Lead Magnets: The Beginner's Guide to List Building & 30 Examples (2020)

blogging email marketing Apr 01, 2020

Building an email list is the highest ROI activity an online business can do. 

To prove it, let’s look at some 2020 marketing statistics by Snov.io.

  1. 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads.

  2. 47% of marketers rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel (39% for social media, 33% for SEO, and 33% for content marketing).

  3. Email marketing boasts a 4400% ROI ($44 for every $1 spent).

  4. Email is 40% better at converting (in comparison to Facebook and Twitter).

With stats like that, it’s easy to see why people love email marketing.

Now you know why email list building is so important. Let’s jump into the first phase of email marketing, Lead Magnets.

What are Lead Magnets?

A lead magnet is something you offer your website viewers in exchange for their email. Generally speaking, it should be something relevant to your product or service.

Some examples you might find on the internet are:

  • Templates
  • Checklists
  • Workbooks
  • Guides
  • X-Day Trials
  • Exclusive Content

(For 30 more real-life lead magnet examples, keep reading)

Why Lead Magnets Are Important To Every Business.

The first of the three ways to grow any business according to legendary marketer Jay Abraham is to increase the number of your customers.

Lead magnets play a fundamental part in that equation. In addition to that, here are other reasons why lead magnets are important to every business:

  1. Email Marketing (as we mentioned before) is one of the greatest and cheapest ways to market your business, and you need an email list to fuel that rocketship.

  2. If you’re planning to utilize the power of Facebook Ads— instead of cold audiences, you can start with your email list to make a lookalike audience to expand your potential customers and lower your advertising cost.

    It’s basically a tool that finds FB users who are similar to your current audience and email list based on their interests and demographics.

    Using FB’s huge database of information on it’s 2.45 billion users, lookalikes will help you find new, but similar leads that you’ll never reach manually.

  3. Lastly, great lead magnets skyrocket your credibility and authority. This just makes it easier to lead your prospects toward a sale.

    It’s easy to make big promises, so if you can talk the talk you better walk the walk, if not, all of these efforts won’t add up to anything.

    Relieving your customer’s pain point for $0 earns you a master-level badge on their books. 

How Do Lead Magnets Work?

A lead magnet offers something of value in exchange for an email.

Signing up for a newsletter just isn’t appealing anymore, people want to get something in return.

Once you have their email, you can market to that person over and over again at no cost.

At Kidd, we love greeting our visitors with some awesome blogging resources that would require them to opt-in and be added to our email list.

Once a reader sign up, they are emailed access to our resource library and get started on a short email sequence made to help them grow their blog. 


Let’s go over the different parts of a lead magnet, in the order, the reader will see.


Step 1: Landing Pages

Landing pages are web pages that promote your lead magnet and collect emails.  

Here’s Backlinko’s clean and elegant landing page.


The landing page is your chance to quickly showcase your offer, and collect your viewers’ email.

Some landing page best practices are:

  1. Keep your message short and easy to understand.

    In copywriting, you should always aim to say what you need to say, in as few words as possible. That rule doesn’t change with lead magnets.

    Pro-tip: Use your lead magnet’s main consumer benefit as the headline, and use the subheader to explain what the lead magnet is.

  2. Offer something that has immediate gratification or immediate results.

    Offer your viewer something they could use right now, and see the result.

    For example, we offer a blog business plan workbook. If you download and fill out the workbook, the result is you have a business plan and clarity on your young business.
  1. Only give them two options (opt-in or leave the page).

    Only give your reader 2 options: Sign-up or leave. Adding more options or pages to go to from your landing page will only make it less likely that the person will actually input their email. 

    Focus on making the decision simple by getting rid of distractions.


Step 2: Opt-Ins

The "opt-in" is the sign-up form on your landing page. Opt-ins consist of (at least) a name field, an email field, and a call to action. 

The purpose is to get contact information from readers, and automatically add them to your desired email list.

Here’s an example of an opt-in. 


Step 3: Thank You Page

The thank-you page is the last part of your lead-magnet; where they download your magnet.

For most marketers *including me* this is the end of the encounter. Luckily, it was later pointed out to me that there’s so much more I can do with this page.

“Well, what else can I offer other than my gratitude?” Do you say?

If your thank you page is just a "thank you" page, you're missing out on an opportunity to nurture your hottest leads.

Aim to always keep an open loop, to keep readers' relationship with you never-ending. 

