How to build your email list with a killer lead magnet?

If you look at your own Google Analytics, you will see how many people visit your website daily. If you compared it to how many buy something from you, you could calculate your lost leads. Statistically, at least 70 percent of visitors will never come back to your page. That’s depressing, huh? Luckily, there is a way to rig the game and convert those visitors to customers. But, you have to play your hand before they leave your website. So, what should you do to build your email list and grow your leads naturally? First, you need a killer lead magnet. 

Sorry to inform you, but a simple call-to-action “Subscribe to our newsletter” won’t cut it anymore. Instead, what your sales funnel critically needs is a bulletproof list-building strategy. So, let’s go over why a lead magnet is so vital for your sales, what makes a good lead magnet, and the best practices you can use to nail your online lead generation.

What is a lead magnet?

Consumers of today are a bit spoiled, in a hurry, and have a short attention span. Moreover, they aren’t that prone to sharing their personal information and have to be persuaded. A good lead magnet will do just that. 

A good lead magnet is an opt-in incentive; let’s call it a freebie you offer consumers in exchange for their email subscription. We can go as far as to call it a compelling bribe to help you open the door of communication with your potential customers. Millimetric has a good example. 

What makes a good magnet lead?

However, a killer lead magnet is so much more than a freebie. It’s one of the top marketing tactics and a considerable conversion asset that you can use not only at the top of your funnel but through every stage of your potential customers’ journey. After all, lead magnets should both attract and keep them on your website.

Once people give their address for access, they get a piece of content such as an ebook, a trial subscription, a discount, newsletter, whitepaper… Possibilities are endless, but you must be creative. 

There are many excellent lead magnet tactics to use. However, there is a non-negotiable requirement when it comes to the freebies you’re offering. The golden rule is – you have to provide consumers with genuine value. So, again, your lead magnet has to compel them to give you their info freely. Moreover, people should be excited to sign up. Therefore, you must make an excellent first impression.

Fortunately, this is where human psychology works to help you. People love free stuff, and they rarely do any cost-benefit analysis once they have a chance to get something for zero dollars. A psychologist Dan Ariely did a study that described what he referred to as the Zero-Price Effect. In short, humans don’t see any downside to free stuff. Therefore, if you compel them to do so, they will readily share their email address with you. 

How to make utterly engaging lead magnet

In reality, this is easier said than done. According to Hubspot’s research, 61 percent of marketers pinpoint lead generation as one of the most challenging parts of their job. No wonder, since you need to find out what content interests your potential customers and make it utterly engaging. 

Remember, this is non-negotiable. The only way you’re going to get those email subscriptions is by giving people real value. If you nail your lead funnel, you are in for a treat, my friend. You see, once you own that precious email list, no social media trends or weird algorithms can harm your business. Your email list has got your back!

So how can you get a bulletproof lead generation funnel, the lifeblood of your business? 

To get excellent conversation rates with a lead magnet, you should make sure to: 

  • Give the consumers an apparent, valuable reason to subscribe by showing them exactly what they get in return for their email address.
  • Instead of offering generic messages on every page, consider offering tailored freebies on specific pages. For example, you can provide a free case study on traffic for a person viewing content on digital marketing. For a customer on eCommerce, a limited-time discount might do the trick. 

Targeting your offers based on which lead magnet your visitors signed up for is a fantastic tactic to increase your conversions. 

The stages of a lead funnel

Once a visitor lands on your page, you want to keep them with you. So a lead funnel has different stages, and sometimes, each of them need a unique lead to pull them in. Just like a magnet!

These are the six stages of a lead funnel:


A human is aware of your lead magnet.


Your awesome lead magnet has sparked their interest.


At this point, a human will think about the value of your freebie and your brand.


It’s time for you to call to action with your excellent lead magnet.


A critical moment! A visitor will consider your lead magnet, as well as your content and website, before committing to giving you their email address.


Boom! You’ve got them into your honeytrap. Your visitor has now become a customer. 

It sounds simple, but of course, there is much more to it. Moving on, what is the bedrock of creating a killer lead magnet?

Deciding on the ideal customer for your lead magnet

If you want to make the most of your lead generation, you should have a clear vision of the type of customers you want to attract to your business. Since lead magnets work best when tailored to the consumers, you need to find out the answers to some critical questions.

Answering these questions will help: 

  • What is their gender, age, education, income, and location?
  • What kind of life are they living? 
  • What type of information is extremely, cannot-pass-it-up valuable for them?
  • What are the most significant issues concerning them?
  • Most importantly, how can you help them out of their misery or help them reach their goals?

Trust me; this is paramount. According to SalesForce Research, 63 percent of consumers expect you to know their particular needs and expectations. 

Moreover, 56 percent of them have no problem sharing their personal information to get better service. 

So, now that you know that, let’s move on to the essentials of making a good lead magnet that converts.

How should your landing page look like?

Remember the KISS rule – “keep it stupid simple.” That means to show visitors what they get, why they need it, and how to get their hands on it.

