If you’ve been in the online space for any time at all, chances are you probably already have at least one lead magnet that you’ve created to serve your ideal client. If you’re brand new to this whole world, though, you may be wondering, What the heck is a lead magnet?
Lead magnets can go by many names, such as “freebies” or “opt-ins.” It really doesn’t matter what you call it, but you do need to understand its purpose. Sooo, what exactly IS the purpose of a lead magnet? It’s all about building that email list, of course!
Why a lead magnet is essential to success in your online biz
Growing an email list is one of the most important pieces in building your online business. Your email list allows you the opportunity to build the know-like-trust factor with your audience. Additionally, as your audience comes to know you, like you, and trust you, they also become more likely to buy from you.
Because an email list can be such a good source of sales, you want to be sure you have mechanisms in place to grow your list. Of course, it’s important to be sure you’re attracting the right kind of person–you want to attract your ideal client and repel everyone else!
One of the best ways you can do this is to have a lead magnet that is designed with your ideal client in mind. What does she want? What does she need? What does she think she needs? When you can identify this and create a freebie specifically for that, you’ve found your sweet spot, and your email list will be sure to grow!
17 popular lead magnet ideas
Now that you know why a lead magnet is important, you may be wondering what you can actually use for your lead magnet. Not to worry! I have a list here of 17 popular lead magnet ideas that is sure to get your wheels spinning.
Step-by-step guides tend to be great lead magnets. Why? These guides are taking your ideal client and walking her one step at a time through something that has likely caused her a lot of frustration.
When you’re able to provide clear, concise instructions to get her through that frustration, you might just become her favorite new friend! Demonstrating your expertise throughout your free guide will help build that know-like-trust factor, and it will likely leave her wanting even more from you.
My top-performing lead magnet is my free “Step-by-step Guide to Getting Started with WordPress.” It walks you through everything you need to know about setting up your website, from choosing your domain name, finding a hosting provider, setting up WordPress, etc. You can find it here.
This may just be the nerd in me talking, but who the heck doesn’t like taking a quiz?! They’re so much fun!
“What should your nickname actually be?”
“How good are you at reading people?”
“What is your love language?”
“What does your handwriting say about you?”
Okay, so some of those quizzes may be kind of silly (those are actual quizzes that I found on Pinterest), but that doesn’t mean they’re not also entertaining! 🙂
You don’t have to make a goofy quiz topic, though.
Jenna Kutcher has a quiz on her site called “What’s your secret sauce? How to own your awesome, stand out from the crowd, build a successful biz, and have fun doing it!”
My friend and super-talented graphic designer, Andrea Miyares of Iconic Design Group, has a great quiz: “Are you attracting or repelling your ideal client?” (PS: You should totally check this out if you need help getting started with your branding!)
If you want to help creating your own quiz, reach out to my friend Jo Ellis. She’s the quiz queen!
Ebooks are another great lead magnet example. These tend to be more in-depth than guides, and they take a little more work on your part simply due to the nature of an ebook.
If you’re wondering what it takes to create an ebook, here’s a great blog post from Rache Ngom all about how to create an ebook.
Who doesn’t love templates, am I right?! I went through a sewing phase, and I loooooved finding free templates online. Now as an online entrepreneur, I love me some social media templates! If you’re into Excel (like I am–unapologetic nerd right here!) and so is your audience, you might think of creating an Excel budgeting template (I’ve actually done this for some friends of mine).
The possibilities are endless!
Ahhh, freebie vaults: the ultimate freebie of freebies! This is a great thing to do once you have multiple lead magnets available, OR you have a huge list of resources available that you want to share with your audience.
Check out my friend Meghan Southwell’s freebie vault for information about how to use affiliate marketing in your online biz.
If you have an exciting new program, course, service, or other awesome new thing coming up, you can build hype around it ahead of time by offering a waiting list to your audience. Once they’re on that waiting list, you can send them updates to build excitement and anticipation for the release.
You can also do this for existing products you already have but that you don’t offer year-round. For example, if you have an online course or group coaching program that you only launch a few times a year, you can keep the link to the program on your website, but connect it to a waiting list in between launches.
A checklist is an ever-popular example of a lead magnet! Checklists are great for providing a handy reference point for your ideal client–something she can come back to time and again to remember why you’re so freakin’ awesome.
To see an example of a checklist that I offer, take a look at my free SEO checklist.
Worksheets are great because they provide quick, actionable tips that your ideal client can implement the same day.
Like worksheets, workbooks also provide practical and actionable information that your audience can act on quickly–but workbooks tend to be longer (3+ pages). Because of this, they may take longer for your ideal client to complete, but once she does, she should have some great takeaways!
Download my free workbook to learn the first 5 steps I take with all of my clients.
Free challenges can be so much freakin’ fun! They can also be a lot of work, so keep that in mind before you get started 🙂
You can run a 3-5 day challenge, typically in your main (free) Facebook community as a way to promote a new course, membership site, coaching program, etc. Challenges are such a great way to really get to know your audience, especially if you’re doing daily live interactions with them.
You can also create evergreen challenges. In these challenges, your ideal client will receive the challenge information in her inbox for each day of the challenge.
Webinars are great lead magnets! Your ideal client can sign up for a webinar knowing that she’ll invest an hour or so of her time but receive a lot of value within that hour, even if she expects you to be pitching a course or other online product at the end. Webinars can be live or evergreen (meaning they’re always available and you’re not there live presenting the webinar each time).
