Top 36 Lead Magnet Ideas that are Highly Effective

If there was a definitive email marketing guide, developing effective lead magnets could easily be half the content. Lead magnets are arguably the best way to inject quality into your sales funnel. The contact information that interested leads provide a hands-off method to exponentially increase conversion quickly.

Digital marketers need to lean on their lead magnets to thrive among expanding competition in online platforms. While any business will benefit from lead magnets, your buyer personas and business profile can dictate the best strategies.

Marketing efforts get stale and you may need a lead generation refresh to breathe new life into your email list. We’ll detail 36 highly effective lead magnet ideas to implement today.

What is Lead MagnetWhat is a Lead Magnet?

The lead magnet is a valuable resource that a business provides in exchange for a prospect’s contact information. Lead magnets are often informative articles, guides or downloadable tools.


The lead magnet takes effect in one of the initial stages of the conversion path. It targets interested consumers who need a solution but are still exploring possibilities.

Why Every Business Needs a Lead Magnet

Contact information is valuable, and the consumers giving it up know this all too well. They need to get something in exchange if they are expected to hand over that information. Businesses need to present a captivating, semi-exclusive offer to compel that exchange.

The lead magnet is the value offer. It is crucial for any business to utilize lead magnets if they want to maximize their online lead generation.

Businesses use lead magnets in similar ways and the conversion path that turn website visitors into leads is straightforward:

  1. Call to Action (CTA): This is the action marketers want users to take through the lead magnet. The CTA is often to hit a button, some variation of “click here for this free resource”.
  2. Landing Page: Information capture occurs here after the user follows the CTA. They are taken to a landing page to fill out a form with their contact information.
  3. Thank You Page: When contact and other relevant information is submitted, the thank you page provides access to the resource. The page often offers a downloadable file and confirms their addition to an email list.
  4. Kickback Email: This is the initial follow-up email sent shortly after the exchange of information. It introduces the lead to the email campaign and sets off an ongoing relationship and engagement with the business.

What makes a good lead magnet

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

A good lead magnet needs to have value for your specific audience. It has to provide some kind of solution relevant to their immediate needs. The team at OptinMonster outlined a handy checklist to evaluate your lead magnets:

  • Relevant: The lead magnet has to solve a problem that your target consumer is currently facing.
  • Impactful: Whatever resource you provide needs to deliver on a promise to the lead. It has to aid them in accomplishing a goal.
  • Specific: When you offer more specific benefits through the lead magnet, it will generate more clicks.
  • Digestible: Usability is just as important as the value of the content. Shorter, easy-to-read resources hold the prospect’s engagement.
  • Valuable: Lead magnets not only need to be rich in value but also marketed as such to earn clicks.
  • Accessible: Prospects are satisfied when they do not have to wait. Making lead magnets immediately available and easy to access adds value by itself.
  • Promotional: Your lead magnet should market your unique value. This builds the ongoing relationship that moves leads toward conversion.

The 5 Major Types of Lead Magnets

The major types of lead magnets can be broken down into five categories differentiated by their goals:

  • Educational Lead Magnets
  • Entertaining Lead Magnets
  • Community-Building Lead Magnets
  • Bottom of Funnel
  • Lead Magnets
  • Useful Lead Magnets

Many of the most consistently effective lead and advertising magnets are educational in nature. But as we’ll discuss, innovative marketers are constantly finding new ways to make magnets out of just about anything.

Educational Lead Magnets

Educational lead magnets provide information on a specific topic relevant to your business. These are highly effective because they teach users about a problem that can be solved with your services. Prospects not only move closer to purchase but also view your brand’s authority in higher regard.

1. Sample Videos

Short video clips can be enough to exchange for an email address. If your offering involves video classes or services, this provides a sneak peek into your business.

2. Tutorials Online

Tutorials are step-by-step instructions for accomplishing a specific task. You can offer video tutorials or written directions in a PDF.

3. eBooks

An eBook is usually around 10,000 words so you need to communicate its high value. Readers are hesitant to commit to lengthy material but eBooks can be effective if you make the benefit irresistible.

4. Ungated Guides

Ungated guides are long-form like eBooks but are freely available on websites. Users do not have to opt-in so this helps nurture leads in initial phases and generate web traffic.

5. Newsletter

If you produce a stellar email newsletter for your current leads, you can weaponize it as a lead magnet. These can also limit opt-outs because the user is already pursuing and anticipating regular email communications.

6. Infographic

Infographics are easy to produce and even easier to digest. Visual interpretations of complex material are far more enjoyable than the same information in the text.

7. Educational Video

Video is more engaging than text and gives you a great platform to showcase your brand. You also benefit from a higher perceived value, leading to more clicks.

8. Webinar

Take your video lead magnets a step further by adding urgency with a live webinar. Available for a limited time, webinars encourage sign-ups to avoid missing out on an opportunity forever.

9. Email Course

Email courses are multi-part series that teach something specific. These are easy to set up as autoresponders, much like newsletters in a drip campaign. With multi-step courses, you can keep readers engaged longer and develop more buy-in to your brand.

10. Mind Map

Mind maps are similar to infographics in that they break complex topics into easy-to-understand visuals. Online tools make mind maps easy to create and add visual appeal, enhancing the user perception of your brand.

Entertaining Lead Magnets

Lead magnets can also be used to entertain. Offering enjoyable content encourages positive perceptions of your brand. It also saves valuable information for other lead and advertising magnets down the line.

