21 Ways to Get New Leads for Your Online StartUp

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend Sarah the other day. 

Sarah is currently working in corporate America, she’s unhappy and she wants to start her own business online.

Sure, Sarah is fully aware of the 90% failure rate of most online businesses, but she is ready to move full steam ahead with her business.

I decided to check in with Sarah months after she launched her business online.  She was pretty overwhelmed, confused and frustrated with her progress.  

She hadn’t landed a single client, nor was she able to get any new solid business leads from her website.  

I realized after following up with Sarah, that she was missing one of the most critical + essential components that every online business should have: a lead magnet to help her build a sales funnel.

In this post, I will cover 21 types of irresistible lead magnets to build an email list with and get prospects into your sales funnel.

Why Adding a Lead Magnet to Your Site to Build an Email List Is Important

Here’s the thing: A very high percentage of the visitors that make their way to your site may never return.  

They are usually not ready to buy anything from you or do business right away — and are generally just browsing your site to find out more about you.

This is why having a lead magnet of some sort in place to offer your visitors to capture information from them to get them into your sales funnel is extremely important.

What is a Lead Magnet – Exactly? 

Lead magnets are usually content based guides that solve a specific problem for your audience that you can offer from your site in exchange for a person’s email address or other contact information. 

BlogMarketingAcademy - Lead Magnet Example

BlogMarketingAcademy – Lead Magnet Example

The main goal of lead capturing is to secure a visitor’s contact information so that you can build a list of business leads and get them into your sales funnel.

I first discovered the concept of lead magnets after joining an accountability + marketing group 3 years ago and have added them to my sites for several reasons: 

  1. To build an email list of potential leads and get them into your sales funnel
  2. To effectively cultivate a relationship and build trust with readers that subscribe to my list 
  3. To at some point, convert my email subscribers into customers

They key to getting visitors to opt in for your lead magnet is to offer them a resource with a very high perceived value — as in something that they can take, use and implement right away.

What Qualifies As a High Converting Lead Magnet?

 1. Your lead magnet needs to solve a specific problem for your target audience

This is simply a matter of figuring out what your audience is struggling with and creating a lead magnet that solves that problem. 

2.  It needs to be “valuable” as in something that your readers can use and implement right away in their businesses + more importantly get immediate results from. 

3.  It needs to have a headline that gets your visitors Attention. As with writing blog posts, email newsletters, and other content on the web, headlines matter. 

In fact, according to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

Here’s a little secret, whenever I am writing any type of content, I almost always work on my titles first. 


Because I know that clickable titles will make or break whether or not your visitors take a closer look at your offers.  

If you need help with creating great titles and headlines for your lead magnet –  Hubspot, TweakYourBiz and BlogAbout by Impact have free title generators that you should check out.

To analyze your headlines + get an idea as to how they will perform, the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer and Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer are awesome resources that you can use.

Huge thanks and shout out to one of friends and fellow bloggers @CandiceEllenCarter for letting me know about the EMV Headline Analyzer. 

4.  It needs to have visual appeal.  Lead magnets with great designs are more likely to increase your conversion rates and compel visitors to opt in for your offers.

5.   Last but not least, your lead magnet should have a very strong and clear call to action.  Simply stated, your lead magnet should clearly tell your visitors what they need to do to get access to it.

Some examples of calls to actions that you can add to your lead magnet are: Download the Free Guide Now, or Get Instant Access to this Free Toolkit should be prominently displayed and tell visitors what to do to get access to it.

Creating and Designing Your Lead Magnet 

There are a few tried and true tools and resources that I use to create most of my lead magnets.

The thing that I love about using these tools is that even if you don’t have design experience or access to more advanced graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop or productivity apps like MS Office, you can still easily create attractive and eye catching lead magnets for your site.

