10 Lead Magnet Ideas To Grow Your Email List Faster

Is your brand’s content as valuable as you think it is? Building your brand’s reputation and relationships with your target audience depends on it. And improving your conversion rates does too! When you provide your audience with high value content, you earn their trust and make it more likely that they’ll engage with your brand. So how do you get started? We’ve got some lead magnet ideas to get the ball rolling.

While there are a lot of lead magnet ideas out there, there are some that tend to get higher engagement levels than others. And the more enticing your lead magnet is, the more likely that you’ll get high quality leads as a result. What makes this so? Well, in a nutshell you’re offering your audience exactly what they need at the right time (i.e. solutions to the problems or topics they’re constantly googling to find out more about). 

Lead magnets work well for almost any audience and that includes B2B and B2C businesses. They’re effective conversation starters between businesses and their potential customers. And they keep brands top of mind by helping to grow their email lists. For every business, no matter the size, email marketing remains one of the most powerful ways to build and maintain relationships with customers. So let’s take a deeper dive into lead magnets and how you can make the most of them.   

What exactly is a lead magnet? 

A lead magnet is a marketing tool. It generates leads for your brand by offering a long-form resource (i.e. content) as an incentive to your leads to provide contact information. Lead magnets can be as long and dense as a whitepaper, as informative as an ebook, or as simple to use as a template or checklist.

Why lead magnets are so important

Consumers today are very protective of their personal information. This has a direct relationship to the sheer number of messages they get from brands, amongst other sources. Let’s take a look at the average person with a desk job. They receive about 120 emails on a daily basis. On a broader scale, brands send out almost 2.5 million emails daily and all of that adds up to a massive 74 trillion emails that are sent each year. 

When you look at these numbers, you’d understand why consumers are so weary of subscribing to yet another email list. 

Enter awesome lead magnet ideas. Lead magnets help you connect with consumers in spite of their hesitance to subscribe to email lists because they offer a great incentive. Quality content that is relevant, engaging and helpful. Generic requests to sign up for a free newsletter are a dime a dozen. Every single brand and organization seems to have one. So when you offer a great lead magnet in exchange, you let your leads know that you’re all about offering them value.

Using lead magnet ideas to grow your email list 

Sure you can have a great blog or website. But if your site visitors aren’t transitioning into email subscribers, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to keep your brand top of mind. Yes, creating that perfect sales pitch at the very end of the funnel is important. But in order for it to generate powerful results, you need to fill that funnel with leads. 

Lead magnets will help you build trust with your customers 

Because you are following through with your promise to deliver value to your customers, lead magnets help you build a lot of trust with your audience. Because of the overwhelming amount of content out there, people are selective about what they want to allow into their inbox. If you deliver more value to your readers than they anticipated, they will trust that you will continue to do the same going forward. 

Lead magnets help you enhance your email marketing metrics 

Lead magnets will improve your open rates and email engagement levels. If only a few people are looking through your emails, what is the point of investing your time and energy in getting them designed? You may think that the most important metric on your email list is the numbers of subscribers. In reality, even more important than that subscriber count is the level of engagement. If you want to calculate the actual ROI of your email marketing campaigns, you will need to keep the engagement on email lists as high as possible. In other words, you need to use lead magnet ideas. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some lead magnet ideas that have been tried and tested, along with how to implement them.

Lead magnet ideas: Educational courses 

Online courses are more popular than ever before. And they don’t have to be an elaborate series. A one-off class can actually be even more enticing for those who are strapped for time and looking for a quick way to learn something. But how do you get started? Well, go through all the content and blog posts that you’ve created and choose the best performing ones. Now using this short list, decide which topic will work best in the form of a course. 

You will only need a screen recording software (e.g. QuickTime) and a basic microphone to record your course. And a few social media posts, and/or hero or banner images for your website to promote your course. You can also consider getting a landing page designed. In the example below, Hootsuite promotes their six social media marketing courses.

They’ve chosen these topics strategically, knowing that anybody who is interested in learning more about them will also need a social media management tool. So they offer free courses and educate their leads. In doing so, they are adding value to their services and also are building trust and rapport. 

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Lead magnet ideas: Ebooks

This is a lead magnet idea that has worked well for brands across all industries. It’s versatile in that it doesn’t have to be a dense piece of content, that’s heavily researched and includes a ton of prep. There many different types of ebooks your brand can try out.  And the content can consist of repurposed blogs or any other high-performing content that you have. If you don’t have the data to validate this, you can do some outreach to your existing subscribers or customers to find out what they’d get the most value from. Here are few types of ebooks you can consider:

  • How to _______________
  • The Step-by-Step Guide to ________________
  • X Things You Need to Know About _________________
  • The Ultimate ___________________Kit
  • The Top 10 X Hacks for __________________
  • A Proven Plan to _____________________
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Lead magnet ideas: Content upgrades

Content upgrades are all about giving customers free incentives, to subscribe to your email list. Typically you’ll promote them part way through or at the end of a blog using a banner or even just a hyperlink. They can take the form of just about any kind of content that can be downloaded. The common thread is that they’re building on a topic that your audience is already interested in. They offer a lot of additional value and that’s why it works. In fact, content upgrades can actually increase your blog conversions by about 20% – 30%. 

