What Is a Lead Magnet (And Lead Magnet Examples)

Melanie Balke
November 2, 2022

In the modern marketing world, leads are essential.

As the influence of inbound marketing} continues to spread, more professionals are turning to tactics that focus on generating high-quality leads.

One of these tactics is a lead magnet, and it’s a real marketing gem!

A good lead magnet can produce plenty of organic search traffic, attract more potential customers, and accumulate contact details for highly qualified leads. These fantastic tools are a real life-saver for digital marketing experts, and knowing the right way to make one can make your life a lot easier.

Lead magnets are a proven way to draw more people to your email list! They’re an invaluable source of organic growth, and their ability to produce a continuous stream of interest is their greatest strength.

What Are Lead Magnets?

A photo of an old map and a compass features header text: “The Basics: What Are Lead Magnets?”

In their most basic form, lead magnets work by drawing people to your content. An effective lead magnet will be well-written and thoroughly researched, and the content should deliver plenty of invaluable insights to the recipient.

Of course, you never give away something for free in marketing. Customers must provide their contact details to obtain a lead magnet, which allows you to lure them deeper into the sales funnel.

What Types of Lead Magnets Are There?

This is where it gets fun (especially for your content creation team)!

There are plenty of types of lead magnets. While many of these ideas revolve around downloadable content, plenty of interactive examples also exist. Regardless of your route, the ultimate goal is to produce something that appeals to your target audience by offering them a solution to their problems.

Some of the most popular lead magnets are:

  • Case Studies
  • Discount Clubs
  • eBooks and Guides
  • Evaluations
  • A Free Consultation
  • A Free Tool
  • Free Trials
  • Whitepages
  • Worksheets

So, What About Those Leads?

“Marketing 101: The Importance of Good Leads.” The text overlays a photo of a heavy barbell weight.

With that said, let’s take a moment to focus on our target audience. The concept of leads is far from new, but modern technology has revolutionized the world of lead generation.

Door-to-door sales are a thing of the past. Now, you can easily attract and cultivate leads through organic search traffic. However, you’ll want to understand a bit more about these potential leads before converting them to paying customers.

Lead Magnets, Inbound Marketing, and You

Today, most lead magnets — and by extension, lead magnet ideas — revolve around inbound marketing. Essentially, you’re trying to appeal to the ideal audience. You want to draw in potential customers who are easy to convert, and that means engaging in some lead sorting.

Also known as lead scoring, this practice revolves around determining which website visitors are the most likely to buy your product. Once these users are identified, they can be primed with positive touchpoints and lead magnets. Every bit of content is another step in the customer journey, and the grand goal is securing a devoted fan.

To achieve this, marketers must attract attention. Classically, brands would project their image outward with outbound marketing. However, the rise of the internet has birthed a lead-generating machine.

Ultimately, your goal is to use your existing content to establish your authority on a particular subject. You want your blog post to be the most successful, and you want your posts to be the most valuable resource on the web. This attracts more website visitors, which attracts more leads.

As the cycle repeats itself, you add lead magnets to hasten the process and obtain a prospect’s contact information!

What Are the Benefits of an Effective Lead Magnet?

A photo of magnetic casette tapes bears overlaying header text: “The Benefits: Why Lead Magnets Are Amazing.”

Great lead magnets are the perfect demonstration of the inbound marketing flywheel.

For customers, a lead magnet is a free sample.

For you, it’s a ticket to organic growth.

Much like inbound marketing, lead magnets are remarkably accessible. Both large and small business owners can make use of a good lead magnet; all you need is the ability to create content that appeals to your target audience.

Everyone Can Gain More Subscribers

I know I’ve already said it, but lead magnets are for everyone. You may not be able to offer free consultations or samples, but you can produce a downloadable lead magnet or an online cheat sheet.

The key to creating lead magnets that work is experience and knowledge, which makes them the perfect way to garner more attention. In fact, regardless of the type of lead magnet you choose, the end result should be the same: You’ll want to have a piece of quality content with high perceived value.

Promote More Familiarity and Boost Customer Relationships

Like any other inbound marketing tactic, a lead magnet will direct your audience to a relevant landing page. That link will lead them to an opt-in form, and the form will produce more leads.

See how everything repeats? That’s the goal of a perfect lead magnet.

