List Building

Lead Magnet Ideas: 27 Ways to Grow Your List (With Examples)

Cai EllisRobert Brandl

By Cai & Robert

best online form builder

Leads won't share their contact details with you simply because you asked. You usually have to “bribe” them with a valuable lead magnet freebie to collect their email address.

You most likely already know this, though. And that’s why you’re brainstorming lead magnet ideas to capture email addresses and build your list.

So, what other lead magnet options are there besides checklists and ebooks?

Well, continue reading to discover 27 lead magnet ideas that are guaranteed to capture leads. You’ll also learn some pro tips to help you make them irresistible.

Let’s dive right in!

Lead Magnets Based on Unique Content

Lead magnets can be created with different types of content. These content-driven lead magnet ideas will help you attract leads with actionable solutions to their pain points.

Ebook

I can already hear you protesting, “But do ebooks still work?”. I get it! Lead magnet ebooks are so popularly used (ineffectively), that these days, many leads will ignore them.

However, the problem isn’t the ebooks. It’s that many businesses offer ebooks that don’t provide any value to their prospects. And so, they don’t attract or capture leads.

The fact is, ebooks are still a great lead magnet idea. But they must contain actionable and insightful content that helps prospects solve their problems.

For instance, an ebook titled “8 Reasons You Should Consider Downsizing Your Home” doesn’t provide actionable value. People would rather read this as a blog post.

A better lead magnet would be, “8 Things To Do Before Downsizing Your Home (That Probably Didn't Cross Your Mind).”

This would attract the attention of leads. They would want to find out what they have to do to downsize their home and be compelled to submit their contact details to download the ebook.

Bottom line? Offer ebooks with practical content that can help your prospects get something done, solve a problem, or achieve a goal.

Take our lead magnet at Email Tooltester. It isn’t just an ebook on why email marketing is important. But a step-by-step guide that shows you how to get started with email marketing. Grab it here, if you haven’t.

Email marketing crash course lead magnet ebook offered by Email Tooltester.

Email Tooltester lead magnet ebook idea

Pro Tips:

  • Offer practical ebooks such as how-to guides and quick-start manuals.
  • Design an attractive cover with a captivating title that captures attention.
  • Include action tasks and to-dos that leads can implement and get a quick win.
  • Avoid blocks of text and use images and graphics to make the ebook more engaging.
  • Co-create your ebook with an expert whose involvement would attract more leads.

Whitepaper

If you’ve ever wondered what a whitepaper is, you’re not alone. I used to think it was a fancy name for an ebook created by “serious” businesses who want to seem formal and professional.

Now that I’m an expert, I know it isn’t. Sure, it’s sort of like an ebook, and it’s sometimes choked full of industry buzzwords and jargon. But, essentially, it’s a research-based document.

A whitepaper presents your expert analysis of a problem and your proposed solution. And when you offer it for free, prospects and leads who are experiencing the problem will download it to learn your viewpoint or solution.

Whitepapers are a great lead magnet idea, especially if you’re a B2B business. They help showcase your expertise to decision-makers and position your business as a thought leader in your industry.

For instance, this Netronic whitepaper will attract SMB organizations interested in ideas to simplify production scheduling with Gantt Chart visualization.

White paper lead magnet idea

Whitepaper lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Create a whitepaper that tackles a unique problem in your industry.
  • Give it a provocative title that intrigues leads and stimulates their curiosity.
  • Use anecdotes and real-life stories to frame the problem and engage readers
  • Include mini-case studies to provide concrete evidence of the effectiveness of your proposed solution.
  • Share behind-the-scenes information on how you conducted your research and gathered expert insights for the whitepaper.

Case Study

A case study is basically your previous clients making a case for your business. It showcases the process of how your business helped a real customer overcome their challenge.

Remember that client you helped x10 their revenue? Or that customer who wouldn’t stop gushing about how your solution helped them achieve something impossible?

You can turn that raving review or testimonial into a case study lead magnet that will attract more leads to your business.

