25 Great Lead Magnets and Content Downloads | Lead Generation

Samir Sampat

Capturing leads from website visits, social media campaigns, and other outreach efforts requires creativity and knowledge of your target market. You want to get names, email addresses, and additional important information. This allows you to build your database of potential customers.

As much as half of all marketing dollars are spent to capture leads that don’t convert. This makes capturing well-qualified leads that fit your target market even more important when it comes time to design your next lead generation campaign. How? By offering the lead magnets and content downloads your audience wants. Below, we’ll discuss 25 options that will help your business thrive.

What are magnets in marketing?

Magnets, sometimes called lead magnets, are one of the most effective ways to capture potential customer contact information. They are “bonuses” or “exclusive content” that entices the prospect (audience member) into exchanging their name and email for access.

Almost any type of resource, asset, or downloadable content can serve as a lead magnet.

How do lead magnets work?

You draw your prospect to your magnet’s landing page with a clear, inviting call to action. This should be easy to understand and appeal to your target audience. Once they click on the link, a landing page opens that focuses only on capturing the necessary information and granting the prospect access to the magnet. These pages usually do not have navigation bars or other options for visiting another page.

The landing page asks the prospect to share their name, email address, and any other information you wish to capture — the shorter and easier to complete, the better. Once they enter their information, a “thank you” page will open to access the lead magnet. Many companies also opt to send an automatic follow-up email message at this point to begin to build the relationship with the new lead.

How do I know what my audience wants?

One of the most difficult decisions you need to make about using lead magnets is what your target audience will find valuable. You will need to consider a range of options and decide based on:

● The type of content your target audience consumes normally

● What search terms lead visitors to your site

● Items your current customers ask about

In some cases, you may want to experiment or ask your current customer base or email list what they would like to see. This may give you a good idea of what potential customers look for when visiting your website or blog.

Almost any type of content could work as a lead magnet. As long as your audience is willing to exchange email addresses for it, it serves its purpose.

25 creative options for lead magnets and content downloads

Our team is happy to offer you large and small business lead generation tactics. Some content download options you may want to consider for lead generation include:

1. eBooks

Free eBooks on a topic that your target audience is curious about is one of the most valuable content downloads you can give away. The potential customer could trust your company as an authoritative source. The alternative would be purchasing a book on Amazon or from their local bookstore.

Writing and formatting an eBook is an investment, but it is often worth it to convert website visitors to leads. Consider the top search terms that brought visitors to your website as a topic for your eBook. Not sure where to start? Hubspot offers eBook templates that could work for almost any industry.

2. Contests

Who doesn’t want to win something? Many huge companies — from fast food to potato chips to clothing lines — use contests as lead magnets all the time. You can use your website or social media, although some platforms have special rules you may need to follow.

You can ask for the basics (such as name and email) to enter. Alternatively, you can require additional steps, such as liking your Facebook page or following you on Instagram. Let participants share the contest on social media, and you may generate even more leads.  

Some companies shy away from contests because they simply are not sure how to manage them. What does the winner receive? What is the prize? It’s easy to overthink this, though it can be as simple as a discount or as extravagant as you want it to be.

Consider this option from The Nomadik: You enter your email to spin a wheel that allows you to “win” a prize, including free shipping on your next order, 10 percent off, 20 percent off, or a free mystery item.

3. Access to research and data

In some industries, having access to the latest data is key. If you are in an industry where there is much information available, and you have the resources and bandwidth to collect it, this may be a good option.

For example, Hubspot offers a lot of research into what drives marketing behaviors. This is a very data-intensive field, and the website is uniquely positioned to gather the information. You might already have:

● A large community of customers

● A massive email list

● A loyal following of industry professionals

In this case, you may be able to conduct your own survey related to questions in your industry and offer it as a report or infographic. This can also serve as the basis of a white paper, another type of lead magnet.

4. Videos

With the rise of TikTok, YouTube, and other video channels, it probably comes as no surprise that much of the online content users consume is in video format. Making a video that answers your lead’s questions, addresses something important to your target audience, or otherwise adds value to their visit could be a great lead generator. For example, how-to videos relevant to your products or services are always popular.

