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The Definitive
Guide to Lead Generation
Guide to Lead Generation
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Guide to Lead Generation
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Chapter 5

Creative Lead Generation Ideas That Have Massive Impact

Where does lead generation fit into your marketing campaign? How do you generate more, better quality leads within the marketing strategies you already use for your business?

The purpose of lead generation is to build your email list with relevant, strong leads. You can then use this list to transform leads into paying customers who will keep coming back to you.

You’re not waiting for customers to show up at your doorstep for a party. You’re collecting their information so you can actively invite them to your house so they can join in on the fun.

In this chapter, we’re going to give you creative and fun tips that will take your lead generation to the next level. We’ll start by going over some of the best lead magnets you’ll want to consider offering, then we’ll give you some unique tips that will help incite more engagement and excitement from your leads.

Best lead generation magnets

The type of lead magnets you use will depend on your business, what your audience wants, and the resources you have to make it happen.

But there are some basic rules for all good lead magnets:

  1. Value: It solves a problem that your customers want to be solved. It gives them way more than they were expecting to get, or it provides value they can’t find anywhere else.
  2. Instant gratification: It offers a fast solution. Make it easy for them to achieve something (that solves or addresses their pain points) thanks to your offering.
  3. Specificity: The best lead magnets are super specific. People can Google the basics. Give them tips they can’t find anywhere else.
  4. Simplicity: Make it easy to digest. It doesn’t have to be long to be high-value. Write in a tone that your audience wants to read, and keep it as succinct as possible.
  5. Expert advice: The lead magnet should show how you’re an expert in this field. Demonstrating your credibility paves the way to selling.

Some lead magnet ideas to try out:

  • Checklist
  • Cheatsheet
  • Template
  • Script
  • Ultimate guide
  • Case studies
  • Toolkit
  • Web or phone app
  • Resource list
  • Planner/schedule
  • Worksheet
  • Calculator (specific to industry)
  • Generator (like a headline generator)
  • Spreadsheets (with pre-programmed formulas)
  • Recipes
  • Tutorials and demos
  • eBook
  • Sample chapter of book
  • Sample of your service/video/audio
  • Industry reports (stats)
  • Infographics
  • Webinar access
  • Event tickets
  • Slideshow/presentation/SlideShare
  • Online class (video or audio)
  • Email course
  • Free initial consultation or quote
  • Free coaching session (this is awesome for engagement and upselling)
  • Newsletter subscription
  • Quiz or survey
  • Giveaways and sweepstakes
  • Quotes or images
  • Game
  • Join a community or challenge
  • Become a member
  • Join a Facebook group
  • Free trial
  • Coupon or discount
  • Join waiting list

Remember that lead magnets are usually free. You’re providing a lot of value first, proving that you’re worthy of their business, and then selling them later.

Lead generation best practices

Add value first

The first and only rule of lead generation: add value… and then add more value.

If you provide stellar content that your viewers are dying to read, they’ll gladly hand over their email address in exchange for more content.

That means your landing page, your blogs, and your free content has to be incredible. Don’t be stingy. The more you provide upfront, the more they’ll be dying to get access to all the other great info you’ve got behind the scenes.

A lead magnet is usually an upgrade

So you’ve given them value already. Now, you want to offer them that “upgrade,” aka access to the back room of the store.

For example, you’ve got a blog or video that goes over the basic info of “How To Take The LSAT Test.” On the side, you offer them a downloadable PDF with specific tricks to improve their test-taking even more: “50 Easy Hacks To Improve Your LSAT Score By 20 Points.” They want more awesome tips from you, so they’re willing to input their email in exchange for that in-depth content.

This kind of “gated content” works especially well as an upgrade for other content, like with your blog or informational pages. You’ve already piqued their interest, and now they’re more willing to give you their info in exchange for that value.

Minimize friction and distractions

The less you have surrounding your lead magnet, the better you’ll see conversions. People get distracted easily. So, streamline the process of generating leads by continuously directing them to the action you want.

