10 Lead Magnet Ideas for Small Businesses

10 Lead Magnet Ideas for Small Businesses

Lead magnets are incentives marketers use to get your contact information. Small Business Trends surveyed some industry leaders to get a list of the 10 best lead magnet ideas.

Lead Magnet Ideas

Case Studies

Hanne Vervaeck, CMO @ Thrive Themes started off with a simple but effective idea.

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“The best lead magnet idea for small businesses are case studies,” she writes. “They will attract your ideal client. You can make them curiosity driven and they will show off your expertise.”

It’s important to write an attention-grabbing headline for your case study. A brief summary needs to build up momentum and reader interest next.

eBooks With a Twist

“E-Books are a streamlined path to authorship and yield a number of benefits,” writes Steven Dubin, President at PR Works . “They establish your credibility, create significant visibility and
generate leads for your business or brand.”

Most small business owners don’t have the time to write an eBook. Or the budget to hire someone to do it for them. Here’s a smart solution from Dubin.

“Five to 10 blogs, e-newsletter articles or social media posts are probably enough to put
together an eBook. You can use that on your home page as a lead generator.”

The Checklist

You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel for a successful lead magnet. Creating lists that give the user a series of steps to follow bumps up your conversion rate. Making them specific to your industry helps.

For example, if you’re selling a sales app for small business, the checklist can be about productive meetings.

If you’re an ecommerce SMB that works online, these ideas will work for you. They’re from Jack Paxton at Top Growth Marketing.  He suggests the following:

A Web App

“A simple app that allows users to complete important tasks is best,” he writes.

Ones that look after things like time tracking and project management are popular.

Free Software

Another good lead magnet incentive. Paxton suggests this one should install on the user’s computer and highlight some task they’ll find useful.

Trial Software

“Offer your complete package free to download and use for 30 days,” he writes. Obviously, this is the way to go when you’re a small IT company.

Business Tools

There are a variety of business tools that you can offer in exchange for an email address. These should streamline the small business owner’s processes and marketing. A business card and logo maker are two more ideas that Paxton shares.

For the small business that wants to focus on the books, he suggests an invoice generator.


Small business folks are always looking to see what the competition is doing. Providing examples are great lead magnets. Because people are always looking to see how things are done.

Like a sample business plan or even email template. Make sure that you’re pointing these to your target market. SEO comes into play here if you can find an old blog post to use. Optimize it with the word “example” for great results.


These are hot according to Bobbie Lind from Conversion Hacker.

“The interaction required to complete a quiz helps prospects commit with each question answered. The more personality you can put into your quiz the better the results are. It’s a fun way to give your prospects the information they need while promoting your products and services.”


Ready-to-use templates are another great way to generate leads. Jakub Kliszczak, Marketing Specialist, CrazyCall, explains how these are a double-edged marketing sword.

“A ready-to-use template is a great lead magnet, especially for small businesses. That’s because they’re quite easy to create but, at the same time, can be very beneficial to those who download them.

These templates can be offered up or explained in content like a blog post.

Image: Depositphotos.com 5 Comments ▼

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

5 Reactions
  1. If you’re an expert in your field, put together a guide/ebook/checklist that explains exactly how your customer can do it themselves. Give them every detail. Since it’s high value it will generate leads.

    But also make sure to point out that you can do it for them.

    Watch and see how many come to you asking how much they can pay for you to do it.

    • One strategy I heard of is to willfully overwhelm prospects with “how to” steps, with the sly goal of making the prospect clearly see that X is tons of work/aggravation, and based on that awareness, the prospect would make the choice to go ahead and “just pay you to do it” to save themselves the aggravation.

  2. I have one to add! Quizzes and assessments are great lead magnets. People are naturally interested to know more about themselves or their industry, so take advantage of it. Make sure the questions are relevant and not too easy or people will feel cheated. Get leads by placing a lead form on the results page, and ask users if they want to receive customized emails based on their quiz results.

  3. For me, right now the checklists and templates are converting the best… I’d love to figure out some sort of software I could offer for an opt in, tho… Do you know of any bloggers or YouTubers who are leveraging software? Super cool idea, just not sure how I’d actually pull it off. Thanks for planting that seed of thought…

  4. Lead Magnets are absolutely essential for your business’s success. This is the ultimate way of capturing people’s emails and growing your ultimate asset your email list. I think Blueprints and checklists convert better from my experience.
    Thank you for your ideas. I may have to test some more stuff to find out exactly what converts best for me.
    Keep it up!
    Stay safe!

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