11 Compelling Lead Magnets to Maximize your Website Lead Generation

Lead magnets are an important part of an effective digital strategy, as they can create a high-level of engagement and capture quality leads.

A lead magnet is usually a free offer that gives website visitors something of value in exchange for their contact information. This encourages your visitors to come back and, in turn, it gives your business more knowledge about their interests as well as their email address.

It is one of the easiest and most effective digital marketing methods you can use to get information from your visitors, simply because you’ll be offering them something valuable in return.

The type of website you run will determine the kind of offer you give your visitors. For example, it could be a free industry report, a webinar, a resource list, or a discount/coupon.

Lead magnets can also be used to encourage visitors further along the marketing funnel. You’ll be able to further influence them into buying your products or using your service through email marketing. Not only can you turn your leads into customers, you can also turn them into repeat customers.

Let’s take a look at 11 unique lead magnet ideas that will work in any industry:

1. Recorded video training

You can capture leads and increase sales by creating recorded videos that train the user on how to use your product, software or online tool.

What makes a video an effective way to deliver your lead magnet is that it includes a visual component as well as an audio component. You can also put real people in front of the camera to boost your brand. What’s more, a video has a higher perceived value, making it a lot more irresistible than other types of lead magnets.

Make sure your recorded video training is short, clear, interesting and makes people want to try out your product or watch more of your videos. Most importantly, your video should be free to watch.

For example, as shown below, Pepper It Marketing posted a free YouTube video showing people how to use Basecamp, a Project Management System, in less than 15 minutes. They also mention the benefits of using Basecamp to lure prospective clients and encourage viewers to contact them if they have any questions.

Maximize your website lead generation.

On the other hand, Marketo used a 4-minute product demonstration video as a lead magnet on their site. The purpose is to entice visitors to sign up if they want to watch all their marketing videos. The video is also free and the signup form is simple, with only five fields to fill in.

Maximize your website lead generation.

If you have the skills, creating a recorded video training should be easy. If not, you can always get a professional to do it for you.

2. Live training/webinar

Webinars or “Live Training” events are a hot trend in digital marketing at the moment.

Experts like Amy Porterfield and Neil Patel use recurring webinar marketing funnels as their primary sales tactic.

This is how it works – they host a weekly or fortnightly webinar, and then spend the rest of their time trying to encourage people to attend those webinars.

By framing these events as “Live Training” and offering them to prospects for free (in exchange for their details), it creates a win-win situation. For the prospect, they are getting free training from an expert face-to-face in the comfort of their home. For the business, you have an hour of undivided attention with a prospect who has explicitly told you they have the exact problem that your business solves for them.

For those that actually attend the live training, you can use the last 10% of the presentation to “sell” them on your product or service (that’s if you have done a good job of developing trust and providing value before the fact). And for those that register but don’t attend, you can continue communicating with them over email.

Even if you can’t commit to running a live webinar regularly, record the event and make it available to people at a later date – in exchange for their contact details of course!

KISSmetrics, for example, offer a library of different recorded webinars that are available to prospects, such as this one:

Maximize your website lead generation.

And here is an example from a totally different industry, Best Buy:

Maximize your website lead generation.

3. Discount/coupon

If your company sells physical products, whether online, offline or both, you can offer discounts or coupons to prospective customers.

Discounts and coupons both work extremely well at the bottom of your funnel, as most people like to shop around for cheap deals. In exchange for their email address, your brand should give people what they’re looking for.

For example, those who join People for Plants will get 10% off their next purchase, with a minimum order of $50. And as shown here, all you have to do is enter your email address and click on the “Join Now” button. This lead magnet pops up on the bottom right-hand corner of the page when you enter the site.

Maximize your website lead generation.

In this second example, NewEgg gets new leads by offering to send Promo Codes to a customer’s inbox. Again, all you need to do is enter your email address and then hit the “Sign Up!” button. By being a subscriber, you can get exclusive savings. NewEgg also lets people view the “Latest Email Deals” to further encourage them to sign up.

Maximize your website lead generation.

In this third example, Southwest Airlines offers coupons and special deals to subscribers of their email newsletter. When you go to their website you’ll see an ad in the top centre promoting “Click ‘n Save” deals.

Maximize your website lead generation.

And when you click on the ad, you’ll be sent to the signup form, as you can see here:

Maximize your website lead generation.

These lead magnets are effective because they’re short, quick, easy and enticing.
So if you’re a retailer or a local business selling physical products, using discounts and coupons as lead magnets are a great way to attract new customers.

4. Transformation case study

Your prospects may like to read a case study of someone that has been in their shoes before. It could also give them that one last push they need to consider whether they should buy your product or use your service.

Transformation case studies tell people how a company helped another company grow and become successful. You can build trust in your company and get more leads by telling people what techniques worked to help you get results for others and how you accomplished it, in a step-by-step format.

