How To Create a Lead Magnet That is Highly Effective [With Examples]

Want to generate more leads? Well, a lead magnet is one of the best ways to do that. And here, we’ll show you how to easily craft highly effective lead magnets.

It’s no secret that selling to cold traffic (people who don’t know you or your business) is far more difficult than selling to warm leads (people who know you and trust you).

That’s why every online business requires a consistent flow of leads to be successful. 

The more leads you have and the bigger your email list is, the more profit you’re capable of generating (assuming that you’ve acquired high-quality leads, but more on that shortly). 

In fact, Jon Morrow — the owner of a million-dollar blog — says online business owners should expect to make about $1 per month per subscriber

But how are you going to seamlessly generate leads and grow your email list? 

The answer is a lead magnet. 

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What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a resource, product, or service that is given away for free in order to collect contact information from the company’s target market. Contact information might include email address, phone number, name, and shipping information. 

Examples of lead magnets are free trials, eBooks, video courses, newsletters, or consultations. Marketers use lead magnets to generate leads, grow email lists, and increase the long-term sustainability of the company. 

Lead magnets work in just about every industry. SaaS companies often use free trials. Ecommerce companies use free sample products. Freelancers, agencies, and coaches use free consultations. Information product companies use eBooks and sample courses. Local businesses use free intro services. And blogs use newsletters.

So no matter what type of business you own, lead magnets can help you generate leads and increase sales. 

These lead magnets can display in a lot of different ways on your website, including in-content, as a post footer, ribbon, screen filler, scroll mat, slide-in, widget, or pop-up. 

Here’s what our own lead magnets look like on the page you’re on right now!

Lead magnets are a top-of-funnel marketing strategy, meaning that they’re meant to generate leads and bring people into your sphere of influence. 

You can then sell products or services to those leads down the road. 

What Qualities Make For a Good Lead Magnet? 

Of course, not all lead magnets are created equal. 

What are the commonalities between lead magnets that are highly effective? 

Let’s talk about that. 

1. Attractive To Your Target Market

A lead magnet is only useful if it attracts your target market — people who are likely to buy from you in the future

If a lead magnet attracts the wrong people (I’ve seen it happen), it can be detrimental to your business and your marketing budget. 

So it’s immensely important that you get this first quality right. 

Take Smartblogger’s highly successful lead magnet as an example…

Smartblogger is an online company whose target market is, well, bloggers. And what do bloggers want more than to write posts that go viral? 


That’s the genius behind this lead magnet. It’s wildly compelling to Smartbloggers target market… but not really to other people. 

Which is good, because you don’t need “other people” on your email list 😉

2. Solves An Immediate Problem

What makes a lead magnet mind-blowingly attractive to your target market? 

Answer: something that promises to solve, with very little friction, the person’s most immediate problem. 

Imagine, for example, that your target market is people who want to change their eating habits, but they don’t have the time to meal plan, make grocery lists, or find new recipes. 

Their immediate problem, then, is that they can’t eat healthier because they don’t have time. 

So what if you offered a lead magnet that solved that problem for free? 

Something like this

Or imagine that your target market is people who want to learn how to make money as freelance writers.

Their immediate problem is that… well, they don’t even know where to start. 

So you might offer a free starting course to help them gain some momentum. 

What if, instead, Jacob McMillen offered a lead magnet that helped freelance writers create 7-figure agencies? That might work… but he’d be going after a different target market with entirely different wants and desires, which would impact his entire business model.  

For who he’s targeting — beginner to intermediate freelance writers — this lead magnet is perfect. 

Your lead magnet should solve your target market’s most immediate and pressing problem, not a problem that’s going to appear down the road. Meet your target market where they are when they enter your funnel and address other problems at the proper time. 

So what is your target market’s most immediate problem and how can you solve it with a simple lead magnet? 

Answering that question is the best way to ensure that you build an irresistible bribe to subscribe.

3. Easy To Consume & Easy To Create

Yes, your lead magnet should solve your target market’s most immediate problem, and it should do so genuinely

But that doesn’t mean it should give everything away. 

In fact, it shouldn’t. 

Your lead magnet has just a few important goals. 

