How to Create an Opt-In Freebie Mockup

by Jul 9, 2020Marketing Printables

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Have you created this incredible printable that you know will make a difference to your readers BUT no one seems to be grabbing it?

If you are at this point I know exactly how you feel and I can tell you from experience that if you don’t have a mockup with your opt-in form then your chances of success have dropped.

Now I am not saying it isn’t impossible because there are bloggers out there who don’t use any form of a mockup with their products. Keep in mind that those bloggers are established.

They have already put in the work and time to build their authority and their audience. As a new blogger, you will have to do some things differently until you get to that point.

And in reality that is a great opportunity. This opens you up to learning new strategies to become successful. Who knows…maybe you discover a new strategy that will take your blog to the next level.

how to create an opt-in freebie mockup

What is a mockup of your printable?

A mockup is simply a preview or display of your product. People are visual creatures. And that means it is critical to your marketing strategy. If people are all about visual content and you don’t have visuals then you have wasted a perfect opportunity. 

Did you know that 63% of people believe good images are worth more than product descriptions? That’s a big number and by understanding the power of visual content, you are more likely to grab your reader’s attention.

Take a moment and let’s brainstorm some websites where you have purchased products. It could be something as big as Amazon or it could be from a blogger that you follow. What are they doing that gets you to look into a product?

They are using some form of visual content. Most of us look at the testimonials and descriptions after we look at the photo or video. Many Pinterest users are more likely to pin images of products they like and then purchase it (88% actually).

So let’s take a page from these successful companies and create that hook. Find that visual aid that draws your readers in and sparks that curiosity.

That one image can be the difference between someone clicking the button and moving onto the next website.

Would you believe the image below is one mockup style? With a mockup frame like this, you can easily show off that your printable can be used on multiple platforms (printed to electronic). 

Why do you even need to use a mockup with your opt-in form?

People tend to respond to visual content. They want to see what they will get in exchange for their email.

And that reason alone is why you want to utilize a mockup with your opt-in form. It will be a simple and effective way to grab your reader’s attention and interest.

The harsh truth is that no one wants to give away their email without getting something in return. And so if people have no idea what your product is or looks like, then you are giving yourself a disadvantage.

I can’t tell you how many times (both as a blogger and my pre-blogging days) that I would read a good post and be interested in their freebie but end up not getting it all because there was no mockup.

This was especially true when I was pregnant for the first time. I was constantly searching the web to make sure I was ready and a hospital bag checklist was one of the big-ticket items I searched for.

But I remember how the minute I noticed there was no image of the freebie that I would immediately leave the site. 

How can you make a mockup for your printable?

Creating a mockup is actually easier and will not take that much time (especially once you get the hang of it). What might take you some time is deciding how you want your mockup to look. That is usually what gets me.

For new bloggers, I recommend sticking with the most basic tried-and-true design of using images of your printables pages.

There are many fancy ways to create a mockup but someone either paid for that look or they are skilled in programs like Illustrator or PhotoShop. I am going to show you a simple yet effective opt-in freebie mockup that you can learn quickly.

If you are anything like me, then you probably don’t have those skills nor the time to learn them. And that is perfectly okay.

Because as a new blogger, there are other important aspects of blogging that you need to focus on. Spending time creating mockups is not one of them.

As new bloggers, you have a choice of four programs that are both easy to use and a common tool for blogging: Canva, PowerPoint, Google Slides, or PicMonkey.

Out of all of these, I would only recommend PowerPoint or Google Slides. Both make it incredibly easy to create a mockup and add the little details that make them stand out. These are the two programs that I make my mockups in.

To make a mockup in any of these programs will take you four steps or less.

printables kickstart toolkit

Creating a Mockup in PowerPoint

printables mockup for opt-in
Step 1:

Save each page (or the pages you want to feature in your mockup) as separate PNG files.

Step 2:

Upload the files to PowerPoint and arrange them the way you want them to look. Add text, shapes, or image effects.

