Lead Magnets: How to Find the Perfect Hook to Engage More Leads

Lead Magnets Guide

Do you want to attract more potential customers? Lead magnets are the perfect solution.


Your email list is the most powerful marketing tool you have — the return on investment (ROI) on an email marketing campaign is on average $42 for every $1 spent.


To build your email list, you need your prospect’s contact information, and an exciting lead magnet is the best starting point.


In this post, we’ll take a look at what a lead magnet is and how to use it effectively. 


We’ve also included some examples, so you can see lead magnets in action.


Let’s get started!

1. What is a lead magnet?

First impressions matter.


If the first product your lead receives from you is both valuable and free, you have a much better chance of converting that lead into a customer.


And that’s exactly what a lead magnet is.


It’s a free product or service that you offer visitors to your website in exchange for their email address.


This allows you to add leads to the top of your sales funnel and, hopefully, convert them into customers!


If you want to create awareness about your business and get your product out there, lead magnets are a great way to do this.


A good lead magnet is:

  • Relevant to your audience
  • Valuable to your audience
  • Serves your business by showcasing your expertise
  • Provides instant access to the promised resource

While there’s no money involved, it’s still a transaction.


You won’t trick a customer into buying a product, so don’t trick them onto your email list — give them something that’ll add value to their lives and won’t clutter their mailbox.


This is where your relationship with your potential customer begins — so make sure you’re off to a good start!

2. Why do you need a lead magnet?

lead magnet

The goal of successful lead magnets is lead generation. Once you have a visitor’s email address, they become a lead that you can add to your email list.


It’s estimated that, by 2025, 4.6 billion people will be using email. 


The truth is, you simply can’t afford not to use email marketing.


Lead magnets play an important role in both email marketing campaigns and sales funnels.

2.1. Email marketing

In short, email marketing is when you reach out to targeted leads through email campaigns.


Email marketing is a great way to build a relationship with your prospective customer


It allows you to:

  • Share success stories
  • Deliver new product information
  • Launch personalized special offers tailored to specific leads

Lead magnets are vital for email marketing because, without an email list, you can’t run an email campaign.


A great lead magnet will not only help you collect your prospect’s contact information but will also help you find qualified leads.


A lead magnet that gives prospective customers a good idea of what you offer and why your product is the one they need will attract leads that are interested in your product.


A qualified lead is more likely to buy your product, so a small list of qualified leads is worth more than hundreds of leads that might never be interested in what you’re selling.

2.2. Sales funnels

A sales funnel is your prospect’s journey from becoming aware of your business and your product to buying your product.


Creating awareness is the first step of effective sales funnels.


The lead magnet can be a useful tool to introduce you and your company and create awareness of your product.


If a prospective lead starts looking for a solution to a problem, a lead magnet that offers a starting point to solve that problem will give you an edge over your competition.

2.3. Where do lead magnets work best?

Your lead magnet needs to be somewhere it’s impossible to miss.


Hiding it at the bottom of a blog post or in the corner of your website is a bad idea — prospective customers won’t click on what they can’t see.


The best places to put a lead magnet are:

  • In social media posts
  • In a blog post dealing with the topic related to your lead magnet
  • A pop-up window on your website
  • Guest posts
  • Exit intent pop-ups

3. How to create a lead magnet

So, now we know what lead magnets are and why we need them.


Let’s go down to the workshop and take a look at how to create a lead magnet that’ll convert visitors to leads in a flash!

3.1. What does a good lead magnet need?

There are 4 components to an effective lead magnet:

1. Call-to-action — The call-to-action (CTA) is the button your site visitors click if they’re interested in your lead magnet.

2. Landing page — After clicking on the CTA, your visitor will be directed to the link magnet landing page. This will usually contain an opt-in form or pop-up asking them to provide their email address.

3. Thank you page — After providing their details, your lead reaches the “Thank You” page.

Here they’re given access to the free offer or told where to go to get the free offer.

4. Follow-up email — Now that your lead is on your email list, they can receive an automated follow-up email, or sequence of emails, to introduce them to your brand and product.

3.2. 5 Steps to create a powerful lead magnet

Let’s consider each step in the lead magnet creation process:

3.2.1. Step 1: Create a buyer’s persona

Every business should know their target audience and buyer’s persona.


Your target market is the specific group of people interested in your niche. 


The buyer’s persona is an imagined individual buyer.


Who is your ideal buyer? Some things to consider when creating a buyer’s persona are:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Motivation
  • Goals
  • Income
  • Gender

The best lead magnets are developed with a specific buyer in mind.


