best practices + transparent advice for content creators

Food Blogger’s Guide to The Ultimate Freebie Opt-In

Are you ready to grow your email list? Offering an opt-in freebie, content upgrade, lead magnet, ebook, or other digital download is a great way to gain new subscribers!

What is An Email Opt-In Offer?

Simply put, an email freebie is a short-format piece of content you offer on your blog.

Think of it as a small “thank you” for signing up to your email subscriber list.

They most often a PDF including recipes, cheat sheets, meal plans, etc. A content upgrade is similar, just more niched and specific to a certain post.

A lead magnet is also a free product that is designed to convert subscribers into customers. For example, I might offer a free printable for Allergy-Friendly Holiday Pantry Essentials. That printable would be a lead magnet for my paid Dairy-Free Holiday Recipe E-Cookbook.

What makes a good email freebie for bloggers?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as your create your opt-in:
  1. Is this download easy to make? Remember time is money!
  2. Does this solve a small to medium sized problem my target audience has? Think about the top questions you’re always getting asked.
  3. Will this freebie attract the right people for my subscriber list? Make sure to really niche-down here and ensure the content is super targeted to your ideal audience.

5 Opt-In Freebie Ideas for Food Bloggers

  • Recipe E-Cookbook: 10 “best of the blog” recipes
  • Meal Plan: 7 days of meal prep ideas
  • Shopping List: Paleo shopping list
  • Checklist: Vegan pantry essential
  • Printable: List of swaps + substitutions

Email Freebie FAQ

What program should I use to create my freebie opt-in? I’m a big fan of Google Drive (simply save as a PDF), Canva, and Photoshop!

Should the freebie contain new or existing content? I believe your free resource can include existing recipes or content that complements existing content already found on your blog. Save exclusive content for your paid products!

How do I get people to sign up for the freebie? I personally use Flodesk and love all the opt-in sign up form options and landing pages! They make it so easy to create and publish. Best of all though, they’re built to convert.

Learn more about Flodesk here and why I switched from Mailchimp. Are you ready to create gorgeous emails that convert? Sign up here using my special offer for $19/month FOREVER.

How do I deliver the free download automatically? Depending on which email marketing platform you use, it might vary slightly. For both Mailchimp and Flodesk, they make it incredibly easy to create automations.

Here’s a breakdown, if you’re using Flodesk:

  • Navigate to Workflows and create a New Workflow.
  • Select a template or build one yourself.
  • As you’re customizing the automatic welcome email, include a link to download the freebie. You can link to a web address or attach a file!
  • Click Add Trigger to define what “event” causes your automation to begin for a subscriber. Such as a subscriber being added to a segment.
  • Simply choose the segment and follow the steps to complete the action.
  • From there, you’ll select the email template you edited to designed then click Save.

Where should I plug in my sign up form? Place forms on your blog’s homepage, sidebar, footer, under and/or in the middle of content, and include a link to sign up in your Instagram bio link using a DIY linktree.

So that’s it! Are you ready to create your freebie opt-in? Go for it, you’ve got this.

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