Opt-In Freebie Ideas to Help Grow Your Mailing List

Opt-In Freebie Ideas to Help Grow Your Mailing List

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

Well you’ve started your blog (if you haven’t done that yet, check out my step by step guide on how to get your blog started). And now it’s time to get to work on growing your email list for your blog or business. So it’s best to have some opt-in freebie ideas on hand to get that mailing list growing at a good pace.

Why the heck do you need opt-in freebie ideas you ask?

Don’t people just sign up for your newsletter when they want to and feel like it? Well not really 🙁

And to top it off, growing a mailing list is not easy!

I mean lets be real here, nothing about managing a blog is “easy”, no matter how much people want to try to glamorize being a blogger.

The whole vision people want to have of bloggers: working in your pj’s just effortlessly watching the money be thrown at you through your computer screen. You and I both know that’s not how it works.

That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works! meme

I know we all wish blogging worked that way, that would be totally awesome! But it’s much more involved and requires tons of work.

And growing your email list is just one of the many tasks that get piled upon you as a blogger, so you want to make this as easy as possible. That’s where opt-in freebies come to your rescue.



Why Are Email Lists Needed?

Any blog or business needs an email list to stay in touch with their customers and to keep bringing customers back. It can be for repeat purchases or even new products you have coming out. Or even for promotional purposes if you happen to be an affiliate marketer.

If you have plans to have a profitable blog, you need to have an email list.

Having an email list is the only way to guarantee that you have a means to reach your dedicated audience without having to rely on an outside source, such as Facebook or Instagram, to send them your way.

What would happen to your site’s traffic if Google decided to change their algorithm and you start getting 0 traffic from them? Or if Pinterest did the same? Or maybe you loose access to your Instagram or Twitter accounts. What if any of the social media platforms closed down? I’m not trying to scare you, but it can happen. Remember MySpace?

Without an email list you will be sitting there with nothing for traffic if your main source of it went away.

This is where your email list saves the day!

But first, like everyone else, if you are just starting out you don’t have much of an email list right now.

Or maybe you haven’t even started a mailing list and you don’t have any email list, now is the time to get started! You can sign up with MailerLite for free to start with up to 1,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month!

Get started with MailerLite by signing up here.

So your first task to get your blog and business saving email list is: you need to get subscribers.

But how do you go beyond the trickle of people you’ve had sign up so far?

That’s where opt-in freebies help you out.

What is an Opt-In Freebie?

An opt-in freebie is simple a freebie that you offer in exchange for a subscriber to give you their email address.

You might have also heard the term lead magnet. That’s just another way to say opt-in freebie.

This freebie you offer can be something you create or something you paid someone else to create for you.

Many of the opt-in freebies are just a one or two page PDF that helps your readers out in some way.

But it’s always free to your subscribers.

Why Use Opt-In Freebies?

Let’s face it, if “subscribe to my newsletter” worked well, then everyone would have killer subscriber counts and you wouldn’t be reading this.

But asking for email sign ups like that doesn’t work too good. I mean it does here and there, but you’re looking at sign up rates that make you contemplate the effort of creating a sign up form.

This is where opt-in freebies are a email list owner’s savior.

You can kind of think of them as a bribe for an email address.

You offer your opt-in freebie in exchange for a visitor to your site to sign up for your newsletters. And getting something in return for handing over their email address works so much better than just asking for it with nothing in return.

Opt-In freebies are essential for growing your email list. You won’t get very far without them.

13 Opt-In Freebie Ideas to Grow an Email List

Opt-In Freebie Ideas to Use to Grow Your Mailing List

But opt-in freebie ideas aren’t the easiest thing to come up with all the time. And it’s good to have several opt-in freebies to bring in subscribers to your email list.

So here are some opt-in freebies ideas you can use to grow your email list and get more dedicated readers and customers.

1. Printables

Printables are the staple for opt in freebies.

Just about any blogging niche has somewhere a printable of some sort will come in handy.

Printables can be just about anything that is able to be printed out.

They can be coloring pages, blog post planner, schedules, calendars, recipe cards, teaching plans for homeschooling or teachers, and so many other things can be made into a printable that is useful.

You want to make sure when creating a printable opt in freebie that it is appealing to the eye but you also want to make sure your readers aren’t using a ton of expensive printer ink to get this printed.

So there is a balancing act when designing printable opt-in freebies.

2. Checklists

Checklists help you readers get an easy to use checklist that takes them from point a to point b, and they get to make sure they have everything done in-between.

PDF checklists are super helpful to anyone that is doing anything that requires a bunch of steps.

This is especially true they’re doing it the first time. Or it just is good to have as a reminder for a process that is repeated but has small things that are easy to forget.

For example I have a blog post checklist and a blog pre-launch checklist. With both of these there are so many little things that are easy to forget that having a checklist comes in super handy.

A checklist is a great opportunity for an easy opt-in freebie you can make in no time!

3. Worksheet

Worksheets are great ways to help your readers through a brainstorming or thought process.

You can give them guidance with a post and a worksheet to accompany that post.

