13 smart lead magnets for more email subscribers
Malicious tongues claim that email is dead. I claim the complete opposite: it is the pillar of your online marketing! Why? Because your email subscribers are not only loyal fans that you've already convinced of your worth. They are also the only reach that no one can take away from you.
But how do you ensure that your target group is magnetically attracted to you and that your email list keeps growing automatically? In this article, I'll tell you the 13 smartest lead magnets. In addition, I'll show you how you can use them to entice many people into your business universe and bind them to your company in the long term.
What is a Lead Magnet?
Attracting customers like magnets and holding on to them for a long time - this linguistic image sums up the lead magnet in a nutshell. A lead magnet is a digital offer, such as a free e-book or a helpful tool, that seems irresistible to your dream customers. So irresistible that they download or use it immediately. You're probably familiar with this as a "freebie" or "free download".
Tip: Click here for the lead magnet from contentbird (my personal recommendation!)
Your customers see this freebie as a free gift, but it's not exclusively that, it's more of an exchange. In return, you get something incredibly valuable from them: their email addresses and the permission to write to them again. These important contact data are the so-called leads - people who are interested in your offer and thus have a high relevance for your future marketing actions.
So for a free download or similar offer, your potential customers "pay" with their email address. All while you sit back and let an automated newsletter tool do the work for you. And now you can imagine yourself chilling on the beach with a drink in a deck chair and the email subscribers just fluttering into your list?
Unfortunately (or fortunately) it is not that simple
After all, your dream customers don't come to your email list on their own, they have to be attracted. This is where the focus shifts to smart lead magnets that convince, inspire, surprise or inform - but best of all, all together.
Let's be honest: you only use freebies that attract your full attention and really help you in your business. So always make sure that your lead magnets are valuable, helpful and useful. Your content must perfectly solve the problems of your target audience and satisfy their needs, otherwise it will simply be ignored and your email list will remain yawningly empty.
Why are lead magnets so important to your success?
Google changes its algorithms and your advertising message suddenly goes down. Instagram is replaced by TikTok. And your Facebook business account suddenly deleted unexpectedly - all not uncommon in the digital world.
What happens now is like a slap in the face: your hard-won reach is suddenly gone because you're completely dependent on search engines and Social Media-channels completely. But there is one channel that remains consistent and won't be out of the window anytime soon: email, which has been around since you first turned on a PC.
So it's obvious why email subscribers are so important for your success. You can reach them via a channel that has proven itself over decades as THE digital means of communication and is still used by every user every day (and the trend is rising).
Winning the trust of your customers is not easy
But if you use a smart lead magnet, your subscribers will gladly sign up to your email list - without coercion and false promises. The result: you collect a list full of people who have put their trust in you. And in fact, trust is the hardest currency in Online Business.
You are now sitting at the longest lever of the Online Marketing and can send newsletters to your loyal fans. This way, you can attract their attention, introduce them to offers that need to be explained and provide them with news, discounts or specials about your business.
You bypass the information overload of the Internet and land in the private inbox of customers who are already excited about you by downloading your freebie - otherwise they wouldn't have been interested in your lead magnet or unsubscribed from your newsletter long ago.
New blog article, cool discount promotion or new product - you decide with your newsletter when and how you inform your readers about it. With an email, you have the strongest and most direct impact on your dream customers.
With email marketing, you stay in touch with your customers - continuously, quickly, with little effort and cost-effectively. That way, you won't be forgotten. Because it's naive to think that your customers will wait for you to post new content or that they'll jump at your latest offer.
"Don't expect people to remember you. Remind them of you."
The 13 best lead magnets for more email subscribers
To keep your email list growing, you can use numerous types of lead magnets. I've put together my personal top 13 smartest lead magnets to take your email list to the next level. ContentMarketing and your email list to the next level.
#1: The checklist
The classic freebie is probably the checklist. After all, who doesn't love checking off their to-dos one by one and celebrating their progress? Whether it's a PDF or an interactive app - a short and concise checklist helps your customers keep track of the most important steps of a certain topic.
Most focus on content in the form of blog articles, YouTube videos and social media posts to gain reach and new leads. However, only a few use tools, which in my eyes is a great opportunity.
It doesn't always have to be a big tool either. Sometimes a simple Google Sheet is enough, such as the "Content Tool" from BeAwesome.de, which should help you with the Create your blog help. By the way: Every company should have a Build your blog and Content Marketing operate one.
And if you will, Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and co. are also "tools" in the broadest sense that have helped businesses , go viral.
#3: E-Book, Whitepaper, Guidebook
E-books, guidebooks and whitepapers are ideal for covering complex topics in great detail and depth.
While a whitepaper is usually very formal and limited to a few pages, e-books and guidebooks are usually accompanied by graphics, images and links, such as the one Landing page guide by David Hahn:
#4: Worksheet & Workbook
If you want your subscribers to learn a topic on their own, you can offer them a worksheet. The adult equivalent of the worksheet from school, it contains tasks that are to be answered based on your content. If you have more content that you want to include, you can of course create a whole workbook.
#5: Locked Content
Locked content is exclusive content (for example: blog articles) that you can only read if you enter your email address.
The important thing is that you already have some visitors on your site who might be interested in your locked content. In addition, you should make sure that this lead magnet is a really special "masterpiece", because after all, you don't want to disappoint your potential customers, and besides, blog articles are so taken for granted as free these days that you have to offer your readers something neat to get their email address.
In addition, you should already know your market intensively, so that you hit the nerve of your target group exactly and do not work past their needs.
