As the summer gets into full swing and Q3 approaches, the familiar lead generation slump hits. We’ve all been there: people start taking vacations, stop answering their phones, and your sales team starts getting antsy for more SQLs. Oh, and there’s also the whole cookieless internet thing, where first-party data collection on websites is more important than ever.
It’s prime time to set up some fresh, new lead magnets!
Read on so you can:
- Learn what a lead magnet is.
- Get inspired by 25 lead magnet ideas and examples.
- Understand what you’ll need in order to create lead magnets for your business.
With these tips and examples, you’ll be well on your way to attracting more people to your business that you can convert into customers.
What is a lead magnet?
First, let’s define exactly what a lead magnet is.
Lead magnets are an incentivized marketing tool for increasing form fills. Typically, a business offers something free, but valuable, that target prospects will be willing to obtain in exchange for their information so that you can continue building the relationship. Plus, that information is all first-party data, which is becoming crucial in a cookieless world.
Lead magnets are often associated with the top of the funnel, but they can actually be used at every stage. After all, new prospects can slide into your funnel at any point. Or if they are entering in at the top, you’ll need a way to keep them engaged and moving along through. So consider lead magnets to be offers that both attract leads to your funnel and keep them there.
Some of the core categories of lead magnets include:
- Educational materials
- Proprietary data
- Prize-based incentives
- Time-sensitive information
- Free consultations and trials
As you can see, lead magnets can come in all sorts of flavors, and as marketers, it’s our job to pick the right type to attract, engage, and convert our prospects. So let’s look at some examples and ideas.
Quick note on these lead magnet ideas
I’ve categorized the ideas by stage of funnel, but I also know that every business has a different funnel and customer journey, so adapt these ideas accordingly.
Also, many of the content-based lead magnets are versatile. For example, a downloadable checklist could be used at the top of the funnel (wedding planning checklist) and in the middle (questions to ask before choosing a wedding planner).
The image below is top-of-funnel checklist, from a process management software company: “Effective Onboarding in 31 Steps.” A mid-funnel checklist for this same company might be something like “10 Features to Look for in an SOP Automation Software Provider.”
Top-of-funnel lead magnet ideas
Lead magnets are the most fun at the top of the funnel. This gives you the most creative leeway to come up with fun ideas to entice your target audience while showing off a fun side of your brand.
These lead magnets can be topically broad compared to your product or service—but related in some sense. Remember, this is the awareness stage of your funnel. Your prospects may not even know you exist!
You’ll definitely want to put these leads through a nurture flow so that the ones that reach sales reps have intent to buy.
For top-of-funnel lead magnets, you don’t need a form requiring details. Just first name, last name, and email will do. Make sure that each lead magnet is properly tagged with a lead source so you can track the ROI down the road.
First up, giveaways. There is plenty of finesse that goes into planning and executing a giveaway, but we won’t go into all that here. What you need to know is that giveaways are great lead magnets!
Get your prospects in the door with a variety of giveaway options, from free NBA tickets to a discounted annual subscription to your product. Keep in mind that the quality of your leads will vary depending on how relevant your offering is to your product or service.
While Instagram giveaways are a great way to expand your reach and brand awareness, you’re not going to get any leads unless you have entrants DM you with their email addresses. Instead, create a landing page on your website for the giveaway, and then share that link in your social media posts.
2. Face-to-face field marketing
Field marketers interact directly with potential customers, such as at trade shows, networking events, and conferences. They employ a mix of sales and marketing expertise to educate, inform, and persuade prospects to engage with your brand. Have your field marketers collect emails to keep in touch! You’re not likely to get a high volume of leads in this manner, but the quality of the leads will be excellent.
3. Influencer collaborations
Seems like everyone and their mom is trying to be an influencer these days. Who can blame them, with all the TikTok and YouTube fame being tossed around? This is the perfect time to test out lead generation through micro-influencers.
Find an influencer in your niche, sponsor a couple posts, and collect your leads. Remember to tag them properly, especially if you choose to pay influencers on a commission or per-lead basis.
4. Blog post downloads
Visitors coming to your blog are most likely in the awareness and information-gathering stage, so focus on free and easy offers here. Free and easy for you too! Simply offer to send the post (or an abridged version) to their inbox so they can read later. All they need to do is fill out their email address. How convenient!
5. Free tools
If you didn’t already notice, we offer a variety of free tools for business owners and marketers, and it’s a win-win: They get free professional assistance that will help them get more sales, and we acquire leads who might actually increase our sales as well. High-five.
More top-of-funnel lead magnet ideas:
6. How-to and examples content (i.e., a free guide on how to write a networking email, or networking email examples)
8. Idea generators
A lead magnet about lead magnets. Whoah.
Mid-funnel lead magnet ideas
Okay, this is when lead magnets get a little more serious. Prospects entering into the middle of your funnel are aware of and interested in your business. Mid-funnel lead magnets should be at least slightly related to your product or brand, but if you’re at the mid-to-top level, you can still dance around it a little bit more.
For mid-funnel lead magnets, you may want to ask for more information than just email address. This may include name, company name, email, and whatever qualifiers will help you. For example, I like to ask my prospects to select with compliance framework they are interested in. This informs the content I send their way down the line and helps my sales team pitch more accurately.
