A lead magnet is a free resource that you offer to your readers and prospects in exchange for their contact information, such as their name and email address. This free resource is usually a digital content offer that your audience can download and refer to anytime.

The key is that this incentive needs to be valuable. It needs to add value to your audience’s life.

Also, your lead magnet needs to be compelling. You can regard this as an irresistible bribe that makes your audience drool and incite them to send you their information.

Today, we’ll explore the various types of highly effective lead magnets that can grow your email list.

[Marketing Tips] 17 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas To Grow Your Email List

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!

1. eBook

eBook is one of the simplest lead magnets you can create from your blog posts.

You simply copy your blog post into a Word doc and format it. Do gather related blog posts and consider arranging them into an eBook. You can break it into chapters or use subheadings so the content is organized. I highly recommend that you retain your formatting (bold, underline, italic, bullet list) so readers can easily digest the content.

Also, do remember to include a Table Of Contents so readers can easily jump to the section they’re interested in.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels

2. Checklist

If you have instructional how-to or step-by-step guide blog posts, you already have the resources to create checklists.

You just have to take these blog posts and simplify them into a series of bullet points. Do condense the description and remove anything that doesn’t contain actionable advice. Also, consider breaking up the list into several numbered steps to make the outcome more achievable.

The key is to condense everything into one actionable list that your prospects can easily digest.

Offering the checklist in a printable format will allow people to physically tick off each item on the list. Such a practical lead magnet is valuable and will keep your brand at the top of your prospects’ minds.

Checklists are quick and easy to create. Hence, this should be your #1 priority when creating lead magnets.

Photo by TeroVesalainen on Pixabay

3. Ultimate Guide & How-To Tutorial

Guides and tutorials are great in educating your prospects.

Whether it’s original content or a comprehensive collection of the best articles on a particular subject, a guide is a valuable resource that people can frequently refer to.

Likewise, a tutorial teaches your prospects how to do a specific thing. It doesn’t always have to be a PDF download. You could make it into a video too! The key is to be specific and detailed. Do include a step-by-step guide if possible. Also, consider naming your tutorial as “X Steps To…” This way, people will know exactly how many steps it’ll take and thus, convert better.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels

4. Cheatsheet

A one-page cheatsheet that people can refer back to when they want to refresh their memory of a complicated topic is a valuable lead magnet. This could simply be a glossary of terms or jargon, a summary of key points or a list of guidelines or processes that people can follow to achieve a specific benefit.

As the name implies, cheatsheets take away the need to think. Your readers don’t have to memorize or implement your strategy immediately. The compact format also means that they can quickly glance at it and get the gist. In addition, it can complement their existing process.

Hence, this type of download-and-keep resource is so irresistible and compels readers to subscribe to your newsletter.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels

5. Whitepaper & Report

Have you done an in-depth research into a certain topic? Or did your team run a survey or interview?

Why not leverage this knowledge and findings and create a downloadable whitepaper or report?

Whether you do the research and collect the data yourself or pull together data from various sources, the key is that this whitepaper or report needs to be comprehensive.

Such a detailed lead magnet substantiated with facts and statistics will position you as a leader in your industry. The credible resource will also encourage readers to take valuable actions like signing up for your newsletter, buying your products or engaging your service.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels

6. Resources & Tools

A list of resources is valuable because it’s a huge time saver.

People love getting access to these resources where you’ve already done all the hard work (researching and compiling the best resources on a specific topic). It helps them save a ton of research time and they can immediately access a collection of resources and tools that solve their problem and achieve their desired results.

It doesn’t have to be a long list or a huge library with 100+ resources. It could be as simple as 5 apps that you recommend. In fact, I feel that too many resources will only overwhelm your audience. I believe “less is more” holds true in this case. A limited number of resources will allow your readers to narrow down on the best resources and fully digest your content. They’ll know exactly the pros and cons of each resource and tool and decide for themselves which is the best for them. But I strongly recommend that you still include a short summary or “Recommended For          ” for each resource and tool.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels

7. Recipe

If you belong to the food and beverage industry, recipe is a good lead magnet. You can offer free recipes of how your food and beverage can be made into a meal or what they can be combined with to create a delicious meal.

Or if you’re a food blogger, you can offer recipes of your favorite food. You can also choose to promote recipes of local cuisine.