Ask yourself:

  • What does your buyer want?
  • What problems do they need to solve?
  • What keeps them awake at night?
  • What do they do to relax?
  • What’s important to them?

Answering these questions will help you craft the perfect lead magnet for this specific buyer.

3.2.2. Step 2: Develop a powerful offer

Once you know who you’re creating this offer for, you need to create a truly powerful offer.


If you want someone to give you their email address, you need to make it worth their while.


A good question to ask is if you received this free offer, what would convince you to sign up?


What features make this a great lead magnet?


Make your offer specific, and target one buyer’s persona — the more specific your offer is, the more qualified your leads will be which will improve conversion rates.

3.2.3. Step 3: Consider the competition

Take the time to consider what your competition is doing.


Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of lead magnets are they creating?
  • What features are they offering?
  • What problems are they solving, and what promises are they making?

You don’t want to copy your competitors, but you can definitely learn from them


See what works, and combine it with some great ideas of your own to develop a lead magnet that’ll grab people’s attention.

3.2.4. Step 4: Decide what lead magnet type you’ll be using

The type of lead magnet you use will depend on your buyer’s persona and niche.


Buyers in a creative niche, like cooking, probably won’t be interested in a detailed report on industry standards. 


Free recipes or simple how-to guides will be far more effective.


Similarly, a property investor is unlikely to be interested in free desktop wallpapers for their home computer.


Make sure your offer matches your audience.


In the next section, we’ll take a look at some lead magnet types and examples.

3.2.5. Step 5: Create your lead magnet

Now that you have all the information you need, you can create the lead magnet.


Compile information into an ebook, create a set of templates for your customer, or record some on-demand webinars — the possibilities are endless!

3.3. How many do you need?

Research has shown that you may need 15 or more lead magnets! This may sound like a lot, but there’s some method to the madness.


It comes down to segmentation. The best way to send personalized emails and marketing offers is to segment your email list.


Remember the buyer’s persona you created in Step 1? You’d use the same criteria to segment your email list to make sure that the right message reaches the right person at the right time.


Essentially, you’re creating a separate lead magnet for every tag on your email list.


So consider each lead magnet as the first step to segmenting your list.

4. 15 Lead magnet types with examples

The days of relying on a newsletter as a lead magnet are long gone. 


A newsletter is a must-have, but few people will sign up just to get one.


If you want a prospect’s email address, you’ll need to get creative!


Let’s take a look at a few lead magnet ideas with examples.

4.1. Useful business and personal development tools

Life is stressful enough, so providing your site visitors with tools to make their lives easier is a good way to attract some leads.


Some useful tools could be:

  • Templates — Every time your lead doesn’t have to draw up a new business email or tax return spreadsheet, they’ll thank you
  • Scripts — Consider how valuable a script for a job interview would be to a high school graduate or professional looking to advance in their career
  • Calendars and planners — These can be either digital or printable and help your lead organize their life better, giving them more time to enjoy your product

Smart Business Revolution is a B2B company specializing in using podcasts as a marketing tool to improve sales.


Their lead magnet is a cheat sheet on what you need and how to run a profitable podcast.


This is a good idea for a lead magnet, as it educates visitors about podcasts and encourages them to return to Smart Business Revolution when they’re ready to host their own:

Smart Business Revolution

4.2. Free samples

Probably the best way to convince your potential customer that your product is really the one they need to solve their problems is to let them try it for themselves.


Besides, who doesn’t like free stuff!


This lead magnet is a great two-for-one deal — you’re generating leads and promoting your product at the same time.


Some ideas for freebies could be:

  • Free samples of physical products
  • Free trial period for digital products or services
  • A sample chapter of a longer book
  • A sample video or an audio snippet

While it’s not technically a free sample, free shipping on any ordered products can also be a great lead magnet!


Moo uses this type of lead magnet very well.


As a company specializing in branding merchandise for marketing purposes, they trade in physical products.


A free sample allows their visitors to test their product and service, and if they’re happy with the result, they’ll use Moo when they need branding for advertising purposes.


If you’ve ever ordered something online, you know expectation and reality don’t always coincide.


Moo reassures their customers by using a sample pack of products as a clever lead magnet:

Moo lead magnet

Source: Moo.com

4.3. Tutorial or free guide

A short tutorial on how to achieve a specific goal, or a free guide on how to do something, are both great ways to give your potential lead an immediate solution to a problem.


This is also a great lead magnet to show off your expertise. 


If you can easily solve someone’s problem quickly, odds are, they’ll be back for more.


A free guide is a popular lead magnet in the health and weight loss industry — people want to see results, and they want to see them now!


RunToTheFinish uses this desire for instant gratification with a free guide on what you should eat before going for a run — whether it’s a quick afternoon jog or a day-long race.