You can either do side by side, have the pages laying on top of one another, and angled, or you could input them a mockup frame (keep reading if you want to know what a mockup frame is).

Step 3:

Now it is time to save the mockup you created as a PNG file with a transparent background.

Simply select all the elements that you are part of your mockup image (your printable images, shapes, text, and anything else you added) with a right-click your mouse.

Select Save as Picture and then follow the normal steps of saving a file to a folder.

Creating a mockup in Google Slides.

opt-in freebie mockup
Step 1:

Save each printable page (or selected pages) as separate PNG or JPEG files.

Step 2:

Upload the files to Google Slides and arrange them to the way you want them to look. Add text, shapes, and image effects.

Step 3:

You need to create a transparent background before saving your mockup. Click the Background button located in the top toolbar. Click the drop-down menu for color and select transparent.

Your background is now transparent even though you won’t notice a difference.

Step 4:

To save your mockup, go to the File tab in the top menu and then go to Download.

Make sure to save your file as a PNG. This is how you will get a transparent background. A JPEG file will have a white background.

Creating a Mockup in Canva.

opt-in freebie mockup

This one is a little trickier if you are using Canva’s free program. Unfortunately, you are unable to save a file with a transparent background. You are only able to use this feature if you have the CanvaPro paid plan.

That was one of the many reasons I chose to upgrade to the paid plan.

But don’t worry. You can still create a great mockup in Canva in another three easy steps. It requires a little more thought on your part.

Step 1:

Save each page (or selected pages) of your printable as separate PNG or JPEG files.

Step 2:

Upload the files to Canva and arrange them the way you want them to look. Don’t forget to add shapes or text for more details.

For those using the Canva free version, if you decide to use a color background to display your mockup on your website, then you need to change the background of the Canva file to match your chosen background color.

If you leave the Canva file with a white background, it will stand out against the color you are using and tends to look unprofessional.

Step 3:

To all you need to do is click the download icon, change the file type to PNG, and if you have CanvaPro, check the box for Transparent background. Then click download.

Creating a Mockup in PicMonkey.

printables mockup for opt-in
Step 1:

Save each page (or selected pages) of your printable as separate PNG or JPEG files.

Step 2:

Upload the files to PicMonkey and arrange them the way you want them to look. Add shapes, texts, or image effects.

Step 3:

In your Layers view pane, select the Background layer and then click the color wheel.

Check the Transparent box and now your background should look like this.

Step 4:

To save click the Download tab located in the top toolbar and make sure the file type is PNG. Then click the Download button and save it to your folder.

3 Simple Mockup Design Styles To Try

There are three common design formats that you can use to start and then add your own flair to it. The formats are side-by-side, pages layered on top of one another at an angle, and using a mockup frame.

Side-by-Side Mockup

This is where you place all your printable images side by side. This is best if you don’t have a lot of pages and I would limit it to a max of 5.

With this format, you are not using an angle compared to the angled layered format. Don’t you love my format names? They are super creative…lol!

Here are some examples of what a side-by-side mockup looks like.

printables mockup for opt-in
printables mockup for opt-in
printables mockup for opt-in

The biggest downside to this format is that if the information on your image is visible enough, then someone could potentially copy it without subscribing to your email list.

This sucks and while it might not happen often, you still need to be conscious of it. The goal of a mockup is to tempt your audience. Not give away your valuable info for “free” (and I mean the extremely free where there is no exchange from both parties).

There are two options to try to avoid your work from being stolen. One is to make the details in the image not easy to read. For this, I am more focused on the body information sections compared to the bold titles or graphics.

The second option is to use a banner in your opt-in freebie mockup. In general, place the banner across your printable images. Take a look at the visual example to see what I mean.

printables mockup for opt-in

Angled Layer Mockup

This mockup is one of my favorites because it looks so good and it is probably one of the most common styles you will see.

I love it because I can show off a large number of printables and also be able to hide details that I don’t want people to see easily. I mean the goal is to get them to download your printable not copy the image.

It is basically placing the images on top of one another and then angling the images to give the look of the scattered paper.

