Breakthrough Lead Magnets: The Definitive Guide (2020)

I think you’ll agree with me when I say…

It’s REALLY hard to convert ice-cold traffic into email subscribers.

Well, it turns out, you can dramatically increase your site’s email subscribers by adding specificity (SPEDQ) to your lead magnet.

In this article, I’ll share 5 proven ways to add specificity in your lead magnet to get anyone to give you their email address.

Let's get started…

Breakthrough Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is a 5-minute Impression offer, and if you don’t have one — or don’t have a good one — this ONE article could literally change your life.
Rahul Giri
Rahul Giri
Content Marketer
Lead Magnet Book Cover- Rahul Giri

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Lead Magnet Fundamentals

In this chapter, I’ll answer the question: “What Exactly A True Lead Magnet is?” (and more importantly what it’s not).

I will also share my advice on “the best types of lead magnets,” and some tips along the way.

Let’s get started.

lead magnet

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a 5-minute impression offer that solves a SINGLE most SPECIFIC (and IMMEDIATE) problem your prospect having, NO MORE and NO LESSthat is offered in exchange for an opt-in. 

It delivered as downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, video, etc

Have a look at this lead magnet offered by Optinmonster, It solves the single most immediate problem their ideal customers having. And that's “How to convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.”

Now, this is the key; a lead magnet solves a single most specific (and immediate) problem your prospect having.

But the mistake a lot of people make is they think- a lead magnet is a freebie, and because we give it for free, it doesn’t have to be that good.

And I’m obsessed with the marketers who say that, because It’s NOT, Your subscribers pay with their contact information, consent to follow up and their attention in your business. That’s a million-dollar deal. Isn't it?

-Rahul Giri

Look at this “SEO Guide” by Brian Dean.

Seo Guide - Brian Dean - Lead magnet

Or “How To Get Your First 5,000 Subscribers” By Derek Halpern.

First 5000 Subscribers - Derek Halpern- Lead Magnet

They all offered in exchange for an opt-in. And they do NOT LOOK FREE from a mile.

It proved by research again and again, if a visitors don't know who you are- they largely judge you based on the design of your site.

It’s okay if you do not have the luxury of designers to do such an excellent job and neither do i (Leave a comment below right now and i'll record a video that will show you how to give your lead magnet premium look  for free, step-by-step).

Just like my “Lead Magnet Worksheet and Checklist” Guide- I created it for free using Canva.

Lead Magnet Worksheet and Checklist - Rahul Giri - Lead Magnet

It's worth spending extra time to give it professional look that leaves a profound impact and establish real monetary value in the mind of your visitors.

You can easily setup this using one of these list building tools that will keep generating new leads for your businesses for years to come.

What’s the best type of lead magnet?

Recently Oliver asked me this question…

Q - Types of lead magnet - lead Magnet

And here was my answer…

QA - Types of lead magnet - lead Magnet

Let me repeat it, the medium is mostly irrelevant, and it all comes down to what you’re offering and what the specific outcome they will get once they consume your deliverables.

And just to be clear.

This is not a lead magnet…

Newsletter - Lead Magnet

Simply saying “subscribe to our newsletter” is not a lead magnet because there is not any specific (and most immediate) problem that has been solved.

They used to work many MOONS back, but NOT ANYMORE.

Understanding that a great lead magnet solves most immediate problem and must be specific to a promise is the most critical element I want you to take from this chapter.

With that, let me show you how you can make your lead magnet more SPECIFIC (and Evident).


Adding Specificity In Your Lead Magnet

In this chapter, I’ll uncover the secrets of high converting lead magnets. I’ll also introduce the SPEDQ method.

So if you’ve ever wondered, “What’s the secrets of high converting lead magnets?”, you’ll love this chapter.

Keep reading…

Target - Lead Magnet-min

Let’s say you’re ten years old, your friend is hungry, and he came over for a snack, does your friend want a lecture on why eating spaghetti is better than chocolate?