RunToTheFinish offers products and courses. When leads follow the guide and improve their performance, they’ll be willing to spend money on future products and services:

RunToTheFinish.com

4.4. Ebook

A free ebook is a great downloadable lead magnet that can provide tremendous value to your prospective customer.


Ebooks can be any length — from a few pages to hundreds of pages and can cover any topic. Some ideas for ebooks could be:

  • Self-help guides
  • A collection of recipes or motivational quotes
  • A collection of tips for how to start your own business

Creating content is as easy as looking at your blog, if you have one. 


Find a blog post that did particularly well, and expand on that.


Your ebook should be easy to read, so strike up a conversational tone, and keep it casual. 


Your lead is far more likely to finish an entertaining read than something reminding them of a highschool textbook!


At systeme.io, we understand our customers’ desire for financial freedom, so we offer an ebook on exactly how to make that happen.


Reading the ebook will show leads that we value their goals and are willing to help them reach those goals, so our business tools are worth the investment:

systeme.io’s free ebook

systeme.io’s free ebook

4.5. Online or email course

Much like an ebook, an online or email course is a great way to show off your expertise.


You can create a course around any topic, but online courses tend to work better for a niche where continuous personal development and growth are a priority.


A free course on how to invest or how to choose a new business venture could be ideal for small business owners.


Be careful though, you don’t want to give away everything.


Only give the basics — once your prospective customer knows you have good advice, they’ll be back for a full course on how to make money through investing or how to start that new business venture.


Crafting a clear message is vital for showing your leads that you have the answer — and encouraging them to sign up for your lead magnet.


The Unconventionalists is a life coach that understands the value of a clear message and offers a video training course to help you do just that.


Once leads have gotten a taste of how to effectively change their message, they can book a workshop or one-on-one coaching session to improve every aspect of their lives:

TheUnconventionalists.com

4.6. Webinar

A webinar is a popular marketing tool but can also be an effective lead magnet.


Unlike online courses, a webinar can be either pre-recorded and made available on request or can be presented live.


A live webinar allows for a Q&A session which will give your lead a chance to get to know you.


You can also limit the number of participants which will create a level of exclusivity, making your webinar more desirable and encouraging site visitors to opt in.


Much like ebooks and online courses, an evergreen webinar is something you only need to create once, and you can continue using it for months or even years if the information isn’t time sensitive.


Again, be careful not to give away everything, but feel free to show off just how much of an expert you are!


Amy Porterfield, a well-known business coach, understands both the importance of email lists and how hard it can be to grow your list.


Using this pain point, she created a lead magnet to help her leads solve that problem with a useful webinar.


Solving one problem shows leads that she knows what she’s talking about, encouraging them to sign up for coaching to improve all aspects of their business:

AmyPorterfield.com

4.7. Quizzes, surveys, and polls

A fun way to generate leads is to use quizzes, surveys, and polls.


People love quizzes, and surveys make for great lead magnets. In fact, interactive content has two times more engagement, making this a valuable resource.


Everyone likes to feel like they’re being heard and that their opinion counts — so give your visitors a chance to voice their opinions.


Not only will you generate leads, but you can get a good idea of what problems your visitors are facing.


For example, a survey on healthy living will give you a good idea of what issues your customers face when trying to live a healthy life.


Armed with more information, you can develop better products, and great lead magnets, that your buyer will love.


MND, a marketing and social media consultant, decided to use the popular question of how to use social media effectively as a lead magnet.


The quiz is a fun way for her to find out exactly what her customer needs and allows her to tailor her service accordingly:

Mnd-marketing.com

4.8. Discounts, special offers, and coupons

Much like getting stuff for free, a special offer or a coupon on your product will encourage website visitors to sign up and take advantage of the discount.


Putting a time limit on the special offer will also create a sense of urgency, encouraging your prospective customer to act quickly if they don’t want to lose out.


Neutrogena, a popular cosmetics and skincare brand, offers first-time visitors a 15% discount on their first purchase.


This gives leads a chance to test the product themselves — all they have to do is sign up!

Neutrogena.com

4.9. Reports and white papers

Industry reports and white papers are more data dense than ebooks and also tend to take more research, and effort, to put together.


If your niche lies in a technical or academic field, like engineering or research, this could be the perfect lead magnet.


Technical manuals listing the specifications of a product, or an industry report indicating how your product can improve research methods, will show your buyer that you can solve their problem.


Contentsquare used their 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark Report as a lead magnet. 


It shows their users how their own customer experience compares to the rest of the industry.


Of course, if the user realizes their customer experience isn’t in line with industry standards, Contentsquare will be there to solve the problem!

