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How to Create a High-Value Lead Magnet in 30 Minutes or Less

By Bob Sparkins  |  Published May 03, 2023  |  Updated Nov 24, 2023
Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A marketer with 17 years of experience, Bob has taught over 1,000 webinars and spoken at over 50 events.

15 Ways to Create a High-Value Lead Magnet in 30 Minutes or Less

Editor’s note: This post was written in 2021 and, while the best practices remain as relevant as ever, the article has been updated to include even more insight into how to create high-value lead magnets. Dig in!

If you’re a marketer with a small team or a multitasking business owner, you need quick lead magnet solutions. Dive in to learn how to create effective lead magnets in 30 minutes or less!

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a free incentive offered to prospective customers in exchange for their contact details. Some examples of lead magnets include ebooks, checklists, videos, courses, and coupons.

People aren’t going to hand over their email addresses for no reason. So, by offering a lead magnet that gives them a quick win or solves a problem, you’ll be much more likely to generate leads for your business.

Examples of the different kinds of lead magnets
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How to create a lead magnet

Creating a quality lead magnet is easier than you think. Follow these eleven steps to build a piece of content that will consistently generate leads for your business.

1. Identify your target audience

Your first step is to determine who will be consuming your lead magnet. Once you know who you’re targeting you can tailor your content to their unique needs and problems.

Is your audience primarily male or female? Younger or older? What are their interests? What are they trying to achieve? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself to zero in on your audience. If you have a social media presence, look at your demographics. For example, you can get demographic data from Facebook.

Based on all this, create a profile of your ideal customer and keep them in mind throughout this process.

2. Determine what problems your target audience is trying to solve

The key to creating a good lead magnet is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are their biggest challenges? If you can create a lead magnet that solves one of these issues for them it’s sure to drive a lot of conversions.

Check your inbox, social media, and forums to see what questions your audience is asking. Find a common question that you can provide a quick solution for and build your lead magnet around that.

3. Discover what pain points your targets encounter while trying to solve those problems

Just as important as identifying the problem your audience is facing is figuring out what’s preventing them from solving that problem. Is the information they need just not available? Or is it in a format that’s not easily consumed?

Answering these questions will help you create a lead magnet that’s superior to the other content on your topic.

4. Identify your lead magnet’s value proposition

Next, you need to determine why someone should download your lead magnet. Sure, you’re solving a problem for your audience, but what else does it have to offer?

  • How easy is your solution to understand and implement?
  • How fast will people see results?
  • How is it better than the other solutions available?

If your answer to these questions is “I don’t know” then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and figure out what value you’re actually providing.

5. Choose what type of lead magnet will deliver the most value

What format should you use for your lead magnet? There’s no single right answer to this question, but it’s one that deserves a bit of thought.

At Leadpages, we support a lot of our customers’ lead magnets. So we reviewed the effectiveness of different types of lead magnets and created a handy chart that organizes them according to their promise of engagement and ease of consumption:

It’s also worth noting that based on data from Leadpages users, Cheat sheets (34%), checklists (27%), and ebooks (24%) have the highest conversion rates.

Just keep in mind that these graphics and stats, though grounded in data, are just guides. Deciding what type of lead magnet you wish to use is a holistic decision that should be informed by more than generalized data on conversion rates.

6. Name your lead magnet

The name of your lead magnet is like the headline of a landing page—it plays a big role in whether someone will keep reading or click away to something else.

Come up with a title that’s benefit-rich, creates curiosity, and immediately tells people why they should want it.

Here are a few different approaches you can take:

  • How to… Simple, straightforward, and perfect for any piece of content that explains how to achieve a goal or task. Example: How to Build a High-Converting Landing Page.
  • How I… Similar to the “How to” format, except this time you’re speaking from personal experience. Use this if you’re explaining how you achieved a goal your audience is also trying to achieve. Example: How I Earned $10,000 in 1 Month With My Website.
  • The intriguing question. This format allows you to play on your audience’s curiosity. It’s also a good way to highlight a specific pain point they’re struggling with. Example: Why is Your Ecommerce Business Underperforming?
  • The Complete Guide: A great choice for longer and more comprehensive lead magnets, like whitepapers and ebooks. Example: The Complete Guide to Email Marketing.

7. Write and design your lead magnet

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, it’s time to actually create your lead magnet.

Start by reading other lead magnets in your industry that cover similar subjects. What do they do well and what can be improved upon? Is there any information missing that you can include in your lead magnet?

Next, create an outline for your content and list all the information you want to cover. Ideally, the content will be based on your own knowledge and experience, but make sure to do some research to ensure you’re covering your subject completely.

