It can be tough to come up with lead magnet ideas.
We all know we need to entice our potential subscribers with a freebie but knowing WHICH lead magnet to create can be a huge struggle.
When I work with clients I find most people really get stuck coming up with ideas. It’s hard to brainstorm your perfect lead magnet if you don’t even know your options.
CHOOSING A LEAD MAGNET STRATEGICALLY
Before you get started I recommend choosing a lead magnet that is directly linked to your paid product.
Even if your product is not done, as long as you know what your paid product will be you can start building s list of potential buyers.
Notice I said buyers not readers.
Readers don’t make a business, buyers do, and while it’s noble to share free content and help people for purely altruistic purposes (this makes me happy too), if you never make a profit then your blog probably won’t last long.
If your blog disappears then so will all that great content…along with your hopes for a thriving business.
But if you can make your blog a business and actually create an income stream then you can offer that targeted free content indefinitely.
Creating a thriving blog based business depends on attracting buyers, and creating a list of buyers should be THE purpose of your list building efforts.
So as you read through all the possible lead magnet ideas remember, you are picking a lead magnet that brings in buyers. That means your lead magnet should smoothly transition to your paid product (whether it’s now within the funnel, or later, through a full product launch).
For example if your product is a book then giving away access to the first chapter makes sense, you may not build a huge list but your list will be highly targeted and include people interested in your book.
If you have a course on how to easily setting up a blog on WordPress, then maybe a one page blog launch checklist would make sense. Or a masterclass on the best tools and plugin for your new blog.
Last example, if your paid offering is a paleo focused weight loss program them consider something like a free Paleo for Beginners Toolkit or webinar.
Basically your content should lead your subscriber directly to your paid offering, sooner or later.
Having a huge list of people who will never be interested in your paid product does you no good. You will be paying to keep a list of folks who likely will never buy, and that’s a time suck for you and leads to blogger burnout FAST!
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YOUR BIG LIST OF SMART LEAD MAGNET IDEAS
So with all that in mind here is a list of irresistible lead magnet ideas for your soon to be list of targeted buyers.
*Some links below may be affiliate links
Lead Magnet Idea #1: A one page PDF checklist
A one page checklist gives your subscriber an easy win that is helpful to them and easy to create for you.
A one page checklist can be easily created in an afternoon using free software like Canva. Sometimes the simple solutions are the best!
Lead Magnet Idea #2: A Mind Map or Blueprint
If what your reader needs is to navigate their way through a complex concept then a mind map or blueprint may the best option.
Lead Magnet Idea #3: A PDF based Toolkit
If your potential buyers could benefit from a list of resources or “toolkit” then throw together a bunch of helpful resources and add them to either a password protected page or a PDF with active links.
The added bonus to this is that you can include affiliate links in the toolkit and get some extra revenue from purchases down the road.
Lead Magnet Idea #4: A targeted PDF guide that solves one problem and solves it well
If your audience needs a solution that spans more than a single page or mind map then a short PDF guide might be perfect.
This is probably the most common PDF lead magnet and can be tailored to any niche.
They key here is to make sure your PDF guide is extremely useful and full of highly targeted tips. I once had a client who wanted to create a lead magnet out of very obvious tips, tips that required little to no effort to uncover. I warned her that giving away obvious info isn’t solving any problem, instead she needed to create a detailed solution to one part of her buyer’s problem.
So when you create your guide make sure it is packed full of useful information that actually solves one small but mighty part of your potential buyer’s problem.
Lead Magnet Idea #5: A PDF “how to” guide
A variation of the targeted PDF is the how to guide.
In this guide you are outlining a series of steps, tips, or recommendation to help your reader get past that one problem.
For example going back to our earlier example, if your teach people how to set up a a blog on WordPress then maybe you can offer a how to of creating an upside down homepage, or setting up their email autoresponder, or uploading and setting up each recommended plugin.
Basically your freebie shouldn’t’ step on the toes of your paid product but it should solve a small but important part of that bigger problem.
