How​ To Create A Lead Magnet That Converts In 6-STEPS

What is a lead magnet and why is it an asset? Before I explain what it is, let’s talk about why it’s important.

If you want to grow your email list rapidly, you need to create something that generates new leads. More leads equal more potential customers to market to more regularly. But how do you acquire these leads?

With a lead magnet, of course.

I’m going to show you how to create your lead magnet so you can start raking in those sales.

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There are many reasons why businesses and brands are always trying to get you to sign up for their email list. Keep in mind:

  1. Email marketing is 5x more likely to be seen than a Facebook ad.
  2. It’s much cheaper than advertising on social media. Email generates $38 for every $1 spent. That’s a mind-blowing 3,800 percent return on investment. So it has much higher conversion rates.
  3. Where 60 percent of consumers sign up for brand emails, only 20 percent follow their social pages. This suggests that while consumers will follow you on social media, they don’t necessarily want you to message them on the platform.

So it’s clear that your customer email list is a gold mine, and you should actually be putting your money, time, and resources towards building a solid email database.

And a lead magnet is one of the best ways to help you get more high quality email subscribers. I’m going to explain what this is, share a few lead magnet ideas and examples, and take you through my step-by-step guide on how to create a lead magnet that’s high converting.

Before you do this, it helps to have a plan. Learn how to create yours here.

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is what I like to call an opt-in “ethical bribe”—something that’s going to help you to attract high converting website visitors, grow your email list, build trust, gain authority, and win new customers.

It’s usually a downloadable piece of FREE content that your niche market is compelled to get their hands on. They are experiencing some form of pain, and your lead magnet will make it go away, and fast.

So to attract a lead, you are going to give away something of value for free.

Think of it as a nice, light helium-filled balloon. Give it a tap, and it just launches into space. Learn more about which assets you need to build here.

Why You Need A Good Lead Magnet?

Lead generation! The perfect lead magnet gets your ideal audience to self-identify. You want to grow your email list. But not with just anyone.

As a startup or small business, you don’t have the time, money, or resources to waste on nurturing low-quality prospects—people who’ll never buy your product or service.

Your goal is to build a list of high quality email subscribers that will eventually convert to customers.

But why would a prospect want to identify themselves to you as a high-probability customer or client?

Because you have something of value that they want to get, it will take them from point A to point B, so pain to pleasure. It’s so valuable that they’re willing to give you their contact information, so their name and email address, or phone number, or mailing address. This way, you can keep in touch with them during the nurturing process.

Do Lead Magnets Work?

Absolutely. I’ll use my business as an example. I have roughly 45,000 email subscribers, and I’ve built this list using my lead magnet, The 1-Page Marketing Plan.

People bought the book because they wanted to learn how to use direct response marketing to grow their businesses. So I already know that it’s a high value groupd of people opting in to my email list.

And I’d say all of my one-on-one clients, the people who bought my online course or signed up for my monthly membership, Marketing & Business Academy, have done so because they’ve used my lead magnet.

I don’t have to do cold calling or cold outreach. I don’t invest much in PPC, and I’ve only recently started using social media. I just answered their burning question, how do you build a one-page marketing plan that’s designed to help you sell more products or services.

So now, let’s take a look at the key elements of a lead magnet.

How To Name A Lead Magnet

Choosing a good name is vital to the success of your lead magnet. It will determine whether your book, blog, report, or how-to guide gets read. Think of it like the packaging of a product, if it doesn’t stand out on the shelf, you’re not going to buy it.

Here’s what I like to do.  

  1. State exactly who it’s for. If your lead magnet is for mining professionals or small business owners of IT companies, you need to state that. Saying who your lead magnet is for makes it far more valuable to your audience. For example, 5-Minute Core Exercises for Seniors, or Bigger, Leaner, Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.
  2. Have a strong promise. The title of your lead magnet needs to be short and specific. For example, The 1-Page Marketing Plan, The 4-Hour Work Week, Influence. These all make a specific promise, something that is enticing to their ideal audience. What’s yours?
  3. Include a sub-heading. This goes in-depth into your promise and really drives home the value of your lead magnet offer. It muse lay out the benefits. For example, the sub-heading of The 1-Page Marketing Plan is Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out from the Crowd. Or John Hall’s Top of Mind: Use Content To Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You.