Here’s how…

Interview the customer about their problems before and after using your business. Then, create a case study document or video showcasing the challenges faced, solutions implemented, and results achieved.

Prospects will give you their email address in exchange for the case study, to get a practical glimpse of how your product works and, more importantly, how it worked for someone like them.

Case study lead magnet of how Prosper grew Jupiter Network's revenue by 25%

Case study lead magnet idea example. Source: Wishpond

Pro Tips:

  • Write a magnetic case study title that highlights the success or result achieved.
  • Use concrete data and before and after images to show the impact of the solution.
  • Include snippets of the clients’ video interviews or quotes from the featured clients.

Email Course

No, I don’t mean a course about email (marketing). An email course is a course delivered via email over a certain period – a couple of days or weeks.

Leads are attracted to free email courses because they’ll gain actionable insights and practical knowledge at zero cost. And, the value is delivered in an interactive and guided learning experience.

Also, an email course gives you multiple opportunities to engage with new leads, unlike a document or video that is downloaded once (and likely forgotten). So, it doesn’t just help you capture leads, but also nurture them into customers.

Know what else is great about email course lead magnets? You don’t have to create them from scratch. You can repurpose an ebook or a section of your existing premium course and offer it to prospects for free as an email course.

An example of an email course lead magnet is this Blogging for Devs offer. The lead magnet is a free, 7-day email course that teaches developers to grow their reach through blogging.

Learn to grow your blog email course lead magnet offered by blogging for devs

Example of email course lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Craft a clear and enticing title for your email course that addresses a specific pain point or goal.
  • The course should contain exclusive, value-packed content that isn't readily available elsewhere.
  • Highlight the outcomes or skills that leads who opt-in will acquire when they complete the course.
  • Offer a digital certificate or badge, or some form of reward upon completion of the email course.

Checklist

Who wouldn’t grab a to-do list that helps track what to do and when? Only those who aren’t ready to take action to solve their problem. And even some of those people would enter their details to get the checklist to use later.

Checklists highlight key items or tasks that leads need to acquire or complete to achieve their goals. With one handy checklist, they can make sure they’re covering all their bases and save time.

Making your checklist printable is great. But, these days, not many people use a printer. Plus, most people will access the checklist on the go on their mobile. So, make your checklist clickable, so leads can check off items on the list with a click or tap like this Beesting Digital checklist.

Interactive SEO blog checklist lead magnet offered by Beesting Digital

Checklist lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Create a title that clearly communicates the benefits of the checklist.
  • Add a clear image of the checklist on the landing page or pop-up opt-in page.
  • Use clickable checkboxes, so tasks can be checked without printing the checklist.
  • Add a progress tracker to the checklist that changes as they complete each task.

Cheat sheet

Think of a cheat sheet as providing quick tips and key steps. Cheat sheets are usually one or two pages of essential information compiled in one place.

Leads often grab lead magnet cheat sheets because they summarize lengthy or complex explanations into key points, steps, or tips that they can access and use quickly. Like this cheatsheet for converting a regular van into a camper van.

A lead magnet form offering a free download of a van conversion cheatsheet.

Example of cheatsheet lead magnet idea

Your cheatsheet can also be a simple glossary of terms and definitions document. Or, a sheet that provides reference links to additional information. Or, a simplified summary of a detailed process to refresh the memory.

Pro Tips:

  • Craft a title that presents the cheat sheet as a unique solution or shortcut.
  • Use headers, numbered lists, and bullet points to make the content scannable.
  • Avoid lengthy explanations and keep your points concise and actionable.
  • Include references to other resources that provide more context or detailed explanations.
  • Add a short scenario-based example to illustrate how to apply the items on the cheat sheet.

Templates

Imagine a resource that helps you get something done in 30 minutes that would otherwise take you 2 hours. You’d want it, right? That’s what templates are.

They are ready-to-use, customizable designs, documents, or materials. And it’s an attractive lead magnet idea because it saves leads the hassle of starting from scratch.

Examples of templates that can be used as a lead magnet include resume templates, presentation templates, business plan templates, graphic design templates, copywriting templates, newsletter templates, etc.