#6: Quiz or test
With digital tests (for example, personality tests) or quizzes (for example, knowledge questions), you invite your potential subscribers to familiarize themselves with your topic and take a closer look. Of course, everyone is curious about the results. But that only comes in return for the email address, because the evaluation comes by mail.
A webinar is an online seminar in which you interact with your target audience, usually live via video or pre-recorded or automated. Today there are numerous Webinar Software Provider for every need and budget. While you share your expert knowledge and promote your offering, your users can ask you questions or provide feedback in the chat window. You can also successfully use participation in such a webinar as a lead magnet.
#8: Template or Printable
An Excel file for calculating income and expenses, an editorial plan for bloggers or the template for an appealing resume - templates (design templates) and printables (files for printing) are also useful freebies that you can offer for download.
#9: Mini courses
Popular mini-courses are, for example, email challenges, in which you compose a helpful daily email for your subscribers and confront them with various tasks. The underlying purpose for your target audience is usually to reach a certain goal in a few days (for example: "Win 100 email subscribers in 10 days"). But also valuable video courses or audio trainings invite potential customers to entrust you with their email address.
#10: Waiting list
Waiting lists exude exclusivity, because those who sign up usually benefit from advantages, limited-time offers or discounts. You, on the other hand, create a list of customers who are interested in your offer and don't want to miss out. The perfect win-win situation.
#11: Discount codes
How about giving your future subscribers a discount on one of your offers or products? Again, almost exclusively the potential customers who show true interest in your business will request a discount code. This is what makes your email list so incredibly valuable.
#12: Guide or guide
Step-by-step tutorials are effective lead magnets where you can combine a practical guide with helpful tips. In a specific order, you can teach important steps and share proven workflows with your users.
#13: Winning wheel
Instead of the classic exit-intent popup, you could display a digital prize wheel to all users and give away different coupon codes: 10% off, 25% off, 50% off, and so on.
After the prospect has entered his email, he clicks on "GO" and the prize wheel starts spinning. The wheel stops after some time and the prospect wins, for example, a voucher code.
So you not only increase your purchase rate (through the coupon code), but also collect leads for which you can, for example, set up a follow-up sequence with further, suitable offers, since you have his email address.
#14 [Bonus] Look behind the scenes
Since most People curious are and "looking over their shoulder" almost always generates interest, you can also take your audience along on your "journey" and document your progress.
At BeAwesome.com for example, I practice this with the motto: "I share everything on my way from 0 to 100,000 visitors per month." So everyone who signs up to the list gets an email once a month with the current visitor numbers, income, expenses, successes, failures, etc.
Pro-Tip: In addition to the classics like sidebar, home page, pop up etc. also use the comment function of your website to promote your Lead Magnet, as comments are very popular. Use the attention of your readers there and promote your Lead Magnet as the first and fixed author comment (on every page), like for example here on CoupleTime.com:
What makes a good lead magnet?
Unfortunately, the idea that "it's just an email address" has been out of people's minds for a long time. Big Data is making Internet users more and more suspicious and hesitant to voluntarily give up their email address - which in turn speaks for how valuable your subscribers are later on.
For you, this means giving them exactly what they need or want to know in return. Use your lead magnet to answer all the questions that are burning on the minds of your dream customers. It has to be worth it for them to sign up for your list and get a problem solver that leads them quickly and reliably to their goal. If your subscribers are smarter after consuming your freebie than they were before, there's nothing standing in the way of a solid foundation of trust.
The lead magnet acts as a small welcome gift that first arouses curiosity and then solves problems. If you magnetically attract and convince people with your freebie, they will gladly spend money on more of these high-quality offers. Here the Law of reciprocity (tit for tat).
The following aspects make a good lead magnet:
- Specific problem solving of the target group
- Quick and understandable consumability
- High quality and value
- Highlighting your expertise and the USP of your company
The better you know your target group, the easier it will be for you and the more positive your subscribers will feel. So don't be afraid to start a survey or meticulously evaluate your statistics. It's worth it.
Also, don't forget to include your contact details and logo with all documents you make available for download. That way, there's no risk of you being forgotten. In addition, you should Basic Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in relation to email marketing. which requires specific guidelines for email marketing.
Conclusion: The money is in the list
As you can see, the selection of lead magnets is large and there are no limits to your creativity. It is also always advantageous to include several freebies on your page. This way, the chance is higher that a lead magnet will work and your dream customers have the choice which one they want to use.
However, always make sure to offer freebies that fit the theme and design of your dream customers. Here, however, it's also a matter of finding out, trying out and comparing. Because what works great for one target group is absolutely not appealing to another.
To fill your email list with the right contacts, you should therefore offer high-quality lead magnets that reflect your offer and your unique selling proposition. Be patient, because a few loyal contacts are much more important than a huge list of people who have signed up for a tempting, but thematically completely inappropriate freebie. You may still be able to excite them with the lead magnet, but your subsequent marketing efforts may cause disappointment.
That's why it's the be-all and end-all of marketing: listen to your target group and make them happy with what they want. Because only those who celebrate your free products will want more and will also be interested in your paid offers. The gold is buried in the email list.
Finally, I want to give you three things to always keep in mind when generating leads:
- Never wait for your list to fill up on its own, because it won't!
- Always give your customers an irresistible incentive to join your list!
- Use your list and don't be afraid to bother anyone with emails. Because by subscribing to your list, your potential customers declare themselves fans and even expect you to delight them with helpful and interesting content.
What type of lead magnet have you had the best experience with?