You need to spend a lot of time coming up with a great lead magnet name. Brainstorm as much as 50 names, and then pick the best. Good luck.

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What Makes A Great Lead Magnet?

There are seven best practices that you need to adhere to when creating a lead magnet. Before I dive into what these are, I want you to understand that the purpose of your lead magnet is to start a conversation between your business and a prospect.

Right, so what do the best lead magnets have in common.

1) It needs to be short and succinct.

2) It needs to demonstrate your expertise. You’ll want to employ emotional direct response copywriting for maximum effect. Peppering the content with your personal experiences lends credibility and builds confidence.

3) Making it instantly accessible wins you favor with your prospect. As soon as they hit the send button, they should receive an email with the document attached or see that it has started downloading.

4) It must solve a problem. Think about your ideal market. What are the questions they’re typing into Google?

5) It makes a promise. So it states upfront the result it will deliver.

6) It offers perceived value. It walks you through exactly how to do something. For example, it could be how to turn your blog into a full-time business.

7) Lastly, it’s highly specific. So it targets a hyper niche target market.

Let use  5 Ways to Double Your Sales in 30 Days as an example.

  • It solves a problem: How to get more sales quickly.
  • It makes a promise: Double your sales in 30 days.
  • It offers perceived value: Five ways suggests the methods are tried and tested.
  • It’s highly specific: Here’s how to rapidly grow your business.

Now you know what makes up a perfect lead magnet. But before I take you through the framework of how to create your lead magnet, I want to cover the different types of lead magnets and share a few examples.

11 Lead Magnet Examples

Now that we know what content to include in your lead magnet, it’s time to choose what type of lead magnet you create. The options open to you are varied, but consider what your audience wants before you get started.

To help you decide, here are a few lead magnet ideas.


Now data is a really powerful lead magnet. Journalists lap this stuff up. They want it to be current, and if they can get the first scoop, all the better. But it does need to be compelling.

Either you can collect the data yourself using online surveys or compile the data from various sources to form an insightful report. You will ideally need to have surveyed over a thousand individuals for the stats to be taken seriously.

Learn how to pitch your insights to the media here.

But it’s not just media houses that value data.

Take the real estate industry, for example. If I want to sell my house, it’s highly likely I’m going to want to know what it’s worth. Now you may say, “Hey, we offer free appraisals, so why bother with that.”

As a prospect, I might decide to do a few upgrades before I put my house on the market. So I’m not yet ready for an appraisal. If you can offer me an up-to-date report, perhaps quarterly or monthly, that gives me the latest data on what house prices in my area are worth, that’s something that would be valuable to me.

It helps me decide if I want to sell, how soon I want to sell it, and what my house is worth?

Data is a great way to drive high-quality traffic to your website and build your authority. So it’s really about attracting website visitors that want what you’re selling.

2: Free Guide (How-To Information)

Now I want to talk about how-to information lead magnets. Shorter than an eBook, these guides typically walk you through exactly how to do something, for example, how to write a blog post or how to set up a landing page.

But they tend to be more specific than that.

For example, if I Google, How to migrate from Microsoft Office 365 to Google G Suite and download your lead magnet titled, The Ultimate Guide to Migrating to Google G Suite, there’s a reasonable chance that sometime soon, I may be in the market for IT services.

How-to-style lead magnets are sometimes referred to as a tripwire because they cause prospects to self-identify. They are very powerful for identifying high-probability prospects.

3: Template Or Framework

Another excellent lead magnet idea is a template. It outlines how to do something. For example, if you’re pitching the media, you might download a free template outlining what information to include in your pitch.

It would look a little something like this:

Subject line: Pitch: (Include the journo request)

Hi {[ insert name ]},

Intro paragraph – Introduce who you are and establish credibility (this is a short bio that highlights your experience and mentions noteworthy info). Demonstrate in this paragraph why the journo should choose your pitch.

