You made this incredible blog freebie that you are insanely proud of but you can’t figure out the best way to deliver it to your future subscribers. That’s where this post comes in.
I show you three different ways to get your product into the hands of your subscribers. Want to know what they are…drumroll please:
- Google Drive / One Drive
- Upload to WordPress Media
- Create a Resource Page
The best part is that each of these methods is simple to use and free. If you are not super tech-savvy (like I was in the beginning), I promise that one of these three options will fit your needs.
The key element that you need to know about when delivering your email opt-in to your new subscribers, is that the freebie file needs to be associated with a URL link. Let’s dive into the details now.
Do You Have an Email Service Provider?
Before we can even get into the three ways of delivering your freebie, the first step is choosing an email service provider (ESP). These are services that help you collect and manage your subscribers.
You do not want to use a personal email account like Gmail or Outlook. If you are connecting your subscribers using one, please stop. You could be violating some legal policies.
An ESP will help make sure that you are following the legal requirements (like having an address or giving your subscribers the ability to unsubscribe).
The three most common and recommend ESPs are:
Each of these ESPs has a free plan available and gives the ability to create opt-in forms. You use an opt-in form to collect the email addresses.
The ESP I recommend for new bloggers or those on a budget is MailerLite! They are incredibly easy to use and have a ton of features with their free plan. If you want to know all the reasons I recommend MailerLite, then check out this blog post here.
Once you have chosen your ESP, you need to create a blog freebie. If you haven’t made one yet then check out my blog post about How to Create That One Irresistible Opt-In Freebie.
You will need one made before you can put any of the three delivering methods into effect.
Choosing an Opt-In Form
An opt-in form is how you will collect the emails. In the form, you can use an image and/or text to grab the reader’s attention and sign up for your email list. There are usually at least two types of forms you can use:
- Embedded / inline (stationary form)
- Pop-up (as the name suggests…the form pop-ups on the screen)
There might be more options but it depends on the ESP you use. Other types that might be available to you are sideline (slides in on the side of the screen) and sticky bar (hangs out at the top of your page).
Include text that makes your reader feel like they need your freebie. It is important to illustrate the problem you want to solve and show you have the solution.
As a best practice, you will want to include an image or mockup of your freebie. Many times people will pass what you have to offer if there is no image, whereas an image will automatically grab their attention.
When figuring out the best one to use at first, I recommend starting with an embedded/inline form. The reason it is best to start with an embedded form is that pop-ups have a chance of scaring your potential readers away. If you do decide to use a pop-up, then you will want to do one of two options.
Option 1: Make it a Clickable Pop-up
This means that your pop-up will only activate when either a button, image, or text is clicked. It provides the reader the ability to choose to look at your pop-up form other than you forcing it on them.
With MailerLite (the ESP that I use and recommend) you are able to make your embedded form into a pop-up. In the basic sense, you grab one of the links below and add it to the webpage you want. You can add the link to text, an image, or a button.
Below is an image of the different codes you would choose from depending on how you want your pop-up on click event to work.
Option 2: Follow Pop-Up Best Practices
There is a ton of information out there for the best ways to set up your pop-up so they are the most effective. Take a moment to look at your ESP’s blog and see if they have any recommended best practices.
For instance, there is a timer for the pop-up form. It is typically set to 5 seconds as the standard but I would recommend changing it to 30 seconds. Extending the time gives your reader the chance to read your blog post and become invested in what you have to offer.
3 Methods To Deliver Your Freebie To Your Subscriber
Method #1: Google Drive / OneDrive
Google Drive and OneDrive are essentially the same things except they are owned by two different companies. OneDrive is owned by Microsoft and Google Drive is owned by Google. To get access to either you need an email account (Gmail for Google Drive and Outlook for OneDrive).
I have email accounts with both. I personally love to use Google Drive more than OneDrive but that falls onto your personal preference.
Once you have an email account, the next step is getting your product on there.
Upload to Google Drive
To upload your freebie to Google Drive, I recommend creating a folder that is specifically for your freebie.
Step 1: Create a New Folder
To do that you will go to the colorful plus sign with the word New right next to it and click it. It will open to show you all the options you have and then select Folder.
Enter the name for your new folder. Give it the same name as your freebie to make it easy for you and your subscribers. Then click Create.
Double-click the newly made folder to open it.
Step 2: Upload Your Freebie
For this step, you want to click the New button in the top-left corner but this time you will select either File Upload or Folder Upload. Then simply find your file and upload it.
Once you have your blog freebie uploaded it is time to get a link that you can share with your subscribers.
