30 Ideas for Freebies + Proven Strategies for Exploding Your Email list

Starting and growing an email list is essential to running an online business and having people jump into your email list. You need to craft irresistible ideas for freebies that will attract your subscribers to your email list.

Gone are the days when having a signup form “Subscribe to my newsletter and be the first to get all tips” works.

Nowadays, to grow your email list, you need an irresistible lead magnet or opt-in ideas that solve your potential subscribers’ problems.

This way, your reader gets something valuable when they sign up for your list, and they will gladly give you their email address in return.

Starting an email list is essential. It doesn’t matter if you have a significant following on social media. 

You don’t own your social media following or the platform you are an influencer. You can wake up one day and realize that your account has been deactivated.

Another reason why you should come up with great opt-in offers ideas either as a blogger or as a small business is to have an audience ready to buy from you.

I believe you know having an email list is vital if you want to run a successful blog or online business.

However, using an email marketing platform like Flodesk is not enough. You need to develop awesome opt-in ideas and blog freebies to explode your email list.

And if you are a small business owner reading this, there are great digital freebie ideas for small businesses and freebie ideas for customers that you can create to grow your list.

So, in this blog post, I will share 30 freebies ideas that will grow your email list, places and ways to find irresistible opt-in ideas, and finally, how to create freebies for your blog.

Before we dive deeper, I recommend you signup to an email marketing platform because you will need it to host your freebies and opt-in forms for email addresses. 

I use and recommend FLODESK – If you are a blogger or small business owner who doesn’t require multiple eCommerce features, then I recommend that you use Flodesk

Because you won’t have to pay more as your list grows (just a flat rate of $38, and if you use my link, you’ll get Flodesk for $19), beautiful signup forms and newsletters, and landing pages to host your freebies, even if you don’t have a website yet.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, and I will earn a commission which I use in running this blog if you buy with my link. This won’t attract an extra cost to you. Read my Disclaimer policy here

What is an Optin freebie?

An opt-in freebie, lead magnet, content upgrade, or blog freebies (whatever you choose to call it) is a valuable piece of content you give to your audience for free in exchange for their email address.

A freebie or lead magnet is an incentive, piece of content, or anything online marketers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers give in exchange for their audience (subscriber’s) email address or contact information.

An opt-in freebie could be free downloads such as checklists, cheat sheets, content upgrades, worksheets, ebooks, worksheets, videos, a low price offer for a product, or Coupon codes.

30 Ideas for Freebies and Optin Offer Ideas for Bloggers and Small Businesses

There are so many great ideas for freebies that will grow your email list, and before we delve into the steps for finding an irresistible opt-in offer that will explode your list. Here is a list of 30 opt-in offers ideas that you can create;

  1. Ebook
  2. Case studies
  3. Masterclass
  4. Coupon codes
  5. Free product bundles
  6. Workbook
  7. Checklist
  8. Challenge
  9. Trackers
  10. printables
  11. Templates
  12. Free coaching calls or consultation
  13. Email course
  14. Roundup 
  15. Free access to a private group
  16. Road map
  17. Free Trials
  18. Cheatsheets
  19. Access to a module of your course
  20. Live webinars
  21. Video recordings
  22. Audio Recordings
  23. Chapters from a paid Ebook or Workbook
  24. Free training
  25. Resource library
  26. Behind the scenes 
  27. Planners
  28. Swipe Files
  29. PDF guides
  30. Mini-Course
  31. Members-only content
  32. Gift Cards
  33. Giveaways
  34. Quiz
  35. A step by step guide
35 ideas for freebies for small businesses and blogs that will explode your email list

7 Ways to Find Irresistible Ideas for Freebies and Optin Offers

Now you know a list of ideas for freebies, but how can you figure out what freebie to create that will guarantee success. 

Because creating a freebie is not enough, you want to attract the right audience to your freebie. Also, the right topic that is related to your blog niche. So steps to create valuable opt-in offers ideas that will grow your list;

1 | Freebies Ideas From Your Most Popular Blog post

One surefire way of growing your email list faster is to create your blog freebies around what is already working. I.e., topics and blog posts already generating traffic. 

In fact, I do recommend that while figuring out what next to create, you should have at least one freebie based on topics and blog post that brings in traffic.

Check your Google analytics and discover your best-performing blog posts and blog categories, and choose your opt-in ideas from them.

For example – you are a food blogger, and you have blog posts about easy dinner recipes that bring in lots of traffic. 

