For the past few weeks I’ve been hard at work on a new gift to give to people when they opt-in to my newsletter list. I’d say 90% of my subscribers join my list BECAUSE they wanted the gift; the *ahem* great content in the weekly newsletter is a bonus. The other 10% find my blog, read a great article and decide they want more articles delivered to their inbox every Tuesday. So an opt-in gift is CLEARLY a really important thing to create and create well!

When I first started with email marketing, back in 2003, it wasn’t really much of a requirement to offer a free gift to encourage people to sign up. Emailed newsletters were still a novelty. (And in some industries they still are!)


When I sat down to create my new gift, here’s the thought process I went through:

1. Who do I want to attract to my list?

My original opt-in gift was targeted to ANYONE who was interested in self-publishing. But over the course of a year since that gift was new, my target subscriber has been refined to be a coach, speaker, or author.

So when I created a NEW gift, I targeted it directly to who I wanted on my list.

2. What are they interested in?

While I like writing articles about business blogging and “other” types of writing for business (like THIS article!) my target subscriber is REALLY interested in a book: writing, publishing, and promoting it to bring in new clients to their coaching or consulting business.

3. What’s the end goal?

Of COURSE I want people to subscribe to my list! But after they subscribe, what do I want them to do? I want to help ALL my subscribers get their books WRITTEN and PUBLISHED so it can help them get their message out and make more money.

So the goals of THIS free gift are:

  1. Subscribe to my list
  2. See how a book can help build your business
  3. Show how I can help get that book written and published!

4. How should I deliver it?

99.9% of opt-in gifts are delivered digitally. But that means it can be an eBook, MP3, video, or some combination. And I realized that MY ideal subscriber would really resonate with an eBook. I made the choice to offer it “old school” as a .pdf because it’s universally readable. Not everyone had an eReader or knows how to put a file on their eReader device.

Once I had these four questions outlined, it was just sitting down to write the copy!

And you can find my new opt-in gift HERE.

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Kimberly Eldredge

Kimberly is an author, illustrator, and entrepreneur. She helps coaches, speakers, and authors take the content they already have and FINALLY get their book written and published.
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9 Responses to Do YOU Need a New Opt-In Gift?

  • Great site. I believe everyone should have an end goal. I hear all the time ” I should write a book on my life”. People should actually journal their life story. It might just be the next great big thing :)
    N Phoenix recently posted…Voli Vodka Summer Cocktails @VoliSpiritsMy Profile

  • Excellent points… The key in most cases is to keep the opt-in gift valuable as well as actionable. With short attention spans these days being able to provide a solution that can be acted upon not is essential.
    Raphael Love recently posted…10 Ideas For Rapid Exposure As An Author On The CheapMy Profile

  • I went through a very similar process when I planned my new opt-in gift a couple of weeks ago. If we both did it, it must be the right way!
    Cindy Jones Lantier recently posted…Take a Deep Breath. Relax. Unwind.My Profile

  • great write up. I need to get my opt in offer up and running. Just saying “hey subscribe” with out giving some sort of incentive doesn’t work 😉

    Nice to e-meet you via life on fire and the other networks

  • Thanks for all your tips.
    I’ll try to put them into practice!

  • Very good tips, Kimberly. I’d also say that although having a freebie is good, try not to get too hung up on having one if you don’t have anything to offer right away, or go crazy thinking you have to write some twenty page ebook with all the bells and whistles. Sometimes the best solution is a quick one page offering with a few valuable tips someone can apply right away. A few years ago, freebies were the be all end all for creating lists. Now, there’s so many of them, I have to admit, I sign up and the freebie goes right in my “to be read” folder and I forget it’s there.

    So, an added point would be keep it simple and leave them wanting more.
    Deb Dorchak recently posted…Doing Your Best to be BadMy Profile

  • Great points Kimberly! I am just revamping and updating my ‘free gift’ now and am excited to get it back on-line and available to my subscribers. I haven’t had it there in a while so I’m curious to see the stats it creates.
    Really appreciate you driving home the point that it’s not all about subscribers either. It’s about what my target market and what do I want them to do. Thanks!

  • Oh the struggles that a free gift dumps on the entrepreneur! We work with clients day in and day out to create their brand, website and marketing materials … and everyone gets stuck creating their free gift!

    They think it needs to be something so magical and amazing that it must have been delivered straight from the heavens. They agonize over it, spend weeks and even months getting it just right, we get it on the site, and the opt-ins only trickle in …

    Why? Because they created something they thought people would want, instead of doing their homework to really find out what would be most helpful and needed by their audience.

    So I love your tips to create something THEY are interested in!
    Jennifer Bourn recently posted…Why Keywords Still Matter In SEOMy Profile

  • I have, actually, been thinking I need a new freebie. I didn’t fully think through the four questions you lay out for my first one, and I can see the next one will have more “umph”! Thanks for your clear and direct tips! best, Angela