What Is a Lead Magnet? Examples + 15 Ways to Make One

December 21, 2023 | 12 mins

A lead magnet has the power to exponentially increase your audience for your business. It gives you incredible outreach, enhances your brand authority, and gives a massive boost to your conversion rates.

Whether you're looking for more clients for your B2B brand, or are an author trying to use your book to grow your business, implementing an effective lead magnet is critical. You want to get it right.

But what is a lead magnet, exactly? And how can you make sure you are using one correctly?

In this guide, we are going to dive deep into what makes a lead magnet work, why you need one, and how to use it to best serve your audience and build a solid presence both on and offline.

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What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet (LM) is a free gift you offer to potential customers to join your email list, thus becoming a subscriber, and then a paying customer.

When it comes to marketing your book or your business having a giveaway or freebie is a necessary component for bringing in new audiences.

A lead magnet makes it very easy for potential customers to discover your brand and join your thriving community. 

Now you might be asking, “How long does it take to build an email list?”

I built an email list of 4000 subscribers within the first two years just from book signups alone. But there are many more ways to build your list if you have a great lead magnet. 

But you have to know how to build an effective piece of content that people actually want, and then, present it to them when they need it the most.

The biggest challenge for many authors and online entrepreneurs is creating the best opt-in gift (lead magnet) that entices potential subscribers (remember, they haven’t signed up yet) into joining your community.

A lead magnet serves as the front door to your world. Now all you need to learn is how to invite people in.

Do You Need a Lead Magnet?

The question many authors ask is: “Do I need a lead magnet? Is it really necessary?”

Yes, you need a lead magnet if you want to:

  • Build an email list from scratch
  • Grow your current customer base
  • Establish your brand
  • Research your audience
  • Increase conversion rates and turn people into subscribers
  • Provide FREE value to your customers
  • Provide opportunity for new subscribers to discover you
  • Build your reputation as an authority

As a business owner or author, you need a lead magnet to build your list so you can continue to make sales years later.

The lead magnet has a two-fold purpose.

First, it needs to serve your purpose as an author or business owner. Second, it must serve the purpose of your subscribers.

Why are they signing up in the first place? You must know why, and be prepared to deliver on that WHY.

Now that you have decided you need a lead magnet—or should revise your current one—let’s take a look at what your lead magnet should be.

15 Tips to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet

The most common question new authors ask when it comes to creating a lead magnet is: “What can I create that people will want to give away their email address for?”

First of all, there are several rules when it comes to setting up your free gift. There’s no point in giving away something “just because” and hoping to score.

As an author or business owner, you must be strategic in your creativity and market when it comes to the free gift offer. Throwing something together in hopes of getting sign-ups is like trying to hit a moving target with a blindfold on.

What constitutes a great lead magnet?

Here a 15 tips you can follow to ensure your lead magnet converts:

1. Get Inspired by People in Your Field/Niche

Want to know how to make an effective offer? Check out other people in your field to see what lead magnets they are offering.

If you are an author, find some books in your genre and sign up for the author's email list.

Download the free gift (if they have one) and pay close attention to the process you are being asked to walk through.

2. Make Your Offer Value-Packed

Your lead magnet is “free gold.” If it is presented with high-quality value, your readers will expect the rest of your content and brand to be the same.

When you craft your offer, value has to be #1. It needs to fulfill a promise and be rich enough in value that potential subscribers can’t resist.

3. Provide a Clear Call to Action (Only One!)

People love to take action – but they often need prompting. This is your chance to get your subscribers to do something and achieve the desired result because of it.

Your offer should have a Call To Action (one specific action) that they can take right away. If you have a CTA in your lead magnet, it should help your readers/subscribers to achieve a WIN.

4. Make Your Offer Easy to Access

Your offer should take not more than 10 seconds to download. You want to give people access within the minute. This means no broken links or complicated run-arounds with multiple links and emails. 

5. Be Specific & Targeted

Did you write a book on gardening for beginners? Then your free content should be based on gardening! It adds extended value that does not appear in the book. You don't want to create a lead magnet for: “How to bake a pizza in under ten minutes.”

Make sure your offer is based on what you excel at so people know what to expect from you next.

6. Make Your Lead Magnet Easy to Use

When creating your offer, be sure to have your readers' best interests in mind. Deliver high-quality, easy-to-access, actionable content and you can’t go wrong.

Checklists or reports work well because people can take these and put them into action. 

7. Tap Into Emotion

You want to create something that a new customer really wants. To do this, it has to “call” to your reader. The best way to do this is to create a lead magnet that delivers a result they’ve always wanted.

Imagine if someone could download something for free in under a minute and put it into action right away. By the end of the day (or week), your subscribers should be enjoying a new experience with their newfound friend…you!

8. Put an Offer On Your Website

Do you have a website for your business? If so, this is where you want to showcase your lead magnet. You can do this in the form of an opt-in bar. 

The other place to feature an offer is the right sidebar at the top end of the homepage. This is usually a cover of the LM. It should be clearly visible with the CTA (Call To Action) just under the picture.

When a potential lead lands on your website, you have about five seconds to snag their attention. For this reason, you want to make the lead capture box or cover as clear as possible.

9. Utilize a Cross-Promotion

This is one of the fastest ways to grow your email list. You join forces with a band of other entrepreneurs or authors and each person puts up a service/product/book for free.

Then, you have one link to share with your audience, and as people sign up, you add those emails from other peoples' lists to your own. You could potentially get a couple thousand new subscribers overnight!

