19 Best Lead Magnet Ideas to Boost your Email List in 2020

best lead magnet ideas

Your Email list is the lifeline for your business. To become successful in Affiliate Marketing, you should continuously work on growing your email list. In this article, I will cover some of the best lead magnet ideas to help grow your subscribers. 

What are Lead Magnets ?

Lead Magnets as the name suggests are means to attract leads.

These are freebies that you offer to your website visitors in exchange for their email address and maybe other details like their name.

A person on an average receives 100 emails a day (not even counting random promotions and other cold email outreach). Numbers may vary, but in general people have become conservative in divulging their details.

Consider this scenario.

Let say you have a blog about Blogging as a Full Time Career.

You created a great post on Starting a Blog. Now you want people to subscribe and become part of your email list.

What do you think will work?

Asking them to subscribe for future updates or giving them a Free PDF which talks about getting their first 1000 visitors.

People are more likely to share their email address if you share with them some valuable resource which solves their problem at hand.

Lead Capturing

The other half of the lead generation process is to enable a system to capture your prospect details.

You have created a Lead Magnet that you believe will solve a specific problem. Great!

Now you need to create a beautiful Popup, or inline sign up form, or a landing page where your user can sign up and get their freebie.

I use Elementor Pro to create popup for my website.

You can browse through tons of templates and configure them as per your liking.

Why are Lead Magnets important for your affiliate marketing business

Lead Magnets are super important for any business and it becomes all the more important for Affiliate Marketers like us.


With growing competition on social media platforms, it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach your own followers. Leading Digital Marketers are now talking about decreasing reach to their followers on Facebook page.

Additionally, Email communications can be made personal and customized to make them sound unique to the user.

Moreover, if there is a new product that you want to promote, discount incentives during festival season (Black Friday, Cyber Sale ), etc. then emails are your best bet.

We should definitely leverage the benefits of social media platforms but the returns that you get from your email subscribers are far more.

Read Affiliate Marketing through Email List

What type of lead magnets work better as compared to others

You should design your lead magnets keeping your audience avatar/persona in mind. An audience avatar is a typical visitor profile who visits your website. Add details to this avatar based on your target audience. 

What are their needs, problems, aspirations, along with other details like what age group they belong, what are their interests, etc.

My audience avatar has the name Nishant. He is 30 years old, salaried, single, corporate worker who is looking for new opportunities to start his business.

Now design your lead magnet based on the avatar you have created.

There are few pointers to keep in mind while creating your lead magnet.

The Lead Magnet should be very specific, promising one big solution.

Now a days, people do not want to go through 500 pages to figure out the solution.

Your lead magnets should promise a quick solution to a specific problem that showcases your expertise on the subject.

These lead magnets also allow a visitor to try your product/recommendations/services. This is a crucial step in building trust which ultimately leads to future sales.

Lead Magnet Funnel

Your leads should follow the path as below.

They should see an opt in form or a subscription form where they can enter their email (and name).

You can additionally design a landing page to drive traffic from social media platforms to this page.

Basically, you should have enabled a system to capture leads.

When they sign up, they should be taken to a Thank You Page, or send a Welcome Email with some details about yourself and your product or services.

This is the start of building a rapport. So, you should spend some time drafting these emails.

Now comes the part when you tag subscribers and preferably add them to an automated email sequence.

With the basics out of the way, let us look at some best lead magnet ideas to grow your email list.

1. Tools and Resources

These lead magnets are super important for any beginner.

You can list out the tools and resources that you have used for your business (along with affiliate links) and create a downloadable PDF as a lead magnet.

People like to see what tools experts use for their business.

Additionally, you can create a resource guide that can be used by beginners to solve their problem at hand.

As shown in the image below, SmartPassiveIncome uses the Email Marketing resource guide as their lead magnet.

best lead magnet ideas - resource lead magnet

2. Problem solving strategies

If you’ve managed to develop expertise on a pressing problem, then you can share your winning strategy and generate massive high quality leads.

If you have been around exploring topics related to blogging, then you would have definitely come across Neil Patel’s blog.