Length: Your landing page should only be as long as it needs to be—and not a word more. You want to be as concise as possible while thoroughly explaining your offering. (Don’t be afraid to use pictures in place of words to keep it neat and tidy while providing top-notch visual information.)

Form fields: This means you should also minimize the form fields needed to signup. Don’t ask visitors for their name, email, phone, SSN, best friend’s birthday, favorite book, eating habits… The less you ask for, the faster they can sign up. Minimizing friction improves your conversion rate.

Focus on urgency and exclusivity

You want your lead to sign up right now. Don’t let them think about it. The two ways to encourage fast opt-ins are urgency and exclusivity.

Make them feel like the offer is going to leave or you only have a few spots left for your event. If they feel some sort of time crunch, they’ll take action right now.

Find out how to use exclusivity to win leads  here.

Keep it a low barrier to entry

We usually recommend collecting leads’ email addresses, because this is such a low barrier to entry. People are more hesitant about giving out their phone number or home address because there’s “more at stake.” An email address is non-commital, and they know they can unsubscribe if they need to.

You don’t want to ask for an arm and a leg when you’re trying to get a lead. Just get enough to be able to reach out to them again. You can always ask for more info from them at a later point in the sales journey. Right now, all we want is to be able to control how we hit them with touchpoints moving forward.


Text marketing has become a hot trend in B2C campaigns. However, most consumers still aren’t on-board with text message marketing unless they’ve actively chosen to opt-in. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk is collecting phone numbers by asking you to text him, and he’ll respond to a few texts every day. This gives his business your phone number, so he has a more direct line with you. But it only works because Gary Vee has a cult-like following. So, you can give people the option of giving their phone number if you’re curious about text marketing, but definitely don’t require it.

Cool lead generation ideas

Grab video viewers

Video is the future of digital content, both for individuals and businesses alike. Marketers have started implementing more and more videos into their campaigns to attract clicks, engage viewers, and create a strong impression.

If you’ve started using video for your marketing campaigns (which you should, if you haven’t already), then you already have awesome content you can use on your landing pages.

There are two ways to do this. First, put your videos on landing pages when relevant. A video is a great way to share relevant information without boring or distracting your reader. Not to mention that using videos on your lead generation landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.

Second, you can use an embedded capture form in the video to grab leads while they’re in the heart of the action. Most video platforms let you copy and paste your lead generation code, so it will pop up in the video frame to grab leads while they’re still deeply engrossed and engaged with the video.

Create a personality quiz

Quizzes can be a highly effective, (fun) lead magnet. Even the most serious folks out there can’t help but click to find out which Harry Potter house they’re in or which dessert they are. For example, if you sell coffee, your leads would probably love a quiz, “What kind of coffee are you?” or “what coffee drink should you try out?”

Bring visitors through the entire quiz or survey, and then ask for their email address to get their results. They’ve already invested their time filling out the quiz, so they’re dying to know what kind of coffee they are. This curiosity and investment mean they will likely input their email address to get their immediate results.

(Make sure you include a privacy policy to promise you won’t spam their email. You don’t want people to feel “jipped” when their results aren’t immediate.)

Create a digital mockup of your product

People like to see the product that they’re getting. Create a mockup of the product you’re offering. Mockup a 3-D book jacket for your eBook or include a thumbnail of the first page of your downloadable checklist.

This creates a visual element that makes your prospects feel they’re receiving legitimate, tangible value. The lead generation landing pages that see the greatest success generally use supportive imagery and magnet mockups to emphasize the quality and features of the offering.

Just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it’s not a real product. The more it feels like a product, the higher the perceived value it will be.

Another good tip? Make it printable. Something that prints out well feels more concrete and is more usable for some people. Then it really does become tangible value!