Web Profits, for example, has a lead magnet called “How we grew Australian Ethical’s monthly super signups by 255%”. The article explains how they used Fluid Online Marketing to increase a client’s super signups, including images to show the campaign in action and to show results.

Businesses who wish to work with Web Profits can get in touch by clicking on the relevant link at the end of the article. Readers can also get more articles like this sent to their email by clicking on the link below the heading.

Maximize your website lead generation.

Here’s an example from James T. Noble, a marketing consultancy/agency, which helps other agencies grow. Below is a lead magnet giving email subscribers a free case study in exchange for their contact information. The case study is about the content strategy SalesForce.com used to get 10,000 new leads in a month. Whether or not they’re an actual client of James T. Noble, this lead magnet still works.

Maximize your website lead generation.

oDesk (now called Upwork) also used a case study as a lead magnet, which was called “Make It Work: Smart Advice from Real-Life Clients Who Found Success Using Online Work”. It’s a compilation of case studies from people who used their service and is offered as a PDF download.

Maximize your website lead generation.

5. Test or free tool

A test or an assessment can make for a very powerful lead magnet, especially if you deliver it online for the purpose of increasing the speed of consumption and gratification.

Offering a free test or assessment and then sending the results only after a prospect has signed up for your service is an effective way to increase leads. Also, people want to know more about themselves and compare themselves to others, and a test or an assessment is one way they can measure themselves in this respect.

For many years, HubSpot used its Marketing Grader to generate leads. As you can see below, you just have to enter your website URL and email address and click on “Grade Me”. Then HubSpot will create a report on how you’re doing with your online marketing, based on an assessment of your website, and send it to your email. After you get the report, you can find ways to make your marketing better and outpace your competition.

Maximize your website lead generation.

The Marketing IQ Test below by Infusionsoft is shown on a landing page on their site. It gives an overview of the benefits to taking the 5-minute test, and at the end of the test, visitors are asked to give their email address if they want to see their results.

Maximize your website lead generation.

Keep in mind that a test should be short, quick and easy to understand, while an assessment should give clear, detailed results and solutions. They both should also make someone willing to enter their email address to view their results.

VWO (Visual Website Optimizer) uses a variety of free calculator tools as lead magnets on their site and one of them is the A/B Split Test Significance Calculator.

Marketers can use it to see if they have enough traffic (e.g. visitors and conversions) to collect any significant data.

The purpose of the calculator is to entice prospects to sign up for VWO’s free 30-day trial and start optimizing their website for increased conversion rates and sales.

Maximize your website lead generation.

Whatever industry you’re in, tests, tools and assessments are effective lead magnets.

6. Resource list

Resource lists are very valuable because they save a lot of time. In other words, when you put all the best stuff together, you’ll save your users plenty of research time.

Offering a resource list in exchange for contact information is another great way to increase your number of leads. Depending on your business and your market, you could offer a resource list of the best freelancers, Fiverr gigs or online marketing tools.

Mary Fernandez’s lead magnet called “The Giant Guest Blogging Index”, as shown here, is very popular because it saves guest post writers from having to look for the best blogs to write for. The best guest blogging sites are gathered all in one place and you can access it for free by entering your email address.

Maximize your website lead generation.

DesignersList is another resource list and was created for web designers. People can submit their favorite web design websites to be added to the list and web designers can subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest links, as well as receive useful web design news and tips.

Maximize your website lead generation.

The more comprehensive the list, the better. And remember, your resource list should be related to your industry and created with your target market in mind to Maximize lead generation. The purpose is to help your target market find relevant resources quickly.

7. Industry report

A report is one of the most common types of lead magnets, and an industry report is a particularly good lead magnet for a B2B business. It can, however, also work in any industry that relies on research, data or statistics.

An industry report focuses on fresh, new industry trends. You have two options when creating an industry report: 1) You can do the research and collect the data yourself, or 2) You can gather data from a variety of sources and put them all into one, comprehensive report.

If you decide to use an industry report for your lead magnet, you’ll need to create a new or updated version of your report on a regular basis.

Just like in the following example, Marketo has updated their industry report for 2016. Their landing page offers visitors a free report about the “2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management”, with market evaluations and analysis of 17 CRM lead management vendors. The report reveals why Marketo was named a leader, and you can find out more by entering your contact information on the right to get the report sent to your email inbox.

Maximize your website lead generation.

On the other hand, the YouTube Traffic Report below was created using YouTube traffic statistics, rather than in-house data collection. Many people use YouTube to find answers to their questions and the purpose of the report is to encourage more people to use YouTube. When you click on the link below, a pop-up will appear where you can enter your email address and then download the report for free.

Maximize your website lead generation.

8. Product trials or demos

A product demo or trial is an effective lead magnet for businesses who sell online tools or software products.

