Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Creating an Irresistible Lead Magnet

Lead magnets are what draw people in one moment and have them entering their credit card information the next. (Hence, ‘magnet.’)

Business owners give out these freebies to increase their chances of eventually making a sale. This becomes their introduction to those researching their product or service.

And what better way to capture leads than with free stuff?

“When something free is thrown into the equation, people perceive the value of the free products as higher,” Dan Ariely stated in Zero as a Special Price: The True Value of Free Products.

A lead magnet should provide a solution to a potential challenge visitors are facing. This not only positions you as an expert in your field, but helps you gain more quality prospects as well. 

Visitors will gladly give up their information for something they perceive as being high value. They should think, ‘Well, duh, of course I want this amazing offer. Take my email!’’

When you have an offer that’s too good to pass up, it becomes a no-brainer to what decision the visitor should make. 

Which is exactly what you should strive to achieve as a business owner!

Before You Start, Brainstorm

It’s important that you absolutely keep your audience in mind first and foremost.
You should wonder:

What do they care about? How can my products benefit them? What bit of information provides immediate value? Long-term value?

You should also think about the products and services you have to offer before throwing them out there. How you present them is what will make or break a sale. Meaning, you need to devise a strategy of how to make what you have completely irresistible.

That starts with a great lead magnet.

There are all kinds of offers out there: eBooks, videos, calculators, chats, pop ups ⁠— the list goes on and on.

Deciding which lead magnet to use will depend on what your business is based on. For example…

  • If you’re a B2B company, you might offer a white paper to inform readers how your product or service was a solution to a particular business problem.
  • If you’re a business consultant, you could host a webinar on how to improve team communication.
  • If you’re a sales and marketing agency, maybe you’ll write a checklist on how to generate leads. (*Wink wink.*)

Whatever it is you choose, make sure it is valuable to visitors. First impressions are important — which is why you need to wow them with an offer they can’t believe is free. 

Adding the right lead magnet can help your business gain the attention it deserves.

5 Lead Magnet Ideas That Really Work

Overwhelmed by all the options out there? Here are five lead magnets and what they have to offer visitors.

1. Checklists

One effective lead magnet? Check!

Checklists cut right to the chase. Readers love them because they’re quick to read, and marketers love them because they’re quick to create. These are perfect for users who want their information presented in a brief, easy-to-follow list. 

We created a growth marketing checklist to help visitors generate leads online. It covers the need-to-knows: from defining your target audience and creating your unique selling proposition to creating powerful copy and adding CTAs.

2. Ebooks

Ebooks are the most popular lead magnet, according to HubSpot. Roughly 28% of marketers use them to capture leads.

You can expand on what you’ve outlined in your checklist by creating an eBook. These don’t have to be lengthy by any means, but they should be more detailed. 

Wondering about a word count?

HubSpot reported the average eBook is between 5,000 and 10,000 words. 

Ebooks undoubtedly take more time to create and read, so make sure you present a major benefit so it’s worth both your and your users’ time.

3. Free Trials

Want to establish trust? Let users see the benefits of your product for themselves with a free trial.

Free trials are great lead magnets, especially if you’re a software company. If users love it, it’s quite possible that they’ll make a purchase.

Make the offer even more irresistible by allowing users to sign up for a trial credit-card free.

4. Quizzes

If marketing guru, Neil Patel, sees results from implementing quizzes, you definitely can too.

People are naturally curious about what kind of results they’ll get, whether that be for their brand personality or which dog breed they’re most like.

Which is why quizzes are a smart way to add an interactive element to your site. 

They’re fun and they work. They can have a professional or casual tone depending on your brand.

When creating your quiz, LeadQuizzes advises to:

  • Have at least 10 questions
  • Use basic language
  • Have four answers at most for a question
  • Mostly use one word answers
  • Include your lead capture page prior at the beginning of the quiz

Adding these elements will likely better your chances of capturing leads.

5. Webinars

HubSpot reported webinars as being a runner-up for one of the most popular lead magnets with nearly 25% of marketers using them.

Webinars showcase your expertise and add credibility. They add a more personal experience and put a face to your brand.

To successfully capture leads with a webinar, you should:

  • Add a sense of urgency
  • Reserve a certain amount of seats
  • Offer an additional incentive (i.e. exclusive information, discounts, giveaways) during the webinar

Boost Your Conversions with Marketing Tools

A good lead magnet paired with the right marketing tool is a sure-fire way to get more conversions. Below are some of the most popular. And for good reason.