A lead magnet opt-in page offering plumbing quote free templates to plumbers.

Quote templates lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Showcase a practical example of how the templates can be used.
  • Offer the template in various formats, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Canva, etc.
  • Indicate editable sections that can be customized and add placeholder content.
  • Include step-by-step instructions on how to use the template effectively.

Video training

Lead magnet ideas don’t have to be in text format. You can offer free video training to attract and capture leads. This can be a single video or a series of videos.

This lead magnet idea particularly works for online coaches and course creators. Let's say you're a fitness coach. A free training video for busy professionals to work out at their desks is a great lead magnet idea.

Moreover, you don’t have to create the video separately. You can offer one of the training videos from your paid offer as a free lead magnet for leads to get a peek at your services.

Here's an example of a free video training offered by a drop-shipping expert.

Video training lead magnet to teach you how to drop-ship

Free video training lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Share a short, captivating teaser that highlights the value of the training.
  • Create a high-quality video with crisp visuals, clear audio, and smooth editing.
  • Add time stamps in the video description for easy navigation to specific sections.
  • Provide transcripts or summaries of the video content alongside the video itself.

Newsletter

Yes, a newsletter is a lead magnet. Even though it doesn’t seem like you’re offering something tangible like a free ebook or training.

But, to attract leads to your newsletter, you must provide more than product updates, special announcements, and the latest news. You’ll have to offer something exclusive that provides value to your leads.

Check out this guide on how to create a newsletter that leads will actually read.

For instance, Justin Welsh offers an actionable tip for leads to launch, grow, and monetize their business. And, he uses the number of current subscribers and testimonials as social proof to show the value of his newsletter.

Newsletter lead magnet opt-in page to attract leads interested in becoming solopreneurs.

Newsletter lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Offer unique and exclusive content that addresses prospects’ interests.
  • Share a link to previous newsletters where they can see examples of what to expect.
  • Mention the number of subscribers who are currently receiving the newsletter.
  • Use creative CTAs such as “join the inner circle,” or “stay in the know.”
  • Add a testimonial of a subscriber who found your newsletter helpful.

Workbook

Not everyone likes exercises and assignments. But your leads would appreciate a workbook that helps them learn, practice and master a vital skill or tool.

A workbook is a practical guide that provides step-by-step instructions on how to get something done or achieve a goal. For instance, this minimalism workbook contains 9 exercise prompts that help leads align their intention to live a simple life.

Workbook lead magnet with 9 prompts to help people design and live a simple life.

Workbook lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Clearly define what the workbook would help prospects accomplish.
  • Make it interactive with clickable checkboxes and fillable answer sections.
  • Provide practical examples of the solutions to the exercises, that they can model.

Content Upgrades

Everyone wants an upgrade. And, if it’s for free? Yes, please. Content upgrades are additional value offered to prospects after consuming your content, usually a blog post or article.

You can offer ebooks, checklists, cheat sheets, and videos as content upgrades. HubSpot does this quite well by offering a content upgrade on almost every blog post they publish.

Hubspot email template content upgrade offered on a blogpost

Content upgrade lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure the content upgrade is aligned with the original content.
  • Position the content upgrade offer in a prominent spot where it stands out.
  • State how the content upgrade complements or adds value to the original content.

Lead Magnets based on Repurposed Content

You don't have to create lead magnets from scratch. You can repurpose the content you already have into PDFs, audios, and transcripts. Here are some lead magnet ideas based on repurposed content:

PDF version

When you create valuable content in the form of a blog or social media post, you can also offer it as a downloadable PDF to leads. This particularly works for step-by-step guides, tutorials, and recipes.

Leads would grab the offer to download the PDF version, as it would make the content more accessible to them. They won’t have to spend time and effort searching for it when next they need it. ShipBob uses this lead magnet idea on all their blog post.

ShipBob lead magnet offer to download a blog post as a PDF.

