Lead magnets are things that we give away to people to encourage them to sign up to our mailing list.

A few years ago a simple “sign up to receive my newsletter” would have resulted in subscribers, but that time has passed. People have enough junk in their inbox already, why would they want to sign up for yet another newsletter that might be terrible? I know yours won’t be, but they don’t.

So to encourage them to sign up, we give them something in return.

What makes a good lead magnet?

To be an effective lead magnet, the think you’re giving away needs to be of value to the person you want to hook. WEhat this actually is will depend on the niche you’re in, but here are some examples that are quite easy to put together and should result in far higher sign-up rates.

A guide

This is the most common, but it works. I use a guide as a lead magnet here on Don’t Do An MBA. If you don’t have it grab a copy, I’ve embedded the form below. My guide is focussed on my niche (starting a blog and using it to build trust as a basis for selling products later).

Your guide should be specific to your niche. Just try to think of something you’ve had to learn, then explain it to others. Yes, this might be quite similar to a blog post. That doesn’t matter, as long as you’re offering something new. I’ve used my guide to explain my programme at a high level, then link out to relevant blog posts for further reading. It’s a good guide!

Checklist

Checklists are another popular lead magnet. These are really easy to put together and can be really helpful.

Again the content depends on your niche, but if you’re blogging about survival/outdoor life you could do a checklist of everything that should be in a bug-out bag

Some training (a quick video)

If you’re comfortable on camera (and you should try to become more comfortable over time if you aren’t already) then a short training course can be incredibly valuable.

If you can come up with 5-7 short videos explaining a concept, you can send them to your subscribers once a day for however long it takes you to send them all out. This helps build a relationship with your subscribers as well.

A discount/coupon

Pretty self-explanatory. If you run a business that sells something, a 5%-20% discount voucher is a great lead magnet. Who doesn’t want money off stuff?

A quiz

Quizzes work slightly differently. Rather than offering them something to download in return for a subscription, you build a quiz or calculator and then require the reader to provide their email address to see the results.

The quiz type could be something similar to a Buzzfeed quiz (“what type of vegetable are you?”) or it could be something useful like a calculator.

I’ve used a calculator to provide a way for readers to work out how big their email list needs to be. I ask for their product value, the amount of money they need to raise, and a few other bits of information, then I calculate how big they need to grow their email address to make the required number of sales.

If you are tempted to build a quiz or calculator, check out OutGrow which lets you easily make one.

Sample content

If you’re suggesting that your readers do something, then providing a sample is a good way to encourage registrations. For example, if you are teaching them how to build an email marketing funnel, then providing an example funnel that they can copy and then edit for their own use would be very valuable to them.

Recipes

Pretty obvious. If you’re writing a healthy eating blog you could find a really great weight-loss recipe and use that as a reward for all subscribers. If you take some great photos of the recipe either made or being made and show them on your page, you’re more likely to get people to subscribe. Seeing something delicious is a great way to convince people your recipe is worth having!

A calendar

Put together a calendar based on your niche, then provide it as a PDF for your subscriber to print. If you’re in the weight training niche then you might want to provide a calendar of sessions that someone should follow to build upper body strength, for example. The more helpful the better, so in the above example, it would be great to include a basic diet as well.