31 Email List Building Lead Magnet Ideas That Convert Subscribers Into Buyers

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Email list optins are far more important to your online business than you think. Check out these lead magnet ideas that will help you convert leads into buyers.

lead magnet ideas

Lead magnets…you either love ’em or hate ’em. I’ve had my own journey with them, but I’ve finally relented into loving them. They’re an important fixture in the online business space. Here’s why:

At the end of the day, your lead magnet (just like your website’s about page) is NOT about you! They’re specifically for your target clients, audience, or customers. That means they’re a crucial strategic step stool for you to help build some brand recognition with your incoming leads.

Email list building shouldn’t be something you stress out about or skip! You should have a sustainable strategy in place that helps you welcome new leads as well as nurtures your existing subscribers.

This post is all about email list building lead magnet ideas.

lead magnet ideas

Email list opt-ins that actually grow your list

These days, people are so darn protective of their personal information and wary of strange websites that ask for that. And rightfully so! That’s why trust is the most important bridge you should focus on building within your client or lead-facing content.

Here are 31 lead magnet ideas that will warm your leads up:

Lead magnet basics

Before we dive too far into the meat of the post, it’s a great time to serve up those potatoes: the basics of email list building.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is any option given freely in exchange for someone’s email address. Traditionally, they can be a free product trial or a digital resource that helps attract potential clients and/or customers.

Think of the last time that you visited the supermarket — where a stall is offering “free sample.” That’s is a lead magnet. With this strategic free product or content, you’re attracted to visit the online store or sign up for an informative free offer.

Don’t worry if this vague definition feels…well, vague. I share 31 lead magnet ideas a little later on in this post!

Why do you need a lead magnet?

Lead magnets are important in every business to attract potential customers and build trust with the upfront freebie or reward that you give away.

Imagine receiving a helpful resource or access to a masterclass that answers the exact question you’ve had for the longest time. It feels really good and delivers a message that you will experience so much more if you will avail of the paid offerings.

With an effective lead magnet, email list building is easier. The incentive and immediate impact email list optins provide aren’t commonly replicated. They also help drive new leads to your business.

How do you create a lead magnet?

You can create a lead magnet by first establishing your goal and building the persona of your target market. I’ve created a brandable Canva buyer persona/ideal client avatar template for you — just in case you needed a good head start!

But here’s a quick guide to help you start:

  • List down your target market’s age, gender, social status, job, or anything that will connect them to your product
  • Ask yourself how you can attract them or how you can use their information to tap and introduce yourself
  • Choose the best of the 31 lead magnet ideas that resonates with you most below where you have the most experience with or you’re confident to make
  • Create your lead magnet in a tool like Canva or reach out to me for personal help
  • Design your lead magnet landing page and launch it

Where can you set up a lead magnet funnel?

You can set up a lead magnet funnel on any email marketing platform. Finding a reliable email marketing tool is important to make your lead magnet funnel successful. I exclusively use and recommend MailerLite.

And yes, I said funnel. If you’re already overwhelmed, take a breath!

Getting your email optin funnel created and automated can be as simple or as difficult as you make it to be. If the thought of having a 7-email welcome sequence makes you throw your palms to the sky saying, “Nope!”… You might be surprised to hear you don’t need it, then.

At the time of writing this, I’m currently overhauling my email sequences on the “DL” (that means down-low). But if you sign up for my current signature lead magnet, you’ll only get two emails before you get thrown onto my mail weekly email-in-theory list.

Set up the basic automation and micro welcome sequence that, at minimum, delivers your lead magnet.

Note: With MailerLite, you can create beautiful campaigns that are easy to understand and navigate. No more complicated UI or confusing instructions plus the rate is friendly for businesses of all budgets.

Other email marketing tools to help you with your lead magnet funnel are FloDesk, ActiveCampaign, & ConvertKit. Each tool offers its own set of programs, services, and rates.

31 Lead magnet ideas

Email list building may sound intimidating, but with the right lead magnet, you can easily build up your email list. Once you’ve listed your goals and target customers, you can choose from the list of these lead magnet ideas:

Low-effort optin ideas

Whether you’re short on time or simply don’t want to deal with the effort of other popular options, these ideas are almost as effortless as blinking. Expect the following ideas to typically take less than a day to create and automate:

  1. Access to an engaging, valuable Facebook group
  2. Recording of a previously recorded evergreen training
  3. Calendar of ideas
  4. Quick profile audit cheatsheet
  5. Recording of a private podcast
  6. Coupon codes
  7. Free trials
  8. Preview to an existing course or program
  9. List of your most popular blog posts
  10. Canva graphic templates

Engaging optin ideas

For those of you who are ready to scale up and optimize your email list, these engaging optins can help to make your free lead magnet feel more personal or relevant to your incoming new leads.


