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25 Best Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples for Every Business

Do you know the best way to grow sales in the long term?

Own your customers’ data. Period. 

How? 

That’s easy (at least in theory)—you have to build a big email list of engaged subscribers.

And because you’ve probably already figured that people won’t give you their contact details for free, that’s where lead magnets come in handy.

Don’t know which one works best for your business or how to make one without spending a fortune? Worry not! We got you covered with our list of 25 irresistible lead magnet ideas you can steal away.

Ready?

Let’s roll. 

1. Cheat Sheet

Cheat sheets are great for lead generation. Also known as a crib sheet, a cheat sheet is a list of notes for reference.

The perk of a cheat sheet is that you can create one on any topic. For instance, here’s a cheat sheet by WholesomeYum on how to properly follow the product list for a Keto diet. This cheat sheet has a separate lead magnet landing page, and once you fill in your contact details, you get the PDF file sent to your email:

Credit: WholesomeYum

For those, who are following the Keto diet, this cheat sheet can be handy – you can print it, attach it to your fridge, and consult with it every time you plan your meals for a week.

2. Template

A template is a file that serves as a layout for a document. Like cheat sheets, lead magnet templates can be created on any topic.

What are the characteristics of a good template?

  • easily-modifiable
  • universal 
  • printable

If you’re looking for examples of the templates that combine all three characteristics, consider Resume.io. There are numerous CV templates to choose from, but to access them, you need to share your contact details: 

Credit: Resume.io

Once you have that done, you can access a CV template of your choice, edit and download it for print:

Such templates work perfectly as lead magnets because they take a significant chunk of work off the person’s shoulders. It can take a lot of time to create a CV from scratch, but with a template, you can do it in a few clicks.

3. Workbook

A workbook or a worksheet is a lead magnet that aims at helping a person solidify their knowledge on a specific subject. As a lead magnet, a workbook has immense value and also works wonders for your brand’s authority in the industry.

A great example of a lead magnet workbook is the one on content marketing by LinkedIn:

Credit: LinkedIn

There is a separate lead magnet page for this workbook to fill out the contact details. Once you have that done, you get redirected to another landing page with this  PDF file:

The workbook contains a lot of exercises, mainly for content marketing newbies. Prefacing every exercise is a brief explanation of the topic, making this workbook a compelling lead magnet and a useful resource for studying.

4. Swipe file

A swipe file is a collection of resources with ideas on a specific topic. For instance, copywriters often keep a swipe file with headline options, content promotion ideas, topics for future articles, etc.

Swipe files present a lot of value to leads because they contain unique content assets. For instance, a swipe file lead magnet with social media resources  is something that makes Digital Marketer stand out: 

Credit: Digital Marketer

This swipe file is a valuable resource for the copywriters who struggle with writer’s block – there are 72 headline formulas for catchy social media ads and blog articles.

5. Case study

A case study is an in-depth research of a particular case, such as a partnership between two businesses. 

Much like an ebook, a guide, or a report, a case study should present unique value. For instance, the following example of a case study by Horton Group shares how the company helped Canopy South build its branding strategy from scratch: 

Credit: Horton Group

Apart from being an effective lead magnet, a case study is also a fantastic marketing resource. If you do it right, a case study can add a few extra points to your authority as a knowledgeable brand. 

6. Toolkit

You can also generate leads and earn authority in your niche by designing a toolkit. It is a bundle of templates, checklists, e-books, and so on that can be helpful during a particular activity (writing a blog post, creating beautiful visuals for social media, and so on).

Toolkits work great as lead magnets because they already have all the essential hands-on resources on a specific topic. Just take a look at the following toolkit by JB Media Group:

Credit: JB Media Group

It contains essential tools for becoming a digital marketing expert – ebooks, guides, templates, checklists, and case studies. 

7. Webinar

A webinar is an online event (a lecture, presentation, or workshop) hosted for a group of people.

Webinars work great as lead magnets for the following reasons:

  • they offer great value
  • you can build a rapport with potential leads right away
  • webinars are rich in content, such as polls and surveys, that can help qualify leads

The best lead magnet webinar offers useful advice and real-life cases, like the following one by Moz:

Credit: Moz

This webinar contains a theoretical part and shares practical advice that the participants can apply right away.

8. Product trial

A product trial is a subscription-based option that allows a potential customer to try out a product before purchasing it.