Step 3: Create A Shareable Link
Go back to the main dashboard of your Google Drive. If you are still in your folder, you can do this by clicking My Drive that is located below the search toolbar.
Right-click on your blog freebie folder and click Get link.
Change the access from Restricted to Anyone with the link. Make sure the file is listed as Viewer.
Then click the Copy Link button and insert it into the Thank You pages associated with your opt-in.
Upload to OneDrive
This is fairly similar to the whole process in Google Drive, the biggest differences are the location of the buttons.
Step 1: Create a New Folder
To create a folder click New in the top toolbar and select Folder.
Enter the name of the folder. I recommend using the same name as your product. Then click Create.
Step 2: Upload Your Freebie
Now to upload your freebie to the folder, you will first want to double-click the folder you made.
Up at the top right next to the New button, click the button Upload. Choose either File or Folder. Then find your freebie and upload it.
Check to see if everything uploads correctly. If it all looks good then it’s time to grab a shareable link.
Step 3: Create A Shareable Link
OneDrive made it a little easier compared to Google Drive to find the shareable link button. On the top toolbar next to the Upload button is the Share button.
Click the Share button to get the link. Before grabbing the link, click the portion that lists Anyone with the link can edit. Uncheck the Allow editing in the Other settings section. Unless you want your subscribers to be able to edit.
Once the settings are set up to your preference, then click Apply.
Now you are ready to get your shareable link. Click the Copy link button down at the bottom and then paste the link into the Thank You page associated with your opt-in form.
And that is for sharing files with Google Drive and OneDrive!
Method #2: Upload to Your WordPress Media
In many email service providers (ESPs) you cannot upload your freebie as a basic file (PDF, JPG, PNG, etc.). The only ESP that I know where you can upload your file directly is ConvertKit.
If you don’t have ConvertKit, don’t worry this isn’t a big deal and is easy to figure out. The general idea is that you need to create a URL for your file.
If you are using WordPress.org, then you can do this by uploading your file(s) to the Media folder.
Here are the four simple steps to do that.
Step 1: Log in to your WordPress admin page.
Step 2: Click Media on the left-side toolbar.
Step 3: Click the Add New button.
Step 4: Then either drag the file to the designated area or click Select Files to upload manually.
Once it has finished downloading, you will see that a URL has been created. Copy the URL and add it to the thank you or confirmation page for your opt-in.
And that’s it. Another super easy method for you to try!
This is the main one that I tend to use because it makes it so easy to create a file URL.
Method #3: Create a Resource Library
This is a great method that you can use to draw in more subscribers. A resource library is a page on your website that you can limit access to those who subscribe to your email list.
A bonus with a resource page is that you are not limited to simple files for your freebie. You can expand into video, audio, and more.
To use this method, you will want to create a separate page for your website that is solely dedicated to the resource library.
Design the resource library to your preference. I recommend using pictures of your freebie(s) that have a link to your product. You will use methods #1 and #2 to create the links that you attached to the images.
You don’t have to use images but it is a great way to give your subscribers a preview of what they are downloading.
Before you hit that publish button and make it live, you will want to add a layer of password protection. This will make your page seem more exclusive which can be another tactic enticing new subscribers.
How to Make Your Resource Page Private for Free
WordPress makes it super easy to add a password to your posts or pages. It can be done in three steps.
Step 1: Go to the Editing Page of the Resource Page
In the main editor screen, look for the Status & Visibility section in the right-side toolbar.
Step 2: Change the Visibility Settings
For Visibility, it should be listed as Public automatically. To change it click Public and then three options will appear to choose from. Select Password Protected.
Step 3: Add Your Password
Once it has been changed to “password protected”, a box will appear for you to input the password into. Keep it simple so that you and your subscribers can remember it easily.
I recommend writing it down somewhere that you can find if you need to.
Step 4: Publish Your Resource Library
The last step is to click Publish and make it live on the web. Do a quick test with an Incognito window to confirm everything works.
That’s it to make your resource page password protected.
Why A Resource Page Is A Great Option?
A resource page is a great email list building tool for bloggers. You can market all the freebies you have created individually AND the resource page itself.
When showing what your freebie has to offer, make sure you include a sentence that tells the reader they will also get access to your resource library. This will make it seem like they are getting a whole lot for just their email.
One Unique Way to Constantly Promote Your Resource Library
I have seen this done by a couple of bloggers and I love it! When you send out your newsletters, include the information to access your Resource Library. By this I mean have a link to the webpage and tell the reader what the password is.
This will make it easy for them to always access your resource library. Now your subscribers don’t have to go through their emails and find the one that has the password.
Where should you put the link and password in your weekly emails? Put it right below your lovely email signature.
