Winning over leads as a small business can be challenging. After all, customers are targeted with hundreds of offers from brands each day. So how can you stand out from the crowd and build out a list of potential clients? The answer is a two-word phrase: lead magnets.

If you’ve never heard of them, you might be wondering – what is a lead magnet? It’s a free service, product, deal, or other asset that makes your leads ‘stop and stare’, and, ultimately, opt in by leaving their contact details. In this article, we discuss how you can use them to bring potential clients into your lead magnet funnel.

What should a lead magnet include?

To make sure that your lead magnet results in conversions it must include the following elements:

  • A lead magnet landing page, with clear, persuasive copy. The second your prospect visits the page, they have to know what they’ll get in exchange for their email. Explain what your offer includes and how they can get it. Integrate your landing page with your lead capture software.
  • A short signup form. If possible, try to stick with first name and email address only.
  • An offer that’s tailored to your prospects’ needs. This can include a report, a webinar, an ebook, or even a discount code. Whatever works for your audience.

Lead magnet ideas for small businesses

Let’s now take a look at a few lead magnet examples that you can use to generate leads.

Lead magnet ideas for accountants

eBook & reports

eBooks and reports can be a great source of knowledge, if you pack them with unique insights and practical tips that your audience can turn to. Make sure to cover a topic that is close to your prospects’ hearts, such as creating an effective payroll system or improving forecasting and risk assessment. Use a PDF format as it displays nicely on most devices.

Automated spreadsheets

What’s one thing that all accountants love? Automated spreadsheets, of course! No wonder they’re among the most popular lead magnet ideas for accountants. Create a calculation in a spreadsheet and share it with your prospects. It can be as simple as home budgeting or expense tracking, or as complex as cash flow forecasting.

Automated spreadsheets are very practical and can save accountants a lot of time, that’s why they’re such great lead magnets.

Lead magnet ideas for coaches


Mini-courses are short online courses, which cover a very specific topic. They usually take no longer than an hour and a half to complete and are made of a few lessons or modules. In a world full of people with short attention spans, mini-courses offer a quick gratification.

Depending on your area of expertise, you could create a mini-course on attracting new clients, or building long-lasting relationships with customers.


Webinars can come in two formats, a live-pre recorded presentation or a seminar. They not only allow you to share valuable knowledge but also to interact with your audience in real time. Webinars usually include multiple elements such as slides, audio, and video.

Lead magnet ideas for real estate agents

A buyer’s guide

This lead magnet example can be great if you’re targeting first-time home buyers. High chances are, those who’ve never purchased property before are going to feel overwhelmed with all the steps they need to take. By putting together a free, downloadable beginner’s guide, you come to your leads’ rescue and outline the exact procedure they need to follow to buy a home.

Create a lead magnet landing page, where you explain what your guide includes and make it available for readers who share their email address. Not only do you grow your prospect lists, but you also build an expert image for those thinking of purchasing a home.

Home valuation

Offering a free home valuation can be a perfect way to build out a list of potential sellers. People who sign up for this service are either ready to sell or, at least, wondering how much they could make off their property. To get the most out of this lead collection method, underline that there are no strings attached. You can present your terms and conditions once you’re out in the field and viewing the property.

Lead magnet ideas for tutors

Free tools and resources

Think of this lead magnet example as a sneak peek of your tutoring services. For instance, if you’re a Spanish teacher, you could give leads access to a free language-level evaluation test. It could be a simple quiz they fill out and receive the results to via email. This way, you find out how proficient they are and can target them with a personalized offer. Or, if you’re a singing tutor, you could unlock the first video lesson in exchange for their contact details. The bottom line is, you can convince potential students that you’re just whom they were looking for!


Another popular lead magnet idea is a free checklist. For example, if you offer high school student counseling services, you could create a college essay checklist. It could include recommendations for structure, word count, and any must-have elements that can help make their submission stand out. You could then stay in touch via newsletter or send over a one-on-one session offer.

Lead magnet ideas for law firms

Contract templates

Lawyers have to deal with a lot of documents, a huge part of which are contracts. While they’re time-consuming to write (at least the first draft is), they’re usually quite repetitive. Offering a contract template, where lawyers would only have to fill in missing information would free them from a lot of mundane work.

Legal compliance checklists

As checklists help navigate complex processes, it’s hardly surprising that they’re commonly used by law firms. Depending on your area, these could revolve around HIPAA compliance, GDPR, or even a quick assessment if a lead needs legal counsel. By supporting your target clients in a stressful, complex area, you put your best foot forward and boost the chances of winning the account.

How to create a lead magnet?

Here’s how to make your lead magnet resonate among potential customers.

Understanding the lead’s pain points

Lead magnets need to address your target client’s problems and goals – it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what you offer. Here’s where building out a customer persona can be tremendously helpful. If you don’t have one yet, don’t worry. Here are some ideas that will get you a kick start:

  • Collect feedback from clients (open-ended questions are best, as they aren’t suggestive)
  • Search for any recurring customer pain points in your competitors’ messaging (including their lead magnets)
  • Dive into your existing data – what does the information collected via client management software or lead magnet software tell you about your target audience?

Creating valuable content to solve clients’ pain points

After discovering what your prospects’ problems are, you need to find a way to help them resolve their issues. This involves two things:

  • Coming up with the right topic (and covering it in detail)
  • Selecting the right content format. By now you’ve probably realized that there are many to choose from.

As your prospects are “paying” with their email for the lead magnet, it should be visually attractive (and full of useful knowledge, which goes without saying). If you don’t have a graphic designer that you could work with, you can turn to a tool like Canva. It has tons of ready-made templates that you can customize to fit your needs. Remember to pick a catchy name for your lead magnet – build it around its main benefits.

Create an irresistible opt-in offer

What makes an offer truly irresistible? There are a few common traits. For starters, your leads need to feel that they’re receiving something of high quality for a minimum effort on their end. This can be something free or available at a very low price (bonus points if it doesn’t take them much time).

To further make your lead magnet ‘pop’, you can also experiment with urgency (for example, “offer only valid till midnight”) and/or scarcity (“only 10 free copies left!”).

Some ideas for lead magnets that are too good to walk away from include:

  • Access to a free service or product (for example, a complementary subscription for three months)
  • A competition/giveaway
  • A significant or non-expirable discount code.

As your lead numbers grow, you’ll have to use client management software to effectively manage the relationship and quickly turn leads into paying customers.

Winning over new clients with lead magnets

A lead magnet is a tool you can use to turn leads into paying and loyal customers. To effectively create a lead magnet, you need a landing page with a form asking for your leads’ details and an offer enticing enough to get them to “pay” with their information.

There are plenty of lead magnet formats you can use to reach (and convince) prospects and start a conversation. Use marketing software for small business to collect contact details from potential clients and take them further down the funnel.