Lead magnet PDF idea

Pro Tips:

  • Add and mention that the repurposed PDF contains updated insights, not in the original content.
  • Offer the repurposed PDF as an actionable summary that contains only the key components of the original content.
  • Promote the PDF as a shorter and time-saving resource, and highlight the key updates to show its relevancy.

Audio version

Written and video content can be transformed into audio files to generate leads. You could even share the audio in the form of a podcast playlist that leads can subscribe to for free, to listen to.

Leads who don't have the time to read or watch your content would readily submit their details to download an audio version that they can easily listen to on the go. You’ll also capture leads who may have visual impairments.

Marie Forleo's Learn How To Get Anything You Want is a great example of a free audio training.

Marie Forleo Learn How To Get Anything You Want lead magnet audio form.

Free audio training lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Share teaser audio that outlines the value of the content and hooks leads' interest.
  • Highlight new insights or updates to the original content that’s been added to the audio version.
  • Provide the audio in a format that can be played on all devices.

Video transcript

Some leads prefer to read than watch. You can capture these leads by transcribing your video content and offering them the texts in a document in exchange for their contact details. This will also help you capture leads with hearing impairments.

For instance, if you run a web development academy, you could offer the transcript of a video on creating a responsive website. And, you'll make it more detailed with reference materials and code snippets.

Pro Tips:

  • Proofread the video transcript to correct errors and removes“uhms” and “ahs”.
  • Format it with clear headings and bullet points to enhance readability.
  • Add insights, or explanations that go beyond the video, for better understanding.

Lead Magnets that offer Exclusive Access

Exclusivity is hard to resist. These lead magnet ideas will compel leads to give you their email address to gain access to something exclusive.

Webinar

Fun fact – the word webinar is a combination of “web” and “seminar”. Thus, a webinar is a seminar hosted on the web using a live video conferencing platform, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, etc.

Webinars attract leads because they provide exclusive access to engage and learn directly from an expert for free. And besides capturing leads' email addresses, they can help you build your credibility.

For instance, this webinar offers leads (moms, in this case), an opportunity to learn how to get kids to listen without nagging them, from a nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.

example for online class

Webinar lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Craft a captivating title that clearly communicates the value of the webinar.
  • Highlight the main benefits that participants will gain when they attend.
  • Invite an expert to join the webinar and provide additional insights and tips.
  • Offer the webinar registration for a limited time to create a sense of urgency.
  • Offer webinar spots or invites exclusively to a specific group of leads.
  • Record the webinar and offer it as a lead magnet video to new prospects.

Private Group

People like to get exclusive access to things that are not available elsewhere. So, offering prospects private group membership is an attractive lead magnet idea.

You can set up a private group on Facebook or Slack, and promote it as a hub for exclusive resources and free expert support. Also, highlight the opportunity to network and collaborate with peers, just like this Product School slack community lead magnet.

Lead magnet form to join a slack community for product managers.

Private group lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Promise early access to new products and discounts, exclusively for members.
  • Limit the number of available memberships per time and set up a waitlist.
  • Share success stories of current members who have benefited from the group.

Event tickets

Got an upcoming in-person event? You can capture leads by offering a free pass or discounted early-bird tickets. If the event is one that will provide value to prospects, they’ll grab the opportunity.

Lead magnet offer for leads to get a free pass to a marketing event.

Event ticket lead magnet idea. Source: Picreel

Besides generating new leads, you can also use event tickets to qualify leads who are already on your contact list. These leads would be grouped into a new segment that you can nurture to the next stage of the customer journey.

Pro Tips:

  • Highlight the unique value and experiences attendees will gain from the event.
  • Showcase the event speakers or presenters and their expertise and credentials.
  • Mention the opportunity to connect and network with industry peers.
  • Include Q&A sessions and workshops that will engage attendees.

Lead Magnets that offer Discounts and Giveaways

Discount and giveaway offers are one of the most effective lead generation tactics. Here are some lead magnets ideas to try, especially for ecommerce businesses.

Free shipping

An offer of free shipping can be an effective lead generation tool for prospects who are still in the awareness or consideration stage. Simply ask them to enter their email to get a free shipping code they can use whenever they're ready to place an order.

