Idea Sprouts Online Marketing Blog

Step by Step Guide: How to Give Away a Free eBook

Posted by Allison Semancik

Step by Step Guide How to Give Away a Free eBookI've talked a lot about how a free offer on your website is essential to online marketing success. The right offer, like a free ebook, webinar or other valuable content can kickstart your online marketing.

It generates leads, helps you build an email list, warms people up to your product/service and shows off how smart you are.

But many people aren't sure about the specifics of how this free offer will work. I'm often asked, "How do I add a free offer to my website?"

How to Give Away a Free eBook on Your Website

If you have your website on a content management system, like Wordpress or the many others that exist, it's a snap to add an offer on your website.

Here's what you'll need to add your free offer

1. Email marketing software

Email marketing software to create a form to capture people's email addresses. I like iContact and will show you how to create a form in iContact in the video below.

2. Thank you page

A page on your website that you will send people to after they fill out the form. So if you are giving away a free ebook, your Thank You page (sometimes referred to as a Success Page) will thank people for requesting your free ebook and give them access to it.

3. Landing page

The landing page will give people information about your free offer and give them a reason to sign up for your offer. This is where you'll place the form.

A landing may be optional depending on where you present your offer. For instance, you can create call to action images on your website that when click on, lead people to a landing page. Or, you can use many Wordpress plugins that allow you to put your free offer form right on them, thereby eliminating the need for a landing page. More about that later in the post.

How to add your free offer to your website

1. Use your email marketing software to create a form

Since every email marketing service is different, I can't cover all of them. In the video below, I show you how to create a form in iContact.

I prefer iContact because of the ability to create multiple forms that put people onto different email lists. This is important when you want to have different types of offers on your website. If you don't use iContact, be sure to look for this feature when you are searching for an email marketing software.

Side note: read my review of iContact vs. Constant Contact if you are the fence about switching to iContact. 

2. Decide where to put the form

There are many places you can put your signup form, but I'll touch briefly on a few.

  • Landing page: Create a dedicated page about your offer and add your form to it. The advantage is that you can give people more information about your free offer. But then you also need to get people to click on something to get to this landing page.

    Here's an example of one of my landing pages, for my 50 Facebook Marketing Ideas ebook.
  • Popup: If you are using Wordpress, I recommend Pippity. Brendan Schneider from recommended the plugin to me and I've successfully used it for several clients.
    Pippity allows you to create some great looking popups and all you need to do is add your HTML code for your signup form. It's simple to use.
  • Opt-in Forms: Another plugin for Wordpress users, Optin Skin creates gorgeous opt-in forms that you can add to the end of your blog posts (a smart place to put them) or to your blog sidebar. I've written an Optin Skin review in the past so you can learn more about how it works.
    If you aren't  a Wordpress user, you should still find a way to add a call to action to the end of your blog posts. This is especially powerful when your free offer is related to your blog post.

3. Create a great Thank You page

Your thank you page should thank people for requesting your free offer (of course!) and give them access to it right there.

You can also use this page to have a second call to action. Perhaps you want to offer a free consultation or give more information about your products/services. Whatever it is, just take advantage of the space to offer something else. You will more than likely get some takers.

Next Steps

This is just the beginning of creating a successful free offer. Once you start building a list of leads, you want to use email marketing to help educate them about what services/products you have for them. That way you can start to increase sales - which is the ultimate goal of giving away something for free on your website.

Now it's your turn.

Do you have a free offer on your website? If not, will this guide help you add one?


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Topics: Free Offer to Generate Leads, Email Marketing