Sumo (Formerly SumoMe)

Sumo is known as the #1 free email capture tool. (Yes, free!) Their user-friendly interface makes lead generation easy. Not sure if you can use this plugin on your site? Rest assured, Sumo’s various tools can be used across most website platforms.

A few of their features include:

  • Scroll box - Display a box with an email collection field once your visitor scrolls through your page.
  • List builder popup - Capture email addresses with a popup that will show one second after the page loads.
  • Share button - Generate social shares with a button at the start and end of an article.
  • Smart bar - Make it easy for users to opt-in by positioning your bar at the top or bottom of your page.
  • Heat maps - See exactly which areas of your page users are clicking on.

Basic plan is free. Paid plans start at $29 / month.


While Sumo takes the crown for the #1 free email capture tool, OptinMonster doesn’t play around when they coin themselves the #1 most powerful conversion optimization toolkit...in the world.

It’s hard to refute that statement when over a million websites are using their products. Hats off to you, OptinMonster.

With OptinMonster, you can:

  • Create optin forms with their Drag ‘N’ Drop Builder.
  • Maximize visitor engagement with a campaign type.
  • Display a campaign at the appropriate time with campaign triggers.
  • Attract the right audience with targeted campaigns.
  • Personalize, segment and target with seamless integrations.
  • Track what’s successful and what needs improvement with actionable insights.

Paid plans start at $9 / month.


Want to easily create professional landing pages?

If you’re not crazy about coding but still want full customization, Leadpages is for you.

They have templates for any of your lead generating needs; from ‘About’ and ‘Thank you’ pages, to sales and checkout pages. Not only are they professional and high converting, but they’re mobile-responsive as well. Win!

Leadpages is geared more toward small business growth. They advertise their services as being used to collect quality leads, sell products and services and engage audiences.

Don’t let the name fool you - they provide more than just landing pages. 

Leadpages also offers:

  • Website hosting - Leadpages’ site builder prioritizes saving time and money with their pre-built web pages. They market it as ‘the world’s first conversion-first website builder.’ Add whatever necessary tools all in one go, whether that’s an opt-in form, pop-up, or alert bar to skyrocket conversions.
  • Pop up forms - Set up pop ups when someone takes a certain action, is at a particular point of the page, or is about to leave.
  • Alert bars - Want your newsletter, products, or events to gain more attention? You can create an alert bar to start capturing leads in a jiffy.
  • Social ads - Spread the word about your business with custom social ads. Leadpages’ option to create Facebook and Instagram ads lets you reach a vast amount of potential customers.

Paid plans start at $15 / month.


Clickfunnels is known as an all-in-one marketing solution. 


Well, it has a lot to offer when it comes to sales and marketing funnels software. And we’re not kidding when we say ‘a lot.’ 

Clickfunnels makes it easy for you to create landing pages, opt-in pages, squeeze pages, websites and sales funnels whether you’re a newbie or pro.

With ClickFunnels, you have access to:

  • Page builder
  • Web host
  • Email autoresponder
  • Content management system
  • Web analytics
  • Lead statistics
  • Order forms

Clickfunnels simplifies sales funnels by removing distractions and making it easier for users to convert. Forget having multiple pages that can turn users away with all the steps they need to take before finally taking action. Clickfunnels makes it possible to have a single page with one offer and only one chance to make a decision.

That along with its easy to use platform and app integrations makes it time and cost efficient.

Paid plans start at $97 / month.

The Bottom Line

Email addresses are a precious bit of information. You’ll need to make a fair exchange for it if you want to gain your visitors’ trust — AKA a high value incentive. This presents the opportunity for them to commit to your brand while you deliver outstanding products or services.

Trying to decide on which lead magnet to choose?

You can’t go wrong with any of the options mentioned above. But as always, it depends on your brand. Think about what kind of content will resonate with your audience the most. 

You are an expert with a whole ‘lotta wisdom. It might take some trial and error to figure out which lead magnets work best, but once you do, you’ll be a lean, mean lead generating machine.

About the Author

Bernard Ablola

President, Think Strategy

Bernard Ablola is the founder of Think Strategy, where he helps clients formulate their online strategy and framework to ensure projects are kept on track. He is a frequent speaker on B2B lead generation and marketing automation. Prior to Think Strategy, Bernard earned his MBA in Entrepreneurship/International Studies from Seattle University and worked at Microsoft Corporation, managing multi-million search and display advertising campaigns for top tier clients. When he’s not embedding himself in learning, you can find him hiking or skateboarding throughout Southern California, walking his Pomsky (Google it) or finding THE spiciest Asian food in the city.