7 Lead Magnet Ideas To Grow Your Email List (Beginners Guide)

Not all lead magnets are created equal. 

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Because lead magnets can either make you or break you. People are very smart. They know if what you give them is trash or gold. 

Page visitors don’t buy on their first visit. That’s why a lead magnet is important in every business. 

Lead magnets not just create a reason for people to give you their names and emails. But also prime them for an actual sale. It is more than just an 80-20 but a 90-10 power pack piece of information. It’s a powerful lead generation tool. 

Customers are your best asset. But before they become customers, they must first become leads. And they only become leads once they’re inside your email list. 

The reason why your lead magnets should be well-thought-of is that it is your bait for growing your email list. 

Of course, people that after giving their contact details, will receive emails from you. But it won’t matter to them because they find your lead magnet valuable enough. And of course, expect that your emails will help them decide whether or not they will do business with you. 

You cannot just immediately sell something to someone who does not even know about you yet. Or you may be banned for life.  You must build relationships and trust first. 

The usefulness of your lead magnet does not end once your prospect decides to opt-in to your email list. It is just the start of a wonderful journey with your prospect. 

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Why is a lead magnet a great deal to your business?

  • People love free stuff. So they’re attracted to your lead magnet. 
  • Bridges your relationship with our prospects. It builds trust and rapport. 
  • Build trust and rapport with your prospect. 
  • Shows that you know what you’re talking about. You’re an expert and an authority in your niche. 
  • Gives you an edge against your competition. 

People shop around for the product or service that will help them solve their pain. You may be the nth person or website or ad that they found but they will never forget you because your lead magnet stands out among other lead magnets. 

  • People will see whether you’re serious or not by the kind of lead magnet that you offer them
  • Emails allow constant communication with your prospect. 

A lead magnet can be a simple PDF, spreadsheet, to as fancy as a training video. What you have to remember is that they have value to your customers. 

Here are seven lead magnet ideas that will help accelerate your business. 

1. Audit – How bad it is? 

An audit type lead magnet is a document that helps your prospect examine what’s going on in their business or whatever concern they may have. 

Your ideal customers know that they have a problem. And the job of your audit is to make the problem look as big as possible. 

It might seem counterintuitive. But make sure that you don’t lie in your audit. 

An audit can be a simple checklist. 

Once they provide their name and email, they will go through a self-diagnostic process using your checklist. 

What’s great with an audit document is that it sets your business up along the way. 

There are things that an audit do: 

  • It shows that your prospect does not have a problem. So they need not do business with you. Because it’s not a big deal. 
  • It helps them fix a few things on their own. 
  • It can also show that they might need professional help. Because the problem is too hard for them to solve. And will eventually realize that their problem is 10x worse than they thought. It has to be solved. 
  • It can reveal another problem that they thought they didn’t have. 

One example of an audit-type lead magnet is our Analytics Checklist. 

It’s a simple checklist that walks someone through their Google Analytics account. It shows them all of the switches and buttons that should be turned on or off. And it shows them how their traffic isn’t tracked like they thought it was.

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This sets up our analytics services. 

The goal is to help them solve a couple of problems inside their analytics account. Then, point them to complex things that might happen due to loss tracking. Which also means lost sales opportunities. 

And it’s a big deal for businesses of the size that we target. 

2. Case study – Have other people like me found success? 

A case study simply shows a prospect that someone in a similar situation was able to overcome a problem they had. And became successful. 

You mustn’t fake your story. It can be your story, of a previous client, or someone else you don’t know. 

Just be real. Simply show that your prospect could get the ideal result that they want. 

Inside of your story, you also include actionable insights on what they can do to achieve the same results. 

For the health and weight loss niche. 

You can’t just tell someone, “Hey, Tony over here used to be 100 pounds. And now he’s 50 pounds. Because he went to our gym every day.”

Well? Okay, great! 

