Most companies are well-aware by now that websites attract readers by offering valuable and appealing content. But how can you ensure the readers come back when they decide it’s time to buy? The most reliable and effective way to keep in touch is through email marketing. This is where lead magnets come in.

What are lead magnets?

Lead magnets are offers that people will gladly exchange their email address for.

A variety of lead magnets can be promoted throughout your website, as well as through social media and online ads. Their purpose is to build up your email list – or convert website visitors to leads.

Following is a list of lead magnets that have been proven to work well for businesses large and small. All of which would require an email address to gain access.

1. Ebooks

This would be the most commonly used lead magnet, and proves very popular. Ebooks are typically a 32-72 page PDF download that can contain, for example:

  • How to deal with a specific pain point experienced by your customers
  • An outline of how one of your services works
  • A selection of blog articles compiled into one book

2. Worksheet

A worksheet can give your readers the chance to run a DIY diagnosis or audit for themselves. They don’t feel obliged to you, but by the end of the worksheet they may feel more confident that they need your help and would benefit from your services.

3. Checklist

This is similar to a worksheet, but requires less input by the user – simply ticking off items as they follow a process.

4. Cheat Sheets

A cheat sheet is much like a checklist, except the process may be a repetitive one, and the user refers to the cheat sheet to follow the steps each time.

5. Quiz

Quizzes can be fun and inviting. You can have your users hopping through the steps, anticipating useful feedback. Not only do you gain their email addresses, but you can gather valuable information about your audience – how they think and what they like or dislike.

You have to pay a price for these slick services, but the response can be huge. A popular service for interactive web tools is Outgrow.


6. Survey

Rather than testing people, like a quiz, a survey is asking for factual answers and opinions. Some audience members can take a real pleasure in contributing to an upcoming report. And look forward to seeing the results and how they measure up.

7. Reports & Whitepapers

These can contain useful facts for your prospects, such as industry reports, usage figures, outcomes and opinion polls. The information you supply could be global, national or local. If you think your audience would want it, it’s a good report to share.


8. Case studies

Case study sheets can be a great way to illustrate how your products or services have helped companies and individuals. They are like turbo-testimonials.

9. Fact sheets

If you have a product or service that involves detailed information – such as technical data, specifications, inclusions, who it is suited for – a fact sheet might be useful in helping your audience decide which way to go.

10. Calculator

People like to see numbers when it comes to reaching goals. A tool relevant to your services that helps people figure out what’s achievable and what to expect can be a winning lead magnet.

11. Planner

Planners and calendars relate to getting organised and getting on top of things. Being offered something to make life easier can get a great response.


12. Spreadsheet

Another great organisational tool. Spreadsheets can be used for budgets, projects or anything related to your services that involves some time or planning.

Set up the columns and some sample content, and you have a valuable asset that your audience will love.

13. Free trial or demo

If you offer physical products or software, this tends to be a high converter. Fears of purchasing are reduced and you are displaying confidence in your product.

free trial

14. Free quote

OK, most quotes are free these days. But if you make your quote request as available, inviting and easy to do as possible, you will find an increase in submissions.

15. Free consultation

If members of your audience are thinking seriously about your service, and simply aren’t sure about a few minor details, this can be worthwhile for you.

Even if you don’t close a sale, you will have their contact information, so you can continue nurturing the relationship.

16. Discount or Coupon

Similar to the free trial or consultation, this is another way to present a saving to your audience.

17. Webinar

Webinars are a great way to build your reputation as an authority. You can run it in the comfort of your own office, and reach hundreds or thousands of attendees. You don’t need a venue, and you can reach people who would otherwise not be able to attend a physical address.

18. Catalogue

Have a printed catalogue you use offline? Why not offer it on your website in exchange for email addresses?

19. Slides

If you run presentations, chances are you already have a great selection of slides at hand. Edit them to make sense on their own and they make an irresistable lead magnet.

20. Email course

An email course is basically a series of short lessons drip-fed over time as email content – usually one email per day. For example, “7 Steps To A Better Marketing Plan”. Your email marketing service should allow you to automate the drip-feed.

21. Kit

A ‘Kit’ refers to a bunch of useful files on one subject zipped together as one download. For example, a ‘Marketing Kit’ could include a PDF with instructions on how to use the kit, a Word document to answer questions about goals and targets, and a spreadsheet for planning a marketing schedule.


22. Membership access

Offering access to a private area of your website or to a Facebook group can be tempting if it promises access to resources like downloads or videos, or joining discussions with like-minded people and getting special feedback from other members.

23. Video

A video is much like a pre-recorded webinar, only it is more smoothly scripted and edited, and doesn’t offer FAQs at the end. It can be a tutorial or a short tip for the day.

24. A 30-day challenge

This is like the email course, only longer and involves interaction online where members support each other and exchange questions. It may be a Facebook group or a private forum on your website.

30 day challenge

Offer what your audience will love you for

The lead magnets you decide to use should be relevant to your particular target audience and reflect how your company can help them.

Once people are on your email list, you are able to continue to delight them. This strengthens the connection you have with them, so when they are ready to buy you are right there for them. No more waiting for them to come back to you by chance.

Carolyn Wilson
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