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Unconventional Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List…

If you’re looking to grow your email list with qualified subscribers, lead magnets are your answer. Lead magnets are an excellent way to gain prospective customers’ contact information and send them on a customer journey.

However, lead magnets are not only time-consuming to produce, but they’re also highly competitive. Between white papers, podcasts, videos, and more—what makes someone click your call-to-action instead of competitor’s?

Is it your landing page design? The value you’re offering? Or, do you have a killer nurture email campaign?

Read on to learn how you can utilize lead magnets to grow your email list, along with unconventional examples that will boost engagement rates and turn prospects into customers.

What is a lead magnet?

Utilizing lead magnets is a marketing strategy where you offer an incentive in order to receive a website visitor’s contact information. Lead magnets are typically long-form content pieces—e-books, white papers, templates, etc.—that offer the reader value. By using this tactic, you’re able to generate organic leads who are then moved into the second stage of your conversion journey.

A typical lead magnet journey looks similar to this:

  • Call-to-action: A button website visitors will click to download (downloading the incentive you’re offering)
  • Landing page: The page where your visitor will input their contact information, like name and email address
  • Thank you confirmation: Visitors are taken to a second page where they can download the resource (don’t forget to thank them for joining your list!)
  • Email series: Once added to your email list, you can begin nurturing the prospect with a welcome series that keeps your subscribers engaged

The truth is, the average consumer is now immune to pop up ads and forms that don’t provide them with any value. They immediately click ‘’X’ and move on without a thought. For that reason, marketers need to develop different ways to engage with their website visitors.

The goal of lead magnets is organic conversion, but lead magnets also provide visitors with evergreen content that keeps them engaged with your brand. The more engagement these individuals have, the more likely they will convert into a loyal customer in the future.

What makes a lead magnet effective?

Throwing a quick call-to-action button and checklist on your website is great, but you may turn visitors off with a sloppy promotion. Instead, develop both your lead magnet and content carefully, creating something that offers real value.

Follow these guidelines to produce effective lead magnets:

  • Help solve a problem: Consider who your audience is and how you’ll address their issues.
  • Accomplish a win: Deliver on your visitor’s expectations by helping them achieve a win.
  • Focus on one topic: Lead magnets should never be general as you have a higher chance of converting leads with a specific topic.
  • Develop digestible content: Resources that are quick and scannable often convert better because they’re easy to read and your visitors won’t feel overwhelmed.
  • Download on-demand: People have a short attention span—don’t make them wait long to receive your content.
  • Demonstrate your authority: Your content should provide your brand credibility and thought-leadership in your field to ensure prospects will come back to you.

While all your digital marketing initiatives have the potential to earn customers, lead magnets will consistently deliver on expectations to grow your email list when done correctly.

Unique lead magnet examples

Content development takes time and strategy, especially if you’re trying to produce something impactful. It’s crucial that you strategize the type of material your audience needs and create something of high-value tailored to them.

Additionally, think of ways you can repurpose your lead magnets for email campaigns, social posts, and more. This way, you’re not recreating the wheel every time you need to develop something new.

If you’re struggling to think of innovative lead magnets to place on your website, look no further. Check out seven unconventional lead magnet examples that you can implement right now. Use these in your own marketing to wow your website visitors and grow your email list.

1. Email course

Combining email marketing with your lead magnet is a great way to grow your subscriber list and get those individuals engaging with your brand. The idea is to separate an e-learning course into smaller chunks and send out to your distribution list one by one in order to provide value over time.

In turn, your subscribers will continue engaging with your emails even after the course is finished. This not only increases your open rates, but it also allows you to create long-lasting relationships with your subscribers.

2. Bonus features

If you’re considering including a lead magnet on your blogs, offering a bonus pack gives your readers a reward based on learning.  For example, if you have a blog about “10 ways you can save more money,” you can provide an exclusive PDF with five more examples.

