15 Powerful Lead Magnets To Boost Conversion For Your eCommerce Site

By JoAnne D. | eCommerce/Dropshipping

15 Powerful Lead Magnets To Boost Conversion

Every eCommerce site that has a mailing list needs to have at least a few lead magnets to boost conversion. Learn all about lead magnets in today’s article.

A successful email marketing sales funnel starts with a lead magnet.

But just because you have a lead magnet doesn’t mean your sales funnel will automatically be successful.

You’ll need to create lead magnets that attract the right prospects and convince them to be part of your mailing list.

In today’s article, I’ll discuss what lead magnets are, why you need to create them, and the characteristics that make a good lead magnet. Finally, I’ll list down 15 types of lead magnets to boost conversion.

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What Is A Lead Magnet?

First, let me define what a lead magnet is.

A lead magnet is a high-value incentive offered to website visitors and prospects in exchange for their contact information. In this case, since we’re building an email list, the main contact information we want to get from prospects is their email addresses.

what is a lead magnet

Ideally, this is how it works.

  1. You create your lead magnet.
  2. You offer the lead magnet on your website.
  3. Your visitors agree to provide their email address and join your mailing list to be able to download or access your lead magnet.
  4. The lead magnet is downloaded or accessed by your visitor.
  5. As part of your mailing list, your visitor receives targeted emails from you based on their needs and wants.


The key here is to get your visitors interested with relevant offers that they can immediately consume so they’ll sign up for your email list.

Why Do You Need Lead Magnets?

Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies to increase your sales.

But first, you need to build an email list.

And to build an email list, you need lead magnets.

People aren’t just going to give you their email address just because you asked nicely.

sad dog

Nope, not even if you look like this and say “Please.”

You need to convince them that you are a trustworthy individual/company and you need to give them something that’s going to help them do something that’s important to them.

Once you prove to them that you’re credible, you’re not a spammer, and you’re promoting and selling products that are useful to them, they’re much more likely to want to be in contact with you and entrust their email address to you.

Characteristics Of Lead Magnets That Convert

Given the purpose of your lead magnet, you’ll need to ensure that it’s attractive to your target audience.

So what makes a lead magnet compelling enough that your visitor wants it enough to provide you their email address? Some of these attributes are listed below.

  • Addresses a specific, important concern. Your lead magnet should solve a particular problem that your prospects have that is significant to them.
  • Inspires immediate action. Your lead magnet should provide a tool or skillset that your prospects can apply today.
  • Makes their lives easier. It should help your prospects easily do or achieve something by saving them time and effort.
  • Ready for use immediately. People love instant gratification, and your prospects are no exception. Give that lead magnet to them right there and then as much as possible.
  • Costs them nothing. Except their email address, that is.


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15 Lead Magnets To Boost Conversion

Now let’s dive into the pièce de résistance of this blog post, which is the list of lead magnets and some ideas on how you can use them for your eCommerce site. You don’t have to use all of them; feel free to pick and choose a few that you think will be a good fit for your target customer.

1. Quiz/Survey

Quizzes are possibly the most entertaining of the lead magnets we’ll discuss here, both to make and to take, and that’s part of why they’re effective as lead magnets.

How quizzes normally work is to have your visitor answer a series of questions and then ask for their email address so you can send them their results.

It’s generally better to ask for their email address after they’re done answering because then they’ve invested their time answering the questions. The majority of them would be willing to enter their email address to find out what the results are.

It’s also best to tailor the quiz to your niche and what you’re actually selling on your site. For example, if you’re selling sports equipment and apparel, you can create a quiz like “What Type Of Baseball Player Are You?” or “What Sport Should You Learn?”

2. Challenge

You’ve probably participated in one of these 7-day, 14-day, 30-day, or even 100-day challenges.

woman holding calendar with a month

It’s another fun way to engage your existing subscribers while attracting new ones. Because everyone is doing the challenge together, it encourages everyone to engage with you and with each other. This fosters a sense of community that you probably won’t get with any other lead magnet on this list.

Plus, having a definite start date for the challenge fosters a sense of urgency; they need to sign up NOW so they can participate in the challenge.