He uses his problem solving strategies to generate leads for his website

best lead magnet ideas - problem solving

3. EBook Lead Magnet

Ebooks are one of the best lead magnet ideas that convert well if used in the right way. 

The point to keep in mind is specificity.

People do not want to read lengthy ebooks so you should avoid using them as lead magnets.

Instead, if you have an ebook that contains valuable information and saves your visitor the overhead of researching, then it becomes a promising lead magnet.

For example, if you have a blog on parenting. 

Your ebooks could be about

  • 7 essential travelling gear for babies
  • Baby potty training
  • 6 things you should know in the first 6 months  

Checkout this ebook that you get when you want to download list of power words from SmartBlogger

best lead magnet ideas - ebook lead magnet

4. CheatSheet

Cheat Sheets are value-driven resources that list down pointers to achieve a specific goal. For example you can create an On Page SEO checklist for visitors to download. If your audience consists of people who want to learn blogging then this checklist will be of great help as it takes away the pain of thinking and remembering to perfectly optimize a page.

Your cheat sheet should contain an essential checklist or pointers that people can refer to and then accomplish a certain task.

Such is the power of lead magnets that SmartBlogger has lead magnet opt-in form on their home page itself.

best lead magnet ideas - cheat sheet lead magnet

5. Ultimate Guides

These types of lead magnets are exhaustive guide on a relatively complex topic.

For example, you can think about creating an ultimate guide for Ranking in Google for a New Website.

Now the thing to understand here is that topics like these have already been dealt with and probably in much more detail by experts in the field.

What you want to do is add in your content and illustrate your point by using reference links from these authority websites.

In this way, your lead magnet becomes a one-stop station for all the relevant information.

See this URL where HubSpot uses this definitive guide as a lead magnet – Hubspot

best lead magnet examples - ultimate guide lead magnet

6. Quick Start Guide

These types of lead magnets are relatively very short (5-10 pages) that is helpful for a beginner to come up to speed on a topic.

I prefer such lead magnets as they are easier to create and it helps a newbie from getting overwhelmed by information overflow.

Brian Tracy uses this short guide offering a quick solution to writing a speech using this Lead Magnet

best lead magnet ideas - quick guide lead magnets

7. Tutorial Guide or Video

These are one of the best lead magnet examples where you can create a tutorial solving one common problem that your audience has. This could be a tutorial to set up a facebook ad campaign or create an automated drip campaign using ConvertKit.

This short video or guidebook helps your audience overcome a pressing problem and they will be more than happy to share their email.

JonLoomer has this excellent videos on Facebook Analytics that people need and are more than happy to share their details for it.

See his page on Facebbok Analytics

best lead magnet ideas - videos lead magnets

8. Templates

Templates consist of a basic outline that people can use to fulfill their needs.If your blog is about getting high end clients, maybe you can share an email template that people can use to make a pitch to their potential clients.

Another example could be templates of your successful Facebook Ad campaigns.

Below is an example of template lead magnet where Brian Tracy shares his proven templates for Sales presentation

best lead magnet ideas - templates

9. Swipe Files

This is a recent trend which I noticed where every expert out there is offering a swipe file in exchange for email.

The reason this converts so well is that the swipe file contains the actual headlines, landing pages,  ad scripts, posts, email, basically anything that the expert has used to generate sales for his blog.

You can find an example for a swipe file at this page on DigitalMarketer

best lead magnet ideas - swipe files lead magnets

10. WorkBooks

If you recall school days, you will remember how we used to get assignments related to a chapter where we needed to answer few questions. The idea was once you answer those questions, you will understand the chapter.

Such is the concept of a workbook.

I used a workbook in my initial days offered by Neil Patel that helps new writers draft a high quality blog post.

It was a word doc that had different sections like:

  • Your headline
  • Introduction
  • What are the pain points
  • Main Points 
  • Call to Action and Conclusion
  • Image

This is an excerpt of the workbook to give you an idea.

As a beginner, you could use this workbook to structure your blog post.

Think if you can come up with such workbooks to help your visitors achieve a desired result.