You can create a blog freebie on “10 dinner recipe ideas that can be cooked under 20mins” and offer them as freebies or lead magnets to your audience. 

This way, you build your email list based on what’s working and content already driving traffic t your blog.

I hope you understand the picture I’m painting.

2 | Use Content Upgrades as Ideas for Freebies

Offering content upgrades is one of the ways to position yourself as an authority to your readers. 

But what is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is a freebie tied to a blog post or a page that you offer your readers in exchange for their contact or email address.

A content upgrade is different from a regular freebie because it relates to the topic your blog reader is reading.

For example, I have a blog post on how to create unique Holiday gift guides for your blog, and in this blog post, I’m offering gift guide Canva templates as opt-in freebies. The free gift guide I offer is the Content upgrade.

Another Example: Let’s assume you are a blogger in the journaling niche, and you write a blog post on 5 easy steps to journaling for beginners, and in your blog post, you mention journaling prompts. You can create incentive freebie ideas like “30 Journaling prompts for beginners”.

Or assume you are a small business owner and own a jewellery store in a marketplace like Etsy.

A digital freebie idea for your small business can be a downloadable guide on “7 easy ways to clean your jewellery or how to prevent your jewellery from rusting.”

A content upgrade is an incentive freebie idea that can help you grow and build an engaged email list faster, especially if you don’t have a lot of traffic coming into your blog. 

Offering a content upgrade as a freebie idea can help you maximize every traffic coming into your site and blog post.

3 | Find Ideas for Freebies on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the best places to discover what’s trending in your niche and ideas for freebies that will grow your list even if you are a new blogger with zero traffic.

A little back story; When I was stuck on what to create to grow my list as a new blogger who was getting an introduction to email marketing, Pinterest helped me discover opt-in offers ideas.

One of my most successful blog freebies is a media kit template

If you are stuck on an incentive freebie idea to create and grow your email list. 

Go on Pinterest, type in keywords in your niche, and see what’s trending or what others are creating.

For Example, If I search for Self Care Ideas, Pinterest pulls down-trending keywords you can add to your search below the search bar. 

Click on each Keyword and see the most trending (top) blog post on the Pinterest search. Pinterest will give you an idea of what ideas for freebies you can create.

Also, in this search, I found a possible idea for a freebie – “Self Care checklist”. You can also test this keyword on Google.

How to search for keywords on Pinterest

4| Find Out What’s Popular in your Niche

 If you are running a blog with a niche. Checking out what’s trending is a good strategy for creating an opt-in freebie and growing your list, as you don’t want to create a freebie nobody wants.

How can you discover freebie ideas that are popular in your niche?

i. Google and Google Free Keyword Planner:

The number one place users search for answers and things is on Google. 

You can go on google and see the top questions people are asking or searching in your niche.

To discover what’s trending on Google, you can use tools like Google Trends to discover what’s trending in your niche.

Another method is installing SEO tools Free Chrome extensions like Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs. 

After installing any of these extensions, go and search for a keyword on Google. Check the recommended keywords on the side, and at the bottom, this is where you discover opt-in ideas.

I use this method to search for possible content upgrades and incentive freebie ideas to offer my audience.

For example, if I search for Self Care Menu on Google, I can see one of the recommended keywords is a self-care menu template. I’ll pick up this Keyword and search on Pinterest. 

And on Pinterest, “self-care menu template” is so popular. This will be a good content upgrade if I’m in the self-care niche and write a blog post on self-care ideas.

How to find freebie ideas on Google

ii) Pinterest:

Pinterest is an excellent tool to discover what’s trending in your niche, and if you follow the steps I have written up there, you can come up with lots of freebie ideas for growing your email list.

How to search for keywords on Pinterest

iii) BuzzSumo:

With BuzzSumo, you can check popular content based on social shares. 

This can help you determine trending topics and help you create content and opt-in freebies around them.

5 | Frequently Asked Questions on Facebook

Are you in a Facebook group, and you see a particular question or asked every time? 

That could be a good blog post or ideas for freebies that you can create because people actively searching for answers to that problem.

For Instance: Sometime last year, one of the most popular questions I saw in some Facebook groups where I’m a member was “How to create and make money from a sponsored post.” 

This was a frequently asked question that my brain couldn’t help but record this question against my will. Lol

And another set of questions that seems to be popular in that group recently is “Resources for Seo” and “How to grow blog traffic because they are on the verge of giving up.”

