Confused what to send your Email list when you have nothing to send?
Apply this strategy and make your emails engaging .
Want a tribe of superfans who wait for your advice to follow it? Want a dedicated fanbase who ask you questions, engage with your content and eventually buy without you being pushy?
Want to earn money from your blog without creating bulky online courses with a headache of editing videos online? If you want to make a steady income from your blog, you have to make a medium for your fans to communicate with you.
According to a report, nearly 4.2 billion people will be using emails by 2022. Which shows how important email as a communication medium can be. Email marketing converts at 4.29%, which is higher than search engine marketing, direct, and social media marketing.
To get email address from your blog visitors, you have to offer an awesome freebie so that they happily give you their email address.
You can see how important is your freebie for your online business blog. In this post, I will outline how to create effective freebies so that your audience will run to give you their email address.
Table of contents
Brainstorming Freebie Ideas
Thinking about what to make to attract your audience is one of the most daunting tasks. In this section, I will explain how to generate ideas about your freebie before making it.
Review your competitors
Before inventing something new, have a look at your competitors opt-ins. It is important to review competitors before starting a blog . How the top influencers in your niche are generating thousands of email subscribers? Why are people giving their email address your competitor's freebies? You have to look at three things in your competitor's freebies.
Three things to observe in Competitor's Freebies
Opt-ins placement on their blog/landing page
You will observe how your competitors place their opt-ins in their blog posts and how they blend opt-ins in the blog post matters.
Observe how they are linking the freebies with their blog post. You will find a relationship between their blog post and their freebies.
Freebies inside a blog post convert much less than a landing page. Observe their dedicated landing page, its design, their enticing headlines on it and even the Call to action button on it.
Observe which emotion are they evoking inside their readers.
What are they giving to their audience?
The next thing to observe is what they are offering to their audience. Is it a quick win? Is it a planner which they are helping them in organizing?
Here don't observe in what format they are offering the solution.
Just watch how they are addressing the problem of their audience and giving them a solution as well.
How are they promoting their freebie?
If you make all the effort of making powerful opt-ins, checking every point on the checklist, but nobody is observing it, then it is also a problem.
Watch out how your competitors are promoting their freebies. Chances are, they promote their freebies more than their blog posts.
Check their promotional strategies for their freebies. More the people see your freebie; the more will be your conversion rate.
5 point Checklist for an effective freebie
If you know me, You know I am crazy about analysis. After a lot of research and analysis of 100+ successful Lead Magnets, I observed these 5 points common in them. Irrespective of type of opt-in you are offering, these bullet points should be there in your freebie to convert and bring right subscribers and buyers in your Email list.
Incorporate these 5 elements in your freebie
It should offer a transformation for a subscriber "problem" state to a "happy" state.
Your freebie should offer a quick transformation to your audience. It should offer a quick solution to their current state. Try to address a small problem of your target audience and offer a solution.
It should be quick to consume
Gone are the days when bulky e-books worked well. Now, the lead magnets should be small and quick to consume. Large e-books end up consuming storage in computers only.
It should align with your blog categories and products.
Make opt-ins aligned to your paid products. If you do not have any product, it should not be irrelevant to the niche of your blog categories. If there is no relation between your products and freebies, you will just populate your email list with audience who won't engage with you and ultimately won't buy from you.
It should be very specific
Your freebie should be very specific to the problem of your target audience. Too broad topic freebies don't work as they do not encourage people to give their email addresses to you.
It should give immediate gratification to your audience
After downloading it, your subscriber shouldn't feel cheated. Don't use clickbait headings to promote your freebies. Just try to grab attention of your audience only. Also after downloading, your freebie should give immediate gratification to your subscriber. And it should not be of low quality.
It should look beautiful
Now this is not a necessity, but take it as a bonus tip. Your freebie should be beautiful. If not beautiful, try to make it less boring. Since you will have a image of your freebie on your website, it's beauty and graphic design increases the chances of downloads. However if the above 5 points are not valid in your lead magnet, then making it beautiful is futile effort.
How to create a freebie?
Creating freebies in Canva is easy. Watch following video to know how to create freebies in Canva step by step.
20 Ideas for opt-ins with templates
There are different types of freebies you can make. There is no limit to types. More creative, more subscribers will download them and give you their email addresses. But which type of freebies performs the best?
Let's understand with some statistics provided by GetResponse after research.
Statistics for high converting freebies
In long-form content, guides have the highest conversion rate at 67.2%. Focusing on guides could shoot up your conversion rates by a significant amount.
Anything above a 20% conversion rate is a successful freebie. Email-course also performed well at a 31.1% rate.
Paid e-book samples at 55%, checklists at 43%, and newsletters at 41% have the highest conversion rates in short-form content. Hence, all the claims of "Newsletter don't work anymore" are not valid.
