Inbound Marketing Basics: Lead Magnets

In our last article in this series, Inbound Marketing Basics: Landing Pages, you learned how to encourage your ideal customer to exchange their contact information for something useful to download. That “something useful” is called a “lead magnet.”

Without a compelling lead magnet, your ideal customer won’t perceive value, and they won’t give you their contact information.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a lead magnet that your ideal client will find irresistible.

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Lead magnet or content upgrade?

Ready for a bait and switch? Instead of providing one lead magnet, provide many content upgrades.

Here’s the problem. Too many people (and companies) think that all they need is one ebook to give away. They create an ebook and then use that as their lead magnet for every offer on every landing page.

Sorry, but the days of having only one lead magnet are over.

Because every blog article you write presents unique information, every blog article should have its own unique lead magnet. That unique lead magnet is an upgrade to your content.

All of those content upgrades do not need to come in the form of a new ebook. Your content upgrade can be as simple as an infographic or checklist. Your ideal customer probably doesn’t have the time to read a new ebook for every article. A quick-and-easy checklist with focused information, however, is priceless.
Here is an example of what a content upgrade offer might look like:


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Types of lead magnets

There are many many types of lead magnets you can create. I’m going to provide a list of some of the best converting lead magnets.

Checklist. This is one of the easiest to create and one of the highest converting. In fact, LeadPages founder, Clay Collins, has found checklists to be their highest converting lead magnets. One possible download for this blog article, for example, might be a PDF titled 5 High-Converting Lead Magnets.

Infographic. Infographics are both visually appealing and easy to read. They are also ideal for driving social media traffic to your website. For more information about creating an infographic, here is an article that Alex Slack wrote for CWS.

Relevant links. A list of links relevant to your blog article is a simple way to provide a lot more value. Instead of embedding several links within your article and tempting people to click and leave your blog, provide a downloadable list of links with descriptions.

How-to video. These are great when you’re discussing a topic that is easier to explain by showing versus telling. Your video can be as simple as a screencast where you show the reader how to do something on your computer while you talk into the microphone.

Template. Readers love templates because they are very useful. Here are some examples of templates:

  • Blog article template in Word format with all sections outlined and correct styles applied
  • Blog planning template in Trello with every step of the process already in place
  • Marketing plan template as a Google Doc where the reader only needs to fill in the blanks

Generating lead magnet ideas

My process is to create each lead magnet based on the best fit for the blog article. If you talk about a complex process, a how-to video would be the best lead magnet. If your blog article could benefit from lots of examples, a list of relevant links would be in order. Determine and create your lead magnet after you write your blog post.

When you write blog articles, you write them for your buyer persona—your ideal customer. Do the same for your lead magnet. Determine what information would be most useful to them, and then provide it. The more useful your lead magnet is for your ideal customer, the more irresistible it will be.


Here are the three steps to creating an irresistible lead magnet:

  1. Think in terms of a content upgrade
  2. Provide the right type of lead magnet
  3. Write the lead magnet for your buyer persona

When you offer the correct lead magnet, you take your ideal prospect a significant step forward on the buying path and much closer to becoming an ideal customer.