  1. To attract your target market.
  2. To be genuinely helpful.
  3. And to build momentum toward your other offers.

In a sense, your lead magnet is your starting low-level product. It should be easy to create and easy to consume while also offering real value that inspires people to buy from you down the road.

That is to say, solve your target market’s immediate problem, but also don’t stress about creating some massive, time-consuming resource. 

It’s true that more compelling lead magnets will increase conversion rate… but time-consuming and difficult-to-create doesn’t always equal “more compelling.”

Often, it doesn’t. 

So, find the balance. 

What could you easily create that would be genuinely valuable to your target market?

4. Part of a Whole

Maybe your lead magnet will generate leads like clockwork. 

But does it create momentum for people to buy from you later on? Does it naturally carry them into purchasing your next offer? Does it build trust and excitement around your brand? 

Russell Brunson often talks about what he calls the Value Ladder and how to drive people from one offer to the next. 

The lead magnet is your bait… it’s the very first thing you’re offering to get people into your sphere of influence. 

In other words, your lead magnet is part of a larger whole. 

It’s not a product all its own… it’s a resource that should be attractive, helpful, and should ultimately persuade people to continue buying products from you down the road. 

(In fact, we like to use the Soap Opera Email Sequence for pulling people from bait to frontend offer)

Knowing that should influence your lead magnet offer, how it’s presented, and most importantly, the lead magnet itself.

As part of a whole, your lead magnet should…

  • Be genuinely helpful to build trust. 
  • Create excitement about what’s possible with your products and services. 
  • End with some sort of next steps — “Keep an eye on your email! I’ll be reaching out with more information soon!”

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6 Steps to Create a Highly Effective Lead Magnet (With Examples)

Now that you understand what qualities make a lead magnet attractive to your target market, we can turn our attention to creating your lead magnet, squeeze page, and opt-in forms. 

Let’s dive in!

1. Outline Your Attractive Offer

A lot of people make the mistake of creating their lead magnet before outlining their offer. 

We recommend going the other way around. 

If you know what you want to offer your target market, why it’s appealing, how you’re going to “sell” it, and exactly what content it needs to include in order to be helpful, then creating your lead magnet becomes really easy and simple. 

You can use the four qualities of a successful lead magnet that we listed above as a checklist for creating your own. 

For now, just outline what you want to offer people and list out some of the hooks and benefits that would make the lead magnet even more compelling. 

For example…

Offer: 30-Day Weight loss Course

  • –   Lose up to 30 pounds in 30 days
  • –   Lose weight WITHOUT exercising
  • –   Discover a diet that is easy to follow
  • –   Follow the proven system that helped me lose 100 pounds without ever feeling miserable

Not all of these benefits will make it into the final draft of your squeeze page, but that’s okay.

The goal right now is to brainstorm and list out as many compelling benefits as possible (they need to be things that you can actually offer, of course). 

And then in the next step, we’ll use that outline to write your sales copy!

Pro Tip: Remember that specificity wins when it comes to creating offers. Don’t show people “How To Lose Weight!” Show them “How To Ditch Sugar & Drop Up To 5 Pounds per Week!” Don’t show people “How to Get More Leads!” Show them “How To Generate 3 Leads Per Day Using This 5-Step System!” This makes your offer more visceral, believable, and compelling. 

2. Build Your Squeeze Page & Get Feedback

Now it’s time to create your squeeze page and get feedback. 

We recommend doing this before you create your lead magnet so that you can determine the true attractiveness of your offer without spending time building it. 

A squeeze page is a simple landing page where your lead magnet offer will live. This is the main gateway where people will download your lead magnet. 

(We’ll talk about creating more gateways in step 4)

Here’s what a squeeze page looks like…

But how are you going to design your own squeeze page? One that has a good design and compelling sales copy? 

Well as far as design, you can get one of our high-converting squeeze page templates for free by clicking here

For sales copy, the good news is that you don’t need to write thousands of words. Since your lead magnet is free, you really just need a great title, a focussed subject line, exciting bullet points, and a CTA. here’s a simple but effective template & example you can follow…

[Question Title] – Want to lose weight without sacrificing good food?

