What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a free resource or piece of content that people receive in exchange for their contact information. For example, a website visitor might enter their email address to receive a free ebook.
In marketing and sales, a "lead" is a potential customer, and "lead generation" refers to the activities that bring in more potential customers. Lead magnets are sometimes called "opt-in freebies" or "opt-in offers".
The best lead magnets do two things:
Address your target audience's specific interests and challenges
Make people want to learn more about you and your business
Lead magnets are a great way to build your audience through email marketing. Once a new lead subscribes to your email list, you can build a relationship and, later on, market your products or services to them.
How do lead magnets work?
A visitor lands on your website or landing page
They read about your lead magnet
They enter their email address into an opt-in form
They receive the lead magnet in an automated email or on the confirmation page
You have their email address and can start sending them marketing emails
Popular types of lead magnets
Digital downloads like checklists, printables , cheat sheets, and templates
Ebooks , whitepapers, and free guides
Lead magnet examples
Signature Edits sells presets, templates, and online courses for photographers.
Founder Ryan knows that different photographers run into different pain points, so he offers two lead magnets: a candid posing guide and a free sample pack of photo editing presets .
After someone downloads one of the lead magnets, Ryan sends them follow-up emails to tell them more about the brand and products.
Offering two different lead magnets helps him make those follow-ups more targeted and relevant.
For example, if someone signs up for the editing presets, Ryan knows that editing is a point of interest — or even a pain point — for that person. With that info, Ryan can confidently promote the right products to the right audience.
Veronica Green is an early childhood consultant and the founder of Cultivating Confidence . Her online courses , workshops, and resources help educators plan engaging activities, understand student behaviors, and build deeper connections through creativity and play.
Building and nurturing her email list with valuable free content is a top priority for Veronica. Her main lead magnet is her Loose Parts Guide , an in-depth resource for educators and caregivers to learn about loose parts play.
Veronica's free guide provides a ton of value for her target audience, including inventory lists, printables, and a cheat sheet. She introduces fellow educators to her work while growing her email list — and her heartfelt weekly emails foster connection and trust with subscribers.
Learn more about Veronica's audience-building strategies and creator journey .
Learn more about lead magnets
Step-by-step Podia tutorial: How to create a lead magnet with Podia
Article: Create your first lead magnet in 90 minutes or less (+ 5 lead magnet ideas)
Video: What type of content is best for growing an audience?
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