4 Marketing Freebie Ideas to Build Your Email List

Do you have an opt-in freebie for your biz?

Well, let’s start by talking about what the heck an opt-in freebie is, and more importantly, why you need one. 

And BTW, if you’re more of a listener than a reader (I mean I get it, places to be… things to see… people to do… wait, did I get that right? #dadjoke)...

What Is A Freebie?

A freebie is simply a free offer you create and put out online. To attract more people to your biz. Sometimes it’s called a “lead magnet” – but most people simply call it a freebie or a marketing freebie.

The biggest reason you need a freebie for your biz—especially if you have an online offer—is because it’s the best way to get people to join your email list.

Yes, that’s right, email is still critical to your biz.

Even if you’re crushin’ it on social, adding email marketing is a smart way to get more purchases, as well as build a multi-faceted relationship with your customers and prospects.

Ok so let’s talk about marketing freebies and what some really good ones are that you can use in your own biz.

4 Marketing Freebie Ideas to Build Your Email List

1. A coupon.

I know you’ve seen this one a bazillion times. It’s that unforgettable classic, the most OG of all the freebies: the coupon.

And it’s a classic for a reason. IT WORKS. 

I mean, how many times have you handed over your email address for a discount? It’s a great hook.

For example, as soon as I saw my fav fuzzy slippers brand, ROAM, offers 15% off your first purchase when you join their club I was like, “yes, please. Here’s my email, good sirs.”

Or maybe “madams.” 

Probably madams – women marketers know other women love a good deal. 

If you’re able to offer a coupon or discount in exchange for someone giving you permission to email them it’s literal gold. 

Yes, gold. Because the latest stat I saw said that you can earn $42 per email subscriber, on average.

So giving them a discount on that first purchase is a super strategic move. Especially in the long run.

2. An ebook.

Creating an ebook is crazy simple.

You don’t even need to have design skills or hire someone to do it. Although you totally can if you like. 

There are several ways to go about choosing what your ebook should be about. 

It could be recipes that involve using your products or the products you’re affiliated with. 

Maybe you have a signature process or system for something in your biz, like if you’re a coach or educator.

You could take a key aspect of your biz and make a little PDF booklet about that

For example, offer 3 ways to solve a common problem your current clients or prospects experience.

This is a silly example, but mosquitos are a real problem this time of year. I mean, did they have some sort of conference or something and decide to come at me hard this summer?

So, maybe you have a holistic lifestyle biz. 

You could create a seasonal ebook that’s about natural ways to deal with mosquitos. Because most people I know don’t love the idea of covering their bodies with chemicals like DEET.

Yeah, they work, but they’re not great for your body. Literal poison.

So instead, your ebook could address this. And offer alternatives while weaving in your products and solutions.

One solution inside the ebook could be a DIY recipe to stop itching once they getcha. BTW, I actually have a recipe exactly like this on my Pinterest board – you can get it here

Bonus pro tip: if you’ve been eaten alive lately like I have, pop this roller recipe into the fridge or freezer. The cold helps take down the swelling if you have severe reactions to mosquito bites. So it really amplifies the results.

Now back to your ebook, maybe you also then come up with solutions to repel mosquitoes so they don’t bite you. Or trap those baby Satans before they come within biting distance of your gorgeous bod.

Of course, you get to weave in your products to the ebook and include a clear, simple call to action (CTA).

That CTA could be a link to buy from you or to schedule a consult. Or even to sign up for something else like an upcoming event or free online community group.

Whatever action you feel is supportive to your email subscriber. 

Make it super simple for them to take the next step with you. Which they’ll likely want to do because they now know you understand their pain of being crazy-delicious – and have natural solutions to keep that tastiness to themselves. #sorrymosquitos

3. A webinar.

Now maybe you’re instantly like: “UGH, that sounds really hard, Hayley.”

So I wanna put your fears at ease. 

It’s not. AT. ALL. 

If you can use Zoom, you can create a webinar. 

Many people like to add presentations, like Google Slides or Powerpoints to their webinars, but you don’t have to. 

You get to decide what that experience looks like – and design it in a way that suits your strengths. As well as gives your would-be participants a lot of value.

A webinar-style freebie also doesn’t need to be a ton of work. In fact, I’ve been really leaning into shorter webinars, as in under an hour.

When you’re able to drill down your teaching points and offer a lot of value in a short amount of time, even as little as 15 or 20 minutes, people actually appreciate it.

The way you get people to join your email list from your webinar offering is to create a simple landing page. 

Honestly, it could even be a simple Google form if you’re in a pinch.

Or you could just sign up for my Landing Page Workshop the next time I run it. 

Ok so let’s talk about what your webinar could be about. 

I’ll share some examples from my own biz. Well, actually I just told you about one of them.

My Landing Page Workshop is a free online event I offer a few times a year.

And it walks you step-by-step through how to create a landing page designed to get people to sign up for your email list.

I call it a workshop, but it’s essentially a webinar with a different title. You get to choose what you call your webinar. 

The reason I chose “landing page” as a topic to create an online event around is many people in my community have an online biz. And they tell me they get stuck on the HOW part of going online. So this webinar training teaches them exactly what to do. 

And the cool thing is they learn something that benefits their biz. AndI get new people on my email list. Many of them get so much value out of it that they choose to continue working and learning with me. 

I think a lot of people get stressed out about the webinar concept because it feels like a ton of work. Or like it has to be absolutely perfect. Or they get hung up on the tech part.

