11 deadly opt-in freebie mistakes you should avoid

by | Sep 8, 2019 | E-mail Marketing | 10 comments

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After hearing about the importance of building an email list from here and there you decided to build an email list for your blog as well.

As a result of which, you finally started creating your first opt-in freebie…

An Opt-in freebie is kind of a gateway between you and your email subscribers. They have to pass through that gate to join your email list.

But, what if the main entrance of your beautiful home (email list) sucks? or you don’t welcome your visitors nicely?

Your subscribers would leave either without entering at all or after they are not welcomed properly.

The end result?

2 email subscribers in total that your freebie gets for you – one your best friend and the other one your dog, probably!

There’s a lot that could possibly go wrong. I’ve been there and I’ve made some of these mistakes as well.

The biggest mistake of all

Before moving further to opt-in freebie mistakes, I wanna mention the biggest mistake that most newbie bloggers make while building their email list – Choosing the wrong email marketing platform or going with the FREE service.

Choosing the wrong platform can not only affect your user experience by also your email deliverability.

What’s the point of doing all this hard work if your email doesn’t even reach your subscriber’s inbox?

So, I’d suggest you go with trustworthy service providers like Convertkit. It is one of the most popular and highly recommended email marketing platform among bloggers & content creators.

And the best part? You can now get started with Convertkit for Free.

Also read: Convertkit Review: Why to choose it & why not

convertkit - email marketing platform

Now, Let’s just talk about the 11 deadly opt-in freebie mistakes that you should avoid at any cost…

Opt-in freebie mistake #1: Growing the wrong audience

If you’re building your email list with the wrong audience they’re not going to buy anything that you’ll be selling them.

Always remember, your opt-in freebie is not just for building your email list but also for connecting with the right audience.

Building your email list with the right people will provide you an opportunity to sell the right products to them.

To avoid making this mistake, make sure that –

  • You categorize your posts correctly
  • You specify what the opt-in freebie is for
  • Promote it in the right places on your website and don’t just spread it everywhere you want

Opt-in freebie mistake #2: Not focused on one particular thing

The best opt-in freebie is created FOR your reader and it is supposed to help them solve a specific problem.

It could be anything like teaching them a skill, giving them a resource list, cheatsheet on a particular topic or advising them what mistakes to avoid.

It needs to be helpful and valuable at the same time.

Don’t just put anything random in the freebie. Keep it very specific about the problem it is going to solve for your readers.

Opt-in freebie mistake #3: Overloading it with information

If you think that this is a good thing then you’re wrong my friend.

Giving away too much information can hurt you in two possible ways –

  • Your readers might never be able to finish it. It is too big that they feel overwhelmed to go through it completely and you’ll fail to build a connection with them.
  • You might never be able to finish the freebie in the first place. Human psychology.

You have to make sure that your freebie is short to provide enough information required.

You don’t want to spend too much time creating something that helps no one.

Opt-in freebie mistake #4: Filling it with complicated information

You need to create your freebie like you’re creating it for a 4-year old.

Most of your subscribers are going to be beginners and you need to help them in an easy way as possible.

Filling it with complicated terms and information that your subscribers are not going to understand is just gonna overwhelm them.

Opt-in freebie mistake #5: Not branding it enough

Branding is very important for your blog and business. People should easily recognize who you are so they can spot you in the crowd and gravitate towards your content. 

You don’t need a designer to brand your content or opt-in freebie. Make sure each page of you Opt-in Freebie has your web address at least.

Use the same fonts, the same brand colors, formatting and please – don’t forget to add your logo if possible!

email list growth booster course 101

Opt-in freebie mistake #6: creating a boring title

Titles are not only important for your blog posts but they are equally important for your opt-in freebies and sign-up forms as well.

Like, no one’s going to download your freebie if the title doesn’t resonate with your readers.

Make sure that you write catchy titles for your opt-in freebies as well as your sign-up forms.

Opt-in freebie mistake #7: Not using eye-catching graphics

Creating a great opt-in freebie is a different thing and presenting it in a great way is a whole different thing.

You’ll find it difficult to get people to actually sign-up for your freebie if you don’t use great graphics, no matter who good your freebie is.

Use catching graphics and try not to use dull + dark stock images. You can easily create great graphics with a free tool like canva.

Opt-in freebie mistake #8: Not making it easy to find

You can’t expect everyone to find your freebie just because you put it in the sidebar or one blog post.

Make sure your Opt-in Freebie is great but then you also need to place it at all the right places on your website so more and more people notice it.

Make sure it’s included in your Sidebar, within your blog posts and you can even create a pop-up form to get their attention.

The point here is to make them notice it!

Opt-in freebie mistake #9: Making the process too complicated

You want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to get their freebie. 

If they have to go through a lot of steps in the sign-up process, chances are they will leave before they even finish. The simple your process is for someone to actually get your freebie, the better it’ll be.

The whole point is to provide value in exchange for their email address. So make it as simple as possible for them to give it to you!

Opt-in freebie mistake #10: Not testing the entire system

Just because you were able to set it all up easily, doesn’t mean it’s working properly. 

Take the time to test out by signing up for the opt-in yourself and go through the entire process to make sure it’s working completely fine.

It can be really frustrating for someone if they sign up for something and give their email address and they don’t get what they were promised!

Opt-in freebie mistake #11: Not promoting it enough

The last you want to do is spreading the word. You have already spread it across your website, but you also need to promote it on your social media. 

Make sure to promote at least 3-4 times a month on all your Social media accounts and keep it Scheduled in your Pinterest queue. You can use tailwind to do so. (it has a free plan as well!)

Final words

My job was to enlighten you with my knowledge and now your job is NOT MAKING these mistakes.

Make sure to grab “The perfect opt-in freebie” checklist from below!

What were the mistakes you were already making? Tell me in the comments below.

Also read: Ultimate email list building strategies to get your first 500 email subscribers

If you liked this post, please pin it to one of your Pinterest boards. It won’t take more than a few seconds.

11 deadly opt-in freebie mistakes to avoid at any cost

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If you’re not building an email list for your blog, then you’re leaving money on the table. However, you’re also letting a lot of money slip through your fingers if too many of your visitors are leaving your site without joining your email list. You want your blog...

Hey there! My name is Rahul Choudhary and I am OBSESSED with helping online entrepreneurs and bloggers in making their passions profitable and popular!

I like to think of myself as your online buddy cum mentor. I enjoy solitude but I also like to work with like-minded people like you.


  1. Katy LV

    So many great tips! I’m working on promotion but it is difficult.

    • Rahul Choudhary

      Yes! Everything else is just useless if you don’t promote your freebie right. Just keep working on it, you’ll definitely find the way.

  2. Jenny Bhatia

    I am working on all of this these days. Your advice is helpful, so thank you. I may be making all of the mistakes, but lots of space for improvement, right?

    • Rahul Choudhary

      You’re most welcome Jenny! And there’s always room for improvement. I know you’d definitely do great once you figure things out.

  3. Zoriana

    Thanks for this post. I’m just getting started with email lists but am excited to try some of these tips.

    • Rahul Choudhary

      All the very best of luck Zoriana!

  4. EJ

    I think I’ve got a pretty good freebie going right now. Now, I’m working on promoting it. Thanks for all of the great tips!

    • Rahul Choudhary

      You’re most welcome! And good luck with that.

  5. Angelina

    These are some great tips – thanks for sharing them!

    • Rahul Choudhary

      You’re most welcome! Thankyou for stopping by.


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