What’s a Lead Magnet (10 SaaS Examples for Inspiration)

Founder & CEO
min read
September 7, 2023

Have you ever given your email address to download an eBook, a case study, or a research report? Or, signed up for a webinar to hear an expert interview? If so, you already know what a lead magnet is! 

Marketers commonly use a lead magnet tool that compels their target audience to exchange their contact information to access the lead magnet. 

We have got you covered if you’re looking for ideas on creating lead magnets. 

This guide has the recipe to create effective lead magnets, plus examples from leading SaaS brands for inspiration. 

What is a Lead Magnet?

Successful lead magnets are valuable resources that marketers offer to website visitors in exchange for their contact information or their email address. This is done to grow the brand’s email list so that they can at a later time, retarget them with email marketing campaigns or pass on to the sales team for conversion opportunities. 

What Makes a Lead Magnet Effective?

There are so many different ways to make lead magnets, from ebooks to webinars to blog posts, but what makes them actually effective in bringing in leads? What makes prospects give up their precious time and information to grab your offer? We explain below. 

  1. Must be Relevant

The lead magnet needs to be relevant to the interests of your target audience. For example, if you create a lead magnet for salespeople, the content should offer some value relevant to their job profile. If it's not, they won't be interested in it, and they won't provide their contact information. And your purpose will be lost.

To determine the relevance of your lead magnet, you need to know who your target audience is and what matters to them. Conducting market research on your current customers is a great way to find out their problems and how you can offer solutions through your piece of content that can make their job easier.

A lead magnet serves its purpose only when it can solve the problems of its target audience. What are their specific pain points? Is it easy for them to solve those elsewhere? Are you offering something unique and necessary?

Customers are more likely to provide information if you can offer what they want. For example, instead of showing them the main benefits or solutions of your product or service, tell them the pain points you can solve or the problems you can help them with. Real customers value real solutions to their problems.

  1. Must-Have High Perceived Value

A lead magnet must provide some immediate value to the recipient. Providing something with a high monetary value isn't always necessary. You can also offer less tangible value, such as exclusive access to a new product or service. Or limited-time access to a tool or a course for free.

  1. Sticks to Your Promise

The lead magnet should adhere to your promise to your customers. For example, if you said you would give them a free guide on starting a home business, make sure the guide is free and helpful.

Or if you told them that they'd get free answers to the quizzes they take in exchange for their email addresses, then make sure you send them the answers once they have sent the confirmation email.

Avoid creating clickbait content that can harm your brand reputation, as it can be perceived as a false promise.

  1. Easy to Download

A good lead magnet should also be easy to redeem and download. That said, the value you provide to your leads is in the exclusivity of your lead magnet. You're not delivering real value if the answer to a specific pain point is easily found elsewhere.

10 Examples of Great Lead Magnets

While you may come across various forms of lead magnets, here are some of the most popular forms of lead magnets. 

1. Free Trials

Have you ever received a tiny shampoo sachet or a makeup product for free along with a magazine? It’s often a promotional offer by a B2C company to make you fall in love with their product. That’s precisely what free trials do. Many SaaS companies offer a limited period free trial of their product for the prospect to explore the tool before purchasing.

Free trials are great lead magnets because they give full access to the tool to explore in exchange for email ids.

Here’s how Storylane does it. It gives complete access to its interactive product demo platform where the lead can build their product demo. To use the tool, the lead has to share their email ID.

Screenshot showing how free trials work as a lead magnet

2. Product Demos

Interactive demos are live embedded working product demos that visitors can play around with. They give your audience a good idea of what your product does without sharing your credit card information.

Interactive demos work well because they give a first-hand experience of how the product works. Plus, you can capture the details of the high-intent prospects interested in buying your product.

Here’s an example from Sumo Logic that used Storylane’s interactive product demo. The interactive product demo gives a quick product tour showing how the tool works and capturing high-intent leads at the end of the product tour.

Screenshot of an interactive product demo 

3. Ebook

An ebook lead magnet is a digital book, usually considerably longer than a blog post, and has more value. Ebooks are popular lead magnets that provide your target audience with valuable information otherwise hard to find elsewhere. You can include case studies, survey reports, and thought leadership content from industry experts with actionable tips that the lead can immediately apply to their business. 