Do you observe, there is no e-book in long-form content? E-books are good as a paid product but not as a freebie. That's why e-book samples are the best short-form content freebie.
Okay, now we know that what type of freebies need our attention.
Top three Long form opt-in ideas that converts
These are simple long guides for your readers. They are dedicated to an essential topic in your niche.
You can convert your lengthy content into a PDF and offer it as a freebie to your audience.
Test which content piece is doing very well for you. Make an engaging PDF from it and present it to your audience in exchange for an email address.
Reports are Case Studies and Analysis on a particular topic. You can make a report on a specific topic in your niche and present it to your audience.
Make sure the topic is something they care about. it should not be something that only you find interesting.
But it should be something, that your audience wants.
Here your research with statistics matters the most. Try to make reports interesting through visuals, charts and deductions.
Email courses are an excellent way to build up engagement with your audience.
Not only it proves an effective freebie to collect emails, but it also solves a problem for beginners of not having anything to send to your email list.
You can also use your email course as a free sample offering to your similar paid product.
People enjoy timely divided informative emails and learn as well from them as they are easy to consume.
Top three Short form opt-in ideas that converts
Provide a sneak peek of your paid e-books to your audience as a freebie. You can see they convert best.
E-book samples can increase your sales as well.
Also, try to make the e-book interesting. Add charts, visuals, diagrams and images in it.
Show it in the product placement how they look inside.
This is the way you show your audience how your e-book is better than your competitor.
Checklists are something everyone wants to keep in handy. No matter what niche you are in, you can always make checklists for your audience.
For the fitness niche, make checklists for healthy grocery shopping. For investing money niche, make mutual funds and shares checklists. For the travel niche, make an essential travel accessories checklist.
For any niche, you can always make awesome checklists.
Chances are your audience want these checklists, that's why they convert so well.
Newsletters are an excellent way of generating leads. However, don't go with the all-time boring format of common newsletters.
Innovate something new. Rather than just sending notifications and curation of blog posts, send your subscribers tips and tricks. For example, divide the year into monthly themes and send a weekly newsletter based on that theme only.
This sparks excitement inside your subscribers, which in turn can improve your open rates. Mention your themes on your opt-in forms as well.
More types of freebies you can offer
It produces inquisitiveness to know the final result if one enters it. Works like a charm for an engaging target result.
Offering discounts on your paid products work in the sale of your product as well.
Best for every niche. Beautiful planners help people in getting organized.
Works with moms as the audience. Etsy is filled with coloring pages and people download them for their kids. You can offer simple ones for free.
A free introductory webinar with immense value for your audience is a good opt-in to offer. Informative videos encourage people to take action.
Templates are good offerings for specific products. You can provide graphical templates that you use according to the niche of your blog.
Free one to one consultation for your area of expertise is a great offering. This way your audience have a good experience with your consultation and get to know you better.
It is a collection of marketing material from ads, Facebook, landing pages. If you are in the marketing space, they work like charm. It presents an opportunity to study the success of other marketers.
Cheat sheets work for all niches. Whether is it fitness, travel, finance and marketing, cheat sheets are consumed by everyone for quick reference.
How to Videos
These videos are short and provide value for a specific problem for your audience. Videos are more personal and have a good impact.
Data based planning require spreadsheets. Give your audience the spreadsheets you are using to make your life easier.
A small course packed with lots of value is a good lead magnet. Structure your course in such a way so that it is easy to consume.
Images with motivational quotes, beautiful images for walls and for using it in blogs can be a good lead magnet. Make sure you own these images.
Anything that can be printed and filled up is also a good freebie. Printables work well with target audiences as women as they are more crafty. However, it is not exclusive.
A roadmap is a step by step process to achieve a goal. They work well with the audience with a specific goal in their mind. Make roadmaps for a goal that your audience wants to achieve.
How to Make Money with your Freebie
Though freebie contains the word "free" in it, you can sell it as well. You can put up paid templates, and detailed planners in a bundle and sell them as well. Here are the ways you can sell your printables and premium freebies.
1. Selling printables and premium templates in the outside marketplace
Etsy is a marketplace where you can sell your printables and templates. Many bloggers and graphic designers sell their templates on Etsy and make good money out of it. If you are creative and simultaneously solve your audience problem, you can sell your printables on Etsy.
2. Sell one to one services
After you become good with printable designs, you can sell one to one service to clients and design freebies and lead magnets for them. Pitch your offer and your rates to them and make beautiful printables according to their requirements.
3. Make your best freebies a Tripwire product
Add premium tips and informative things inside your freebie and make them a small product. Offer this product to your audience. A tripwire is a product less than $50. This makes your audience a little open to you and build the trust on the quality of products you offer. The value you provide in tripwire products will decide your audience future purchasing decisions also.