So if you don’t know what Optin offers Ideas to create, start with looking at the most popular question/problem asked in your niche. 

When you discover these frequently asked questions on Facebook, input these questions or similar questions into Google and Pinterest and see what Possible Keywords you can rank for and who’s ranking for them.

6 | Survey Your Subscribers

Surveying your subscribers or audience wherever they hang out is another way to create and validate an incentive freebie idea. 

Your email list may be small, but you can still ask your subscribers what their biggest challenge is and what kind of help they need. 

The answers you get, see how you can create a blog post, course, and even an opt-in freebie from it. 

A survey can help you grow your list, validate a course idea and even show you what aspect of your niche solves your subscriber’s problems the most.

You can use Google forms, Interact quiz, etc., to create a simple quiz or survey.

7 | See What Other Bloggers in Your Niche are Doing

Some bloggers in your niches most have seen success with a particular type of freebie.

And It’s okay to look at the type of opt-in ideas and blog freebies popular in your niche. 

This will give you an insight into the various ideas for freebies that you can create and grow your email list.

However, do not copy the exact freebie from a blogger verbatim. This is bad. You need to make yours unique and different.

For example, one of the most popular freebie ideas in the college blog niche is a college packing checklist, AKA things to bring when coming to college. 

If you are in the college niche, you have to take a step and make your freebie stand out.

Another example is bloggers using free email courses as email opt-in ideas where they’ll create a series of emails teaching the basics of a particular topic. 

It could be “How to start a blog in WordPress,” which is popular, or even how to start an email list.

Now you know how to find hot topics and ideas for your freebies, whether you are a small business owner looking for ideas for small businesses.

Or a blogger looking to create blog freebies and opt-in offers ideas to grow your email. It doesn’t matter if you are new to blogging and don’t have an email list.

Let’s look at the steps to create freebies for your blog.

How to Create Freebies For Your Blog

Creating an opt-in freebie for your blog is not an option if you want to grow your list, make Money selling to your audience using an email or launch a digital product in the future.

Also, just creating a freebie is not enough. You need to create irresistible freebies that your audience loves, wants, and needs and market your freebies.

Here are the steps you need to create an irresistible freebie for your blog without further ado.

1 | Choose your Optin Freebie Idea and Topic

To create a freebie idea that your audience loves, your freebie must solve your audience’s problems.

Because if your freebie is not speaking to your audience’s problems, they may likely not sign up for it.

And the last thing you want to do is spend your precious time creating opt-in offers nobody wants.

Before choosing ideas for freebies, research what type of freebie to create.

And if you need help with that, in the section above this, we’ve shared ways 6 Ways to Find Irresistible Optin Offers and Freebie Ideas.

The research phase is so crucial as this determines the kind of freebie you will create and if your freebie is valuable to your niche.

2 | Validate Your Opt-in Freebie Idea

Validating your freebie idea ensures that the freebie you are creating will be helpful to your audience.

For example – I know planners for moms and home keeping are a big deal and receives lots of search on Pinterest, Google, etc.

I sell Canva templates, but my audience is not mommy niche bloggers, homeschooling, or homemaking niche bloggers. 

Creating a planner in that niche will be a flop because those are not my target audience.

And even when that freebie goes viral because I promote it on Pinterest, I have no product to offer this audience down the road in my sales funnel.

So, you need to validate the ideas for freebies you want to create. Your incentive freebie idea must be relevant to your niche and solves your audience’s problems.

If you are unsure how to validate your ideas for freebies – write a list of opt-in offers ideas and ask your audience using a survey or in Facebook groups.

Other methods of validating your ideas for freebies are checking your most popular blog posts and comment sections of your competitions who have written similar topics. See the hottest questions.

3 | Choose A Format for Your Blog Freebies

After validating your freebie idea, choosing a format for your blog freebie is next.

How will you present your opt-in offer ideas to your readers? 

Will it be a checklist, free email course, ebook, workbook, guide, webinar, live classes, or a quiz? This is for you to decide.

When creating a format for your freebie idea, consider the following;

I | How will you deliver your freebie? 

If your freebie is in video format, you need to keep it evergreen and host it somewhere. 

It could be on youtube, your site (usually not advisable to upload videos directly on your site), or webinar hosting software.

ii | How many hours you’ll take to create your freebies, and the possible outcome you are expecting

iii | Will your freebie will be a sales funnel and lead to a sale of your products or services?

