Marketing Automation

What is a Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is something of value that you can offer to your audience in exchange for their contact details. Lead magnets are usually designed to solve a specific problem for your audience in a short period.

DigitalMarketer goes further by saying that the goal of a lead magnet is to maximize the number of targeted leads that you are receiving for an offer. I would go further. A lead magnet also helps to build authority with your audience by highlighting that you have the solution to their problem.

Examples of Lead Magnets

Ever had writer’s block? Well, marketers sometimes get ‘lead magnet block’. This is where they struggle to come up with an idea for their lead magnet.

To help you overcome lead magnet block, I’ve prepared a list of 7 examples of lead magnets.

1. Checklist

Let’s start with the grand-daddy of lead magnets.

A checklist is pretty self-explanatory. It’s just a list of things that need to be done to solve a specific problem. They are easy and quick to create and they are easily consumed by your audience.

Lead magnet checklist

2. eBook

eBooks are popular for small businesses and online businesses for a good reason. They convert. An eBook discusses a topic, usually in an easy to consume format that both entertains and informs your audience. eBooks can also be extremely easy to create using some online tools and you can even convert an existing blog post into an eBook. Check out my toolkit to see what I used to create eBooks in minutes.

lead magnet ebook

3. Guides

A guide educates your audience on an area of your specialty. I’m a big fan of Ultimate Guides, which position you as an expert when it comes to the particular area that you’ve published an ultimate guide about. There is another type of guide that I like – and am currently working on one for this website – is the Ungated Ultimate guide.

This is an extra long ultimate guide that does not require an opt-in in order to consume.

In fact, the guide is so long that it is unlikely that your audience could read it in one sitting. This plays in your favour as you can offer a PDF download to make it easy for your reader to consume the Ungated Ultimate Guide at a later time.

lead magnet guide

4. Workbook

A workbook is something your audience can download and fill in themselves. It prompts them on the important things that they need to be thinking about in order to solve their problem, and gives them the freedom to apply it to their personal situation.

lead magnet workbook

5. Resource Guide

If your niche requires resources to solve problems, but they are faced with many options, then you could offer a resource guide that gives them the exact tools they need. Hubspot defines a resource guide as a collection of things that help people achieve results.

lead magnet resource guide

6. Mini-course

A mini-course is a series of training that is usually delivered by email. For example, I recently signed up to a mini-course from Jason Swenk which was 3 short videos delivered via email over a few days. The videos were short, actionable, and easy to consume. You could create a mini-course for your audience that helps them solve a specific problem.

lead magnet mini-course

7. Free Event

I personally use free events in my offline business to attract leads. Free events usually have an educational focus and need to provide enough value to get your audience interested and wanting to engage with you to learn more.

lead magnet free event

How to Create a Lead Magnet

When it comes to the creation of a lead magnet, you can get as complicated or simple as you want. The only rule I have is that you should not let perfection delay your progression. After all, one of my mantras in business is:


Some quick ways to get your lead magnet published is:

  • Hire a graphic designer off Fiverr or Upwork
  • Use Canva to create a design yourself
  • Use another tool to turn an existing blog into a lead magnet (check out my toolkit to see what I personally use).

Why Do You Need A Lead Magnet

I believe that every business (online or offline) needs a lead magnet of some description. Without one, it becomes incredibly hard to generate leads. Many offline businesses I know use a free initial consultation as a lead magnet but I have one problem with that… it’s unscalable. You only have so much time in the day so you are limited by the number of free consultations you can offer.

The lead magnets above can be delivered using marketing automation so you never have to be actually present to collect leads. You just need to set it up once and let it run.

What Makes A Good Lead Magnet

The following criteria should be used when thinking about your lead magnet.

  1. Builds Authority: It needs to position you as an expert that holds the solution to your audience’s problems.
  2. Actionable: It needs to be easy to implement and quick to get a result
  3. Short: We have short attention spans so your lead magnet needs to be short
  4. Easy To Consume: Make it easy for your audience to consume.
  5. High Value: Make sure your lead magnet has actual value to your audience


A lead magnet is a critical asset in your marketing efforts. If you align your lead magnet with the interests of the traffic that you are attracting, then you can convert traffic into leads.

If you do not have a lead magnet yet, I encourage you, no, I challenge you to start one today. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just get one done.

Author: Shane

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  1. Thanks for the great post! I am working on creating my very first lead magnet, but I am not sure how to present it. It’s a buying guide to a product with a lot of different versions with different features and options, I have created it in Excel so that the user can filter and search. Now, I made it a point to set it up in a very easy to use format with simple instructions and generally have tried to make it very user friendly. But, I am concerned about using Excel because not everyone will have the software for it. Do you now of any other way to offer an interactive tool like this?

    1. Hi Kat, 

      Thanks so much for your comment and question. 

      Your Excel spreadsheet should be fine so long as you clearly mention that it has been built in Excel. This way, anyone downloading it will know what they are in for. 

      What product or service is it for?



  2. Thank you for sharing a well detailed information about what a lead magnet is. I have heard about giving out something in exchange for email addresses before and never knew that the term used for it is “Lead magnet”.

    They said that the money is in the list so I’m planning to get an Autoresponder where I can get Subscribers and also do email marketing.

    1. Hi Barry!

      That’s great to hear mate. You may be interest in this post to help build your email list (if says it’s for affiliate marketers, but anyone can use the strategies). 

      If you’re looking for help choosing an autoresponder, let me know and I’ll be able to get you setup with the right one according to your needs. 



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