10 Best Lead Magnets to Build Your Email List

10 Best Lead Magnets to Build Your Email List

Cover image made possible by PNG TREE:

When readers buy products and services discussed on our site, we earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Click link to view the complete affiliate disclosure.

What are lead magnets?

A lead magnet is an offer—one that a prospect lead typically gets for free. In exchange, this prospect will supply his email address.

From there, you keep the lead’s email address, and you can begin your email marketing campaign.

But what kind of best lead magnets work?

My recommended lead magnets ideas are: 

  1. eBook
  2. Webinar
  3. Checklist
  4. Excel sheet
  5. Listicle or directory
  6. Free mini-course
  7. Printables
  8. Calculators and Generators
  9. Quizzes
  10. Discounts, Free Trials, and Coupons

By the end of this tutorial, I want you to pick two or three of these. Craft an awesome lead magnet from these three options, and start running your campaign.

But first, let us go through each of the 10 best lead magnets to build your email list.

1. eBook

In one of my blog posts, I discussed why you need to give free eBooks if you have an e-commerce site. eBooks are still amongst the most powerful ways to get a customer’s email address.


Because eBooks provide knowledge. eBooks provide something to people that is tangible—by the time they are done reading, they have learned something, and you added values to their lives.

eBooks are also not intrusive—there are people who do not like to join a webinar because they are busy, much less take a course.

Although these are all effective lead magnets, an eBook is easily accessible from a device—anytime that your prospect lead wants to read it.

You can write the eBook yourself, or you can ask someone to do it for you. Be very picky when choosing a writer—a bad eBook destroys your credibility. Choose an affordable eBook writer who has a proven track record for copywriting.  

On the other hand, a professionally-crafted lead magnet is going to make the customer think: “Hey, if I got something so awesome for free, I guess I am gonna get something better if I pay for this person’s products.”

2. Webinar

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a seminar done on the web. It is like a mini-training, but it is not as in-depth as a full-on course. Webinars are effective lead magnets because you are offering insights.

Now, a lot of people debate as to whether a webinar must be live or recorded. They can be any of these two. The basic expectation is that it is live. After all, no seminar in the real world is recorded.

But if you just come out clean and call it a recorded webinar, then your audience will understand.

To be able to launch a webinar, you need a webinar platform that the prospect lead can log in to after giving you his email address. The two that I recommend are ClickFunnels and GetResponse.

Here are some tips for hosting a webinar:

  • Know your audience – you need to create a series of topics that will target the needs of specific people in a specific niche
  • Solve a problem – people will join your webinar because of the value you bring; it is imperative that your guest speakers help your audience solve a problem within your niche
  • Keep it mobile-friendly – not all people have laptops; you should use a system like ClickFunnels and GetResponse that can hose webinars via a mobile device

Another form of a webinar, which is recorded, is a summit. A summit is a series of webinars hosted by different people. Each person has a specialization and will speak for several minutes. A summit is an attractive lead magnet because the person knows he will learn from the masters.

Learn How to Explode Your Traffic

3. Checklist

A checklist is just that, a PDF of things that a person should do. This lead magnet works because there are many people who want a step by step guide—it helps them accomplish their goals faster.

Let us say that you have a dropshipping store that sells woodworking tools. A great checklist that you can offer is a list of tools that people can buy should they want to start woodworking.

This list, of course, must justify why you put that list in that order.

Here is another example: drone hobby.

If you have a toy or drone hobby dropshipping store, it makes sense to provide your customers with a checklist of what parts to buy, especially so if your store is about building a drone. The same goes if you are selling arts and crafts materials in your store.

Related topic: How to Successfully Sell Toys Online

4. Excel sheet

Spreadsheets are great in helping people get their activities organized. You can also provide spreadsheets that function as a reporting tool or analytical tool.

If you go this route, you need to understand that people do not like spreadsheets that they can do themselves. What this means is that you need to create a reporting or analysis template that your target audience can use for their business or personal lives.

If you are teaching people how to blog, you understand that your audience—people who are learning how to blog—may have a problem how to keep their data organized.

They also need a repository of information as to how their blogs are performing—a spreadsheet where they can post their Google Analytics Data.

If a spreadsheet is your chosen route, you need to know how to write formulas on the excel cells. You should also know how to create pivots, and that these pivots must automatically update at a press of a button.

If you do not know how to do this, you can commission it from someone on Fiverr.  

5. Listicle or directory

A listicle or directory is like a list, but it is a list of suppliers or providers. This listicle is not the same as the checklist. A checklist is a list of actionable items, while a directory is a list of names or institutions.

Let us say that you are teaching people how to create a blog, what you can offer is a list of:

Your list must also justify why you are recommending these tools or suppliers, like the one I did on my recommended tools page.

Now, what if you are a dropshipper or an e-commerce store owner? What kind of list can you provide your prospect leads?

