Skip to content

Think about the last email list you subscribed to.

Got it?

Now, think about why you signed up. Was there an offer in exchange for your email address? Was this promise delivered upon? Were you pleasantly surprised by the content you received? Did you want to hear more from this particular business or blogger?

If yes, that’s email marketing done right. From bloggers to businesses to online entrepreneurs, providing useful opt-ins is the best way to grow your email list. The bigger your list, the bigger your sales.

Remember: Your social media followers aren’t going to make you the most cash. So many bloggers, writers, and entrepreneurs just like you aren’t collecting email addresses and are missing out on massive cash flow.

In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the basic ways that you can do this. Whether you’ve been online for a day or for a year, it’s never too late to give content away and begin collecting email addresses. Things don’t need to be perfect in your business: You must, at least, begin to steadily grow your email list and you must begin today. Let’s get started.

3 types of free content to steadily grow your email list

There are many different ways you can build your email list. You can grow your email list using the power of free content, like:

email series
exclusive blog content

Today, we’re going to cover our top 3 suggestions if you’re going to offer free content as your email list opt-in.

1) eBooks

eBooks are the most common type of free content to use as an opt-in. Whether your free eBook it 5 pages or it’s 50, eBooks are a simple and easy way to encourage readers to subscribe to your email list.

You can even create a free item on Selz and embed it directly to your website or blog’s sidebar, making it easier than ever to give away free content right from your blog like Rose from Reif Psychological Services does:

Remember email marketing best practices, which means sending an opt-in confirmation email to your subscribers to ensure they want to hear more from you after they get their free ebook.

2) Worksheets

Worksheets are best used as content upgrades at the bottom of a blog post after your readers are fully engaged. Creating a free worksheet for engaged readers makes it easy for them to want to download and take action on what you just taught them in the blog post.

You can also offer exclusive access to worksheets for blog subscribers like The Nectar Collective does:

You can place this type of opt-in below your blog posts, in your footer or header, or in your sidebar, since it isn’t specific to any one blog post.

3) Email series

Do you plan to offer a digital program in the future? Then consider putting together a free email series for your readers. This is one of the best ways to introduce your readers into your sales funnel, inspiring them to take action on what you have to teach.

Kate, from Secret Blogger’s Business, is offering a free video series to anyone who signs up:

Email series also introduce your readers to your teaching style and what your new program is about. If they like it, they’ll be even more engaged and primed to click on ‘Buy’ when the time comes.

How to choose the right content for your opt-in

Not sure if your audience would like an ebook, worksheet(s), or an email series? Talk to them!

If you don’t have email subscribers yet, ask your existing blog audience as well as your Facebook and Twitter followers. Once you know what they’re struggling with, you can craft a free piece of content to help them and transition them to your email list to start building a relationship.

While you’re at it, use social media to your advantage and peruse Pinterest for content inspiration. You will see what types of content are well-loved by the audience there. Are there any specific pieces of content that are pinned frequently?

You can also take a look at people who are in a similar niche to you: What do they offer as their opt-in? Last but not least, consider your existing blog posts and offerings: How can you revamp old blog posts into a free eBook or guide?

If all else fails, try anything: You will quickly find out what works and what doesn’t.

Onto you!

There’s nothing better than a well-placed and helpful piece of free content to entice your readers to subscribe to your email list. If you want to steadily grow your email list and you want to sell digital products in the future, this is the best way to nurture potential customers by getting them familiar with your teaching style. Remember that generosity goes a long way, so don’t be afraid that you’ll be giving away too much in your free content that customers won’t buy when the time comes.

What type of free content are you going to give away? Have you started building your email list yet? What types of free content have worked best for you? Leave us a comment below!

Like it? Share it.


About the author

Kristen Runvik

Content strategist and holistic herbalist with experience in collaborative content creation and strategy implementation, multidimensional and highly creative content development, ecommerce growth, and medicinal plant, flower, and herb expertise.

Kristen is also the Founder of Lagom Body Co., a multidimensional skincare and lifestyle brand.


  1. James Young

    I already am a step ahead of you Thanks . I might step back and give away copies of the ecommerce I’m selling

    1. Kristen

      Hey James, nice! Giving away your products is definitely a good way to grow your email list, especially if the list is small. It also helps you gauge what types of products your audience wants :)

Comments are closed.