What is a Lead Magnet + 8 Great Ideas to Get You Started

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If you are a business owner and looking to collect leads from your website, you may have heard the term ‘lead magnet’ tossed around in digital marketing circles. A lead magnet is a powerful tool that can be used to build a targeted email list. Lead magnets come in a number of shapes and sizes and we’re here to walk you through the process of achieving lead magnet success!

What is a Lead Magnet?

Email addresses are worth their weight in gold; they allow you to market to and nurture a targeted customer base, turn fans into brand ambassadors and brand ambassadors into returning customers.

A lead magnet is essentially a downloadable resource or access to locked content in exchange for a prospect’s email address. This lead magnet can take the form of an ebook, checklist, template, tool kit, infographic, worksheet or access only video content. This approach aims to maximize the number of leads for each offer, build specificity around customer interest and allow your business to segment these lists for future campaigns.

Things to consider when creating a high-quality lead magnet:

  • The content should be of high value
  • It should provide an actionable solution to your visitors’ problem or pain point

How Lead Magnets Work

Lead magnets on your website and begin with content. Visitors find their way to your website by way of search, referral or paid traffic. Which means that your message needs to resonate with your audience in order to keep them there; they are looking to you as the possible source to solve a problem or pain point. This is why a content strategy and keyword research is important!

  • Call to Action (CTA)

    Whether your visitor landed on your homepage, blog or product page, you know have an opportunity to pull them in with a compelling Call to Action. This can come in the form or a banner, a button, an embedded form or pop-up. This is where your offer comes in. Let’s say, for example, you have a picky toddler and are trying to find ways to get your child to eat more vegetables. After doing a Google search, you’ve landed on a blog which talks about catering to young picky eaters. Halfway through the article you come across a small banner offering a free collection of healthy kid meals. Awesome! All you have to do is enter your name and email and the recipes are yours. You now have a plan and steps for execution and this business has your email. They send free recipes each week which you know love and have come to depend on. Once a month they send you a coupon or product offer directly related to feeding healthy kids. You’ve come to trust them, are a regular consumer of their content and you often find yourself making a purchase or two.

    See how that works?  
  • Opt-in Page

    So what actually happens once you’ve clicked on the CTA? For those of you looking to set up a lead magnet delivery system of your own, allow us to explain.

    The call to action is linked to what’s called an opt-in page. In the case of a pop-up, the CTA and opt-in are rolled into one, as you see here:

    When redirected to an opt-in page, it can look like this:

    The concept is the same, it’s simply a matter of user experience and/or personal preference. All opt-ins are linked to an email platform such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Active Campaign. This is where your emails will be collected and segmented for future campaigns.
  • Thank You Page

    Once the opt-in is complete, it’s important to create a simple Thank You message send your audience to a Thank You page. The idea here is to recognize that an effort to connect with your business has been made AND to keep this visitor on your website for as long as possible.
  • Lead Magnet Delivery

    As promised, you will need to deliver the requested content. You can set up automated delivery with just a few clicks of a button within your email platform. We recommend sending the resource over email to ensure that your future emails will be less likely to be filtered to their spam folder 😉
  • Kickback Emails and Nurturing Your Audience

    Now for the most important part; keeping your audience engaged. You do this by continuing to add value, staying top of mind which in turn, can set the stage for a real-time conversation.

    Once the lead magnet has been delivered, it’s important to trigger an email welcome sequence. Again, this is an automated setup within your email platform and often consists of a handful of helpful emails over the course of a week or two. These messages can do the following:
    • Introduce yourself and your team
    • Offer more helpful tips and tricks
    • Familiarize them with your services and offerings
    • Invite them to connect with you on social media
    • The list goes on and on!

10 Lead Magnet Ideas to Try

Your website content has the potential to generate a ton of targeted leads. So let’s dig into some examples, provide a little inspiration and kickstart some lead magnet creation of your own!

1. Ebook

ebook lead magnet

The beauty of a lead magnet is that you don’t necessarily have to create content from scratch. If you have a series of blog posts about a related topic for instance, all you need to do is compile the information and create a nicely designed pdf. This is a great value add for your readership and works particularly well for those who prefer to print any content they plan to consume.

2. Ultimate Guide

ultimate guide lead magnet

An ultimate guide is a collection of articles related to a specific topic. The difference between an ultimate guide and an ebook is that you’re not recycling your own blog posts. Instead, you’re linking directly to other sites. Just make sure not to copy and paste their content, but rather include a link to the original article.

Pro tip: let the website owners know that you’re featuring their content. They may promote from their sources and/or link back to your site–a win-win!

3. Templates

template lead magnet

No one likes to reinvent the wheel. That’s why a downloadable template as a lead magnet can be particularly compelling. Let’s say that you are an accountant with small businesses as your target market. You’ve found that lots of your clients struggle with budgeting in order to pay their quarterly taxes. What if you created a simple excel spreadsheet with pre-populated formulas for public use? It’s specific and immediately actionable!

Need a live example? We created a sample social media calendar template that is available for download.

4. Resource Guide

resource guide lead magnet

A resource guide can be a simple list of resources that help people achieve results. Here are some of our own blog posts that could easily be turned into resource guides:

5. Checklist

checklist lead magnet

Creating checklists is one of the easiest approaches to lead magnet creation, as you’re simply reducing your blog post into bullet points. You could put in a little extra effort by creating a PDF with clickable checkboxes, just like our free SEO checklist. Because who doesn’t like to check things off of a list?

6. Worksheet

worksheet lead magnet

A worksheet is simply a download-and-complete type of lead magnet which helps people apply what they learn from your content and take immediate action. The goal of these worksheets is to help the participant learn by doing. A worksheet can be a stepping stone to your premium products or services so be sure to include a call to action for further engagement.

7. Webinar

webinar lead magnet

Webinars are wonderful lead magnets for a few reasons:

  1. They involve video which often yields a higher conversion
  2. It can make you and your brand more approachable and
  3. You don’t have to write any new content at all! Simply repurpose a post that you’ve already written and build a training or conversation around that content.

8. Cheat Sheet

cheat sheet lead magnet

A cheat sheet is a download-and-keep type of lead magnet that people can refer back to when they need to refresh their memory. This can be a one-page sheet providing a brief summary and important key points.


We all know that content is queen and growing businesses require thoughtful content strategy. Lead magnets, if created and leveraged correctly, can become one of the most valuable digital assets in your lead generating toolbox.


Like this post? Click below for related content:

Email Newsletters: Are They Worth It?

How to Activate Your Digital Assets Through Thoughtful Engagement

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