Designing Lead Magnets That Converts : A Master Guide

lead magnets design ideas, templates and checklist

Lead Magnets Design Ideas with Examples, Templates, and Checklist: A Master Guide



Tired of looking for design ideas for your lead magnet? Here is your guide on how and where to start when creating a lead magnet. In this article, I will talk about the following:

  1. What is a lead magnet?
  2. Why you need a lead magnet?
  3. How do you come up with lead magnet ideas?
  4. Some examples of high converting lead magnets
  5. Checklist for preparing an ideal lead magnet that converts.


Let’s get started…


Lead magnet refers to a gift, an offer, a giveaway or an ethical bribe you give to your website visitors in exchange for their contact information such as an email address.


When was the last time you checked your monthly website traffic? What percentage of that website traffic can now be contacted?

The most common mistake businesses make today, is watching most of their traffic leave the website without taking any action.

The average conversion rate for websites across the world is 2.35%, which means 97.65% of the traffic leaves your website without taking any action and you have no way to contact and influence these prospects. This happens because your site visitors are not prepared to buy from you yet. For someone to buy from you they need to form a relationship with you or your brand. A lead magnet can help you build that relationship.

A lead magnet is a high-value, low-risk offer to your website visitors where the visitors exchange their email and you give them a gift of some sort. By having their email, you can build rapport with that prospect and nurture them to convert into buying customers.

When a website visitor says yes to a lead magnet, one of the two things mentioned below, happens:

  1. The prospect who has decided to opt into your email list has decided that the risk of you bombarding them with emails and constantly selling to them is worth the reward of receiving your giveaway.
  2. The prospect who has decided to opt into your email list has decided that you are trustworthy enough–and can add enough value to their lives–that they want to give you their email address. The giveaway is like a bonus to them.

In either case, it is extremely important that you respect the transaction and over-deliver to the newly opted-in visitor.

What it means, is giving them a VALUABLE lead magnet.  The best way to create value for sign-ups is to help them (at least begin to) resolve one big problem, or help them discover something (like a process or an unusual fact).

You will see just how wonderful the lead magnet can be for your business.

The best part is that once you understand how to create a lead magnet, you can create several of them for your sales funnel–to answer individual objections, problems, desires, or lack of education that your target market has.  You can have a lead magnet for every single buyer type, persona, or target market you want to go after–all in the name of getting that precious lead information and starting the relationship of trust between the two of you.

This is a natural, no-pressure journey to making sales–and it will create a list of prospects and clients with a high lifetime value (rather than one-off sales).

Designing a lead magnet is easy provided you know the basic thumb rules of marketing.


There are 3 effective ways you can come up with lead magnet ideas.

First, do you already have a database of subscribers and customers? If so, you can send them a survey. Find out what their biggest challenge is in relation to your industry/topic/product. Whichever answer is most common, should be what you focus on with your lead magnet.

Second, look at your competitive data. What are your competitors doing to get the emails of their prospects?  Make sure you look beyond the surface level.

Let’s say your competitor advertises a newsletter in exchange for an email.  Before you go to create a competing newsletter, sign up for your competitor’s newsletter and check it out. What is the most valuable part of the newsletter? What makes it unique or interesting?

If you collected a ton of Amazon reviews in your competitive research look for common complaints, wishes, or challenges that people have. Note all of this down in your lead magnet idea bank.

Third, you can look at popular articles in your niche. What topics do they cover? What comments do readers leave?  Do you have a unique, better, or more in-depth perspective that you could expand into a lead magnet?  Write down your ideas.

You may have noticed that all 3 points above focus on the 5th rule in my article 5 thumb rule of marketing.

There are many ways to create a lead magnet. They each have great value to your prospects if done right. It’s best to choose one that gives your prospect the fastest path to action.  This means to create a lead magnet that helps your prospects immediately see a result or have an “Ah ha!” moment.

