I think we can all agree that visitors are increasingly wary about giving out their email addresses.
That’s because there are far too many lead magnets floating around on the web, and most of them are…”junk”.
I’ve found a way of ensuring that my lead magnets remain relevant, irresistible, and useful to my readers.
It’s a structured system. And it works like a charm. In fact, it can allow you to double or triple your email lists.
The most impressive part: this strategy can be repeated as many times as you want.
In developing this methodology, I drew inspiration from several dozens of the highest performing websites.
Allow me to explain my analyses using the following outline:
- What is a Lead Magnet?
- 7 Steps for Making a Lead Magnet Irresistible
- 7 Steps for Creating a Lead Magnet out of Nothing
- 49 Lead Magnets Proven to Build up your Email Lists
- My ‘Best Tools’ List for Creating Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is simply an offer (a bribe!) designed to be given away in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses.
Most importantly: there must be a tangible benefit for the visitor in receiving this offer. My own experiences have shown that the packaging must be just as powerful as the content within.
In other words, the way you display and offer it should be just as powerful as the content itself.
Here are the advantages to having a good lead magnet
A tempting lead magnet = a lot of subscribers
A weak lead magnet = few subscribers
In short, lead magnets are intended to bulk up your email lists.
But don’t forget:
This is the best tool for segmenting your lists.
We know why leads magnets are needed.
You’ve got to make them irresistible to get the most email addresses possible!
So before I present you with examples of lead magnets, let’s see how to make them irresistible.
For a lead magnet to be good, all it needs is to be irresistible.
Here’s how to have a resource on hand that people will beg you for, summed up in 7 steps.
1. Lead Magnets ATTRACT the ideal customer (and ONLY the ideal customer)
Your lead magnet must draw and hold attention, but not everyone’s.
By trying to appeal to all, you run the risk of appealing to none.
And the more specific your offer is, the more your ideal customer will feel that they are being individually addressed.
Result: leads that are more committed and attentive.
Use titles that already target your ideal customer.
For example: the ideal customer is seeking to improve the traffic stemming from Google searches (as opposed to from social networks).
2. Lead magnets keep a PROMISE
What does the lead get by signing up?
Those resources should help them solve specific problems.
The ideal customer feels that they are directly impacted by the problem described. Perfect.
They should feel that your offer will solve their headache and they should know exactly what to expect from that offer.
To give an example:
The customer wants to learn how to sell items online, but they must first learn how to build an email list.
This offer tells them exactly how to get their first 100 subscribers.
3. Lead magnets create a natural CONNECTION
The reason behind setting up this offer and who it applies to
The secret to a genuine connection:
There must be an emotional appeal.
Tell your story and try to connect with everyone on a slightly more personal level.
You’re looking for a job and you come across this. Right on target.
Strike a chord: emotions are the true source of motivation.
The good news:
The customer will feel compelled to take IMMEDIATE action.
A quick conversion and instant loyalty.
4. Lead magnets highlight the KEY ELEMENTS
I’m referring to the dilemma and the solution.
By getting the customer’s attention, you’re offering the solution to their problem.
But to delve further:
Offer them short- and long-term solutions. Aim to build a long-term relationship.
The goal is to offer a short-term remedy, but to be open to maintaining a relationship to continue helping the ideal customer in their growth.
5. Lead magnets present a CTA
What is the next step?
Add a greater sense of urgency with an action verb.
Ultimately: what will happen if the customer clicks on the button?
The more powerful it is, the greater the appeal to act on it will be.
And it doesn’t end there:
To draw more clicks to your resources, you’ll have to choose your approach.
These buttons often contain an action verb that solves the customer’s problem.
“Save”, “Learn”, or “Increase X”.
This is a more “positive” approach wherein the customer KNOWS their problem and wants to solve it.
The customer can’t yet identify with that scenario 100%, so you’ll have to acknowledge their pain and/or fear to get their attention.
This button incites an emotional response. Fear and guilt often come into play.
If your industry can use that to its advantage, then why not!
Name the change that has caused pain.
And offer a clear solution.
And above all: simple.
6. Lead magnets entail structured follow-up
At this stage, the job is only halfway complete.
But success hasn’t. Not just yet:
The customer has a positive first impression of you. They acknowledge your expertise.
Here’s what you must do:
Take advantage of this momentum to reinforce your image as the empathetic expert.
Create a series of emails to introduce yourself and offer even more resources.
Become their particular source of information for filling needs that relate to your industry.
7. Lead magnets create brand ambassadors
You helped Sam find his dream job. You also provided him with valuable resources for expanding his knowledge.