You can use these upgrades with content that is already available on your site. For example, if you have a blog that is performing well you can add a content upgrade to it so that it brings in more leads. You can also keep content upgrades in mind when creating new content about topics that you know that your audience wants to learn more about. An important thing to keep in mind – content upgrades can be used multiple times across blogs that fall under the same category. Or they can be repurposed as well.

Lead magnet ideas: Ultimate guides 

It can be difficult to come up with completely original content if you are in an industry that is well established. You may find that subjects have been covered so well, that it is almost impossible to add any more value. 

Creating an ultimate guide is a great way to handle such a situation. An ultimate guide would be a compilation of the best articles that speak about a specific subject. The biggest difference between this and an ebook is that you would not be repurposing your own blogs. You will instead, be linking directly to external sources. Don’t copy and paste others’ work into the guide that you are creating. Instead, acknowledge all the sources and include a link. And if possible, add a brief summary of the key points to be found in each link or a few highlights. Sound too easy? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Many consumers don’t want to spend time sourcing out these resources themselves. And in other instances, they may not know where to look. That’s why this is a great way to cement your place as a subject matter expert.

Lead magnet ideas: State of industry reports

You can also design a report that provides your audience with an informative summary. This can include research, best practices and any statistics that are up to date in your area of expertise. A state of industry report can vary in length and comprehensiveness. 

You can just do a short one that has 5 top tips or extend your report to include over a 100 points that make up a checklist. In the example below Odds on Home Inspection is offering a completely free home inspection report to anybody who is looking to buy a new house. 

Some users may use this report to carry out their own inspection. Others may be encouraged to get professional help because the inspection report is quite intensive. Either way, this brand is adding value and also gaining the trust of potential leads who will reach out to them, in case they want a home inspection done.

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Lead magnet ideas: Video series

Video content gets high engagement rates and is a great way to connect with your audience. Consider a how-to style video that will break down a topic into definitive lessons. This way, you have a comprehensive video series that provides all the information needed to your viewers. 

This series can then be sent automatically to your customers after they have signed up for your email list. Remember to not send in all the videos at once because that might prove to be too overwhelming. When you space out the video series lessons, you are continuing to build trust with your customers. And keeping your brand top of mind. Plus this will also give your subscribers enough time to put the lessons you give into action. When you design a video series, have at least four to six key lessons planned. This will give you a strong foundation on which you can build the video content. Let’s say that you are going to guide customers through how they can build a blog. You can identify four main lessons under this topic. 

  • Determining the brand name and the niche 
  • Defining your target audience
  • How to choose a blog and website building or hosting platform 
  • How to create a DIY blog in just one weekend

You can also use the video series as means of motivating, inspiring, entertaining or encouraging your audience. The exact same practices and tips would still be valid. The only change here is that rather than doing a how-to style video, you can now share personal stories and other content that you believe will be compatible.

Lead magnet ideas: Webinars 

Webinars are incredibly popular right now, not to mention practical, given the pandemic. They are also an ideal format through which you can connect with leads and customers. 

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When used as a lead magnet, a webinar incentivizes sign ups by offering:

  • Instruction – Webinars tend to focus on teaching participants something that they can use to enhance their daily experiences or solve commonly faced challenges. 
  • Incentives – Webinars often include exclusive discounts or promotional offers to participants. 

There are both free and premium tools available through which you can create your own webinar. So don’t write it off as an expensive or hard to produce lead magnet just yet.

Lead magnet ideas: Coupons 

Coupons are always effective. Everyone loves a good deal. And they work for two main reasons: 

  • They give you a targeted email list of the customers who are definitely interested in your product or service. 
  • They serve as a great way for you to increase your sales and your average order value. 

Since coupons can help you determine interest amongst your target audience, they’re a great tool to use when launching new products, services or bundles. Around holidays, and special occasions they can help your potential customers choose you. And in slow seasons they can incentivize purchases as well. The example below is a very simple coupon design, that gives customers a discount of 25% when they place their very first order. 

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Lead magnet ideas: Checklists 

People love lists and checklists. These are great to help break down complicated processes or to provide more efficient ways to get something done. How do you figure out what your lists should be about? Well, look at the inquiries your customers make. What are their FAQs? Another approach is to take a look at the forums that they turn to ask about your opportunities and challenges that are served by your niche. Reddit, Quora and Facebook groups are great to start with, but try searching for industry-specific platforms as well. The more specific you get, the more insights you’ll be able to gather to create your lists based on.  Lists are very popular lead magnets because they’re very easy to create and distribute as free downloads to email opt-ins.

Lead magnet ideas: Case studies 

Case studies are valuable because they help your potential customers take a deep dive into the potential of your product or service. They help customers see how you helped another person like themselves, reach the success they were looking for.  

Perhaps you have a blog post or a clip of an interview with a real customer? If so, package this into a case study that describes the needs of the customer when they came to you. And how you addressed them. 

Next, gate this behind a form that the visitors to your website can fill out and submit with details like their contact information. Once they submit the form, they will have access to the case study. Be sure to get the express permission of each of the customers that you want to feature in a case study. 

Launch your lead magnet ideas 

While we’ve shared a list of high-performing lead magnet ideas, there will of course be some that work better for your brand. Part of the process of achieving success with lead magnets is experimenting to find the right ones. You can use A/B testing to your advantage here and have several lead magnets launched at once to test the waters. You can then test them against each other and pick the variants that grant you the best results. Whichever option you go with,  you’ll be getting a bigger ROI on your content soon enough.