10. Use Social Media

Do you have any social media channels? If not, it might be a good idea to create some to promote your business. After all, it's very easy to add a tab to your Facebook page for your lead magnet

11. Put Your Offer in Your Email Signature

Your email signature is a great place to put your lead magnet. Any time you e-mail someone, they will see your offer. Who knows, you might get subscribers from unexpected places!

12. Use Promotional Materials

Business cards or promotional material for your business, product, or service (postcards, posters, etc) are a great way to get your offer out there. You can hand these out to people in your network or put them up in your neighborhood.

13. Promote Your Offer During Speaking Engagements

If you have a speaking engagement, podcast interview, or summit, you should absolutely plug in your offer. This is a great chance to get subscribers. If public speaking engagements aren't your thing, you could also write a guest post on a blog and embed your offer there.

14. Put A Lead Magnet in Your Book (Front and Back Matter)

Now let's talk about some options specific to authors. Even if you aren't an author, keep reading! Because a book is the best possible lead magnet for your business. And you don't even have to be good at writing to write one. In fact, you could probably write a book in just 90 days that increases your sales exponentially! (We know because a lot of our clients have done it.)

In your book, the lead magnet needs to be placed at the front, just after the copyright page or the Table of Contents, and always before the introduction.

Why is this important?

Readers are most likely going to see this, even if they don’t finish the book (or start it). In fact, thanks to Amazon’s “Look Inside Feature,” authors can get people to subscribe without anyone buying the book at all!

But the front of the book is one location. You can place the LM at the back of the book as well.

Why? Maybe at the start of the book they aren’t ready to sign up. They don’t know you yet. But after reading your bestseller, now they want to get to know you better and build a relationship.

You could have the lead magnet page at the back right after the last chapter just to serve as a reminder: “Hey, don’t forget to sign up for your free action guide right here!”

By placing the lead magnet at the front and back, you have all the bases covered.

Your lead magnet in a book is not the only place to put it. What many authors fail to see is that the Amazon author page serves as a great opportunity for you to build your email list. 

Why? That is most likely where most people will end up. You can place your lead magnet URL at the top of your author bio just like conversationalist Patrick King has here:

This could result in a few hundred signups per month depending on your author page visibility.

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Now that you have lots of ideas about how to create your lead magnet, let's give you a few examples to solidify your strategy.

Examples of Successful Lead Magnets

Here are some lead magnets from a list of bestselling authors who have successfully built a community around their brand. These examples include “high-impact value,” and this is what makes them work so well. 

Some Creative Lead Magnet Ideas

Now that you’ve had a chance to digest several lead magnet offers, let’s take a look at the types of lead magnets that are available.

Here are some effective lead magnet ideas to consider creating:

  • Action guide
  • Checklists
  • Catalog
  • Workbooks
  • Worksheets
  • Cheatsheet
  • Templates
  • Video series
  • First 3 videos for a paid course
  • Spreadsheet
  • Recipes
  • Access to an exclusive Facebook community
  • Toolkit
  • Next book for free (eBook)
  • Report
  • Desktop wallpaper
  • Quiz
  • Calendar or planner
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Event tickets
  • Webinar
  • 15-minute coaching session
  • Next chapter of the next book for free
  • Email newsletter
  • Companion course
  • Free audiobook (of the book you bought)
  • Access to resources not offered anywhere else

Make your offer personal for your audience. You need to ask yourself, “Is this something I would really want?”

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How to Deliver Your Lead Magnet

You have your lead magnet created and ready to go. You have followed the criteria for setting up a great lead and now that it is ready, the next question many authors have is: “How do I deliver this?”

Let’s cover quick and easy ways to send your LM to your subscribers. Remember: It has to be easy. You don’t want to be getting tons of emails from people saying that they couldn’t download the freebie. 

If set up right, you should be able to let it run on autopilot.

Here are some simple ways you can deliver your free offer:


LeadPages is a paid service, but when it comes to lead magnet delivery, nothing comes close to its simplicity and efficiency.

LeadPages has everything you need to set this up within twenty minutes. The Lead Magnet Delivery system makes it easy to deliver a free gift to your leads as soon as you submit the forms.

The pricing of LeadPages is either monthly or annually, and it’s cheaper if you pay for it annually. For a standard membership it is $37 a month or about $144 per year.

Book Funnel

This is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to deliver your offer, PDFs, or any other content that is in digital book form. 

Book Funnel has easy-to-implement landing pages that won’t require special skills or a manual to set up. Similar to LeadPages software, these landing pages are drag and drop, designed to be put together quickly so you can soon get this up and running. The faster you can do this, the sooner you’ll be able to capture new leads.

Book Funnel pricing is annually from $20 (beginning author) to $250 (bestseller). Depending on your needs and required features, you can choose from one of the three plans.

Email Server 

Nowadays you can deliver your lead magnet via most email servers: ConvertKit and MailChimp are set up to do this. But for a faster (and cheaper) way, I recommend using the Mailerlite email server.

This service is free for the first 1000 subscribers and has templates you can use. Delivering the freebie takes about 30 minutes to set up. By using the landing page templates offered on Mailerlite, you can upload your free gift to Dropbox or your website.

Get Ready to Generate Leads!

Now you're ready to create a fabulous lead magnet for your potential customers. Remember: whatever it is you choose to set up and deliver, it should add great value to your customer's life. You want this person to be a part of your journey – and not just grab free stuff and unsubscribe.

Make it so that they stick with you.

Regardless if you are a career author or or using your lead magnet to scale up business growth, you can create and deliver something that people will be desperate to grab.

Once you have everything set up, tell us how your lead magnet is working and what you’ve learned from going through this process! And, if you need help with building your brand, or writing a book to use as a lead magnet, you can reach out to our team for a free strategy call.

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