However, you want to pack your content with high actual value, too.

When you achieve this goal, you give your customers a taste of your company’s abilities. Good lead magnets will bring in new leads with high-quality information and give your customers the silver bullet they need to solve their problems.

Ideally, your lead magnet will be reused again and again. That means your brand will be placed in front of your potential customers on a regular basis, increasing your prestige and standing within the industry.

Secure Qualified Leads With Established Interest in Your Product

Finally, a good magnet generates leads that are downright reliable.

Think about it this way: If someone is downloading your in-depth guide, they’re obviously interested in what you’re selling. They want to buy — or, at the very least, they want an answer to their question — and you can deliver the solution.

That’s a lot of power to wield!

Tips and Tricks to Create a Lead Magnet That Really Converts

A photo of many souvenir magnets features header text reading, “Tips & Tricks: How to Amplify Your Lead Magnets.”

All of those benefits are great, but bullet points won’t generate leads. If you want to make a successful lead magnet, you’ll need to invest time and effort into your project. These are not simple blog or social media posts!

In fact, the main difference between a blog post and a lead magnet is the depth of your content. Lead magnets should be stuffed with valuable information. After all, they’re trading their contact details for your content, so you’ll want to make it worth their time.

Make Sure You’re Solving a Problem

Here’s a real-life example: A company selling puppy training pads needed to generate more leads. While the most conventional way may have been free shopping offers, it chose to do something unique. Its content creation team produced a downloadable lead magnet about potty-training dogs, and the company gained a bunch of new subscribers.

An infographic. The header reads, “Tips & Tricks: The Importance of Value in Your Lead Magnets.” The main text reads, “It’s not enough to make a decent lead magnet. Your content needs to be amazing! The best lead magnets demonstrate knowledge of the subject while subtly promoting your product. Remember that customers are giving you their contact details. You must ensure that you deliver content worth that and more!”

To clarify my point: When making a lead magnet, it needs to be more valuable than free tickets or a private blog post. The best lead magnets solve a problem, and they provide immediate value.

They’re win-win situations. You gain access to contact details and a new lead, and your potential customer gets a solution to their problem.

Give Your Lead Magnet a Goal

The creation process must begin with a goal for you and your customer.

While it’s up to you to figure out what your marketing goals are, I can help you with your content goals. Every lead magnet should aim to solve a single problem. Otherwise, you may end up producing something that’s too long to be useful.

Think of the puppy training pad example.

Customers are looking for a way to prevent their pups from having accidents indoors, and the lead magnet delivered on that promise.

A photo of a magnetic coil. The header text reads, “Tips & Tricks: Goals to Jumpstart Your Lead Magnet Ideas.” The main text says, “While the main goal of a lead magnet will be gathering contact information, you can also have secondary goals! Many popular lead magnets have secondary functions, including boosting engagement, establishing industry prestige, improving brand recognition, and increasing social media engagement.”

At the end of the day, you must remember: Lead magnets are more than free stuff. They’re useful guides that can be passed around and reused. Your lead magnet offer should help your customers now, and it should be just as useful in the future.

Make Your Call-to-Actions Clear

Of course, you can’t focus on the content alone! You also need to consider your link-building and pop-up formatting. When visitors arrive on your landing page, they should know what they’re getting.

Take a close look at your CTAs and ask yourself:

  • Do customers know exactly what they’re getting?
  • Do customers know what to do to access your content?
  • Do your CTAs make sense within the context of your landing page?
  • Is your lead magnet clearly defined?

The answer to all of these questions must be “yes!”

Target the Right Customers

Finally, you should spend time researching your customers.

It may be tempting to lock all your content behind opt-in forms, but that won’t help your business grow.

You need a healthy mix of gated and freely accessible landing pages to gain traction online.

Achieving this balance is tricky, but it can be simplified by taking the time to understand your audience. By examining where your customers are entering your site, you’ll discover the most popular landing pages. This information can be used to extrapolate their pain points, and your magnet ideas will follow.

You should also make sure you choose the right format for your audience.

Casual viewers won’t be interested in the nitty-gritty details of whitepapers, but fellow professionals will want to see your industry knowledge. Likewise, a B2B audience will be less impressed with a simple infographic than the general public.

There are dozens of lead magnet types, and knowing which to pick can be confusing.

