Lantern Marketing is now part of Guide MKTG.  🎉  Read about the acquisition here.

33 Types of Lead Generators You Can Use to Grow Your Business

How does automated lead generation work?

Essentially, you first create something of value, generally in the form of digital content, that you plan to give to potential clients for free. Then, you publish a landing page on your website describing that free offering. This landing page will include a form for interested website visitors to put in their email address and get your free digital gift in exchange for their contact information.

By giving you their email address, potential customers are not only giving you permission to send them your lead generator but also to continue contacting them. This allows you to take the time to nurture that relationship through content marketing, greatly increasing the likelihood of making a sale.

Instead of having to manually generate all your leads by making cold calls, sending mailers, or going out in person to hunt down each one, you are allowing your website and email management system to do some of the work for you.


4 Types of Lead Generator Content Delivery

Before you choose which type of lead generator you’d like to create for your business, it is important to note that there are four different ways you can deliver this valuable content to your target audience:

  • Written
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Face-to-Face

Read this blog post to learn the pros and cons of each method so that you can choose the best option for your business.


33 Lead Generator Ideas

Throughout this list you will find ideas that use all four of the content delivery methods mentioned above. To choose the best option for your ideal client, consider:

  • The main goal of your lead generator
  • The type of content your ideal client consumes most
  • Your preferred communication style
  • The best format to showcase your business and information


The Most Popular Type of Lead Generator: Printable PDFs

This first type of lead generator is largely text-based. PDFs allow you to provide valuable information to your ideal client without needing complicated technology and advanced programs to create it. For this type of lead generator to be effective, you need clearly presented, valuable content and an appealing design.

If you don’t have design skills, you can use a free program like Canva to modify a basic template that meets your needs. If you don’t love writing, you can use an AI program like Jasper to help generate ideas.

Keep in mind that both of these “shortcuts” will still take up a large amount of your time. If you have the budget to outsource the creation of your lead generator, that will always deliver a higher quality product and better results.

Here are a few of the most common printable PDF lead generator ideas:

  • Checklist
  • Worksheet
  • Calendar
  • How-To Guide
  • Cheat Sheet
  • Pricing Guide


Low-Tech Lead Generator Ideas

This next type of lead generator could be created in a printable PDF format or be strictly digital. These options are very low-tech, mostly word-based types of lead generators.


Blog posts are generally published on your website and readily available for all to see. Although a blog post is the easiest way to provide valuable, text-only information without any need for design, the idea of a “free blog post” doesn’t sound super valuable. If you want someone to fork over their email for a blog post, you are going to need to get creative.

To increase the perceived value of a blog post you need an irresistible title and exclusive information people won’t be able to find easily through a Google search. You could also add value by sending potential clients a list of blog posts organized in a way that gives them an introduction or deeper understanding of a certain topic.


An ebook is a digital book that can be read on a computer or electronic device. They are usually longer and more comprehensive than a blog post. They have a higher perceived value because we are already accustomed to paying for books.

Swipe File

A swipe file is a collection of your best ideas. Your ideal client uses your swipe file for ideas and inspiration to help solve their problem.

For us, as a marketing agency, a swipe file we might offer potential customers would include email templates, subject line examples, tips for great messaging, and examples of other marketing materials.

Case Study

A case study is a very in-depth look at how you successfully solved one of your client’s problems. Case studies show that you have the experience and results to back up your claims. They also give potential clients an inside look at what it is like to work with you and how you can help them solve the same problem.

White Paper

White papers are a more in-depth, academic style of lead generator. They often include research and data that prove how well your product or service works. White papers prove you are an expert in your field and that your product or service gets results. However, this lead generation strategy works best for B2B (business to business) companies or companies working with a very fact-driven audience.


A digital toolkit, or bundle, is a collection of digital resources designed to solve your ideal client’s pain point. It could essentially be a compilation of the items listed in the first section (templates, checklists, calendars, etc.).

Slide Deck

A slide deck is a great lead generation strategy to use if you are presenting at a conference or other in-person event. You can offer to send a copy of your presentation slides to attendees in exchange for their email address.

Email Series/Email Course

To create an email series or course, you compile all the content you want to deliver and then divide it up into small chunks that you can deliver by email. You then set up the emails to be delivered automatically through your email marketing software (we prefer ConvertKit) at predetermined time intervals.


High-Tech Lead Generator Ideas

These high-tech lead generation ideas require even more time and technology know-how. Although these offerings have a higher perceived value, they also require a bigger initial investment to get them up and running.

  • Quiz/Assessment
  • Online Summit
  • Interview Series
  • Software
  • Mini Course
  • Video Series
  • Membership
  • Behind the Scenes Training


The Best Type of Lead Generator for Bargain Hunters

If you know that your potential customers are avid bargain hunters and you want to use that knowledge to capture more leads, offering sales and freebies is a great way to get people running to hand over their email addresses.

The downside to this technique is that the leads you get through sales and promotions aren’t always high-quality leads. Often bargain hunters are just in it for the deal and won’t become repeat customers, unless you have another sale. However, if you want to generate leads quickly, you could offer a:

  • Sample
  • Free Trial
  • Free Session/Consultation
  • Coupon


Face-to-Face Lead Generator Ideas

This last group of lead generation strategies requires more of your time than any of the other types of lead generators. You can’t automate a face-to-face meet-up, which means you are always trading your time for high-quality leads.

Although there is a place for in-person events in your lead generation efforts, you don’t want this to be the only way you generate leads for your business. However, if your main goal is to foster deep, personal connections, you can connect with potential customers through a:

  • Book Club
  • Event
  • Conference
  • Mastermind Group
  • Challenge
  • Meet & Greet
  • Open House


When it comes to lead generators, there is truly something for everyone. If you’re an introvert, there are plenty of options that don’t require you to be the life of the party. If you’re a tech geek, several of these methods are right up your alley.

No matter what your comfort level or skill set is, there is a type of lead generator out there that you can create to grow your business.

If none of these 30+ ideas seem like the perfect fit, or you find it too daunting to create a lead generator from scratch, schedule a call with us today. We love to set small business owners up for success by creating high-quality lead generators that will continue bringing in new potential customers for years to come. It is just one of the ways we ensure our clients stop wasting good money on bad marketing.


Recent Articles

Is the Curse of Knowledge Killing Your Marketing Strategy?

Is it really possible to know too much? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but having in-depth knowledge of a business doesn’t automatically mean you will excel at marketing it. The curse of knowledge could be covertly killing your marketing strategy. What is the...

How to Use AI Responsibly in Marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic concept. The Flintstones have officially met the Jetsons. AI models have woven themselves into the fabric of our daily lives and our marketing practices. Which may have left you wondering, what does that mean for...

The Subtle Difference Between Self-Promotion vs. Marketing

As marketers, we've been told that visibility brings success. While that is true, you also need to be telling the right story to the right people in order to grow. There is a subtle, yet monumental, difference between self-promotion vs marketing. Let's explore when...

Would you like free marketing tips to help you grow your business?

You May Also Like…

Frustrated with Marketing?

Strategic marketing takes more that an inactive social account, set-it-and-forget-it Google ads, and messy messaging. Sign up for our weekly marketing tips to take your marketing to the next level.


Sign me up!