What Is A Lead Magnet?

What Is A Lead Magnet?

We’re a nation of swipers. Scrollers. Finger flickers. We flip through social media posts quickly—pausing briefly to devour short-form content. We don’t enjoy ads. Nope. We flip past them. They disrupt our user experience and agitate us. We don’t like to be sold to. But we do like to buy. And we only enjoy buying from those we know, like and trust.

Everyone knows that ads are disruptive. They don’t add to the experience of consuming content. They take away from it. Still, ads are everywhere. We all know that, right? So how are some companies crushing it with ads while others struggle? Two words—lead magnets. To make money in your business (and to do it fast) you must create a drool-worthy lead magnet. And you must connect it to a lead generation funnel.

A lead generation funnel is one type of sales funnel. It’s designed to generate leads. Plain and simple, right? But the question is this. What type of lead magnet do you create? And how do you structure that lead magnet the right way? A way that creates mouth-watering desire in what you’re selling? When you create the right type of lead magnet the right way, you enter the conversation already going on in the prospect’s mind. And that’s where the real magic happens.

What keeps that person up at night? What makes them toss and turn? Are they struggling with a specific problem? Is it a problem that you can solve? If so, it’s not about running ads to a landing page that tries to sell them at first glance. You must run your ads to a lead magnet that’s designed the right way. And once you acquire that lead you need to take it many steps further. To build rapport. Form a connection. Create a bond. It happens over time. Not instantly by snapping your fingers.

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet can take on many forms. But at the end of the day a lead magnet is simply an enticing offer. Typically it’s a free piece of content. It’s something that can solve part of the problem that your prospect is struggling with. But you can’t just create any old lead magnet. You must create the right type of lead magnet that targets the heart of the problem. And it must address the pain they are grappling with.

Think about it this way. These prospects don’t know who you are and don’t know what you offer. We call that a cold audience. To target a cold audience you don’t talk about yourself or what you can do. You talk about the problem and the pain that the problem causes. You agitate the problem. After all, it’s a cold audience. And that problem is typically front and center for them. That makes sense, right?

Cold audiences by definition are problem aware. They know the problem. But they don’t know you. Your goal is to not only get them to know you. But to also get them to like and trust you. That doesn’t happen by selling them something out of the gate. That happens by giving them valuable content and information that is useful for solving their problem.

That’s where lead magnets come into play. A lead magnet addresses the problem. But it also does much more than that. A lead magnet attracts. It pulls a prospect into your world. Once you gain their contact information the real work begins. First of all, your lead magnet must be valuable. And I do mean incredibly valuable. It must be so valuable that you feel funny about giving it away for free. That creates reciprocity and authority. And that eventually opens the door to the sale.

How To Use Lead Magnets The Right Way

A lead magnet is part of a lead generation offer. The offer is the lead magnet. And it should address the problem. But you must also understand the person and who they are implicitly. Meaning that you should understand as much about the person experiencing the problem as you do about the problem. Why? So you can create all your communications around speaking to that person.

When you close your eyes you should be able to see this person in front of you. Who are they? What do they look like? What are their greatest fears? Do they have kids? Where do they work? What groups are they a part of? Where do they congregate? Are they married or divorced? How old are they? You get the picture, right?

Know the person. And know the problem. Think about the problem from every angle. Break it down and split it apart. Understand the pain associated with the problem. You should know that pain. After all, if you’re solving the problem for others you’ve likely solved it for yourself. Think back to that time when you were dealing with that problem. Close your eyes and picture it.

Most lead magnets you see aren’t designed the right way. They don’t lead with the problem. And they don’t lead with the pain that problem causes. Most lead with pleasure. And that’s not the right way to approach it. Pain is what they’re struggling with. The problem is front and center. Lead with that. Not with pleasure. Remember that people will always do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. Always.

Lead Magnet Psychology

To create a winning lead magnet you must understand the psychology of the mind. You need to know how the mind works. Yes, pain trumps pleasure. Because we avoid pain at all costs. But there are other principles at play. Things like reciprocity. Reciprocity is the feeling of indebtedness when you receive something of value from another person.