The right lead magnet for B2B marketing will usually be lengthier and more involved. Examples of these marketing materials include:

  • eBooks
  • A Free Guide
  • Free Trials
  • Tutorials
  • Webinars
  • White pages

However, the public will likely want less involved material. Other lead magnets will appeal to this audience, including:

  • A Cheat Sheet
  • Discount Clubs
  • DIY Instructions
  • Free Shipping Offers
  • Exclusive Videos

Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples to Boost Your Marketing

A photo of a leaf has overlaid header text: “Examples: Lead Magnet Ideas to Boost Your Content.”

To round everything off, I’ve gathered some of the best examples of great lead magnet creation. These samples demonstrate plenty of amazing qualities, but their ultimate goal is always the same.

These magnets are meant to funnel users closer to shopping online in your store, but the message should be subtle. Your magnet ideas may be amazing, but they shouldn’t beat readers over the head with your brand!

The Free Demo or Trial

I’ll kick off with one of the most common examples of a lead magnet: a free trial.

For a great example of a trial-style lead magnet, let’s look at our beloved marketing friend, Klaviyo, which allows email marketers to create templates and maintain complex mailing lists. When you visit Klaviyo’s website, you’ll immediately be greeted by a free demo hook.

A screenshot of Klaviyo’s home page. The landing page features a CTA reading, “Get a demo.”

Much like a pop-up, these demo offers are there to catch your attention. Klaviyo is assuming that you’ve landed on its page because you need its services. To “help” you out (with a wink and a nudge), Klaviyo is offering you the chance to try its software for free!

This means that Klaviyo will lose out on a small bit of revenue, but a satisfied potential customer is often worth triple the acquisition investment.

Videos and Webinars

If you’re looking for more interactive lead magnet examples, there are plenty of places offering free webinars or videos. Tableau has a wonderful example on its website! This data visualization software offers training videos for users, but you must register to gain access.

A screenshot of the header bar for Tableau’s training video section.

Aside from being one of the more unique lead magnet ideas on our list, Tableau’s page also demonstrates how a lead magnet landing page should work. At this stage, the brand assumes that you’re already interested. You are, after all, browsing its tutorial section! So, it’s reasonable to say that you must be interested in learning more, right?

While there are no pop-up notifications on Tableau’s lesson selection screen, the lead magnet really kicks in when you select a lesson. Upon choosing your video, you’re greeted by a simple request: to take a few moments and register with the website.

A screenshot of the pop-up message seen after selecting a video. The text reads, “Almost there! It only takes 15 seconds to fill out. If you’re already registered, sign in.”

This is the perfect lead magnet. It knows its target, offers high actual value, and includes a simple opt-in form. Aside from the contact details, users will also supply some additional data, which will help Tableau refine its website experience for that individual.

Crucially, this setup incentivizes paying customers. These individuals receive unlimited access to these lead magnets, and their continued engagement with the site’s content keeps the sales funnel warm.

Whitepapers for Website Visitors

Of the many types of lead magnets, one of the most effective for B2B marketing is a whitepaper. These highly specialized industry reports require a great deal of time, but the results are worth the investment.

A screenshot of the HubSpot website. The lead magnet landing page directs to a download link for the whitepaper.

HubSpot — another marketing platform — has mastered the art of B2B marketing. Its existing content is packed with invaluable marketing updates and news. Chief among these tidbits are its whitepapers, which are published with mechanical regularity.

By spending time on these reports, HubSpot has effectively established itself as a trustworthy source of marketing news.

Anyone who’s anyone knows the HubSpot brand, and that’s by design! As lovely as it may be to get free stuff, it’s only worth the effort if the content is valuable and verified. Again, the goal is to draw users in and encourage more email subscriptions.

Free Consultations

Finally, I’ll wrap up with an amazing off-line strategy.

A free consultation is a hefty deal, and it’s my favorite type of lead magnet. These sessions allow customers plenty of time to grow familiar with a brand, and a consultation lets marketers shine.

In fact, I offer free consultations with The Email Marketers!

If you’ve been struggling with your marketing, now is the perfect time to invest in a team that will create content for you. My experts know about marketing, and we specialize in crafting fantastic emails.

In the meantime, don’t forget to drop by my blog to see more amazing marketing tips and tricks! You may even find a lead magnet or two.