10 Lead Magnet Ideas That Work

Our independent research projects and impartial reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more

Leads are the lifeblood of many businesses.

This is especially true for businesses that sell complex products or offer their customers bespoke services. But, practically any business can benefit from getting more leads through the door. Even online stores can get lucrative leads from individuals, or other businesses, looking to bulk buy products.

So, it makes sense that business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers spend considerable time hunting down and trying to attract leads.

In this article, we’re going to make your life easier by introducing you to lead magnets. We’ll also offer you 10 great lead magnet ideas that you can use to generate more and better quality leads for your business.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is much as it sounds – it’s anything that helps you attract leads to your business. This is in contrast to proactive lead generation via methods such as direct email, or cold calling.

Typically, a lead magnet will use something which is valuable to attract your target audience. You’ll then give that valuable thing in exchange for information that can be used to sell those individuals a product or service.

Your lead magnet can be anything, such as:

  • Valuable content
  • Free products or services
  • A free consultation
  • Tools or tips

The information you collect in exchange for your magnet will depend on the business you run, but could include:

  • The person’s name
  • The company name
  • An email address
  • A telephone number
  • Insight into their needs
  • Key personal information such as location, age, salary, hobbies
  • Business information such as turnover, number of employees

For example, a common lead magnet used by many businesses is asking potential customers to submit their email in exchange for a useful ebook or whitepaper.

Why Use Lead Magnets?

Lead magnets are common in many industries and for good reason.

We’ve already mentioned how lead magnets can help you gather important information that can then be leveraged at a later date in order to make sales. This data can also be used when combined to give businesses better insight into their market and the customers they’re targeting.

Finally, businesses that use quality lead magnets can benefit from increasing brand awareness and positioning themselves as thought leaders in their industry.

How to Create a Great Lead Magnet

So, lead magnets are a great way to gather crucial customer data, and increase brand awareness, but what does it take to create a lead magnet? We explore this below:

Step 1 – Define Your Goal  

Unless you have a defined goal, your magnet will have little value – regardless of how successful it is at collecting leads.

Take some time to work out exactly what you want to achieve from your lead magnet. Of course, this will be “to collect leads,” but getting more granular than this is beneficial.

Ask yourself what information is required to make that lead highly valuable to your business. You’ll also want to consider how those leads will be used, and what they will help you achieve.

For example, you may seek to gather leads that will be valuable as part of a new product launch.

Step 2 – Outline Your Target Audience 

Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to work out who it is you need to reach in order to achieve it.

Your target audience may be an entirely new customer base that you’re trying to break into. Alternatively, it may be the typical people, or businesses, that are already buying from you. If this is the case, segmenting your customer base can help you create a hyper-relevant lead magnet that will generate more success.

Be as specific as you can with your target audience, outlining as many details as possible, such as age range, gender, locations, habits, and income. Not only will this help you build a better magnet, but it will also benefit you in any additional marketing (such as social media ads) that you use to promote your magnet.

Step 3 – Decide on Your Magnet 

Now, it’s time to decide on your magnet. As always when it comes to ecommerce best practices, your detailed target audience will come in very handy here.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my target audience’s pain points?
  • How can I solve those pain points?
  • What type of content will be most appealing? (We will offer you lots of inspiration on this later)

Step 4 – Design & Build Your Magnet 

Time should be taken over designing and building your magnet. The higher the quality, the more valuable it will be, and the more likely it is that your potential customers will share key information in exchange for it.

It’s well worth considering working with professionals such as graphic designers and copywriters to really nail this stage.

Step 5 – Build Your Conversion Path 

Simply having a lead magnet won’t generate many leads. You also need to consider how people will find your magnet, and what will compel them to fill out the lead form.

Creating a digital marketing plan specifically for your magnet will pay dividends in the long run.

Step 6 – Update Your Magnet Regularly 

If you want your magnet to continue bringing in high-quality leads, it’s important to keep it up to date. Set a reminder at regular intervals to review, edit, and update your magnet to keep it relevant, and keep those leads coming in.

10 Great Lead Magnet Ideas

#1. How-To Videos 

HubSpot Academy
HubSpot Academy offers how-to guides on social media management, content creation, and more.

Videos are arguably the most engaging content form. Using this medium to help your potential customers get something important done can be a highly valuable lead magnet to create.

For example, a copywriting business may create a series of videos that show potential customers how to create a killer content marketing plan. This will attract those interested in content marketing for their business. These people are also likely to be potentially high-value value clients for a copywriting business.

This type of lead magnet is especially well suited to businesses that offer services. This is because you can provide how-to guides for countless complementary tips, tricks, and skills surrounding your offering.

One of the best examples of lead magnets of this type is HubSpot’s Academy, where they offer countless guides on everything from social media management to content creation.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Your how-to videos don’t have to be super-polished or highly edited. However, they do need to be visually appealing, and simple to follow. Ensure you use a charismatic employee, or employ a professional, to represent your brand, and take time to plot the stages you’ll execute in your videos.

#2. Checklists

As simple as it may seem, a checklist can be a powerful and highly valuable piece of content. This is especially true when it’s provided by a respected business in a high-stakes industry.

For example, an estate agent could use a “buying your first home” checklist as a lead magnet. This is unlikely to be complex, but it could help first-time buyers avoid making potentially costly mistakes.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Make your checklists simple to follow. Those who download checklists are typically looking to make their lives easier, while avoiding costly or embarrassing mistakes.

#3. Business Ideas & Tips

Shopify blog
Shopify targets businesses via the content on its blog, sharing helpful ideas and tips.