This depends on the products that you are selling. In my drone example earlier, what you can provide is a list of the following:

  • Cameras compatible with your drones
  • Suppliers for batteries and other components
  • Books, courses, or videos about drone photography

This list, of course, must include links where the prospect lead can buy your recommendations. No matter what your product is, find an angle that you can exploit—provide a list of things that your target consumers will desire, without having to lead them straight to your competitors.  

6. Free mini-course

Free courses are now dominating the world of email list-building activities. If you are a store owner, you can offer mini-courses that show your target audience how to use the products you are selling.

For example, let us say that your products are cosmetics. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can offer your target consumers a mini-course on how to use your cosmetics?

Here are some more examples:

  • Aerial photography if you are selling drones
  • Painting lessons for arts and crafts if you have a craft store
  • Woodworking project if you have a woodworking tools store
  • Exercise courses if you have a health and fitness store

Even if they do not buy now, you get their email address. To be able to set-up a mini-course, you need a platform where you can upload your videos. You do not need to register to e-course platforms like Udemy or Coursera.

What you need is a platform like ClickFunnels and GetResponse.


Because Coursera and Udemy are like online universities. They are separate platforms that you cannot integrate with your business.

On the other hand, ClickFunnels and GetResponse are platforms where you can capture your lead’s email address, and then the system will automatically take them to the course—plus they will automatically have log-in credentials.

The system will also send a “thank you” email after they sign-up for your course.

Learn the Secrets to Increase Your Conversion Rate.

7. Printables

What are printables? Printable are templates that people can use for various purposes.

Here are some examples:

  • Fun activities for kids like quizzes and cut-outs
  • Decals that your customers can print on sticker papers
  • Plans and templates for projects—complete with measurements

Depending on your store or product, you need to look for potential problems that your customers may have in relation to printing.

You need to sit down and have a brainstorming session with your business partners—think about what items you can print that your target customer will be excited about.

8. Calculators and Generators

Calculators and generators are great if you are operating a knowledge-based website, not a store. For example, you can offer a calculator for taxes, or a generator for a domain name—these are effective if your target customers are entrepreneurs.

Here are some ideas:

  • PayPal fee calculator (do the same thing with other payment processors)
  • Logo generator
  • Business name generator
  • Blog title generator

If you are creative enough, perhaps you can create a generator software that is related to your online store.

Let us say that you sell wall art. In this case, you can ask your prospect customer some questions, and then the system will automatically show a wall art that fits his home. Before he sees this artwork, he has to give his email address.

Of course, this is expensive. Unless you know how to code, you cannot create this without the help of a coding professional. If you have the budget and you really want this type of lead magnet, you have to work with a freelancer from marketplaces like Fiverr.

9. Quizzes

Quizzes are fun, and they are effective email list builders because you are asking people to participate and discover something about themselves.

This takes a while to build, and you need to do some backend logic. A quiz like this typically asks the participant ten questions. Based on his responses, your system will provide the result.

This is popular in social media, and perhaps you can even program your system so the prospect lead can share his results.

Here are some examples:

  • What kind of fashionista are you?
  • What kind of hobbyist are you?
  • What clothing fits you the best?

No, you do not have to create the entire system yourself. There are many quiz apps found on Shopify and WordPress—most of which are free, but you may need to upgrade to get better services.

10. Discounts, Free Trials, and Coupons

The last on our list of the best lead magnets to build your email list is what we call bottom-of-funnel lead magnets.

When you offer free trials, coupons, and discounts, you are essentially directly asking the prospect lead to buy what you offer.

If you use this method, make sure that you offer something that the customer cannot refuse, like a huge discount on his first purchase, or a free trial with no credit card required.

Before the customer gets his coupon or discount code, he has to supply his email address. And do not forget: the coupon must expire within a certain period of time. This should drive a sense of urgency.

If you let this coupon stay active for a long time, chances are that the person who took it will forget about it and not buy.

Best Lead Magnets: Summary

A lead magnet is a critical aspect of your business. No website has no lead magnet.

It is only a matter of choosing what lead magnet to create; it largely depends on the type of products that you sell, and what types of customers you are looking forward to serving.

When offering a lead magnet, make sure that you did it to the best of your capacity. Lead magnets that are not professionally done can damage your credibility.

On the other hand, a professionally-crafted lead magnet is going to make the customer think: “Hey, if I got something so awesome for free, I guess I am gonna get something better if I pay for this person’s products.”


Five of the Best Email Marketing Tools for Your Shopify Dropshipping Store
No One is Subscribing to My Email List: Why?
Why do you need an email list for blog and e-commerce?
How to Create Automated Email to a Subscriber with MailChimp and Elementor
Top 5 Benefits of Email Marketing for e-Commerce

Share this knowledge!


or Follow me on Social Media!

My Recommended Tools

Why waste time and spend thousands of dollars when I already did? Stop wasting your money testing tools that do not work. I already did that. Check my recommended tools so you get only the best. 

Store & Blog Builder

SEO & Marketing

Dropship Suppliers

Education & Self-Improvement

Email Marketing

Videography & Animation