How to Create a Lead Magnet (Ideas & Examples)

Anna Konovalova

Written by:
Anna Konovalova

Apr 09, 2021
An illustration of a hand holding an ebook with a bow on it.

If you’re looking for simple yet highly effective marketing strategies to help grow your business, turn your attention to lead magnets. They can be a great way to freshen up your marketing and reach a wider audience.

That’s why today we’ve decided to talk about lead magnets and how to create them, then go through 10 different types of lead magnets you might want to create. Let’s start with defining what a lead magnet is in 2021.


Table of Contents

What is a Lead Magnet?

How to Create a Lead Magnet

10 Types of Lead Magnets


What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is an online incentive that marketers offer to prospective clients in exchange for their email addresses or other contact information. 

These are usually a piece of downloadable digital content, such as an ebook, checklist, white paper or report. They can also be an opt-in offer for an email course, coupon or video.

And do lead magnets still work in 2021, you might ask? They sure do. There’s just one important requirement – you should always offer a valuable piece of content.

Once your potential clients sign up for the useful, relevant and high-quality freebie, you establish yourself as an expert and create a new customer relationship. It’s a win-win: you get new leads and people get highly valuable content or service.


How to Create a Lead Magnet

Creating a lead magnet shouldn’t take much time and effort. In fact, with the right steps, it can be easy and fast. Here are the main steps to do it.


Step #1: Pinpoint Your Target Audience

Your first step in creating a lead magnet is to identify your audience, or who your offer is targeting. Make sure that your magnet solves a certain problem, that it’s very specific, and has a high actual value for potential customers.


Step #2: Determine Your Distribution Method

After you’ve determined the target audience for your lead magnet, it’s time to plan its distribution method. Here are the most popular ways to do this.


Make a quick review of your website analytics to see which pages are the smartest option to place your lead magnet. Some common locations include: 

  • Your homepage: In a sidebar, in a pop-up, using a top bar, in the footer, etc.
  • Resource page: Having a dedicated page is a great centralized location for all your ebooks, white papers, and case studies.
  • A thank you page: On this page, you usually thank people for converting, and then can promote another offer that can be useful to them.


Your company blog is a wonderful marketing channel to distribute lead magnets. You can add them to the main blog page and to all the relevant posts. Blogs are also quite easy to administrate so you can change lead magnets as often as you need and experiment with what works best.

Email Campaign

You can create a specific email campaign and send it to your clients. Plus, think about partnering with other companies to be featured in their newsletters, or linking to your lead magnet landing page in your email signature.

Forums and Q&A Sites

Go through niche forums, communities, Slack groups and Quora to find the ones relevant to your topic and save them for later to publish your lead magnets there. Ideal options include:

  • Forums that encourage sharing stories and commenting on them (e.g. Medium).
  • Q&A sites where a community of users asks and answers a wide variety of questions (e.g. Quora, Yahoo! Answers, etc.).
  • Aggregator sites that allow users to submit news and articles, which are then ranked with a user voting system (e.g. Reddit,, etc.).


Step #3: Choose Your Type of Lead Magnet

Lead magnets come in many formats so choose the type of lead magnet that serves your business needs. Here are several options to consider.

If you want to educate the audience about your company and generate brand awareness, then choose ebooks and reports. Plus, you can create compelling checklists or cheat sheets that are useful for your prospective customers as well as interactive and fun to read.

In such cases, short lead capture forms where prospects don’t need to provide too many personal details are the best.

If your main goal is to establish yourself as an expert in your niche and show your audience that you have solutions to their problems, go with case studies, white papers, webinars or podcasts.

Here, you can qualify prospects better by asking for additional details beyond their name and email address.

And if you’re aspiring to make a lead magnet a star of your seasonal and holiday marketing, gift guides, coupons and discounts are exactly what you’re looking for.


Step #4: Find Lead Magnet Creation Software 

You don’t have to be a professional designer to create beautiful lead magnets. Thanks to an abundance of easy-to-use tools you can start creating lead magnets right away. Just look through our list and choose the tool that is right for your business.


The Visme logo.

Visme is an online design platform that helps you create engaging presentations, infographics, lead magnets, animations, product demonstrations and more. It’s an all-in-one tool to create, share and store your content.

Visme gives you thousands of templates you can customize with the help of free photos, graphics, icons, media and theme colors.

The drag-and-drop editor stands out as a feature that is particularly valuable to creators. This is useful because it helps even those who are entirely new to design have the power to create professional visuals.

Design your own stunning lead magnet.

  • Choose from dozens of professionally designed templates
  • Create animated charts and creatively visualize stats and figures
  • Customize anything to fit your brand image and content needs

Sign up. It's free.


The FlippingBook logo.

FlippingBook is a company that provides software and cloud service for creating professional online documents in a fast and easy way. If you want to craft an interactive lead magnet with a built-in lead capture form, that’s the tool that you need. 

In just a few simple steps you can convert your PDF into a digital ebook, report, gift guide or white paper with a smooth page flip effect. And then turn them into a lead generation tool: insert videos on any page to engage new leads and add branding for trustworthy lead-generating content.

Moreover, FlippingBook allows you to set up a built-in lead capture form within your ebook to collect any lead data you need: names, emails, phone numbers and more. 

Adobe InDesign CC

The Adobe InDesign logo.

Adobe InDesign CC is professional-level layout and design software for PC and Mac. It’s the most famous and widely used software for creating multi-page layouts and the first choice for many marketers, designers, and publishers. 

