One of the biggest struggles I had after starting a blog was how to grow an email list!
Back in 2015, I was learning all about how to start a blog and how to use WordPress, but I knew nothing about email marketing or getting subscribers!
I put a tiny opt-in incentive at the bottom of my website that simply said “subscribe for more!”.
More of what exactly? I wasn’t totally sure…
Fast forward almost 4 years and I’ve grown email lists to several thousand subscribers using the same methods EVERY time!
I now focus on offering a valuable freebie up front as an incentive for my readers to give me their email addresses.
I learned what freebies to offer, where to offer them, and some tips to use blog traffic to maximize sign ups.
If you want this juicy info, just grab a copy of my FREE eBook below!
So what are some of the best opt-in freebies you can offer to grow an email list quickly? We're going to look at that right now!
1. Content Upgrade
Content upgrades are really simple to use as freebies. Normally, you would include this upgrade at the end of a blog post. On any specific blog post, you could design an opt-in like “Grab 5 bonus tips!” or “Check out a case study using XYZ method”.
Offering a checklist is a quick and easy opt-in that usually converts pretty well! Checklists are great for instructional and how-to posts. This freebie works well for shopping lists, recipes, organization, and to-do lists.
I’m on the fence with printables because we’re getting dangerously close to “freebie sponger” territory! What I mean by this is that people may only sign-up to grab a few printables but not be interested in what you're marketing to them down the road.
BUT, there are times when printables work really well, especially if you plan on selling them and want to give your audience a sample. Wall art, scheduling, and organization printables are all really popular!
Worksheets are great because they keep your audience engaged a little longer than just reading extra content. You can think of worksheet ideas for almost ANY niche! Fashion bloggers could create a “clothing closet purge” or fitness bloggers could come up with a one-week food journal.
It’s super easy to put together an eBook and give it away as a PDF download! Just be careful you’re not giving away all your information for free. If you’re planning on eventually selling an eBook on your site, try giving away a sample, or a chapter, as your freebie.
6. Email Challenge
I love email challenges because you can really build a relationship with new subscribers. You show up in their inbox everyday and give people loads of information and value! It’s one of the best ways to develop a solid foundation with your readers.
A webinar is a “seminar conducted over the internet”. Webinars can be scary because people are afraid a) no one will show up, b) there will be some sort of technical issue making them look unprofessional, or c) they won’t be able to answer questions/they won’t come across as knowledgeable enough on their topic.
Don't let this scare you away from webinars! After you feel comfortable engaging with your audience for a few months, I DEFINITELY recommend considering a webinar freebie.
Remember, you DON'T have to be an expert. Anything you know could be valuable to someone else who's at a different place in their journey!
8. Access Social Media Group (Tailwind Tribes/Facebook group/Pinterest Communities):
This is a great idea for people who may not be as “tech-savy” or people who don't have time to create digital downloads. PLUS, it gives your readers a community where they can communicate, ask questions, and have access directly to you!
Mini-courses are fantastic because you can really help your audience with a particular pain point. It allows you to go super in-depth and show off your expertise! My favorite platform is Teachable because it allows you to use text, audio and visual components. And as long as your course is free, Teachable makes it totally free to create and send to your subscribers!
Templates are great because they’re a HUGE help to your subscribers who need something specific. You can create text or design templates so your audience can just plug in their information and be done!
I love cheatsheets because they're quick and simple! They're normally just 1-2 pages of bite sized info about a certain subject. They tend to get lots of subscribers because you can be REALLY specific and niche down to appeal to a particular group of readers. I have a cheatsheet about SEO optimization!
A workbook is similar to a worksheet, except it's a little more in depth and (obviously) longer. It adds loads of value to your audience because it's something they can come back to again and again.
Melyssa Griffin has a workbook opt-in that's gained her over 200,000 subscribers!
13. Video Course
A video course is a great way to show off more of your personality in your freebie. You can offer a tutorial type course with a how-to video that uses PowerPoint or a screen share, OR you can create a YouTube style video/lecture where you're talking directly to the audience.
14. Resource Library
Resource libraries are REALLY common, and with good reason. They're great for offering multiple freebies at once and giving your subscribers a reason to keep coming back to your site.
Not sure how to create one? I have a post on it here.
15. Discount Off Paid Poducts
If you have an affiliate partnership with someone OR if you offer your own products+services on your blog, offering a discount in exchange for email addresses is a fantastic way to get super hot leads!
If someone is interested enough to grab a discount off what you're selling, there's a high probability you're going to be able to convert those subscribers to paying customers!
16. Free Sample From a Paid Product
Offering subscribers a free sample from a product you're selling works really well! Not only are you providing value for them, you're building up credibility for your products and services. This can work for any niche!
You can provide a sample from books, printables, courses or lectures.
Quizzes are becoming really popular opt-in incentives because, well, people love quizzes! You can design a quiz quickly for ANY niche.
Instead of designing a quiz similar to what you would take in school, make it something the reader will learn about THEMSELVES.
For example, you could offer quizzes like "Who's Your Fashion Icon?", "Are You Destined to be an Entrepreneur?", or, "What's Your Parenting Style?".
18. Swipe File
I've been seeing swipe files as opt-in freebies really grow in popularity lately! A swipe file is basically a list or collection "pre-made" resources for your audience. You could offer something like "50 Hacks for XYZ", or, "20 Pre-Written Instagram Captions".
19. Weekly or Monthly Gifts
Offering weekly or monthly gifts is a similar concept to offering a newsletter, except the gifts normally add greater value to the subscriber. Whether it's weekly recipes or monthly content upgrades, this is a great freebie for growing an email list and maintaining a great relationship with them!
20. Audio File
It's no secret that Podcasts and audio are SUPER popular! People love listening while they're driving, working out, or even showering. Creating a bonus piece of audio content will appeal to tons of people!
Try an interview with someone in your niche, an entertaining story, or something motivational+inspirational for your audience.
21. Coaching or a Live Call With You
Offering one-on-one interactions is a great opt-in freebie for service based blogs and businesses. You can offer a 10-minute phone call or assessment, or you can offer a Skype session to give your subscribers tips.
This freebie is a little bit more labor-intensive and it's all about quality over quantity, but it will help you build a stronger connection with your audience right off the bat!
I hope these freebie ideas stirred up some creativity in you for your next opt-in! You'll be on your way to growing an incredible email list in NO time.
Want some extra tips and tricks to create the perfect freebie your readers will grab super fast? Grab my FREE eBook : Email Marketing Deconstructed.