How To Create An Effective Lead Magnet

How To Create An Effective Lead Magnet

An effective lead magnet is another element that is crucial to your digital marketing efforts. In this article I hope to demystify what a lead magnet is and how to make an effective one.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a highly targeted digital (or physical) content of tremendous value that is offered to a potential lead in exchange for their e-mail or other contact information.

Once you have their contact information, you can nurture that subscriber and push that lead to become a potential customer through a variety of email sequences.

The purpose of the lead magnet is to help facilitate a conversion in conjunction with your landing page. Lead magnets differ from other forms of content, because the intent is to give the lead useful and actionable content and in return you get a new lead to put into your sales funnel. 

The great thing about lead magnets is that they are highly targeted. The people that opted into your offer are after a specific need, this makes segmented and marketing to them later — easier.

Why do you need a lead magnet?

Lead magnets are essentially one of the most powerful tools you can utilize to turn inbound  traffic into a targeted lead. Lead magnets work in tandem with an effective landing page and work together to move an audience down the sales funnel and convert them into a lead. A lead can then become a paying customer by offering them additional targeted content.

With the barrage of emails we all get on a daily basis, most people do not want to give up their email addresses easily. Lead magnets work, because they offer value first for free, before asking for anything monetary. This builds trust in the consumer’s mind because you deliver on their expectations of providing you an email address in exchange for an offer.

Where do lead magnets live?

Lead Magnets typically live on landing pages. A landing page is a dedicated website page, with the sole purpose of converting inbound traffic, taking them from viewer to lead or customer. 

They can also exist on a Thank You page. A thank you page, comes after a potential lead fills out the information on the landing page and hits submit. A thank you page is an additional opportunity to upsell a customer or provide a different but related lead magnet. If they take this additional offer, they can then be put into a different sales funnel.

In addition, they can also be found on blog posts. Traffic comes to blog posts via organic internet searches like Google or through paid traffic sources like Facebook or Instagram.

Inserting lead magnet buttons and banners into your blog can help convert inbound traffic to leads. 

Take a look below at some examples of Landing Pages we created for clients.

Rudderless Travel - Travel Horror Stories Podcast - Landing Page

Rudderless Travel – Travel Horror Stories Podcast – Landing Page
Offer: Free unreleased podcast episode

Type: Tip Sheet
Industry: Travel

Say It Loud - Landing Page

Say It Loud – Landing Page
Offer: Free webinar teaching financial literacy on Zoom
Type: Webinar
Industry: Non-Profit

FitNanceIQ - Landing Page

FitNanceIQ – Landing Page and Lead Magnet
Offer: Free 30 minute consultation and FICO Score Tip Sheet

Type: Consultation and Tip Sheet
Industry: Finance

Ideas for Lead Magnets

There are many different kinds of offers. Here is a comprehensive list of lead magnets ideas you can use.

Content Upgrades

Content upgrades is additional bonus content, that adds on to the niche of the website or the content they are currently viewing. For example, if you are reading a blog post about “How To Build An Effective Lead Magnet” like you’re reading now. A great content upgrade may be “Sign up here to get 100 Lead Magnet Examples” or “Get our Lead Magnet Checklist Now.” It effectively builds upon content you already know the viewer is interested in.

Content upgrades are a great way to convert traffic to your blog post to leads. They can be added to existing popular content or to new posts with a content upgrade in mind.

Content upgrades can also be used on more than one blog post, about related content.

I suggest checking your Google Analytics and find out which blog posts are performing the best and then build content upgrades around that content.


A free consultation can be a great lead magnet for people in the professional services industry such as business consultants, accountants, lawyers, and more! Consultations are great, as they allow you to get one on one with a potential customer, understand their needs and propose possible solutions.

Digital Downloads

Downloads are extremely popular as an effective lead magnet, because they are usually quick to create and they can be offered instantly.

There are many different kinds of Lead Magnet that can be digital downloads. Here is an extensive list, that we broke down further into various categories like Creative, Practical, Entertaining, Educational, Community Development and Bottom of Funnel.

