How To Create Powerful Lead Magnets

The life of a social media update is not more than three hours.

There are only so many visitors who’ll actively read your blogs.

Most people, despite their love for what you do or the information you produce, leave your website without doing anything.

Usually, the audience you are trying to attract (and eventually sell to) is a cold audience. Cold audiences don’t know you, they aren’t aware, and they are resistant.

Madeline Blasberg of LeadPages helpfully created a simple table that helps you identify the kind of lead magnets that work with the degree of engagement your audiences have had with your brand.


Why create lead magnets?

Lead magnets help you build your email list.

Why bother building an email list? Because email marketing still rules and gets you the best ROI for your business.

At the time of writing this, it is impossible to grow your email list with that ubiquitous rallying call which goes something like “Sign up for our newsletter”. You still see this on many websites — and it’s certainly better than no call to action, of course).

Lead magnets are free giveaways that are highly relevant to your business and something that your visitors would absolutely love and benefit from.

Types of lead magnets that work

Some businesses like SaaS businesses are automatically positioned to generate leads with a free trial of the software.This is also called “freemium model.”

Most other businesses have to depend on usually giving away information packaged in the form of eBooks, Reports, Videos etc.

Contrary to what most people think, lead magnets do not need days or weeks to create. In fact, some of the most popular lead magnets don’t even take a day or two to create. For instance, HubSpot’s most popular lead magnets have been simple videos, ebooks, templates, and resource kits.

HubSpot’s most popular lead magnets

Curated lists also make for great resources you can give away, apart from membership access, lookbooks, swipe files, and many others.

Use free videos

If you wanted to maintain a regular Youtube Channel for branding (and possible traffic), it’s a good strategy that can have long-term dividends (and you must do it) if you can. A much better way of putting videos to good use is to use a couple of high-value videos as free giveaways. In fact, you could actually do both.

Here’s Ramit Sethi of who uses a video (Hosted on Youtube) right in the middle of a blog post (allows for more stickiness, higher average time spent on the blog, and engagement).

Use Free Videos

But Ramit also gives away frees video to grow his email list, right at the bottom of every relevant blog post with an opt-in form and using video as a content upgrade.


Of all the types of lead magnets here on this list, checklists are the easiest to create.

Neither they do they require the kind of upfront effort that eBooks, online courses, or membership sites need nor are they hard to produce as videos are.

Based on your topics or your niche, you could create simple checklists for absolutely anything.

Here’s one of the checklists Leadpages creates and gives away:


Most checklists are not more than one (and two pages is stretching it a bit). Create a checklist using one of the many ways available for you to create them.

For instance, you could just create an actual checklist on Evernote and save it as a PDF to make it downloadable. Or have someone professionally create a checklist with some design goodness thrown in.

If you like to do it yourself (and save time and resources), try using tools like Canva, Beacon, or even software that you already use such as Keynote, Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, etc.

Online courses

Online courses have a high perceived value. But they require sequential production of content. People love online courses because of the structured formats which enables better comprehension of the subject you are trying to teach.

Teaching is an authoritarian approach to engaging with your potential audience. If you teach, you are seen as a mentor and guru and that goes a long way to make others trust and believe you.

As a result, online courses make for an excellent giveaway. There are also other benefits like making an effective first contact, building authority, establishing thought leadership and to keep your audience highly engaged.

If courses are structured in a way that a person can go from zero to the “aha moment”, your lead magnet is doing more than just collect leads; it’s paving the path for a relationship that has dividends.

Here’s Brennan Dunn of who’s seen massive success with his free course on freelancing:

Online Courses

Build free helpful tools

If you had the ability to create handy, effective, and easy-to-use tools like Hubspot does with its Website Grader, you’d be generating thousands of leads in absolutely no time.

Build Free Helpful tools

Creating simple tools, scripts, or applications however demand allocation of resources upfront and it’d be almost as if you were about to launch a SaaS startup (except that the tool or application is not going to be sold; it’s only going to be shared for the pure value that it offers).

Adespresso is a tool that helps marketers and businesses manage their Facebook ad campaigns.

The cool folks at Adespresso, however, use tools like Pixel Caffeine (makes it easy to deploy the Facebook Pixel for Facebook ad campaigns) and Compass (Facebook Campaign Reporting made easy).

Resource kits or bundled giveaways

Many always seems better than just one, and more is good that less.

The perceived value of getting a lot for nothing at all (well, ok, a name and an email address maybe?) is, let’s admit it, attractive.

Here’s what Steli Efti of does with his Startup Sales Resource Bundle

Resource Kits Or Bundled Giveaways

Depending on your business, you could curate various related resources to be given away as a kit or as a bundled download. When you do that, you are letting your subscribers know that they are getting value just for being a subscriber.

If you wanted to, you could drip out the content using email autoresponder sequences. Or you could have your new subscribers down all of the content at once.

While it’s a bit more work upfront, maybe you can even have membership access thrown open for your subscribers to view, watch, or read your content anytime they want to from their own membership area


EBooks have always been the staple when it comes to lead magnets. While it is not to say that they don’t work, they take a longer time to create and hence it may not be worth the time and effort it takes to create one.

Thankfully, with tools like Canva and Beacon, it’s incredibly easy to make one if you wanted to.

Here’s what Kaloyan Yankulov does at Headreach with their “Champions Guide To Outreach Marketing”


Now, eBooks don’t mean fluff thrown in together. eBooks — unlike checklists — are harder to create because they carry detail.

The more value you can add to your read (writing almost as if you were writing a small book) with enough research and valuable information, the more impact and more effective your eBook is going to be as not just a lead magnet but also to create the right impression for your subscribers.

You can’t skip the task of building a lead magnet, but that does not mean you would need days or weeks to create one.

Hopefully, you might be able to create a lead magnet out of the popular formats (as above) to build your Email list effectively.

What does your lead magnet look like? How is the top of your funnel set up? If you need help, please don’t hesitate to get on a strategy call with us. You can also choose to attend our Attract. Engage. Profit Webinar