5 Lead Magnets Any Business Can Use

By now, you’ve probably heard us talk a lot about lead magnets. But just in case you’re unfamiliar, a lead magnet is an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect or visitor in exchange for their contact information. Let’s break that down…

There are a few VERY key words in that definition: Specific and Value

Specificity is absolutely key when developing a great lead magnet. You don’t need to create some broad ultimate guide or white paper (in fact white papers are generally terrible… they feel like homework). Instead, you want to offer something that solves a specific problem. 

This makes the content highly consumable and even more targeted. 

Think about it—what if you created something like an org chart template? There’s an incredible amount of value here. It’s a done-for-you template/swipe file AND it tells you that your customer likely has a team. Win-Win.

Value is the other important ingredient in the lead magnet recipe and this is twofold. You want the perceived value to be HIGH and then you need the actual value to be as high. If you’re marketing something that sucks, then you’re just going to convince someone you suck faster. 

In our YouTube series, Marketing Mastery with DigitalMarketer, I talk about my 5 favorite types of lead magnets that ANY company can use. 

Number 1: Cheat Sheets and Checklists

cheat sheets and checklists make great lead magnets

Talk about easy to consume and HIGHLY VALUABLE. The cheat sheet or checklist is hands down one of the best types of lead magnets. Nobody wants a PDF or eBook; they just don’t have the time, BUT they do have time for this type of content. 

Cheat sheets are great for any niche that requires reference points. This is perfect for business and marketing. You could do a glossary, buzzword, or keyword cheat sheet for newbies or even a list of easy calculations everyone forgets. 

The best way to come up with a cheat sheet for your audience is to figure out the questions they need answered, gather up all the answers, and put them on a nice and easy to use reference guide. 

Checklists are a little different but can be even MORE effective. At DigitalMarketer, we believe in giving tactical, step-by-step advice and that anything other than that is fluff. 

checklist lead magnet example

Checklists are the best way to make sure a task gets done right the first time (and every other time after that). Regardless of your industry, there is a useful checklist you can create. 

When putting together a useful checklist, make sure that it outlines a task that people actually do and then do the “Peanut Butter & Jelly” test. 

This test is a good way to teach you how to explain something step-by-step. So, if I asked you “Can you tell me how to make a PB&J?” and you start with, “First you spread the peanut butter,” I’ll quickly follow up with, “Where’d you get the peanut butter? Where do I spread it? Where did you get that?”

You’ll see how many assumed steps exist and be able to address them in a succinct and sequential order. 

Number 2: Templates, Templates, Templates

templates are the ultimate shortcut for your audience

PEOPLE LOVE TEMPLATES. They see these as lead magnets and go absolutely bananas. 

Templates are the ultimate shortcut for your audience. 

You don’t have to be in the email business, landing page business, or website creation space to create templates for your audience—we do it all the time at DigitalMarketer. 

You’ll want to ask yourself, “What’s something that my audience could just fill in and then implement in their business?” It’s like a business MadLib! 

We’ve created things like plug and play email templates, ad templates, marketing scorecards, and customer avatar/persona templates.

Number 3: Video Training

Notice I didn’t say “webinar.” Don’t get me wrong, webinars are a phenomenal way to generate leads and sales, BUT…

A webinar is meant to be an event and when someone says “no” to your webinar, they might be saying “no” to the date, the time, or the content. 

On-demand, limited-time, video trainings have been a game changer at DigitalMarketer. We don’t use evergreen webinar funnels much these days, instead we take a piece of video content out of our vault (we have a ton of it) and ask people to register within a time frame to lock in access. 


So, now when they hit the landing page, they aren’t weighing their options and checking their calendar. They are, however, evaluating your content and its value… so make it good. 

Oh, one more thing. The limited time nature is really just the cherry on top to spark action. If you plan on having this content readily available, just gate it.

Number 4: Free Shipping or Discounts

I know we’ve said coupons aren’t really lead magnets, but you can position discounts and free shipping so that they become lead magnets (or at least check most of the boxes).

If you’re running a brick and mortar or ecommerce shop, you might be a little strapped for lead magnet content. Also if they’re on your site, you probably don’t want to navigate them away from a purchasing decision. 

Enter discounts or free shipping in exchange for their contact information. 

Yup, it’s that simple. Target new visitors on your site and try to LOWER the barrier to entry. Make the buying decision even easier (either in that moment or in the inevitable follow up emails you’ll send). 

The unfortunate thing is that MOST e-commerce and retailers are running this playbook, so it’s pretty much table stakes. You’re going to want to find a way to stand out in a crowd of “10-15% off for new visitors”. 

Number 5: Swipe Files

Facebook ad template library

Ah the good ol’ swipe file. If you’re anything like me, you have an email folder filled with swipe-able emails, a bookmark folder of swipe-able pages (for design, copy, and content), and a slack channel dedicated to cool swipe-able examples. 

If you’re not like me, then (in this case) you probably should be. Become obsessed with your industry (even your tangential ones) and you’ll be surprised at what you can learn! 

Even better, as you start building these out, you can create one of the most powerful lead magnets IN EXISTENCE: the swipe file. 

There are two truths that make swipe files so useful and desirable:

  1. There’s an overabundance of valuable information readily available
  2. People are lazy 

If you’re doing the whole swipe file curation correctly, you can do a significant amount of competitive research AND compile what you’ve found into a single document that you can trade for contact information. 

In fact, I’ve seen swipe files used for more than just lead magnets (I’ve bought swipe files for as much as a couple hundred dollars)! 

At DM, our most successful lead magnets have ALL BEEN SWIPE FILES:

  • FB Ad Templates
  • Social Media Swipe File 
  • 101 Blog Subject Lines 

All are examples of lead magnets that have generated hundreds of thousands of leads for us. 

So, to recap:

  1. Cheat Sheets/Checklists
  2. Templates, Templates, Templates
  3. Video Trainings
  4. Free Shipping or Discount
  5. Swipe Files

If you want to dive deeper, you can check out some more examples, 4 other lead magnet ideas, PLUS a super helpful Lead Magnet Checklist (hey remember how much I like checklists?!) on the DM blog. 

And head over to our YouTube channel for more Marketing Mastery tips.

Justin Rondeau

Justin Rondeau

Justin Rondeau has been doing this whole “Marketing” thing since 2010, when he was mildly […okay maybe more than mildly] obsessed with all things, data, email, optimization, and split testing. Currently he is the co-owner and President of InvisiblePPC - the #1 white-label PPC provider for agencies. Previously he co-founded Truconversion and even sat at the helm as General Manager of DigitalMarketer and Scalable Labs. Rondeau has trained thousands of marketers, spoken on hundreds of stages, runs a delightful team of marketers, has dozens of shirts louder than his voice, and loves one hockey team: the Boston Bruins.

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