Perhaps surprisingly, you may want to ensure viewers can understand your video without sound. According to a report in Digiday, several studies have shown that up to 85 percent of all online videos viewed are played without sound.

It is also essential to ensure your video production looks professional. You want to build authority and trust with your leads and potential customers.

Hubspot

5. Slideshows and SlideShares

Slideshows and SlideShares have many of the same benefits as videos, webinars, and courses, without the production costs. You can convert almost any article or blog post into a slideshow and have it ready to upload the same afternoon.

Consider the topics your audience might want to know more about, such as the frequently asked questions you hear from callers or those on your email list. You may be able to reuse older content with updates and new visuals for this, as well.

6. Guides and how-tos

Guides and how-tos are among the most popular content available online, regardless of the format. There are videos, courses, and eBooks focused on helping people learn how to manage a specific task.

Free guides offered as content downloads online generally take one of two forms:

● An expansive guide that covers all aspects of the topic

● A basic intro or “for dummies” guide

Depending on your industry and audience, you can choose either of these routes. Both are effective as lead magnets. You can also opt to focus on one task (“How to choose the right size backpacking pack”) or a much broader topic (“What to expect on your first backpacking trip”).

7. Email subscriptions

Email subscriptions provide an ongoing connection with the potential customer. They know to expect your business to pop up in their inbox. With the right content, they will look forward to it. This could include newsletters, new blog posts, new product information, or other valuable content.

Using surveys and interactive options, you can also ask for feedback to gather information about:

● What your target audience wants you to include in the future

● The content downloads that might interest them

Building a robust database of subscribers for your emails also helps greatly when the time comes to launch a new product, service, or piece of content.

8. Quizzes

With the right audience, quizzes are a very effective lead magnet. The prospect could exchange their email address for access to the quiz results page. Some companies send their results via email instead.

This could allow you to gather additional information, as well. For example, if you target families with young children, you can ask about their households as a part of the quiz. You do not want your questions to be too invasive, though.

You can use this tactic for almost any type of website or industry. It is commonly used by relationship gurus, medical groups with screening questions, and many more. It could be informative, fun, or off-the-wall, depending on the personality of your company and target audience.

9. Courses

Offering online or email courses as a download on your site is a great way to build leads and set yourself or your business up as an authority in the field. Courses can take time to develop, though. In some cases, they are lengthy and in-depth, with lectures, slideshows, and interactive elements. Others are as basic as a video tutorial.

Classes can be held live, recorded to watch on demand, or both. Many parties offer an emailed link to the course if viewers want to look at it again afterward. In some cases, companies provide an email series that serves as a course. For example, they may send one lesson a week for four weeks to subscribers via email.

If you have expertise that your audience might want to learn, this could be a great option for a lead magnet. Consider the frequently asked questions you receive and whether they would make good course topics.

10. Free trials

Free trials as a lead magnet allow you to show off your brand and services while gathering contact information from prospective customers. You can do this by utilizing online forms to improve your lead generation.

You are likely already familiar with free trials and probably use them regularly yourself. That streaming service that offered you seven days free? That was a lead magnet.

Free trials can work with many industries and services, and even with products in the form of free samples. In theory, many people will enjoy the free trial and opt to keep going. Those that choose not to continue after the trial will at least be more aware of the brand in the future.

11. Demonstrations

Free demos or options to explore a paid service before you subscribe are very similar to free trials. The exception is that a free demo offers a chance to see what the service provides without allowing you to use its full functionality. Many mobile apps use this approach. You can access certain activities or options, but you only have full access after subscription.

Still, potential customers can get a good idea of what the service can do and how it may work for them because of the demo. You could provide:

● A video walk-through of the service

● A “look around” to users via a subscription-only space

● A limited number of interactions or options.

You could also opt to provide demos on a one-on-one basis, where a team member connects with the lead to introduce them to your solutions for their problems.

12. Checklists and to-dos

Checklists, to-do lists, and cheat sheets are all easy, single-page options that could benefit your audience without taking a lot of time and money to create. These all should:

● Be bright and bold

● Have plenty of open space

● Be easy to navigate with a glance

Choose topics that fit your audience’s needs, and make it easy to save, bookmark, or print the download. This also provides an opportunity to make your brand relatable to your audience. Who doesn’t need a checklist to ensure you have everything or know what needs to be done?