But the truth is, every moment you spend holding on to your brilliance and insights is a moment you aren’t helping someone.

Trust me, I’ve screwed up PLENTY on my webinars.

  • I’ve had tech fall apart. 
  • I’ve completely lost my train of thought mid-sentence. 
  • I’ve loaded up the wrong content by mistake.
  • I’ve gotten derailed by the chat conversations and made my trainings go too long.
  • I’ve said the wrong website to go to. 

You get to learn from these mistakes. They happen to alllll of us. 

Don’t let fear hold you back from taking imperfect action.

If you have something to share and you have an offe—whether it’s a product or a service—you can create a free webinar to build your email list.

The reason you see a lot of these free events, trainings, or webinars online is they work.

Other webinar-style events I’ve put on in my biz include:

How to create your own online offer – which has added THOUSANDS of people to my email list. 

Because social media marketing is a huge aspect of how I’ve been able to grow my biz and people ask me about it all the time.

I’ve also done webinar-style trainings about social media, for example…

My Instagram tutorial workshop – which gives you an “over the shoulder” look at how to how to use all those features you’ve been avoid to grow your biz.

I also have done multi-day webinars, also known as “Challenges”. A popular one in my biz is

Reclaim Your Time Challenge –- a 3-day event I put on once or twice a year about how to get back an hour or more of your day using habit stacking and time blocking. 

Because so many people in my community feel like they’re go, go, go all day… and yet they don’t actually make progress on their goals.

So this challenge helps them and the bazillion other people online with this same problem rearrange their calendars in a way that creates space.

Not to mention work on goals and projects without dropping all the spinning places we each have in our lives.

People love free online events where they learn something. So think about what you can teach someone in your biz – and use that as your webinar inspo.

4. An online mini-course.

This one is actually my fav.

Because it offers a lot of value to your prospective customers or clients – and it sets the stage for you creating an additional income stream for your biz. 

Whaaaaaa?! Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s like an ebook on steroids. Or in 3D.

And the best part is when you create an online mini-course, you do this ONE TIME. And your content gets used over and over again.

Which means you are able to help way more people with way less effort on your part.

Unlike an ebook, your mini-course creates immediate human connection

Because they literally hear you and see you – even if your face isn’t on screen the entire time.

It taps into more senses which helps your would-be buyers connect with you. Which is harder to do when they’re just reading an ebook from you.

The reason an online mini-course primes you for an additional income stream is: you can use the skills you learn to begin creating and selling PAID digital products and offers. Which, again, you only create ONCE… and sell over and over again.

You may even decide to start selling your freebie mini-course down the line. 

I’ve started doing this in my biz, as well.

For instance I created an online mini-course a few years ago called Your Whole You: 6 Weeks to Healthier Habits & Holistic Happiness.  

It’s 6 modules. I sell it for $98.50. But I give it away as a freebie when people join my Habit Hackers community.  

If you’re in the network marketing industry, an online mini-course is a really great freebie option for you.

Because ya know what? The online learning space is expected to be worth $375 Billion by 2026.

Let’s say you have a holistic wellness lifestyle biz. 

You know that essential oils are a great alternative to highly toxic household chemicals. And you know that most of your potential customers REALLY want natural—but effective—alternatives to those chemicals. 

You could create a really simple mini-course, like “10 quick ways to reduce your toxic load”. And one of the “quick ways” you teach them about is essential oils. 

The action step you’d tell them to take would be to get some essential oils through you. And become a member so they get the wholesale discount. 

You’d offer this mini-course for free, with the end goal of monetizing your efforts through people buying oils and other holistic wellness lifestyle products through you.

Or, let’s say you're obsessed with reversing the aging process. In your cells, your GI tract, your metabolism, your skin… whatev. 

And you know there are certain practices (i.e., what you eat, what time you eat, when you sleep, how much you sleep, how often you move your body, products you use on your skin, supplements you take internally) that actually DO that. For realz.

So you could create a really simple mini course like “10 ways to reverse the aging process and look younger today than you did last year”.  Then teach all about how to do this – using certain products, ingredients, reducing stressors etc.

The action step you’d tell people to do is to follow your protocol for products you sell.  And give them a discount. 

Sounds awesome, right?

One more quick thing about these freebie ideas...

You can literally repurpose the same content into multiple formats.

Your ebook freebie? You can expand on it and turn it into an online mini-course.

You could add your coupon offer as an extra bonus for anyone who signs up for your mini-course.

They’re not mutually exclusive.

And you can totally take content you’ve already created in your biz, how it helps people, how it makes a difference in their lives… and reformat it into a mini-course.

When you think about it this way, like 80% of the work is already done.

You probably have some sort of ebook… or email series… 

Or perhaps some teaching points you go through and demo when you lead in-person or online essential oil classes… or weight management classes… or anti-aging classes… whatever you're into.

Use that as your source material for your mini-course! Or for any of the other freebie ideas you picked up today.

And to help you come up with the right freebie idea for your biz, be sure to get your FREE copy of my Build Your Own Biz Online workbook.

This walks you through the key aspects of your biz – everything from your values and beliefs (AKA your brand pillars and how you stand out from the crowd)...

To your messaging – your content – and the words you use to attract and engage your community. And build a relationship all the way to a sale.

Some people have literally called this their “Brand Bible” – it’s become THAT fundamental of a resource to them in their biz

And right now you can get it free.


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