How to Deliver Freebies Using Your Website

Offering a Freebie or a Content Upgrade is an excellent way to provide added value to your visitors and arguably THE best way to grow your email list. Freebies can be in the form or a download, video, app, access, giveaway or even a service.

In this post I’m going to show you ALL the different ways you can offer freebies, the benefits and drawbacks of each method, then, at the end of the post you can download my list of 40 freebie ideas!

* All statements with an asterisks are true for Mailchimp. Do check your own email service if it’s true there as well 🙂

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1. Deliver a Freebie in “Thank You” Email

The easiest way to deliver a freebie is emebed code your newsletter provider gives you then deliver the freebie in a “thank you”email.  You can host your freebie on your newsletter provider’s hosts (ie: in MailChimp), right in your WordPress site then copy the link or I like to use Dropbox just because it’s free and easy storage. The process will be that your visitors signs up for your newsletter by filling out a form with their name and email address then they will be sent a “confirmation” email.

Sending a confirmation emails is what’s called a Double Optin – you’re checking that the email they gave is real. 

Once they click a link/button in the email to confirm their address, they are automatically sent a “thank you” email and it’s contents will contain the link to your freebie.

Perfect fit For:

  • Wanting to Verify Email (Double Optin)

Drawbacks:

  • You can have only one freebie per email list
  • You can’t track using Google Analytics goals (see the previous post on How to Measure  Your Blog’s Results )
  • *Subscriber can only subscribe one time. That means if your subscriber wants to download that freebie again they can’t re-subscribe but will have to dig in their email to find the original link. If they deleted that link, then they don’t have a way to retrieve it.

2. Redirect to a “Thank You” Page

Your newsletter service will likely have the option of directing new signups to a “Thank You Page” instead of kicking off that “thank you email”

Perfect fit For:

  • Embedding a video
  • Tracking conversions in Google Analytics
  • Wanting to Verify Email (Double Optin)

Drawbacks:

  • You can have only one freebie per email list
  • *Subscriber can only subscribe one time.

 

This is the section in MailChimp where you edit your thank you form:

Thank You Email Mailchimp

 

 

3. Give Access to a Resource Library

Creating a resource library and giving people access to it is actually quite easy! All you have to do is change access to a page on your site to be password protected.

Here is what it looks like on WordPress

Password Protected Page

Then, all you’re delivering to your new subscriber is the password which can either be in an email or thank you page just like you did above.

Perfect fit For:

  • Delivering more than one freebie
  • Embedding a video
  • Wanting to Verify Email (Double Optin)

Drawbacks:

  • Hard to track individual freebie offers
  • *Subscriber can only subscribe one time.

 

4. Using a WordPress Plugin

The most flexible FREE WordPress plugin is Easy Forms for Maiclhimp.  I love this plugin because you can easily integrate it with MailChimp and create several forms. Once the user submits the form, they can be automatically redirected to a page with your freebie or I like to put the url to the free in the success message.

Unlike the default mailchimp code, it allows you to submit the form multiple times and also specify a “Group” field so that you can easily track where each subscriber came from. Also, each form keeps track of it’s impressions and optins so it tracks it’s own conversion rate.

Easy Mailchimp Forms Setup

Perfect fit For:

  • Delivering more than one freebie
  • Embedding a video on a redirect page
  • Subscriber can submit forms several times
  • Keeping track subscribers inside MailChimp by assigning Interest Groups.
  • Tracking Conversion Rate (done within the plugin)

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t allow for much styling
  • *Only MailChimp can control the Double Optin so your freebie will be delivered before the email is verified.

Mailchimp for WordPress has the same features but the free version only allows for 1 form. You can upgrade to premium for more forms.

Optin Panda has similar features except it won’t pick up Group fields so you can’t track differentiate subscribers by interest group in the back end. It delivers your freebie by “locker” so once your visitor subscribes, whatever has been wrapped by shortcodes is seen. It could be more content, a link or an embedded video!

 

5. ConvertKit

I just started using ConvertKit and have been quite happy with it so far and I can see why people are beginning to talk about it more. ConverKit is another newsletter service like MailChimp, Aweber, Madmini, setc. If you are used to MailChimp, it takes a bit to get your mind wrapped around how it handles subscribers. There’s no free version but as soon as you hit 1,000 susbscribers, the price you pay is competitive with MailChimp.

Basically, there only ONE list and then you create and embed forms for your different optins. If someone subscribes on one form and then subscribes again on another, their profile is updated to indicate where they opted in from.

Just like MailChimp, you can deliver freebies in the “thank you” email or redirect to a page. Each form track it’s individual conversion rate and you can send out different freebies with each form your create.Converkit Form Settings

 

Converkit so allows you to do some basic styling of the form in their editor.

Converkit Form Styling

 

Perfect fit For:

  • Delivering more than one freebie
  • Embedding a video on a redirect page
  • Subscriber can submit forms several times
  • Keeping track subscribers inside ConverKit
  • Tracking Conversion Rate (done within the ConvertKit)

Drawbacks:

  • Can’t think of any! 🙂

 

6. Lead Box by Lead Pages

signed up for one month of Lead Pages just to compare it’s features since it’s also a very popular service these days. It’s the most expensive option at $37/monthly + up if you go month to month or $29 and up if you pay in advance.

Lead Pages is not a newsletter service but software that works with your newsletter provider (MailChimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft, etc). The way they deliver freebies is via LeadBox. You create your Lead Box, style it however you like and pick the fields you want to include based on the Mailing List your picked to submit to. Then, you create a link or button that will embed on your website to popup your LeadBox. Once submitted, it delivers the freebie via email. It doesn’t handle the double optin so there is no option for that here.

Leadbox Creation Mailchimp

Lead Box Button

Perfect fit For:

  • Delivering more than one freebie
  • Embedding a video on a redirect page
  • Subscriber can submit forms several times
  • Tracking Conversion Rate (done within LeadPages)

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t properly keep track of Interest Groups in MailChimp because groups are overridden with new signups.
  • *Lead Pages doesn’t control the Double Optin (MailChimp does) so your freebie will be delivered before the email is verified.

 

Now that you have all the tools, time to create your freebie!

Download my list of 40 Freebie Ideas that you can add to your blog or website!

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I’m a WordPress Web Designer & Developer with over 15 years of experience making websites (including eCommerce and membership websites). If you would like a custom website, please get in touch!