An example that I have as a worksheet is my Blog Post Worksheet or Find Your Blogging Niche Worksheet.

4. Cheat Sheet

Think of a cheat sheet as a reference.

This can be quick reminders, definitions or terminology, reference material etc.

Think of something in your niche that people might constantly look up. If you can find something like that, then people probably would like to have something they can print out and have on hand. This is much better than the alternative of having to search for the information each and every time.

5. Resource Guide or List

A resource guide or list is one of my favorite opt-freebie ideas to use to grow an email list.

They are super easy to put together, and on top of that you can reference your own products, or even affiliate links that are useful for your readers.

One of the most popular opt-in freebies that I have is my Affiliate Program List. The sign up rates are 300% higher on this opt-in than any others I have.

6. Email Course

Many people find tons of value in a free course, and will happily sign up for one. That makes an email course an excellent way to help grow your mailing list.

Setting up an email course as an opt-in freebie can easily be done by utilizing your email service to send a series of emails.

One of the added benefits of having a free email course is that it gets your subscribers used to opening your emails. This will also lower your chance that your emails go to their spam folder instead of their inbox since they are interacting with your emails regularly.

7. Mini Course

Another option that is like an email course is a mini course for an opt-in freebie.

The difference is that with a mini course, instead of the course being sent to your subscribers through email, you host the course on a teaching platform.

You can use sites like Teachable, Udemy, or Thinkific to host your mini course and have people sign up for your newsletter for access to the course.

8. Video Course

Video courses will require more work than email courses or mini courses.

But the value of a video course is much higher. That will mean higher sign up rates for your mailing list.

Again you can use platforms like Teachable, Udemy, or Thinkific to host your video courses too.

9. Webinar

Webinars, like video courses have HUGE value and are very popular.

In addition to being an enticing opt-in freebie for potential subscribers, you also get the bonus of developing a relationship with your subscribers by being able to interact with them in real time!

You can use social platforms like Facebook or YouTube to host your webinars for no extra cost.

You can also utilize past webinars by offering access to recordings for signing up to your mailing list.

10. eBook

eBooks are a common opt-in freebie for email newsletter sign-ups.

The one drawback of the eBook opt-in popularity is that the value in the eyes of your potential subscribers might not be as much as other opt-in freebies options. But even with this drawback, they still bring in subscribers.

With eBooks you can do a full in-depth eBook or just a chapter or two of an eBook that you have for sale.

And with eBook opt-ins you don’t have to do a big eBook. You can do a smaller eBook since it is a freebie. Just make sure it adds value and helps your subscribers.

You can get an eBook cover designed for you on Fiverr. If you are the creative type you can design your own ebook cover on sites like Canva, PicMonkey, or Visme.

11. Guides & Tutorials

Offer your readers a PDF guide or tutorial for something that they need direction on how to do.

Having a guide that they can access at any time without having to turn to the internet and remember where they found one before is very valuable to your readers.

One easy way to do this is if you already have a guide or tutorial on your blog as a post or page, turn that into a PDF. This way your readers can download when they sign up for your mailing list.

Or you can also have an exclusive one that is only available to your subscribers.

12. Roundup List

This opt-in freebie idea can be any type of roundup you have.

It can be a roundup of certain recipes if you have a food blog.

You could also use a roundup list of resources as an opt-in freebie.

Maybe you already have a roundup post that might be useful if you convert it to a PDF for easy access. Utilize that as an opt-in freebie and make it happen!

13. Exclusive Access

Offer exclusive access to your subscribers.

For example with BloggingYourBlog’s email subscribers, once you sign up for the newsletter you get access to all the checklists, worksheets, and printables.

You can also offer exclusive access to a resource page, or certain special pages or posts on your blog.


Get more subscribers to your email list with opt-in freebies.
Explode your email list with email opt-in freebies.

How to Know What Opt-Ins to Use

Take a look around your blog, look at your posts and pages.

Which of these posts or pages would any of these opt-in freebie ideas be a good companion for?

Do you have a list of resources that would be easy to keep on hand without needing to navigate to a website?

Do you have tutorials that can help your readers out to be able to print out or keep on their computer?

If you have a craft blog, printable patterns and directions for the crafts you show how to make would be a great complement.

Or if you have a blog that has information about budgeting, you can have printout budget sheets your readers could use. Maybe even a mini budget email course.

The possibilities are endless, just look around and ask yourself what opt-in freebie ideas would go good with your blog posts.

Opt-In Freebie Ideas Recap

  • Printables
  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Cheat Sheet
  • Resource Guide or List
  • Email Course
  • Mini Course
  • Video Course
  • Webinar
  • eBook
  • Guides & Tutorials
  • Roundup List
  • Exclusive Access

Whichever of the mailing list opt-in freebies you choose to use, always make sure that they are of good quality and help your subscribers.

Subscribers are not going to stick around reading emails from you if your opt-in freebies are not valuable to them.


Also before you go, since this is a blog post about email list sign ups: Sign up for my email list! (Seriously, you get free stuff to help you out with your blog!)


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