Does he wanna sit down and learn how to make a 7-course meal? 

No, of course NOT

He just wants some cheez-lt.

That’s the secrets of your lead magnet, Giving people exactly what they want NO MORE and NO LESS.

Derek halpern‘s ideal customers want to learn “how to get more subscribers” and he gives just that. That’s it.

Email Subscribers - Derek Halpern - Lead Magnet

And Guest Post Tracker’s ideal customers want to know “New Guest blogging sites,” and here is what they give.

Guest Blogging Sites - Lead magnet

If you can do this, you’ll build a relationship where you can give them more and more, and they will LOVE it. And very likely they will pay for your premium products.

The classic mistake you will see on so many websites, is giving people gibberish or confusing and complicated reasons to sign up.

For example- I’ll tell you what they don’t want.

They don’t wanna subscribe for your Newsletters.

Newsletter - Lead Magnet

Or god helps us for your email blast.

They also don't want your 

In-depth Training 

or 500+ Page Ebook

or 10 Week-Long Email Course

I mean, just think what the most immediate problem it solves and the specific value your ideal customer gonna get after consuming your in-depth training or a month-long email course?

Random videos and may be couple of em will be valuable.

So what do they want?

Something focused, something tangible, something that solves a single most immediate problem they're having (possibly within 5 minutes or less). 

In short- something instantly consumable, actionable.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples-

Brian's, this guide helps you with “Youtube SEO.”

This guide by smart blogger teaches you 52 headline hacks and “how to write blog posts that go viral.”- it’s a common problem for bloggers, and it solves it.

This checklist by office vibe will help you have a “productive meeting.

Am I saying you don’t do long email courses or give away hours of In-depth training or send a daily newsletter?

No, you absolutely should do them. But they should be offered in addition to your lead magnet NOT INSTEAD OF.

For example-

CASE STUDY- How I grew my first 7,350 subscribers in 30 days for free, and in addition, you will also receive my 30-day list building challenge, that will take you to the exact process I went and (hopefully) help you replicate the same success.

See how specific and compelling it has become. 

Speak in the conversation that is going in the mind of your ideal customer.

And to help you with just that, I have brought the SPEDQ method. What is it?

Well, it's a short form of “Shortcut, Promise, Example, Discount, and Question.”

This is what i want you to do, to make your lead magnet truly irresistible..

  1. Offer A Specific Shortcut
  2. Make A Specific Promise
  3. Give A Specific Example 
  4. Deliver A Specific Discount
  5. Answer A Specific Question

And let me start the next chapter with how you can solve the most immediate problem of your ideal customer by offering a SPECIFIC shortcut.


Offer A Specific Shortcut

People love shortcuts.

And in this chapter, I’ll show you what you can “offer as a specific shortcut” that will get them to give you their email address.

I will lead you with a ton of real-world examples.

Keep reading…

Great lead magnets don't get better than providing a quick small win in no time. 

Like checklists, cheat sheets, lists, toolkits, workbooks, swipe files, templates, mind map, sample emails, and pitches.

These are my absolute favourite types of optin-carrots. Because they are proven and built to solve ONE specific, most immediate problem your ideal customers have.

Let's have a look at a few perfect examples of these types of lead magnet.

Digital Marketer Offers “The Facebook Ad Template Library (PDF Guide)”, That gives you 8 proven facebook Ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting Ads on-demand…

Facebook Ad Template LIbrary - Digital Marketor - Lead Magnet

And they even list out the SPECIFIC benefits you will get when you consume this deliverable.

Facebook Ad Template LIbrary 2 - Digital Marketor - Lead Magnet

With hardcore social proof…

Facebook Ad Template LIbrary 3 - Digital Marketor - Lead Magnet

That's makes it super irresistible to Facebook advertisers (especially newbies). This little baby generated 35,859 leads In 60 days for DigitalMarketer. INSANE.

Shane from thrive themes offers “Rapid Course Launch Process Map” as downloadable PDF (and 3 Video).