Over time, you have also helped connect him to the influencers in his field.
He loves you and talks about you day and night. His aunt, best friend, and son have become customers of yours thanks to his rave reviews!
He’s also the first one to share your articles on Facebook.
And all thanks to a lead magnet!
You have the 7 steps you need to create a champion lead magnet.
It’s time to create the lead magnet that will draw in 1,000 leads per day!
You know what a lead magnet is and the best method for presenting it.
The secret is soon to come:
The step-by-step process of creating the best lead magnet on earth.
Step 1: Make a list of lead magnet ideas (brainstorming)
There’s no such thing as a bad idea–you just have to express it well.
Target a pain and offer a solution.
The packaging must be adapted to your content.
For example: “PDF summary for quickly increasing your email list”
“Webinar: building a sales funnel”.
Step 2: Choose the top-performers that will advance to the next stage (6 to 10 ideas)
After your brainstorming session, you should have quite a long list of ideas.
You’ll have to distinguish the “added bonus” ideas
from those that are vital to your ideal customer.
Filter the former out now so that you retain only the best.
Step 3: Reformulate these ideas as catchy titles
The goal is to see if they can be reformulated well as an offer that encourages action
For example: “PDF summary of how to go from 1,000 to 10,000 email addresses in 30 days”
“Webinar: How to build a sales funnel in 14 steps”
Step 4: Ask the ideal customer for feedback
Polls and questionnaires are useful here.
You can ask your current customers or your email list.
Groups and communities are a potential source, too.
Your aim is to find out if your list appeals to them and what types of problems they want to solve.
Most people will read it and respond if interested.
My preferred tools: Google Form or a Facebook group poll.
Step 5: Create the content
To create content is to put your expertise on paper.
Or compile a list.
Or summarize a strategy.
I’ll give you the complete list of 49 lead magnets, listed from easiest to most challenging, further down.
Steps 6 and 7 are crucial, so don’t forget about them!
Step 6: Insert your lead magnet into an article as a content upgrade
This is the time to use your lead magnets to capture more email addresses.
There are many ways, but the best and most efficient way, in my opinion, is:
To offer the lead magnet as a content upgrade within a blog article.
The offer must directly relate to the blog post topic!
I suggest that you choose between 2 to 3 spots per article:
- Link at the beginning of the article
- Link in the middle of the article
- Link at the end of the article
- Side banner
- End banner
If possible: use the article with the most traffic.
If your offer is good and if the article receives a good amount of traffic, then you will be able to double or triple your email list with just one strategic lead magnet.
Take for example the lead magnet I used in this article. It contains all the tools to create the 49 lead magnets I mention. It has a 70%+ conversion rate.
Because it’s good.
Step 7: Building an automation script
The last step is to ensure that all leads are well served and that they’re coming back for more.
In this case, this would mean a series of emails intended to offer more resources and broader knowledge.
Building a long-term relationship and establishing trust.
Sales will follow, depending on your product and industry.
The time has come:
I now present the 49 lead magnets that will help you build up your email list.
Tweet this: “7 steps for creating a lead magnet that will make your email list skyrocket”
In order to help you find the offer that best fits your needs, I’ve listed the 49 examples of lead magnets in order of easiest to hardest.
That is, easiest to hardest according to my expertise.
As this is an exhaustive list, click on the ones that you want to read and they will expand with more info.
Don’t forget to grab my list of 36 tools to create ALL the lead magnets in this list. It’s free and I also included a special bonus : the productivity tools I use on a daily basis! [Access all the tools now]
But please note:
The order given is subjective. And don’t forget that the perceived value is often higher when more time and effort go into designing the lead magnet.
If you don’t YET have any lead magnets, then start with the easiest first.
Add value later.
Discounts are a very powerful method of motivating visitors to sign up (to get the discount). The percentage depends on your industry.
Goal: Allows you to acquire leads and information about them in order to educate them later.
In the UDEMY example, their offer of a 75% discount is very tempting.
Free trials are very popular in the SaaS industry, as people must use the product in order to truly “test” and “implement” it.
Goal: Compel leads to sign up for a limited trial period in order to later convert them into paying customers.
The Agorapulse example, they offer a free trial so users can see the value in it. If the users find enough benefit, then their conversion into paying customers will likely happen in the near future.
Demos of your tool’s features designed to showcase its benefits will serve as a solid sales pitch. Demos are a popular tool to establish initial contact with the customer and keep your finger on their pulse. You can then respond to any rebuttals directly over the phone.
Goal: Allows you to acquire leads who want to see your product in action.