[Solution Subheading] – Discover the 30-day weightloss plan that changed my life.

[Beneficial Bullet Points]

  • Lose up to 30 pounds in 30 days without ever going to the gym.
  • Discover a diet that is easy to understand and even easier to stick to. 
  • Follow the proven system that helped me lose 100 pounds.
  • Lose weight AND eat great!

[CTA Button] – [Get My Free 30-Day Weightloss Plan Now!]

Creating this squeeze page with ClickFunnels is as simple as putting together Legos.

Just choose a free squeeze page template, add your sales copy and any design elements that you want, then you can publish your squeeze page right on your domain. 

You can even create an autoresponder email campaign to deliver your lead magnet to new subscribers! Or if you already have an email service provider, then you can easily integrate them with ClickFunnels.

Once you’ve built your squeeze page (but before you’ve actually created the lead magnet), show it to some of your most loyal subscribers or most honest friends. 

Ideally, show it to people who fit the demographics and interests of your target market. 

And ask them what they think. 

You might even consider creating a short survey with Google Forms so that it’s easy to collect feedback from your target market. 

That way, you can determine the likely effectiveness of your lead magnet before creating it. 

If feedback is good, then go to step 3 and start building. If feedback is negative, then take what you learned and keep at it until you have a winner. 

3. Create Your Lead Magnet

Now it’s time to create your actual lead magnet. 

Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be super complicated or time-consuming. 

Your lead magnet should be easy to create and easy to consume (you can always add to it later if you feel that something is missing). 

Maybe you’re creating a PDF, a free course, a series of audio lessons, or a webinar presentation. 

Whatever the case, there are three elements that your lead magnet needs…

  1. An exciting introduction to what they’re going to learn. 
  2. The meat of the resource — this is where they get tons of free value!
  3. A recap of what they learned and the next steps to take — this should guide them toward your front-end offer or toward your upcoming Soap Opera Email Sequence (which will then guide them toward your front-end offer).

That’s the structure you should use for any sort of digital download or resource. 

If your lead magnet is something like a free trial, consultation, or ecommerce product, then the only thing to keep in mind is that when you’re providing the free product or service, the goal is to drive those people toward your front-end product. 

SaaS free trials do this by promoting paid features and sending notifications when the trial is ending. 

Coaches and consultants do this by building one-on-one relationships and pitching prospects at the end of a phone call. 

And ecommerce businesses do this by upselling customers from cheap or free products to more expensive and valuable items. 

4. Build at Least 3 Gateways

Your website should consistently be generating leads, regardless of where the visitors are landing… on a blog post, podcast episode, about page, product page, etc. 

And that’s why you should create multiple (at least 3) gateways for people to get your lead magnet and join your email list. 

We recommend displaying these gateways as a CTA in the header or footer… 

An exit-intent pop-up… 

A sidebar form… 

And when it makes sense, in-content upgrades…

This way, your entire website is generating leads… not just a page or two. 

Not sure how to create all of those lead magnet gateways on your website? 

You can easily do so with a free ClickFunnels account 😉

5. Consider Multiple Lead Magnets

Your first lead magnet doesn’t need to be your only lead magnet. 

At ClickFunnels, we have quite a few different lead magnets that we use in different blog posts, pages, and offers… wherever they make the most sense. 

You can end up creating a library of valuable lead magnets that you can use as needed. You might run advertisements to a few, add others to relevant blog content, put one on the side-bar, and use another as your exit-intent pop-up. 

Ramit Sethi’s website, for example, has two lead magnets on the homepage…

And another if you click “Free Tools”…

Sprinkling lead magnets throughout your website like this is a great way to capture different types of people within your target market (people with different interests, concerns, and problems). 

If a particular piece of content is driving a lot of traffic to your website, you might even consider creating a content upgrade lead magnet specifically for that article. 

Smartblogger does this in their article titled, “How to Make Money Blogging (Free Guide For 2020)”

And their content upgrade looks like this…

A content upgrade is just a lead magnet that piggybacks off of the content that the visitor is already interested in. 

(Alternatively, you can just focus on creating content that guides visitors toward a lead magnet you’ve already created)

Don’t feel overwhelmed by this, though. 

