The Insider’s Guide to Lead Magnets: 20 Invaluable Lead Magnet Ideas to Boost Your Lead Generation Strategies & Results
Generating good leads and connecting with prospects who are interested in your brand are generally some of the top reasons that businesses invest time and resources into digital marketing. One of the most powerful ways to do is by using lead magnets. In fact, when lead magnets are developed and used in the right way, they can exponentially increase the amount of leads generated for a business.
But what are the right lead magnets? What do they look like? And why are they so effective?
To start answering these questions, let’s first take a look at exactly what lead magnets are and how they work.
Lead Magnets Defined: What Lead Magnets Are (& Why You Need Them)
A lead magnet is basically an enticing offer that proposes something of value in exchange for a prospect’s email (and/or other contact information).
More simply, a lead magnet can be thought of as an ethical bribe or a value proposal to prospects. We’ll give you something you want, need and can use if you give us your contact info. It’s based on the notion reciprocity, presenting a win-win offer in which both you and a prospect gets something of value.
Lead magnets can be powerful ways to incentivize people to enter your sales funnel. That’s because people tend to naturally (and automatically) feel obligated to reciprocate or give some value back after they’ve received something of value.
While good lead magnets can start to convert prospects who may already be interested in your business and its offerings, they can also convince and convert skeptics, inciting them to take notice of your brand, be open to learning more about it, etc.
Now that you know why you need lead magnets and how you can use them, let’s dive into some effective lead magnet ideas (because there’s LOTs of ways to create great lead magnets, based on the nature of your business, its web presence, your skills, and what your goals are).
Indispensable Lead Magnet Ideas for Your Business
We’ve broken these down into beginning, intermediate and advanced lead magnet ideas so you can dial into the options that best fit your circumstances and knowledge (both now and in the future as your skills advance).
Lead Magnet Ideas for Beginners
If your brand doesn’t have any (or a significant) web presence yet, here are some ways to start attracting new leads as you develop and grow your online presence and authority:
1. Create one (or more) opt-in landing page(s) – Set up a dedicated page where you can send people (from your social media pages, for instance) and share your value proposition. These pages don’t have to be complicated, and they can be a great way to start building an online presence if you don’t have a website yet (or if your site is being redesigned). Make sure they clearly share the offer and that they make it as easy as possible for people to opt-in (e.g., provide their email address and/or other contact info and readily receive the item they’re supposed to get in return).
2. Hold a contest – Ask prospects (or social media followers or others) to participate in some contest (like a photo or slogan contest, for instance). Require them to submit their email address to participate, and give the winners a product or service for free. You can even offer some discount to any participant (to encourage more participants and generate even more email submissions). This has the added benefit of creating your first product/service evangelists, establishing a great base for social proof. And good social proof can go a long way to convincing others to try out your product(s) and/or service(s) in the future.
More than 70% of Americans rely on social proof – like product/service reviews – when deciding whether to make a purchase. – KissMetrics
3. Give stuff away – Who doesn’t like a free offering that they can use (or that they need)? Free stuff (whether it’s a digital file or a physical item) can be great bait for a successful lead magnet.
4. Create a viral loop – Incentivize your current clients to share information about your products and/or services by offering them something for free or by offering them a deal on another product or service. This loop can generate exponential leads when done right. And it can be a great way to use social proof to generate more targeted leads for your business.
5. Share a checklist – These can be simple lists or basic guides that reveal the steps to solving some problem that your ideal client/target audience commonly deals with. Think about processes you can simplify via a checklist, and use these lists as incentive to get emails and contact info from your audience.
Intermediate Lead Magnet Ideas
6. Share an insider’s cheat sheet – Cheat sheets are great ways to streamline and share more involved content (like expert tips and other insider info) that prospects can use to solve a problem, save money/time/other resources, etc. Remember, these must be easy to read (so people actually can get through them), and they must help people accomplish something (in order to provide value).
7. Send out regular email newsletters – There’s a lot of great email tools out there that can help you easily compile digital newsletters (ActiveCampaign and MailChimp are just a couple of options). So, take advantage of these tools and start creating and sending out email newsletters. In these blasts, you can share your own content, great posts you’ve run across, videos, links to Podcasts, etc. (at Digital Authority, we send out a Weekly Authority to stay connected with clients, prospects and others). While you can include value propositions directly in these emails, you can also send recipients to opt-in landing pages (if they click on links in the email, for example) that also serve as lead magnets.
8. Compile a roundup – A roundup is basically content that includes pieces from various contributors (ideally industry leaders, influencers, innovators and/or experts). Roundups can present a spectrum of insights, perspectives, predictions, etc. While roundups can help boost your authority and build attention for your brand, they can also round up a lot of new targeted leads for your business.