Lead magnet form offering free shipping code to leads who sign up for monthly newsletter.

Free shipping lead magnet idea.

Most people will grab the opportunity, just in case. And, when they do, you can send them nurture emails to build your relationship until they finally make a purchase and use the free shipping code.

Pro Tips:

  • Showcase the free shipping offer on a prominent spot on your website.
  • Offer it as a pop-up that they see when they are about to click away.
  • Make the pop-up banners eye-catching with bold visuals that grab attention.

Discount on first purchase

Similar to the free shipping code lead gen offer, you can offer a discount on their first purchase to prospects that give you their email. They don’t necessarily have to make the purchase right away. They can use the discount code whenever they make their first purchase.

Obvi discount offer lead magnet form offering 20% discount for submitting email

Discount lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Position the discount as an exclusive offer for new subscribers.
  • State the discount percentage or amount clearly on the opt-in page.
  • Use visually appealing design elements to make the discount offer stand out.

Free trial

An offer to try something for free is one most people will take, especially if it’s something valuable. That’s why free trials are a popular lead magnet idea for software companies and email marketing services like ActiveCampaign.

Active Campaign free trial form. No credit card required.

Free trial lead magnet idea

Free trials attract leads because it’s an opportunity to use a software or product for free. This gives them the opportunity to test if it meets their needs.

You can offer free trials for a limited time, or offer limited features forever. Either way, you’ll have captured the lead’s email address, and you can then nurture them to pay for an upgraded account or product.

Pro Tips:

  • Clearly communicate if the offer is a limited time or limited feature free trial.
  • For limited-time free trials, highlight premium features available during the trial.
  • Offer the free trial with no strings attached and no credit card required.
  • Make the sign-up process easy by only asking for the required information.

Product samples

If you run a physical product business and can’t offer a free trial, not to worry. You can capture leads by offering product samples. Just like free trials, this will attract leads who are interested in trying your product.

Free lotion kids sunscreen product sample for U.S. customers.

Product sample lead magnet idea

Also, you can apply this lead magnet idea to intangible products that you can’t offer a free trial for. For instance, if you sell ebooks, you could offer a free sample chapter in exchange for the leads’ email address.

Pro Tips:

  • Use high-quality images or videos to showcase the product samples.
  • State the benefits of the products and how it would help your leads.
  • Indicate that free product samples are available in limited quantities.
  • Create anticipation for the product with exciting unboxing videos.
  • Share positive testimonials of customers who have used the product.

Free consultation

This lead magnet idea works great for service providers. Leads will sign up for free consultations to get ideas about how to solve their problems for free, and learn more about how you or your business can help them.

Book a free consultation form for businesses who want to scale their software product

Free consultation lead magnet idea

Moreover, offering a free consultation not only gives you the opportunity to showcase your expertise, but also to qualify potential clients to see if they are a right fit for your business.

Pro Tips:

  • Assure leads that the free consultation is obligation-free and requires no commitment.
  • Outline the value of the customized action plan that leads will receive in a free consultation.
  • Offer limited free consultation slots per period to encourage leads to sign up quickly.
  • Connect the offer to your calendar, so leads can schedule a convenient time themselves using an online scheduling tool.

Free quote

A free quote is an attractive lead magnet idea for generating leads who need customized solutions or services. Leads will grab the offer because it’s an opportunity for them to get personalized pricing information or the potential cost of a service.

For instance, if you run a car insurance company, you could offer leads interested in insuring their car a free quote. And, they’ll have to enter their details, so that you can create the quote and send it to their email.

Free car insurance quote offered by Geico to help leads find cheap and personalized insurance rate.

Free quote lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Outline the information leads need to provide to receive a free quote.
  • Use a quick and easy request form that requires minimal effort to complete.
  • Assure leads that requesting a free quote doesn't come with an obligation to buy.

Interactive Lead Magnets

Interactive lead magnets are fun and encourage participation. These lead magnet ideas will engage and capture more leads for your business.

