10 Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Power Up Your Email List

If a “lead” is a potential customer, then a “lead magnet” is something meant to attract potential customers. Lead magnets have been around for as long as there has been marketing, and range from free samples at the grocery store to an online webinar.

Nowadays, most lead magnets consist of free products or content that potential customers receive in exchange for their contact information. This is an opportunity for a person or business to build a relationship with each potential customer.

Sounds simple, right?

Still, it can be tricky to decide what type of lead magnet is best for your business. Here are 10 common lead magnets and how best to use them.

to do list with paper and pen

1. Checklist

A checklist provides a series of practical actions or necessary items that help the reader implement a strategy or achieve a goal. Think of the wants and needs of your target audience, and what you can provide to help them out. Create a short, easy-to-follow list of steps or items they need to reach their goals. Include your branding and contact information at the bottom of the list.

2. Informational video

After Facebook, YouTube has become the most popular social-media platform, where users consume 500 million hours of video every day. The vast majority of online marketers use some kind of video. There’s no question that video is hugely popular among Internet users, and it’s continuing to grow. Get on the bandwagon with short videos that provide helpful information. (Hint: just about any of the lead magnets in this list can be turned into a video!

3. Tutorial

Whether written out step-by-step or demonstrated in a video, tutorials are a great way to showcase your products and inform your customers and leads. For example, software companies might offer videos demonstrating how to use their products, or how to perform a particular task with their product. Just like with the checklist, you must consider the priorities and desires of your target audience, and craft a tutorial accordingly.

young man watching video on his laptop

4. Webinar

A webinar, as the tutorial’s beefier cousin, is good for providing in-depth information about a more complex topic. Besides providing value to potential clients, a webinar can demonstrate industry knowledge and assure your target audience of your expertise. It should provide not only how-to advice, but background information, supporting data, and additional information from expert sources. For example, if new or upcoming legislation will bring significant changes to your industry, a webinar could help users understand and navigate those changes.

5. Book

Yes, a real book! Among the rumors that print is dead, a bound book with real paper and ink can help you stand out from the crowd. If there’s a book that helps explain your industry or product, or if a company executive wrote or contributed to a book, consider providing a free copy as a lead magnet. (You may or may not want to collect a small, additional fee to offset the cost of shipping.) This is a great way to gain the trust of uncertain leads.

6. Template

A template serves as an elaboration on the checklist, providing a little more guidance about how to create a specific piece of content. Templates usually take some form of fill-in-the-blank. For example, a law firm might provide a template for a basic will or contract. Dietitians could provide templates for meal plans or grocery shopping lists. Marketing agencies often provide templates for websites, blog posts, and, yes, even lead magnets!

question mark written on blackboard

7. Quiz

Who doesn’t love a quiz? It’s hard to resist finding out what your favorite dessert says about your love life, or how you would die in Game of Thrones. You might dismiss them on an intellectual level, but quizzes are not only popular lead magnets, but also drive engagement. Sources from the New York Times to Buzzfeed provide popular, frequently shared quizzes. Create a quiz by thinking of what your potential leads want to know about themselves or their business, and provide actionable advice based on the results.

8. Free trial

This is an excellent option for industries that provide long-term services, including marketing agencies, medical device companies, and software solutions providers. Free trials give customers a “taste” of your company’s services and let them test it out, hopefully to the point that they can’t imagine life without it! Most offers last somewhere between 7 and 30 days, depending on what makes sense for the particular company.

9. Toolkit

What do your customers (or potential customers) want and need to accomplish? Help them out by combining a few of the above lead magnets into a free bundle of applications and instructions. Depending on the business, a toolkit might offer help with time management, website design, or business growth. While it may seem like you’re giving away trade secrets, it really just proves that you know your stuff.

10. Resource or link roundup

This is similar to a toolkit, but more open-ended. Rather than giving your lead specific instructions, you’re pointing them toward more information. The resources don’t have to be things that you’ve produced. For example, many blogs in the freelance-writing niche offer some variation on “Lists of Websites That Pay Writers.”

Which lead magnet should you offer?

Not all lead magnets may be suitable for each prospect, in every company, in all industries. The important thing is to think about what is important to your clients and prospects, consider what they need and want, and then develop a lead magnet that addresses it.

What lead magnets have you used in your organization? What works best for you? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading! If you’ve found this post helpful, or know someone who could benefit from it, share away!

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