How to create a lead magnet that will boost your conversion

Firstly, your lead magnet has to be worth the effort. That means that the value of your respected freebie has to outweigh the hassle of subscribing. 

Secondly, you have to make a fantastic pitch. Essentially, you have to be crystal clear on what the person gets. 

No less importantly, your lead magnet should be eye-catching and well-designed to appear insanely valuable. I’m sorry, but plain PDFs might not do the job unless you manage to sell them with a fantastic headline. 

Best lead magnets for lead generation

How can you make sure you align your lead magnet with your target audience? With the help of 790 marketers, GetResponse made a comprehensive study that helps understand which types of lead magnets create the best conversions. 

The two most popular formats are Video (24.2%) and Written (22.8%), then Visual (11.8%), Tool or Access to something (11.8%), and Monetary value (10.5%). The least popular types were Interactive (7.9%), Audio (6.1%), and Other (5.2%).

As far as video content is concerned, people mostly (73%) prefer short-fort video content such as video clips, quick tutorials, or samples.

 Text-based lead magnets had similar results; short-form written content such as checklists, newsletters, and ebook samples show the highest conversion rates. However, example guides or reports generated the best results for 41.4 percent of people picking that form of lead magnets.

 The study also found that entrepreneurs get the highest conversion rates from written and video lead magnets, preferring short-form types like checklists or short video clips.

The best lead magnet ideas to build your email list and get conversions

There is a well-spring of excellent lead magnet ideas to try out. However, I will share the types that typically drive incredible conversion. Since customers’ journey varies according to business type, some of these ideas you might need to adapt to yours.


Hands down, giveaways are great lead magnets. However, make sure that your freebie is relevant to your business, be it tickets to a show or a discount to an annual subscription.

If you’re announcing winners on your website, you’ll boost your traffic. 

Giveaways are fantastic because you can share them on social media. OptinMonster knows that very well.

Free tools

Free tools are among the most popular lead magnets in use, and it’s not without a solid reason. People love freebies that help their businesses make money. In exchange, you get a customer too. So it’s a win-win! 


Webinars are hot merchandise, even more so because of the pandemic that bound us all indoors. Virtual learning is fantastic, especially if it’s free. Various how-to’s and consultations are amazing lead magnets to convert. Moreover, they drive more engagement. 


One of the most popular lead magnets ideas you can use to boost your sales is eBooks. And people love them, as long as it provides them good value.

So, if you own a blog, here’s an idea. Pick out one of your most-read blog posts, change its format, add some introduction and conclusion, and voila! You’ve got a freebie to offer to visitors to read later. Look at how Ringostat did it.

User guides and tips

Make it easy for your consumers by creating guides and tips to help them solve their issues. Guides and tips work fantastic as lead magnets, not only because you get a subscription. Moreover, by doing this, you establish an online authority, one of the critical SEO factors. 

A nice pop-up window is one of the best ways to get peoples’ attention. This is how OptinMonster did it.

Free templates

Time is money. If you offer a freebie that will save your customers some time, they will gladly take it. Just make sure you make it as user-friendly as possible. And if you offer your expertise and advice in addition, you might get some genuinely loyal customers.

Cheat Sheets

Who doesn’t like a free life hack? No such person. Cheat sheets should make life easier for your customers by offering them precise solutions to their issues. Make it downloadable and printable to make it easy for them. 

Content upgrade

This lead magnet is one of the unique types since you tailor it to a specific page your visitors land on. For example, Backlinko managed to increase his conversion rate by 785 percent overnight by using this method!

Here’s what you do. First, you pick out the content you get the most traffic from and then brainstorm to find out how you can make it even better. Ideally, it would be best if you thought of something you could offer as a lead magnet. That is giving people additional value. 

For example, a case study, video training, in-depth analysis, or extra tips and tricks make excellent lead magnets. 

Lead magnets mentioned above are certainly the most straightforward ones to get better conversion rates. 

However, there are many more possibilities for you to explore, including:

  • Blog post downloads
  • How-to content
  • Podcasting
  • Checklists
  • Case studies
  • Early access
  • Product pickers
  • Partner referral discounts.

Pro tip: According to an eye-tracking study by Eyequant, once visitors land on your website, their eyes first notice the upper-left corner of the site and then move down and right. 

The takeaway

A powerful lead magnet is a critical tool to boost your online marketing and sales. But, more importantly, it’s the first step to open the gate of communication and build trust. Of course, credibility is paramount, so always do your best to offer genuine value to people. But, do it in a clear, engaging way, and you will ultimately build an email list to increase your conversions dramatically.

Also, if this article was helpful to you and you’ve now got an amazing lead magnet, the next question for you will be HOW to send traffic to it and through which medium? If you’re just starting out and growing your business and are not at the $10,000/month mark yet, I definitely would say refrain from Facebook Ads. Instead, use the amazing power of Facebook Groups. It’s free and with my free PDF guide on how to get 10 new, high ticket clients just by using Facebook Groups in combination with a killer lead magnet, you’ll be getting to the $10,000/month mark consistently in no time.

Download the guide now here:

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