Make them look in a mirror

Another great way to visually demonstrate the worth of your offering? Show pictures or videos from clients giving a testimonial. This offers a level of credibility and trustworthiness that negates any fears your visitor may have. They can see themselves reflected in the person giving the testimonial, so they’re more likely to click through so they can see the same results.

Ultimately, you want the visitor to envision an improved lifestyle after they’ve downloaded your lead magnet.

Ultimately, you want the visitor to envision an improved lifestyle after they’ve downloaded your lead magnet.

Use community as a magnet

One of the most underrated lead magnets is access to a community that you’ve established.

Let’s say you run an active Facebook group for clients in your industry. Open up the group to new leads to get a glimpse into what your coaching community is like.

Or create a new community with just your leads. Encourage people to start a “challenge” to eat healthier or to bike more (or whatever it is that’s relevant to your industry). Then create a space for those leads to compete or chat with each other throughout the process.

We’ve seen this work wonders for a lot of coaches. Part of coaching is the support system, so using a lead magnet that offers this kind of support is a great way to not only grab emails but also to give a glimpse into what your coaching experience is really like.

Ask for referrals

Use your current leads and customers to get even more leads. 77% of consumers  are more likely to buy a new product after hearing about it from friends or family. So it doesn’t hurt to use this kind of social proof to capture qualified leads and close more sales.

Referral programs work well because you’re tapping into an engaged market (your leads and customers) that already believe in your brand. They’ve already shown an interest, so they know which of their friends and family might also be interested.

This narrows the pool to highly-relevant leads, while also encouraging your existing customers to advocate for your brand. This kind of engagement leads to repeat purchases and loyal brand fans.

After you’ve delighted your leads or customers, give them an incentive to send you referrals. For example, they get a free product if they share your content on social media. Or give them a link to share, and if someone uses that link, both the refer-er and their friend get 10% off their orders.

It never hurts to ask, and this sort of relationship-building can open up a strong avenue of lead generation and loyal brand fans.

What doesn’t work?

Want a lead generation idea that does not show success? Buying leads.

Some businesses think buying their leads is a great solution. They’ll just buy lists of customer info because now they have people to market to.

But most of the time, those leads aren’t even interested in your business. No business, not even a brand selling toilet paper, is made for everyone. So you can’t buy a lead list and hope that it will stick. You end up just blasting out emails to these customers who may have never even heard of their business before, or who have no reason to buy your product.

This is bound to fail. These “leads” aren’t leads at all. They’re strangers. They likely don’t know your business, and they haven’t shown any interest in you.

This isn’t just a waste of resources. It can make them think of your brand as dishonorable and not credible!

You want your lead list to be qualified and earned. Because then you’re targeting an attentive audience who may actually buy from you. A country singer would rather perform to an audience of country music fans rather than rock enthusiasts.

In addition, if you email your purchased ‘leads’ out of the blue, they’ll likely feel that putt-off. They’ll wonder how you got their email information, and they’ll likely block you or put you in spam. So you end up alienating even those prospects who could have been interested leads.

Don’t buy leads. Generate genuine leads with landing pages, websites, videos, upgrades, and referrals. This gives you a list of interested prospects who want to hear more from you in the future.

Best lead generation

Our ultimate tip for lead generation? Establish rapport with your visitor as fast as you can. Add value, prove your expertise, and make your lead magnet so interesting and unique that it’s impossible to pass up.

It sounds like the ultimate challenge, we know. But I guarantee that you know something or do something unique that no one else is doing in the industry. Or at least that no one else is talking about.

Maybe you’re a life coach who sends pictures of puppies every morning to help your clients wake up. An awesome lead magnet would be all the pictures and text messages you sent last month that got people amped up. That’s super unique, and it’s not that hard to put together since you’re already doing that.

Every brand has a value proposition. Pick out yours and then craft your lead generation around what makes you unique!

In the next chapter, we’ll make your lead generation even easier with a list of all the tools and resources to get you moving and grooving with leads for your business.