Lead Magnet Idea #6: A PDF myth buster guide
Sometimes the best way to pitch your paid offering is for people to realize they NEED your paid offering showing them what they’ve been told is completely wrong.
This mythbusting approach works really well in the parenting, health, wellness, food, and fitness niches.
Lead Magnet Idea #7: A PDF based case study with action steps
Another great option is to showcase someone else’s success with your method (this can even be your own success) and walk your subscriber through the solution step-by-step.
The biggest challenge with this lead magnet is NOT stepping on your paid product’s toes, so my suggestion is to outline the WHAT of the plan while your paid product outlines the HOW.
Lead Magnet Idea #8: A PDF E-book
While e-books have fallen out of popularity, mainly because they take too long to consume and too much work to create, a short and targeted (read answering only ONE problem) can still make a good lead magnet.
This is especially true if your problem is more complex and requires more info to solve.
Another GREAT way to use your free book as a lead magnet is to offer it for free on Amazon. This is exactly the place where people are looking for e-books, and your free book can lead to a surge of subscribers.
As with every lead magnet, don’t cut corners and do make sure your lead magnet delivers what it promises.
Lead Magnet Idea #9: A video “masterclass” that solves one problem
A video masterclass (pre-recorded webinar) is a fantastic opt-in for your potential buyers. It is easily consumed and is in a format that allows subscribers to really connect with you.
There is nothing like hearing your voice and seeing your face. Although you DON’T have to be on camera.
The setup for a webinar can be as simple as a mic like my favorite here, a simple but effective webcam like this one, and a screen recording software like screencast-o-matic (at only $15 a year this is a STEAL! And the one I use for all videos).
You can present the video on your own WordPress site using Thrive Architect to build your page or on a more sophisticated system like EverWebinar.
Lead Magnet Idea #10: A live webinar that solves one important problem
Another similar opt-in is the live webinar.
Whereas the masterclass is pre-recorded, the live webinar is, well, live.
That can make the setup harder but also make interacting with your potential buyers and answering question easier.
I personally prefer pre-recorded videos with a chat function embedded but many people swear by the live webinar and do really enjoy interacting with attendees.
A software like Webinar Jam can make the process easier and less likely to end in tech failure.
Lead Magnet Idea #11: A multiple video training/education series
This option is most like the masterclass but instead of one single 50-60 minute video you are offering your solution in shorter bite sized videos.
Each video will typically be 10-20 minutes and string together is a logical way that still offers a real solution for your subscribers.
This is a great option if your free content would end up being longer than 50 to 60 minutes. That way you can break it up into more digestible chunks.
The biggest risk here is that you lose your audience after the first or second video and never get to the sales pitch.
My suggestion is to create a solid email campaign throughout the series and consider retargeting ads to stay top of mind during the funnel.
You can create this funnel with Thrive Architect to host each day’s video and Deadline Funnel to make sure people only access the videos when you want them to (you can even limit their future access and add countdown timers with Deadline Funnel).
Lead Magnet Idea #12: A text-only email course
One of my favorite lead magnets is the email course. There are two options here, text only and video + text.
In the text only option you deliver each day’s lesson in the body of the email. As with all the lead magnets it’s important to deliver exactly what you promised and make sure your content is useful and targeted.
You might also include PDF downloads and checklists to give extra value to your course.
For this lead magnet all you need is a email provider like ConvertKit and a few graphics that can be made on Canva.
I use a hybrid free course/challenge as my lead magnet, Create Your Stellar Lead Magnet is e-email based with added PDFs and extras that really help my subscribers solve this part of their problem. I hold nothing back and you shouldn’t either when delivering your targeted lead magnet. SIGN UP FOR THE FREE CHALLENGE HERE.
Lead Magnet Idea #13: A video based email course
This is a variation on the text only course except here you add a daily video to each lesson.
I really love this model as I feel like it helps subscribers connect to you and is also easily consumed.
