How to create a Lead Magnet that will actually get leads!

All good marketing begins with knowing your Ideal Client (IC). You can then start to think about Lead Magnets. What does your IC want, need or desire? Give useful or interesting info, directions to solve a problem or some other piece of information that the customer craves. Another attribute of the best kind of lead magnet is that they are highly specific. They do not seek to answer all of a customer’s questions in one go, but very specific questions.So, instead of “Your Guide to Parenting,” a lead magnet might be focused on “Your Guide to Parenting During the Terrible Twos”  The latter Lead Magnet is so specific that it will only attract parents who need help with this age child.

The greater (and more relevant) value you give customers, the more they will trust you and give you their email addresses.

What> A lead magnet (or sometimes called an ‘Opt In’) is content or information that is given away free to someone, in exchange for their email address.

Why> A good lead magnet can generate many leads every month for your business.

How> Creating lead magnets is easy, creating lead magnets that get targeted leads is challenging.

Once you know your Ideal Client and the problem you can help with, you can start to build your Lead Magnet


Here are 5 ideas for lead magnets that really work;

1 The “cheat sheet.” Cheat sheets are short tips, lists or worksheets that help customers solve a specific problem. Because they are short, design counts, so you might want to hire a professional design to make your cheat sheet look spectacular. The specific problem-solving nature of the cheat sheet makes it very appealing alone or combined with a short ebook that provides supporting details on how to solve the problem you are presenting in your landing page and lead magnet.

2 Templates. Free templates for anything are extremely popular and generate lots of leads. Make sure your template supports what you are selling and doesn’t supplant it. For example, if you offer social media consulting services, a free Facebook ad template or graphic generator for a Facebook profile page might be a good lead magnet. Offering a template for a full social media ad campaign,is not such a great idea, since people can use it instead of your service. Templates can be in Word, Excel or any other common program and should be designed to appeal to the target audience.

3 Free training. Videos, workbooks, a combination of these tools or free training delivered through daily emails make for a great lead magnet. This is especially true if you sell a similar training service and can put a dollar amount on the value of the training. Think about problems that require multiple steps for your customers to solve. These can make ideal step-by-step training products for your lead magnet.

4 Swipe files. A swipe file is a file set up to collect good examples of things that you like. For example, a swipe file of article headlines might include the 50 best headlines you’ve ever seen in an email campaign. Swipe files provide valuable ideas in a way that make them unique and useful. Or an A-Z of Killer Headlines.

5 Tool kits or Guides. Tool kits can be a little more complex to make, but because they are filled with resources, they can make excellent lead magnets. You may not need to start completely from scratch with a toolkit. You can use existing resources, blog posts and other content to complete your tool kit. Common tool kits include one or two ebooks and a worksheet, a video or a checklist. A Guide can be a ‘Framework’ or ‘How to’ information and can easier to produce, but just as effective as you will do the hard work on a subject for your customer.


Lead magnets continue to evolve, but one thing remains the same – they do work and they can bring in highly focused leads.


Written originally by Eric Siu December 7, 2016, re-worded and amended by Sarah Wassell May 17th 2019. Updated Sept 1st 2020