It allows you to create beautiful graphic designs with typography from the world՚s top industries and imagery from Adobe Stock. InDesign has everything you need to create and publish books, digital magazines, ebooks, lead magnets, posters, interactive PDFs and more.


The Canva logo.

Canva is an easy web-design app that enables you to make digital content such as magazines, ebooks, lead magnets and reports without much effort. It offers you a big library of templates, and all you have to do is to choose the one you like and customize it according to your needs.

Choose from millions of images, edit your photos using engaging filters, add free icons and modern-looking fonts to create branded online content.


The Venngage logo.

Venngage is a web-design app that is mostly centered around various types of infographics, charts, tutorials and more. So if you have a lot of data to share, Venngage helps you turn complex research into easy-to-understand and clean-looking brochures, lead magnets and pamphlets.


Step #5: Create and Share Your Lead Magnet

Captivating content and design play a big role in creating a great impression of your products and services. Here are some general tips to follow when designing and writing your lead magnet (no matter the type) if you don’t have much experience in creating marketing content.

  • Give your cover a single message that is clear and engaging. Focus on making the cover of your lead magnet articulate and eye-catching so that the readers understand if your lead magnet is what they’re looking for.
  • Make the main content of the lead magnet concise and skimmable: use descriptive headers, keep paragraphs under four lines, add subheadings for every two to three paragraphs and incorporate lists and bullet points.
  • Use solid colors and background images to define the sections.
  • Don’t use more than two or three colors and fonts.

And then you’re ready to share your lead magnet with the world. Promote your new lead magnet according to the distribution strategy you’ve determined before and don’t forget to share your lead magnet via social media platforms.

Plus, think about leveraging paid advertising and co-marketing partnerships that will help you promote your lead magnet to a new audience.


10 Types of Lead Magnets

Not sure exactly what type of lead magnet is best for your business? Check out our ideas for creating lead magnets and get inspired to start crafting lead magnets in no time.


Type #1: Checklist

Orange and blue digital marketing checklist template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

The most effective lead magnet ideas offer things that can be used immediately. Checklists are exactly like this: easy to make, easy to use. They condense everything that the user needs to know into one, actionable list.

Lead magnets like this are super quick to create. For example, you can summarize your popular blog posts, videos or ebooks as a checklist, and you’re ready to go. 


Type #2: Cheat Sheet

Orange and white cheat sheet lead magnet template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Cheat sheets have a similar purpose as checklists but contain more thorough information. Instead of simply showing steps, a cheat sheet will usually have background information on a specific topic—for when you need to see it right away.

For instance, it can be a list of guidelines or a process that people can follow over and over again to achieve a specific goal.


Type #3: Roadmap

Blue and white roadmap lead magnet template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A roadmap can pretty much be called a very detailed and thorough cheat sheet. This high-level document is a visual representation of a strategy, business plan or step-by-step guide as it shows the milestones along the way as you carry out your plan.

This type of lead magnet can be very useful for many businesses. Create one in document, infographic or presentation form, keeping visual task management in mind throughout your roadmap's design.


Type #4: Gift Guide

Gift guide lead magnet template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, a gift guide can play a leading role in promotions for your target audience or for seasonal and holiday activities.

During the holiday season, people often need a little help making purchases for their loved ones so holiday guides from your company might be exactly what they’re waiting for. It’s a great idea for a successful lead magnet.


Type #5: Ebook

Ebook template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

An ebook is one of the most traditional ideas for lead magnets. And it’s still worth creating especially if you have valuable knowledge and expertise for your niche or have found solutions for specific problems your audience has.

You’ll get an amazing piece of promotional and lead-generating content that will bring you many benefits and work for you for days and even months.

Plus, you can create an interactive ebook to share online. Visme gives you the ability to email-gate your online content, making this the perfect lead magnet distribution tactic.


Type #6: Report

Report template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Industry trends and benchmarks are essential for many businesses. If you have such valuable data, then you can offer it in the form of a report, making it a powerful lead magnet.

Plus, you can pull together data from various sources into one comprehensive report, saving your colleagues hours of browsing through numerous articles and stats. 


Type #7: Planner

Social media scheduling lead magnet template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Planners can be helpful for both businesses and their clients as time management and crafting plans can never be out of trend. Simply put, it’s a plan that you’ve mapped out for someone on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Your lead magnet can even be a blank planner that the reader fills out with their own plan. These blank planners are really useful too because they make it easier for people to organize themselves.


Type #8: Online Course Sample

Online course resource book template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

One of the simplest ways to create a lead magnet is to offer a sample of your online course. It helps people understand if your course is what they need, thus building trust and putting your course in front of the right audience.


Type #9: Coupons and Discounts

Gift certificate template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Coupons and discounts can be an effective way to collect email addresses—and sometimes convert them directly into customers. This type of lead magnet suits ecommerce businesses the most.

If your customers are interested in a product but not convinced, a coupon might be just the push they need to actually take action and sign up or make a purchase.


Type #10: White Papers

White paper template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

White papers are reports or guides that inform readers concisely about a complex issue. They’re meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision.


Create Your Own Lead Magnet

So you see, lead magnets aren’t as difficult to create and promote as they may seem. The most essential thing is to spend some time diving deep into what your customers want and what they don’t want to ensure that your lead magnet is a success.

Lead magnets can play a leading part in digital marketing because they help build email lists, promote content, develop customer relationships and increase sales. Just start with a lead magnet template and customize it to fit your brand and your needs.

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    About the Author

    Anna Konovalova is a Content Marketer and Translator at FlippingBook, software and cloud provider. When Anna isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the theater, listening to music, and finding inspiration in the world around her. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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