Quiz

Obviously, I’m not suggesting difficult math quizzes! But fun and engaging quizzes that don’t take too much time or brainpower to complete. Here’s how you can use them as a lead magnet.

Set up a quiz to help leads gain insights into their pain points, discover their strength, or solve a problem. The quiz can have multiple-choice or true/false questions. Then, encourage them to submit their email address for a detailed report or further support.

This financial fulfillment quiz consisted of 10 yes/no questions and took only two minutes to complete. And in the end, leads are asked to enter their details to see their result instantly.

Short quiz to help leads determine how close they are to financial fulfillment.

Quiz lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Craft a catchy quiz headline that captures attention and sparks curiosity.
  • State the purpose of the quiz and the benefit of taking it.
  • Include a progress indicator to show how close they are to completing the quiz.
  • Provide instant results at the end of the quiz before asking them to share their contact.

Contests

Similar to quizzes, you can organize fun and engaging contests and offer irresistible prizes to generate leads. However, ensure that the prize is related to your product or business.

For instance, a graphic design company offering an iPhone 14 as a reward for a contest will attract many leads. But most of them wouldn’t be their target audience. A more appropriate reward would be a graphic design software.

Contest opt-in form for marketers to win a free year of graphic design software

Contest lead magnet idea example. Source: Wishpond

Pro Tips:

  • Outline the requirements to enter the contest and win the prize.
  • Make it easy to participate in the contest – minimal effort needed.
  • Offer valuable prizes that are relevant to your target prospects' needs.
  • Design an appealing banner that showcases the prizes to create excitement.

Survey or Poll

A survey or poll can serve as a lead magnet. However, you’ll have to offer a reward to leads who participate. And, make sure it’s relevant to their interest or pain points.

Also, you can offer the results of the survey or poll as a report that your audience would be interested in. For instance, this Mailchimp lead magnet is the report created from their global survey of agencies and freelancers.

Mailchimp benchmark report of the global survey of agencies and freelancers.

Survey report lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Share the benefits of the survey or poll and how their input will be a great contribution.
  • Keep the survey or poll short and concise, with minimum effort to participate.
  • Make the survey or poll interactive with varied questions and rating scales.
  • Highlight the insights they’ll get from the survey or poll report.

Calculator, Tool, or App

These assess leads’ information and provide them with personalized results, which they gain insights from to identify their pain points and make informed decisions.

For instance, if you’re a real estate agent, you could offer a calculator that estimates down payments, interest rates, mortgage payments, etc., to attract and capture potential home buyers.

Real estate calculator lead magnet to help leads estimate downpayment and mortgage rate.

Calculator lead magnet idea

Pro Tips:

  • Design a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.
  • Provide clear instructions on how to use the calculator or app.
  • Offer the option to share or export the generated results or insight.
  • Provide immediate results that can help users make decisions quickly.
  • Ensure the calculator/tool is mobile-responsive, so leads can access it on the go.

Lead Magnet Ideas Summary

Most leads will give you their email address in exchange for a freebie lead magnet. And you can attract and capture leads easily with the 27 lead magnet ideas and pro tips you've discovered in this post.

However, remember that your lead magnet must be valuable, relevant, and specific to your target prospects. So not all of the ideas will be suitable for your business. For instance, if you run a service-based business, the free delivery lead magnet idea will be unsuitable.

Also, you’ll need more than one type of lead magnet to capture leads at different points and from different sources. Take the time to explore the lead magnet ideas in this post and implement a couple that suits your business.

Feel free to share the ideas you think are suitable for your business in the comments.

The authors

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Cai Ellis

SEO Manager

Hi! My name is Cai, and I've worked in digital marketing for many years. More recently, I've been concentrating on email marketing, through testing tools and writing guides. And I've also picked up a bit of SEO know-how along the way! If you've got questions about these or any related subjects, I'll be happy to help!

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hello! I'm Robert, an email marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. After honing my skills by serving major corporations working for an agency, I founded EmailTooltester as a passion project to help small and medium-sized businesses. My goal is to assist you in maximizing email marketing's potential.

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

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