Free shipping encourages purchasing at the price indicated without having to worry about the cost of shipping. Free shipping over a given amount is also a viable option and can lead to a greater sales volume per transaction. It’s definitely worth implementing in e-commerce.
Goal: Encourage purchases and avoid shopping cart abandonment on the payment page.
The famous “try before you buy.” If you are able to offer free samples, then all you have to do is ensure that your follow-up is sufficient enough to allow for a conversion from single use to repeated use.
Goal: Allow the customer to try it out in order to convert them into a repeat customer.
The Free consultation is a service that you offer for free in attempt to show your expertise. If you provide enough value, the prospect might build trust towards your services. It is the equivalent of a free sample for your service.
Goal: A free offer might translate into a sales if you build enough value. It is also an excellent tool to see if your customer fits your line of business. The best tool is Skype and Google Hangout. If you are more advanced, Join Me and GoToMeeting are good tools. See the complete list of the 36 tools I recommend.
Aaron Krall often go on a quick 15 minutes chat with his prospects to see if he can help them. He will provide as much value as possible. If there’s a fit, both parties might move forward and work together.
The infrequency of waiting lists adds to the excitement of being chosen to test a product.
Goal: By using this technique, you’ll amass email addresses for testing your platform and you’ll create the most loyal pioneers you could ever wish for!
Newsletters are a basic approach to getting visitors to sign up. You have to find a compelling way of demonstrating the value that they will get out of it by signing up.
Goal: Invite the visitor to provide direct and to the point information in the registration form so they can get more info via email.
PPCMODE invites visitors to sign up in order to gain access to tips and suggestions regarding performance marketing.
The VIP newsletter is similar to the standard newsletter, except that it often entails higher added value. Exclusive discounts, freebies, and/or VIP access.
Goal: Encourage visitors to subscribe to a list that will receive updates before everyone else. This makes them feel like they have VIP status.
Article and blog post summaries are relevant when they include an analysis or strategy, along with a rundown. The reader can later download the full article to read at his or her own pace.
Goal: Grant full access to your article so that the ideal customer can read and print it as needed. Very useful when it’s a detailed article.
Backlinko.com provides a summary of their article outlining SEO tips as well as 11 techniques only given in the guide.
An overview of the key takeaways is another way of summarizing an article/blog post. This involves a list summarizing the takeaways the reader should retain from that particular article.
Goal: List the teaching points of the given article for the reader to put into practice more readily and easily.
Example: Content Marketing Institute
The first few chapters of a book typically demonstrate your approach and style. If the reader likes what they are reading, then they’ll surely want to read the rest!
Goal: Provide an excerpt of your book in order to instill confidence and trust in potential customers.
Gabriel Wyner offers free access to the first chapter of his book in order to show his visitors how to take a methodical approach to learning a foreign language. The first chapter gives you a good idea of his approach.
Using a checklist is a great way of summarizing an article or strategy with easy to follow action items.
Goal: Serves as a reminder during strategy implementation to ensure that nothing has been forgotten.
Example: Post Planner
Templates serve as a tangible mold for implementing a strategy.
This can entail impactful visuals and turns of phrase.
Ready to be altered and adapted for your business.
Goal: a tested template that’s proven to lead to conversion, ready for use in your industry.
Template.net offers templates featuring visuals that are designed to display businesses professionally. With a few clicks, your business takes on a large-scale look.
Cheat sheets are lists of concise data that get straight to the point.
Line after line.
Goal: Provide a point of reference for very specific tasks. The data is refined and has a specific aim.
SmartBlogger offers a cheat sheet on writing headlines devised to go viral. 52 steps or tricks to ensuring that your headline remains at the top of its game at all times.
Swipe Files are a compilation of winning formulas.
Impressive headlines and artfully worded phrases that draw attention and intrigue.
Key words here: copy and paste to convert!
Goal: this file becomes a source of practical and effective examples that one can draw from on several occasions to test out in one’s own industry.
Example: Digital Marketer
Lists of resources (several resources) are useful for having a global understanding of a given topic. This can entail online or offline resources (or even a mix!)
Goal: Allow the ideal customer to get the information they need by having access to diversified resources on a given topic.
Example: Digital Vidya
Contact lists are invaluable in that they take time to construct. In this example, a list of virtual assistants is given, along with their areas of expertise.
Goal: Provide a list of contacts that will allow your customer to have access to your network of contacts/providers so they can kick start their performance (depending on the industry).
Example: Smart Sheet
Lists are very popular. You can capture email addresses with lists of just about anything, as long as it’s relevant to the ideal customer. In this example, the author has simply compiled a long list of 1781 profitable niches.