You can use the same equipment I mentioned above in the video section to easily stitch together a great mini course.
Lead Magnet Idea #14: Exclusive Facebook group access
Facebook groups are all the rage right now, so much so that it seems like everyone and their fish named Wanda has a Facebook group.
In order to make this a worthwhile opt-in make sure you create an active and lively Facebook group for your potential buyers.
This can be done with daily engagement within the groups, regular Facebook lives, Q&A sessions, prizes for helpfulness, giveaways, and more.
Personally I don’t have the bandwidth to keep a Facebook group going—that whole single mom thing and running several businesses really cuts into my free time–but if you can create an effective system it can be a fun and rewarding lead magnet for your subscribers.
Lead Magnet Idea #15: Quiz results
Quizzes are a great way to attract subscribers simultaneously educate them about WHY they need your product.
You can create a quiz with Thrive Quiz and make the results available to subscribers. So basically they take the quiz first and then subscribe to get the results.
The only issue with this lead magnet is can rub people the wrong way to only offer results after they subscribe and you can attract fleeting subscribers who have little interest in your offering.
Because of that it’s extra important to purge subscribers from your list on a regular basis. That means kicking out subscribers that never open emails and have been dormant for a while.
Lead Magnet Idea #16: Giveaway
A giveaway is another great way to build a list fast. Do make sure whatever you give away it is targeted to your potential buyer otherwise you can end up with a list of people who were only freebie hunting.
The bonus here is you can join forces with other bloggers and create a joint giveaway that grows all your email lists. Just make sure the subscribers understand they will be added to ALL your email lists.
I also suggest you stagger which blogger contacts them and in which order so they don’t get 10 new emails in one day. That’s a great way to get marked as spammed.
Same thing applies here regarding email list purging. You don’t want to keep subscribers who never interacted with your content and only wanted a freebie.
Lead Magnet Idea #17: Stock photos
Offering original stock photos is another great way to attract subscribers, especially in the blogging about blogging space.
Share a curated bundle of your photos with subscribers and help them appeal to their audience with your content.
Lead Magnet Idea #18: Graphic templates
If you help other bloggers or marketers then creating graphic templates might be perfect for your readers.
Think Pinterest graphics, Facebook graphics, Instagram graphics, quotes, and any other social media type graphics.
You create the design, setup a template through Canva and use your email software to share the templates with subscribers.
Lead Magnet Idea #19: Swipe file
Including a swipe file solves a big problem for the right audience. Many bloggers HATE writing their own copy, so if copywriting is your thing try offering a batch of swipe files to your audience.
Think blog headlines, social media posts, email broadcast headlines, welcome email series, and more.
As with all other lead magnets don’t forget to target to your potential buyers. Match the freebie to your paid offering, a popular but untargeted freebie does no one any good.
Lead Magnet Idea #20: A discount and/or Free Shipping
If you offer physical products then offering a great discount paired with free shipping is a solid strategy.
This works great with an online store or on a page where you offer your paid products. Create a unique discount code for the opt-in within your checkout system and use that code to track discount redemptions.
Lead Magnet Idea #21: Planner
People love targeted planners. And planners can be created for almost any niche, whether it’s a fitness planner, a meal planner, a blog planner, an academic planner, or any other targeted planner you can pretty much guarantee it will be downloaded AND used.
This becomes a great way to stay to of mind.
Lead Magnet Idea #22: Printables
Creating printables is a fun and functional freebie to offer your subscribers.
You can create craft printables, label printables, organization printables, informational printables, and more.
All you need to do is whip up the design in Canva and save the printables as a PDF which can them be downloaded by your subscriber.
Lead Magnet Idea #23: Motivational quotes
One of my favorite offering are motivational quotes, if they are done right they are gorgeous and fun. While they aren’t always the most in-demand opt-in they can be a great add on to another opt-in package.
All you need to pull this off is Canva, a quote, and a great looking font.