4. Make your freebies part of your sales funnel
Your freebies can be used as an entry point for your big sales funnel. If you have a premium product, a similar freebie will be a great idea to pursue your audience towards it.
How to Promote your freebie?
No matter how much hard work you put into making your freebies, but if enough people don't see them, nobody is going to download them. Also, not everyone who sees your freebie will download it.
A good conversion rate is 20%-30% on a landing page and 10%-15% on your blog post. That means out of every 100 pageviews, if 20-30 are downloading it, then it is a good lead magnet.
A good promotion strategy is very important so that enough people see them and few of them download them.
In this section, we will learn some promotion strategies for your freebies that work for bloggers.
Promotion techniques that works
A Dedicated Landing Page
Create a dedicated landing page for all of your freebies. Landing pages have highest conversion rates. If you want more people to download your lead magnets, create a separate landing pages without distraction for them.
Promotion on Facebook threads
I find Facebook promo threads very useful for beginner bloggers. You get instant traffic boost with good Facebook groups. Promote your freebies on Facebook promo threads. You can also get feedback from there from other bloggers.
Pinterest is a good platform to promote your freebies. You can make 2-3 pins for the landing pages and pin it on your relevant boards. Then promote it in your group boards and Tailwind communities.
Embed freebies on your blog posts
Relevant freebies should be embedded inside blog posts. Try to place them at the start and the end of your post for maximum opt-ins.
Embed freebie on your About Me page
Have a strong Call to Action button on your About Me page. This is a missed opportunity and you can generate leads from your About me page as well.
SEO optimize blog posts and Freebie headlines
Do not neglect SEO optimization for your blog as well as your freebie headlines. This will generate consistent traffic for long term scenario. Hence optimize your freebies headlines and blog post content and headlines both for SEO.
Ask your Email List to share your freebie
If your subscribers find it useful, they will share your freebie in their respective communities. This way you can tap similar audience with high conversion rates. Ask your list to share freebie that they downloaded if they find it useful.
Write a guest post for a higher authority website and link back to your best performing freebie. This way you are increasing your backlink profile as well as promoting freebies with a wider audience of the blog you are guest posting.
How to add freebie to your website?
You already saw at the start of this post an opt-in form. These are important parts of your email marketing strategy. You need opt-in forms for your audience to demand an email address to send them freebies.
There are multiple plug-ins for opt-in forms, but here I will review my favorite one, which is Thrive Leads.
It is easy to embed, have multiple integrations with all email marketing tools and is optimized for mobile devices as well.
The conversions statistics are easy to see with views clicks and emails collected right inside WordPress.
Let's see how to make an opt-in form in Thrive Leads.
Step 1: Go to Thrive Leads Dashboard
Go to the thrive leads dashboard. You can see the statistics they show you. As soon as you will generate leads, you will see all the numbers here only.
Step 2: Add Lead Shortcode with a name
Here you will add a new leads Shortcode name. It is a group of forms that you can create to deliver one freebie. You can create multiple forms and test simultaneously how they perform in conversions.
Step 3: Add New form inside Lead Shortcodes Group
Let's create our first Form name test form. Click on Add new form and create one. Click on edit in right side of the form to design it according to your needs.
Step 4: Select Opt-in Design Template
In Thrive Leads, you get several pre-build templates for opt-in forms. Here you can see multi-step forms, single-step forms, popup forms lightbox and many more. Choose what you want and continue.
Step 5: Change Opt-in design and form input areas
Here you can change your design of the form, add form fields change image of the form and much more.
Step 6: Make A/B tests for opt-in forms (optional)
This step is optional, but you can distribute your traffic equally by making two forms for same freebie. You can test which one performs best after Start A/B test.
Step 7 : Connect Email Marketing engine API
In second form, click on Add Connection. Choose your email marketing software and the list you want them in. In FluentCRM, a single and double opt-in option is given to bring more credibility to your email list. You can add tags to your subscribers as well if you have tag based system in your emails.
Step 8: Enable Asset Delivery to deliver your freebie to your subscribers
It is quite confusing to connect lead forms with freebies. Asset delivery connect your freebie to your Opt-in form. This ensures your freebies are delivered to your subscribers who opt-in to this form.
Step 9: Place your Leads Shortcode inside your blog post
After saving and closing, add Thrive Leads Shortcode inside your blog posts. You can see the Shortcode inside your blog post instantly. When you publish your post, you will see it wherever you have placed it.
Lead magnets are important part of any blog. They introduce you to your audience. Try to make them as useful as possible for your subscribers.
I covered everything regarding freebies and lead magnets in this post. Let me know in the comments which type of freebies works for your blog niche and helps you to collect maximum emails.