Creative & Technical


Templates are great because they act as a starting point to create something new on top of that. They usually get all of the technical elements out of the way and allow a potential lead to just fill in the details or start creating.

Swipe Files

Swipe files are similar to templates in that it acts as a starting point, but it goes further than templates by providing things like layouts, sales copy, pictures and more, and all you have to do is insert your brand information. They are an enormous time saver and build efficiency for the user. Swipe files offer tried and proven methods to achieve specific tasks. They have built in social proof as well, as these are usually provided by experts in their field.


Mockups are great for the graphic design or printables world. They are a visual representation of how a design may look in a picture frame or on a t-shirt for example. Mockups are really useful in helping potential customers make buying decisions. So this world is always looking for good mockups.


Scripts are great for anyone who needs help in writing something efficiently and effectively especially in terms of sales copy. They can be used for both consumers (B2C) and businesses (B2B). For example, a good script may show a consumer what to write in a cover letter and for business it might show them how to write effective email headlines or body copy that generates leads and sales.

Resource Files

Resources are great for lead magnets for the creative industry including graphic designers, website designers, printable makers, music producers, video editors and the ever burgeoning craft makers. In these worlds free resources can be a lifeline to all of their projects. 

Resource Files Examples:
Graphics – Vectors, Graphics, Fonts, Templates, Plugins, and Icons

Audio – Sound Effects, Stock Audio and Audio Effects

Photo and Video – Stock Photos, Stock Videos and Motion Graphics Templates

Websites – Website Themes, Coding

Website or App Tool

A website tool or app that is free to access is a great lead magnet. As people have to sign up with their email address to use it. From there they can be marketed to.

Practical Tools


Guides are an extensive version of an eBook. They can be used to guide the person through an in depth and lengthy process or to give a potential lead a great overall education on a specific topic. Guides usually take longer to produce or create because of the length but they are heavy in value and will help to convert a customer.


Checklists are a great tool to aid people in focusing. They help to ensure consistency and completeness of any tasks. They can be a simple to-do list or a more complicated schedule. Checklists are easy to create and brand.  Checklists tend to convert really well, because they are easy to digest for the potential lead. They convert the best out of all lead magnets.

Cheat Sheets

Cheat sheets are similar to check lists however the main difference is that instead of just providing a list to follow, they can give more detailed guidelines or processes to follow. Cheat sheets like checklists aid people in focusing and allow them to be consistent and finish tasks.

Cheat sheets are also easy to create and brand. Cheat sheets tend to convert well, because they can be consumed quickly and acted upon efficiently.

Resource Lists

Resource lists are really valuable to your potential leads because you are saving them time. Time is valuable, so resource lists are appealing because they show the lead that this list would normally take tons of time to do yourself, so you are offering them a quick shortcut.

Tool Kits

Tool kits are similar to resource lists, in that they provide potential leads with the gift of time saving. Tool kits are great for any expert, as it provides a list of tools and/or how to use them to achieve a specified objective, goal or task. Leads are drawn to this, because they want to know what people who are successful are using. Tool kits have a built in form of social proof, because if an expert has used them to be successful, if you use them you will be successful too.

Tip Sheets

A tip sheet is essentially a list of tips a customer can refer to generally when tackling goals or objectives. These work similarly to cheat sheets and checklists, as they are easy to consume and convert well.


Examples are great as lead magnet, because people love to have something to reference when they are creating. It is useful, and makes life easier. 


Calendars can be useful for any industry that heavily relies on following dates and times. For instance, if you were targeted social media marketing specialists, you could offer a social media marketing calendar, that helps them with posting content. Or if you are in the weight loss category, you can offer a calendar that shows people what they should eat on each day and when.


Planners can be used for any industry that needs a plan to accomplish specific tasks. A planner can be based on daily activities or it can be a plan for a longer period of time. They are effective tools, because they allow people to stay organized and efficient.