Include a teaser line that relates to the journo request and possibly takes a stand.


Add your sound bite quote – “Keep it short and punchy. Use emotive language. Add personality to your response. Remember, the journalist should be able to copy and paste your quote directly into their article.”

Back up your argument. Use relevant stats, reasons why, examples of, etc. Bullet points work best.

“Include another great quote. One sentence is best.”

Sign off your email pitch. Let them know if you’re available to chat. Mention you’ve got tons of great advice and data to back up their story, and if you have a large social following or customer database, you’ll want to let the journo know (as this can influence their decision to use your post or not). Say you’d be happy to share the article with this list.

All the best

Your name

Business name or your designation

Web address

Include a link to a cloud-based folder that contains web-ready visuals for the journo.

Now an example of a framework is The 1-Page Marketing Plan. This is my lead magnet, and it’s something that I’ve become famous for. I’ve written a book on this.

I have a lead magnet where you can download The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas for free. Whenever I speak or appear on podcasts or have guest appearances, I talk about The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas, which can be downloaded for free on my website.

This free download of The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas generates many people entering my database every day. And again, it acts somewhat like a tripwire; it’s very highly likely that someone downloading a 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas is interested in improving their marketing.

So they might be interested in a course like this, they might be interested in one-on-one coaching or some of the other products and services that we offer. The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas is also going to be genuinely useful to them.

It’s going to provide them with a framework for creating a direct response marketing plan.

So templates or frameworks are powerful lead magnets that can help your audience identify themselves to you.

Other examples of templated lead magnets include:

  • Resume builder
  • Marketing plan
  • Social media
  • Website builder

4: Free Trial

Another powerful lead magnet is a free trial. Now free trials are particularly relevant if you’re offering something like software as a service or an experiential product where the incremental cost of providing that service is very small or almost nothing.

If you can get people to experience your products or services before they have to buy, that can help them along the buying process and make it easier to convert them to a paying client.

It allows you to collect their

  • email addresses
  • phone numbers
  • physical mailing addresses

You’d store these details in your database and use an evergreen email sequence to nurture them over time. Some may convert immediately; some may convert in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days; and some may take much longer to convert.

The powerful thing about a free trial is it really taps into the concept of scarcity. So if the person who’s trialing your product or service doesn’t go ahead with the paid version, they actually have to give up what they’ve currently got.

And we know people are much more motivated by a fear of loss or scarcity than they are by the prospect of gain.

So good lead magnets can help you to get more email subscribers and ultimately convert them to customers.

5: Book, eBook or Audiobook

If your goal is to build a coaching business, a great way to quickly grow your authority and establish credibility is writing a book.

I like to think of my bestselling book as a business card. I can hand it over to a potential customer and say, look, read this, and if you think I can help you, reach out.

I’m currently running a free book giveaway where I send a free copy of the paperback to high value leads. But I started by selling the eBook. As a result, I’ve been a podcast guest, and I’ve been invited to speak at events all over the world.

My book’s also been translated into over 13 languages, so that brings in steady income.

And don’t be afraid to give away your best stuff in your lead magnet. It will stimulate sales because people will still want to engage with you at a deeper level, whether through one-on-one, or done for you, or whatever else you offer.

6: Checklist Or Cheat Sheet

Probably the easiest and most popular lead magnet to create is a checklist or cheat sheet. It really doesn’t take long to put together, and you can offer it as a free download.

For example, it could be a checklist of online tools you need when building a remote business, or it could be a checklist for hiring a VA, whatever.

So you’d write a blog post on starting your remote business and create a complementary lead magnet that a reader can download and use. Instead of your audience having to come back to your blog post to see what they need to get, they can print it and tick off as they go along.

You grow your list of email subscribers, and they get value. Win-win.

To help you get started, download our Website Checklist here.

7: Worksheet

You could also look at creating worksheets as a potential lead magnet.