Here are few examples of what can be your next lead magnet:

  1. E-Newsletter
  2. E-Book
  3. Industry Report
  4. Free Software Download
  5. Free Trial
  6. Coupons
  7. Free Shipping
  8. Template Files
  9. Free Consultation
  10. Cheat Sheets


Usually what causes someone to sign up for your lead magnet, is the title of the lead magnet. Think of it as the cover of a book. The sad truth is that most people will judge a book by its cover, rather than the contents inside (trust us–there are entire consumer panels devoted to testing book covers for various authors).  The title of your lead magnet IS the equivalent of a book cover.  (The design of a lead magnet does come in a close second, but that can vary widely.)

Below are the guidelines you can follow to create a title for your lead magnet:

  1. Be Clear and Concise.

Clear will beat “clever” any day. That’s because people want to fully understand–at a glance–what it is that they’re going to get. Answer the question “What’s in it for me?” with your lead magnet title.  For example:

  • The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing
  • The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience
  • How to Dress Your Age: 20s
  • The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Looking Comfy yet Stylish
  • How to Meditate: A 10 Step Beginner’s Guide
  1. Focus on the result and not the content you are offering.

Don’t tell them the details of what they’re getting (steps, a report, etc.)–instead tell them what the end result will be. Hopefully, it’s something that they really want.  For example:

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Beat the IRS by 30% in 2016
  • Making Public Speaking a Breeze
  • Never Spend More Than $1 on a Razor Again
  • More Productivity by Working Less
  • The Best Sleep of Your Life–For the Rest of Your Life
  1. Reduction to the absurd.

Create curiosity for your email sign ups with a title that seems completely absurd and/or undoable. This isn’t about misleading your reader (you should never lie about a result or process). It’s about piquing their interest with something they don’t expect or even don’t necessarily believe, yet find interesting enough to grab.  Here are some examples:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek
  • Purple Cow
  • 3 Tiny Movements that Burn 3 Pounds of Belly Fat in 3 minutes
  • Sun-Beams May Be Extracted from Cucumbers, but the Process is Tedious 
  1. Shocking numbers, statements, and/or facts. 

Nothing catches someone’s attention quite like a shocking number, statement, and/or fact. Part of this has to do with novelty–when we learn something shocking, it entertains us. It also has to do with our brains constantly looking out for danger and reward. You probably find yourself stopping and paying attention when someone posts up a crazy number, statistic, statement, or fact.

Here are some examples of lead magnet headlines:

  • How Spending $172,801.42 on Clothes Made Me $982,200
  • How to get 10X More Warm Emails with Joint Ventures
  • From Unemployable to 6-Figure Dream Job
  • How to Make $425K A Year Driving A Car [True Story]
  • How I Went From $0 to Over $10 Million In Less Than A Year
  • Improve Your Focus and Memory By 20% With This One Scientific Secret
  • Eating This Specific Food ONCE Reduces Your Lifespan By 12 Years
  • The Proven Step-by-Step Events That Will Cause the US Economy to Totally Collapse by 2022
  • How I Lost 42 Lbs. In 8 Weeks–With This Shocking Superfood


Alright, you’ve got a killer lead magnet. The question of the hour is now, “How do I get people to opt into my list for the giveaway?”

Your goal on the page is to:

  1. Help them immediately see they’re in the right place (a market call-out that speaks to them)
  2. Tell them what’s in it for them (either plays on pain or promises big reward)
  3. Tells them how to act

The first two points can be achieved with a proper headline, supporting sub-headline, supporting bullet-points, and maybe an image of your giveaway (people love to see what they’re getting).  We’ll come back to this in just a moment.

The last point needs to be done with a button that can’t be missed–and the button should be action-oriented.  And it is perhaps the most important element of your entire page. You could get everything right on your page–but mess up your button–and see a considerable impact on your conversion rate.

You know what the worst button text is?  “Submit.”

Do you know why? Because it doesn’t describe what someone is getting, or help them take ownership of it.  Here’s an example:

You run an automotive insurance leads company. People need to submit their information in order for you to give them a quote on different auto insurance options.