Rapid Course Launch Map - Shane Melaugh - Lead Magnet

As a course creator, can you resist it? Impossible, right? It's a super-specific shortcut that helps you launch your course rapidly and successfully.

Let’s have a look at a few more examples…

Ryan Levesque gives away a list of 44 tools he uses to run a 7 + figure business.

Tools - Ryan Levesque - Lead Magnet

Richel miller (Facebook Strategist ) gives away her top “25 viral headlines and title to engage your audience and get more traffic from social media”.

FB Titles - Richel Miller - Lead Magnet

Hubspot offers a LookBook of “50 Facebook ad examples they actually clicked,” which you can use as inspiration for your next Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook ad lookbook - Hubsport - Lead Magnet

The ultimate social media swipe files” offers 72 PROVEN headline formulas to get more clicks from Facebook, Twitter, and your own blog…

Social Media Swipe Files - Ryan Diess - Lead Magnet

Even i offer a “lead magnet worksheet and checklist” to let them quickly create a compelling lead magnet that converts.

Lead Magnet Worksheet and Checklist - Rahul Giri - Lead Magnet

Now it's your turn…

Think what’s the most specific (and immediate) problem your market have that you can solve right away by offering them a specific shortcut — like swipe files, toolkit, templates, or something else.

With that, let’s move on to the next chapter, where I’ll show you how to make a specific promise as a lead magnet.


Make A Specific Promise

Promise makes a lead magnet more compelling.

And in this chapter, I’ll show how you can “make a specific promise” in your lead magnet your ideal customers couldn’t resist but signup.

Let me lead you with a ton of examples.

Making a specific promise is the simplest way to juice up almost any lead magnet instantly.

Look at the offer itself and think how can I make the promise more evident, more evocative, how can I really speak to the desiring result that my market (or prospect) wants.

Let me illustrate this point with a blockbuster example.

Back in 1982, there was a book called “Astro-Logical Love” by Naura Hayden. This book sold less than 5,000 copies and eventually went out of print.

Astro Logical Love - Naura Hayden - Lead Magnet

The problem was no one knew what the hack the “Astro-Logical Love” means. Do you know what “Astro-Logical Love” is, right now? Hell No.

This is very common with marketers. They come up with their own clever vocabulary name and think they’re pretty smart. But it’s NOT. That’s pretty good to establish authority, but it’s an idiotic move if you use it as bait you’re fishing with. Use it on hot (or warm) audiences, not on ice-cold traffic.

Fast forward to “Astro-Logical Love,” A man found this book and thought that the content was fantastic, but the name was terrible, So he licensed the book from Naura Hayden and changed the title to “How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time . . . and Have Her Beg for More”

How to satisfy a women every time - Naura Hayden - Lead Magnet.jpg

When it was republished under this new title in 1998, it sold over 2.5 million copies, becoming a New York Times bestseller with the exact same content and the exact same author. All that changed was the title that is making a specific promise.

Notice he's stacking specificity upon specificity upon specificity.

First specificity – “How to satisfy a woman every time.”
The second specificity – “have her beg for more!”
The third specificity – “it really works!”

Let me show you a couple of excellent examples who've done well.

Brian's famous link building “The Skyscraper Technique“-

When he introduced his technique, he could have entitled it “The Skyscraper Technique,” which resulted in his version of “The Astro-Logical Love.” but instead, he speaks to the conversation which is already going into his ideal customers mind. “How do I increase my search traffic” and he entitled it…

Traffic - Backlinko Brian Dean - Lead Magnet

After getting the attention of his audience, he explained how he “Increased his search traffic by 110% in 14 days” using his iconic “The Skyscraper Technique.”

Here is another example- Derek Halpern’s “The Drafting Technique.” He entitled it what he’s prospects were already looking for. 

Now let's see a deferent example this time-

Here is the most recent guide I downloaded by Jon Morrow, which promises to tell “How to hire a top-notch freelance writer” with subhead- where to find them, “what to pay them and how to get insane traffic from their work.” Almost every reason why you hire a writer.