After this is all done, you’re ready to write. Create a rough draft and then have at least one other person review it and offer suggestions. Then use that feedback to write the final version.

As for your design, you’ll want to create a professional-looking cover and likely a few images and graphics to use throughout the content. Services like Canva offer a number of templates that you can use if you’re not a designer. Or you can also hire a freelance designer through sites like Fiverr if you want a little more customization.

8. Build your lead magnet landing page (squeeze page)

A squeeze page is a landing page that promotes your lead magnet, with the goal of collecting a prospect’s email address. These pages are usually fairly short and often include a brief description of the lead magnet, a few benefits, and a form where visitors can enter their email and any other information you need from them.

You might have the best lead magnet in your industry—but if your landing page doesn’t do a good job of conveying the value no one will download it. Here are a few tips to maximize your lead magnet landing page conversions:

  • Choose an attention-grabbing headline: Focus on the primary problem you’re solving and use straightforward language so readers easily understand what they’ll get.
  • Include an image of your lead magnet: If it’s a digital product you can use a screenshot or create a cover. Having an image of your lead magnet makes it more tangible.
  • Use benefit-rich copy: Don’t just state features—list the benefits so users understand why they should want your lead magnet.
  • Keep your lead-gen form short: Just ask for their email, and maybe their name if that’s absolutely necessary. The shorter the form the more conversions you’ll get.
  • A/B test: Test a few different elements on your landing page to ensure you’re using the best headline, image, and copy possible.
Lead magnet landing page template example

9. Build your thank you page

This is the page visitors see after they download the content or fill out the form. It’s good manners to say thank you and to tell them where they can find their content (in most cases this will be their inbox).

You can even sneak in another call to action. Something like, “Thanks for downloading X! Join our free Facebook community and share your thoughts!”

Lead magnet thank you page template example

Learn more about how to build an awesome thank you page.

10. Create your delivery email

Once the visitor fills out the form, you’ll email them the link or file with the content.

If you’re a Leadpages user, delivering lead magnets via email is easy. Leadpages offers a lead magnet delivery system that allows you to automatically send your lead magnet as soon as someone requests it on your landing page. Simply upload your lead magnet to your Leadpages account and connect it to the form on your landing page and you’re good to go.

You can also deliver your lead magnet using an email marketing platform, such as MailChimp, Aweber, or Active Campaign. Leadpages integrates seamlessly with all the leading email marketing tools. Connect your form to the tool of your choice, build the email inside the platform, and set the email to be delivered to any new email address that’s added to your list.

11. Promote your lead magnet

The promotion of your lead magnet is just as important as the content. If you want people to download it, you need to let them know it exists.

Here are three ways to spread the word about your new lead magnet:

  • Website pop-ups and alert bars: Want to let your website visitors know about your lead magnet? Use pop-ups and alert bars to draw attention to your content and drive traffic to your squeeze page.
  • Blog CTAs: Your blog is often the first place your customers find you. If you have a lead magnet that’s relevant to one of your blog posts, add a CTA to encourage visitors to download it and learn more about the topic.
Lead Magnet Pop Up Form

Online ads: If you’re a newer business that doesn’t get a lot of organic traffic, or you just want to give your lead magnets an extra boost, search and social media ads are a great option.

11 Steps Lead Magnet

Free Resource: The Lead Magnet Creation Checklist

Follow these steps to quickly and easily create the perfect lead magnet for your business.

How to create a lead magnet: 15 ways you can build them fast

The idea of a lead magnet that generates leads for you 24/7 is exciting. But it can be difficult to create a high-value lead magnet while you’re also trying to run your business.

That’s why we’ve created a list of 15 lead magnet ideas that you can create fast. Many just require you to repurpose existing content, while others are super simple and can be built in under a day.

Choose the lead magnet format that’s right for you, then get to work on creating something that will start growing your email list.

1. Content upgrades

These are basically freebies attached to high-performing blog posts that improve the content in the posts.

For example, you could take the best-performing blog post on your website, jazz it up with new and more detailed info, make it more usable, maybe add a couple of images, and turn it into a PDF (Or a PowerPoint or a video or anything that suits your prospects).

