…and how to create them in ways that are beneficial to your readers.

The phrase “lead magnet” for me conjures up images of moths gathering around a glimmering light. In the writer’s instance, we are light, and the moths are our targeted audience.

I wonder if this is a terrible thought on my part?

The official definition is as follows:

The fact is, lead magnets are not a new marketing strategy. However, as with any marketing format, we have to be ready to change with the times and update or upgrade our marketing content as platforms and our customers develop.

Another fact is that if your lead magnets are not providing useful content or value, your potential customer won’t part with his or her email address. If you are marketing online, an email address is an asset for your business.

As you would treat any asset, nurture it and grow it to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. A carefully crafted lead magnet can help this effort too.

What makes a good lead magnet?

A good lead magnet solves a problem, provides a quick reference to an issue, and should give your customer when actioned, a quick win too. 

It should offer a specific benefit and be easy to read, with information swift to digest. 

As with all content, highly valuable is the name of the game, and ultimately it offers a means to demonstrate your business’s unique selling proposition.

Let’s look at five ideas for lead magnets that can be easily implemented:

  1. Checklist

So popular because they are so easy to read and to understand. 

The beauty of the checklist is that it gives your customers immediately actionable checkpoints.

When you are creating one, keep the following points in mind:

  • Make the checklist specific — the list must focus on a certain subject. Using a checklist for a too broader topic will lose its impetus. So keep it narrow, not like a checklist to “Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills” because there are so many aspects that go to that broad subject. 
  • It should be goal orientated — Something like “How To Set up a Blog Page in Five Easy Steps” is narrow enough to have actionable and be easily implemented towards a final goal;
  • Designed to be digested quickly and easily — I think you will agree that we are all generally looking for instant gratification. It goes without saying then that your topic if designed in the form of a checklist, should tick this important criterion.
  • Results-driven — not just to achieve the desired results for your customer, who has just handed over his or her email address to you, but also resulting in the developing of trust between your customer and yourself. Once the checklist has been used, the customer should be able to look back and relish in his or her achievement, and then be able to hold you in mind, for helping him or she gets to that point.

2. Cheatsheet

This one is just lovely since it really removes the tendency for your customer to overthink things. It differs from the checklist, since the cheat sheet is a guideline or an outline to a process, so it is quick and easy to apply.

I love to use a Customer Avatar cheatsheet. Here is what it looks like.

In its simplicity, I have an outline of how to draft my best advert copy, so that I am focused on all aspects of my customer avatar.

It might seem a bit weird, but I even put in a picture of what I think my avatar for a specific campaign might look like. It reminds me that while I am behind my laptop, looking into my screen, that a real person exists on the other side of it.

3. Template

Now, who doesn’t love a great template? 

Since it is a format or an outline of an idea, it gives your customer the ease of simply filling in the blanks. If there is a creative gap too, templates can provide an excellent starting point and solve the problem of not really knowing where to start on something.

I also had this question initially, but what is the basic difference between a template and a cheat sheet? 

For me, my cheat sheets are easily pastable on my wall above my laptop. A template, is that formatted, structured document, that I store in my laptop, which helps me to develop a blog post or article for example.

Actually, a cheat sheet needs a template too.

4. Swipe File

The ultimate lead magnet, since this is designed as a collection of proven tools. For copywriters, digital marketers, and project managers, it is common practice to have a swipe file that is used as a reference for ideas and projects.

This is a culmination of all of your knowledge, know-how, experience, mistakes and wins for an overview of the particular topic.

A swipe file that you could share with your customer might include:

  • Ads
  • Email subject lines
  • Thank you pages
  • Opt-In pages
  • Landing pages
  • Sales pages
  • Headlines
  • Bullet points

Likewise, I have collected a swipe file over time of some of the most important lessons that I have learnt from other entrepreneurs. My file is a reference point and helps me in instances where I might find blocks creeping into my daily action points. Those days when taking action is a struggle.

I use the swipe file that I have collected for support and in the process of good, and mindfully and take care never to plagiarise the good work of all those who have come before me.

5. Toolkit

Like the swipe file, the toolkit is the one-stop-shop reference point. It goes a few more steps further than the swipe file though.

It is the tools from start to finish demonstrating a particular topic. It is in-depth and behind the scenes, of items to accomplish and is likely to include book references, course references, self-help support and mindset approaches, templates, checklists, formatted templates and reviewed products.

It is great for affiliate marketers too. While the toolkit can be given away for free, you might include affiliate links to your best products, and in providing your customer a value-based approach to a product review, including those links for consideration by your customer.


A lead magnet is a bridge between your target market and your product or service. 

If a lead magnet strategy is going to be a part of your overall marketing strategy, be mindful as to how they are created.

Upgrading or revamping your content will need careful planning if you are going to provide a value stacked lead magnet for your customer to download.

Remember, that most online marketers are using a lead magnet of some sort, so be sure to have these properly set out, with relevant and useful information, but also what best works for you.

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