Challenges can usually be found in eCommerce sites in the health and nutrition niche (e.g., 7-day sugar-free breakfast challenge, or 14-day “no eating after 6 PM” challenge), but you can apply it to any niche with a little creativity.

For example, if you’re in the men’s grooming product niche, you can try to have a 7-day facial moisturizer challenge. They can use any moisturizer they prefer, or even (conveniently) buy one from your site. After the 7-day period, they can then post their observations, and even “before and after” comparison photos, if they dare.

3. Checklist

Checklists are actionable items compiled and summarized into a single list. They’re easy to make, easy to download, and easy to consume, making it a favorite lead magnet of bloggers everywhere. In fact, you’re probably offering a checklist to your blog readers right now.

You can also use checklists as lead magnets in your eCommerce site. For example, if you’re selling organic food, you can provide a checklist of allowed and prohibited substances under the USDA guidelines for a food to earn its “organic” label. This is a useful checklist that they can have with them while grocery shopping, whether online or in-store.

4. Product Buying Guide

Product buying guides, also called consumer guides or shopping guides, provide information on a specific type of product intended to help buyers make a decision based on their budget and their specific requirements.

This type of lead magnet will work well with high-ticket items that have plenty of different variants and features, such as computers and appliances. But you can make it work for lower priced items as well.

For example, if you’re in the baby equipment niche, you can provide a guide to buying a diaper bag. It might seem so simple, but there are so many considerations to make. Is it only for one child or multiple? Do you need plenty of pockets? Would you prefer a shoulder bag or a backpack?

Since this lead magnet will make your prospects’ decision-making process easier, they’re likely to sign up for your email list to get this useful guide.

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5. Comparison Table

When there are too many choices, it can be confusing for the buyer.

Buying guides help, but if there are too many choices, this may end up confusing prospective buyers further.

To help them decide at a glance, you can create a comparison table instead.

comparison table

A comparison table is much easier to digest than an entire product buying guide, even if your guide is only a few pages long. Plus, it’s as portable as a checklist, and your subscriber can take it with them anywhere.

To ensure its effectivity, make sure the information is accurate and the chart is organized so that it’s easy to read.

6. Toolkit

A toolkit is essentially a collection of tools that help you do your job that you share to your prospects so they can do their job.

Toolkits are popular among those in the digital space because their toolkits are mainly software and applications that they use. But, again, you can be a little creative here and create a toolkit even if you’re not a digital marketer or SEO specialist.

For example, if you’re in the makeup niche, your visitors would want to know what’s really inside your makeup kit, aka what products and literal tools you actually use. You can even make separate lists for daily makeup, office makeup, date night makeup, etc.

7. Tutorial

A tutorial is any type of content that teaches how to do a specific process. This can be an infographic, a PDF document, or a video tutorial.

man writing on whiteboard

Even if you’re running an eCommerce site, your tutorial doesn’t need to be strictly a product tutorial, as in how to use a product. You can teach a process that uses one of the products that you sell. If you want to feature a product (probably your most expensive or the one that is repeatedly purchased), a tutorial is a good way to do so.

For example, if you sell photography supplies, you can use a short video tutorial of how to do macro photography as a lead magnet and then feature one of your products, such as macro lenses or extension tubes.

You can even repurpose an old “how-to” blog post for this if you’ve previously written a how-to post about an important process in your niche.

Tutorials work best when you structure it stepwise; that is, you have a certain number of steps and you clearly state that on the headline or the video title so your prospect has a rough idea of how long your tutorial will take.

8. Email Course

An email course is a series of emails sent in a particular order that discusses an important topic over a few days or weeks.

If a tutorial seems to contain too much information in one go, you might want to consider structuring it as an email course instead, so that your prospects can get bite-sized information per email and have time to digest it afterward.

For example, if you’re in the gardening niche, you can create an email course for beginners teaching them how to set up their garden in 7 days.

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9. Waitlist

Are you thinking of offering a new product or even a new product category on your site? Or maybe you have a seasonal product that’s only available a few times a year?

Offer to place them on the waiting list, with dibs on your newest products before they’ve even come out yet. Throw in an early bird discount to make it even more tempting.

people in line

People are always excited about the fresh, the new, and the latest. While they’re probably mildly interested in your products, the cliffhanger of a new product might just convince them that they want to know what it is in case they miss out on something good.