I use worksheets in my online course. The purpose of these worksheets is to help my audience make sure they’ve understood the material. So after completing a lesson, they can download or print the editable worksheet and complete it.

An example of a worksheet could be Build Your Avatar. You can download it here. This worksheet helps my clients to get a better idea of whom their optimal client is.

8: Calendar Or Planner

The best planner or calendar lead magnets that I’ve come across are usually for social media. They help you to plan a month’s content.

Many will also give ideas for the type of content to post on any given day of the week. For example, on:

  • Monday, you might post an inspirational quote.
  • Tuesday a question that encourages your followers to engage with you
  • Wednesday a nugget of gold (some sort of helpful tip)
  • Thursday a more sales-like post (pitching a service or product)
  • Friday a poll

And so on. These are very helpful for anyone wanting to know what content to create and when to schedule it. I’ve included an example from Angie Gensler. As you can see, it’s an entire year planned out for you. What a pleasure.

9: Online Or Email Course

As I mentioned earlier, many people like to consume content in different ways. So while I like to listen to an audiobook, you might prefer to enroll in an online course where you’re given instructional notes and how-to videos, as well as downloadable worksheets.

Your job is to cater to the different segments in your target market. If you’ve already written an eBook, consider a content upgrade. It can increase your conversion rate.

Since Nathan Chan founded Foundr magazine his business has grown to include multiple free courses. I’ve personally taken his Instagram course and can say it’s packed with a ton of good advice.

10: Blog posts

Well-written educational blog posts that answer your audience’s questions are an excellent way to drive organic traffic to your website. For example, you could write a blog post on how to turn your blog into a business and include a call to action that invites website users to input their email addresses and download your free cheat sheet.

If you’ve optimized your content, you’ll attract a qualified lead, and your conversion rate will be high.

But make sure you’ve set up your sales funnel. Once the lead is in your email list, you’ll want to trigger your evergreen email sequence and start nurturing.

Neil Patel advocates using SEO blog posts to attract organic traffic.

11: Industry Reports Or White Papers

The final type of lead magnet I’d like you to consider is industry reports or white papers. Now, industry reports or white papers work very well, particularly if you’re in a B2B type of market. So if you’re targeting other businesses or enterprise customers, these can work very well.

They can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and as an industry expert. Taking a leadership role within your industry can lead to many kinds of opportunities.

For example, it can lead to

  • speaking opportunities
  • client opportunities
  • new deals coming your way
  • PR opportunities.

Journalists and bloggers frequently like to quote or ask industry experts for their opinions, and it’s vital that you take a position. Don’t be wishy-washy or scared to offend someone.

Now, I’m not saying go and purposely offend everyone in your industry, but it’s important to take a position.

Now somebody may not agree with you, but they’ll certainly respect you. I like industry reports and white papers, particularly because they can often be updated. These content upgrades can sometimes lead to new PR opportunities.

So white papers or industry reports are lead magnets worth considering.

How To Know What Type Of Lead Magnet To Create?

While you want to create one lead magnet that you become famous for, make sure that you don’t rely on it as your only lead generation source. Although your audience shares the same problem, how they consume content may differ from one person to the next.

So while one person likes to read a book, another might prefer to listen to an audiobook or enroll in an email course or online course. Right, so you need to know what lead magnets your audience wants.

To determine which lead magnet works best for your business, you need to clarify the following two questions:

  • What does your audience want?
  • What is something that’s going to move the needle for you, so increase conversion rates?

Think about an online or in-store retailer, for example. A lead magnet idea could be a get-$100-off-your-first-purchase discount (or some other amount) when you sign up for their email newsletter. So they might create a landing page or blog post promoting their campaign.

And this type of discount offer is appealing for many people, but the key here is to make your call to action compelling. If you choose a lousy or boring offer, it’ll fall flat, and you’ll have a low conversion rate. Offers that convert make your marketing and business so much more straightforward.

You don’t have to invent weird hacks or crazy marketing campaigns to get traction. You will be gaining traction by default, and marketing will just be the rocket fuel that propels you further.

