Lead Magnet Checklist

Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

I’ve put together a checklist you can use for creating your lead magnets, or opt-in incentives. Hopefully this will make it much easier for you to get your lead magnet out there to your audience!

If you’re hoping to market your business via email at any time in the future, you’re going to need to build up a list of email subscribers that like agree to get those marketing emails. As people are more and more protective of their inbox, they’re pickier about what they’ll sign up for. Offering an itty bitty product in exchange for that email address can be persuasive if your offer helps that site visitor with a problem she’s facing right then and there.

You can read about quickly creating a lead magnet here. If you follow those instructions, you’ll be able to knock out a helpful tiny product that you can use to gather email addresses. I’ve also made a list of lead magnet template sources for you.

Combine those resources with this checklist to make sure you create a product that will tempt your site visitors, help them out, and prime them to become customers.

You can download a copy of this checklist here – no opt-in required.

1 – Target your audience

You would think this is obvious, but if you look around the web, it must not be. I see opt-in offers on pages that are different than the site itself. If sports gear is your niche, keep your lead magnet somewhat gear related. Even better, if you can relate your lead magnet to the subject on the web page where it’s offered, you know it will be tempting because the reader is clearly interested in that subject.

2 – Give high value to your audience

Make sure your lead magnet has value to your audience. And email address is worth quite a bit to the person who has to wade through an inbox full of marketing messages. Your lead magnet and its offer have to overcome the irritation of more email! And then, I recommend going above and beyond. Give your subscribers real, usable information that they could expect to pay for.

3 – Solve one problem or one step of a process for your audience

Your site visitors are reading your articles so they can overcome a problem they’re having. Think about how you can make the solution to their problem slightly easier or faster to implement. That’s real help, right when they need it. One helpful idea is to create a checklist or summary of steps from the article than they can print out. Another idea is to think about what step of the solution immediately follows the step outlined in your blog post. 

4 – Create a lead magnet that is at the right level/step for your audience

This relates to item #1. Your audience may be novices or expert level. They may be DIYers or always-hirers. For example, in the group of readers interested in building drones, some want to build from a kit that comes with every piece and bit of electronics in the box. But some are going to want to source materials and build from scratch. You don’t want to confuse the first audience or insult the second audience.

Try to know what level your audience is. You can make some educated guesses, based on previous customers and the blog posts that are most read. But you can also ask directly. Ask for blog comments or ask your email list.

5 – Make those lead magnets easy to read/listen/watch

You know how busy you are, right? Your site visitors are really just as busy. They’re on your site looking for solutions or how you can help. If someone takes the time and trouble to actually subscribe to your site, you want to make it easy on them. Make your tiny product easy to consume – a quick read, an easy to understand video, a short and to the point audio file. 

The easier it is for your subscribers to use your lead magnet, the more likely they will. And if they get the results your promise, or even better results, they’ll love you. Don’t you love helpful people who solve your problems? Yes! But if your lead magnet is too long or too complicated, your subscriber will never even go through it. You won’t get your chance to help them or impress them.

no opt in required!

6 – Make your lead magnet immediately usable

Like in #5 above, your want your new subscriber to use your lead magnet right away before they forget they have it. Make sure it’s a recap or resource of the step they’re on, or at most one step beyond where they are right now. Otherwise, even if your offer is good enough to tempt them into opting in, you won’t get the benefits your lead magnet could bring you. Your subscriber won’t have that aha! realization when you solve their problems. They won’t associate you with being helpful. They may even forget you.

7 – Position yourself as an expert

Now, we’re getting into the advanced section. This lead magnet you create needs to help not just your new subscriber, it needs to help you too. Primarily, this tiny product needs to position you as an expert in solving the very problems your readers face. 

So, while this does tie in with the above points, it goes even further. You have to not only solve an immediate problem, but indicate that you can solve their next problem as well. You have to make your subscribers start thinking about how you can help them in the future. That they’re so lucky they’ve found you, an expert resource, and should be bookmarking your site!

8 – Position your products/services

Keep in mind the whole reason you’re building a lead magnet. It’s to build up your email list of people who are willing to hear marketing message from you. You can make that email marketing easier on yourself if your lead magnets prime your subscribers for your products and services in some way.

One way is to help qualify that person for your products and let them know what products would help them the most based on that qualification. You could have a worksheet or a quiz with coded answers. Based on the answers or accumulated points, your lead magnet could guide your subscriber to the perfect product for them. This works really well for complex products, or when you’re trying to sell things online that often need to be seen in person (like cosmetics).

Another approach would be build a lead magnet that helps a subscriber achieve the pre-conditions required for your main products and services. If you’re offering social media account management, you might require your prospects to have accounts set up and at least 100 followers. Your lead magnet could address this  – a quick guide to setting up and getting your first 100 followers. 

no opt in required!

9 – Extra credit: Create a lead magnet designed to be used repeatedly

If you can check off all the above boxes, here’s a bonus for you. Can you build something that your subscriber will use again and again? If they use a product of yours daily, and see your logo or website each time they use your lead magnet, they aren’t going to forget you. And that’s one of the biggest challenges to overcome!

Lead Magnet Checklist - no opt-in required!

Some types of lead magnets that are great for re-use are templates, checklists, and reference guides. The ultimate re-use would be for something that your subscriber does often, but not often enough that they memorize the process. You want them to need your guide or checklist each time. This is tough of course, but here’s an example: If your audience is web designers, a good lead magnet could be, “How to migrate a website” checklist. Your subscriber probably doesn’t do this daily, but more like monthly. They may even know the process, but feel more comfortable with your checklist on the screen as they move a site. 

Next steps

I know I’m going to be re-evaluating my lead magnets in the next few days. I know I have an older lead magnet that’s very helpful, but a bit long to consume, so I’m going to improve it. How can you improve your existing lead magnets? 

Do you need to build your first lead magnets? First, download this checklist (no opt-in required). Then sign up below for the lead magnet creation guide. These will get you on your way to some very tempting lead magnets for your audience!


  1. Scott | PinArtwork on November 23, 2021 at 12:11 am

    Hi Kate, I found this post on lead magnet checklist to be very informative. I’ve made some copious notes for myself and now I just need to figure out some good ways for me develop the lead magnets that I want to use on my various posts and I need to download your lead magnet checklist. Scott | PinArtwork

    • Kate Smith on January 12, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      Glad you found it helpful!

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