10. Digital Coupon

Coupons are probably the most appropriate and effective lead magnet for an eCommerce site.

Coupon codes are usually for a discount on a purchase, but can actually be for any incentive, such as a freebie or a buy take one offer.

example coupon code

This is what it usually looks like. Note: This is a made-up discount code and is not valid anywhere.

People can’t get enough of them. Coupons from newspapers, digital coupon codes, and mobile coupons are everywhere.

Why does it work so well? It’s the perfect combination of “easy to consume” and “valuable” for your prospects. Plus, they’ll have to buy something from your store to take advantage of the coupon, so it’s also a win for you.

You do need to remember that not all offers are compelling for your prospects. Sometimes, even if you see the discount or deal as a generous one, your prospect won’t see it that way. Their perception of the value of your offer is highly dependent on how you word it.

For example, “Get 20% off” vs “Save $20” on a $100 item can have different effects on your audience. Split test the wording on your coupons to find out the most compelling way to phrase your offer.

Another thing to consider is the products involved. You can provide a coupon code that gives them a discount for any purchase in your store, but you can also have product-specific offers (e.g., get 20% off on a specific product or product category, or free gift with purchase).

If the product (or free gift) isn’t very popular or useful, your offer might not inspire many to visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. Make sure the product is something they want. Split test various products as well to see which ones they’re interested in.

11. Free or Discounted Shipping

To be honest, you should already have this in your store for at least some of your products or for a minimum order amount. But if you don’t have it in your store, then it can work as a lead magnet.

One of the barriers to purchasing that your customers have to hurdle (and a source of abandoned carts) is the shipping cost, so using this as an incentive may be the solution to the last thing holding them back.

Like coupons, this is a win-win for you because your prospects will have to purchase something in your store to be able to use this offer.

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12. Daily Deal Updates

If you have enough products in your store, you can run a daily promotion featuring a discounted product or even an entire product category.

Show these daily deals prominently on your site. You can probably even have a separate page just to show these off. Then, you can have an opt-in form on this page so visitors can enter their email address where you can update them on the latest promotions.

Odds are one of those days will feature products that they’re interested in and they’ll jump at the chance to buy them at discounted prices.

Make sure you feature all of your products or product categories at some point. You don’t want any disappointed subscribers signing up for your email address to find that the products they’re interested in are never on sale.

13. Free Gift/Sample

I’m talking about a no strings attached, no purchase necessary, absolutely free gift or product sample.

As I’ve probably mentioned over and over, free digital stuff is irresistible.

Sending an actual, tangible product to them for free is even more appealing.

gift wrapped with brown paper and a red bow

This way, you get to show off your product while also capturing your visitor’s email address.

It doesn’t even have to be a super-expensive gift. It just has to be a product that’s valuable to the people you’re targeting; that is, your ideal customer.

For example, if you’re in the vitamin and supplements niche, you can give away a 7-day supply of vitamins absolutely free. If they have to pay for shipping, though, you need to make it crystal clear so you don’t get dissatisfied customers demanding to know why you’re asking for payment details if it’s for a free gift.

The plus factor here is that aside from their email address, you’ll need to get your prospect’s physical address to ship the free item to, so there may be some back and forth communication needed. This is a great opportunity to make an excellent first impression, so make the most of it.

14. Giveaway

Giveaways are similar to free gifts in that you’re giving away something for free to your visitors.

But they’re different in that free gifts are given to everyone who subscribes, but giveaways are given to only one or a few lucky subscribers.

Thus, giveaways are usually products of higher value than what you would give as free gifts.

However, don’t be tempted to have a generic, high-value item as a giveaway, such as a smartphone or an iPad Pro. Everybody wants to have these. You risk having random visitors sign up just to get in on the giveaway and then unsubscribe when they don’t win it.

You want to convince the right people to subscribe, and to attract the right people, you need the right giveaway. It’s best if you can have one of your products as a giveaway. Or, if you can afford it, maybe a bundle of related items can be a giveaway.