  • Provide deeper answers to their questions
  • Give a more obvious peek into your paid offers
  • Attract better, more engaged subscribers likely to interact with your email content

Using any of these suggestions can also help you segment your list. Some leads won’t ever buy from you. That’s okay! But committing to any of these can help you target those subscribers who might eventually become buyers down the road (or soon).

Here are the best engaging lead magnet ideas:

  1. Quizzes
  2. Workbooks
  3. Workshops
  4. Online summits
  5. Templates
  6. Sample recipes

Impactful optin ideas

The core benefit of using an impactful email optin is that they give your incoming subscribers a meaningful result while overwhelmingly pointing out the larger gap in their business.

That gap could be a…

  • Specific problem
  • Lack of organization, workflows, systems, or processes
  • Cluttered scheduled
  • Lack of desire to do something important in their business
  • Scarcity of key knowledge, experience, or expertise

You can also use impactful opt-in lead magnet ideas to create a deeper connection with your potential client. These lead magnets carry a heavier weight with your leads, often sticking with them for a longer-period of time.

Impactful lead magnets…

  • Require more work or time from your leads
  • Build up hype to a paid offer or drum up your leads’ motivation to a specific result
  • Filter out those leads who are only here for the free stuff
  • Creates a space for community and/or networking or support
  • Guides leads to get familiar with a more complex result/solution of their main problem

These are the best impactful email list optins:

  1. Daily challenge
  2. Masterclasses
  3. Webinars
  4. Fillable workbook-style PDF guides
  5. Master list of tools
  6. List of your tech stack
  7. Online mini-course

Actionable optin ideas

Actionable lead magnets may seem simple at first. However, they can deliver a lasting impact on your potential customers! These optins focus in on one very small issue or area of the larger problem your offers aim to solve and translate into a quick win for your new subscribers.

I will say these lead magnets tend to convert rather well, but these won’t usually attract the best quality leads that nurture into buyers. These are great for people you want to welcome in for lower-ticket offers, since they most likely are the DIY-ers of your audience.

These are the best actionable lead magnet ideas you should consider:

  1. Checklists
  2. Blueprints
  3. Cheatsheets
  4. Trackers
  5. Calculators
  6. Other helpful spreadsheets
  7. Roadmaps
  8. Access or tickets to live events

Final Thoughts

Overall, you must know your ideal audience before you can create and market your strategic freebie. If you’re still unsure about the right leads you need to reach, download your free buyer persona/ideal client Canva template.

Writing out everything you need to connect with them can be the bridge that grows your mailing list and further helps you succeed with your lead magnet funnel.

Now, what are you waiting for? It’s your turn! Start by creating your lead magnet. If you have any questions, simply leave a comment below, and I’ll answer you as soon as possible.

Gook luck!

This post was all about email list building lead magnet ideas.

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Jun 20, 2022 | Email Marketing, Sales Funnels

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    Wow. What a thorough post. I knew absolutely nothing about lead magnets and now I know quite a bit it seems. I will have to go back and re-read this post in order to come up with ideas on what my lead magnet should be!
    Crystal | http://www.amazingbaby.app

  2. Heidi

    Thank you so much for this! I have been hesitating to create a lead magnet because I’ve been overwhelmed and unsure. This makes it more clear. You are awesome!

  3. W. Santiago | Literal Med

    Wow! What a great resource! I haven’t thought about many of them. I’ll be saving this post for reference. Thanks!

  4. Christine

    Thank you for such a detailed list with lots of options. I don’t have one at the moment, but after reading your post, I will look into it.

  5. anglophonic

    I feel like quizzes is an easy opt-in. Sometimes they unsubscribe right after it (me being guilty of that). I would love to see a post of how to have/start an engaging facebook group.

  6. Danika

    this is a fantastic read and filled with great information! Especially for someone like me who isn’t well-versed in this type of stuff (yet.) I am definitely saving this so I can visit it when I’m ready to begin creating my first lead magnet. Thank you!!!

  7. Ashley

    This was an incredibly thorough and helpful post. I just created my first lead magnet a couple months ago, and really struggled trying to think of something. You gave me so many new ideas! I am so glad I found your post. I will definitely pin this to reference later. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Dori Grassau

    This was very informative. Thank you! I’ll be following you.

  9. Fransic verso

    This is interesting, I will need these to help me build my email list. I don’t have a lot of ideas, to be honest. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Claire

    Great post! Lots of helpful information. I’m lost right now about what should I make, but I definitely save this post for later ! 🙂

  11. Jasmeet Singh

    First of all this article is very helpful. I m planning on building my list and have taken a few pointers. Thank you for sharing

  12. Marianne

    This is information packed and I really appreciate knowing more about lead magnets as a new blogger. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Caroline

    I always struggle coming up with good lead magnets and I am in need of creating a new one, so I will refer back to this! x


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