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6 Easy Ideas For Lead-Generating PDFs That Will Grow Sales


When it comes to content marketing, you have quite a few hurdles to leap over.

  1. You want people to read your content.
  2. You want people to love your content enough to share it.
  3. You want to get those people’s contact information so you can turn them into customers. You can’t forget about the buyer’s journey!

So how can you reach all three of these goals at once? The secret is to create an offer they can download, also known as a lead generating PDF. O
 is a lead-generating PDF.

After all, if you want to grow your business, you need to grow your sales. To do that, you must attract quality leads to your business, and a lead-generating offer is one of the simplest, most affordable and effective lead strategies.

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What Is A Lead Generating Offer?

A lead-generating offer is a piece of valuable content you give leads in exchange for their email address. After they give you their email address, you can create a lead-nurturing email campaign to on-ramp them as customers. 

And when I say "valuable content," I don’t mean a newsletter. Sorry, but nobody wants your newsletter.

Lead-generating offers should always:

  • Bring attention to your product/service
  • Identify customers’ problems
  • Solve customers’ problems
  • Establish trust
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Create brand reciprocity
  • And offer free value to customers

Lead-generating offers also happen to be one of the key elements of StoryBrand's Marketing Roadmap. They're a necessary component for both inbound marketing and storytelling marketing—and something every B2B and B2C business should aim to create.

There are a variety of lead generators you can produce, from white papers and ebooks to videos and webinars. In this blog, I’m going to focus on one of the simplest forms of downloadable offers: the PDF.

Here are six irresistible ideas for lead-generating PDFs you can use on your website, emails, blogs and social media to capture leads.

6 Ideas For Lead-Generating Offers That Boost Your Sales

1. The Infographic

Who doesn’t love an infographic? Not only are they eye-catching and visually appealing, but they are also easy to digest. Infographics are the perfect place to showcase bullet-style content in a simple way. 

Be sure to keep the content of your infographic short; otherwise, it will overwhelm the design. Here's a nifty infographic our team put together to showcase the effectiveness of videos in content marketing:


Infographics are perfect for:

Pros and cons lists

Highlighting product features


Sharing out interesting statistics

A few examples of potential infographic topics:

  • 10 Shocking Email Marketing Stats You Should Know
  • 8 Signs Your Exercise Regimen Isn't Working
  • 5 Ways Hunger Impacts Kids’ Learning

Pro tip:

Make a simple version to give away for free on social media and a more robust version to hide behind a form. That way, you can provide all of your followers with helpful content but still collect leads to be nurtured into customers.

2. The Checklist

The checklist is like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of lead-generating PDFs. It’s basic, fast and simple, but it works!

A checklist is a great way to list pain points your customer may experience. You can make your checklist as simple as an infographic, or you can add supporting paragraphs to each list item to provide even more value for your potential customers.

You can also use the checklist to list items that may benefit your customer or use it open a story loop in your customer’s mind. For example, if you are a pet boarder, you could ask, “Is your dog getting the attention they deserve?” then follow up with, “We walk our dogs for 10 minutes a day and offer play times throughout the day.” “Is your dog being fed unhealthy food?” “We only feed our doggie guests grain-free, nutritious and delicious treats and meals.”

12-Mistakes-You-Are-Making-With-Your-Skin-Checklist-MockUp-LandingPage-DrProffer (1).png

Checklists are perfect for:

Listing symptoms or signs of a problem

Step-by-step instructions or how to's

Troubleshooting guides or must-have lists

A few examples of potential checklist titles:

  • 20 Beauty Essential Every Fashion Blogger Needs
  • Pre-Boarding Checklist For Your Dog
  • 7  Signs Your Doctor Isn't Really Listening To You

Pro tip:

When sharing out your checklist on a blog or social media, tease the content by giving away 1-3 items. This will help leads get a better idea of what the content will include and entice them to download the full content.

3. The White Paper Or Ebook

White papers and ebooks are excellent lead generators if you want to create in-depth content. Sometimes, you just can't break down what you need to say into a mini infographic. These long forms of content provide you with more flexibility to go more in-depth on the offer content.