Not sure what to do? Here are some ideas.

  1. Add social share buttons - Watch your list grow exponentially when a happy subscriber shares your lead magnet & content.


  1. Nurture leads right away - Offer more relevant content such as blogs, tools, tutorials, &, etc. Invite them to stay and browse further.

Another way to do this is through a follow-up emailIt is what it sounds, you follow-up with a message to your new lead after the exchange takes place to keep them engaged.

Leads are 9x likely to convert when you send a follow-up email under five minutes. (Ziff Davis, 2019)

Here, Optimizely is nurturing their leads from the get-go by recommending relevant content for their newly acquired subscribers.


Giving them more content at the end of the funnel is a great invitation for them to stick around and read more.

This increases your readers' familiarity with you which strengthens your rapport with them.


  1. Upsell - Tell them about a product or service of yours they might be interested in based on their opt-in.

Digital Marketer did a great job on their thank you page that directs you into a sales page if you click the “I’ll take a look” button.


Notice that they offered a $7 product as an introduction to their market, which I bet later leads you to the high-end products.


There’s so much more into a thank you page other than to express your gratitude. Start implementing these practices and stop leaving buckets of money on the table.


How To Make a Great Lead Magnet

Now, you know how lead magnets work. Let’s talk about how to make them work well.


  1. Simple - A great lead magnet is simple and easy to understand and consume.

        “What if our readers are looking for a solution that needs to be complex?”

We get it, and we suggest the next best thing to do: Add a tutorial on your magnet. Guide them on how to use it, whether via written, vid, or audio guide.


Note: You’ll see this trick in action on example #13 below.


  1. Specific - It should be specific, as in cater or solve one big issue to a specific target market.

If your biz is about Crossfit, create a lead magnet that would only resonate with Crossfit practitioners.

Marketers love to pick up megaphones and round up everyone, incorrect. You want to attract the specific people that would buy your products later.


  1. Quick to absorb - Create a lead magnet that can be digested within one sitting. Avoid offering lengthy e-courses, dragging e-books, and etc.

An effective lead magnet is consumed between 5-15 minutes. Anything longer needs its value to outweigh the liability of its length.


  1. Instant gratification - Consumers are like toddlers, they want their juice box and they want it now!

Great lead magnets offer tips that the reader can use to improve their situation pronto.

If you offer 20-week magnets like these, you’ll lose prospects in the next second.


  1. Premium Grade - Create high perceived value and high actual value magnet. Make it good and make it look good even if it’s free!

        “Why should I go to such trouble when it’s free?”

Put your feet in your customer’s shoes for a minute. If they get free premium grade materials from you, in their minds the paid products are surely a bang for a buck!

Of course, you’ll actually have to deliver better paid products for this to work.


  1. Expertise & credibility - We reiterate, a great lead magnet takes the opportunity to establish themselves as an authority and at the same time earn some credibility.

Do your best to always wow them every time you launch a lead magnet. Build your name and build your brand.


Now that you have your guidelines on how to make great lead magnets, it's time to see these things in action!


Here are the top 5 popular lead magnet ideas to consider.


  1. Quiz & Survey - Quizzes are interactive lead magnets that create a customized experience. Readers answer a short series of questions and opt-in to see the results.


This quiz on Neil Patel’s website helps you figure out how much traffic you could be getting.

If you’re interested in using quizzes and surveys, you can make amazing quizzes with Kajabi.


  1. Mini e-book/mini-course - A mini e-book or mini-course will cover an entire topic making it appealing to viewers who want a way to learn a lot about something.


This is a sample of a mini e-course from Bolz Ministries.


  1. Ultimate Guide - Ultimate guides are actionable and leave the reader with step by step instructions for solving their problem.

It is not only jam-packed with your own content, but with contents outside your blog as well.

It’s also useful for topics that are so popular that there are already hundreds of contents written about it.

With the ultimate guide, you don’t need to overhaul the topic to come up with your own angle. Compile the best articles and voila, you have a superior magnet at your hand.


        Here’s a lead magnet from Backlinko knitted with links to different websites.


  1. Checklist - Another great way to repurpose your blog content is through a checklist. Revisit your old content of the same topic and remake them into an actionable checklist.


