Online consumers are seeking the best options. Use these lead magnet examples to show them why you’re the right choice.

Capturing leads on the internet can be hard work. With millions of businesses promoting their products and services, the web is a crowded marketplace filled with brands demanding attention and consumers seeking the best deals. To attract more website visitors and keep them from slipping away, you need effective lead magnets.

When consumers visit your website for the first time, 92% won’t be making a purchase. In most cases, they’re visiting to gather information—and they’re less impulsive online than in stores. But while they may be hesitant to spend money without doing more research, they might be willing to share their information if you have something to offer in return.

In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 types of lead magnets that can become your ultimate value proposition.

What is a lead magnet?

Lead magnets are a type of incentive that marketers use to gain contact information from potential customers. Usually offered to shoppers when they visit a website or dedicated landing page, a lead magnet might be a free guide, a complimentary video course, a discount code, or a content upgrade that expands on a blog post.

Using a lead magnet, you can quickly bring new customers into your sales funnel and expand your email list. As your lead generation speeds up, your email marketing efforts can lead to real, measurable improvements in your profits.

11 best lead magnet ideas

Not all lead magnets are going to garner new customers. Consumers always want the best value, so it’s crucial to stay competitive. Below, we’ll provide excellent lead magnet examples that can help you win more leads and make a difference in your conversion rate.

1. Free trials

Consumers are often hesitant to make purchases because they don’t see the value of what you’re selling. By offering a free trial of a subscription-based product or service, potential customers are more likely to give your brand a chance. Why? Because you’re providing measurable value in exchange for their contact information. For example, when Netflix offers its 30-day trial, users know that they’re getting an entire month’s fee waived.

Complimentary trials are also good lead magnets because they act as marketing tools in themselves. Trials give consumers an experience, helping them develop an emotional connection with your brand. A free trial shows shoppers what they may be missing out on otherwise, and your follow-ups will give them the push they need to commit.

2. Free samples

Free samples are a perfect lead magnet for products or services that are sold per unit. Just like a free trial, a free sample is an enticing offer with a clear value that can keep customers wanting more.

Even brands with physical products can use free samples as a digital marketing tool. When a consumer provides their contact information, you can either ship a sample to them (which also allows you to capture their address), offer a voucher to use in-store, or give them instructions for a rebate. After they receive their sample, you may begin following up to encourage a purchase.

3. Video courses

Oftentimes, the offer of valuable content is more than enough to get a potential lead to provide their email address. Video courses are a powerful type of lead magnet that draw in consumers with the knowledge they want or need, while positioning you as a leader in your industry. Video is also a highly engaging type of content, offering good return on investment (ROI) for most marketers.

The best part is, you only need to create the content once. Even if your video course is a live webinar—which gives you the benefit of interacting with potential customers—you’ll have a structure or a script in place that you simply need to present. When you follow up, your leads will have seen your expertise for themselves.

Video courses and webinars can be particularly useful for business-to-business (B2B) companies whose customers may want to hone their professional skills.

4. Cheat sheets

If you don’t have the time or resources to create any new content for your target audience, cheat sheets are an excellent lead magnet option. To create a cheat sheet, all you need to do is repurpose your content marketing materials—a blog post, for instance—and break it down. Then, form it into a clear and concise asset that users can download in exchange for their contact information.

Cheat sheets are typically no longer than one page and are usually downloadable or printable. Examples of cheat sheets may include a resource list, meal plan, social media calendar, or a step-by-step infographic.

5. Worksheets

Whereas cheat sheets give users the right answers, worksheets help potential customers cater a solution that fits their needs. After reading your content, consumers may find it valuable to have an actionable starting point—which means they’ll be willing to opt in as an email subscriber for your interactive guide.

For example, a food blogger may write about planning for grocery shopping trips, then offer a downloadable, blank checklist that’s organized by aisle. Similarly, a dietitian can provide an organized meal planning sheet, which allows users to fill in their preferred breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week, along with calorie counts.