How To Create Lead Magnets, Step-By-Step

I’ve outlined a six-step framework for building great lead magnets. These are the best practices I’ve used to acquire leads over my 20-year career as an entrepreneur.

Follow this framework, and it’ll help you create a lead magnet that entices your audience to opt-in to your email list and take them further through the buying cycle.

In a nutshell, your lead magnet says:

It seems like X could be one of your biggest problems. I’m going to walk you through how to solve X. And if you’d like my assistance doing Y to solve X, I’d be happy to help.

So, here’s how to create a lead magnet that people come back for again and again. It really is easy to create, so let’s get started.


Here you’ll want to ask yourself, “What is the biggest outcome you can give your prospects?” through your lead magnet. Is it to lose weight, double their sales, find great talent? Whatever it is, the bribe needs to compel them to act.


Think about what title will grab their attention and convince them to take a look, hand over their email address, and download your document. Here’s a great formula for writing a lead magnet title: X ways to Y in Z days/months.

So that’s the second step in how to create a lead magnet.


Remember, you’re here to solve a problem, so you must demonstrate that you know where they’re coming from, and you can relate to what they’re going through.

A quality lead magnet might get under their skin and hit a few nerves. If you can describe what their problem is better than they can, you’ve got their attention.

Keep in mind; you’ll first want to state what the problem is and then validate it by drawing on a statistic. Next, you need to elaborate on the problem and demonstrate your knowledge. Finally, you’ll want to agitate and substantiate the problem.


Present an opportunity that will lead to a positive result which only you can help them to achieve. It also takes the reader out of problem land and points them toward a solution.

  1. Start with the transition. It could go something like this, “Despite this, X is making more money, and working less. But how?”
  2. Now paint the picture. You want to indicate what small change or tactic is going to change the way they do business and massively impact sales.
  3. Tell a story. Get them to picture what the possibility of change could bring about.
  4. Next, you want to substantiate the opportunity, then substantiate it again, and expand. Use facts and figures to back up your claims.
  5. Now comes the direct focus. This is typically a statement that gets them to visualize what could be.
  6. Lastly, transition to content. This states what your prospect needs to start doing to achieve X.


Put together an outline of what you want your lead magnet to contain and all the steps that need to follow. These can include—but aren’t limited to—creating your “ethical bribe,” writing and developing a landing page for them to opt-in, and creating follow-up content to be delivered post-sign-up.

Because getting your lead is only one step in your sales process. You still have to nurture them.


Close with a question. Think of it like a call to action or an irresistibly intriguing offer—anything that will keep the conversation going.

It could be for more information—to request a free consultation or to demo the product. Maybe you want them to join a higher tier package or get a one-on-one class. Whatever it is, if you haven’t adequately laid the foundation for your offer, it won’t convert.

Lastly, get a design program to make your free pdf look legit. If you don’t own Adobe Creative Suite or have a dedicated graphic designer on your team, you could use a site like PosterMyWall to create your lead magnet’s look and feel. It offers thousands of awesome templates (free and paid-for) that you can access and tailor to your needs.

And that’s how to create a lead magnet that attracts your audience.

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Don’t Forget To Build A Lead Magnet Landing Page

There’s no point in going to all the effort of crafting a good lead magnet if you’re not pushing leads to a landing page that captures their details and funnels them into your CRM.

Track your conversions. It’s the best way to determine your lead magnet success.

Wrapping Up

So we’ve covered what a lead magnet is, why you want to create an effective lead magnet, ideas for writing lead magnets that convert, and how to create a lead magnet.

Remember, it’s a powerful way to grow your list of email subscribers quickly. It needs to be helpful and to solve a problem in a compelling way. Get this right, and things are going to start looking up for your small business.

So I encourage you to use lead magnets to attract leads and scale your business. It can be a blog post or an email course. Maybe it’s a case study. You could try your hand at writing an eBook or how-to guide.

Just stop investing your time and energy into cold calling and cold outreach on social media. Get started and build a lead magnet that does all the hard work for you.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy our article on What is Direct Response Marketing? As a small business owner, it’s the smarter way to market your business.

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