If you’re in the fitness industry or a health professional, you can also offer healthy recipes as lead magnets.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

8. Spreadsheet

If you’re tech-savvy or a spreadsheet expert, why not use your expertise and create a lead magnet?

Spreadsheets are great in organizing and categorizing information and data. You can make your data pop with colorful charts and graphs and also save time with built-in formulas, pivot tables and conditional formatting.

In fact, I downloaded a word tracker spreadsheet because it made my writing productivity much better and my life much easier.

Think about the resources that your target audience will need. Or anything useful that helps them. Then, create a spreadsheet based on that. You can even include a bonus video guide on how to use the spreadsheet!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels

9. Workbook & Worksheet

Workbooks and worksheets help people to complete an exercise or figure something out. This download-and-complete resource allows people to apply the principles of your blog post to their own business.

The goal is to let your participants learn by doing. In this case, you’re like a teacher.

Bearing in mind that this resource will position you as an expert, you need to carefully choose the exercises to include in this workbook as well as how the worksheets are arranged and designed. They should slowly guide the participants and gradually get deeper. At the end of this workbook, participants should be able to discover new insights about their business from their short answers.

You can make the worksheets editable so that prospects can download and fill them out. Also, consider adding a section about how they can apply their newfound knowledge. Or even better, how you can help them. A workbook is a perfect stepping stone to your premium products or services.

Do ask yourself if there’s a particular subject that you can help your audience understand more clearly with a workbook.

Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels

10. Calendar, Plan & Planner

What people love about calendars and planners is that you’ve mapped out a plan for them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This takes away their need to think because you’ve already figured it out for them.

This could be a workout calendar where you plan the specific exercises to do each day. Or it could be a meal plan for busy mothers who are struggling to decide what to cook for dinner every night. This lead magnet is extremely useful for a variety of industries.

You could even provide a blank calendar so your audience can fill it themselves with their own plans. These blank planners are useful and make it easier for your audience to organize themselves.

These simple calendars, plans and planners can be used as lead magnets and whet their appetite for more. You can then sell beautifully designed calendars, plans and planners as digital products.

Etsy - Calendar

Source: TheSparkArt via Etsy

11. Template

Another popular lead magnet is template.


Because templates help people save time and streamline their processes. It gives people a foundation to work with so they don’t have to start from scratch. In fact, one of my readers commented that she’s interested in my Asana template for self-publishing!

This can be an outline or just a starting point so users can build on it. You can create templates for numerous things

  • Emails
  • Social media graphics
  • Spreadsheets

The key is tapping into what your audience needs most and creating the template for them.

You can take this a step further by creating an entire collection of templates. You can also use this template library to entice people—only subscribers will get exclusive access to this template library.

MailerLite - Mobile-Friendly Emails

12. Printable

Printables are great if you’re in the creative industry where your target audience wants something attractive that they can print out.

They are also convenient for things like shopping list or grocery list.

In addition to printable calendars, plans and planners, you can consider bullet journal templates and trackers (eg. word tracker, mood tracker, habit tracker).

Just search for printables at Etsy. It’s a great source for ideas and inspiration!

Etsy - Novel Planning Printable Worksheet

Source: plandollco via Etsy

13. Webinar

Webinar is another great lead magnet with high perceived value. You can convert your blog post that merely touches a topic into an in-depth slide presentation with valuable insights.

Live webinars are even more irresistible due to urgency. The fear of missing out will encourage people to register for the webinar which only occurs at a specific date and time.

You can host a webinar alone or do it together with your teammates.

The key is to make your webinar engaging. This can be done with Q&A sessions, breakout groups and interactive tools like polls.

Do record your webinar so you can repurpose it for future content. Besides using the webinar as a lead magnet, you can even use snippets of it to run ads or insert in your blog posts.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels

14. Brochure & Catalog

Whether you provide products or services, a brochure or catalog is the perfect lead magnet at the bottom of your funnel!

Downloading this lead magnet means that these people are warm leads that you should definitely nurture.

You could even create an email automation workflow to show them videos of how to use your products or services, testimonials and case studies, FAQ or a consultation with your team.