You can elaborate on what Tony’s workout is, sleep regimen, and details of his diet. 

You can also add more information about his journey. Like he had some misconceptions, his struggles are not just physical looks. He believed he would never achieve this. But when he changed his mind, he was able to lose weight. 

Yes, this is not a real example. But whatever situation your ideal customer may be in. What you need to do is meet them where they are in their journey. 

So your case study shows an example to inspire your ideal customers. That he can achieve this because other people like him have done it. And here’s how they did it. 

Tip: Make sure that you have actionable things inside your story that your ideal customers can act on. 


Our example is from another marketer, Eric Siu, where he offers a case study of how he was able to get really big clients. 

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Not only does he make a little bragging here by telling you to check out all the awesome clients he was able to work with. 

But he tells you what he did to get these big clients. That his situation is no different than where you are right now. 

It’s meeting their ideal customers where they are. And where they could be. And the lead magnet is what bridges this gap. 

3. Resource List: What do you personally use and recommend?

A resource list is a PDF-style lead magnet. 

Here, you provide a list of your specific recommendations. Because you’re the expert, business owner or influencer. 

One example is when choosing software and hardware used for creating a YouTube video. 

There are different kinds of editing software. And there are different lighting, cameras, and equipment. So, people just want to know what you specifically use. 

It doesn’t have to be only in how to make videos. 

  • It could be the software you use in your marketing. 
  • It could be the specific supplements or protein powders that you use for working out. 
  • It could be skincare products you use. 

There are a lot of people out there who want to know what you specifically use. And so you can create a resource list of the software, the products, and the services that you’ve personally used. 

This is incredibly valuable. It saves your ideal prospects and customers all that trial and error. Because they don’t want to go through testing different software.

They just want you to give them the answer. Just tell me which one to buy. That’s worked for you, so I can move on with my life. 

Your resource list could also be a swipe file.

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A lot of things marketers like to do is collect landing pages, sales pages, and ads that they really like. 

If you’re a marketer or a designer, and you have collected different things that you look to for inspiration. It can be a website, logo, picture or paintings, or just general social media marketing. 

Then, you can compile these together. And offer them as a lead magnet. 

4. Report: I don’t want to do the research. So, what’s the answer?

A report is a piece of document where you organize the results of your research or investigation. 

Some people do not want to go through the daunting task of digging all the information. So, they just want to receive a nice report. 

So, you take a lot of data and information. Then, you package it into a PDF that is easy to understand. It’s the best way to describe what a report should be. 

This is a very irresistible lead magnet because it saves a lot of time. Plus it delivers important information. 


One great example is from Motley Fool. 

What they did is compile months of stock data into one report. This will help their ideal customer get the latest stock picks. 

So instead of putting in hours of research to figure out what stocks to buy. They already did the hard part and gave the report to their prospect, ready to use. 

And for the price of just an email address. 

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5. Guide: How do I do this? 

This is pretty straightforward and standard. 

It answers the question of how do I go from where I am to the results I want. 

Here, you want to identify a problem they have in their situation. 

Tip: This is different from a case study. Because you need not tell a success story here. 

In simpler terms, you guide them on how to go from point A to point B. By creating a step-by-step procedure. 

The simplest example could be making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Right?

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How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? 

From point A is. 

  • It could be going to the grocery store. 
  • Or they already have the ingredients. 
  • Then you teach them how to do the sandwich. 

Then arrive at point B. 

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This is important and valuable. Though the previous example is very simple. 

Because some people don’t have any idea how to build or create the stuff that they want to do. Or they may have, but they find it hard. 

So your guide can help them a lot. This will 80-20 the process for them. 

But don’t make a lead magnet that is overly exaggerated. Like a promise of losing 50 pounds in 30 days. It’s way too big for a lead magnet. 

For the weight loss niche, it could be how to change his meal plan or change his workout. Something achievable in a week. 

This needs to be fast. Because we need to prime them for whatever your paid offer is.

