You can’t expect to grow your email list by asking people to join your newsletter. If you want to get more email subscribers you’re going to need a good lead magnet.
If your lead magnet game isn’t on point, you’re going to end up not getting any takers, or worse, get the wrong people on your list.
Short on lead magnet ideas to offer to your audience? You’re in luck because today I’m going to share some of the most effective lead magnets to exponentially grow your email list!
Before you get started, step 1 is to sign up with ConvertKit. It is free to join and you’re going to need it to start your list. I always recommend ConvertKit because of how visual it is, and you don’t need to know a lick of code to make it work.
You can choose from a bunch of opt-in form designs and even upload your lead magnet for easy delivery to your subscribers.
What is a lead magnet?
Let’s start with the definition. A lead magnet is a free offer that you give away in exchange for an email address. The offer is the “magnet” to help you get “leads.”
Another word for lead magnets are opt-in incentives or freebies. But no matter what you call them, their aim is to help grow your email list faster – because nobody wants to join an email newsletter.
A lead magnet can be pretty much anything that your audience would want to have. That means it needs to provide enough value and be targeted to your audience. Speaking of targeting…
Why you should have multiple lead magnets
Lead magnets are also an amazing tool for segmenting your list.
For example, say you have a health website with 3 main blog categories: weight loss, healthy eating, and fitness.
Rather than just having one generic “health” email list, you could segment your audience into groups. You will still have one email list, but with 3 segments.
In ConvertKit, you do this by “tagging” subscribers who join via a specific opt-in form. For this example, you would create 3 lead magnets, 3 opt-in forms, and 3 tags.
The benefit of segmenting your list is that you can better target your paid offers which leads to better conversion rates.
What is a content upgrade?
A content upgrade is a lead magnet that’s specifically created for a piece of content. For example this article, as well as many of your own articles, can be turned into content upgrades.
For example, I can create:
- 24 Lead Magnet Ideas Cheatsheet (Download Now!)
- Best Lead Magnet Ideas EVER Ebook (FREE)
- The EPIC list of lead magnet ideas (PDF Guide)
If I did that, my lead magnet would be considered a “content upgrade.”
While I’m not a fan of content upgrades, they do help you get more subscribers since they are very targeted.
I know that for this blog post I would get a higher conversion rate if I was offering something about “lead magnets” rather than about “email marketing”.
The problem with creating content upgrades (other than the extra work) is that you end up attracting the wrong audience sometimes.
And unless you have an email series and product that aligns with your content upgrade, these people aren’t going to be future customers.
How to choose a lead magnet idea
Before you jump right into picking a lead magnet idea and creating it, you should first ask yourself these important questions:
- Who is my target audience? (to figure out the language and idioms they use)
- Where do they hang out online? (to figure out where to promote your lead magnet)
- What is a problem they’re currently facing (your lead magnet should solve a problem)
- What do I want to sell? (your lead magnet should be in line with what you’re promoting)
Even if you have nothing to sell, you should think about what affiliate offers you want to recommend to your list. Once you have a product in mind, it will help you identify the right lead magnet idea.
Spy on your competition to find your lead magnet idea
If you’re stuck on deciding what your lead magnet should be, I’ve got a solution for you. You can take a massive shortcut by learning from others.
Find other bloggers you admire who are in your niche and see what they are doing.
If you see multiple big-name bloggers offering the same type of opt-in incentive, odds are it works. They have already done the hard work of testing multiple offers before landing on their best converting ones.
Now that we have that in mind, it’s time to brainstorm and come up with your lead magnet idea.
24 lead magnet ideas and examples
Here are some popular types of lead magnets you can create:
A checklist is a good lead magnet to create as your first lead magnet for a few reasons.
First, it offers a quick win to your audience. For example, if you have a real estate website, you could offer a checklist of things to do before you sell your house or items to inspect when buying a house.
Second, they are incredibly easy to create. You can take one of your how-to articles and put
Think of a cheatsheet as a way to share “insiders tips” that nobody knows about to achieve a quick win. The reason why cheatsheets work is because they offer a shortcut to achieve something valuable.
A cheatsheet is similar to a checklist, but using bullet points instead of checkboxes.
You can take a 2,000+ word blog post, take the major points and turn it into a cheatsheet rather quickly.
Depending on your niche, a printable can be an effective lead magnet. Example printables are planners, party games for baby showers or bachelorette parties, habit trackers, meal planning list, and calendars.
To get ideas on what printables to create, go to Etsy and look for printables being sold that relate to your niche.
Offering a coupon code via email is a popular lead magnet for physical product sellers. It delivers a quick win and requires no work to create.
Who doesn’t love a done-for-you template?
Templates can be spreadsheets, design templates, resumés, etc.