Here are two examples from two bloggers that I follow.
This is Kayla Butler’s email signature from Ivory Mix. As you can see, she has links to everything, and the one I use a lot is the link to her library! So any time I need a stock photo from her library I can access it in seconds.
Next up is Emma Lee Bates’ signature from Emma Lee Bates. She includes both a link to her resource library as well as the password to get in. This makes it super convenient so that you don’t have to always go looking for the password.
Adding Freebie URL Link to Opt-In Form
Now that you have created an URL link that is associated with your freebie, it is time to take it and add it to the opt-in form you created. This varies with each email service provider. So the best method I can give you if you can’t figure out how is to look up tutorial videos.
Tutorial videos are my jam and lifesavers. I don’t know what I would do without them.
Here are two phrases you can use to search for the tutorial videos or blog posts. Simply type them into the Google search console this phrase.
- “how to send freebie to subscribers in [add your ESP name here]”
- “how to attach pdf in [add ESP name here]”
For those who use the most common ESPs for bloggers (MailerLite, ConvertKit, MailChimp), I will make it easy for you. Here are the links to each ESP’s tutorials to walk you through the steps.
Best Practice For Confirming New Subscribers
There are a couple details you want to do for a successful confirmation email. These are:
- Personalize your introduction (ex: Hello Caitlin)
- Let them know by hitting that confirmation button they will be getting your newsletters.
- Tell them about what to expect in the newsletters you send them and how often.
But out of all the best practices, there is one essential detail that new bloggers need to do and that is using a double opt-in. A double opt-in is the perfect tool for cultivating a strong email list with subscribers who are invested in what you have to say and offer.
When I first started blogging, I used double opt-in forms but felt like the double process made it hard to get new subscribers. So I stopped using it. This turned out to be a BIG mistake.
But what is a double opt-in and why do you need it?
A double opt-in is basically a second layer of confirmation method. This means your subscriber will confirm they want the freebie when they initially enter their email address and then double confirm it with a confirmation email.
While this might seem like a lot of work for your subscribers, in reality, it really isn’t. And it is a method that will keep your lists clean.
This means that your new subscribers actually want what you have to offer AND know that by confirming they are being added to your weekly subscriber list.
The double opt-in also prevent spam bots from being a part of your email list.
And they are a frustrating problem for bloggers. Remember how I said it was a BIG mistake that I stopped using a double opt-in?
That’s because about a week or two after I made the switch, I got bombarded with scam email bots. These are basically emails that belong to scam bots. They do nothing for your list and they are fairly easy to spot.
The biggest clue is that the format they use to join your email list looks the same. Here is an example.
When I do my email opt-in forms, I like for my subscribers to add both their name and email address…nothing else). But what alerted me to the fact that they were scam bots was they put a jumble of letters for their name (ex. vdXvFpDP – that is an actual name from one of the scam bots).
It didn’t happen just once. I got about 15 of these. And it was crushing to realize that they weren’t real subscribers.
So use the double-opt-in option to save yourself the heartache and frustration. I promise it is worth it.
Which Method Should You Use to Deliver Your Blog Freebie?
Unfortunately, there is not one single best method. They all work great and provide you flexibility. The best advice is to try each method and find the one you like best.
For those who are at the beginning of their blog journey and don’t have many freebies, I recommend holding on trying the resource page. Wait until you have at least 5 different freebies available.
Final Thoughts on Delivering Your Email Opt-ins
Your subscribers are essential to a thriving blog. That means you need to take the time to build that relationship and the first step is making sure they get the freebie they signed up for.
Taking the time to figure this part out is an essential step to understanding how to deliver your products. Your free products are the first taste a person will have to see what you can offer them.
So let’s do a quick recap to summarize the main points of this post:
- There are three ways to deliver your email opt-ins to your subscribers: Cloud Storage, WordPress Media, and a Resource Page.
- For those with a new blog, use an embedded form first instead of a pop-up.
- Depending on the email service provider, a URL file will need to be created to deliver your freebie.
- Create a resource page that has a password associated that gives the perception of being exclusive.
- Use a double opt-in to avoid spambots and have a list of subscribers who want to be on it.
Before you go…What Are Your Thoughts?
Did this post help you figure out how to get that fabulous email opt-in into your subscriber’s hands? What method did you try?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
Happy Days –
Hi, I'm CaitieJ!
I love the creative side of blogging and I want to share it with you. I am that nerd who loves to spend way too much time figuring out how to create a printable or product. Let me share with you all the tips and tricks I have learned to create some blog magic! I'm just a simple lady who loves Disney, a cup of tea, and a rainy day.