Lead magnet: 25 ideas for creating an effective tool for lead generation

Lead magnet is one of the best ways to get more subscribers and increase your email base. If you do not have a lead magnet (or yours is frankly bad), this can significantly affect the success of your business in attracting new customers and increasing sales.

I offer you 25 highly effective ideas and examples of lead magnets to expand your email list.

But before we get to the ideas for lead magnets, let’s figure out what it is and why you need this tool.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a kind of incentive that marketers offer potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information.

Contact data is collected in order to move the site visitor further through the sales funnel, inclusion in the email newsletter and growth of the brand’s audience.

This is usually free digital content:

  • PDF files
  • reports, studies;
  • eBooks;
  • articles;
  • videos and more.

Sometimes a free version of a product or service (free trial) is also used as a lead magnet.

Why every business needs a lead magnet

If you want to generate leads on the Internet, your business definitely needs a lead magnet. Point.


Because leads often get your lead magnet in return for an email address. And this is quite a personal thing.

People will not give their address to anyone. The fact that a person shares his contact information with you suggests that he already has a certain interest in what you are doing and that he already has a sufficient level of trust in you to continue the dialogue.

But they won’t do it just like that. Unless, of course, there is a good incentive. And your task, as a marketer, is to give them this very incentive.

How does the collection of email addresses using the lead magnet

So an example.

Let’s say you have a blog post about the top 10 ways to improve customer service. At the end of the post, you ask readers to provide their email so that they can receive regular updates.

Or, you can invite readers to enter their email address and, in return, download a free PDF file with a real-life example that describes a case of one business that used these 10 strategies to improve its customer service.

What option do you think will attract more subscribers?

Of course, the second!

Now that you understand the importance of a lead magnet, you will probably be wondering how to create an effective lead magnet.

How to create an effective lead magnet

There are seven points that your lead magnet should match if you want it impossible to resist.

Effective lead magnet:

  1. Solves a real problem. If your lead magnet does not solve the real problem inherent in the profile of your ideal client or does not give him what he really wants, such a magnet is useless.
  2. It promises one instant benefit. Your lead magnet should promise (and give) one instant benefit. In other words, it should help to easily get, achieve, learn.
  3. It is absolutely specific . Do not create an abstract lead magnet. The more specifically you talk about its benefits, the better it will convert website visitors to leads.
  4. It is quickly and easily “absorbed” by users . This is why short PDFs have a really good conversion – they are small in size and easy to read. Large e-books and reports can make your potential customers feel overwhelmed.
  5. High value . Your lead magnet should have high informational value for a person.
  6. Instant availability . Your lead magnet will be more effective if you deliver it immediately and enable fast downloads. People love the instant gratification of their desires.
  7. Demonstrates your exceptional experience . When your lead magnet reflects your experience or unique value proposition, your leads turn into customers.

Lead magnet 2.0

Lead magnets are used in almost all areas of business. And everywhere they bring the expected result. However, there is a little secret here.

There is a new generation of lead magnets, which shows an efficiency much higher than that of the classic type of lead magnets.

The new lead magnet format is content upgrade. This is the same lead magnet. But which is created and proposed within a specific context.

Content upgrade is bonus content that people can access in exchange for their email address. However, unlike traditional (general) lead magnets that “work” on the site as a whole, the content upgrade is unique for each specific content that people already read, watch or listen to on your site.

The general lead magnet on the topic of your site certainly works. However, it is often not related to what interests the reader at this particular moment. As a result, he is not so interested in him and he will most likely ignore the magnet. The general lead magnet (manuals, e-books) is ineffective when the user is interested in a certain “narrow” topic, although it is part of the general theme of your site.

For example, on a site with culinary recipes there may be a lead magnet “5 secret spices for first courses”. This lead magnet matches the theme of the site, because they are from the field of cooking. But what if I went to this site to read a kebab recipe, then why would he need information about spices for first courses?

It is very unlikely that he will want to download this lead magnet.

Now, if the reader of the article on “3 new ways to cook kebabs” was offered to download “Checklist: 15 points that you should do when cooking kebabs”, he would probably be more interested in such information.

What really works today is small, unique lead magnets that are directly related to what people already consume.

Content upgrades have a large conversion because they promise immediate rewards. While the lead magnet may have nothing to do with the blog post that the user is reading at the moment. Even worse can be only the general call “subscribe to free updates”, which does not fit the context in which the site visitor is located.

The reader is ready to give you his email address to get something really useful and relevant for him. Right here, right now, at the moment.

25 types of content upgrades that you can easily create today


Depending on what your blog is talking about, a cheat sheet can be an easy way to create a content upgrade. For example, if you write a blog post about various HTML tags, you can create a one-page cheat sheet from all available HTML tags indicating where to use them.


A long blog post of 4000 words can be transformed into a more readable checklist. This can be a step-by-step step-by-step instruction for publishing on a blog, a list of materials for the DIY project, or a list of practical tips.

For example, if you are talking about promoting a blog post, you can create a checklist of the steps you need to take to promote your post.

List of resources

Do you mention many tools or resources on your blog? Create a basic list with links to each of them in a downloadable PDF file. Thus, readers do not have to search for each tool on their own and return to your site in search of this article. Give them the opportunity to save the list in PDF format.

Transcribing for your podcasts or videos

If you are posting interviews, podcasts or videos, transcribe your entry and format it into a downloadable PDF file. It will take you about ten minutes to hire a transcriber and then place the file. And some services will even do all the work for you for free.

Very often, people want to re-read what they just listened to. Or a certain situation does not allow you to listen or watch content, so some people prefer to read it.