Video trainings are similar to webinars, but these are pre-recorded videos that likely weren’t recorded with a live audience participating. This might be a step-by-step tutorial or a “lecture” format where you’re teaching the entire time.
A video training may be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour.
say you’ve previously created a 2-, 3-, or 4-part training series. Why not lump them all together and create your own mini-course?!
If you have a great course or membership site, you might consider offering a free trial for a week. For a membership site, you might even be able to offer a month-long free trial.
This will give your ideal client a glimpse at what’s inside. At the end of the trial, they’ll realize that they don’t want to miss a single day. They’ll know it’s totally worth the investment to be part of your amazing program!
Coupon code or discount
We see a lot of offers for coupons and discounts in product-based businesses. However, we can offer the same thing in service-based online businesses as well!
Maybe you offer a coupon code for 10% off your signature service, membership, or course. Be creative!
Similar to a free trial, you could offer a sneak peek to your online product. If you have a course, maybe you give them a portion of a single module. Or, maybe you offer a smaller portion of multiple modules. Either way, you leave them with enough that they’ll come running for more!
If you’re getting ready to publish a new book, perhaps you send them the first chapter as a preview. Who doesn’t want to keep reading after the first chapter?!
Creating a lead magnet your ideal client actually wants
Now that you have 17 great ideas for a lead magnet, hopefully your wheels are already spinning. Before you jump in and start creating, though, let’s make sure you’re creating something your ideal client is actually going to want! (Side note: No matter what kind of new content, product, or service you’re thinking of offering, you should always do your market research!)
How exactly do you do this market research? Great question!
Here are three quick ways to do market research:
- Create a poll in your own Facebook group.
- Create a poll in other Facebook groups where your ideal client hangs out.
- Send a Typeform questionnaire to your email list.
You can also invite individuals to a one-on-one Zoom interview, where you can take 15-20 minutes to ask them your market research questions.
Doing these interviews are a lot of fun, and it really gives you a chance to get to know your audience better. On the other hand, if you have them answer your questions within a questionnaire, their responses can be easier to refer back to when necessary.
When your market research is done, you should have a good idea of what your ideal client wants–and note that sometimes what she “wants” doesn’t always perfectly align with what she “needs.” That’s where your creative genius comes in: your amazing new lead magnet will deliver both of those things!
Primary goals of your lead magnet
There are a couple of key points to keep in mind as you’re creating your new lead magnet: first, be sure that your lead magnet gives your ideal client a quick win. You don’t want to deliver something that will take her a month to complete.
Second, be sure your lead magnet provides your ideal client with massive value. When she’s done implementing everything you provided within that freebie, she should be thinking to herself, “Daaaaang. If [insert your name here] gave me all this info for FREE, how good is her paid stuff?!” She’ll be so much more likely to be excited to buy from you in the future!
Tools to use to create your lead magnet
Once you’ve determined the type of lead magnet you’re going to offer and you’ve done your market research, it’s time to actually create that baby. But how do you do that?
If you’re creating a simple document, like a checklist, worksheet, or even a workbook, you can use Canva. Canva is my favorite tool for quickly creating beautiful graphics, flyers, and simple documents.
If you’re creating a text-heavy document like a step-by-step guide or ebook, you might want to use Microsoft Word or Google Docs. I used Word to create my free WordPress guide.
For video and audio trainings, you could use Zoom. Zoom provides both video and audio files. With Zoom, you can do both live video of your own beautiful face, or you can share your screen to record a presentation or tutorial.
Another option for video recording is Loom. This is the tool I use for all of my video tutorials.
When you’re presenting a webinar, I recommend going with a provider like WebinarJam.
For a mini-course (or a sneak peek at an existing course), I love Teachable. Teachable is where I host all of my courses. There are many platforms out there, of course. Several of my online biz buddies love Kajabi, so take a look at each and see which one you prefer!
When you run a free challenge (if it’s live), you’ll need a Facebook group if you don’t already have one as well as an email marketing provider (we’ll talk more about that in a moment). Once you decide to make your challenge evergreen, you can host it within your course platform.
Your freebie vault can live either directly on your website as a password-protected page, or it can be set up as a course within your course platform.
Delivering your lead magnet
You’ve got your lead magnet ready to go–woohoo!! But, how exactly do you get it to your ideal client?
There’s really only one good way: you send it to her inbox!
By now you know that one of the primary purposes of creating a stellar lead magnet is to grow your email list. Naturally, then, you’re going to deliver said stellar lead magnet directly to her inbox so she can grow accustomed to seeing your name there!
There are a lot of great email marketing providers out there. I use ActiveCampaign, and I freaking love it–not gonna lie! (Side note: I love ActiveCampaign so much that I now manage ActiveCampaign accounts for driven entrepreneurs who want to reclaim their time. Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with me here!)
When I first got started, I used MailerLite, and I was extremely happy with it until I needed to create more advanced automations in my funnels.
Bottom line: no matter which email marketing provider you choose, pick one and use it! Here’s the gist of what you’ll need to do:
- Create a list/group for your new lead magnet within your email marketing platform.
- Create a sign-up form linking new subscribers to said list.
- Embed the sign-up form on your website.
- Create an automation within your email marketing platform so that as soon as someone signs up for your lead magnet, they receive an email with the necessary info.
- Bonus points: Create a nurture/welcome sequence so that they continue to receive emails from you every day or two after they receive their freebie to build the know-like-trust factor.
What’s your favorite lead magnet?
We covered a lot today, but I hope this leaves you with some inspiration for a new lead magnet.
Do you have an awesome lead magnet you want to share with us? Tell us about it in the comments below!