Following our vitamin and supplement example, you can give away a one-month supply of vitamins to one lucky subscriber every month. Or it can be an entire supplement accessories kit: shaker bottle, measuring cups, pill case, and powder case.

Giveaways work best if they’re on a regular basis. Have them every month or every 2 weeks, depending on your giveaway. Your subscribers, both new and old, will be more inclined to stay subscribed so they don’t miss out on the chance to win the giveaway.

This is a great opportunity for publicity as well. Encourage those who win your giveaways to post about it on social media. Social proof that there really are winners prove that you really do give away those prizes for free and could motivate other interested audiences to subscribe to your mailing list.

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15. Contest

A contest is another lead magnet involving a free item, but unlike free gifts or giveaways, your prospects need to complete an action aside from subscribing. The extra action can be sharing your blog or posts or an actual purchase on your site.

You might be thinking, why would visitors want to go through the time and/or expense just to enter a contest?

The prize should be worth it.


So… Probably not a plastic, painted medal.

Because a contest offers a prize that’s much more valuable than either free gifts or giveaways, you’re justified in asking for more than just an email address.

Following our vitamin and supplement example, you can hold a contest where a lucky subscriber can win a grand prize of a one-year supply of vitamins or supplements plus complete accessories. Consolation prizes can include a month’s supply of vitamins to 10 winners, and coupon codes worth $20 to another 10 winners.

An example of contest mechanics can be that entrants have to subscribe to your mailing list, purchase a minimum of $50 in your store, and post a photo of their purchases on social media with a particular hashtag. Winners will be chosen through an electronic raffle which can be done through a Facebook live session and can be saved as well for future reference.

To entice your visitors to join, don’t make the grand prize too valuable. This may sound counterintuitive, but if the value of the prize is too high, they might think that it’s impossible to win it.

Same goes for the number of prizes. Offer plenty of consolation prizes so your prospects think they have a chance of winning at least one prize out of the many.


Lead magnets are key to building a mailing list and a customer base with whom you have a trust-based business relationship and who you can market to. Having excellent lead magnets that convert the right visitors can make your eCommerce business a successful one.

Let me quickly recap the 15 lead magnets I mentioned today:

  • 1. Quiz/Survey
  • 2. Challenge
  • 3. Checklist
  • 4. Product Buying Guide
  • 5. Comparison Table
  • 6. Toolkit
  • 7. Tutorial
  • 8. Email Course
  • 9. Waitlist
  • 10. Digital Coupon
  • 11. Free or Discounted Shipping
  • 12. Daily Deal Updates
  • 13. Free Gift/Sample
  • 14. Giveaway
  • 15. Contest


Before you start creating your lead magnets to boost conversion of your visitors to mailing list subscribers, here are some more reminders to help you create effective lead magnets.

Never forget your existing subscribers.

The tendency is to go all out in finding new subscribers, growing your email list, and increasing your potential customers.

Which is well and good, of course.

However, focusing too much on growing your email list might result in your existing subscribers feeling a little neglected and ignored.

distracted boyfriend

Work on your emails for everyone. Make sure that any offers you make to new subscribers as well as the quality of email content you send them are the same or at least comparable to the offers and quality you provide your existing ones.

Split-test your lead magnets.

If you’ve researched your target audience well, you should have a good idea of what lead magnets are likely to attract and compel them to subscribe to your email list.

But the reality is that it’s difficult to predict which lead magnets are going to work best.

Split testing allows you to know for sure which ones your audience is more likely to go for.

You can split test the type of lead magnet (e.g., tutorial versus email course), the prize you offer for free gifts, or even the format (e.g., checklists in a PDF document versus checklists in an Excel table).

Always be providing value.

If your audience doesn’t see the value of your lead magnet, they won’t be interested and they won’t sign up for your mailing list. It’s that simple.

You can dress up your content-based lead magnet all you want: great visuals, nice typography, readable format. But if they don’t learn anything new, or it doesn’t make their lives easier, it’s worthless.

The same goes for your free gifts and giveaways. If you’re not giving away a useful product, it’s pointless.

Whenever you brainstorm lead magnet ideas, always ask yourself if your target customer will find it valuable.

Did I miss anything? What other lead magnet ideas have worked for your eCommerce site? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author

JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.