Rather than using the word “Submit” for your button, you would want to use one of the following:

  • Get My Instant Free Insurance Quotes!
  • Help Me Save 20% Or More On Insurance!
  • Help Me Save!
  • Get My Free Quotes Now!
  • Show Me How I Can Save!
  • Reveal My Savings!
  • Click for Instant Savings!

Do you see the difference? “Submit” sounds like work. It also doesn’t sound personal, doesn’t help you own the action, and doesn’t re-describe the award you’re about to get.

Your headline is the first thing that someone sees when they click-through to your landing page–or the first thing they see when your call-to-action pops up on your blog/article/home page.

A headline should catch someone’s attention immediately and make them want to read further. And it’s important because most people DO NOT read a web page word for word.

That’s right. Most of us aren’t sitting there reading the pages we surf word for word. We’re scanning them for important headings and looking at whatever catches our eye–especially for pages on sites that we don’t know or have a connection to.

Knowing that most online traffic comes from mobile device users (more than 50%!) this concept is more important now than ever before!  You have between 3 and 8 seconds to grab a person’s attention before they run off to the next page that catches their eye.

So, with that in mind, you need to craft a headline that grabs a person’s attention right away. This can be done a LOT of different ways. In fact, it can be done so many ways, that we cover it at least 4 times in AMP.

Sub-headlines are a lot like primary headlines. You find them under the headline to continue adding to and support what the headline has asserted/claimed/stated.  This is usually done with a similar formula to the headline itself–but touts more benefits, rather than attention-grabbing statements or desired outcomes.

For example: If your headline is: Stop the Weight Loss Battle! Lose 15 Lbs. in 7 Days with Ease

Your sub-headline might be: No more restricting yourself, trying to memorize complicated rules, and eating food that only a rabbit could love to drop those last few pounds.

The headline states a primary buying motivation (quick results, little effort), as well as acknowledging how the buyer feels (like weight loss is a battle).  The sub-headline supports it with benefits that appeal to the target audience.

A sub-headline isn’t always necessary, and should only be used when additional support is needed to convince someone to continue reading.

Now, in many cases, a headline and sub-headline with a button can be enough to convince someone to sign up for a lead magnet.

In some cases–such as when your target audience is at a very low state of awareness–you will need to give them more compelling reasons to hand over their email.

Continue adding compelling reasons with benefit bullet points. These should be snappy and to the point–showing the reader what they will gain by exchanging their email for your giveaway. Make it about what having the gift will do for their lives.  What pain will it help them reduce? What desires will it help them gain?

Lastly, you need to have a picture of your giveaway in most cases. Most people are visually motivated–an exciting photograph or graphic visual of what they’re about to receive. If you aren’t giving them something physical or digital (like an eBook) put up a picture closely related to the giveaway.

In this case quality matters. If something looks cheap, then people are going to automatically devalue it. Make sure that your lead magnet giveaway looks professional and high quality. Use a service like to help you design something that looks nice for a super low budget. Or hire someone on or to create a custom design that looks good with your brand. 


Now that you know the basics to setting up an opt-in page, you’re going to quickly learn that all the various types of landing pages you could create, consist of combinations of elements ordered in different ways.


Use this set of questions to help yourself create a clear and compelling lead magnet that people will be excited to sign up for. 

  1. What kind of lead magnet are you going to create? (Reference the 10 Lead Magnet examples I mentioned in the earlier part of this guide if you need help deciding.) 
  1. What are some possible lead magnet titles? 
  1. Which one is the most compelling? Talk to friends, colleagues and current clients (if possible) to find out what they think. 
  1. What problem are you solving or desire are you helping your list members with this lead magnet? Can you turn this into a promise?
  1. Is your lead magnet focused on one specific problem and/or desire?
  1. Do you clearly state what the problem/dream scenario is?
  1. Do you clearly state how your lead magnet helps solve that problem or bring that dream scenario to life?
  1. Will someone get immediate gratification and/or quick results from following your lead magnet?
  1. Does your lead magnet position you as an expert?
  1. Does your lead magnet have both high PERCEIVED value and high MATERIAL value?

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