To attract the most leads, worksheets should be well-organized and attractive, giving users inspiration in addition to value.

6. Free consultations

Sometimes, shoppers don’t complete the buying process because they’re distracted, comparing prices, or even unsure which product or service is the best fit. Free consultations are a great way to capture new leads who are interested but might be overwhelmed by a surfeit of options.

For example, a chiropractor might offer consultations to potential patients. This is effective because interested patients usually recognize that they need a solution, but they’re not sure what the issue is in the first place. When patients schedule and show up for an appointment, they gain the value of learning about the issue. Then, the chiropractor can use the person’s contact information to follow up with a customized treatment plan and other personalized promotions.

Of course, consultations can be an effective lead magnet for a wide variety of service providers outside the medical field. Some examples may include fashion stylists, software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, handymen, and digital marketers. Consultations can also be used by any brand where pricing is highly variable, as potential leads can be drawn in to get a free quote.

7. Helpful quizzes

Brands with less variability in their solutions or pricing may find quizzes to be an effective, resource-saving alternative to free consultations. Instead of meeting one-on-one with your potential leads, you can have automated questions that your site visitors can answer to get a product or service suggestion. To get the final results, the customer must enter their email address.

As an example, an airline company may create a quiz to tell shoppers where they should vacation next or what fare class they should choose. This tax calculator by Bench is another great example of a quiz-style lead magnet.

8. Free e-books

Much like video courses, e-books are excellent lead magnets that help you capture qualified leads and enhance the perceived value of your brand. E-books tend to be in-depth and highly detailed about a specific subject, which means they usually take time to complete.

To save resources, some marketers will compile their pre-existing content to build their e-books, while others will later repurpose parts of their e-book for content marketing. As an alternative to e-books, whitepapers and case studies are shorter styles of content that can still act as effective lead magnets.

9. Email courses

Another educational lead magnet you can use is an email course. If you don’t have the time or skills to edit videos or schedule webinars, consider developing an automated email course that sends daily or weekly lessons to potential customers over a specific period. Customers will still find the value in this content, but you’ll never have to touch it after it’s created.

This lead magnet also allows you to automate promotional emails at certain touch points within the course, making your promotions feel well-integrated into what the consumer signed up for in the first place.

10. Contests and giveaways

Consumers love to feel like they’re getting something special—or at least have the chance to. When you offer the possibility of a highly enticing grand prize through contests or giveaways, potential customers are more likely to share their contact information.

While you may get many more leads by offering substantial prizes like free getaways, you’ll get the most high-quality leads by sticking with a prize that’s relevant to your brand. As such, contests and giveaways can be feasible and successful lead magnets for small businesses. For instance, a shoe store may offer a grand prize that consists of three free pairs of boots, plus a gift card to a compatible third-party clothing store.

11. Online community access

If you have an online community—whether it be a Facebook group, Slack channel, or monthly Skype meetup—you can use it as a lead magnet for people with the same mindset, interests, or goals. Consumers see value in networking and socializing, especially when it’s promoted as an exclusive opportunity.

When a buyer provides their contact information, you can send them an email invite to participate in your growing community. As they start participating, this gives you the opportunity to engage with them directly, which means you may increase the chances that they’ll convert.

Capture more leads with Podium

Once you’ve chosen and developed your preferred lead magnet, you’re just about ready to market it to the world. However, before you do, it’s essential to have an effective process in place for capturing leads—preferably one that involves some automation.

Lead capturing tools like Podium Webchat can simplify the task of collecting potential customers’ contact information by sending the warmest leads directly to your CRM. Just by adding the widget to your web page, you create an easy way for shoppers to show their interest—and you can reach out to them, too.

Once a lead is captured, your team can initiate conversations via text and build a strong relationship with each one. Before you know it, you may have a real, measurable increase in your conversion rate.

Pat Johnson
Pat Johnson Product Marketing Manager

Pat Johnson is a product marketing professional at Podium, the leading communication system that connects local businesses with their customers. He is based in Denver, Colorado

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