Here’s an example of an ebook from ProductLed. The ebook has a compelling name: How to turn users into lifelong customers.

The title is simple and immediately resonates with ProductLed’s ICP, i.e., the salespeople, and promises to address one of their key pain points — how to turn users into lifelong customers. The book includes a 6-step framework on product-led onboarding that ProductLed has used for their customers (some of the top brands in the industry) and giving it away for free through their ebook that their ICP can immediately implement in their sales process.

What we liked best is the entire book is available on their website, and anyone can read it without exchanging an email id. But, since most salespeople are pressed for time, they might not have the time to read the entire book in one go. Further, they may also want to save a copy for future reference. And so, they might want to have a downloadable PDF version. So, it’s natural they will provide their email address to get a downloaded copy in their inbox —- precisely what ProductLed had wanted while creating this valuable lead magnet!

Screenshot of ebook as lead magnet

4. Webinars

A webinar is a live online seminar. They are perfect for demonstrating how your product or service works. You can also answer any questions your audience may have during the webinar. It’s a great way to engage with your ICP and understand their pain points that need to be solved.

Webinars are a type of content that generate authoritative content. Plus, since they are conducted live, many people want to sign up to interact with their peers or industry experts and get their questions answered. Usually, to sign up, one has to share their email ids, so it works great as a lead magnet. You can ask the leads to leave their email ids to get the webinar recording too. So, if someone has missed attending the webinar or wants to listen to it later, they will be willing to share their email ids.

Here’s a great example of a webinar hosted by Lexion, a Contract management software. The webinar focuses on helping salespeople close deals faster (using contract management software) that often gets delayed due to legal complexity. Lexion has partnered with RevGenius to host this webinar. This works perfectly for Lexion because RevGenius is a community for salespeople that happens to be Lexion’s ICP too! In short, this webinar works for Lexion to fetch leads and engage with their ICP.

Screenshot of webinar landing page

5. Automated Evaluation

Automated evaluations can be interactive quizzes that provide customized results based on the inputs by the lead or serve as a diagnostic tool to analyze a situation of the lead. Automated evals work as great lead magnets since they are interactive and offer unique insights into the lead’s business. Usually, to access the report of the tool, one has to provide their email id or contact details.

Here’s an example from Wordstream 

Screenshot showing automated evaluation as lead magnet

Businesses spend huge amounts on Google ads to boost sales. Statista mentions that in 2022, Adobe spent 130 million USD in Google Ads. Using WordStream’s automated eval tool, leads connect their Google Ads account to the grader and receive a report on their campaign's performance against industry benchmarks. The tool is simple to use and resides on the home page of Wordstream. So anyone landing on their website will get to see the automatic eval tool, and if they’re using Google ads, they will be curious to see how their account is performing. To begin using the eval, one has to sign up using their email id.

6. Survey Reports

A survey report is a report that gathers and presents all the information received during a survey. In the B2B SaaS space, survey reports work as an authentic source of data and helps businesses to understand industry insights and current and future trends. These insights help the decision-makers to make important strategic decisions.

Survey reports are great lead magnets because they are hyper-targeted and offer first-hand information about the industry.

Here’s how MoEngage, a customer engagement platform, has done it well. They surveyed insight-led customer engagement, and to gain access to the survey report, the lead has to share their contact information. The survey landing page mentions what the report offers and actionable strategies for brands to pivot to a customer-centric approach for customer engagement.

Screenshot of a survey report landing page

7. Templates

Lead magnet templates are blueprints of useful documents specialists in different fields need to complete their daily work. Examples of templates include cold calling scripts, social media carousel templates, tracking sheets, project management templates, content calendars etc. They are invaluable assets that help your target audience to get started with a project. They can be used for anything—from website design to presentation.

Since templates are usually PDF, Word documents or spreadsheets, they're easy to download and use. Since these templates are invaluable parts of the prospects’ daily work, brands can easily ask for the leads’ email addresses. 

Attractive lead magnet templates help people immediately get the result they want. Applying templates to solve problems is very "hands-on" for leads, and they can experience the value in an unmediated way.

Here’s a great example from Gong. The brand offers 11 persuasive sales email templates covering the entire sales cycle. The templates are very hands-on, and any sales rep would love to have these templates for ready reckon.