Contentsquare.com

4.10. Automated or real world evaluations

Similar to quizzes, but usually with a more serious tone, evaluations — both automated or in real time — can help your visitor identify a problem they might not have known they have.


Doing the evaluation is completely free, and all your visitor needs to do is provide their contact details so that you can send them their results.


WordStream, an online advertising service, offers their leads a free evaluation to see how well their Google Ads are doing.


Of course, in order to get a demo report, the lead needs to part with their precious contact information, adding them to WordStream’s email list.


If their ads aren’t doing well, WordStream is ready to step in with a marketing solution to help them improve the effectiveness of their ad campaigns:

WordStream

4.11. Access to a private group or membership site

Exclusivity is your friend. Who doesn’t like to feel special?


Instead of asking your lead to opt in to your newsletter, give them access to a private, members-only, group where they get access to exclusive content.


Of course, while these types of lead magnets can provide your lead with loads of value, it’ll take more effort and investment from your side to maintain, as you’ll need to generate great content and run regular updates.


So while this is a good lead magnet idea, make sure that you’re targeting the right audience — after putting in this much effort, you want leads to become paying customers!


The Membership Guys does this particularly well. For their lead magnet, they combined the sense of exclusivity with a downloadable free guide.


In exchange for an email address, leads get a free guide on how to create a membership site and exclusive content.


Once leads realize how valuable the tips are, they can subscribe to the Membership Academy for more training on how to grow their membership sites:

TheMembershipGuys

4.12. Challenge

Who doesn’t like a challenge?


If your lead is eager to make a change, a 30-day challenge to declutter their office or improve their diet might be just the motivation they need to get started.


Of course, since they’re providing you with a valuable email address, keep in touch and provide encouragement along the way — this will allow you to build a relationship with your lead.


Odds are, your lead will be far more likely to do business with a supportive friend who understands their struggles.


The holidays are coming up and, with it, the temptation to indulge.


Nutrition Stripped understands what struggles their leads might be facing and turns this into a clever lead magnet. With a 7-day challenge, they’re encouraging leads to watch what they eat.


Completing the challenge will motivate leads to join a coaching program with Nutrition Stripped to make a permanent change to their lifestyle:

NutritionStripped

4.13. Web and mobile apps

These days, we use apps for everything. Need to order a ride? There’s an app for that. 


Want to measure your steps to keep track of your health? Ditto.


Creating a free app that visitors can use after signing up is a great way to generate leads.


However, you’ll be competing with loads of other apps, so make sure your app is either super useful or super entertaining!


Here we can take a moment to learn from the gaming industry — creating free game apps with in-game purchases will not only grow your email list but can also make you some money along the way.


Remente is all about personal growth and development, and they understand that, sometimes, you need a reminder to take care of yourself. Of course, they have an app for that.


Their focus is not on individuals — they sell business packages to improve the well-being of employees and, thus, productivity and leadership.


After trying it out themselves and finding how well it works, leads are more likely to invest in the product to improve their businesses:

Remente.com

Source: Remente.com

4.14. Free coaching or consulting

The best way to get to know someone is to talk to them. Free consultation or one-on-one coaching is a great marketing strategy and a lead magnet that provides loads of value.


During the free session, let your lead do the talking. By simply listening, you can identify pain points your lead needs help with.


You can create a connection with your lead, and based on the information, you can develop a personalized solution that’ll work for that particular lead to solve their specific problem.


A free session will show your lead that you truly care and will give you the chance to establish your expertise.


Talane Miedaner is a life coach with an international audience.


As her lead magnet, she uses an exit intent pop-up that offers a free mini coaching course to help people discover which areas of their life need improvement.


Of course, once that’s been identified, she’s happy to provide some coaching to address the issues:

LifeCoach

4.15. Cases studies

Finally, a case study is a valuable tool when it comes to lead generation.


There are 2 types of case studies you can use.


For a more technical niche, a case study on a specific industry event provides information to your lead, showing them you understand the industry and can solve their problems.


Alternatively, a case study can be a personal story on how your product helped someone and solved their problem.


People are far more likely to spend money on a product that works.


Fractl is a marketing agency that uses a case study as their lead magnet that shows how effective their product is.


By showing their leads that they can deliver on their promises, they’re winning more customers:

Frac.tl

Source: Frac.tl

4.16. More examples

These are some of the best lead magnets to use, but they’re not the only ones.


Some other lead magnet examples are:

  • A list of journaling prompts
  • Workbooks
  • Checklists
  • Bonus packs
  • Resource libraries
  • Recipes

The only way to find the right lead magnet for your buyer is in-depth research and trial and error.