Here are some lovely examples of the angled layer mockup.

printables mockup for opt-in
printables mockup for opt-in
printables mockup for opt-in

Mockup Frame

This type of mockup is one that should be used carefully. Depending on how you add the image to your website it can either elevate the look of your mockup or do the complete opposite and turn people away.

Mockup frames are unique and useful because they are a way to showcase your printable in real life.

Like it could be a picture frame on a wall, your printable on a clipboard, or as a binder cover. And those are only a few of the possibilities.

Typically, these frames need to be purchased and as a blogger, you will want to get one with a commercial license. My favorite place to purchase mockup frames is Creative Market.

For those of you who have CanvaPro, you can find mockup frames in Canva Photos. I typically type paper mockups in the search title. Not every image will be a mockup frame but there are quite a few to choose from.

To add your printable image to a mockup frame, you simply upload the mockup frame image to your program of choice. Then upload the printable image(s) you want to use and carefully align it to the white paper. And that’s it.

Here are some examples of a mockup frame.

printables mockup for opt-in
printables mockup for opt-in
printables mockup for opt-in

The biggest downside to the mockup frame option is that you are generally limited to one to two pages of your printable.

But don’t let that stop you from giving them a shot. Try them out to see if there are any styles you like.

3 Details that will Elevate Your Mockup Design

There are three little details that can elevate your mockup. They either define your printable image or give your reader a little more information.

Detail #1: Drop Shadow

If you only use one detail with your printable images then this is the one to use. A drop shadow basically adds a shadow effect to your printable.

Basically, it creates a subtle outline around the edges of your image. This detail is important because if you have white space or images placed on one another. It could also be a concern if you place your mockup image on a white background.

Both issues are a concern because the white areas will look as if they bleed into one another. This tends to make one look amateur or unprofessional.

Check out the difference between these two images to show why I recommend drop shadows with your printable mockup.

Detail #2: Text

Adding text allows you to showcase everything that comes with your printable, especially if there are a large variety of components to your printable. You can also use text for the call to actions like “Free Download” or “Check Out This Free Ebook”.

Using text won’t work for every mockup but when possible it is a great technique to show off a freebie with many components.

Make sure you use a text that is easy to read like serif or sans serif. Avoid using decorative, script, and handwriting type of fonts.

Detail #3: Arrows

This one goes hand in hand with using text. You want to add arrows to show which product is what. Now your audience knows exactly which elements of your printable are the checklist and what is the ebook.

Both the arrow and text details are to grab the reader’s interest by seeing all that you have to offer.

Here are a couple examples from blogs I like to follow that use the text and arrow combination well!

Take a look at the examples below to see all three details in effect from successful bloggers.

Example from Start a Mom Blog.

printables mockup for opt-in

Example from TwinsMommy.

printables mockup for opt-in

Not sure how you want your opt-ins to look?

Then go on an electronic adventure and check out how other blogs promote their products. Look at blogs that are similar to yours but also check out established blogs (these don’t have to be in your niche) to see their styles.

Your opt-ins might need a little more than theirs, but that is only because you are at the beginning of your blog journey. Many of those blogs that you follow have already established their base.

So be prepared that what you do might have to be different than what has been previously done. Different is unique and wonderful. Without people having different ideas, humans would not be where we are today with technology.

One last important bit of advice before you go.

If the mockup you are using for your opt-in freebie isn’t working, then try to use multiple versions to see which works best.

To make this work effectively, you first need to figure out which of your blog posts get the most traffic. From their create two different versions of your opt-in and choose which opt-in version you want to go onto which blog post.

Don’t forget to try different wording, button colors, mockup images, and anything else you can think of.

Then it is a matter of time to see what happens next. Make sure to give yourself a realistic timeline for your results.

Now it’s your turn!

Are you ready to add a mockup to your opt-in forms? Did this blog post help you create a mockup?

Tell me about it in the comments below! Don’t forget to include a picture of your mockup so that I can see what you created.

Happy Days –

the printables blog

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