Goal: Create a list relating to a specific subject that would have been time-consuming for the ideal customer to create on their own. In exchange for their email address, you offer them the fruit of your efforts.
Example: Niche Hacks
A list of links compiled to achieve a specific goal is quite invaluable to your ideal customer. By including complementary resources with your offer, you demonstrate your global view of the industry and open-mindedness.
Goal: Allow your customer to obtain a global view of the strategy and to access additional tools included with your offer. A wonderful gesture of pertinence and professionalism.
The team at Mention presents the best resources for successfully converting social network leads into customers.
Tip – you can include:
- Links to documents
- Links to Youtube videos that explain concepts
- Links to articles that relate to the subject matter
- Links to equipment or software that help with strategy execution.
- Links to a list of steps to take during said execution.
The exact script is like a template, except that it often goes hand in hand with a series of scripts that follow a logical order.
Goal: Display the complete strategy of a script to be used (in several steps) to persuade or sell something.
Quizzes relating to your industry allow you to segment your leads early on and to know what information they’re after.
Goal: Allows you to acquire leads and information on those leads in order to educate them later.
Reports with real numerical data give a sense of transparency, which is increasingly popular.
These details give a sense of plausibility to those who closely monitor your business.
Goal: Provide a glimpse into your progression to motivate your readers.
Pat Flynn at Smartpassiveincome.com presents a monthly income report to demonstrate to others just how invaluable and effective his advice is.
The recipe for success differs from a winning formula. Instead of simply stating the strategy and the steps needed to see results, you can also list a number of other factors.
For example, the type of script, sources of traffic, advertisement details, and your sales funnel. A recipe includes several ingredients.
Goal: Allow your ideal customer to draw inspiration from your recipe in order to pinpoint areas of improvement.
Example: The Recipe For Success
The Calendar is similar to the template, except that it emphasizes dates. It’s particularly useful for events and recurring activities.
Goal: Display a strategy based on specific dates or a recurring agenda.
In this example, Kimberly-Ann suggests using the calendar that she uses for social media.
Contests are most likely to go viral. Most importantly: they have to be relevant to your customers and the resulting follow-up after email collection must be brilliantly executed.
Goal: Collect a large volume of email addresses that you can take the time to nurture later.
I like to use King Sumo but RaffleCopter is a solid second choice. Here’s the list of all my recommended tools with a bonus : 8 productivity tools
Personal routines pinpoint a lifestyle or lifestyle habits over a long period of time in order to obtain results.
Goal: Inspire visitors to adopt a lifestyle that is optimized for performance.
Neil Patel outlines the 15 daily habits that allow for greater productivity and readiness to overcome the challenges that business owners face.
Case studies can impress upon the ideal client the impact your expertise can have. They are just as useful for observing the impact of a particular strategy as they are for analyzing tangible benefits.
Goal: Provide a detailed account of the actions taken and of the genuine impact you had with a customer.
Guide are similar to e-books, except that they are often centered around executing strategies. Step by step, you explain the actions to take in order to achieve a certain goal.
Goal: You want to help leads set in motion a sequence of actions intended to achieve targeted results.
In this example, SEO HACKER demonstrates how to master SEO on Youtube.
An e-book is a document that presents a strategy or concept in detail. Complex and hard to grasp topics are generally the ones tackled.
Goal: Provide a complete analysis of a given subject that can be accompanied with a strategy to implement.
Here, AdExpresso explains how to build a Facebook campaign using powerful lead magnets. They go through all of the steps, from conceptualization to creation to the final conversion.
The White Paper is a guide with a particularity : it is backed by statistics and real-life numbers. While you explain a tactic, you also give the outcome of such actions. This adds on to its credibility.
Goal: provide a proven strategy to follow. Statistics and numbers will provide depth and will amplify it’s usability.
An audit is a quick way of evaluating leads and diagnosing the individual problems they each face.
Goal: Offer your expertise in evaluating these problems in order to get them back in the game, empowered with the solutions you identified.
Example: Live Consulting
Using specific tools adapted to a given problem, you can offer a free analysis in exchange for their email address, in order to later send your analysis report.
Goal: Offer your analysis on the given problem with just a few clicks. You can easily follow up via email later to send educative emails in order to improve results.
In this example, Wordstream offers an analysis of your Adwords ads. With results sent via email, they can continue to send you relevant articles so you can improve your performance.
Email courses are similar to content series, except that they are delivered via email. In this sense, you can be certain that the reader is receiving it every morning.
Goal: Educate your visitors and prove your expertise.
Henneke Duistermaat offers an email course designed to help improve writing skills, delivered through 16 emails. Each email covers concepts that are easy to implement.