Here’s Hubspot’s Ultimate Webinar Checklist that definitely checks all the boxes of a great checklist lead magnet! *pun intended*



  1. Workbook - A workbook is almost like a planner that’s dedicated to helping readers achieve specific goals. Here in Kidd, we’ve made a workbook dedicated to helping bloggers turn their blog into a business by crafting a business plan.


        Here’s a peek of our workbook.      


If you want full access, click here and sign up. It’s free!


There you go, that’s the 5 popular lead magnets we recommend you try. If you want more, read further.


Reminder: Always keep the guidelines in mind upon creating lead magnets.


Just because we love ya, here’s 30 more real-life lead magnet examples.


  1. Guide/Report - Guides and reports are among the most common types of lead magnets. Make sure to keep your guide specific like Hubspot’s 100 Sales Interview Questions to Ask Candidates.



  1. Cheat Sheets - Or handouts are loved by readers, because who doesn’t want easy wins, right?

Cheat sheets are highly appealing because it eliminates the ‘thinking’ part of the process.

Here’s an enticing cheat sheet for bloggers. Intrigued? That’s how you know it’s good!



  1. Tool Kit or Resource List - We all have that one person we always take inspiration from, whether in business or in the hobby.

Don’t you want to find out what the pros and industry celebrities are using? Of course you do, that’s why tools like these from Syed are so popular.

If you think your blog is big enough to have some curious readers, go ahead try this one for size.

Pro tip: Get affiliate links for the tools inside your toolkit. Whenever a subscriber purchases a tool in your list, you earn a commission!


  1. Video Training - Some people enjoy watching more than reading which makes video training a great way to attract new leads.

        Here’s an example from Marketo.



  1. Free Trial/Demo - Free trials are a great way for SaaS companies to let people try out their apps and services.

Kajabi for one is an amazing all-in-one platform complete with all the tools, apps and software you need to build your own business, and they’re kind enough to let you try their services free for 28 days!


  1. Discount/Free Shipping/Coupon - This one works wonders for e-commerce stores. All you have to do is offer to lessen the cost of the reader’s expense in exchange for their email.

Of course, you can always offer more discounts like Kate Spade.



  1. TemplateWix.com offers free logo design templates, but a template can be many things, such as email outreach template, theme template, cover letter template, &, etc.



  1. Swipe Files - To make things even easier than templates, offer swipe files to your readers to swipe, copy & paste!

Here are Digital Marketer’s 72 headlines for social media posts that you can swipe for free.


  1. Script - If scripts make sense to your target audience, then go for it!

If your blog is all about marketing, craft a script for a sales pitch. 

For readers interested in Webinars, write a script for an intro/outro. Or make scripts for new grads looking for ways to make a good impression on an interview.

It’s a pretty specific type of lead magnet, but you can definitely use it in more ways than one!

Here’s a free sales script downloadable from Close.com


  1.  Plan/Planner - With planners, you guide your readers on the things they should do/should be doing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Yourketo.diet has a great planner for everyone who’s trying to lose weight through the keto diet.


  1. Prompts - Prompts help spark inspiration for your readers by sharing your own ideas.

Here’s an example of a self-help prompt, 60 Journal Prompts.



  1. Calculator - A calculator is a very handy tool for businesses involving complicated numbers. It helps your audience better analyze their financial situation in a specific scenario.

Many solar energy and real estate companies have converted prospects with the help of calculators.

This example calculator from Outgrow can be used by online marketplace owners for cars to help their customers assess their finances in exchange for their contact info.


  1. Spreadsheet - Another helpful tool to give are spreadsheets.

Ever got overwhelmed by budgets and expenses before? So are millions of adults around the world.

DebtHelper gives away this free budget spreadsheet to help you keep track of your expenses and how you can get it back.

And although it violates the simplicity rule, they’re smart enough to add a bonus video guide on how to use the spreadsheet.


  1. Recipes - Oof, who doesn’t like good food, right?

Add a little more value, whether nutritional, time-friendliness, accessibility, etc. to your recipes and your lead magnet is already better than most free recipes out there.

Minimalist Baker offers recipes and cookbooks filled with delicious meals under 10 ingredients and 30 min prep time.



  1. Tutorials - Written, audio or video tutorials are highly valuable especially when you’re addressing a specific pain point with quick effective results.


  1. Infographic - An infographic is just a picture worth a thousand words… multiplied by tenThat’s right, 10,000 words enough to tell a story.

And if your readers are anything like me, who enjoy consuming information through visual content rather than written words, then you are golden.