9. Create a “challenge” – Ask your audience to put themselves to the test with some challenge (related to your business, brand or industry). Set the goals of the challenge (with a deadline), take the challenge yourself, and share your results. Encourage others to post and share their results also (on social media, for instance). This can be a great way to engage an audience and help them get better results. It can also enhance social proof for your brand as you compile great new leads.
10. Create new social media groups – On Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networks, start your own groups and use them as venues for sharing (and distributing) your valuable content and insights. These groups can be effective avenues for drawing in and growing a dedicated audience – and converting your audience into new targeted leads.
11. Develop downloadable infographics – Infographics can be a great way to easily depict and share data, statistics and other information. In fact, they can be more compelling (and more sharable) than written content, especially when they have visually appealing designs. So, offer a useful infographic to your prospects (one that they can download and keep) in exchange for their contact info.
12. Ask prospects to take a quiz – People generally enjoy testing their knowledge, finding out more about themselves and seeing how they compare to others. So, why not invite them to enjoy this experience via a lead magnet? The key here is finding the right topic(s) for the quiz so people will want to take it. What type of X are you? or How much do you know about X? can be great bases for quizzes (that can be adapted to a wide range of industries).
13. Develop an audio or video version of your content – Not everyone has time (or wants) to read written content. So, offer an alternative way to consume your content and use it as a lead magnet! You can create audio or even video versions that can expand the reach of your content as they cast a net to capture more leads for your business.
More Advanced Lead Magnet Ideas
14. Develop and share tool kits – Put together a list of tools, apps and/other resources to help your clients complete some action (at Digital Authority, we have assembled a bunch of these tool kits, like content tool kits, social media tool kits and email tool kits). Give away one (or more) of these kits in return for contact info from your prospects. The right tool kit can be an irresistible offer.
15. Give away eBooks, white papers or research reports – Create downloadable PDFs of more detailed or technical resources. These can cover anything from the current state of the industry to predictions for future trends. You can even bait prospects into moving through your sales funnel to get these resources by sharing certain chapters (or a few specific findings) via your website, social posts, and/or email blasts.
16. Create easy-to-use templates – Develop ready-to-use forms, documents, calendars, emails, and/or spreadsheets that your audience can download and use to get a jumpstart on some effort (like creating content, a schedule, a budget, etc.). If your template facilitates some process for your audience (or solves a problem for them, helps them reserve their resources, etc.), it’s far more likely that they’ll dive into your sales funnel (and want more from you/your brand moving forward).
17. Share the results of a case study – Conduct your own study and share the results (including any mistakes, challenges, and/or successes experienced) via a report, a white paper or even visual content (like a video or infographic). When done right, case studies can reveal a lot about your business and industry, uncovering useful knowledge that your prospects will likely want to learn more about.
18. Conduct webinars – Webinars can be a great way to directly connect with prospects and humanize your brand. While you may want to start with a one-off webinar, you can also develop a webinar series. Either way, this will put you (and your value offer) directly in front of your prospects while helping you compile a number of viable leads in a relatively short amount of time.
19. Create a video/course series – This can complement (or stand independent of) webinars, allowing people to take the course or pursue the series on their own timeframe. One good idea for this lead magnet is to offer email delivery of each segment of the series (on a weekly basis, for instance). This can incentivize people to enroll by giving you their contact information. And while it’s a great lead magnet idea, it’s also dynamic way to share your industry knowledge and insights, cultivating trust with prospects as you establish authority for your brand.
20. Develop a “calculator” – Create an easy-to-use online calculator that helps people figure out the answer to some question, estimate costs, create a budget or come to other solution. These don’t have to be fancy or complicated. They just have to work and make a specific problem (or issue) easier to (re)solve.
Setting Your Lead Magnets Up for Success: The Bottom Line
When it comes to using lead magnets and setting them (and your brand) up for success, the bottom line is that:
- Using multiple lead magnets and including them at every point of your sales funnel, from TOFU to MOFU to BOFU (top of the funnel to middle and bottom of the funnel), is a smart way to continue to incentivize prospects to move through your funnel (and become new clients).
- Done is better than perfect. Don’t spend (or waste) a ton of time trying to develop a lead magnet. Get something out there and promote it as soon as possible. You can always come back to it to make improvements later if the lead magnet isn’t working as well as you think it could or should.
- Quick wins – or win-wins – are always great! The faster you can deliver some piece of value or some result to your audience, the faster you can generate new leads and grow your base of prospects.
What lead magnets have you tried for your business? What has (or hasn’t) worked? Have you experimented with lead magnets other than those on our list?
Share your experiences and keep the conversation going in the comments below and/or on social media.