What Makes a Great Lead Magnet?

Lead magnets are effective tools for obtaining contact information for your leads. They’re essentially free pieces of content that visitors to your website can download, as long as they’re willing to provide you with their names and email addresses. And while this tactic has been around for a while, you might be wondering what types of lead magnets are really worth your time to create. Some can take longer than others to develop, depending on how in-depth you want them to be. Here are a few suggestions we think are a great place to start.


People love lists. They’re easy to follow because they consolidate information down to key points in a step-by-step process. It doesn’t matter if the items they present are in any particular order — sequentially, for instance, or based on level of priority — it just matters that the content is relevant to those who access it.

Some examples might include:

The Top 5 Digital Marketing Tools You Need

The 10-Step Process to Generating More Leads

Checklists can also include links to your website or third-party sources that you choose to share. There should be enough information in this kind of lead magnet that the reader sees the value in what they’ve downloaded, but not so dense that it causes them to lose interest.

Ebooks and White Papers

These are more informative than checklists, and could be as brief as two to three pages or as long as you’d like (although we’d suggest not as thick as a technical manual). Most are graphic-design intensive, either for simple visual appeal or to include images that reflect their topics. Many use data to back up their assertions, usually presented through charts or graphs, which can include internal or third-party research, studies, or other market-specific information.

While ebooks and white papers are technically different, you may find their names used interchangeably and see overlaps in the material they present. Generally speaking, though, ebooks are more of an introduction to a particular topic, while white papers serve as a high-level review.

Some examples might include:

How to Use Marketing Automation (ebook)

The Best Marketing Automation Tools Based on Performance (white paper)


Guides function less on promoting your own curated content, and more on what’s already been published in your industry. Or, as Hubspot puts it, “Sometimes other people have covered a subject in such detail that it’s almost impossible to add extra value.” Think of it as offering a collection of the best articles you can find that address the topic at hand, while linking to those sites and making sure to credit your sources.

An example might include:

The Definitive Guide to Web Design

Keep in mind that these are only four options. HubSpot provides an even greater breakdown of lead magnets you could use by repurposing content you already have. That said, if you find it difficult to decide which of these are more appropriate for your lead generation, we’d be happy to help you develop them. When you’re ready, click the button below for a free digital marketing consultation.

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