Or, if you are creating this opt-in offer and create an email list while you figure out what type of digital product you want to create.

Other factors include expenses, what’s trending (the type of freebies format other bloggers in your niche are creating) etc.

4 | Craft a No-Brainer Optin Freebie Title

One mistake bloggers and creators often make – is paying attention to everything except titles for their blog posts and copies. 

If you make this mistake, don’t beat yourself, I often fall into the trap of trying to “get over with this,” and I pay less attention to my title.

The title of your freebie is essential because no one will know how awesome or educating your blog freebies are if they don’t click and sign up for them.

So make your freebie titles catchy, problem-solving, and promising. You can add a time frame if that permits.

For example: Instead of a “Guide on how to make money as a Blogger,” you can try “10 Ways to Make Money as a Lifestyle Blogger (even if your blog is less than a year), etc.

I hope you get the picture I’m painting. 

For your freebies to be successful, you need to craft a freebies title that speaks to your audience’s problems, offers them gratification, and has a time frame (optional). 

5 | Create and Design Your Opt-in Freebie

The next step is to create your opt-in freebie. The platform you’ll use to create your opt-in freebie depends on the type of freebie or lead magnet you are offering. 

If your blog freebie is a resource library, you can create a free resource library on your blog using a page builder or purchase a resource library template from Bluchic.

Or, Let’s say your freebie is an ebook, guide book, gift guide checklist, workbook, or printable, then you can easily create your opt-in freebie with Canva. 

If you don’t have a Canva account, Sign up to Canva and get a 30-days free trial to Canva Pro Library.

Some Valuable Blog Posts: 

So, how you create your freebie depends on the type of freebie you want to create. 

You can also hop into my Canva template shop and find assortments of Canva Templates to create beautiful lead magnets and digital products to sell and make money.

Don’t Want to go through the Stress of Designing from Scratch?

Find Beautiful Ebook, Workbooks and Lead Magnet templates in Our Canva Template shop for Bloggers and Creators

ebook template canva for creating lead magnets

6 | Deliver Your Blog Freebies

Delivering your opt-in offer to your subscribers is the next important step. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog freebie or you are a small business owner that sells in a marketplace like Etsy or Creative Market.

And you want a way to deliver your digital freebies ideas for small businesses to your customer, but you don’t have a website yet.

 I recommend Creating Opt-in forms and landing pages in Flodesk to host your Freebies. You don’t need a website to use Flodesk.

Although, if you are a blogger or have a website. You need to deliver your freebies to your subscribers using opt-in forms such as Pop up forms, inline forms (found in Blog posts), Blog sidebar forms, forms in the header of your site, etc.

How to Deliver your Blog Freebies to Your Subscribers

i. Signup to an email marketing service provider – I use and recommend Flodesk, especially for small business owners with less need for robust eCommerce features.

You don’t have to pay more as your list grows. So sign up to Flodesk. Learn how to use Flodesk and how to set up Flodesk forms and Landing pages.

ii) Create and connect your opt-in forms: If you create a sales funnel using your opt-in freebies. You need tripwire pages, and you can get them at Bluchic.

Additionally, learn how to create sales funnel for your blog.

iii) Upload your Freebie into Cloud Storage: If your freebie is in a downloadable format, consider uploading it to Google Drive or Dropbox and share the Url. 

Also, on Flodesk, they have an option where you can upload your freebie directly.

7 | Promote Your Freebies and Optin Offers

One thing is to create banging Ideas for freebies, and another thing is for people signup for your freebie. 

Instead of creating an awesome freebie and waiting for the fairy goddess of traffic to send traffic your way, you need to strategically place and share your freebie. 

Some places where you can share your opt-in freebies are:

  • Your blog post using an Inline form
  • Pinterest – this is a great place to promote your freebie
  • in your social media bios. E,g Instagram
  • The sidebar of your blog
  • the header of your blog
  • in your social media post
  • in guest post 
  • Facebook groups and other forums

Some Live Examples of Freebies and Email Optin ideas

When creating an opt-in freebie, you may feel lost from picking opt-in ideas to deciding the right spot to host your blog freebie. 

So, here are live examples of freebies from bloggers and small business owners.

1 | Offering Coupon and Discount Code as Optin Freebie: 

If you are a small business owner and are stuck with the type of freebie ideas for small businesses to pick from.

