6 Types of Lead Magnets You Should Be Using in Your Business

Have you started creating lead magnets yet? If not, then you might be missing out on a great opportunity to grow your email list.

But let’s not jump too fast. People are becoming more and more protective of their emails address. Therefore, you need to make sure that what you are giving is worthy of the exchange.

Now while it’s true that lead magnets build your list, there is actually another more important factor that needs to be considered.

Lead magnets serve as the starting point of a relationship. And not just any relationship, but one that you hope will turn into a lifelong customer. For this reason it is extremely important that whatever you choose to give away will be of high value. You need to have a compelling offer if you are going to attract the types of leads you want.

The best lead magnets are those that help to solve a problem, educate or teach, and even entertain. However, regardless of the angle they need to be of quality.

Free Download: Test these different lead magnets to see what converts the best with your followers. Grab your copy of the ‘6 Types of Lead Magnets You Should Be Using in Your Business’ in PDF.

As long as it has a sufficiently high perceived value to your visitor, lead magnets don’t have to be expensive or big … in fact, lead magnets that offer too much can have the opposite effect. While a 200 page ebook may appear to offer great value, one of just 40 pages may work better as a lead magnet, because reading it won’t seem so daunting.

Ideally, lead magnets should offer something that is of immediate benefit. So lead magnets that can be ‘consumed’ quickly are better than say a full online course which requires commitment to ‘digest’. That’s why email courses are so effective. From the customer’s point of view, they don’t overwhelm, they can be consumed straight away, and they can be of real value when packed with content. From your point of view, they give you a reason to remain in contact over an extended period of weeks and even months.

6 Winning Lead Magnets Types

White Papers

White papers can be a little confusing as there are a number of definitions still commonly used. What was once considered more of a legislative document, today can serve as a theoretical basis of new technology or simply a well researched report.

Lindsay Kolowich defines a white paper as the following…

A whitepaper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.

Marketers create whitepapers to educate their audience about a particular issue or explain and promote a particular methodology. They’re advanced problem-solving guides. Typically, whitepapers require at least an email address for download (usually they require information more than that), making them great for capturing leads.

Take a look at this example from NetLine Corporation:

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when creating a white paper:

  • whitepapers are academic papers of marketing content
  • they are backed by expertise and research
  • they are well documented and referenced
  • the written tone is professional
  • they generally take weeks if not months to create

Cheat Sheet

Cheat sheets are a great way to build your email list. They are extremely useful and sought after. Essentially, they are a quick guide or set of brief instructions on how to complete a task.

The most useful cheat sheets are those that serve as a resource or reference tool that helps to make it easier to accomplish a specific goal.

For example here’s a cheat sheet offered by Jon Morrow:

Image Source: Simple Startup

In this cheat sheet, you get “52 Headline Hacks” for writing blog posts that go viral.

This is a compelling offer because it has high perceived value, speaks to a specific desire, and is relevant to bloggers.

Here are some helpful tips on how to write your own cheat sheet:

  • make sure that the content is actually something that is needed
  • it should simplify a procedure that consists of repetitive steps so that it can be used over and over again
  • where applicable use images or mind maps to show the steps involved
  • whenever possible give fill-in-the-blank style templates or content


People love to learn about themselves, and if you can provide valuable insight into a challenge they’re experiencing, their natural curiosity can make this type of lead magnet irresistible. You can have your quiz or assessment custom built, use a plug-in tool, or it can be a simple PDF; but the point is, this offer needs to be something specific, useful, and relevant to your business offerings.

Never forget that your lead magnet should always answer the question, “what’s in it for me?” from your audience’s perspective. Nobody wants your free stuff, just because you want to promote it to them and because you think it’s clever.

BuzzFeed has really become the mastermind behind some of the most viral quizzes on the internet.

Dino Grandoni says, “If you’re on Facebook, it’s been hard to miss the rise of BuzzFeed’s enigmatic personality quizzes. Its most popular quiz “What City Should You Actually Live In?” — 20 million views — spread furiously through the social network. Everyone eagerly answered seemingly random questions like “What could you eat forever?” and “What’s your jam?” and got an answer to a fairly weighty question that was perfect for sharing.”

Here’s an example of one of the illustrations created by Jen Lewis. These plus several others have caught the eye of millions who have not only loved filling them out, but have loved sharing their results on social media.

Image Source: Huffington Post

Helpful tips to make a viral quiz:

  • use a highly enticing title – one that directly grabs the attention of millions (here are a few BuzzFeed examples: what’s the name of your soul mate?, what city should you actually live in? which ‘Grease’ pink lady are you? what age are you really?, what career should you actually have?)
  • the most successful quizzes are the ones that feel personal, where they are almost tapping into some desires or attributes
  • the questions should be brief and easy to answer


People are always looking for tools to get faster results. If you have a tool that makes a process in your business more effective, turn it into a template that will be valuable to those you want to attract.

Here’s an example from Kudani:


This downloadable PDF gives you 5 blog posts templates that you can just literally copy the idea or framework and apply to your own work. Grab your own copy here.

Examples of useful templates from B2C:

  • Marketing plan
  • Email newsletters
  • Sales letters
  • Infographics
  • Presentation design

Turn your best work into a free template and you are sure to get tons of new email addresses.


Another popular lead magnet is an e-book. The more content you can give away for free the better, but don’t worry. You don’t have to write a 500-page informational guide on your topic to get people to opt in. You can simply give them a long PDF document that is formatted like an e-book. Make it easy to follow with bold headers and specific sections.

To get people interested in this lead magnet, you must design an exceptional e-book cover. Use a high-quality, yet subtle image that makes the text of the title pop. Contrasting colors work well because you want the cover to stand out from the rest of your webpage.

You should also design the cover to make it look like its 3-D instead of a flat book. This will add depth and make the e-book feel more like it’s packed with useful information.


Checklists are very cool as a lead magnet and can be used in all businesses: from how to plan or pack for your next vacation, how to create the perfect dinner and even how to give the best massage ever.

Make it simple, make it cool and valuable.

Active Network is giving a registration form checklist when registering on their website:

Image Source: ITAY PAZ

In this example backlinko.com is offering a search engine optimization (SEO) checklist to improve website raking on search engines:

Image Source: ITAY PAZ

Final Thoughts

Lead magnets are all about perceived value, but as well need to then deliver on that value. Remember, you are starting a very important relationship. You want to begin the journey to trust building. When your customers feel that you have their best interest at hand they will start buying from you.

Lead magnets can fail so it is important that you know how to fix them when they do.

When it comes to deciding which kind of lead magnet to create the best answer is to try them all. Vary between the different types and make sure to track and monitor your results. You may find that some work better than others in different niches. Test, monitor, re-test and evaluate. Let your results drive the future decisions that you make.


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‘6 Types of Lead Magnets You Should Be Using in Your Business’




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