But creating a signup form for your blog updates isn’t enough to draw volumes of new leads. More and more people are using feed aggregators to read their favorite blogs, making signing up for email updates seem pointless.
Here are 26 different lead magnet ideas that you can use to drive dramatic results.
1. Guide or Report
Special guides or reports are one of the most simple and popular lead magnet ideas. The most effective ones offer relevant educational material or useful data that target audiences can’t live without.
This report is cited in content across the blogosphere all year round.
It’s a worthwhile effort, because Hubspot gets detailed information every year about potential leads:
2. Cheat Sheet or Swipe File
Have you developed content that has actionable advice for your audience?
Take it a step further by creating a cheat sheet to simplify the process for them.
Neil Patel often uses cheat sheets as lead magnets on Quick Sprout:
Swipe files, like this one from Digital Marketer, are another great way to offer value to visitors by simplifying a task for them:
3. Checklist or Resource List
If you’re in the habit of writing long, in-depth how-to blog posts, your readers will thank you for creating a supplementary checklist to go with it.
Here’s an example from Backlinko:
The 16 secrets in this blog post are a lot to remember.
But don’t worry, there’s a helpful checklist you can download so you don’t miss a step:
4. How-To Video Tutorial
“How-to” content can be really valuable for your audience, which makes it a great lead magnet.
Your audience has a problem and you have the answer; all they need to hand over is their email address to get access to the tutorial.
5. Free Webinar
Offer a free webinar that brings value to your audience. Anyone can attend by registering.
Here’s one webinar lead magnet I found as a side panel on Kissmetrics:
6. Slides From a Webinar
Once your webinar is over, you can still use it to attract more leads.
Write a blog post or information page about it, and offer readers access to the slides in exchange for their contact information.
7. Free Trial Software
A lot of people can’t resist free trial services or software. Moz uses a simple button in their header as a free trial lead magnet:
When you click, you’re taken to a signup page where you fill in your information and select your package:
You have to put in your payment information for this one, so if you don’t cancel after the trial, you’ll automatically go from a lead to a sale.
But for your own lead magnet, if you don’t want to scare people off from signing up, you can offer a free trial without requiring payment information. Be sure to advertise that on your form, like this example from Wordstream:
If you’re an online retailer, discounts and coupons can be a valuable lead magnet.
You could offer customers 20% off on their first purchase, for example. This will get them to sign up, and encourage a conversion. Then, you can continue to market to them via email.
And even if they abandon their cart and don’t make a purchase, remarketing can pay off.
9. Free Sample
Many online marketers are in the business of selling data and reports, so they can’t very well offer them as a lead magnet.
But a free sample will work just fine, to give leads a sneak peek of what your product has to offer in exchange for their contact information.
10. Assessment or Test
Even if they’re not ready to buy, audiences would love to get some personalized information about how they can benefit from your products and services.
So, offer an assessment or test in exchange for signing up.
Wordstream put together an AdWords Performance Grader:
The Quick Sprout landing page is completely focused on an assessment lead magnet:
And here’s another example from HubSpot that focuses on customized feedback:
11. Sales Material
It might sound counterintuitive to use your sales material as a lead magnet. Most brands want their sales information to be readily available to encourage conversions.
But if you’re high-profile enough (people know your products are good), then you can get away with offering sales material in exchange for contact information. Ikea does it with their catalog.
12. Email Mini-Course
Another way to deliver complex, how-to content is by offering an email mini-course that you set up on autoresponder, like this one from Quick Sprout:
It’s free, and suggests value – and all visitors have to do is sign up by email to get it.
13. Exclusive Podcast
Especially if you’re considered an authority in your niche, people will be interested in getting access to your exclusive content, such as a podcast.
This is a main part of the Podcasters Paradise marketing strategy:
Signing up gets you access to all sorts of exclusive content, including podcasts.
14. Case Study
Case studies are another classic lead magnet that’s often overlooked. Offer the highlights of a case study on your website, so everyone can see the social proof, then turn the complete report into a lead magnet.
15. Content Upgrade
When developing unique and valuable content for your audience, you don’t have to put everything out on the table.
Offer a gated “content upgrade” that gives a little extra value, like in this example from Digital Marketer:
16. Expert Advice
Are you considered an expert in your field? People would probably pay to hear your advice.
If not, they’ll at least be willing to sign up to get access to it:
This Backlinko lead magnet is great because Brian Dean includes an endorsement from Quick Sprout, just in case anyone didn’t know who he was already.
Most marketers like to make their infographics easily accessible for others to share and integrate into their own content. Infographics are often available as a downloadable image and embeddable code.
Instead of giving it all away for free, you can turn some of these components into a lead magnet. Offer a high-resolution copy or the embeddable code by asking for an email address.
18. Calendar or Template
It’s pretty simple to put together a helpful template or calendar in a spreadsheet that your audience would find useful.
Offer it as a lead magnet, like this editorial calendar from CoSchedule:
19. Social Media Contest
A social media contest is a great way to encourage buzz about your brand and broaden your reach. But it can also help generate a lot of leads.
If your contest involves entering a sweepstakes or submitting creative content (like a video), every participant should be signing up with your website to participate.
If your business is deep in the digital space, a plugin is the perfect lead magnet.
Take the content amplification platform Shareaholic.
Their plugin is one of the most popular social sharing widgets for WordPress websites:
The plugin is free, but they also offer a wide range of other services – that they can now easily market to the plugin’s users.
21. Quiz, Survey, or Poll
People enjoy seeing how they measure up to others, and a survey or poll is a great piece of dynamic content.
With the right tools, you can even integrate a poll into the sidebar of your blog. Just ask for visitors to enter their email addresses to see the results.
22. A Free Quote or Consultation
Car insurance companies will tell you – offering a free quote is a great lead magnet.
And the method can be applied to almost any service-oriented industry. Digital marketing agency Single Grain uses a simple button in their header:
And manages to get lots of detailed information about their leads from it, because much of it is relevant to the quote:
Online Marketing Gurus takes lead generation a step further by offering a monthly in-person strategy session as a consultation option:
23. Event Recordings
If your brand is hosting a high-profile event, the recordings can be used as a valuable lead magnet.
It’s a way to expand beyond marketing to the event’s attendees – using the recordings as a lead magnet will help you target others who were interested in attending, but couldn’t.
24. Article as a PDF
Have a high-quality article that your audience might want to refer back to regularly?
Offer it to them as a downloadable PDF, as seen here on Quick Sprout:
They’ll have the article at their fingertips, and you can ask for a quick email signup in exchange.
25. Free Shipping
This is another great lead magnet for online retailers that does double-duty by encouraging a conversion.
Give visitors the option of checking out without creating an account, but entice them with free shipping to encourage them to take the time to sign up.
26. Insiders Club
If you have a large body of gated content (reports, podcasts, checklists, etc.), you can turn them into an exclusive “insiders club” that your audience signs up to get access to.
Here’s an example from Quick Sprout offering VIP access:
As this list shows, there are many different ways to offer small pieces of value to your audience as a lead magnet.
And considering how valuable that audience’s contact information is for moving them down the sales funnel, we as marketers should constantly be looking for new and unique ways to get them to sign up.
Use these 26 different lead magnet ideas as a starting point to inspire the kind of value proposition that will encourage your audience to take action.
Know any examples I forgot? Let me know in the comments below!
Guest Author: Andrew Raso is the co-founder and director of Online Marketing Gurus, a fast-growing, award-winning search company working with brands including HelloMolly, Baku Swimwear, and Forcast. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewraso1 or on LinkedIn.