Take a peek at this example from TIME’s infographics about the most useful inventions of all time. Intriguing and enjoyable to read at the same time.


  1. Webinar - Webinar is another great way to repurpose content, and since it’s live you can address your viewer’s pain points in real-time, which means higher actual and perceived value than any other magnets.

Another thing that makes webinars amazing is its ability to tap the element of ‘fear of missing out’ or FOMO.

Here’s an example of a Webinar as a lead magnet.

You can see that Fanbytes took the urgency-angle up a notch and limited the spaces for live viewers. Can you imagine how fast those spaces got filled up?


  1. Event Tickets - If you have physical stores or you host events to local venues, then event tickets are great lead magnets. Just like Webinars, event tickets play the urgency element.


  1. Email Courses - An email course is a series of educational content sent through email.

Email courses are great because you’re killing 3 birds with 1 stone:

  • You get contact info for offering something valuable upfront.
  • Establishing your authority by showcasing your academic prowess.
  • Which butters them up for the end goal, which is a conversion (you put asks at the end of every lesson.)

Here’s an example of Rick Mulready’s email course,  4 Facebook Ad Mistakes That Are Losing You Money.


  1. Sample Chapter - If it’s a hassle for you to turn your e-book into a mini e-book, offer a sample chapter instead.

        Make sure it’s juicy enough, but leave them wanting more!


  1. Free Coaching/Consulting Session - For the coaches and experts in any field, turning your skills into deliverables are a great way to earn leads and premium grade pay.

Even someone like Tony Robbins offers a 30-minute complimentary coaching session.


  1. Summary/”Cliff Notes” Version - We’ve established that most extensive contents are frowned upon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a summary of a really great e-content and offer it as a lead magnet. 

To make it even better, you can also add relevant notes from other content creators making a nice basketful of valuable information.


  1. Mind Map - Like infographics, they help turn thousand-word info into a visually pleasing picture.

Mind maps are usually used to help navigate complex subjects, such as Business plans, marketing strategies, production, &, etc.




  1. Audio Book - If you’re still looking for ways to repurpose your e-book, but the mini e-book and sample chapters aren’t enough, make an audiobook. 

With audiobooks, you can fit an entire e-book without losing any content.

Life coach and motivational speaker Marie Forleo uses her “How to get anything you want” audiobook to rack up leads.


  1. Giveaways - One of the most no brainer lead magnets, yet also one of the most effective ones. Who doesn’t want free stuff, right?

Pro-tip: Give something that your target audience wants. It’s easy to hand out cash and iPhones, but in addition to getting a lot of unconvertable random emails, you’ll also net some dummy emails along the way.

A great giveaway example is: Say your biz is all about cooking, give away rare spices or expensive cheeses. It’s great because only passionate cooks would want that, filtering the irrelevant ones.

Pro-tip #2: Incentivize your readers, ask them to share your business on social media for an additional chance to win. That’s a free promotion right there.


  1. Challenge - One of the most brilliant lead magnets. Ever saw a vid of the Bottle Cap Challenge? It went so viral, even celebrities like Jason Statham were doing it.

If you can somehow implement this kind of lead magnet, then you’re one step to virality!

This is one leafy example of a great challenge. The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.



  1. Membership Sites - Are online exclusive clubs. Everyone wants in for those premium content only available to members.

Here, Lady Boss Weightloss offers free 7-day experience for all the ladies who want to lose weight.     


  1. Facebook Groups - You should know by now how valuable communities are. You can offer membership to your readers in exchange for their emails.

Rachel Pedersen, a social media queen, offers free stuff to the members of her group.


See those engagements? Those numbers are no joke! 


  1. Free book + Shipping - E-books are great and all, but nothing beats the smell of a new book.

If you’ve published several physical books, give some of it away for free in exchange for their email and small shipping fee.

Here’s Russell Brunson’s free book + shipping lead magnet 


  1. Free Quote - Offering free quotes are a great way for your audiences to measure how much they need to avail your product or service.

You used to see free quotes in the car biz, but nowadays other industries also found benefit from it, such as solar energy companies like Solar Power of Oklahoma.



Now, over to you!

We’ve given a total of 35 lead magnet examples along with 6 simple guidelines to make them work. Now it’s up to you to pick the best for your business.

If you want more helpful content like these click here to read our previous blogs. Or get access to our exclusive content on the button down below!

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