8 Freebie Ideas to Convert Your Readers into Subscribers

Last Update: September 07, 2016

Hello WA friends,

When we talk about building an email list, we know that one of the most effective way to do it is by offering freebies in exchange of the readers' email.

But do you know that the freebie does not always necessarily a free e-book?

Yes, free e-book is popular, and a lot of people offer free e-book in their opt-in form.

But you can actually do something simpler and still get the people to subscribe to your list.

Here are 8 freebie ideas (other than e-book) to convert your readers into email subscribers:

  • Checklist

A checklist is good when you are trying to teach your readers to do something in a step by step way.

Example: a checklist about what you should do after publishing your blog post to gain a lot of traffic.

  • Spreadsheet
Example: Create an affiliate earning calculator on how much you can get by promoting WA. Let the reader have fun plugging in how many referrals they may have every month, and how much they would earn (note: also take into account the retention rate if you want to project the annual income).
  • Done-for-you template

Example: Say, you are teaching affiliate marketers on how to make more sales with email funnels. Then your freebie could be an x-day email series template for them that they can simply copy and paste [with minor modificationt] for their personal use

  • X-day email course

Turn an existing blog post (or two) into an x-day email course. A how-to post or a step by step guide is a good candidate for this. Break up the content into bite-size lessons and deliver them in several days.

Example: Alex Sol (our WA friend) has a 5-day email course to build a successful online business in his website.

  • X-day Challenge

This is very similar to email course, but in a challenge, every lesson comes with a specific task / challenge that the readers need to do. This can be pretty fun if you also set up a Facebook group so that they can post results of their task there. I've recently joined Melyssa Griffin's Triple Your Traffic Challenge and had a lot of fun doing a specific task every single day and posting the result to her Fb group.

  • List of your favorite tools and resources

This works best in the product-review post. In a blogging topic, this could be: favorite hosting, recommended email provider, favourite theme / plugins, social media tools, and best of all, you can also be an affiliate to these products as well.

  • Add on content from your list post
Brian Dean of Backlinko did this in one of his blog posts. He elaborate more than 20 techniques that he used to boost his traffic, and at the very end of the blog post, he mentioned that he still have 2 more tips but you need to subscribe to get these two tips. Pretty smart, right.

When I was reading his post, I soaked up every info and techniques that I can use and when I was ask, 'do you want to get additional two tips', it's a no brainer to say yes and subscribe to his list to get those extra two tips.

  • Blueprint / detailed planner to reach [specific goal]

This is pretty similar to checklist, but with added timeline. E.g. a blue print to reach 1k subscriber in 1 month, and you give out details on weekly basis what the reader should be doing. I've seen several bloggers doing this, such as Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur.co.

What I have tried and worked

So far, I have created 3 freebies for my website, they are in the following form:

(1) checklist

(2) spreadsheet (a mini calculator)

(3) e-course

So far, I haven't put them all over my website, but instead, put a specific freebie in some relevant blog posts.

The results? All of them converts, but the one that gives me the most subscribers is the checklist. I guess that's because my target audience tend to be very visual, and they are easily attracted to a pretty screenshot of the checklist.

This result actually surprised me, because my original prediction was the e-course would be the winner. Turns out not.

However, I'll keep testing the 'offer' and we will see whether this pattern stays the same.

Note: While nowadays it seems that every opt-in form should have a freebie, don't forget to have normal subscribe box, even without any freebies. If you have great content, your reader will stick with you. And no matter you have a free gift or not, they will be willing to be your subscribers.

Lastly, if you are still wondering what kind of topic your freebie would be, I suggest you to start from here:

  1. From Google analytics, analyse the top 10 posts on your website
  2. Analyse their topic and decide what format of freebies goes well with those posts.
  3. You can create a specific freebie for a specific blog post (this is called content upgrade and this usually converts very well.
  4. Alternatively, from your analysis at point (2), create a general freebie that relates well to what your reader needs.
  5. Create and publish your freebie, test and analyse the result after a few weeks, tweak as needed, then repeat.

I hope this post is useful for those who are currently building their email list.

Have a great day.

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preciousns Premium
Excellent tips. Thank you for sharing this, it's definitely given me some new ideas which i wouldn't have thought about before.
fiftarina Premium
You are welcome =)
SadieChan Premium
Thank Rina, Find that getting email from people isn't easy. Perhaps should try what you recommended and see how it works.
fiftarina Premium
Haha, very true. That's why I keep experimenting on what freebies work the best. What kind of freebie do you use now?
SadieChan Premium
Am trying to give Ebook which I purchased and update them with new articles.
Which part of Singapore are you living?
I am staying near Balestier Road.
fiftarina Premium
I didn't know that you live in Singapore too! I am at choa chu kang.
SadieChan Premium
Yes perhaps we can meet one day and share our knowledge. There are a few members here from Singapore too.
mjdimarco Premium
Nice set of ideas!
fiftarina Premium
Thank you!
JudeP Premium
Really useful help and info there, thank you :)
fiftarina Premium
You're welcome, Jude. =)
Mark Tait Premium
Really good list - thank you!

fiftarina Premium
Glad you like it, Mark.