If it takes them three months to go through your lead magnet. It means you have to wait for three months for you to make an offer for your paid product. 

We need to get them a quick win. We need to get them a quick result. So the guide needs to be able to deliver a result quickly. 


So I have a couple of examples here.

The first one is one from one of our other tutorials on how to set up Google Tag Manager properly. 

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This is a quick guide that goes through the basics of Google Tag Manager. 

This tutorial can be done in 3-4 hours, depending on how tech-savvy the person is. 

It’s not a super long tutorial or hard. Though there’s a little bit of coding required. But we try to keep it as simple as possible. 

Our target audience is the people who want to have GTM on their website. So 3-4 hours later, our ideal customers are done with the guide. 

Another thing you can do is create a complete guide or an ultimate guide to something. And this is where you take a lot of your other content. 

If you have other content – a video, podcast, or a blog. Or maybe a part of your product or service. Then, you can put them together into one ultimate guide. 

But if you don’t have much content yet. Then, this won’t matter to you. 

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Tip: I don’t recommend the big how-to guides. Because it will take a lot of time for people to go through. And it can mess up your sales process. 

But if you’re not concerned with your sales process. Then you can create an ultimate guide. 

Another example that we have is not in PDF form. But a video type of how-to guide. 

This is from one of our sales funnels. And this is an hour-long YouTube growth training. 

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Instead of creating a guide like we did with GTM, we offered it as a YouTube growth training. 

6. Template: Can I just copy yours?

A template is a document that already has the details inside it. It can be a layout that people will just follow. 

 It can be a worksheet or even a PDF or Word document. 

This is where your ideal customers want to just copy what you already did. Or it is something as close as you do the stuff for them. 

One example is with email marketing, you can give people an email script. Or you have media assets or a stock library that you can share with them. 

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All they have to go through is fill-in-the-blank. 

You can actually do a PDF with fill-in-the-blank by using Canva and another free tool.


Our example here is one of our blueprints. It is just a basic Google doc. But it helps people go through all of the steps on how to put together a sales funnel. 

It includes copywriting scripts, email templates, and guides, where they can just fill in the blanks. It helps them stay organized as they go through funnel creation. 

And a lot of people find value in it. 

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I use this as an example because the only technical aspect is using Google docs. 

It doesn’t have to be complicated. What people care about is the information and what value it has for them. 

  1. Tool — How can I quickly do it for myself?

The last one we have here is a tool. 

This is where your prospects want help in getting something done. 

It can be a calendar, tracker, calculator, or a full-blown webpage. It depends upon your niche or industry. And this is very useful. 

It can be a spreadsheet or a Google sheet. Or as fancy as a tiny software. 

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You don’t have to be an Excel nerd like I am to get this to work. You can find people on Fiverr, who can put together calendars, trackers, and calculators for you. 

Then once they’re ready, it’s now your lead magnet. And people can go through it themselves, do their calculation, tracking, or planning. 


Our example here is from the company I worked with before. 

This helps people evaluate whether or not they should buy a particular stock or not. 

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This was just a spreadsheet where they could just enter a ticker symbol of a stock. And the spreadsheet would do all the calculations plus it also gives recommendations based upon current stock price and the company’s financial status. 


A lead magnet is a valuable tool that helps your business grow. 

The idea is to be helpful to your prospects so they find value in your business, build relationships, and trust you. 

It should be well-thought of. And not just for the sake of just having a lead magnet. 

Your lead magnet should stand out among your competition. Because when you stand out, people will remember you and will do business with you. 

You can also learn how to create a lead magnet using Canva. It is easy and simple. 

Until the next, keep building the business you love.

Jason Whaling

Jason Whaling is an online marketing expert, consultant, author, and a lifelong entrepreneur. Combining a mix of dynamic business strategy, consumer psychology, and social media marketing, Jason works with people like you to build their personal brands and business.