White papers are generally 1 to 4 pages long, while ebooks can be anywhere from 5 to 100 pages long. It can be challenging to decide whether a white paper or an ebook would be right for your topic. When creating longer content, keep this in mind: Less is more.

While ebooks can provide more information—and potentially more value to customers—people may feel intimidated scrolling through 100 pages of content. This is especially the case if the topic is relatively simple and doesn't need to be described in detail.


White papers and ebooks are perfect for:

Research papers

Case studies

Technical papers

A few examples of potential white paper or ebook titles:

  • How To Create An Inbound Marketing Campaign That Grows Your Business
  • The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce
  • Best Practices For Teaching Effective Literacy In The Classroom

Pro tip:

Avoid using the words "ebook" or "white paper" in the title of your offer. These jargon-y phrases are not enticing to potential downloaders. Instead, refer to your offer as a guide, case study, or report in the title or other references, as these are typically more appealing to the average person.

4. Value List

The value list is essentially what it says — a list that provides value to your customers. For example, let’s say you own a car dealership. You could create a value list for parents buying their teens their first car, such as 10 Things To Look For When Buying Your Teen A Car.

Value lists are very similar to checklists. They typically differ in the length and the design of the content. While checklists can contain 1-2 sentences of description after each list item, value lists can go even more in detail with several paragraphs of description. Most value lists are designed similarly to white papers because of the longer length.

In order to create an excellent value list, you must understand your customers. Understanding your buyer personas, like your customers’ struggles and desires, is the key to producing content your customers will love and appreciate.

Download our FREE buyer persona guide

value-list.pngValue lists are perfect for:

Highlighting what sets you apart from competitors

Emphasizing the importance of hiring someone in your field

Bringing awareness to a product benefit or need customers don't often think of

A few ideas for potential value list topics:

  • 6 Common Mistakes Every First-Time Homeowner Makes
  • 10 Gardening Hacks That Make Any Yard Look Stunning
  • 8 Money-Saving Tips All 30-Somethings Should Know

5. Free Samples

The sampler is a downloadable example of your product or service. While a sampler may not be relevant for every type of business, it can be an extremely powerful lead-generating tool, especially if the product sells better after someone has used it.

Here’s a great example: We created a buyer persona ebook for our target audience. To complement that offer, we designed buyer persona templates people could download so they could build their own buyer personas.


Samplers are perfect for:

Product promotions or demos

Free samples

Free tools

A few ideas of potential sampler topics:

  • Free Excel Spreadsheet Templates For Better Product Management
  • 10 Mouth-Watering Recipes For Summer Barbecues
  • Free Body Measurement Chart For Weight Loss

6. The Magazine Article

A magazine article is a great way to attract a large audience. Unlike a white paper, which can tend to be quite technical, a magazine article can include a swath of photos, charts, infographics, pull-out quotes, or other visual elements.

To get the same benefits from this piece of content as you would from an infographic or a white paper, you should host the magazine article on your own site, not an actual magazine article. That way, you can have leads fill out a form to download the content so you can nurture them into customers.

A magazine article is also a smart way to repurpose your existing content. You could compile several blogs on the same topic and turn those into an article-style offer.


Magazine articles are perfect for:

Collections of blog articles or other pre-made content

In-depth guides featuring more visual elements

Sharing client testimonials and case studies

A few ideas:

  • How To Create The Patio Of Your Dreams In 10 Steps
  • The Ultimate Guide To Camping In The Rocky Mountains
  • The Top Skin Care Products And Treatments For Glowing Skin


Collect & Nurture Leads With Compelling Lead Generating Offers

As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless with a lead-generating PDF. Creating a library of compelling lead generating content can be overwhelming, particularly if you have to do it all on your own. I hope this blog provided you with the information and inspiration you need to create a lead-generating PDF for your business.

Need help? Sign up for StoryBrand’s online marketing course. In this class, StoryBrand will teach you how to create a compelling lead-generating PDF that will attract your ideal customers and grow your email list—and ultimately your sales.

Get The StoryBrand Online Course

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