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21 lead magnet ideas to pull in your top prospects

If you aren’t optimizing your lead magnets, consider yourself guilty of gross mismanagement!

But before we toss out 20-plus lead magnet ideas for you to test out, let’s quickly define what we mean by the term “lead magnet.” A lead magnet is an offer you make to prospects in exchange for their contact information.

Before the Internet took over our lives, these would often be contest entry blanks or sample offer signup forms you snipped from the bottom of a magazine or newspaper ad. Today they are more often online offers given in exchange for your email address…and maybe other contact information.

At the top I suggested that you need to optimize your lead magnets. As you will see from our list, they come in a variety of forms, so there’s always a chance that the next one you test will outperform the one you’re currently using.

  1. Template libraries, including spreadsheets. Graphic art templates and templates for all the Microsoft Office apps make good lead magnets. They can be used in both B2B and B2C settings.
  2. Checklist. A simple checklist can work well and they are not difficult to create. Also, they prove that your lead magnet doesn’t have to be as big as the Gutenberg Bible.
  3. Swipe file or cheat sheet. A step away from a template, these are files/plans/graphics that have been created by others and proven to work. A swipe file is usually a collection of these, while a cheat sheet is shorter and more of a guide than complete examples you can use.
  4. Web app. These are fantastic if you can find one that works for your industry. A real estate broker might create one that calculates home mortgage payments. An online marketing professional might create one that gives you all the keywords on a competitor’s website.
  5. Calendar, planner. One of the big retail organizations puts out a planner each year that clues users about special dates throughout the year. You can probably think of one that would be handy in your industry.
  6. This could be an Excel file that helps someone work through a common financial scenario. However, in some situations, it could be a document the user prints out.
  7. Freebies and discounts. Everyone likes to save money and money-saving offers can be shaped in many ways: discounts, free shipping, free sample, free consultation, free introductory lesson or session, or discount coupons, just to name some of the most popular freebies.
  8. Written content. This≠ can be white papers like case studies, reports, and guides. You may already have this content created. However, you might want to dress it up with better graphics to be sure that prospects think it is valuable.
  9. Private Facebook group. There can be many benefits to creating a private Facebook group and offering membership as a lead magnet. The members themselves, if you do a good mob managing it, will create excellent content and value within the group. It might later serve as a springboard for other ventures.
  10. Trial membership. You’ll note that education is involved with many of these lead magnets, so membership is often in some kind of online course or service. But, you could also have a buyers’ club or some other scheme.
  11. Quiz. You’ve seen the quizzes where you have to give your email address to get the results. These are quite popular.
  12. Content upgrade. If you have a popular article or item on your website, expand on the information and offer it as an upgrade in exchange for contact information.
  13. Audio file. People are consuming a lot of audio content today between podcasts and audio books. You can put together some good information for an audio presentation and then have a professional narrator record it.
  14. Video course. Many subjects and skills are best taught via video. If you can find a topic in your area, create a video course and promote the fact that all the modules are available at one time.
  15. Ebook. Free ebook downloads are one of the most common lead magnets.
  16. Webinar. Although it requires more infrastructure, holding a webinar on a topic of interest to your prospects is a great way to collect email addresses…and perhaps make a sales pitch.
  17. Email course. Valuable and concise tips delivered on a predetermined schedule via email work with a lot of prospects. However, if your content isn’t good, people will unsubscribe before you’ve been able to sell to them.
  18. Unlisted YouTube video. Give prospects a link to a high-quality, unlisted video on YouTube. Promote the fact that the video isn’t available to the general public.
  19. Infographic.Take some of your content and have it translated into a high-quality infographic. In many B2B settings, you can grant republish permission in exchange for a link and contact information. Think of an infographic that your prospects could use.
  20. Toolkit. Do you have some go-to web-based tools that you rely on or have you put together some useful spreadsheets or documents? Gather them together into a “toolkit” guide and share your insights.
  21. Contest. The chance to win a valuable prize through a contest entry has been a winning strategy for many generations. There are online systems that you can use to provide the digital infrastructure of your contest.

If you surf the Internet at all, you have probably encountered most of these lead magnet strategies. They generally require some kind of opt-in form app. That can be a no-cost to low-cost addition to your site. After that expense, it’s just a question on how much you want to invest to create your lead magnet, and that cost can range from zero to hundreds of dollars.

 

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