Exactly what most of the blogging business needs when they want to hire bloggers (or content marketers).

Now it's your turn…

Think what's your prospect's burning desire is and how you can make a specific promise to solve it.

Again, speaks in the desiring result of your ideal customers, get out of your bubble, and make a specific promise your prospect wants.

With that, let’s move on to the next chapter, where I’ll show you how to give a specific example as a lead magnet.


Give A Specific Example

In this chapter, I’ll show you how you can leverage a specific example or success story as a powerful lead magnet that converts.

Let me show you.

Case Study - Lead Magnet

The best way to give a specific example is in the form of a case study. this happens to be my second most favourite lead magnet. first one is Shortcut.

Legendary marketers from all over the world use case studies as their #1 fishing bait to flood their list with new email new subscribers, leads, and clients.

Traffic - Backlinko Brian Dean - Lead Magnet

But most often beginners(and sometimes even experts) violate the specificity rule with this kind of lead magnet.

Let’s look at this example.

Now ask yourself– What's your after self look like? What the ONE specific thing you are going to get from this tutorial?

Hmm… A bunch of random videos and maybe one of them will be valuable. The title looks boring, so I guess the tutorial will be boring too.

So how can you add more specificity to make it more compelling and irresistible?

Facebook Lead Case Study - Rahul Giri - Lead Magnet

We have tweaked the headline a bit and added a small image (to represent a real person) and now see how it speaks to in the conversation that is going into prospects' minds.

I'm offering the same exact material but in the form of a result instead of a bunch of random videos.

I’m not saying, look, I’m going to teach you about Facebook marketing but instead how I got this specific result, and hopefully, you can accomplish the same thing.

Here is the most recent case study I signed up for double survey technique (which made me opt-in the second I saw it) by Kyle Byers at GrowthBadger.

Growth Badgers Kyle Byres Lead Magnet

See how specific and result-driven that headline is– It’s super clear what I’m going to get by reading this article.

Here is another one by Brian Dean at Backlinko.

Rank 1 - Brian Dean Backlinko - Lead Magnet

Where he shows “how to rank on page 1 of google FAST by showing how his reader Perrin used his “Guesto Graphic” technique to hit google’s first page for a bunch of his target keywords.

But to access it, you have to opt-in. Clever!!

Here is another one can be a great lead magnet : 5 Minute to Boost Opt-in Rates By 37%.

Case Study - Thrive Themes - Rahul Giri

So Rahul, what to do if I don't have any success story yet?

No Success Story, No Problem… Just google case studies of businesses (or peoples) your audience will most resonate with and use that as a lead magnet.

For example, – if your target audiences are book authors, then you can use this case study by thrive themes as a lead magnet.

Case Study - Thrive Themes - Rahul Giri

Just make sure your ideal customers can resonate with the case study and say, wow, I want that result, the second they see it.

With that, let’s move on to the next chapter, where I’ll show you how to deliver a specific discount as a lead magnet.


Deliver A Specific Discount

Discounts are one of the most powerful human desires when it comes to making a purchase (either online or offline).

And in this chapter, I’ll show you how you can leverage discount coupons as a powerful lead magnet for your business with real-world examples.

Keep Reading…

Discount - Lead Magnet

This is ideal for eCommerce businesses or even for businesses who sales digital goods.

Lots of companies like “FashionNova” use coupons to give a specific discount to visitors on the first(or next) purchase.

Fashion Nova - Lead Magnet

But what a very few of they do like “Katespade” is they leverage coupons as a lead magnet.

katespead 1- Lead magnet

Instead of just giving your coupon to everyone out of thin air, have them opt-in for the coupon.

The only way they can get your discount is to be on your list (or club, community). Like this…

katespead 2 - Lead Magnet

It also elevates the level of commitment they are making to your business. Pretty smart.