These visitors are already engaging with your content, so offering a small incentive might be the push they need to subscribe to your email list and turn into customers over time.

3. Cheat sheets

People want answers on how to complete tasks—especially if there is a loophole involved. Help your visitors out by providing a cheat sheet that pertains to your brand to help people get through their tasks faster.

Cheat sheets can contain a summary, list of terms, or even a checklist to help refresh your visitor’s memory on complicated processes or strategies.

4. Calendar and planner

Best created at the beginning of the year, calendars and planners are a great way to help your audience organize future campaigns, events, and more. Develop a calendar around your niche and ensure it’s presented in a printable format.

These materials ensure branding awareness throughout the entire year and can be repurposed again for email campaigns.

These materials ensure branding awareness throughout the entire year and can be repurposed again for email campaigns. 

Source: Blogilates

5. Free software trial

Ideal for digital marketing and software companies, offering a free trial of your product is a great way to hook visitors, encouraging future purchases. For this lead magnet to work, you need to set an expiration date (just be sure to notify the user of the deadline).

To increase effectiveness, offer a discount on the product once the trial expires.

To increase effectiveness, offer a discount on the product once the trial expires.

Source: Sprout Social

6. Discount or free shipping

If you’re an e-commerce company, offering a discount is one of the simplest lead magnets you can provide. Once your website visitor inputs their contact information, they will receive an email with a unique coupon code to use at checkout.

If you’re an e-commerce company, offering a discount is one of the simplest lead magnets you can provide. Once your website visitor inputs their contact information, they will receive an email with a unique coupon code to use at checkout.  

Source: Framebridge

7. Quizzes

Lead magnet quizzes have the potential to be an engaging way to grow your email list. How many times have you taken a Buzzfeed quiz just for a fun experience and instant gratification?

Quizzes hold a sense of urgency and people will gladly input their email list to find out the answer.

Quizzes hold a sense of urgency and people will gladly input their email list to find out the answer.

Source: Improvenet

How to utilize email marketing for lead magnets

After you set up your magnets and start collecting leads, you need to consider how you’ll continue to nurture prospects so your brand stays top of mind. Since these subscribers have entered your customer journey, you can implement an automated email series to keep them engaged.

Automated emails receive a 70.5% higher open rate and a 152% higher click-through rate than traditional marketing messages. You can send your lead magnet prospects many different types of automated emails based on events or their activity, such as:

  • Welcome emails
  • Birthday and anniversary emails
  • Abandoned shopping cart emails
  • Review and feedback emails
  • Appointment reminders and more

With automation, you have the ability to help move leads along your buyer’s journey and educate them on the benefits of your brand.

To nurture your leads, ensure your automated emails include these points:

  • Identify your subscriber’s problems (you may know this already from their lead magnet!)
  • Explain product benefits
  • Outline the simplicity of transitioning to your product
  • Introduce the product and why it’s better than competitors (include a call-to-action and discount code)
  • Provide a case study on how other customers utilize your product (include user-generated content if available)
  • Include resources like blogs, e-books, templates, to help subscribers learn more

After you secure prospects from your lead magnet, it’s vital to continue building your relationship, since you want to secure transactions in the future. In fact, only 50% of leads generated are actually ready to purchase. So, if you’re not nurturing your leads after they engage with the lead magnet—you’re missing out on closing sales and potentially turning those prospects away from your brand entirely.

Wrap up

Lead magnets are powerful marketing tools that help organically grow your email lists. Not only do they have the potential to convert prospects into loyal customers, but you’re also adding value to your website and content.

If you’re looking to create an unconventional lead magnet you can repurpose for future campaigns, consider the following examples:

  • Email courses
  • Cheat sheets
  • Free software downloads
  • Product discounts and more

Now that you understand what a lead magnet is, it’s time to start implementing them on your own website. Check out our roundup of the top landing page designs to start creating a lead magnet journey.


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