Human beings are like mirrors. We typically mirror the actions of others. If someone is kind to us we typically respond with kindness. When someone is negative or mean to us, it triggers a similar response. This is a fundamental part of human behavior. Think about it this way. Have you ever gone to a supermarket and seen them giving away free samples of food or drinks? Why do you think they do that?

It’s not because the supermarket wants to throw money away. It’s because they know that when they give you value you’ll feel indebted. Many people who try a free sample and like it will purchase that item. Not every person. But certainly some. That’s the same principle behind the reciprocity of a lead magnet. When you give away free value, people feel indebted to you.

Lead magnets also create authority. If you can solve part of a problem a prospect is experiencing, you’re now an authority. Reciprocity combined with authority is a powerful recipe for success. Once you’ve done those two things successfully the prospect now has a greater interest in who you are. That opens the door to building rapport through email marketing. And that happens through the power of storytelling.

Lead Magnet Examples

It’s a lot to unpack. There are many underlying factors at play. But lead magnets are powerful because they leverage basic fundamental principles of human psychology. Sure, you can go directly for the sale by building out an irresistible offer. It can work for you. But lead magnets are much more powerful because they bring people into your world.

The whole point of marketing is to build your email list. Ads are great but you only control that traffic for so long. You don’t own it. You want to take traffic you control and convert it into traffic you own. That happens with the power of a lead magnet. Lead magnets help you capture those contacts. And once they’re on your email list it’s game on.


Everyone loves a challenge. It motivates and inspires them to push toward solving their problem. That doesn’t mean your challenge has to solve the entire problem a prospect is facing. But it should solve part of the problem. Challenges are great because they get people into an interactive environment. It provides a road map toward a solution. And it makes a great way to generate leads.

Your free challenge should be 5 to 7 days long. And it must provide a tremendous amount of value. But it should also be designed to sell whatever it is that you’re peddling at the end. The challenge is a way to ascend people up toward your higher-priced offers. They can be used to sell products and services from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

2—Video Tutorials

Take the problem that you intend to solve and create a video tutorial around it. Show people how to solve the problem. Give away the farm. You won’t hurt sales when you reveal everything. It establishes authority. This type of lead magnet works best for visual solutions. But people will still pay for the implementation. They’ll want to buy the thing you’re selling because it will be a more detailed solution.

Video tutorials are useful because most people enjoy consuming content in video format. It provides video and audio. It clearly depicts things in a more detailed way. But video tutorials are also time-consuming to make. You must put in real time and effort to create this type of lead magnet. And that’s a good thing. Because your lead magnet should be so valuable that you feel uncomfortable giving it away for free.


Checklist lead magnets create the solution to the problem in list format. List out all the things that go into solving the problem for that prospect. Checklists could be for various parts of the problem. For example, for weight loss, the checklist could be part of the grocery list for the recipes. For dating and relationships, the checklist could be a list of prompts or cues for approaching women. The checklist could be a list of powerful curiosity-filled hooks for ads. That makes sense, right?

The checklist will not be the entire solution to the problem. But it is a solution to part of the problem. When people consume the checklist and they receive real value from it, it creates reciprocity. And you become an authority because you delivered that lead magnet to them. These are powerful drivers of human behavior.

4—Cheat Sheets

Cheat sheets can combine many mediums into one format. A cheat sheet checklist helps provide an overview for solving the problem the prospect is experiencing. It’s a reference point they can refer to when they implement the solution. It doesn’t solve the problem entirely. But it does provide a road map for solving the problem.

People will still want to pay for the implementation. That’s why lead magnets are so powerful. People want to know you can help them by showing them you can help them. Then they want you to actually help them by paying for your help. It’s like giving someone a free taste of something before they buy it. It’s the same concept.


People love free consultations. And it makes a powerful lead magnet. Why? Because a free consultation gives you face time as a service provider. It means that you get to talk to the prospect one-on-one. And that is powerful for service providers. Very powerful. Because when a prospect is in front of you, it’s far easier to address the problem. They’ll illuminate and describe it in great detail.