After they are opt-in, then you reveal (or activate) discount code (see image below). 

katespead 3 - Lead Magnet

And follow up with them via email, use this discount code, and it will expire on a specific date. Hold on, did I just said a specific date… I must have broken “specific” record, hahaha 😛

Katespade 4 - Lead Magnet

Now, this works for the entire website.

But if you wanna kick it up a notch, you can offer this discount for a single product your visitors might be looking at, follow up with them and offer them a specific discount for that particular product.

For example- 

While shopping online, have you ever added any item in your cart and abandon it, and a couple hours ( or days) later, you have gotten an email that says you left this in your cart “purchase now to get your 10% (extra) discount”. 

Yes, my friend, that's what I'm talking about 😉

Here is another company primary doing it extremely well.

Discount - Primary - Rahul Giri

Here is yet another example of “My Costume Wigs” doing it well.

Wigs- Lead Magnet

They offer a 5% instant discount when you join their “Discount Club,” and they have this as lead magnet for almost a decade now.

If you wanna buy something from them, why you would not wanna join their discount club. You will.

Now it's your turn…

Instead of offering discounted coupons to everyone who visits your site, use that coupon as a lead magnet. And the only way they can get that specific discounted coupon is by opt-in in your list (or by joining your discount club).

With that, let’s move on to the next chapter, where I’ll show you how to answer a specific question as a lead magnet.


Answer A Specific Question

People love to have had their questions answered.

And in this chapter, I’ll show you how you can use the answer of your ideal customer questions as a lead magnet; It’s extremely powerful.

Let me show you.

Question - Lead Magnet-min

So no matter what market you’re in- B2B, B2C, online, offline, if you simply answer a specific question, your prospect is carving to know the answer, that can (or will) be one of your best lead magnets ever.

Like Neil Patel answers this specific question, “How much more traffic I should be getting” in the form of a quiz.

Traffic - Neil Patel - Lead Magnet


If you have been in a relationship (or dating) niche for long enough, you must have heard about a product named “Double Your Dating” by Eben Pagan.

And his famous “The Kiss Test” where he answered the question almost every man desires to know “how to tell if she’s ready to be kissed.” 

How ot tell if she's ready to be kissed - Eben Pegan - Lead Magnet

and of course to know the answer you have to opt-in for his lead magnet. 

The kiss test - lead magnet

Which generated record-breaking leads for his “double your dating” program.

Here is another one where Ramit answers, “ What’s your earning potential is ….? ” in the form of a quiz.

Quiz - Ramit Sethi - Lead Magnet

In fact, this is the featured lead magnet around the “IWT” website.

Here is yet another by Selena Soo on the “IWT” blog.

However, this one is a guest article to “IWT,” but it answers one of the most burning questions in the business (and marketing) world- “How to get attention of your favorite expert.”

Get Attention - Selena Soo - Lead Magnet

An interview with Ramit Sethi, Selena shares that this one blog post generated thousands and thousands of new subscribers and tens of thousands of dollars in revenue to her. AMAZING.

In professional life, almost everyone has encountered this problem where your client demanded you to drop your fee (else they will go to your competitor and blah blah… ) and this article answers “why you should drop the client instead”.

Super compelling if you’re in a consulting niche.

Here is another one by Neil Patel, Where he ask “Do you want more traffic?.” who don't? 

Side - Neil Patel - Lead Magnet

Super effective!!

Now it's your turn…

Do your market research; look for the burning question your market is continuously asking, search on google, quora, Reddit even on amazon, and other relevant places. 

And once you have it, answer it in exchange for an opt-in.

Once you know you have something valuable to offer your subscribers, you want to make sure it gets seen. And that's what we're going to talk about next.


Primary Places To Add Lead Magnet

If you’ve ever asked yourself, where I should add my opt-in carrots, then you will love this chapter.

In this chapter, I’ll share primary important places to add your lead magnets.

Keep reading…

Form - Lead Magnet

I see all sorts of businesses that have one measly opt-in buried somewhere in their sites that they hope and pray that one day someone will find it.