YourChicGeek Lead Magnet Example

YourChicGeek Lead Magnet Example

Some of my favorite tools for creating and designing lead magnets are: 

  1. Canva
  2. Pixlr
  3. Google Docs
  4. iWork for iCloud Pages ( Web Based Version)

Here’s a tip for yaWhenever I am looking for design inspiration for my lead magnets, I create a board in Pinterest and Pin images that I like and refer to them later for my design projects.

Pinterest Design Inspiration Board

Example – Pinterest Design Inspiration Board


Adding Opt-In Forms to Your Site

In order to get visitors to opt-in to your offers on your site, you will need to first strategically place email opt-in forms or landing pages on your website to collect their contact information. 

The key to your opt in forms is to make sure that you are making a specific offer tied to  your lead magnet and not just a form asking your visitors to sign up for your email newsletter.

Three tools that you can use to create attractive opt-in forms for your lead magnets site are: 

  1. SumoMe
  2. Thrive Content Builder
  3. Optin Monster

Delivering Your Lead Magnet to New Subscribers

After you have created a title for your lead magnet, designed it, and added opt in forms to your site, you will need to setup an email autoresponder to deliver the lead magnet to your subscribers when they opt in for your offers. 

Two of the most popular and reliable email marketing services that you can use to send your lead magnets to subscribers are:  

  1. Aweber (aff link) – $19 per month 
  2. Mailchimp – free up to 2,000 subscribers


This process normally works as follows:

  1. A reader visits your website and see’s  your lead magnet
  1. The reader enters their contact information into an opt in form or landing page that you have added to your site to download a copy of your lead magnet 
  1. You set up an autoresponder message via your email marketing service provider to send your new subscriber a link to download your lead magnet 
  1. The lead magnet is then delivered to your new subscriber…

Easy peasy right? 

Types of Lead Magnets To Build an Email List With

Alrighty peeps, so we’ve come to the good part, the epic list of 21 types of lead magnets that you can use to generate new leads for your online startup.  Here goes…  

  1. eBooks
  2. Checklists
  3. Worksheets
  4. Workbooks
  5. Audio CDs
  6. Video Courses
  7. Mini Courses
  8. Cheat Sheets
  9. Tip Lists
  10. Tip Sheets
  11. FAQ Sheets
  12. Email Courses
  13. Swipe Files
  14. Webinar Replays
  15. Planners
  16. Calendars
  17. Action Plans
  18. Toolkits
  19. Starter Kits
  20. Industry Reports
  21. Product Samples

21 Types of Lead Magnets to Launch Your Site With

As you can see, there are quite a few types of lead magnets that you can add to your site to encourage new visitors to opt-in for your offers.   

Your Next Steps and Action Plan 

Here is quick run down and action plan that you can use to create a lead magnet to launch your site with:  

  1. Find one problem that you can solve for your prospects
  2. Decide what type of lead magnet you want to create (checklist, cheat sheet, etc)
  3. Name your lead magnet
  4. Create + Design your lead magnet
  5. Add opt in-forms or a landing page associated with your lead magnet to your site to collect email addresses
  6. Setup an autoresponder to deliver your lead magnet to your subscribers 

Do you want to learn more about creating lead magnets to get new business leads into your sales funnel? CLICK HERE to find out more about my video workshop + training course to learn how to create, design and launch your FIRST lead magnet.

Have Feedback or Comments that You Want to Leave?

Please comment below and also share this post with others on social media.  Thanks peeps!

Exclusive BONUS:  Do you have a lead magnet to help build your sales funnel?  If you don’t then click to download my step by step checklist for creating + launching your first lead magnet.  


Get instant access to my free worksheets and checklist to launch your first Lead Magnet for your site...

This post contains some affiliate links….

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Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz's how to create a web presence for growth + impact. Kim has created several online courses that help small businesses grow and flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your online marketing goals.

  • Love this post. exxxtremely informative and valuable. I am going to recommend it to my clients.

    • Hello there Soji! Thanks so much for commenting friend and recommending this post to your clients.

      I really hope that this post will serve as a reference and guide for them to creating lead magnets for their businesses. Cheers to ya bud.

