the business of helping people to build better biceps, then you can offer a free printable page of the “Top Bicep Exercises Checklist” for them to take to the gym the next time they have an arm day.
These checklists could contain everything they need to crush it at the gym on arm day. But it can also be well-designed, contain a motivational quote, contain a place to put the date and time, and give them a quick resource that they can grab and use today to start crushing their workout goals.
The Upsides: Printouts can be very useful to customers, and can bring a lot of value in interesting ways.
The Downsides: You need to resist the temptation to make your printouts too generic, or they won’t be helpful enough to the people who need them the most.
Are you a fiction writer who wants to help other fiction writers with their craft?
Consider putting together a quick list of ‘fictional writing prompts’ to help writers dealing with ‘writer’s block.’
This is easy, can be put together in a simple PDF, can contain an image collection, a step by step guide to framing scenes, awesome plot-hooks, interesting items to put into the scenes… or pretty much anything you find helpful for getting started and dealing with the writer’s block problem.
And the best thing about it? It’s quick. A writer could fill in the email address form and sign up for your mailing list to get it right now, and be using it in five minutes.
That makes it an awesome lead magnet example.
The Upsides: Prompts can be fun to make, and can really help to showcase your creativity.
The Downsides: It can take quite a bit of time and mental energy to put a list of prompts together.
17… A Tutorial
The best tutorials are the ones that give you true step by step instructions for achieving what you want.
Are you a master at running awesome Facebook ads?
Consider putting together a step by step tutorial on “How To Design Awesome Facebook Ads That Actually Convert,” and send it to anyone who would choose to join your email list.
You can include an image at each step, include a report on your own findings, give quick tips, and basically tell your readers everything they need to know to succeed at this challenging goal.
You’re helping them and growing your email list at the same time! They’ll love it, and your business will benefit as a result.
The Upsides: Tutorials are one of the most effective lead magnet tools because they contribute directly to helping your audience achieve their goal.
The Downsides: Tutorials require quite a bit of thought and planning to put together.
How To Know Which Lead Magnet Example Is Right For You
Figuring out how to create a lead magnet can be daunting.
Neil Patel says that “The big clue is in the reception. If your digital copies aren’t flying off the shelf when it goes live, your issue typically comes back to a mismatch with your audience.”
And he’s right. Neil Patel knows that you need to think about your customer when you develop your lead magnet, instead of just thinking about what you have to offer.
What does your target customer need more than anything else? What problem are they trying to solve?
How To Choose Your Lead Magnet Format
Figuring out how to create the perfect lead magnet is a blend of three distinctly different ideas that you need to combine to create a balanced offering…
- What problem is your customer having?
- How can you best help to solve that problem?
- What format is the most logical, helpful format for making this solution a reality?
The answer will point you in the right direction… not only in choosing what your lead magnet is going to be, but also in identifying what format to choose when you actually create the lead magnet.
Is an ebook or a report the best choice? Do your customers need a quick template so that they can send out better sales emails? Do they need an image collection swipe file to help them with their digital graphics layout problems?
Do they need a checklist or a report that will help them to create the most dynamic blog post possible?
There are a million different possibilities.
You Should Also Play To Your Strengths
Are you an avid podcaster?
If so, then an audio MP3 file might work really well for you.
Are you a blog post writer?
If so, then maybe your lead magnet should be an ebook, a PDF, or some other text-based option.
Are you graphics designer?
Maybe your lead magnet should be an image based flowchart that shows other designers how to manage their time better and cut out distractions.
Once You Launch Your Lead Magnet, You Need To Split Test
Once you launch your lead magnet, your work is just getting started.
This is definitely not the end of the project!
Now, you need to develop new, different lead magnets, and test the old one against the new one in split-testing.
Split testing is basically A/B testing where you run two different versions of your funnel with one fundamental difference, to see which one performs better.
And you should absolutely be split-testing your lead magnets to find out which ones work better for which funnels.
6 More Tips To Make Your Lead Magnet Work Even Better
Learn To Keep Your Lead Magnet Targeted
It’s important to keep your lead magnets targeted. You need them to be super-relevant to your audience, and you need them to collect relevant leads who will actually be interested in what you’re offering.
If you don’t target your lead magnets correctly, you won’t convert the kind of relevant, focused traffic that you need to succeed.
Learn To Use A Different Lead Magnet For Each Stage Of Your Funnel
You will likely create a generic lead magnet at first, to help you start virtually all of your traffic down your funnel.
But as you get better at figuring out exactly what your audience is looking for, you’ll get better at showing them different lead magnets at different stages of your funnel.
You will also get better at figuring out which specific lead magnets to offer on which pages.
Once you learn to get this tip dialed in, you’ll be ready to send more blog post, email, and Facebook Ad traffic to the perfect lead magnets for your funnel.
Try Giving Your Audience A Small ‘Glimpse’ Into What They’ll Find In Your Lead Magnet
Offering lead magnets is one thing. But it is quite another to offer a bit more than just a headline and some bullets about what it can do.
Why not include a tiny snippet of what it contains?
You could include a quote or two from your ebook, or a preview of the video they’ll be getting.
It’s important to use whatever resources you can to get your readers to want what you’re offering.
So offer a little taste of what your lead magnet contains, and include that as you attempt to ‘sell’ it to your visitors.
Offer Your Best Content In Your Funnel
It can be tempting to save your ‘best’ content for a paid product. But this is actually a pretty common misconception!
Your lead magnet should contain a tremendous amount of value.
It may seem like you are giving it away for free, but that isn’t really true.
You’re actually making a fantastic deal for your business by ‘trading’ it away.
You’re getting a potential customer’s email address!
If You Plan To Offer Content You’ve Already Given Away, Repurpose It First
Are you planning on turning a high-performing blog post into a downloadable file for a lead magnet?
If so, then you should really consider making it more special than just a downloadable blog.
Do what you can to make it a more attractive offering.
Re-purpose your 5 best blog posts into an Ebook, record that information into an MP3, or present your blogs in a video format to go more in-depth with the information.
The idea here is that your lead magnet needs to be a special thing.
If it’s not special, and/or if it is actually something your visitors have already seen… then the ‘lackluster’ nature of it may hurt your efforts.
Consider Using Content Upgrades To Create Compelling, Awesome Lead Magnets
If you’ve published a blog post titled “How to score more dates with women,” then a great lead-magnet product to present to readers on that post might be “A step-by-step guide to scoring 50% more dates now!”
See, the blog post gave users some great information. You might explain concepts, talk about dos and don’ts, answer frequently asked questions, etc.
But when you present the lead magnet, they are actually getting a chance to sign up for something that will give them step by step instructions to achieving what they want.
This is a content upgrade, and it works really well as a lead magnet because it is super relevant, very helpful, and uniquely created to be focused on one specific type of potential customer.
All of this equals a pretty brilliant recipe for success.
Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand how to create a lead magnet the right way.
Compelling lead magnets are essential to success. And if you don’t do it right, your business will suffer.
Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question if you have one!
We love to keep the conversation going.
Until next time, keep creating!