And sometimes you see a business with so many things going on, sign up for my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to our youtube channel, and oh yeah, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

That is impossible for people to know what primary action to take; they get confused and leave the site.

Listen # 1 goal of your website is to generate leads. So let’s make sure it is designed to do that, that means putting our lead magnets to all the primary places on our site.

#1- Home Page

There is no better place than advertising your primary opt-in carrot then your home page, It’s basically one Opt-in form, and the fewer distraction you have, the more clear it is to your visitors that you want them to opt-in.

Look at this backlinko homepage by brian dean. 

Brian Dean - Lead Magnet

Here is IWT home page by Ramit Sethi.

Ramit Sethi - Lead Magnets

Also, make sure your opt-in is above the fold, meaning your reader(or visitors) don't have to scroll down to find it.

Again have a look at backlinko.

Brian Dean - Lead Magnet

#2- Blog Page (Header or Sidebar)

The second-place you wanna make sure you must have your opt-in so even if they skip your homepage land directly on your blog page(which will happen frequently) they still gonna see it at the top of your page.

On Header 

Have a look at Matthew Barby blog page header.

Matthew Barby - Lead magnet

On Sidebar 

Have a look at Neil Patel blog article sidebar.

Here is another on “King Kong” by Sabri Suby blog page sidebar. 

King kong Sabri Suby - Lead Magnet

#3- End Of Your Blog Post

The third place is at the end of your every blog post, think if someone likes your material so much that read all way to the end of the post, they are captivated that moment, and they probably love to hear more of what you have to say. 

So give them that chance and opportunity to be on your list.

Here is ramit sethi site included quiz at the end of every blog post.

Ramit Sethi - Lead magnet

Here is another example on Bryan Harris most recent post at videofruit.

#4- On exit intent

When visitors try to leave your site, then present your opt-in. That will be their last opportunity to hop into your list.

This is the example “exit intent” from Matthew Barby Site.

Matthew Barby - Lead Magnet

Here is another on on Single Grain website.

Single Grain - Lead Magnet

So these are primary places you should add your main lead magnets.

1-Minute Summery

Now that you have all these examples to get started. 

Take a good look at your ideal customer, what is their single most immediate problem, what keeps them up at night, what the first thing they think about when they wake up in the morning. 

And ask yourself How can I offer them something simple and tangible, whether it’s a guide, checklist, tips, resources, tools, whatever to solve that problem right away.

Most of my ideal customers need help with creating high converting lead magnets. And I offer a quick lead magnet – worksheet and checklist guide to help them.

Lead Magnet Worksheet and Checklist - Rahul Giri - Lead Magnet

What you can offer…?

And once you have something valuable to offer, make sure it's get seen, and that's by putting it all the primary places I've shown you in the bonus chapter.

So start simple, spend more time on addressing the right problem for your ideal customer.

Now It's Your Turn?

I’d like to hear from you:

What you gonna offer to your ideal client to solve the most immediate problem they having?

Are you gonna offer a specific shortcut?

Or you gonna answer their specific questions?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Rahul Giri at rahulgiri.com
  • WOW! Comprehensive list. Very valuable ? All of a sudden, I’ve tons of ideas for creating lead magnets. Thanks to you!

  • Wow, really impressive post rahul.

    BTW I have already started to implement “make a specific promise”. How can i create premium looking lead magnets like yours? Been looking for weeks now!

    • Tylan, it's quite easy actually, you can use canva to design it for free.
      They have many (free) templates to choose from.

      Thanks 🙂

      • Okay, thanks Rahul.
        Can you please show me how you designed it in canva and where did you get those graphics?
        Many thanks 🙂

        • Yes, of course, I will soon record video on my youtube channel, where I'll show you how to create it set by step.

          And mostly I get those graphics from “freepik” & “shutterstock”.

          Thanks 🙂

          • Awesome, will look forward to it.
            Thank you rahul!!

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