How to create an opt-in freebie to use with Mailchimp

One really effective strategy for encouraging people to sign up for your Mailing List is to offer a ‘Freebie.’ This is a downloadable product – usually a checklist or printable of some kind – which people receive once they have signed up to your email list. It’s a really good way of encouraging readers to sign up, and is really easy to set up. Here’s how to create an opt-in freebie to use with Mailchimp.

What kind of freebie should I offer?

I’m going to be honest, I hate the word ‘Freebie.’ I also hate opt-in incentives that promise WAY more than they deliver. So you need to create a download that is really useful to your readers. One example is my Printable Bible Journal – it’s a month worth of prompts to get you back in to reading your Bible. There’s a lot of value in there! It also works really well with the series called Mummy Meditations that I write, so there’s an incentive to commit to reading the blog.

I’ve also found that people really like something they can print off and keep physically. So my downloadable budgeting spreadsheet isn’t so popular (but it is SO useful) but my printable blogging routines are really popular.

It very much depends on your niche and what you write about. One strategy I’ve done with The Organised Life Project is to have one printable download (at least) per category of the blog. I create one a month, and that’s really sustainable for me at the moment. It also keeps my readers interested and I provide real value by grouping them all together into a Resource Library which you receive the password to when you join The Organised Life Project.

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How do I create my opt-in?

You need to think about the final format of your opt-in. The most obvious format for a download is a pdf, so you can use Word or whatever word-processing programme you use, or you could use Canva. I like Canva, but I would caution you to avoid staying too close to the templates, as they are very popular and some people edit them less than others. It’s a bit disappointing when you download an opt-in and it’s basically a Canva template. So make sure you edit it well!

Use your branding colours and your style. Make it useful and user-friendly. Some people say an opt-in should be limited to one side of A4, but I’ve found a larger booklet is really effective as well. Usefulness is more important than size!

Once you’ve designed it as you like, download it as a pdf. Check it, and make sure it looks good when you print it out.

How do I upload my opt-in to Mailchimp?

This bit is much easier than it appears at first!

Log in to Mailchimp. Go to ‘Create a Campaign’ and set up a new email to send out. Alternatively, you might want to go into your Automation sequence and edit your welcome email.

In ‘Design your email,’ add a button. Go into the settings for the button and change the button text to something like ‘Get the FREE Printable’ or ‘Download the Checklist.’

Then, change the ‘Link to’ to ‘File.’

This will open up the Content Manager. Click on ‘Upload’ in the top right and choose your pdf file that you created in Canva.

Select that file so that the ‘Link to’ gives the file address.

Now write the rest of your email. Set it up to send automatically and make sure you subscribe to your own emails to test the process.

It’s that easy to create an opt-in freebie to use with Mailchimp.

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