Video or audio recording

If you have previously posted and recorded an interview, webinar or any other informational video related to a post on your blog, you can make this entry available as a bonus. You can create a how-to video for a post on your blog or write yourself reading this post out loud. No matter how strange it may sound, people perceive information in different ways. Someone is more comfortable by ear.

Quick guide

Perhaps you are teaching people something very complex. So simplify this. People always want an easy start, without any worries, which often prevent them from taking the first step. Conditionally take the first three of ten stages and simplify them as much as possible. This will help the reader overcome the initial barrier.

Complete guide

Instead of a concise quick start guide, make it comprehensive, step-by-step. Of course, it will be longer, but readers who are looking for detailed and most complete instructions will be interested in such a guide.


Have you done a survey or extensive research on your topic? Make it a report that will tell your readers about your industry or what interests them. Such reports will also help you become a recognized expert in your field.

Printable Document

Be sure to create it. This can be a chart, infographic, motivating quote or images that the reader can print and fix on his wall. People like these things because they help them stay focused and focused.

Tasks and exercises

If you are teaching something, go beyond just explaining the general concept. Compose homework that your readers can download and use immediately to consolidate the material.

Exclusive Interviews

Perhaps you have connections in your industry or friends who are knowledgeable about your topic? Interview them and provide an interview entry as a bonus for the article.


You do not need to conduct a large-scale study of the activities and success of a company or analyze entire markets to create a case. Use yourself and your business as a good example. People always want to know what others are doing and how.

Create a longer list

If your blog post is a long list, break it in half. Publish one half on the site, and make the content upgrade from the second half. Simply and easily!

Mini version of e-book

You can create such a book simply by making a selection of related articles on your blog. This requires less effort on your part, and for the reader is of great value.


Like homework, the challenge can be both a simple reminder and a long-term project for your readers. You can even create a hashtag so people can share their successes on social networks. And do not lose touch with them – check them weekly.


Examples of templates can be very different: letter templates for email newsletters, a template for creating a business plan, a family budget template, business cards, and more. You can also create the templates you need. People like examples and ready-made solutions, so templates are very popular among Internet users.


In addition to templates, you can also give your readers instructions and recipes for success. These can be formulas for writing headlines, or developing ideas for a blog. That is ideas that will be useful.

The flexible structure of these formulas will allow your readers to apply them in a wide variety of scenarios.


Like templates, scripts are of particular value to your readers, because they provide ready-made answers. People do not need to think what and how to say in a particular situation. Some well-known authors, for example, offer literal scripts for difficult situations such as negotiating wages or negotiating with investors as content upgrades for articles on their blogs.

Free trial

Sometimes it makes sense to offer people a trial version of your product as a content upgrade. And although in fact, this can not be called content, if it is appropriate in your case, it can become a valuable bonus for readers.

Teaser (announcement) of your product

Like the free trial, teaser content is, in fact, not. However, if you, for example, have a book, you can make a teaser from the first two chapters or offer the first section from your paid course.

Free course

An online course is a great way to educate your readers, becoming for them a kind of expert and ideological inspirer. The training course can be designed as a series of videos, email newsletters or e-books. Whatever the format, the point is to teach readers something valuable.

Source code

If you are a designer, you can offer your readers raw PSD or EPS files. People will be able to change them themselves and then use them in their work.

Images or Photos

People (and especially marketers) love beautiful photos. So share them! If you are a photographer, respectively, the photo you have is full. So combine them into special offers so that people download them.


What is attractive about infographics is that it represents information that is difficult to read in an easily digestible format. For this, they love her.

By offering it to your readers, you will win twice – many will share infographics on social networks, and those who maintain their own blogs will link to your infographics, and you will get valuable backlinks.

  1. Submit your blog post in PDF format

This is the easiest type of content upgrade. If you use Google Docs to prepare your articles, download the final version in PDF format and make the content upgradeable for download. Many people download blog articles in this format because they want to read it later, at a more convenient time.

Where to begin

Can’t wait to start implementing content upgrades on your site? Here’s a simple five-step process:

Step 1. Select the page with the highest number of visitors on your website.

To do this, go to Google Analytics and see which of the pages on your site are the most popular.
Select the most popular posts of all time.

Here you will see the pages that receive the most traffic. Create content upgrades for these posts. There is no point in wasting time creating content upgrades for pages that have no traffic.

Also see which of your blog posts received the most reposts on social networks. Pay attention to content that is already running. And with the help of upgrades you can get even more benefits from it.

Step 2. Determine the type of resource that will make your content better.

From the types of content upgrades that I talked about above, choose the one that best suits your blog. Put yourself in the place of the reader and think about which type of upgrade would be most useful to you after reading a specific article. Check list? Template? Video?

Step 3. Create a content upgrade.

You can do it yourself or hire a freelancer to develop and design it. A cool design will make your content upgrade more valuable, because the appearance often indicates quality and usability. Therefore, make sure that the content upgrade is designed in the best way.

Step 4. Publish.

Add the resource to your site and give users the opportunity to upload it in exchange for their email address.

Step 5. Get more subscribers for your email list.

I agree, this cannot be called a step, but, nevertheless, it is part of the process.


Lead magnet is not in vain used by many companies to increase its base of subscribers. Because this tool has proved its effectiveness in practice and continues to be an integral part of marketing campaigns.

But, like everything else, this tool also evolves. So, the lead magnet in its original form has ceased to bring high results due to poor compliance with the wishes and interests of the reader at a particular point in time. But it became possible to fix this thanks to a new generation of lead magnets. It’s about content upgrade.

This is a bonus that fits perfectly into the context in which the reader is located, and therefore brings better results than the generalized lead magnet that is created within the site, and not within one page.

Already ready to implement content upgrade on your site?

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