Have you considered adding a form with a discount code like Jenner Kutcher?

On Jenna’s website shop, she has a pop-up form with a 15% discount code for all of her products. 

But first, to access that, you need to give her something valuable in return – Your email address.

According to Jenna Kutcher, she has an email list with over 250,000 whooping subscribers and adds 5000 new subscribers weekly.

Do Note: This is not the only freebie she offers on her blog.

How to use coupon codes to grow your email list

2 | A Quiz Related to Your Niche as Freebie Idea

Do you know quizzes can be a great way to grow your email list faster? 

A quiz is a perfect idea for a freebie because it invokes curiosity and fun. 

This makes people participate because they want to see what’s on the other side of the quiz. 

A clear example is Chelsea of Herpapperoute’s Entrepreneur Quiz, which helps you discover ways to Make Money using your website and scale your business.

PS, don’t create a quiz so irrelevant to your audience and your niche or customer’s journey.

How to use quiz to grow your email list

3 | Free Guides as Freebie Optin Ideas

Guides! People love guides and road maps, and if you can put up a guide on how to do something that relates to your niche.

Your readers will be more than happy to grab them in exchange for their email addresses.

That’s why your blog freebies need to relate to your niche. You cannot be a health blogger, and you are creating a freebie on “10 best summer styles for women” – a summer style freebie will be so out of place for your niche. 

A perfect example of a guide is Angela of Straycurls Blog’s free printable 25-page Guide on “how to create an eBook and make money selling it.” 

4 | Free Templates as Digital Freebie Ideas

People love templates, as not everyone enjoys creating things from scratch – from offering free Canva templates as opt-in ideas to templates for writing copies or creating recipes.

Templates and printables are one of the most popular freebies ideas. In this blog, I offer multiple Canva templates as opt-in freebies.

My first successful Canva templates freebie is an editable media kit template for landing sponsorship posts and offers.

5 | Free Resource Library an Idea for Freebies

Granting access to your free resource library is another excellent opt-in idea, and lots of bloggers have a dedicated page of free resources. 

To access a free resource library, usually a password-protected page, you need to sign up to email their list and receive the password to access the library.

Blog Post: How to Create a Free Resource Library in WordPress.

An example of freebies in the form of a resource library is the free resource Library of successful craft blogger Jennifer Maker. She has over one million email list subscribers.

offering resource library as a freebie idea

6 | Road Maps and Checklist as incentive freebie idea

Like guides, roadmaps and checklists are great ways to grow your email list. 

Let’s assume your blog is about self-care. You can create a self roadmap for beginners that can guide them at every stage of their self-care journey.

And also add products they can use in their self-care products. And, of course, add affiliate links to these freebies.

Maybe you have digital or physical products you sell. You can create a roadmap as an incentive freebie idea around your paid offer and drive sales using a sales funnel.

Example of roadmaps as incentive Bluchic’s Launch the website of your dreams in 6 easy steps Road map.

Bluchic is a WordPress Theme Brand and they craft beautiful, chic, high converting WordPress websites for Female business owners. My Website theme is Bluchic’s Chicsavy theme.

Road Maps freebie ideas

7| Free Email Course as Idea for Freebies

Offering a free email course is another way to build your credibility, make affiliate sales and grow your email list. 

You can set up a free email course using a series of email sequences or workflow in Flodesk.

For Example – A free email course on how to start a blog, the complete steps, and a guide. 

You write multiple emails introducing each step daily with a new email, just like Dale of Bloggingherway’s free email course.

Finally, on How to Choose Ideas for Freebie that People actually Want;

The truth is, I can go on and on about coming up with ideas for freebies and different examples of freebies that you can create and grow your email list. 

But, I will stop here because you need to research what type of freebies are successful in your niche and which solves your audience problem.

Your email opt-in ideas could be a webinar, a free email course, checklist, workshop, challenge, etc. There are multiple freebie ideas to pick from,

However, When choosing ideas for freebies, you should create opt-in freebies that solve your audience’s problems. 

With multiple freebie ideas for small businesses and blogs, don’t just choose a freebie idea without thoroughly researching if the blog freebies you are creating will be helpful to your audience.

Moving On – These are steps for creating an irresistible opt-in freebie that your audience will love!

So, do you have an incentive freebie idea or your opt-in offer set up on your blog? If yes, how did you come up with your freebie idea?

Will you be creating one after reading this blog post? Let me know in the comments.