11 effective lead magnet ideas to grow your email list (with examples)

Digital marketers can attract potential customers to their brands by using lead magnets. Here are 11 lead magnet ideas worth exploring.

11 effective lead magnet ideas to grow your email list (with examples)

According to a study by OptinMonster, 60% of consumers are willing to subscribe to a brand’s email list to receive promotional messages, while only 20% will follow its social media to get the same offer. This means smart marketers simply cannot ignore email marketing.

Digital marketers have long stated the importance of list building as part of their sales funnel. But while signing up for a newsletter is easy, not everyone will share their personal information for free. This is where lead magnets come in.

Lead magnet marketing is when you offer a free item or service to prospective clients in return for their contact information. Businesses can then follow up with these potential customers (leads) via sales outreach and offers over time. 

Not only are lead magnets great tools for marketers seeking to bring in new clients, but they can also help in creating positive brand awareness. It’s wise to remember that these free offers should be accessible, highly specific, and provide instant gratification to the lead.

Here are 11 lead magnet ideas that you may want to consider for your brand. 

Effective lead magnet ideas for global marketers

Cheatsheet

A cheatsheet is simple and straightforward. It provides a specific benefit. Usually one or two pages long, a cheatsheet can be thought of as the sexier cousin of a guide or a report. You can also spice it up by replacing the cheatsheet format with ‘checklist’,’ ‘blueprint’,’ or ‘mind map’ to make it more appealing to potential clients.

Subscribe-Contentgrip

Marketing consulting firm GetUplift offers an interesting example. The company’s cheatsheet is meant to help clients design a better landing page. This lead magnet showcases the firm’s expertise and helps establish a baseline of trust from potential customers.

cheatsheet - lead magnet ideas

See: 5 clever blog marketing examples and what you can learn from them

Templates

A simple template can be one of the most effective lead magnets. From proposals to calendars, a free template should be easy to use and beneficial to anyone. The key is to create actionable templates that people can start using immediately.

For example, social media management tool Hootsuite doesn’t settle on just one template. It offers a total of nine social media templates that visitors can use. When downloaded, users can find Hootsuite’s branding inside the template.

Infographics

This is another fun and easy way to create a high-conversion lead magnet. A good infographic condenses information and data into an easy-to-understand visual format. You can also pair your infographic with other lead magnets, like a free e-book or a free template for better results. Also, do make sure that your infographics are well-designed so they can be shared on social media for further exposure.

Here’s how ecommerce marketing agency Campaign Creators offers a simple guide on marketing ROI metrics by using an infographic. When the prospective client wants to download it, they are asked to sign up to the mailing list.

Free samples or free trials

Free samples or trials are effective lead magnets for businesses in the services or software-as-a-service space. Freebies are a great way to let potential clients experience what you have to offer. This also makes it easier to encourage them to purchase your product in a follow-up offer, as they are already familiar with your brand and service.

Take a look at how Dropbox offers a free trial for its business tier in exchange for your email.

free trials - lead magnet ideas

Here’s another lead magnet from SnackNation that offers a free sample box of its product.

free samples - lead magnet ideas

Discounts and coupons

If you can’t hand out free products, why not do coupons and discounts? This is one of the simplest lead magnet ideas to welcome new customers by offering lower prices on the items they already want.

Avid online shoppers have surely come across this type of lead magnet. Here’s a good one from fashion brand Kate Spade.

discounts and coupons - lead magnet ideas

See: 5 smart B2B content marketing examples and success stories

Free consultation

Everyone needs a solution to their problem and a valuable free consultation can go a long way. Calling a potential customer not only makes it easier to introduce your business and services, but it also creates a lasting impact by establishing a human connection. This personalized lead magnet may help you close a deal sooner, as potential clients already trust you as an expert in the field.

Here’s a good example of a free consultation for potential customers who have problems with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office.

free consultation - lead magnet ideas

Planners or calendars

Planners and calendars may look simple, but they are quite helpful and sought-after lead magnets. From workout calendars to social media planners, these freebies are easy to use and beneficial for almost every industry type.

For example, digital marketer Kimberly Ann Jimenez offers an easy-to-use social media calendar with a bonus cheat sheet to help visitors better organize their social media content.

Spreadsheets

Excel spreadsheets are another useful freebie that you can use to attract new clients. The goal is to provide an easy way for businesses to analyze their data and improve efficiency.

Software management brand Smartsheet offers a whopping 32 free Excel templates that include project timelines, expense reports, inventory and business budget sheets, and more.

See: 5 simple email marketing ideas to consider for your campaigns

Educational videos

With the rise of video content on the internet, educational videos can work wonders, as they’re easy to digest, fun to watch, and offer quick gratification.

Take a look at how American author David Siteman Garland offers video tutorials in exchange for your email.

Here’s another lead magnet from The Copy Cure that offers a free sample video of its copywriting class.

Pro tip: When writing your video headline, make sure to list the number of parts the video will have (e.g. ‘three secrets,’ ‘five steps,’ ‘four ways,’ etc). This gives the audience a clear idea of what to expect.  

Educational audio

As more and more people tune in to podcasts, why not offer educational audio to those busy bees who don’t have time to watch videos or read guides? You can record a fresh audio file or (in some cases) simply extract the audio from your existing video to make it easy.

Here’s an excellent example of educational audio from life coach Marie Forleo. The audio training guide offers simple strategies and motivation input on how to get anything you want.

Founder and podcast host Mark Leruste of The Unconventionalists uses audio training for 80% of his leads. His free audio training targets potential clients who seek to amplify their brand messages. For more insights, they can sign up for his eight-week online course. This soft-sell serves as a bridge for potential clients to buy your main product; in this case, it’s Mark’s online courses.

Webinar

While video and audio lead magnets have their charms, the webinar format offers something different: a limited period of time to get educational or problem-solving insights from experts.

The time factor creates a sense of urgency. Data shows that webinars have high perceived value and offer one of the best conversion rates as lead magnets.

Usually pre-recorded or live streamed, webinars can help get leads familiar with your product or service, so they may eventually commit a purchase.

Digital guru Neil Patel uses webinars to attract more leads to his site. It works so well for him that he’s had 74,381 attendees join 77 webinars to date.

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