Let’s be honest: when it comes to being able to offer a bunch of different free resources in exchange for an email address, Mailchimp isn’t the easiest platform to do it with. But you know what? It’s also totally possible! And you actually don’t have to spend a dime doing it either if your list is under 2 000 subscribers!
I’ve been a paid member for a while already just because I wanted the automated emails (otherwise I wouldn’t have my awesome conversion crash course freebie!) It’s been worth it for me and give me a little bit more flexibility, but if you don’t have a budget you can get the same results for free!
Step One: Prepping your Mailchimp account
After you’re done making your freebie and formatting it (PDF are great freebies!), it’s time to go to your Mailchimp account. You want to have a first list as your main one: the one you’ll email people from. Then you’ll have a bunch of other lists, one for each freebie. My main one is called “CityGirl’s Design” while the one for my website checklist is called “CityGirl’s Design – Website Checklist”. That makes it super easy to know which one is which!
Step Two: Add your Freebie to an Email
FOR FREE MEMBERS: Once your list is created, go to List > Your new list > Signup Forms > General Forms. Once you’re there, take the time to style your emails to have a similar look to your website’s branding. That’s pretty important, even though it’s often overlooked!
When you’re ready, select the “Final Welcome Email” from the dropdown menu. Make sure you check the “Send the Final Welcome Email” box, otherwise it won’t send this email! (and your subscribers will never get your freebie…)
Next, edit the text at the top of the email. You unfortunately can’t edit much of this email, but you can play with that text section as much as you want!
To add the freebie, we’ll need to link to it. So you want to add a sentence like “Click here to download” or just “Download here”. Highlight it and click on the small link button (the 10th from the left) and under “Link to”, select “File”. This will take you to a new page. Upload your file and once it’s done it will take you back to the previous page. Click on “Insert” and you’ll have a link that once clicked on, it automatically starts the download of your freebie!
FOR PAID MEMBERS: After creating your list, go to Automation > Add Automation and select a custom automation. We’ll make our own! Give it the name of your freebie and select the list you just created. Click on “Design Email” and create a pretty email that will have either a “Download Now” link or a button.
To add your freebie with a link, highlight the “Download Now” sentence, click on the small link icon (4th from the left) and under “Link To” select “File”. Upload your file and you’ll be taken back to the previous page. Click on insert and you’ll have a link your subscribers can use to download your freebie! You can do the same thing with a button!
Once your email is ready, make sure you edit the trigger of your email. Go under “List Management” and select “Signup”. For the delay, select “Immediately”. That will send the email as soon as someone signs up for it! Start your automation and you’re ready to go!
(If for some reason Mailchimp doesn’t let you add the file link to your “Download Now” sentence, redo the process but don’t click on “Insert”. Instead, copy the URL it gave you, close the window, highlight your sentence again, click on the link button again but this time link to a Web Address and paste the URL. That should make it work!)
Step Three: Add the form to your website
Now you’re ready for subscribers! You can add a form to your website either using Mailchimp’s form or a plugin. I use Bloom from Elegant Theme because I love their pop-ups! They’re the prettiest and easiest to edit in my opinion. You can also set them to trigger on click, which is what I do around here. You’ll never see a pop-up unless you want too! 🙂
If you know enough HTML and CSS, I would recommend adding your own sign-up boxes from the Mailchimp website, but otherwise just install a plugin. It will make your life a lot easier!
Step Four: Deal with your subscribers
Okay, so someone opted in to all of your freebies. What do you do with them now? You’ve got a bunch of lists with a bunch of different email addresses… How do you deal with them?
It’s actually not very hard! You can basically copy subscribers from a freebie list to your main list in a couple of clicks and delete them after you’ve done the transfer. The only problem with this method is that you have to do it manually. It might not work if you get hundreds of subscribers per day, but it works for me at the moment (and it will for you too!)
Unless you have a bunch of automations you want your subscribers to go through, you really don’t need to do this every day. You can copy everybody into your main list right before you decide to send an email.
So how do you do it? Click one of your freebie list, select all the subscribers and click on Actions > Copy to List > Name of your main list. Once everybody is copied, select them again and click on “Delete”. That will clean your list 🙂
And don’t worry: if someone is subscribed to a couple of your freebie, their profiles will combine so you don’t have duplicates! (This is also the reason even though you copy 10 people to your main list you might only see an increase in 8 subscribers. It’s because some are duplicates!)
That’s it, folks! Now you have an easy to manage Mailchimp account that can give away a bunch of different freebies! It might be a little more time consuming since you have to copy subscribers from a list to another, but when you’re just getting started it’s the best method to grow your list on a budget!