A content series is a detailed guide that is structured in distinct sections to facilitate understanding.
Goal: Allow visitors to inform themselves about a particular subject at their own pace, piece by piece.
In chapter 10, Moz’s aim is to explain how beginners can succeed at SEO.
The toolbox is the collection of tools that you use to accomplish a given task.
For example, for social media management, you need a photo editor, sources for images, tools for the creation of infographics, etc.
Goal: Provide the full list of your tools used to successfully complete a task. The toolbox provides them with all of the necessary tools – the only thing they have to do is put your tips into practice.
Example: Social Examiner
Lists of free tools focus on accessibility. By going with an entirely free offer, beginners can easily refer to it as they evaluate tools and apply concepts without running a financial risk.
Goal: Allow readers to access free tools in order to be functional and to apply a given strategy or concept linked to an article, for example.
Webpagefx.com segments their list into categories. They list more than 250 tools designed to help you succeed at SEO.
The expert panel offers the best advice from experts in your industry. You’re also simultaneously building a relationship with the pundits of your field!
Goal: Provide the best practices and advice, straight from the renowned experts of that field.
In this example, Bloggingtips.com offers advice on starting a blog from 80 expert bloggers.
SlideShares are often the same slides used during presentations. They summarize what was said during the presentation for those who were not able to attend.
Goal: SlideShares allow presenters to distribute their content during and after their presentation. Oftentimes, a well-written overview of their presentation is included.
Example: Larry Kim
Infographics often serve as a synopsis in the context of a timeline or logical progression. With the help of added visuals, this data yields a result that is much easier to take in.
No need of a graphic designer! There are a lot of online platforms to help you build your infographics. Visme and Venngage are excellent choices.
Imagine if you had access to my personal list of tools? An excel file with all my tools!
Goal: Summarize an article or study in numbers and data, thus permitting quick intake while following the logic behind that data.
Excel spreadsheets are very useful for businesses that don’t have a 10-person team dedicated to analyzing outcomes after each trimester!
Goal: Allow your ideal customer to obtain a “plug-n-play” spreadsheet with which they can analyze their data themselves.
Example: Smart Sheet
Transcripts are simply the written version of podcast and video content.
Goal: Allow those who prefer to read to have quick access to the podcast without needing to listen to the whole broadcast.
For the excerpt of this podcast on productivity, the author also touched up the overall design to make the reading more visually appealing.
Podcasts are another format used to learn more about a given topic. Its format also makes it very practical to listen to in traffic, for example.
Goal: Offer your listeners lively discussions in audio format in order to entertain and educate them.
Example: Startup Podcast
The audio version of your written work is easy to create and adds a personal touch that is accessible to all.
Goal: Grant access to audio content for customers don’t enjoy reading as much (or who don’t have the time for it!)
Example: Tim Ferris
Videos are human, dynamic, and easy to take in. With the rise of live video streams, this unique approach accelerates everything.
Goal: Demonstrate your understanding of the topic in exchange for the visitor’s email address all whilst you educate them on your expertise.
In her video, Marley Baird explains how to use Canva to quickly create visuals.
Q&A videos tackle the most common questions with a direct response.
Goal: Present the questions that all of your leads are likely to have in mind and be able to answer them quickly. This video can also serve to educate leads later on.
Example: Bon Appetit
Webinars strike a good balance between strategy demonstration and strategy explanation (to further develop the demo).
Goal: Allow visitors to see the tool in action as it implements a well-founded strategy. Two birds, one stone.
In this example, Facebook offers a webinar created to demonstrate how to have better click optimization that leads to conversion. In this instance, the topics broached are the steps needed and the logic behind them.
Mini-courses are easy to follow and give a good overview of the content you’re offering. The video format makes everything dynamic and easy to absorb.
Goal: Educate potential customers and offer them strategies or content that is easy to take in.
Example: Brian Peters
Calculators let the ideal customer perform quick calculations that are specific to their industry.
Goal: offer a highly tailored tool intended for a specific purpose that also demonstrates your expertise.
In this example, getdatadriven.com lets you calculate the statistical significance of an A/B test.
And there you have it! The exhaustive list of the 49 best lead magnets, according to my analysis.
And as a content upgrade, I suggest this…
Now you have everything you need, but your journey doesn’t end here.
You have a vast array of tools at your disposal to create your content.
Which tool is best for creating stunning visuals?
And what do you use to make webinars?
And of course: which tool allows you to create contests in 10 minutes?
In my own analysis of lead magnets, I have a complete list of tools for each and every one of them!
To help you with your creations, I’m giving it to you for free.