July 12, 2020

How to create a lead magnet people actually want to download

Pinterest Cards Create A Great Lead Magnet

Whether you are just starting your email list or have thousands of subscribers, lead magnets are one of the most powerful tools you'll have for creating a thriving audience and funneling your visitors towards your digital or physical products.   

What is a lead magnet?

It's typically a free resource you offer to your website visitors that you give in exchange for them joining your email list.

It can be an email course, a checklist, e-book, digital product, or even a physical item.

Using a tool like ConvertKit, you can easily set up a landing page to funnel your traffic to.

The landing page is where you explain your offer and encourage your visitor to enter their email address and send the freebie. Once they confirm, then the item is automatically delivered to their inbox.


What makes a good lead magnet?

A lead magnet should give your audience a taste of what content you offer. It might be the first impression they'll have with engaging with your content, so you want to make sure it's actually helpful and offers a solution to your audience’s pain points.

When it comes to a digital item, its best to make it a PDF document. I've downloaded so many lead magnets that were just word doc files - what's the problem with that?

If your new subscriber doesn't have Word, they'll probably have a hard time viewing it, or whatever preview software they're using will likely mess up the formatting.

If you're creating your lead magnet in Word, Google Docs, or anything like it, make sure to use the “Save as..” or “Export to...” options and choose PDF.

Okay, enough about file formats - We recommend starting with checklists or e-books. If you're just getting started, checklists are a really quick and simple item that you can create and launch. If you want to put more time and energy into creating a more extensive offering, e-books are one of the best things you can offer.

scott graham 5fNmWej4tAA unsplashKinds of Lead Magnets 

A lead magnet can be anything valuable that you give to your audience, so this is definitely not an exhaustive list! 


E-books are one of the most common lead magnets offered and also incredibly effective!

It's a simple PDF that can be downloaded from your email list manager or your website.

 Check out our recent e-book "The Ultimate Course Creator Guide" 


A great way to test your course ideas is to create a mini-course on the topic. When someone signs up for the course, you can enroll them either in a course software or just as an email sequence. 

You can easily set this up in something like ConvertKit or MailChimp, where your subscriber gets the next email in the course on a certain day after registering. 


If you have a process-based subject to share, a checklist might be a great option for your audience. 

Break down your process into achievable steps that people can follow and provide a brief explanation with each item.

Physical Book 

It's less common, but can be really effective to get people to register for your mailing list. People love things that are (mostly) free! 

You effectively offer a free book where they just pay shipping and handling, usually something insignificant like $5-10. Which should cover the basic shipping and printing of your book. 

How to choose the topic for your lead magnet

A common mistake in creating lead magnets is the temptation to make it apply to a broad audience. 

Create your lead magnet with your audience persona in mind – Who is reading it? What problems can you help them solve? 

Lead magnets are most effective when people see it and feel understood. If you can create a lead magnet with a catchy title that they can identify with, you're more likely to convert them to download it. 

If you've created a decent amount of content for your website/book/blog, it can save you a lot of time and effort to recycle that content.

Take a look at your best performing content and use those items as sections in creating a lead magnet.

You can then link to those blog posts or resources in your lead magnet offering more in-depth content while driving more traffic back to your site.

Another great tactic is to take your highest performing posts and create an e-book guide or checklist to go with it. Drop an email subscription form in the middle of the post as an additional resource.

A 2000-3000 word blog post can be really daunting to read, but if you condense it into something easily consumable, it's much more actionable for your reader. 

Another great approach is to break down things for your audience into action steps. Those steps then become the main points of your e-book, checklist, webinar, etc. 


Our favorite tools for lead magnets

You can create a lead magnet easily using Google docs or Microsoft word, or if you're a designer, whip something up in Adobe Creative Cloud.

My favorite free tool is attract.io, a free tool from GrowthTools, which gives you a bunch of templates to work with for checklists and e-books.

Side note, GrowthTools has a ton of other free services that will help you grow your email list and be a better marketer.

The tool we used to create our Ultimate Course Builder Guide is Designerr.io ($27 for lifetime access with our affiliate link!)

They have pre-built templates for a wide variety of topics, and it will automatically take in your content from Google Docs, PDFs, your blog posts, or other content and format it automatically for an e-book.

Ready to create your lead magnet?

You've got this! Outline some ideas for a lead magnet and start creating.

The best part is you can always adjust your freebie or offer new ones.

Once you've got something created go make a free account with ConvertKit and set up your landing pages and forms to put into your related posts.

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