13. Informative series

Many people connect with brands or websites because they want information on related topics. You might follow a bicycle brand because you are interested in taking up the sport for exercise and recreation, for example. You need to know what to look for when buying a bike.

In this example, an informative series of emails or videos answering the audience’s questions would be valuable. Some companies create many lead magnets on various topics, while others focus on only one to two. Either will work, assuming:

● You understand the information your audience wants

● You can provide the information in a trusted and authoritative way

14. Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to give your brand’s personality some time at center stage. You will want to carefully choose a host to serve as the voice of your company, whether that is you, another employee, or a paid host. Podcasts can establish your company as an expert and authority in your industry.

The topics you should cover depend entirely on your industry and your customer’s interests. For example, you can discuss a different issue each week or have each episode serve as installments in a series where you cover different topics throughout the season.

In some cases, it can be difficult to capture contact information from podcast listeners. You may ask them to sign up before listening, but many prefer to listen through a separate platform, not your website. However, you can always encourage them to visit the website and join your subscription list for updates.

15. Useful tools

Granting access to a tool a website visitor needs will often entice them to provide their contact information. If you sell paint, asking for an email to use a calculator that estimates how many cans you need might be a good option.

Consider what your customers need and how you may be able to help. Personal trainers can offer BMI or VO2 Max calculators while copywriting companies might offer an option to check for plagiarism.

This is a good opportunity to get creative. See what the competition offers or look at similar companies in other areas. Does anyone offer a useful resource you could provide to your potential customers?

16. A free app

With or without in-app purchases, free mobile apps are common these days, and some of them provide very useful information and options for customers. If the prospect uses your app regularly, it will build brand awareness and loyalty.

Designing a quality app can take time and money. An inefficient or useless app will only frustrate users. It also allows them to see your company as a trusted part of their life.

As an example, Hilton has a free app that allows guests to unlock their hotel door, contact the front desk, learn more about the area, and book their next stay. Before you can use the app, you must enter your email address, which prompts an email to sign in with your Hilton Honors number or join the loyalty program.

17. Online events

Over time, people have become much more accustomed to attending events online. They may consider going to a live webinar, speech, or even a concert online.

There are significant advantages to online events. For instance, you do not have to worry about capacity, parking, renting a space, or other mundane details required for an in-person seminar or event.

Asking for an email address when the user accesses the event allows you to:

● Capture the lead

● Send a recorded version of the event later if you choose

● Ask for feedback

● Develop a relationship that hopefully converts the lead into a customer

Hubspot

18. White papers

Consider authoring a white paper or case study relevant to your industry or audience. You likely have knowledge that others want to know, and you can prove yourself to be a credible source and authority by creating a downloadable report. If you are not sure what you can cover, ask yourself these questions:

● Have there been any interesting findings in your industry lately? A case study may allow you to share your take on them.

● What are you considered an expert at (and can you write about it in-depth)?

● Did you recently publish a blog that audiences found useful? Expand it into a white paper.

● Do you teach online courses or webinars? Can you repurpose the information into an informational report?

19. Answers to pressing questions

Offering a primer on a topic related to your business or access to a frequently asked questions archive is another option. This might bring potential customers to your website when they look for credible resources and answers to things they want to know. Even a downloadable one-page FAQ may serve the purpose, depending on the topic.

You can learn what your potential customers want to know in several ways:

● Monitoring the search terms for your website

● Surveying your email subscribers

● Asking employees to track the questions they are asked

● Letting visitors submit their questions via your website

20. Access to expert advice

In some cases, only an expert will do. You know your company, products, and services better than anyone. You are likely well-versed in your industry and any related activities, as well. Offering your knowledge provides a great lead magnet.

This could consist of an email exchange with a staff member, a video on a popular topic, or an eBook. Offering expert advice for nothing more than an email address is a win-win for both you and the potential customer.

21. Free samples

When many people think of free samples, they only consider how this works in a brick-and-mortar store. However, it can be an effective lead magnet online, as well. Asking for contact information in exchange for a sample product or service is a great deal for consumers interested in trying out your brand.

If you need to mail the sample, you may ask them to pay for shipping. Many people will opt for a free product if they only have to cover the postal cost. Alternatively, you can utilize a coupon that allows prospects to get the product at their local store at a steep discount or for free.

