How many emails have you signed up for to get a free resource? If you’re anything like me, it probably numbers in the hundreds since people first started using free downloads as lead magnets.
While I’ve not used every freebie I’ve signed up for, there’s no doubting their effectiveness. If you’ve been thinking about offering a freebie or resources library for your audience, but aren’t sure about how to go about it, you’re in the right place. I’ll guide you through the process below.
Why offer a freebie to your audience?
There are two main benefits of offering a freebie to your audience:
- You entice them to join your mailing list – if you’ve not got a lead magnet to offer, there’s nothing to entice them to join. It doesn’t matter how useful your blog content is, or how great your emails are, some people just won’t join (or won’t think to join) if you aren’t offering them something they want.
- You have an opportunity to educate them further – often, the best way to build on what you’ve taught your audience in a blog post (or another type of content) is to give them a resource. This resource may be a cheatsheet, template, swipe file, or free version of what you offer. It helps them deepen their understanding of what you’re teaching them and it may also be something they use again and again, keeping you front-of-mind.
Both of these benefits help you create a connection with your audience, which in turn grows trust. And, if you remember your sales fundamentals, you’ll know that customers (in general) need to know, like, and trust you before buying, especially at higher price points and when paying you for services.
So, how do you get that freebie in their hands?
How to Deliver Your Freebie to Your Audience
I’ll be using the terms “freebie” and “resource” here, but know that you can offer any kind of resource that will be valuable to your audience. For example, if you’re a bookkeeper, a spreadsheet may be the most valuable resource for your audience, whereas a photographer may want to offer a free folder of copyright-free stock images – I’ll talk you through a few different ways to deliver your resource, no matter what format it’s in.
There are 3 key ways to deliver a freebie:
- A download they get as soon as their subscription is confirmed
- A link or redirect to a cloud folder where they can find the resource
- A link or redirect to a hidden resource page
All you need, besides the freebie you want to offer, are a few digital tools, which differ somewhat depending on how you want to deliver it. We’ll go through those below, but if you don’t yet have an email provider, I highly recommend Flodesk. Find out more about Flodesk and why I love it here.Once you’ve chosen your email provider, you need to embed the signup form on your website. This is always simple, but the process will differ depending on your email provider and website CMS. You can click here to learn how to set up a form with Flodesk, or do a simple Google search for “how to set up a signup form on [website CMS] with [email provider]”.
How to send an automatic download
An automatic download is a good option if you’re sending a single file, such as a PDF. You can do this in two ways, depending on what your email provider offers.
You can either send the person a link to the download they’ve signed up for in the first email you send them (after their confirmation email), or you can set it up so they are automatically redirected to the freebie when they click that confirmation link.
Both ways offer a good experience, you just need to find out what’s possible through your email provider.
How to send a link or redirect to a cloud folder
This is one of the best ways to offer a content library or multiple files.
You set up a folder on Google Drive or Dropbox with the file(s) you want to share, and then set the folder to share. You then embed the link to the folder in your first email after they confirm, or have it automatically redirect to it upon confirmation.
This method is particularly beneficial because you can update the files in the folder at any time so people can always access the most up-to-date version, and you can password-protect the folder. If you want to password-protect your resource and make it simple, you can share the link to the resource directly on your resources page but ask people to sign up to receive the password.
How to send a link or redirect to a hidden resource page
This is one of the simplest ways to offer your resources, it just depends on how protective you want to be over your resources.
To use this method, set up an unlisted page on your website – that means it shouldn’t be linked anywhere on your website and you should ask Google not to add it to the search results. This is usually easy to do through your website platform, but if not, you can find Google’s instructions here.
On that page, you add links to your resources or links for instant downloads. This is a good option if you want to share Google files people can “Make a Copy” of to use themselves.
As with the cloud storage option above, most website providers make it easy to password-protect a page, so alternatively you can add a password and get people to sign up to receive it.
How I Deliver My Free Resource
I have a few different locations on my site where you can signup for my Master Checklist (my freebie that guides people through branding and what they need for a cohesive brand identity), including this landing page.
My CTAs offering my freebie are simple and explain why you’re going to find it useful. If you want to see how I have my freebie delivery workflow, I recommend signing up for my freebie and going through the steps. (You’ll also find the freebie super useful, but whether or not you use it is up to you!)
When someone signs up for my freebie they receive an email welcoming them with a button to download the checklist. When they click that button, the PDF of the checklist will open automatically in a new tab in their browser. This file is hosted by my email provider, Flodesk.
They’re then able to use the freebie as they please, and a day or two later they’ll receive a follow-up email asking them how they’re getting on and if they have any questions. After that email, they’re automatically added to my welcome sequence, and then into my main newsletter list.
It really is that simple! Setting up the different segments and sequences can be tedious, but that’s why I love and recommend Flodesk – Flodesk makes the whole process so easy and intuitive (not to mention aesthetically pleasing).
My freebie and welcome sequence help my audience deepen their understanding of branding, as well as what I offer. It allows me to contact them directly with my newsletters and continue nurturing my relationship with them. If you don’t yet offer a freebie, I highly recommend you start brainstorming what to offer and get it set up as soon as you can.