A free trial is a great lead magnet for SaaS companies. For example, Tidio offers a seven-day free trial of its product with all the premium features. After this period is over, a user can downgrade to a freemium plan or upgrade to a pro plan. 

Credit: Tidio Live Chat

Product trials are usually available for a short time, which, in most cases, is enough to turn a lead into a buying customer. Besides a free trial, companies usually run an email campaign to nurture leads.

9. Coupons/Discount codes

A coupon and a discount both offer a potential customer a lucrative deal. As lead magnets, coupons and discounts are very popular among B2C businesses, especially e-commerce brands.

Coupons and discounts are usually distributed using pop-ups when a potential customer first visits the shop. Here’s an example of such a discount on Fashionnova’s website:

Credit: Fashionnova

You can see why coupons and discounts are perfect lead magnets for B2C businesses – most people who are shopping online are looking for good deals, and a coupon or a discount is a great way to get their attention.

10. Catalog

Another excellent example of a lead magnet for e-commerce is a catalog—a selection of items sold by a business.

Ashley Home Store uses an online catalog to generate leads:

Credit: Ashley Furniture

Why would prospects be interested in product catalogs?

The answer is simple—catalogs allow the leads to review product listings both online and offline. And, stores like IKEA wouldn’t keep issuing catalogs for so many years if they weren’t working, would they? 

11. Samples

Free trials aren’t always an option for some businesses. But if you still want to generate leads by allowing people to review your product before buying it, consider samples.

A sample is a trial version of a product that shows a few of its key features but keeps the other in suspense. For instance, Storyterrace offers sample chapters of the books in exchange for an email address:

Credit: Storyterrace

You can also use audio and video samples to promote your online courses, webinars, and other offers that attract leads.

12. Spin-the-wheel pop-up 

One more B2C lead magnet idea is a spin-the-wheel game. It usually displays as a pop-up and works like a lottery – a consumer spins the wheel and wins one from several different offers.

Here’s an example of a spin-the-wheel pop-up from Ashley Home Store’s website:

Credit: Ashley Furniture

How to create a lead magnet like this?

If you have an in-house graphic designer, they could create a pop-up for your website with branded elements. Another option is a lead magnet creator like Beacon or Optinmonster, which already has templates for different pop-ups.

In general, spin-the-wheel pop-ups work great as lead magnets. Consumers love gamification elements when they interact with a brand. Besides, there’s also the instant gratification element involved. 

13. Newsletter sign up

A newsletter is a report that contains the latest news from a business and the current events in the industry. It can also be simply a digital letter sent to subscribers from a company or an individual blogger that talks about a particular topic.

Newsletters are subscription-based and require an email address, like the one by Backlinko in the example below:

Credit: Backlinko

What makes a good newsletter lead magnet?

A newsletter should mostly contain educational content with a few promotional features. There is no point in investing in a newsletter if it’s stuffed with brand offers, which you can also place elsewhere.

14. Free consultation 

A free consultation is an initial meeting with a brand’s representative, during which they meet their customer, get an idea of their issue, and decide whether they can solve it. 

You can often come across free consultations as lead magnets when visiting a website of a law firm, like the one in the example below:

Credit: Steve Rice Law

As you can see, you need to fill out a contact form before scheduling an appointment. Thus, it’s also a great option to grow your email list.

15. Quiz

A quiz is a form of a gamified survey, which answers a particular question. Quizzes can test general knowledge, define a personality type, or calculate IQ.

For instance, the quiz lead magnet below by High5Test allows you to find out your strengths and weaknesses. But, before you get your results, you need to share your contact details:

Credit: High5Test

A quiz lead magnet is a win-win both for a lead and a brand. A lead gets valuable information, and a brand acquires a potential customer.

16. Planner/Calendar

A planner and a calendar both have the same purpose—to organize and simplify a particular activity. That’s why they work great as lead magnets.

For instance, you can offer a content planner, like the one by CoSchedule in the example below, in exchange for a subscription: 

Credit: CoSchedule

Keep in mind that a planner and a calendar should allow easy edits, much like templates we talked about earlier. 

17. Generator/Calculator 

Similar to planners and calendars, generators and calculators help simplify a particular activity. They offer great value as lead magnets since they are easy to use and can solve a problem quickly and for free.