Just start by creating one lead magnet and then be open to creating more in the future when you’ve got the time and budget. 

6. Test, Test, Test

What has the final say on whether a lead magnet is effective or not? 

Well, the data does

If your conversion rate is healthy and the leads you’re generating are consistently turning into customers, then you’ve found a winning sales funnel. 

If the opposite is true, then you’ll need to adjust. 

Whatever the case, there’s always room for improvement. 

And testing your lead magnet is the only way to know what’s working and what isn’t. 

That’s why, at ClickFunnels, we give all of our members the ability to split test anything on their website. Just create different versions based on what you want to test and we’ll automatically track and report results. 

And don’t wait on this.

The sooner you start testing and iterating, the sooner you’ll create a winning lead magnet. 

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BONUS: 5 Lead Magnet Ideas For Any Type of Business

Still struggling with what type of lead magnet to create? 

Well, keep in mind that your lead magnet doesn’t need to be perfect on the first go-around. Since lead magnets are easy to create and increasing conversion rate is an ongoing goal, it’s likely that you’ll create quite a few different lead magnets down the road. 

So don’t sweat. 

Check out the list below to get lead magnet ideas for every type of business… and then get started!

1. Free Consultation

Free consultations or coaching sessions are an awesome lead magnet for people who sell one-on-one services… like coaches and consultants

This free consultation is basically just a friendly and helpful sales call. 

You’ll guide the call by asking questions, explaining your expertise, and showing the person how you’re capable of helping them. 

Since coaches and consultants rely on authentic one-to-one relationships, free consultations are a no-brainer, crazy effective lead magnet. 

2. Free eBook, How-To Guide, Course, etc

Free eBooks, how-to guides, courses, and other digital resources are one of the most common types of lead magnets. 

And they work for just about every type of business. 

Even in SaaS companies that offer a free trial, ecommerce businesses that bait free products, and coaching businesses that offer free consultations, there’s still room for these types of downloadable lead magnets. 

They make for great exit-intent pop-ups, sidebars, and in-content forms on your website. 

3. Free SaaS Trial

What we love most about free trials for SaaS companies is that they are product-centric lead magnets. 

This means two things. 

First, people who sign up for a free trial of your service are guaranteed to be a part of your target market… because they’re literally signing up for a basic version of the service that you offer. 

And second, it’s really easy to guide people from taking a free trial to paying for your service, especially if you get their payment info upfront and encourage them to make a habit of using your tool.

For SaaS companies, we definitely recommend testing out a free trial and seeing how it goes. 

4. Free Service Trial

What type of lead magnet should you create if you’re a local service business

We’re talking about dentists, chiropractors, spas, gyms, real estate agents, and any other local service-based businesses.

Well, free service trials is one of the best lead magnets we’ve seen for service-based businesses. Essentially, this allows people to try out your local service for free. 

Yoga studios might offer a free class, dentists might offer a free teeth cleaning, and spas might offer a free massage. 

Then, during the free service, you can build relationships with these new leads and upsell them to your other offers. 

5. Free Starter Product

Ecommerce companies often benefit from lead magnets that give people a sample of their products. This is a great way to show people how effective your products are and get them wanting more. 

It’s also super enticing because people are getting a physical product for free. 

To cover the costs of giving away free products, you can consider a free + shipping offer…

and/or using a tripwire funnel that pulls people immediately toward your front-end offer…

6. Free Webinar

At ClickFunnels, we’ve got more attention and made more sales with webinars than any other type of lead magnet

Webinars are online presentations where you provide people with free value and then make a pitch to your frontend product at the end. 

These are most effective for SaaS, coaching/consulting, and informational product businesses. 

You can get our proven-to-work webinar script for free over here

And you can get your free webinar sales funnel over here.  🙂

Ready To Create Your Highly Effective Lead Magnet?

You know what a lead magnet is and how it works. 

You also understand the qualities that make a lead magnet effective and even how to craft one for your business. 

We even gave you 6 different lead magnet ideas that fit any business model!

The only thing left is to take action. 

Create your lead magnet, launch it, test it, and let us know how it goes!

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