This is an example of workbook lead magnet from LuckyLoveLife

best lead magnet ideas - workbook lead magnets

11. Mini-Course

These are one of the best lead magnet ideas that convert very well. 

I joined a free course on digital marketing by one of the leading marketers. I was not aware of his brand that time.

I started getting emails from him which were relevant to my interests.

I joined a free webinar by him on generating leads. I really liked the content shared on the webinar and ended up paying for the premium course.

Check how ElementsOfAI uses this free course to get email details

best lead magnet ideas - course

12. Webinars

The list for best lead magnets examples cannot be complete without the mention of webinars.If you have been around researching and exploring blogging as business, then you must have attended webinars or got emails about them.

You can use these webinars to create awareness about your brand and showcase your expertise on the subject.

The reason webinars convert so well as lead magnets is because they are scheduled at a particular time and thus gives visitors a limited time to act on them or risk missing out the opportunity.

This is called playing on the Fear of Missing Out!

See it live in action at SearchEngineJournal

best lead magnet ideas - webinar lead magnets

13. MindMaps

MindMaps are simplistic, engrossing visual representation of an otherwise complex problem. 

It is actually relatively easy to create a mind map.

I use MindMeister to create my maps. 

Checkout these mind map examples

I use these to plan my content, draft marketing strategies, compile different areas to generate more business.

One of the mind maps that I recall enjoying a lot was about How to Make One Crore Rupees.

Think about areas around your niche that you can represent in a visual format that can serve as a lead magnet.

14. Secrets

If you have spent some time learning more about your niche, attended seminars and training, then you would definitely come across a few secrets that subject experts use.

Many of the tips and tricks that I have learnt that helped boost my business came from paid programs and seminars.

You can compile a few along with your learnings and understanding and create a unique lead magnet for your blog. 

15. Guest Posts Compilation

Guest Posts are used to create high quality articles for an authority website so that you also get a high quality backlink for your website.

Some people feel that this is a wasted effort to write for other websites.

Why Guest Posting is important is a different discussion altogether.

What I want to share is that you can compile those Guest Posts along with few extra nuggets and use it as an excellent lead magnet.

There is no question of duplicate content as your posts are inside a PDF.

16. Email Mini Course

Email Mini Courses are a great way to build your email list, nurture your audience and develop the initial trust. You can repurpose your published content and add extra information that is available only for people that opt in for your email course.

Here at AffiliateChef, I use Email Courses to provide upfront value to my visitors.

17. Quizzes as Lead Magnets

Another Interesting form of lead magnets can be creating quizzes and let your visitors test their knowledge and get the result by sharing their email id.

You might have come across quizzes like what is your personality type, what is your spirit animal, etc.

As in the example above, you can also create a fun quiz to get leads.

Here is a quiz lead magnet at Jon Loomer

18. Roundups 

 This is a great addition to the list of best lead magnet examples. 

Also, this is a great way to gain visibility in your field.

How this works is that you reach out to experts in your niche. Request them to share their experience and strategies with your audience. Compile a list of 3-4 interviews and give it away as a downloadable material in exchange of contact details.

This helps build your network with experts, be seen as an authority in your niche, and grow your email list

19. Coupons

Coupons are an excellent way to draw targeted leads.

If you manage to get coupons from some company then you can use that to share with your audience, give them discount coupons and earn affiliate commission as well as a high-quality lead.

How to Create Lead Magnets

For downloadable content like PDFs and EBooks, you can create your content in a google doc and export it as PDF.

Create a beautiful book cover or front page design using Canva and download it as PDF as well.

Lastly combine these two PDFs using a free PDF merge/combine tool.

You can upload these in email automation providers like ConvertKit and configure your subscription form to offer these lead magnets once the user subscribes.

These are some of the best lead magnet ideas that work very well. Most of the other types of lead magnets are in some way derivative of the examples above.

Choose from the list of lead magnet examples that look relevant to your audience.

Let me know in the comments what lead magnets you have used or plan to use. As always, reach out to me through comments or emails for any questions.

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