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels

15. Case Study

Prospects at the bottom of the funnel love to read case studies (aka customer success stories). At this stage, they’re probably shortlisting a few vendors and deciding the most suitable solution to their problem. This type of lead magnet will then show them the success your customers had after using your products and services. It also gives them that one last push to choose you over other vendors.

This lead magnet can be a simple compilation of case studies, packaged in PDF format. Do try to include the following

  • Challenges/Problems that your customers face
  • Goals/Objectives/Needs of your customers
  • Solutions

Solutions should be your main focus where you highlight how your brand solved your clients’ problems and achieved their goals. Try to include some statistics or metrics of success that will arrest attention. For example, numbers or percentages. If you have an interview clip or testimonial from these real customers, add them in too.

Do take note to get permission and approval from the clients that your case studies feature. Some of them might not be comfortable sharing these figures so try to reach an agreement with them.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

16. Free Trial, Demo, Sample, Consultation & Quote

Other bottom-of-the-funnel lead magnets are free trial, demo, sample, consultation and quote.

People who signed up for these lead magnets are warm leads. They’re only one step away from buying your products or engaging your services.

Most software and tools provide free trial or demo so users can test them out before purchasing. But this isn’t limited to apps only. You could offer a sample box of your products or just free samples like what most beauty companies provide.

Consultation is a great lead magnet if you offer services. Prospects have a chance to talk to you face to face or over the phone. They can ask whatever burning questions they have and you can address their concerns, alleviate their doubts and assure them that your service will solve their problems.

Some people might have already browsed through your website, read your FAQ and articles and are just concerned about your pricing. They might have a limited budget or are comparing the prices from various vendors. In this case, a free quote would be valuable to them because they can simply key in their information and get an estimated quote. You’ll also get their contact information in exchange where you can follow up with them.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels

17. Free Shipping, Coupon & Discount

Free shipping, coupons and discounts are compelling incentives that everyone wants.

When shopping online, most people look out for free shipping. It might just be the incentive that seals the deal, especially when they’re really close to making a purchase.

Again, coupons and discounts work well for people at the bottom of your funnel. You can convert website visitors to newsletter subscribers by offering early bird discounts or welcome coupons.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels

Bonus Tip: Use The Right Software To Create Lead Magnets

Unless you have both technical and design expertise, I recommend that you use lead magnet software such as Beacon and Designrr. With this software, you can easily transform your blog posts into professional eBooks and more. The benefit of capturing email addresses and growing your email list will certainly outweigh the pricing of this software.

If you’ve just started out, you can use more affordable alternatives like Canva. Or brush up your technical and design skills from online courses like CreativeLive, search for free templates online then customize and edit them.

There are many more software in the market. Depending on the type of lead magnet that you want to create, your expertise and your budget, some software might be more suitable for you. Do test them out and see which software works for you and your team. For instance, you might simply create an email automation workflow for a welcome coupon lead magnet.

Another tip is that you can create a lead magnet for each stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, decision. Next, incorporate a process to analyze the performance of your lead magnets and continuously improve them.

Photo by jmexclusives on Pixabay

Bonus Tip: Ensure You Deliver The Lead Magnet With Email Automation Workflow

Let’s say you spent a lot of time and manpower to create a beautifully designed lead magnet with irresistible value. But if it doesn’t end up in the hands of your audience, it’s just a waste of effort.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you set up an email automation workflow. This way, when people sign up for your lead magnet, they receive it immediately in their inbox. You can create popups with OptinMonster then integrate with email marketing software like MailerLite and MailPoet.

Most email marketing software allows you to segment your subscribers into groups or lists. You can choose to move subscribers to this “downloaded X lead magnet” group or list when they signed up the form. Then, send a drip or nurture campaign to help move these subscribers down your funnel.

For instance, if someone downloaded my “first chapter of X book” lead magnet, I’ll send a series of automated emails (Email #1 Blog Post about the inspiration behind the book, Email #2 Raving Reviews, Email #3 Discount).

MailerLite - Automation Workflow

Now It’s Your Turn

What lead magnets do you offer? Are they effective in growing your email list?

I hope you get inspiration from these low-maintenance lead magnets~


Copyright © 2017-2024
Nicole C. W. All Rights Reserved.

Want to receive updates?

Join My Newsletter Now


Be the first to know about hot new releases, tips from my blog and more.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This