One of the most common goals I hear from clients when we first start discussing their marketing issues is that they’d like to grow their email opt-in list and/or generate more leads. They know they need to work on their marketing funnels but don’t really know where to start. And with the endless information on funnels, lead magnets, and software tools out there, it seems more complicated than it actually is – so I’m here to break it down for you into two, simple to execute steps.

Step 1: Implement tools to collect information from and nurture your potential leads

Establish how you want to collect the leads that come in. This can range from live chat software, calendar booking tools, a variety of form types on your site (pop-up, slide-in, static, contact us, exit intent) and more. If you don’t know how to create these, I’d recommend getting started by looking at the options available to you from your email service provider, marketing automation, or even CRM softwares. If you don’t have any of those items place yet, here are some free marketing tools you can use for this that I’ve recommended in a previous post.

Step 2: Creating Lead Magnets

Once you have your tools and plan in place, it’s time for the fun part of creating and maintaining a relationship with your users by serving them up with relatable, useful, and connective content.

What’s a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is something of value that you can exchange for your ideal customer’s contact info. Generally speaking, the best way to approach a lead magnet is to think about pain points aka what is your ideal customer struggling with and how can you make their lives a little bit easier. An example of one we’ve created here at Wildernest is a guide that helps entrepreneurs to get free press mentions via HARO. The form slides in on some of our pages related to marketing, such as our post “4 Tips to Land Press Coverage for your New Business”. It’s reasonable to assume that if someone is interested in that article, they probably want some help with press mentions and so the lead magnet we’ve created is related to that pain point. Feeling a little stuck? Here are some Lead Magnet Ideas:

How-To Guides

Figure out what skills your reader wants to learn more about and create a guide that helps them to tackle it step-by-step. These work best when aligned well with type of content you’re using to promote the guide.


Templates are a great example of a valuable resource that make your ideal client’s life a bit easier, and are one of my favorite lead generation tools. Like how-to guides, these work best when tied-in to the piece of content you’re promoting it on. E.g. a media kit template on a post about what to include in a media kit.


This type of lead magnet is great when there are a lot of steps involved in the service you provide. A checklist can help your ideal client with their planning and makes their lives easier by helping them stay on track. As a bonus side effect, it may also help them to realize that there are some steps in the process that may be difficult to DIY and since they know you’re an expert because of that amazing checklist you’ve put together, you can be the person they turn to for help with that project.


This type of lead magnet works best for creative entrepreneurs. Similar to checklists, this resource can help your potential clients to brainstorm or work through problems in their business. As they’re completing it they may recognize that they need more help than they originally thought. Since you’ve created that amazing exercise or worksheet for them, they now know that a) you’re an expert at this stuff and b) someone they can turn to for help.


These work best for product-based companies, but I’ve also seen them used successfully in software. This one is pretty straightforward, trade your contact info in exchange for a deal or a chance to win something.

Free Consultations

This type of lead magnet is great if you provide services for clients. You can create lead forms encouraging people to book an appointment, add calendar links, or even embed your calendar directly into a post using tools like Calendly or Acuity. For example, I offer 30-minute free initial marketing consultations to discuss your marketing goals and challenges and allow people to book directly on my calendar via Calendly. My Calendly Link See how easy that was? What are some great lead generation examples you’ve come across?


alicia ward

Strategic Marketing Director

Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

With over 5 years in corporate marketing roles, freelance, and sales, Alicia found that building something of her own offered a level of flexibility and freedom that made the most sense with her goals and lifestyle. She loved the idea that she could create a business that she’d be able to grow wherever she went.At Wildernest, she’s working to give women the support and guidance to be the boss of their own companies and their own lives.

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