And make sure you continue nurturing these leads! Your sales team might be eager to get on the phone with these more qualified leads, but tag them and place them into a nurture stream where they belong. Don’t scare them off with heavy-handed sales tactics.
Webinars are all the rage these days. I’m a big fan of virtual lunch-and-learns, particularly featuring how-tos or trending topics. Even better, any webinar can be recorded and reused, or emailed out as part of a nurture campaign.
If you’re hosting a webinar, make sure to ask your participants what questions they’d like answered during the session–you can glean more engagement and information from leads that way.
If your product helps streamline a solution or gives your team intimate knowledge into a niche process, checklists give you a high-level, low-effort way to share that know-how. Hot tip: downloadable checklists typically perform well in Google ad campaigns.
12. Free templates
I’m a sucker for resume templates. I can’t help it; every time I am editing a resume, I need to find a new design. And as a result, a crazy amount of companies hawking resume templates have my email address.
Offer a template for something that you would consider yourself an expert on. For example, how to design a project management flow. Or a notion.io content marketing calendar (I’m in the market for one!).
Templates are more mid-funnel compared to examples, since the prospect is not just looking for ideas anymore, but ready to put pen to paper and get down to it.
More mid-funnel lead magnet ideas
13. Original data reports
14. Product comparisons
15. Email courses
Bottom-of-funnel lead magnet ideas
These lead magnet ideas are for the cream-of-the-crop prospects. They might already know your brand and trust your content. This is the opportunity to show that your product is right for them.
16. Case studies
Case studies can be a snoozefest. It’s easy to go wrong with these, but if you add a little extra ‘oomph’ to the content, you could have a great download on your hands.
While most companies will share a case study with a title like, “X company helped Y company increase revenue by 50%! See how we did it.” And there is nothing wrong with that. But if you take the time to insert actionable data and insights into your case study, it’ll make it worth an email submission.
17. Product picker
This might be my favorite type of lead magnet. I know, you probably thought I was going to say whitepapers were my bread-and-butter but WHEW. I love quizzes.
Why are they so great? It’s the best time to show off your authority on a niche topic in an engaging way. This is great for leads who are ready to buy, but don’t know what exactly they want. My company, Laika, has a quiz to see which compliance framework is right for your business.
18. Partner referral discounts
You’ll likely need to get any type of discount cleared with your department heads and sales teams. But discounts are powerful hooks; everyone loves to save money.
I recommend reaching out to your partners to let them know that anyone who submits their information with a specific code or through a certain page will receive a percent off the purchase of your product.
19. Event tickets
Everyone loves free stuff. I had some coworkers who created email addresses specifically to enter contests to win concert tickets. While I hope your prospects won’t do the same, you could run a promotion where those who sign up for a free demo or consultation will be entered into a random drawing for free tickets to a conference.
You decide the event, and let the leads pour in.
20. Early access
Releasing a new feature? Testing new copy or UX? Advertise it to prospects. You can learn about their behaviors while shaping your offering to their exact tastes.
Plenty of mobile games and apps already utilize beta versions and early access. If you offer an app in the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, you can enter it onto a list for users to access in beta. Even Disneyland has extended early hours for visitors to get early access to the rides!
21. Free trial
Trial your product or service for free, for a limited time only! There are plenty of examples of free trials out there, but the trick is to make yours seem exclusive, urgent, and the best way to get a taste of your amazing company.
22. Newsletter referrals
By now, most people have heard of The Skimm. They grew their subscribers in a big way through referrals! You could track how many referrals you had from a unique link and get rewarded along the way.
More bottom-funnel lead magnet ideas
23. Discounts or sales promotions
24. Free shipping
25. Free quote or consultation
How to create a lead magnet for your business
Assuming you want to start generating more leads, I’m going to finish off with tips on creating lead magnets for your prospects.
For the actual lead magnet, you’ll need:
- Attractive offer
- Landing Page
Make sure your landing page copy and design matches the original offer, as well as your CTA. For example, if you’re luring prospects in with a promise of 15% off for subscribing to your email list, your CTA after filling out the form should be “get my 15% off coupon.”
I also recommend a website pop-up tool. There are plenty of platforms today that enable you to create tasteful popups and use specific criteria to trigger them—such as page their on, topic of blog post they’re reading, whether or not they’re a returning visitor, where they came in from, and more.
And finally, since you’re going to be generating more leads now, you’ll first want to invest in marketing automation software to track, segment, and nurture them. In this remote world, I recommend Marketo, Hubspot, or ActOn.
Lead magnet ideas [recap]
Here are the 25 lead magnet ideas and examples covered in this post:
- Face-to-face field marketing
- Influencer collaborations
- Blog post downloads
- Free tools
- How-to and examples content
- Idea generators
- Original data reports
- Product comparisons
- Email courses
- Case studies
- Product pickers
- Partner referral discounts
- Event tickets
- Early access
- Free trials
- Newsletter referrals
- Discounts and promo codes
- Free shipping
- Free quote or consultation
Have any tried and true lead magnet ideas that we missed? Share your landing pages and forms, we want to sign up!
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