11. Quiz-bee

Quizzes are a great source of good leads because everyone seems to enjoy them. Users can complete the quiz and then enter an email address to get the results. Since they spent all that time completing the quiz, they will be more likely to opt-in.

12. Surveys

As a marketing magnet, surveys not only generate leads but also benefit businesses with detailed information. They are surprisingly effective if you present them as being valuable to improving your business or the customer experience. People like to do favors, especially if they are not demanding, and they often enjoy providing their input.

13. Comic Strips

Comic strips can do amazing things for your brand and popular strips can go viral overnight. If you want to set yourself apart, comic strips can be a fun and unique lead magnet.

14. Quotable Quotes

Facebook and Twitter feed are full of recycled quotes to influence and inspire so their popularity is clear. Using quotes as a recurring offer is easy to work and can create connections on an emotional level.

15. Mobile App/Game

Apps and games are particularly enticing and an email address is a small price for entertaining or useful tools. You can follow up with emails to further the lead’s engagement and promote products and services. The app itself can also be used to encourage upgrades and additional purchases.

16. Desktop Wallpaper

Digital swag like desktop wallpapers is a great tangible incentive for providing contact information. They also give you a way to constantly promote your brand. Whenever the lead views the wallpaper, they will be reminded of your business.

Community Building Lead MagnetsCommunity-Building Lead Magnets

Communities are ideal for many businesses as they allow for open two-way communication between prospects and brands. Prospects can also bond with one another within these communities, strengthening their sense of investment.

17. Online Challenge

Online challenges combine the best characteristics of many lead magnets. They not only entail time-sensitivity (e.g. “30 meals for 30 days”), but they also lend support. Community-driven challenges have participants motivated by their peers, making them more likely to follow through on a CTA.

18. Membership Site

If you feel your content is valuable enough as a whole, membership sites are a great idea. Free registration to access your material also gives you the ability to monitor use and optimize the experience.

19. Facebook Group

Facebook groups are great ways to engage and share with prospects while promoting your brand. You can use these groups to post additional lead magnets and increase your chances of conversion.

20. Slack Group

As jobs are moving to remote, more and more people are becoming acquainted with Slack. This instant messaging app allows you to build a group with your brand at the center. Depending on the market, this can be a preferable alternative to Facebook.

Bottom of Funnel Lead Magnets

Following the AIDA model, lead magnets usually operate in the interest stage, before a prospect is serious about buying. Sometimes consumers fly under the radar and are in the middle of weighing their options before you get their information. Bottom of funnel lead magnets capture information just in time to guide these leads toward your solutions.

21. Free Trials

Free trials are some of the most common lead magnets. They are especially effective because they get prospects in the driver’s seat, letting them feel the benefits firsthand. There are two ways to present the free offer — free trial periods or basic packages with upgrade options. 

22. Coupons

When it’s time to buy, consumers still shop around for the best deal. Limited time coupons provide a sense of urgency and heighten their perceived value. By capturing their email, you are adding pre-qualified leads back into the sales funnel for future business.

23. Early Bird Discounts

Early bird discounts earn commitments and increase conversion. When paired with waiting lists for new product launches or limited releases, you can reward dedicated leads.

24. Free Shipping

Free shipping can be the difference for consumers ready to buy. Its common use in online shopping makes it almost non-negotiable in order to earn business.

25. Free Quotes

Quotes can earn more valuable information because leads are willing to give more for accurate pricing. They are actively seeking solutions and you can ask for more detailed information to tailor your message.

26. Catalog

Product catalogs are great advertising magnets to inspire add-ons and build the basket. The catalog puts the brand in the lead’s hands, giving you a chance to promote your unique value proposition.

Useful Lead Magnets

Useful lead magnets are the most effective top-of-funnel lead generators. These immediately benefit the prospect with usable solutions to relevant needs. The best examples of this type save subscribers substantial time, energy and money in resolving their problems.

27. Checklist

Checklists are effective and easy to create, making them one of the more favorable lead magnets. Packing information into any easy-to-read, actionable list saves both you and the reader significant time. You can create fresh checklists or repackage old content into updated summaries.

28. Recipes

Even though recipes are free-floating in bunches online, a surprising number of users subscribe to recipe lead magnets. If users find your lead magnet, they will likely enter their email for an expert’s take on good recipes.

29. Template

Templates for items like blog posts or email blasts pay recurring dividends for users that opt-in. You can keep a collection of templates as gated content as well.

30. Swipe File

A collection of swipe files are enticing to leads because they do all of the work for them. They could be headlines, designs or really anything that a prospect can simply copy for their own use.

31. Examples

People use examples for inspiration all the time. They are valued in ways similar to templates but add extra benefit to you by showing off your expertise.

32. Script

Scripts are like effective speaking or writing templates. It could be a script for phone sales, nailing interviews or creating persuasive presentations.

33. Toolkit

Toolkits give an insider look into how experts tackle projects. With so many online tools available, these help leads prioritize so they don’t feel overwhelmed by options.

34. Web App

Web apps are tools on your website, available to anyone in exchange for their email.

35. Plan/Planner

Plans make decisions for the overburdened. You could offer meal plans, workout plans or anything else that makes a lead’s decision-making process easier.

36. Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are another resource to automate labor-intensive business tasks. They give prospects a tool to input raw data and instantly get the insights they need.

Lead magnets are just one step in the journey to conversion. At the Selling Revolution, we empower clients to find success in lead generation and so much more. If you are ready to optimize your marketing and maximize your revenue, contact our team today.