Your lead magnet can also be content that complements the post you’re upgrading. Here are a few ways you can upgrade the value of your content:

  • Add checklists or Excel sheet planners to your post (like a real estate rental checklist or a party-planning checklist)
  • Link to a gated video of a webinar or a tutorial
  • Include more value—for instance, if your blog was about how to plan a camping trip, make a buying guide for specialty gear

If you check out Mattia Di Stasi’s blog on how to build a list of potential crowdfunding backers, you’ll notice he includes a CTA at the end for his free ebook on 3 Simple Tips to Success on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Content upgrade lead magnet example

There’s a good chance that someone who’s already reading a blog on crowdfunding will be interested in downloading the ebook as well.

Pro tip: Find your top-trafficked article by using Google Analytics or seeing which content is most frequently shared from your social media accounts.

2. Podcast and video transcripts

If you’re podcasting or filming videos for your business, you can create transcripts and distribute them as lead magnets. Transcripts might be easier for some to consume, while others simply prefer having a written copy of the information. Since you’ve essentially already created the content, this lead magnet idea is a no-brainer.

podcast transcript lead magnet example

Creating a transcript might sound time-consuming, but you can speed up the process with online transcription services like Rev, Trint, Otter, TEMI, or Datalyst.

Accompany the transcript with an engaging intro and conclusion, spice up the body copy, and add a checklist or a template to it, then turn it into a PDF and go!

Pro-tip: If your company does webinars, you could bundle a transcript along with the video (or even without the video) as a lead magnet long after it is over.

3. Audio versions of blogs

There are many people who consume audio content while commuting and on breaks. So bring your high-performing posts to them in audio form. Like an audiobook, but for blogs.

If you’re recording yourself, you can use a free service like Audacity, or invest in GarageBand or Adobe Audition (or hire a professional).

Business coach Marie Forleo uses audio lead magnets on her website to great success:

Audio lead magnet example

4. Quizzes

If the mind-blowing success of BuzzFeed is anything to go by, it’s clear people love talking about themselves.

Quizzes are exciting and make people feel like you care about them. Plus, they’re so easy to make, using specialized tools like Typeform and Interact, or Airtable.

Quiz lead magnet example

They’re also great lead magnets because they provide the additional benefit of being able to segment your leads. Nutritionists and diet consultants use quizzes a lot, as do financial consultants.

5. Swipe files

For copywriters, a “swipe file” is a compilation of their best copy: sales letters, emails, blog posts, or other projects that they might want to literally “swipe” and revisit later. It’s like Pinterest, but for work.

Swipe file lead magnet example

There’s probably a “swipe file” equivalent in your industry or company. You could compile successful sales pitches, productivity protocols, blog posts, or really any “best of” work that your readers will find useful.

Pull your documents into a PDF and go!

6. Analytics and data visualizations

People want to believe your claims and concrete data builds credibility. So don’t hold back—share real-world results, stats, and figures.

Dig up your Excel documents, graphs, marketing results, split-test numbers, results from experiments, and schedules. If you’ve done original research, turn that into a gorgeous presentation.

They could even take the form of white papers or downloadable data visualizations (you can use services like Infogram for this).

Data lead magnet example

7. Product previews

Ideally, your lead magnet should help pre-sell whatever product or service you’ll eventually ask your subscribers to buy. So, it makes sense to offer them a preview of what they’re going to get.

For instance, this nutritionist sells plant-based nutrition programs and coaching, some of which cost hundreds of dollars. So she’s put a wellness book together to give her target audience a “taste” of her approach to nutrition.

Product preview lead magnet example

If you’re an author, you could share a chapter of your book. If you’re a graphic designer, it might be a website template. If you’re a real estate agent, it might be a quick list of properties.

With this type of lead magnet, it should be crystal clear to your prospects where and how they can purchase your product. You can even include a call-to-action link within the preview that sends them to your sales page.

8. Tools and Calculators

Most lead magnets are one-trick wonders (where you just make the world’s most beautiful download and it’s done). But tools and calculators can really go the extra mile or two. If you give your audience a tool that they keep coming back for you’ll go a long way toward earning their business.

Take this Monthly Expense tool by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) that just does the math for prospects.

Free tool lead magnet example

These tools and calculators can be gated or not. Either way, the point is that people have to keep returning to your website to use it because it’s so useful for them. You can build one quickly with tools like Ucalc and Calconic.

9. Top resources or tools

You’ve likely achieved a lot of the same goals your audience wants to achieve. So, they’re probably very interested in the tools you used to get to where you are.

Make a resource guide and put together a list of your favorite tools, apps, websites, and books you’ve used and would like to recommend to your audience. This one’s quick to create since you already know all the tools and just need to write them down.

Resource list lead magnet example

Pro tip: Ideally, your list should end with your company or business website. After all, if you don’t use it, why should anyone?