Quizzes are a great way to build your list because you’re not asking people to join your list. Instead, you’re having people take a quiz to learn something about themselves.
And as I’m sure you’re aware, people love to challenge themselves and learn about themselves.
Then, to get the results, they need to enter their email.
You can set up a quiz as your lead magnet using Thrive Quiz Builder.
Swipe files are similar to templates, but rather than being blank, they are already filled in. Sometimes, you can just copy and paste them and you’re all set.
Swipe files are popular in the marketing world, with examples such as Facebook ads, outreach emails, social media messages, etc.
A report could be a state-of-the-industry report or where you share valuable in-demand information.
This type of lead magnet isn’t hard to create, as you can easily turn a how-to article into a free report to give away.
Similar to a report, a guide is the definitive way to do something.
For example, The Definition Guide On [Something] or [Something]: The Ultimate Guide
Years ago ebooks were sold, not given away. But times have changed and if you want to get subscribers you’re going to have to give away more value, such as an entire ebook.
Marketers are stepping up their game and offering physical copies of books as lead magnets – with a small catch. The user just needs to pay for shipping costs. As you might expect, they might charge $8 for shipping while the actual shipping cost might be $3.
Piggybacking on the previous example, you can give away a free sample of a physical product – as long as they cover your shipping fees.
Giving away free physical items carries an intrinsic value that you just can’t get with digital items. They also help you convert more subscribers into customers. That’s because having a physical item around puts you (and your product) top of mind. At least, when compared to a digital file that may or may not be read and deleted.
Rather than giving away one file, a resource library gives subscribers a password to enter into your resources vault.
Delivery of this lead magnet is as simple as providing the link and a password.
Giving away a free course is a great lead magnet to have, especially if you’re promoting a paid course as your main offer.
Conversions on a course may be lower, since there is an implied time commitment involved, but the leads will be more qualified.
Challenges can be a good way to get people into your ecosystem and build a sense of community. You could start a Facebook group where members of the challenge can meet and share their progress.
The reasons why challenges work is because they create urgency, a fear of missing out, and community.
This type of lead magnet is easy to create. It consists of a PDF with a list of resources in order to do X, Y, and Z.
For example, a photographer could give away his list of tools to take, edit, and sell their photographs.
Highlight something you’ve done (or showcase someone else) and show how they achieved a desired result. People like to get an inside look at how someone solved a problem.
With this type of lead magnet, you give away partial access to your paid product. For example, if you’re selling an online course, you could give away the first module of your course for free.
The same for a paid ebook, where you could give away the first chapter.
These lead magnets are some of the most effective, as there is a direct line from your lead magnet to your paid product.
Your blog post most likely offers help to solve a particular problem. Adding a video training to give further help is an attractive offer to people visiting this post.
In your video training, you can mention your paid product to instantly convert people from your lead magnet to your paid offer.
A webinar is similar to a video lesson, with the difference being that a webinar is live.
You can also run an evergreen webinar with a replay of your video.
If you’re a coach, you don’t really need a big list – you need a qualified list. And what better way to get a solid list than to offer a free consultation as your lead magnet. This way, every subscriber you get is a potential future client.
Depending on your niche, you might be able to create a printable planner to give away. For example, blog planner, weight loss planner, home finances planner, goal planner, etc.
You can get ideas for what type of planner to create by searching on Etsy.
Host a giveaway
Who doesn’t want to win a prize? If you want to grow your email list fast, host a raffle and give away something of value.
Say you have a piece of content such as “24 lead magnet ideas.” You could give away the first 25 ideas and lock your content after that. To unlock the reader has to enter their email address.
You can set this up using Thrive Leads.
How to know if you chose a good lead magnet
Have you picked a lead magnet idea yet? If not, do that now!
Then, ask yourself these questions as a way to check if you’ve chosen the right lead magnet idea.
- Does this lead magnet give the reader a quick win? (find and solve one problem only)
- Is this lead magnet easily digestible? (no 100+ page ebooks or homework to complete)
- Would your audience be willing to pay $1 to get your lead magnet? (does it provide enough value?)
- Does this lead magnet align with what product or service you’re offering / promoting?
If you answered yes to those 4 questions, great! It’s now time to build your opt-in form.
How to create your lead magnet
You can create most lead magnets on Canva like I do.
Whether it’s a checklist, a cheatsheet, or an ebook, all are very easy to create in Canva.
Another option is to start with a blank canvas and use other designs for inspiration on what to create. I’ll call this the Frankenstein method of design. It’s where you take a few designs you like, find the best parts, and create your own custom design from it.
For example, I came across a website displaying their sub-headers with a background color, another using text highlighting, and have incorporated those design elements on my own website.
After choosing a template and creating your lead magnet, save it as a PDF and you’re done!
Until next time,