It’s time for another post in the Blogging Tips Series. Today’s post addresses the use of freebies in order to build your email list. Some bloggers swear by it, others believe it may cause more unsubscribes than necessary. We will weigh the pros and cons to offering freebies in an effort to build your email list.
I’m sure at some point in your blogging journey you will come across several different ways to grow your email list. One of these ways is by offering what is called freebies in exchange for an email address.
What Is A Freebie?
A freebie is any digital good that may be useful to your audience. These can be ebooks, printables, listings, or any number of digital goods. These freebies are usually created, and probably should be created, by the blogger offering them.
Some examples of freebies are checklists, ebooks, guides, and worksheets. This isn’t all you can offer to potential subscribers but they are the most common examples of freebies.
Check out my post The Low Down Dirty Truths To Starting A Blog.
Why To Offer Freebies
Offering freebies is a great way to get people to subscribe to your email list. They can also be a great way to give a free gift to your current email list. Additionally, freebies are a great way to build authority on a subject that you wish to monetize later.
Freebies ultimately are a fantastic way to build your email list. It’s giving your audience something for giving you a way to contact them when they aren’t on your site. It’s almost like they are the ultimate in relationship building tools.
Why Not To Offer Freebies
I want to be a bit realistic here. Unfortunately there have been a lot of people who have misused the freebie offers. They offer a freebie and then are immediately spamming your inbox every day or twice a day with products to purchase or offers they are an affiliate for.
Not to long ago I went through and removed myself from the lists of a lot of bloggers. Even some bloggers that I really liked. I may have signed up for their list to see a freebie to later realize their emails were about something that didn’t really interest me.
I’m not the only one going through this. There are a lot of people who are genuinely tired of the freebie game.
I think the biggest reason why people don’t offer freebies is because if someone signs up to your list without any type of prompting they REALLY want to be on your list. This could mean a more active list with a better open rate and less unsubscribes.
How To Offer Freebies
If you decide you want to build your email list using the freebie tactic there are a few things you need to do first.
First, decide what you are going to be emailing your list. What is your emails niche? Are you offering parenting advice in your emails? Blogging advice? Fashion?
When you decide what your email niche will be that’s when you can decide what type of freebies you will offer. You don’t want to offer a reference guide to the Instapot if you are emailing your list about work at home ideas and productivity hacks. Yes, that is a mistake I nearly made, recently too.
Offer freebies for the things that will grow a list of the correct audience. Target the audience you want to have on your list with awesome, helpful, freebies they will love.
Should You Offer Freebies
I didn’t decide until recently about offering freebies and am currently working on a few to add to some of my more popular posts. I have a niched down email list though that genuinely is about helping working parents, work at home parents, and even stay at home parents with being more productive.
Take a good hard look at the niche of your blog. I rarely see freebies on a food blog. I almost never see freebies on a travel blog. Even most lifestyle blogs don’t offer freebies. If it doesn’t make sense for you to offer freebies, than don’t.
You’ll know that people sign up for your list because they absolutely adore your posts. Not because they wanted that one freebie and will be gone as soon as they get it.
Check out my post Blogging Tips: Are Pop-Ups Right For Your Blog.
Will Freebies Work For You?
Honestly, the only way you will ever know that is if you try them out. There isn’t a lot of harm in trying it out. If it isn’t working then you just stop offering freebies.
Take your top 5 posts and add a freebie offer to that post. Use a special sign up form that puts those email addresses into their own list. From there you can set up an automatic email that will send a link to where your freebie is stored. From there they can download your freebie.
Market those 5 posts with new Pinterest images that have the freebie offer on there. Additionally, consider sending the freebie to the list you already have. Market the freebie everywhere and see if you get bites.
Do not sit there watching the stats on that freebie, I know you will. I would too, but try not too. One day you will wake up check the stats and see that you got a lot of new sign ups. If after a month or two if you aren’t getting any bites try a different freebie.
Try not to create freebies for every single post, especially if it’s not relevant to the post or your email niche. Take it easy until you figure out which freebies if any work for you.
I have always been hesitant about offering freebies. Mainly because there are a lot of things that already need my attention. As I am getting faster with my routine I keep coming back to the freebie idea.
I will start offering them soon. With a constant understanding that the freebies I offer must coincide with the type of audience I want for my email list. If the freebie doesn’t match that audience and that niche I will not offer it.
The goal with freebies is to build an email list filled with people who will love your weekly emails.
Check out my post Blogging Tips: Email List Building.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on offering freebies in exchange for an email address. Leave your comment below. Be sure to follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your blogging and business boards.