Planscope, for example, is a SaaS tool for web developers and designers. You just have to enter your email address to start your 14-day free trial and see the product in action. You’ll be taken through an interactive demo showing how the tool works to help you manage and complete your projects and grow your business.

Maximize your website lead generation.

GrooveHQ, on the other hand, is a help desk software tool that can help you keep track of and respond to customer support requests. You only need to fill in four fields to start your 60-day free trial. The lead magnet also has social proof, such as the logos of other companies that use GrooveHQ.

Maximize your website lead generation.

9. Autoresponder (disguised as an email course)

This is usually done in the form of a free short course, which promises to deliver a series of emails that contain lessons for a duration of several days or weeks.

There’s a high perceived value with an email course, making it a very effective lead magnet.

An email course is easy to put together since you don’t have to create anything fancy or downloadable. It’s just a simple email autoresponder series in which you can teach your users how to achieve something specific.

The best thing about an email course is that you can use it to turn your prospects into customers.

For example, Rick Mulready offers a free email course called “4 Facebook Ad Mistakes That Are Losing You Money” and he uses it to convert leads into customers for his other course named “FB Ads for Newbies”.

Maximize your website lead generation.

Here’s another example: this time it’s Mary Fernandez’s signup page for her free mini course on how to use cheap Facebook ads to get your first 500+ subscribers. Simply enter your email address and the course will be delivered to you via an autoresponder sequence that consists of 7 emails for 18 days.

Maximize your website lead generation.

10. Survey or quiz

A survey or quiz can make for an entertaining lead magnet, and that’s why it converts really well.

Surveys and quizzes have users answer a series of questions and then reveal the results only if they enter their email address, where it’ll be delivered.

No matter what industry you’re in, you can use a survey or quiz as a lead magnet, with targeted and industry-related questions.

For example, a BuzzFeed quiz by RadioShack asks visitors questions about what their next tech project should be.RadioShack sells electronics products so the questions are relevant to their industry.

Maximize your website lead generation.

When I got my results, I was given a link to a blog post on Instructables on how to create a DIY carbon-heated blanket. A link to RadioShack’s website is also provided below the results. So like RadioShack, you can create a BuzzFeed quiz to help your website generate more leads.

Maximize your website lead generation.

ImproveNet, a home improvement company, also offers a quiz as a lead magnet, as shown below:

Maximize your website lead generation.

Here’s one of the questions from the quiz:

Maximize your website lead generation.

Once you’ve answered all the questions, you’ll be presented with this opt-in form:

Maximize your website lead generation.

An engaging survey or quiz can help you capture new leads, so try it out. You can also use Tryinteract or Qzzr to create your quizzes and generate leads with them.

11. Gated community

A gated community is a group of email subscribers who have unrestricted access to a website’s content, which means the content is gated.

For blog posts, only subscribers can access all of the content. So for non-subscribers, the content is gated behind an email opt-in form. This lead magnet is easy to create since it uses your existing content.

With a long blog post, you can gate the second half of the content. You can easily do this using OptinMonster’s inline opt-in form templates and their Content Lock feature.

Here’s what your lead magnet would look like for gated content:

Maximize your website lead generation.

If your site has a lot of gated content, such as reports and checklists, you can turn them into an “insiders club” that your visitors must sign up for to gain access to them.

Here’s an example from Quick Sprout providing their audience VIP access to their content:

Maximize your website lead generation.

The Australian Plus also has a gated community that can access everything on their site, including member-only benefits and offers like the ones shown here:

Maximize your website lead generation.

To become a part of the gated community, you need to have a digital subscription to The Australian and Business Spectator. Here’s more of what you can expect to receive as a subscriber:

Maximize your website lead generation.

As you can see, creating a gated community can help you increase leads, as people will need to sign up to access all of your site’s content.

So, what makes a lead magnet effective?

An effective lead magnet increases your lead generation/email signup rate. There are many things that make a lead magnet effective, and these include:

  • It’s free and relevant to your industry
  • The offer is clear, specific and valuable
  • It’s paired with a good call to action (CTA), e.g. “Download the Report” or “View the Video”
  • The signup form has only one or a few form fields to fill in (but someone who fills in a lengthy form is a more qualified lead)
  • It’s surrounded by social proof, e.g. logos of other companies that use the offer
  • It targets the right audience
  • It’s highly visible on the website and/or is used near related content
  • It provides immediate gratification and rapid consumption e.g. it offers value within 5 minutes of the opt-in
  • It can turn leads into customers
  • It has a high perceived or actual value
  • It’s in the format your audience will like best, e.g. discount/coupon.

Keep in mind that each lead magnet is different, so not everything listed here will apply to all of them.

You can’t have a successful digital marketing strategy without lead magnets, as they’re a crucial part of website optimization, lead capture and an effective sales funnel. So if you don’t already have a lead magnet in place, do it now.

With a lead magnet, you can turn your website into a lead generating machine.

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