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The Best Lead Magnet Ideas to Build an Email List of People Who Can’t Wait to Work with You

A group of people raising their hands, representing people who want to work with you.

The biggest problem with most lead magnet ideas? 

They’re way too complex.

They’re complicated to produce. They take too long to consume.

They end up buried on your subscriber’s hard drive, never to be opened again.

This is a terrible shame.

Lead magnets can be powerful brand ambassadors that grow your business, your email list, and your future customer list.

That’s the purpose of the lead magnet ideas you’ll read about here: To grow your future customer list.

But if your lead magnet doesn’t deliver a solution that’s fast and easy to implement, there’s a good chance that it will never see the light of day.

In this article, we’re going to talk about lead magnet ideas that people download and actually use.

The best part?

We’re going to focus on creating lead magnet ideas that attract people who can’t wait to work with you.

By the way — building your future customer list is the first thing we tackle in my Offer Accelerator program. Want to sell your offer? It’s essential that you build a list of people who need it first — before you focus on anything else.

The best lead magnet idea of all? Deliver a “quick win”

visual example of lead magnet ideas.

What’s a “quick win?” 

It’s a solution that’s easy to understand, easy to implement, and that delivers fast and noticeable results.

Isn’t that the dream? To make a noticeable difference in the lives of your prospects.

When your lead magnet ideas become actions, your business comes to life in the minds of your prospects.

I have a few questions that you can ask yourself that will help you come up with lead magnet ideas that deliver a quick win solution.

Related: How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

3 questions that will help you come up with winning lead magnet ideas

The best online offers deliver a transformation of some kind. They take your customer from Point A to Point B.

When they arrive at Point B, they’re in a much better place than when they started. Best of all?

They’ll have you and your business to thank for that quick win!

Here’s the first question to ask yourself when you’re brainstorming lead magnet ideas:

1. What’s the BIG transformation I want to deliver?

Stop and think about your big picture goal. What is the one big change you’d like to help people make?

Not sure how to describe this in a single short sentence? Try reading these posts:

Related: How to Write a Terrific Tagline [Free Tool]

Related: Digging Deep to Unearth Your Marketing Message Strategy

Here are a few examples of a BIG transformation.

  • “I help soon-to-be retirees create a simple financial plan so their basic needs are met and they can enjoy life after they stop 9-5 work.”
  • “New moms get coaching here so they can guide their babies to sleep through the night.”
  • “We provide copywriters with back office systems so they can ignore all their admin and just write.”

Don’t worry, you’re not going to deliver this transformation in your lead magnet.

We want to keep the BIG transformation in mind, though, because our lead magnet is going to help people take the first step.

Read on.

2. How can I prepare them to transform? What’s the first step they need to take?

Any journey involves taking a first, tentative step.

What’s first step in the journey to the transformation you want to deliver?

Here are some first step examples:

  • “I help soon-to-be retirees create a simple financial plan so their basic needs are met and they can enjoy life after they stop 9-5 work.” First step: Soon-to-be-retirees need to create a financial inventory so they understand their current financial status.
  • “New moms get coaching here so they can guide their babies to sleep through the night.” First step: New moms need to log their baby’s current sleep patterns so they know their baby’s current habits.
  • “We provide copywriters with back office systems so they can ignore all their admin and just write.” First step: Copywriters need to log everything they’d like to take off their plates — accounting, outreach, email, social media, etc.

Now that you have identified the first step toward the transformation you want to deliver, keep going. You’re almost there.

3. What can I create that will help them take the first step?

What small thing can you teach, train, deliver, or supply that will help your prospect to take the first step in their journey toward a transformation?

Here are examples of the “quick win” lead magnet ideas you could create to help people take their first steps:

  • Want to attract soon-to-be retirees who want to create a solid financial life? Create a simple financial inventory form they can use to organize all logins and paperwork needed for a full financial review.
  • Want to attract new moms who want to help their babies sleep through the night? Create an easy-to-use “Sleep Log” so they can track their baby’s current habits.
  • Want to attract copywriters who need help with back office systems? Create a 1-page “wish list” they can keep on their desks for a week where they note all the tasks they’d love to stop doing ASAP.

How to turn your lead magnet into a genius branding move

The best lead magnets are tangible items that people keep around. And they’re branded — with your brand colors, brand fonts, and your logo.

Related: How to Choose Two Brand Colors for Your Business

Related: What Font Should You Use to Brand Your Business?

If you can create a branded lead magnet that people will refer back to frequently, your lead magnet will reinforce your brand every time your prospect sees it. 

In a perfect world, your lead magnet becomes a constant companion — a handy reference your prospect will come to rely on.

Make sure it’s easy to scan and use! Read my post on formatting your content so it’s scannable.

Once you’ve pinpointed the quick win you want to deliver, deliver it using one of these lead magnet ideas.

Lead magnet ideas

  1. Quick guides: Create a PDF with simple, step-by-step information to help your prospect make progress toward their goal. See an example of a quick guide here.
  2. Tutorial video with printable resource: Create a brief video walkthrough that helps your prospect with a quick win — and give them a downloadable resource they can print and keep on hand.
  3. Templates: Create a template prospects can use to set up their quick win. This can be as simple as a Google doc or spreadsheet they can copy! See an example of a lead magnet template here.
  4. Reference guide: This could be a buyer’s guide, a handful of recipes, or an easy-to-follow script. What could you create that your prospect will refer back to several times a week?
  5. Printable bookmarks: If your prospect loves to read or simple wants some inspiration, simple printable cards can keep your brand and your solution at the top of their minds. See an example of printable bookmarks here.
  6. Shortcuts card: If you teach a complex topic, you’ve probably learned a few timesaving tips. Create a lead magnet that shares your best shortcuts on one page.
  7. A quiz followed by a roadmap: Quizzes are a great way for your prospect to learn more about themselves — but a quiz followed by a roadmap that will help your prospect take the next step? That’s marketing gold! See an example of a quiz with a roadmap here.
  8. Checklist: Simplify your process into a checklist. You’re not sharing detailed how-to information — you’re giving your prospect an overview of the timeline ahead.

Ask prospects to take the next step

Once prospects have joined your email list, how do you move them to becoming customers?

To move someone from gathering information to acting on it, you can to issue a clear, compelling invitation — a call to action.

Calls to action sound like this:

  • “Enjoy life after your 9-5! Schedule a call with our friendly financial planners who’ll help you create a simple plan you can use throughout your retirement years.”
  • “Get some sleep — starting tonight. Enroll in the Sleeping Babes course today and get the coaching and guidance you need to help your baby sleep through the night consistently.”
  • “Focus on the words and we’ll take care of the rest! Click here to book a free strategy session with our back office support team.”

Be sure to include your call to action prominently at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of your lead magnet.

Tell them where to go, what to do, and what will happen next. Sell this step!

Follow up with an email sequence that shares additional information about your lead magnet topic. Be sure to add calls to action to these emails, too.

Create your quick win lead magnet today

Here’s how to create your lead magnet today and use it to start building your email list with people who can’t wait to work with you.

  1. Pinpoint the transformation you want to deliver with your paid offer. How will your customer’s life change for the better after they buy what you sell?
  2. Uncover a quick win that will help them take the first step. Answer the questions noted above to pinpoint a quick win you can help prospects to take.
  3. Package the first step into a lead magnet your prospects will keep around so it will continue to promote your brand and your business every time they use it. 

Need help getting your lead magnet ideas into a format you can share? I’ve got a template for that — and it’s free!

Related: How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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