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Guest Post by Helen Munshi
Boost Your Subscribers with the Perfect Opt-In!
A freebie, a freemium, an opt-in, a lead magnet. You’ve probably heard these terms bandied about the entrepreneurial world, but what’s all the fuss about?
A freebie is basically anything that you give away for free in exchange for someone’s email address. It gets them on your email list. And we all know that email lists are hot property in the online world, if you don’t have one, you need to build one, like now.
Do you need an email list?
Some of my favourite stats (I am a total business geek, so indulge me!!) really show that, yes the power is in the list.
Also when someone signs up for your email list they are already warmed up a little to your business. It takes action to give you their email address.
They’ve shown an interest in you and your business and you have taken the first step in the infamous know, like and trust game.
Why should you give something away for free?
It’s because value-packed content that leaves them wanting more is the best way to build your list, get your audience to trust you, attract more clients and ultimately make more sales.
But it is so much more than that. It’s a way to give a voice to your ideas, your skills and your value as an entrepreneur.
Some people will only ever consume your free content, and that is fine. I see it as my way of adding value to people and helping them, no matter whether they can afford to pay to work with me or not.
Your freebie also acts as the starting point of your funnel and is the most effective way of turning the traffic to your website into potential leads.
What is the goal for your opt-in freebie?
You want it to:
- Be a great introduction to you, the value you offer and what it is like to work with you
- Leave them wanting more and wondering what your paid stuff is like if your freebie is so jam-packed with amazing help
- Be really accessible so they actually action what they learn
- Have a clear, quick transformation or purpose
- Be related to what you sell and what you do
There are lots of different options for what you can offer:
- Basic sign-up form – a great place holder before you create your freebie
- Discount code or free shipping – great for products business but make sure you cover your costs and are not making a loss
- Email mini-series – you can deliver PDFs, videos or audio in bite-sized chunks. It is great for establishing your credibility and starting to build a relationship over time
- Checklists – these are really accessible, simple and highly actionable
- Workbooks – these can be more in-depth and allow you to establish yourself as an expert. They usually involve a bigger transformation and add more value
- Audio/podcast – You could record an interview, guided visualization, something related to your business. It helps to build the relationship faster as they can now put a voice to the name
- Video – This is great for building rapport with your audience quickly
- Other options – quizzes, planners, challenges, online summit, join your private group, waitlist, sample of your book etc.
How do you choose which opt-in freebie to offer?
The good news is you don’t just have to choose one freebie. You will create many over the years. For me, there is always the perfect idea that comes from finding the sweet spot between:
- What is right for your business
- What is right for you, and
- What is right for your audience
To find the right option, answer the following questions:
- What are you selling?
- What freebie can you offer that is directly related to what you are selling?
- What is your natural voice? How do you naturally communicate?
- What do you know about? What are you passionate about? What are you expert in and could talk about without any prep? You always want to cover something you love as that will come across in your freebie, which will make it so much more engaging
- What can you create easily? We are all about taking action so don’t hold yourself up by trying to create something too complicated
- What can you help your audience with?
- What do people always come to you for help with?
- What questions do you get asked the most?
- What is a quick win or transformation that you can offer your audience?
- What does your audience need?
- How do they like to consume their content?
- What is their biggest frustration at the moment that you could help with?
- Which is your most popular blog/video/social media topic?
Look over your answers to the questions above and find the common theme. That is a great place to start with your freebie.
You can also look at some of your favourite websites and see what they offer. Think about what the style and tone is. What is the format? What transformation are they offering? Why do you like it? This will give you great clues as to what you might offer.
Want more help on coming up with ideas for your freebie, jump on over here: 5 Ways to Consistently Create Content Ideas to Increase Your Audience and Income
Time to make your final decision
Now it is time to fully commit to creating your first freebie and starting your funnel. You aren’t stuck with it forever, you can get feedback, look at your conversion rates and make updates as you go.
To help you make your decision, run through the checklist below. If you can answer yes to all the questions then you can’t go far wrong;
- Is it of value to my audience?
- Is it accessible?
- Am I talking about what my audience need?
- Have I delivered great value?
- Is it related to what I sell?
- Have I helped them solve a problem?
Now it is time to create the freebie. That is a whole other ball game.
Next Step: Grab your free detailed ebook on how to create content your audience will love, share and buy from https://www.thestartupstudio.co.uk/take-action-1
Hi, I’m Helen Munshi, the founder of The Start-Up Studio. I am a creative yet practical business and content strategist. I work with growth-stage entrepreneurs who want more in their businesses, more profit, more purpose and more fun. I help them get their ideas out of their head into the world in a way that they are proud of and also makes them money. I love all things business, having been working with entrepreneurs and in strategy for over a decade and set up and run multiple successful businesses.