Free consultations allow you to give value to a prospect by addressing their problem directly. And it helps you provide solutions. For example, a dentist might offer free teeth cleaning as part of a free consultation. Then, the dentist might upsell you to purchase various other things like teeth whitening, extractions, teeth-straightening devices, and so on. You’ll purchase it because they gave you value. It’s the law of reciprocity expertly at play.

6—Free Trials

Free trials offer something of value. But it’s only for a limited time. Many sites and platforms utilize this concept to bring people into their world. For example, many software platforms offer free trials. You get to experience the software firsthand for whatever period. Typically it’s 14 days or 30 days. During that time you get unlimited access to the free trial.

However, this isn’t always a software trial. Free trials can be part of any type of service (whether online or offline). You’re just giving away the trial for a limited period. If they receive real value out of the service it’ll create urgency to sign up. That’s because they know the clock is ticking. This is where you use emails and other banners to display the number of days they have left.


Webinars are sometimes called free trainings. They’re powerful presentations designed to help shift the limiting beliefs of prospects. Those limiting beliefs hold them back from buying what you’re selling. It’s a way to compress time to get the prospect to purchase a premium value offer. Premium value can be anything that ranges from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars and up.

Constructing webinars takes careful planning and meticulous execution. They are thrown together quickly. And they often have to be massaged to get them right. For example, ClickFunnels built its business off the back of one of the highest-grossing webinars ever called Funnel Hacks. That webinar propelled the sales funnel platform well past $100 million in annual sales. Yes, webinars are that powerful and they do make great lead magnets.


Templates can take on many shapes and forms. And they make ideal lead magnets. That’s because proven templates don’t cost anything to reproduce. You can send them a digital template as easily as you would send out a digital product. Templates can be effective for helping solve part of certain problems.

Templates work great when they’re related to things like sales, copywriting, cold-calling scripts, marketing and paid ads. This also makes the templates very valuable. Take the problem you intend to solve and see if you can apply a template to the solution. Then, create something beautiful with well-organized information. And then offer that as a lead magnet for free inside of your lead generation funnel.

9—Free Course

Free courses can take on many shapes and forms. You can have email courses that drip out emails to help solve a specific problem in a certain timeframe. And you can also offer free online courses using a membership site. That free course can then upsell the prospect into a premium value product or service. It can even upsell them to a paid course.

Building a free course isn’t hard. You can use our software platform to build it. This includes premade templates and a drag-and-drop editor. That means you don’t need to be a web developer or a coder to build the online course. You just create it using a simple interface. The real work is in providing organized information that actually solves part of the problem the prospect is struggling with.


Another example of a lead magnet are workbooks. Workbooks offer valuable insight and help to tackle a problem by breaking it into smaller parts. Workbooks help a prospect work through the problem in a detailed and chronological fashion. They’re very useful. And workbooks can be presented in a digital format when they’re acting as a lead magnet.

Delivering a digital workbook simplifies the process. It means you’re not shipping out a physical copy. Nor are customers forced to pay for any type of shipping. You could go a step further and ship a physical copy for free. That might make the lead more valuable because you invested to ship something to them at no cost to them. But it also might make the lead magnet cost-prohibitive.


Spreadsheets that have existing calculations and are set up to solve a particular problem are very useful as lead magnets. Can the problem you’re solving use a spreadsheet? Spreadsheets are great for tracking results over time. And you could use those results to create charts and graphs on the way to some bigger goal of solving a large problem.

Spreadsheets won’t work for every single type of lead magnet. But they can work for some. For example, in tracking weight loss, steps taken, calories consumed, money spent, and so on. You can easily create spreadsheets using Google Sheets that are sharable. You can also do them in Excel. The method doesn’t matter. What matters is that the spreadsheet provides a lot of value.

12—No Obligation Quotes

No obligation, zero-risk quotes are common forms of lead magnets. You see them all the time. California Closets does this very successfully. They’ll come to your home and measure your closet. Then they’ll work to understand your preferences. Once that’s done they will design a closet based on that. And they’ll usually show you what it looks like in a 3D rendering.