  • Hey Kim,

    Well if someone wants to know how to create a lead magnet, you’ve definitely given them ALL the goods. I’m not sure you’ve left anything out really.

    I do agree with Soji, extremely informative and valuable.

    I know for a lot of people not knowing what to share and then grab people’s attention is a major issue. I know it was for me back when I started creating my list. The one thing for sure is if you can help them solve a really huge problem with your opt-in then they are going to be forever grateful and probably stick around to continue learning from you.

    By that time then they’ll get enough valuable information to make that next move which we all hope leads to them working with us, buying our courses or recommending us to their friends. Doesn’t get much better than that.

    Thank you Kim and I hope you’re having an amazing day.


    • Adrienneee! Thank you sooo much for stopping by to comment.

      Yes, you are soot on about giving away a resource that is sooooo valuable that it calls folks to action (ie., calling you for assistance, consulting and etc.,).

      With every lead magnet that I create, I always try to create it based on a specific Pain Point that folks are having and make sure that my giveaways provide a solution for that problem. 🙂

      Again, Thanks so much for your commentary on this one (loveedddd your recent blog post by the way). Cheers to ya!

  • Hey Kim, another exceptional post from you here, great bunch of information for creating powerful lead magnets. Love the actionable steps and the free content upgrades you’re giving away as of late. Will definitely be sharing this one chic 🙂

    – Fabrizio

    • Helloo there Fabz! Thanks so much for dropping by to comment my friend. So glad that you liked the post + content upgrades.

      Trying to definitely take things up a notch this year. Cheers to ya bud and REALLY looking forward to seeing what you have in store over at Magnet4blogging. 🙂

  • From one Kim to another I am so happy to be here!

    You sure have put in a lot of work on this post – it really shows.

    You’ve put together a great list. All of the ideas are excellent. I’ve used ebooks, cheat sheet, small video courses, free reports, and even free membership sites to entice people to opt in to my list.

    But you’ve included some other ideas that I hadn’t even considered previously.

    When people have an effective lead magnet the next step is to cultivate and convert those leads with effective follow up messages via email. But that’s another story for another day!

    Thanks again, Kim

    Other Kim

    • Heyyyyy Kim#2! How goes it my friend. Thank you so much for the sweet compliment and I am glad that you got a lotta value out of this read.

      Cheers and make it a great day bud!

  • Hey Kim!

    Great resource here, there were quite a few lead magnet examples I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of but now that I think about it I can see where certain examples can be applicable.

    This is really important to me because I’m looking to develop unique lead magnets for specific types of people depending on what type of content people land on to better deliver targeted offers to subscribers. Right now I chose to offer a traffic building course just because traffic is one thing we can all use more of but no doubt some people have much bigger concerns. I’ve not seen many people using targeted lead magnets like this but I am going to try it out and see how it works for me.

    No doubt you’ve given me some new ideas here and I’m looking forward to getting creative and figuring this all out… thanks Kim!

    • Hello there James! Gosh I am soooo sorry this is late my friend. I am sooo glad that you enjoyed the blog post and have gotten a ton of ideas for content upgrades + etc that you can add to your site to give to targeted subscribers.

      Wishing you all of the best my friend. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  • Thanks Kim for mentioning OptinMonster – Truly appreciated 🙂

    • Hello there Syed! Huge fan of yours :-). Thanks for commenting and youre very welcome on the mention.

  • Thanks Kim for a very resourceful post. Looking forward to sharing with Entrepreneurs.

    • Hey hey heyyy! Thanks so much for dropping by and I am glad that you enjoyed the post!

  • Mark Newsome

    Extremely well done Kim!

    You’ve shared so many proven ways, for practically any
    industry to build various opt in lists.

    Thanks so much, because you’ve really opened my eyes to
    so many possibilities.

    And the opportunity to use more than one, in different situations.

    I love your infographic too.

    • Well helloooo there Mark! Glad this post was helpful for ya my friend! And yesss you can absolutely use these different lead magnets in various situations. Thanks for stopping by 🙂