22. Quick tips

Offering an easy one-page download of quick tips may be a good way to help your potential customers while gathering their contact information. This could include:

● A quick start guide

● An easy-to-understand graphic to show how something works

● A list of quick tips

For example, if you sell electronics, this could be a guide to setting up a device, an infographic about what each button does, or a list of tips for using the device. You can get creative with this printable by packaging it with:

● Checklists

● Cheat sheets

● To-do lists

23. Bonuses

Offering a unique, exclusive bonus for those who submit their email address could work in many industries. Many people will opt in to get something extra, whether the bonus is:

● A code for free shipping

● A sample of another product with your order

● An additional eBook or course

This works especially well if the prospect already ordered items and the bonus is a physical item — or if you offer additional services with purchase.

24. Resource lists

Resource lists may seem counterintuitive because you want your potential customers to view you as the authority and resource they turn to. However, offering them links and contact information for the related resources they may need does the following:

● Saves them time

● Provides them with a tool they can use immediately as well as in the future

Include only the most authoritative resources when possible. This should focus on trusted agencies, non-profit organizations, scientific and medical journals, etc. You want to position yourself as a credible source. However, leaning on primary sources and trusted agencies only improves your integrity to clients, customers, and new leads.

25. Access to a private group

Offering exclusive access to other people with similar needs or interests can go a long way toward creating a community that supports your brand. Potential customers are much more likely to invest themselves when interacting with those who already believe in your brand.

You can create a private online group that allows your customers and potential customers to interact, discuss related topics, and get to know one another. You could use social media, Slack, or another platform to do this. When you foster relationships, you:

● Build brand loyalty

● Add value to the investment your customers made in your products

● Get to know your audience better

This can help you make future marketing decisions, such as choosing a lead magnet for your next campaign.  

Let Smith.ai help with your lead generation, qualifying, and relationship-building

When you have a great lead generation campaign in the works, you may build your database faster than your team can work. Smith.ai can provide solutions and services that help you manage:

● Data gathering

● Qualifying

● Strengthening your relationship with new leads

Our scalable, customer-centered solutions could help turn your leads into customers. We could do the following for you:

Capture and qualify your leads

We provide several services that can help with lead qualification and intake. Our staff will capture additional information and use the custom criteria you choose to determine if a lead is likely to convert.

When we find well-qualified leads based on your target audience, we can:

● Make an outbound call

● Send an email

● Notify you so someone on your team can reach out

Lead data gathering

We manage new lead and client intake services, so we can help you get to know your new leads faster. Our staff does this by gathering the custom information you need to know to target your advertising and convert the lead.  

Callback services

With our outbound callback services, Smith.ai connects with new leads 24/7. If a new lead makes a call or requests a call, we can reach out quickly to effectively screen them and schedule a follow-up from your team, if necessary. We can even book well-qualified leads on your calendar overnight or while you are busy handling other tasks.

Text messaging

Many potential customers opt for direct messaging or texting when contacting a company. We can help your business connect with the 46 percent of consumers who would rather message than email or make a phone call. Smith.ai does this with our SMS text answering service or social media messaging services.

We can respond to incoming messages from leads — from billboards, business cards, or any other source. Our team can also send an SMS or email message to a new lead after submitting their information. This option allows you to:

● Connect with your lead immediately

● Learn more about them

● Determine if they fit your target audience

24-hour answering services

After-hours answering and 24-hour answering are two cornerstones of the Smith.ai solutions. More than a quarter of all potential leads do not call during business hours. You could lose precious time building a relationship with prospects if they have to wait several hours or days to connect with your company.

Let’s discuss how Smith.ai can help you find solutions for your company’s needs

Before launching your next lead generation campaign, you should consider what you need to convert these leads into customers. In many cases, this relies on quick communication and relationship building. Smith.ai can help.

Smith.ai offers a complimentary 30-minute consultation and a 14-day money back guarantee for small business owners, marketing department managers, and others curious about our services.

Learn about our pricing and the business solutions we offer by calling (650) 727-6484 or emailing us now at hello@smith.ai. We also offer a live chat option 24/7. Learn about how our innovative services and solutions can help you convert more leads today.

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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