Let’s find out what tools you need to create winning lead magnets.

5. Lead magnet tools

Lead magnet tools

Creating lead magnets is not that hard, but it can be even easier with the right tools to get the job done.


Let’s take a look at some tools on the market that can help you create a lead magnet without any hassle.

5.1. Pick a topic

  • Google it

The top 10 search results is a good indicator of what people are searching for.


If your niche lies in cooking, search some keywords, and see what people are looking for.


Do they want to learn how to bake a cake (how-to guide) or do they want to start a business (webinar/online course)?

  • AnswerThePublic

Answer the public is another great keyword and SEO tool that can be used to find lead magnet ideas.


The tool combines the search results from both Google and Bing to show you what types of questions people are asking about the topic


This is a goldmine of ideas and a great place to shop for that perfect lead magnet.

5.2. Graphic design tools

  • Canva

You don’t need to be a graphic designer, or hire a graphic designer, to create your lead magnet. 


Canva is an easy-to-use, graphic design software created for those with limited, or no, design experience.


On top of that, there’s a Free plan that gives you the basics you’ll need to create great-looking lead magnets.

  • Piktochart

Another graphic design tool, Piktochart also offers a Free plan and is very easy to use.


With this tool, you can create infographics, reports, and presentations. 


They have an entire library of templates to suit whatever you’re trying to create.

5.3. Host a webinar

  • Zoom Webinar

For live webinars, Zoom is an established and popular option. 


It also comes with a record function, so you can record your webinar and use it for marketing or as a lead magnet down the road.


Zoom does offer a Free plan, but it limits you to 100 participants and 40 minutes. 


If you’re planning on hosting a short, exclusive webinar, this isn’t a bad option to consider.

  • Wistia

Wistia is a video creation and hosting platform with a few added benefits.


Sure, you can use YouTube if you really want, but Wistia provides useful marketing tools that YouTube doesn’t:

  • Lead generating tools
  • Customizable galleries to improve your branding
  • Analytics to keep track of your reach and success

It’s a great tool for creating and hosting your webinars, but since it doesn’t include much in the line of marketing, you’d need to integrate it with email marketing software.


They do have a Free plan, so you can take it for a test drive before committing.

6. Run your campaign with systeme.io

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Of course, once you have that killer lead magnet and the leads are streaming in, you’re going to need an email marketing service to keep track of all those leads.


Systeme.io is an all-in-one marketing tool that’ll not only help you create high converting lead magnets but will also help you use those leads to grow your business.


With systeme.io, you can:

  • Build sales funnels
  • Create and host webinars
  • Create online courses
  • Build a dedicated landing page for every lead magnet
  • Create a website and blog
  • Build an email list
  • Run an email marketing campaign
  • Run an online store
  • Accept PayPal and Stripe payments
  • Automate your business

You can do all of this, and more, for free!

6.1. Systeme.io’s pricing

systeme.io’s pricing plans

systeme.io’s pricing plans

Systeme.io offers a Free plan as well as 3 paid plans. 


The Free plan is free forever and no credit card details are required.


You can pay per month, but if you pay annually, you’ll save 30%.


With every systeme.io plan, you get access to the following features:

  • Unlimited emails
  • Unlimited file storage space
  • Unlimited membership site members
  • No transaction fees
  • Affiliate programs
  • 24/7 online support

With the Freemium plan, you also get access to:

  • 3 sales funnels
  • 10 sales funnel steps
  • 1 blog with unlimited blog posts
  • 1 membership site/online course
  • 1 automation rule
  • 1 workflow
  • 1 tag
  • 1 email campaign
  • 1 one-click upsell
  • 1 order bump
  • 1 A/B test
  • 1 coupon code
  • Deadline funnels
  • Stripe and PayPal integrations
  • 1 custom domain

As your lead generating machine grows, you can easily scale your business with our 3 paid plans:

  • Startup plan at $27/month — You get more of everything as well as 3 custom domains
  • Webinar plan at $47/month — We throw in 10 custom domains, 10 webinars, and upgrade all the remaining features
  • Enterprise plan at $97/month — We give you unlimited everything, including unlimited courses, so you can build and sell as many as you want

Are you ready to create jaw-dropping lead magnets and convert leads? 


Join the systeme.io family today!

7. Conclusion

The perfect lead magnet is the first step in building a lasting relationship with your customer.


Show your lead that you care — go the extra mile, and provide great value for free!


Now that you know all the ins and outs of creating a winning lead magnet, visit systeme.io for an all-in-one marketing solution to make that lead magnet count!

Other posts about lead generation:

Get your free account

systeme.io is 100% free, forever