9 Types of Lead Magnets to Help You Build Your Email List

By on September 22nd, 2016 in Blog

lead magnets

Lead magnets, or as some call them, ethical bribes (I don’t like the sound of that, even if it is ethical), are simply a valuable piece of content that one will exchange their contact information for. These are a critical part of marketing and, especially lead generation. Many people want to magically have a 100,000-person email list and yet they only have a newsletter sign up box on their website. Unless you are Beyonce, you are probably not getting the numbers that you desire with that tactic.

Here are 9 types of lead magnets that you can start creating TODAY (don’t wait any longer):

  1. Guidebook giving directions on something complex to your potential customers

    While a guidebook can be as long or as short as you need it to be, to explain your topic and provide value, keep in mind you want a lead magnet to be consumable typically in one sitting. If it is too long, you may lose your audience and they won’t make it to the end where there should be another call to action.

  2. Whitepaper or research report

    These can be extremely valuable to someone wanting to dive deeper on a topic and especially with certain types of audience.

  3. Templates you use and can give to your prospective customers

    These might be a formula you use to accomplish something or a step-by-step form for others to customize and use.

  4. Cheat Sheet, checklist or Handout

    These are short and provide your potential customers with helpful information that is more succinct than a longer guidebook. Usually 1-3 pages in length.

  5. A free trial of your product

    Whether it’s software, a free chapter of a book you’ve written, a free class you offer, or a sample of your product delivered in another form.

  6. Quiz or Assessment

    Everyone loves finding out more about themselves or their companies. Create an assessment that provides a score and then tips to make improvements.

  7. Video(s) providing valuable information

    A series of videos that provide value make a great magnet and can be delivered all at once, or one at time over a specific period of time.

  8. Curated list of resources that are difficult to round up otherwise

    Sure we can spend all day Googling resources, but if you have a collection of tools, resources, apps, etc. this can make a great lead magnet.

  9. A Bundle or Toolkit

    Perhaps you have a helpful bundle of tools that you can give that is a combo of some of these items.

So What Makes a Great Lead Magnet?
Here are 
5 criteria to run your lead magnets through:


  1. Make them VALUABLE. Remember, you are asking people to exchange their contact information for this. If they can find the information in an easy Google search, it doesn’t have a high perceived value.
  2. Make it LOOK VALUABLE. Put some effort into adding graphics or formatting it so it looks like more than a typed piece of paper (even if it is).
  3. Be SPECIFIC. Describe what your audience will get and how they will benefit from downloading or acquiring your lead magnet.
  4. It provides IMMEDIATE People want the answer, the tips, the value and they want it now. This is why a newsletter doesn’t make for a great lead magnet.
  5. It is CONSUMABLE in a single sitting. As mentioned earlier, if a lead magnet is too long and cannot be consumed in a single sitting, it may lose its perceived value.

Once you have a few developed, start measuring the conversion rate of each. Evaluate which types of information are most desirable and helpful to your audience. You can then create others that are similar.

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2 thoughts on “9 Types of Lead Magnets to Help You Build Your Email List

  1. dawnjmahoney says:

    Hey Gina–
    The links to the download here don’t seem to be active. Thank you!

    1. Gina Schreck says:

      Thank you so much for catching that! I have fixed it and I am emailing you the checklist. 🙂

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