10. Cheatsheets

These are one-page PDFs that provide a list of tips that help your audience achieve a quick win.

They might include habits, regimens, schedules, productivity hacks, strategies from your business playbook, calendars, recipes, and other shortcuts.

Cheat sheet lead magnet example

For example, if you’re a mechanic, your personal shortcut might include “the fastest way to change your own oil” or “the fastest way to check your engine.”

11. Video clips

Have you created videos in the past? If so, give away your “best of” video content as a lead magnet.

This could include clips from your past recorded webinars, a snippet from a conference presentation, or even video blog content.

You can give away downloadable videos or links to your video clips. If you decide to give away a video link, it’s best to post the video on an S3 server where you can share the link publicly.

Video lead magnet example

If you already know how to edit videos, you can cut a clip out of an existing video fairly quickly. If you’re not a video editor, you may want to hire one on Fiverr.

12. Presentations

Take a look at your company’s shared drives. Chances are, a few gems are buried in there, such as a couple of super persuasive slide decks, or an amazing keynote presentation.

Slides are digestible content that make information easy to consume. Assuming you own the rights to your particular presentation, you can easily give away a slide deck as a downloadable. (If you hosted the event, you likely have the right to use it. If you sponsored an event or you were a guest speaker, you may need to seek permission.)

Presentation lead magnet example

13. Lists

Another way to create a high-value lead magnet is to pull together a list of anything related to your business. Potential lists to create include:

  • Email subject lines
  • Best (and worst) _______
  • Must-read/watch/view things
  • Favorite _______
  • Inspirational _____
  • Pro tips for your industry
  • Strategies to perform ____________
  • Uses for your product or service
  • Questions to ask before you _________

Use your list to educate your customers about your product or service. Once you have the list jotted down, use an online graphic design tool to add a little flair, then create a PDF that you can distribute to your audience.

List lead magnet example

14. Your personal routine

We all have routines. If you find a routine that your potential customers will find valuable, give it away as a lead magnet.

This could include your pre-work schedule, things you do throughout the day to stay productive, or the routine you used to accomplish a specific goal.

For example, a life coach might offer "The three things I do every morning to make sure I have a productive day."

Routine lead magnet example

15. Infographics

People love infographics because they’re a visually-friendly way to display a lot of data. Simply do a quick search on Pinterest and you'll see hundreds of infographics.

Infographic lead magnet example

Even if you’re not a designer, you can still turn your best content into infographics with the right apps. Once you’ve selected the right topic to transform into an infographic, use a tool such as Venngage to quickly create free infographics from pre-built templates.

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out our guide on 22 high-converting lead magnet ideas.

Real-life Lead Magnet Success Stories

Looking for examples of how lead magnets have helped grow real business? Check out these examples.

Homesteading business grows new audience with lead magnets

Lead Magnet Example Leadpages Product Preview Garden Academy

Shelby DeVore consistently finds new leads and customers by offering lead magnets to her audience. Between Leadpages’ conversion-optimized templates and the value her content provides, her lead magnet landing pages regularly convert at a 35% rate or better.

Top ten list lead magnet drives $27k of passive income

Ashlee Anderson is a certified professional career coach who completely changed her lead generation strategy by using a top ten list lead magnet. This strategy converted at a 32.4% rate and generated $27k in passive income from her digital course.

Read the Lead Magnet Case Study

Over 3,600 consulting leads from 1 lead magnet

Lead Magnet Example Leadpages Laurie Wang Social Planner

Laurie Wang is an industry-leading digital marketing and social media consultant. She used lead magnets during the pandemic to build her consulting gig into a full-time job. Her most popular lead magnet, a social media content planner, produced over 3,600 leads for her business.

Read the Lead Magnet Case Study

Create your first lead magnet today

As you can see, you probably already have plenty of content and knowledge that can be easily repurposed into a lead magnet. Think about which part of your business’s existing content holds the most promise and combine it with any of the ideas mentioned above.

Once your lead magnet is ready, consider building a landing page with Leadpages to promote it. Try Leadpages free for 14-days and give it a test drive.

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Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A former high school history teacher turned entrepreneur and marketer, Bob has educated business owners worldwide on how to leverage lead generation to grow their brands for over 18 years. Bob is a conversion expert, specifically when it comes to landing pages. Hosting over 1,000 webinars, he has walked thousands of business owners through advanced strategies to help them optimize their pages and maximize their leads and sales. Bob works with Leadpages affiliates and users to ensure they have all the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to build high-converting landing pages that grow their businesses.

15 Ways to Create a High-Value Lead Magnet in 30 Minutes or Less
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