Screenshot of a template as lead magnet

8. Checklists

Checklists are job aids that help prospects complete repetitive tasks or smaller tasks to finish a bigger task or project successfully. Since human memory is limited, checklists reduce the chance of missing out on any critical steps while performing the task.

Checklists can be an effective type of lead magnet. They are straightforward and provide value by offering a clear and actionable list of steps or tasks to achieve a specific outcome.

Here’s an example from Visme that has onboarding checklist templates. You have to share your email ID to download and use their checklist. Take a look.

Screenshot of onboarding checklist as lead magnet

9. Newsletter

Business newsletters are a type of email newsletter that businesses send to their subscribers to share valuable information or industry trends. Newsletters are a great way for business leaders to stay updated about industry news and trends. Newsletters can be sent daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Newsletter sign-up usually requires the lead to share their email ID. Newsletters with unique POVs and deep industry insights work as great lead magnets.

For example, Storylane has a fortnightly newsletter that offers practical wisdom to tech buyers. This is a great lead magnet because Storylane gets regular sign ups from the newsletter. 

Screenshot of newsletter landing page

10. Expert Roundups

Expert roundups are content assets that gather inputs from subject matter experts from different niches and present it in the format of long or short form articles.

As a brand, you reach out to subject matter experts or industry leaders in the chosen niche and ask them to share their opinions, thoughts, or approaches to solve a problem. You then compile all the responses together in one place, which can be a blog post, ebook, or podcast episode.

Expert roundups work as great lead magnets because it’s valuable, a collection of expert opinions that will matter to the lead, and a great opportunity to get more eyeballs to your website because the experts are more likely to share the content with their network.

Here’s an example from iPullrank. The brand created an expert roundup as an ebook with insights from eight industry experts. The experts have come together to share their thoughts, tips, and strategies on how to build a content strategy at the enterprise level. Since they have gated content in the ebook, the lead has to share their email IDs to get their hands on it. Take a look.

Screenshot of expert roundup landing page

How to Distribute Your Lead Magnet to Get More Eyes on it? 

So, you have created a kickass lead magnet and uploaded it on your website. Your website already has a huge volume of traffic, so you are not much bothered about promoting your lead magnet. Right? Wrong!

Remember, you must grab as many eyeballs as possible for lead magnets to work. And you have done hard work creating it, so why not spread the word? Here are a few tips you can do to get some more views on your lead magnet.

  1. Create a landing page

Whether you have created a survey report, a webinar, or a newsletter, embed them on a landing page. That way, you can distribute the landing page link with anyone. Along with the download link, a landing page also contains a brief synopsis of the lead magnet, so your leads will know what they are downloading. And finally, since all downloads happen from a single page (landing page), tracking the performance is easier.

  1. Promote on social media

The best way to promote your lead magnet is by talking about it to your social media followers. Don’t just drop the link; add a sneak peek of what to expect in the lead magnet. Here’s how we do it when we drop a new edition of our newsletter.

Screenshot of how Storylane distributes its lead magnet
  1. Collaborate with other brands

Collaborating with other brands in your niche is another great way to spread the word. You can either cross-promote each other’s work, guest post on their website, or contribute to creating one portion of the lead magnet. Here’s how our friends at Mailmodo collaborated with us while creating a playbook on enabling free-to-paid conversion through product-led growth. Inside the ebook, we spoke about how interactive demos are a great way to boost conversions. Take a look at the playbook.

Screenshot showing collaboration between two brands for better distribution

How to Measure the Success of a Lead Magnet 

  • Add UTM links to wherever you’re sharing the landing page, this will help you uncover where leads came from before they signed up. 
  • Calculate the conversions on the page, or how many leads shared their email IDs to download the lead magnet.
  • Calculate ROI or how much revenue you could generate from the lead magnet compared to how much you spent on creating it.
  • Analyze the feedback from the leads to understand if your lead magnet was useful. Social listening also helps you gauge what your network says about the lead magnet.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for lead magnet examples, you can pick any of the lead magnet ideas we discussed here. But which one would be the best for your business? There’s no one size fits all answer here. The right lead magnet for your business depends on your target audience, the type of product or service that you offer, and your budget. Remember, the goal of the lead magnet is to grow your email list. 

And to achieve that goal, your lead magnet should have valuable content, actionable takeaways, a unique perspective, and answers to the most pressing questions. It should also present your product or service interestingly and engagingly.

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