For instance, here’s an example of a blog title generator by Fat Joe:

Credit: Fat Joe

The generator provides ideas for blog titles. But if a person wants to get more than 100 titles, they need to share an email and keep using the tool for free. Calculators work the same way and can help you collect leads.

18. Gated premium content

Gated premium content is any content that requires a subscription. Essentially, almost any lead magnet example that we mentioned above can be turned into gated premium content.

The main difference between gated premium content and any other lead magnets is that the subscription for such content is often paid. For instance, SlidesGo offers limited access to only one presentation, while all others are only available to Premium subscribers:

Credit: SlidesGo

Although gated content is a very common example of a lead magnet, making it premium will depend on your audience’s purchasing power and the goals of your content marketing strategy. So, it’s better to check if your prospects are ready to buy your content before offering premiums. 

19. Report

A report is a piece of content that presents a summary of a particular topic. Much like case studies, reports often contain data and statistics to support the given points.

A good report always offers valuable insights for the industry players. For instance, here’s an example of a report on how the COVID pandemic impacts the role of a chief marketing officer:

Credit: B2B Marketing

Reports are great lead magnets, especially for a B2B content marketing strategy. Upon sharing their contact details, the lead will get access to credible data that they can apply in practice.

20. Infographic

If you want to attract leads with visual content that presents value, an infographic can work perfectly. It organizes data on a particular topic and makes it easier to perceive.

Any business can use an infographic as a lead magnet, which is its biggest perk. For instance, z57, a resource with real estate marketing tools, uses infographics as real estate lead magnets: 

Credit: z57

When a person shares their contact details, they get redirected to the page with an infographic of their choice. They can also share it on social platforms to educate others.

21. Email course 

An email course is a series of emails that teach a subscriber a particular subject. You can use such a course to drive more subscribers to your email list.

For instance, CopyCure successfully uses an email course to attract more relevant leads:

Credit: CopyCure 

Once a lead subscribes to CopyCure’s mail-out, they will get access to weekly copywriting lectures via email. Such an email course is relatively easy to create because it’s not necessary to create content for it from scratch. You can also design it once, tweak it as needed, and simply rip the benefits of it for months to come. 

22. Event tickets

What about treating your subscribers with exclusive access to your events? You can encourage potential customers to subscribe by making a lucrative offer and send them event tickets.

Event tickets as lead magnets work quite well for SEMrush: 

Credit: SEMrush

Sharing tickets is a cool idea—upon subscribing, the leads will feel like members of an exclusive club. As a result, you get more chances to turn them into actual buyers.

23. A PDF version

We’ve already mentioned a few lead magnets that appear as pdf files—guides, reports, templates, checklists, etc. Offering a PDF version of content is very low-cost. You can simply turn your blog posts into PDFs and offer them along with an online version of your content.

BigCommerce often offers some of its articles as pdf files, such as this Selling on Amazon guide: 

Credit: BigCommerce 

A pdf lead magnet allows a lead to download an article and read it offline at any time. Such formats are also easy to share with others since they now own your device.

24. White paper

A white paper is a form of a report that touches upon a specific subject and provides a business’s view on it. Much like reports and case studies, white papers are often evidence-based and involve a lot of data. 

White papers are also very popular lead magnets because they offer an insider view of some industry-related topics. For instance, Smithers has a white paper lead magnet on how COVID-19 has impacted the printing industry: 

Credit: Smithers

The unique value of a white paper lies in its practicality. Ideally, a white paper helps analyze and understand a complex issue based on a real-life example.

25. Presentation 

Finally, it’s always a great idea to get more leads with a presentation. Much like an infographic, a presentation visualizes information and makes data easier to perceive. Thus, it’s an excellent idea for a lead magnet. 

You can share your presentations on SlideShare, where leads can check them out. And, if they end up liking your presentations, they can download them, but not without sharing their contact details first. 

SEMrush often uses SlideShare to generate leads with their  presentations: 

Credit: SlideShare

It is also a good idea to create a separate landing page for a presentation and streamline leads through your website.

Get Creative with Your Lead Magnets

Phew, that’s a lot of information! But now you have an entire selection of lead magnets for every occasion and for the most demanding and hard-to-impress leads.

Before you jump right into creating a lead magnet, there’s one thing you need to remember when choosing one—your target audience is key.

The point of lead generation is to attract relevant leads, which is impossible if you don’t know who you’re targeting. So, figure out your target audience first, and the rest will be all plain sailing.

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