I’ve got the free version of Mailer Lite and to be honest I have no idea how to grow my mail list. This is so informational and helofu. I’ll definitely be following this.
So glad this was helpful, Lilia! I use Mailerlite too – it’s a great email service provider! I would love to hear what freebie you come up with to help you grow your list!
I really like how you went into great details into the types of freebies one can create. I guess it can get overwhelming to think of one that fits all, but in the past I have experimented with various types and finally am beginning to nail down the ones that work best for me. So far, I have noticed that mini guides work best for me, especially since my niche is travel!
Yes, Shruti! I have found that mini guides work best for my audience as well. Just enough information but not too much to be overwhelming!
I love this so much and those questions DEFINITELY is helping me make my decision on what freebie I should opt in. I’ve been considering what my next freebie would be (my last was a list of affirmations) and I wanted to do a mini e-book or maybe an email series but I’m not sure HOW to actually set that up which I think once I finish outlining everything will be my next step! Great post! Very informational!
Hi Flo! I think that either of those would be a great idea for a freebie! You can set up an automation series after they have signed up for the email series through most email service providers so that you can drip your freebie out over time. I’d love to see what you come up with!
Great list of thought provoking questions Helen!!
Yes, Kate! Helen has come up with some amazing ideas for forming your freebie! Helping your audience is KEY!
Thank you, Sasha and Hellen! I have not yet started my email list or lead magnets, and you offer many good ideas.
You are welcome, Jeremy! So glad this could help you out getting started!
Thank you! This was helpful to think about the goals of an optin freebie. My first attempts at freebies were fails. Thinking about an optin as building your brand and connecting with your audience is great advice.
Thanks, Shauna! I’m so glad that this article helped you a bit. Finding the right freebie can help you grow your email list so fast. Think about what would help your audience with their struggles. A big part of it is also marketing that freebie. It has to make it out in the world to have the best chance for success. If you are really struggling, you can check out my workshop on Fabulous Freebies here: everydayshessparkling.com/fabulousfreebies
Great article thanks! I am still struggling so much with this email marketing, already tried two different freebies and nothing really worked 🙁 I need to think about something else again!
Thanks for sharing, Pauline! Finding the right freebie can be tough sometimes.. You really need to identify your audience and what they are struggling with. If you can find something that saves them time or money or both, you’ve hit the jackpot. I have a workshop that can help you narrow it down if you are struggling. You can check it out here: everydayshessparkling.com/fabulousfreebies
Wow I’ve been wondering how freebies work and what goes into making them happen. Thank you for sharing!
Excellent, Valerie! So glad this helped you! I’d love to see what you come up with 🙂
Really useful post full of great information! Thanks for this. I am sure many bloggers will find this helpful when building their lists.
Thanks, Mariam! I’m glad you found it helpful. It’s such an important part of building your blogging biz. 🙂
Excellent tips. I remember when I first started blogging, I was so nervous about starting a list. Now, its how I sell most of my products!
Totally, Jenn! It is absolutely #1 for conversions and so many bloggers put off building their email list early on. The faster you get started the better.
Great tips. It is probably the most important part if you are doing blogging as a business.
Absolutely, Nadia! It is so important to grow your email list early on so that you can build and nurture relationships with your audience! Thank you for your kind comments 🙂
This is awesome!!! SUPER helpful. Thanks so much for sharing! <3
XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com
Thank you, Katie! So glad that you found this helpful!
These tips are great, I’m struggling so hard to come up with a valuable freebie for my blog readers. I have two already but they seem to be falling flat! Fingers crossed that I figure it out soon 🙂
Rebecca, thank you for sharing your struggles… Sometimes you just need to think about how you can help with something that your audience is struggling with. What can you give them that can make things easier? Maybe the freebies you have are good, but need more marketing? I would love to check out what you have and help you figure that out!
Great post and ideas ! Currently learning how to build list lately and how important it is!
Thank you, Victoria! I’m so glad that you found this information helpful. Growing your list is super important!
Have not started growing my email yet. Not sure what to do. Thanks for the article.
You’re welcome! You might want to get started with this article first then! Everydayshessparkling.com/email-marketing-for-beginners
This post comes out at the right time. I am trying to get a email service, but I read somewhere mailerlite do not approve it easily. I have no idea how to get an approval!
Glad that it came at the right time, Nilakshi! I didn’t find Mailerlite difficult to get in with. You do need a domain email (email@example.com) instead of gmail or yahoo etc. to appy so as long as you have that, you should be good to go!
This article is so useful! I am just discovering now the power of opt in freebies and it’s amazing
You’re welcome, Lara! Opt-ins are so valuable for growing your subscriber’s lists! So glad that you liked the post and thanks for reading!