They take a lot of time at the outset to create the designs. That creates a lot of reciprocity. You feel indebted to the person because they took so much time to think through and design the closet you wanted. And that’s why that company does so well. Reciprocity is a very powerful factor for most people. That’s just how it works.

13—Discount Offer

Discount offers still provide a form of value to people. Although this is not the most powerful form of a lead magnet, discount offers could be used for first-time customers. This is great for physical product stores. You can offer your discount offer for the first order. You can create a pop-up that promotes a large discount. That pop-up should ask for the email address.

The higher the discount offered for the first order, the more people will put in their contact details. For example, let’s say you offer 50% off the first order. That might seem like a lot of money. But a 50% discount offer is very enticing. And most of the people that see the pop-up will likely put in their contact details.

14—Free Chapter

You can offer a free chapter in a book as a lead magnet. This works if you already have a book available. The free chapter would work even better if the entire book actually solves the problem the prospect is facing. The free chapter doesn’t have to be a self-published book on Amazon. It could be a short book that you’ve written that isn’t for sale anywhere else.

If it is self-published on Amazon then that’s even better. If you have a book that you haven’t published then you can do that for free on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You’ll need to write the book. That will take time. But if the book solves a persistent problem for a specific person, it’ll be a winner. It just needs to be written the right way.


Prompts can be written for any industry or niche. These prompts can be used in many ways. You can create prompts for AI systems like ChatGPT. You can also create prompts as a way to stir creativity for a prospect who is trying to solve a problem. For example, prompts can be used to help determine content ideas, goal setting, weight loss journeys, affiliate marketing, and more.

Create a list of 100 prompts or more to really deliver an incredible value. Remember that the customer is getting this for free. And once they discover how much value is inside of the thing you’re giving away for free, it creates reciprocity. And reciprocity will help you take those prospects from cold and unaware of who you are to hot and ready to buy whatever you’re selling.


Recipes make great lead magnets. If you’re in the health and wellness business, you can create a list of recipes to help customers achieve many goals. Recipes can be used for weight loss, gut health, and overall wellness. Although recipes are readily available online, by creating a well-organized lead magnet, you can really get their attention.

Create a beautiful lead magnet that includes images, a shopping list, and preparation instructions. Go all out when you do this and actually take your own photos. This way you don’t infringe on the copyright of others. At the end of the lead magnet, create a link or an invitation for them to take things a step further with you. Either they can purchase a course, sign up for coaching, or whatever it is that you offer.

17—Tickets To Events

A great lead magnet is a free ticket to attend an event. That ticket could typically be sold for any amount of money. But you’re offering it for free. And the event should be designed in a way that delivers real value. This event does not have to be a physical event. It could be a virtual event like a digital summit or something similar.

Provide crazy value during the event. Go above and beyond. If it’s a digital summit, bring in people who are experts in their fields. Have them educate the audience about what they do and how they attained success in their craft. Then at the end of the event you can pitch a premium value offer. That offer could be coaching, consulting, a course, or something similar.


Why not provide transcripts as a lead magnet? You can provide transcripts for anything. Maybe you hosted an event and had it transcribed. Maybe you did a webinar or had a group coaching call. Challenges that people attended could also be transcribed. Transcripts can be provided for numerous events (both online and offline) that deliver real value.

Transcripts don’t take a lot of time to create. You’re creating them from things you’re already doing. Plus, you can use systems like Rev.com and other online transcription services to transcribe presentations, videos and audio. It doesn’t cost much and it delivers a lot of value to people. Plus, they make great lead magnets.


Walkthroughs make great lead magnets and they can combine various mediums. You can provide detailed walkthroughs for solving problems through a combination of written guides, audio and video. People love detailed walkthroughs. And the better your walkthrough is and the more value it delivers, the more reciprocity it’ll create with the prospect.

Think about how you can walk someone through solving a problem in great detail. Organize the information the right way. Even if you don’t have a lot of time you can create audio notes and hire someone from Upwork or Freelancer to do it for you. Create a beautiful presentation that people will enjoy consuming. Do it the right way and the results will speak for themselves.

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