For example, you could offer people a physical exercise plus meal planner, that shows people what exercises to do and food to eat, on a daily basis.

Worksheets or Workbooks

Work Sheet Lead Magnet for FitNanceIQ

Click to see a bigger picture.

Worksheets and workbooks are similar to planners as they help you complete very specific tasks, However they can have more pre-filled content that is focused on making it easier for someone to execute. They an include work schedules, working times, questions to be answered, space to brainstorm ideas or any special instructions.


Printables are similar to worksheets, as they help people complete specific tasks, however they are usually designed to be more creative in layout. Printables can also be a creatively designed to-do list, checklists, inspirational quote, catchphrase, religious quote, wedding invitations or signage, birthday invitations or signage, and more. As the name suggests, the item is designed to printed by the end user. 

Key Psychological Elements

A lead magnet can be broken down into key structural and psychological elements.

Both of these elements have been tested heavily from marketing professionals around the world and are proven to work. So I wanted to break them down for you and why they are effective.

  • Targeted Detailed Solution
  • Assurance
  • Results Oriented
  • Instant Gratification
  • High Value
  • Demonstrate Your Expertise and Value Proposition

Targeted Detailed Solution

Your lead magnet needs to be targeted to a specific audience and provide them a very detailed solution to their problem. Your lead magnet should never come across as vague or unclear. It needs to make perfect sense to your audience that your offer will solve their issues.


The lead magnet should assure your target market that this offer is the solution to what ails them. It is a promise to confidently deliver a ‘game changer’ for your potential lead.

Results Oriented

The lead magnet should focus heavily on the results the customer will get after they sign up for the offer. You want them to only focus on how great their life will be after they consume your content. Marketing always works more effectively, when you help them make a clear transition in their mind, that they will move confidently and easily from point A to B. This is often tied to the mindset of scarcity versus abundance. 


“You used to have no clients, but after you download my marketing calendar, getting new clients will be a breeze.”

Instant Gratification

Potential leads want instant gratification. Emphasize how quickly and efficiently they will get the offer and how much closer they are to getting the results they desire. The idea is to communicate there is little to no waiting involved.

Instant gratification also refers to the time it will take for the lead to consume the offer. Avoid any offers that will take weeks to read or watch. When something seems like it will take a long time, it then becomes a lot of ‘work’ to your potential lead and they are more likely not to follow through.

High Value

The offer must have a high perceived and real value. It is important that the potential lead understands through your content that what they are getting is highly valued and coveted. 

However, the offer cannot just be perceived as valuable, it must actually be valuable! It is important that what you are offering your leads is legitimately the best you can provide to your target market and it will be useful, practical and aid them in getting the results they desire.

Demonstrate Your Expertise and Value Proposition

The offer should demonstrate your expertise on the given subject. You can show this through various elements of social proof, like years of experience, awards, media mentions, money earned, reviews, number of customers, etc. 

You should also explain your value proposition. A value proposition explains what unique benefit you offer and why you are uniquely qualified to provide that benefit. It should describe your target market, their problems and why you can solve their issue better than the competitors.

Key Structural Elements

  • Media
  • Accessibility
  • Professional


Your lead magnet works best when it is a digital download such as an image, video, PDF, infographic, spreadsheet, or word processor document. It can also be a free service such as a consultation, quote or estimate. Or it can be a coupon or free test. The key here is all of them can be offered quickly and easily.


You want to make sure your lead magnet is accessible to your target audience. Generally, stick to common file types customers generally have like .jpg, .png, .pdf, .mp4, etc. However, you can offer something specific, if you know your target customer will be able to open the file. For example, you can offer a Photoshop (.psd) file to graphic designers, as they will most likely have the software to open the file.


The offer you are providing must be professional. Do not offer anything that is unprofessional or amateurish looking. People do not want offerings from amateurs, they are looking for expertise. Pay a graphic designer or copywriter to help you communicate that, this will help to maintain the perceived value of your offering.

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