8 Lead Magnets That Successful Businesses Are Using Right Now

Aaron Hoos

If you run a business, you probably want to generate leads. One of the best ways to do that is to create a lead magnet—some kind of incentive that entices people to find out more.

They share their information in exchange for that incentive and, in the process, they become leads and enter your sales funnel.

But what kind of lead magnet should you offer? There are many. In this blog post I’ve collected together 8 of the most common lead magnets that I see in use today and I share the good, bad, and ugly about each one. Every business is different so some of these lead magnets might work in your business but others might not. Try them and see what works for you.

Lead Magnets

Here are the 8 most common lead magnets that I see successful businesses using right now (not in any specific order)…

#1. Free Strategy Call

The prospect gets to spend a certain amount of time on the phone with an expert from your company. This one only works if you position the call correctly (demonstrating a ton of value) and the prospect doesn’t feel like he or she will be pitched anything. Legitimately strive to solve a problem for the prospect on the call. (And of course you should pitch something but just don’t make the call about your pitch!)

#2. Free Report

This is a classic, and a lot of people think its appeal has dried up, but it still works in certain situations: it’s no longer about just creating a general report with some general theoretical information that your audience could find just by Googling. The free reports that are working right now need to answer a massive question or solve a massive problem that your audience has, and it needs to be quick to read and fast and simple to implement. If you’re not sure whether your report does this or not, consider doing the next one instead…

#3. Free Resource

Similar to a free report, a free resource exchanges a piece of information for free. But instead of this being a written report in PDF format, think of this more like a tool, a checklist, a step-by-step guide, an at-a-glance one-sheet, a worksheet… or some other useful document that your audience can print and use. Although this resource might not have as much text inside of it to promote your services, a free resource gives you a branded way to get in front of your audience and stay in front of them as they use your resource regularly.

#4. Free Webinar

The free webinar offer is a mixed bag. It’s really useful because it’s a one-to-many pitch, it can be completely automated, and it’s an audio/video format for a multi-sensory experience. However, I think a lot of prospects (in some industries) are really weary of these because so many people are making big claims about their webinar and then they end up delivering almost no valuable information and it just becomes a huge pitch session. You have to position the webinar with a ton of value that solves a burning issue for your prospects and then you have to deliver that value to your prospects; don’t skimp on value! Also, consider embedding your pitch in small ways throughout your webinar instead of saving it all for the end.

#5. Free Trial

Some industries really have this dialed in and others do not. The free trial can be a powerful strategy to show how your product or service can really benefit a prospective buyer. They get used to the value of the product or service and get a sense of ownership. Then, the free trial ends and they need to pay to continue using it. One advantage is: there’s very little extra you have to do except be able to remove them from the trial. However, this doesn’t always seem possible for every industry and you might need to get creative to use it in yours. The key is: what can you control the usage of that prospects can use and enjoy for a while (but you can remove them when their trial period is over)?

#6. Free Book (Plus Shipping)

This one popped for a while in 2016 through 2018, although I think the popularity has died down a bit (it’s still effective, though). This is where you write an actual physical book and then give the book away for free (the prospect just pays shipping). You spend a little on the book printing, the shipping itself is covered, and you get the customer’s name and physical address. That’s a great exchange! This one has a higher perceived value than a free report (because it cost a bit of money for shipping plus it’s a physical object that your prospect will hold in their hands) but you do lose a few people who won’t or can’t pay the small shipping fee. It’s a trade-off so you’ll get fewer prospects than a purely free offer but you’ll end up with more information about your prospects and you’ll have confirmed that they can pay.

#7. Free Dripped Information

This is one of my favorites and I use it all the time: It’s like a free report except that I drip it out by email or video instead of all at once (as in the more conventional free report). In some ways, you could say that Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula uses this strategy too, dripping out something (a free report or resource) followed by a series of videos. I like that this uses the free resource strategy but also trains subscribers to look forward to opening your emails!

#8. Free Access To Community

I’m seeing this one more and more, especially with how Facebook is shifting its focus to Facebook Groups as the central organizing of communities on that platform. When you have a strong brand and a loyal following you can create a group (in Facebook or elsewhere) that allows people to connect with you and see what it’s like to interact with you. Your other followers in that community become living testimonials and volunteer salespeople who can encourage others to join. This takes a bit of effort to manage (accepting people into your group, kicking out those after a trial period or whatever you decide) but it helps to create a sense of tribe even among prospects.

Summary

These are 8 of the most commonly used lead magnets I see right now. Test them out in your business and find the right one that works for you. Then, run it for a while until you start to notice a decline in interest, then switch it up to something else.

As long as you want leads, at least one of these should be in your business right now to drive people into your sales funnel.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.