Lead Magnet Idea #24: Audio file
For some bloggers an audio file is a perfect offering for their new subscribers. I recently downloaded a great set of mediation audio files from a website and later ended up buying their paid audio bundle.
The funnel was simple but effective.
The free file was a sampling of the 60 minute file that was the paid offering. After I signed up the website sent off a series of “educational” emails talking about the benefits of the meditations and including a handful of compelling testimonials. By the end of the funnel I was hooked.
If your paid product is in audio format then a free audio file might be the right fit for your funnel.
Lead Magnet Idea #25: Free trial
Do you have a membership site, service, or new software to offer? Then why not give away a free trial to that product.
This removes the risk for your subscribers as they can test out the service before they commit to buying and ensures you build a list of targeted subscribers who are definitely interest in your product.
Lead Magnet Idea #26: A Challenge
A challenge is similar to a mini-course or video series except that it includes a series of action steps meant to take your subscriber on a mini journey to transform one thing. Essentially you are holding their hand in accomplishing one transformation/task.
I’ve seen very simple challenges that are combined with mini-course style information and other challenges with live components, Facebook groups, and webinars.
How simple or elaborate is up to you but do consider what your audience needs to accomplish the goal.
Lead Magnet Idea #27: A Free Chapter
Do you have an e-book for sale?
If you are an author then giving away a free chapter is a great way to showcase your paid book and create a targeted lead magnet that builds a list of people who are actually interested in your paid product.
This is also a super simple lead magnet because it takes very little effort to cut one chapter from your book, upload it to your site, and offer that link to subscribers.
And be sure to tease the rest of the book to entice readers to actually buy!
Lead Magnet Idea #28: A Free Lesson of a Paid Course
If you have a paid course offering a free lesson can make people get off that fence and actually buy.
Choose your free lesson strategically, make sure it doesn’t give away too much but also showcases your genius and what they get in the rest of the program.
This is also an easy lead magnet to setup because the work is already done.
If you host your lead magnet in Teachable it just takes one click to make your course free.
And just like with the e-book, make sure to tease the rest of the course.
Lead Magnet Idea #29: Review, Consult, or Mini Coaching Session
If you are a coach or have a service oriented offer then giving people a taste of your work might be an ideal lead magnet.
The key here is to not do too much, otherwise you’ll be overworked and burnout quickly. Be clear up front about what the offer does and does not include.
And make sure whatever you offer for free leads seamlessly to your paid offer. This isn’t about a hard sell, this is about showing them the value in working with you.
Lead Magnet Idea #30: Inspiration File
Sometimes your readers need some tangible examples. If you offer templates or a product that teaches HOW to do something then offering an inspiration file might be the perfect lead magnet.
Collect and curate a set of examples to inspire your potential buyers and get them brainstorming, then lead them into your paid offer which can help then create the thing they are being inspired about.
It’s a win-win for everyone!
Don’t forget to join the Lead Magnet Challenge! It’s packed with actionable tips, resources, and info!
Lead magnets are critical to building your list, but equally important is picking the RIGHT lead magnet that lead directly to your paid offering.
Also keep in mind you’ll likely need a few freebies to test out and pull people into your funnel. So you may end up with a checklist, a free course and a webinar before you settle on a winner for your funnel.
If you are a new blogger or new to funnels I suggest starting with the easiest freebie to create so you can get the funnel up and running, then add other opt-ins as you can.
Finally make sure to track stats, the point is to spot what’s working and what isn’t, when you find a winner put the most effort into promoting THAT freebie.
Read the other posts in the Lead Magnet SOS Series
- 15 Ways to Totally Screw Up Your Lead Magnet
- 12 Places to Put Your Opt-in/Lead Magnet on Your Website
- 12 Lead Magnet Graphics You Need to Promote Your Opt-in
If you are ready to create a strategic lead magnet then sign-up for the Lead Magnet Challenge, it’s 5 days of actionable info, tips, resources, and an amazing surprise bonus. Plus it’s FREEEEEEEE! Grab your spot now!
Until next time!
Buckets of hugs!
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