How to Grow Your Email List with Irresistible Lead Magnets

by on June 14, 2019

How to Grow Your Email List Using Irresistible Lead Magnets - VitalStorm Marketing

How do you attract new leads into your email database? The best way to grow your email list is with alluring lead magnets that offer high value.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a piece of content that solves a specific problem for a specific market in exchange for contact information, usually a name and email. You can also collect other contact information, such as a phone number.

example of generic newsletter sign-up form

You may have an email sign-up form on your website, but this is not a lead magnet! Free newsletters are everywhere, but generic requests don’t work very well. If you expect a customer to hand over their information, tell them exactly what they get for the sign-up.


Here’s a good example of a lead magnet:

A lead magnet:

  • Offers a specific solution to a specific problem.
  • Promises one thing instead of lots of little things.
  • Speaks to customer desire/pain point.
  • Provides instant gratification, users get exactly what they signed up for.
  • Should be easily consumed, less than 5 minutes is best.
  • Contains high-value content with professional graphics.

Goal: To grow your customer email list and convert traffic into leads. Once you have a list of emails, you can communicate directly with leads and segment them into email drip campaigns (automated sets of emails). From there, you can upsell and cross-sell your products and services, refine your sales funnel, and measure results.

The list of emails you collect is housed at your email service provider (ex: MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact). The email service provider allows you to segment your data (more than one list is created) based on demographics, where they signed up, or the products/services they signed up for.

In addition to your website, lead magnets can also be used for social media, retargeting, and Microsoft/Google Ads campaigns.

Types of Lead Magnets


  • Checklist
  • Cheat Sheet
  • Examples
  • Toolkit
  • Resource List
  • Calendar
  • Plan/Planner
  • Worksheet/Workbook
  • Printable
  • Inspiration File
  • Recipes


  • Tutorial
  • eBook
  • Guide
  • Report
  • Infographic
  • Educational Video/Audio
  • Predictions
  • SlideShare
  • Roundup


  • Quiz
  • Survey
  • Giveaway
  • Manifesto
  • Comic Strip


  • Coupons/Discount
  • Case Studies
  • Free Consultation
  • Free Quote
  • Catalog

PDF guides and reports seem to be the most popular type of opt-in incentive. A discount, free giveaway, or consultation is another great way to attract new leads. Here are 69 examples of effective lead magnets.

Which lead magnet is best for your business?

Consider that different lead magnets appeal to different target segments (demographics) and different seasons.

  1. Understand the needs, wants, and desires of your ideal client. Ask yourself, “What does my client want?” and really think about it.
  2. Test different offers. Even if you think you know what your client wants, it’s a good idea to test a few lead magnets and see which one performs the best.
  3. Perform market research and look at your most popular products/services, pages/articles, and social media posts. Find out what’s already working and then make it better. Can you create some sort of free giveaway based on your most popular content? Then, all you need to do is dress it up.

Reuse the content that is already popular with your audience and turn it into a beautiful and useful download that you know your ideal clients will love.

If a prospect takes the bait, you can offer something else immediately, such as a coupon followed by a schedule service form.

Where Do Lead Magnets Appear?

  1. Sidebar Opt-Ins – If there’s space in the sidebar, a lead magnet opt-in should be there.

Sidebar Lead Magnet Example - VitalStorm

  1. In-Post Opt-In – Instead of embedding the opt-in within the page itself, it may be better to include a CTA with a link that goes to a lead magnet landing page.

In-Post Opt-In Lead Magnet Example - VitalStorm

  1. Sticky Alert Bar – The alert bar is small and straightforward. You can either ask for an email straight from the sticky bar or send the user to a landing page.

Stick bar lead magnet example - VitalStorm

  1. Hovering Opt-In at Top, Bottom, or Side – An unobtrusive opt-in bar that expands when clicked, allowing the user to input their email.

slide in lead magnet example - VitalStorm

  1. Pop-Up Opt-In – Hate them or love them, they get results. You can make them less annoying by implementing certain rules, such as timed pop-ups, event-triggered pop-ups, slide-ins/pop-ins, and frequency rules.

pop-up lead magnet example - VitalStorm

  1. Homepage Slider – One of the homepage sliders could be a lead generation tool.

slider lead magnet example - VitalStorm

  1. Ad Campaigns – You can also run lead magnets in social media, PPC, and retargeting campaigns.

Social media lead magnet example - VitalStorm

Keep in mind that if you use the lead magnet in an ad campaign, you’ll need a landing page to link to. While a dedicated landing page is probably best, it adds an extra step.

Lead magnets don’t have to be long or complicated. Evergreen lead magnets can be used year after year. They are also completely trackable and can be integrated into Google Ads and Analytics.

As soon as someone enters their name and email for a free and useful piece of content, they will receive an email. The first email is the most important! This will determine if they open future emails or not.

Lead magnets and drip campaigns work around the clock automatically. Once you set them up, they will gather and nurture leads forever. For more information on how lead magnets, email drip campaigns, and behavioral triggers can transform your business, contact VitalStorm for a free consultation!