For businesses that target entrepreneurial customers, a simple list of great business ideas, or tips, can be a highly successful lead generation tool.

Why? Because entrepreneurs are always looking for their next big success, or seeking out ways to improve their current businesses.

For example, an accountant may create a list of “20 of the most profitable businesses to start.” This is likely to attract those interested in starting multiple businesses, and these types of people will usually benefit from working with great accountants.

Shopify has published an article that gives away business ideas for free. However, that then includes a lead magnet for people to fill out if they want even more business ideas sent straight to their inbox.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Offer more insight than just the business idea on its own. Take time to highlight why it’s a great idea, how much it might cost, and what the potential return could be.

#4. Ebooks

kontra instagram ebook
Ebooks are a time-consuming, but high-value lead magnet.

Ebooks are one of the best-established lead magnet ideas out there.

They work well because they bring a high level of value to the table, and also take a considerable time investment to create. This means people are typically more open to exchanging personal information to access the information included in an ebook.

Kontra offers a free ebook on Instagram marketing in the hope of gathering information from businesses interested in growing their Instagram accounts and leveraging the platform.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Since your ebook should be packed with valuable information, ensure you make clear what’s covered on your lead generation page. The Kontra example does this well by using a short tick list of everything you will learn from its ebook.

#5. Community Access

Well-managed online communities can be incredibly valuable resources. These can be hosted on many platforms, from Facebook and LinkedIn groups, to dedicated forums.

Offering access to a relevant community in exchange for information can be a good way to build up a healthy bank of leads. For example, a baking equipment supplier may start a private Facebook group for home baking enthusiasts. They could then offer direct advice and publish exclusive content to the group over time. In exchange for access, the group members will provide contact details and information on the type of baking products they use.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: This type of lead magnet can be highly compelling because rather than one hit of value, you are offering consistent value over time. However, this approach will only work if you put time and effort into moderating, editing, and publishing valuable content in the group.

#6. Cheat sheets

Cheat sheets are a great way to aid your memory, especially when undertaking complex tasks. This is why a well-considered, and expertly put-together, cheat sheet can be a strong magnet for leads.

For example, an IT support company may create a cheat sheet of shortcuts for a specific piece of software that it supports. Those that fill out the lead form are highly likely to be users of that software, therefore providing the IT support company with a high-value lead.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Make your cheat sheet as specific to your offering as possible, because this will allow you to ensure all leads are of high quality and relevant to your offering.

#7. Templates

Templates can save considerable time and effort. Using a template as a lead magnet will compel those who want to get the job done quickly and to the right standard to download it.

For example, a marketing agency could offer a “how to brief your marketing agency’” template that walks potential customers through exactly what information and what level of information should be included in an agency brief. Best of all, they can also include a powerful call to action such as:

“Why not send us your completed brief for a quote?”

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Templates are supposed to make life easier, so ensure that any template you create is easy to understand and simple to follow.

#8. Toolkits

Toolkits are a collection of resources that can help individuals or businesses to get a particular job done quickly and efficiently. Creating a toolkit could involve the use of multiple other lead magnets we have outlined in this article such as how-to videos, templates, and cheat sheets.

A well-put-together toolkit can make your customer’s life significantly easier, therefore making it a powerful lead magnet.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Get hyper-focused with your toolkit. Find a process or task that is a particular pain point for your customer, then gather and create all of the resources they need to easily execute that process or task.

#9. Whitepapers

onalytica IRM whitepaper
A business, such as Onalytica, can use whitepapers to generate new leads.

Whitepapers are a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. They take a considerable amount of effort to create, and should provide readers with highly valuable information. Whitepapers can also make one of the best lead magnets.

Onalytica, an influencer marketing software company, has used whitepapers such as its “Definitive Practical Guide to IRM” to capture leads from those interested in developing influencer relationships in their business.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Creating whitepapers in collaboration with industry influencers will help you grow better reach once the lead magnet is live.

#10. Webinars

Webinars can be a smart way to deliver of-the-moment content in a highly engaging way. Using access to your webinar to collect attendee data can be a smart lead magnet.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Engage immediately with your webinar attendees by sending them marketing emails that contain notes of presentation slides after the webinar. This is a good way to get them interested in your email while subtly encouraging them to find out more about your products or services.

Lead Magnet Tips

Here are our five top tips for creating great lead magnets:

  1. Know your goal before you start.
  2. Take time to understand your audience.
  3. Create content that is highly valuable and desirable.
  4. Develop a marketing campaign to get people to notice your magnet.
  5. Consider the best method for communicating the value you will provide.

Lead Magnet Ideas: Summary

It’s clear that lead magnets can be a great way to gather valuable leads for your business. Taking time to consider your goals and your target audience will help you create a lead magnet that will be a powerful tool for business growth. Use the inspiration we offer in this article to find the best type of lead magnets for your own business.


A lead magnet is the exchange of something valuable (typically a piece of content) for data, such as contact information. The goal of a lead magnet is to attract potential customers to share their information with you so you can contact them and sell them your products or services.
Lead magnets can come in many forms. Some good ideas include how-to videos, whitepapers, toolkits, webinars, and templates.
Written by:
I’m a content writer for Website Builder Expert. I’m a bit of a business and marketing nerd and love sharing my knowledge and experience to help others achieve their business goals. From complex engineering and brewing to international events and brand design agencies, I’ve worked in marketing roles for well over 10 years now. During this time I developed a skill for turning complex (and occasionally dull) information into exciting, easy-to-understand, and actionable content. I also set up my own content marketing consultancy and launched my own ecommerce business on Shopify.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *