5 Reasons No One is Signing Up for Your Freebie (and What to Do About It)
The unthinkable has happened.
You spent five days creating the most beautiful, impactful, value-packed opt-in freebie on planet earth. You designed the landing page and set up the delivery email and even wrote an entire welcome series to go along with it (‘cuz hey, if you’re gonna go “all in” on this whole list-building thing, you’re going ALL. IN.).
You launch your freebie out into the world, excited to welcome a stream of new subscribers into your community. But then, the hours start going by… and those hours start turning into days… and then into weeks… and months… and still, no one’s biting.
The signups are trickling in at a snail’s pace, if at all.
Where’s the flood of subscribers those email list gurus promised you? Where are the messages from people who are so blown away by all the free value you offered that they just had to reach out and thank you?
They aren’t here, and they aren’t coming. Qu’est ce que le HECK?!
Deep breath. Woooooo-sa. Don’t freak out just yet!
Chances are that with a few quick tweaks, we can have those signups rollin’ in for you in no time. Get your analyzing specs on 🤓, ‘cuz we’re about to look at five key areas where your freebie might be falling flat — and how to turn it into an enticing, need-it-gotta-have-it list-building machine.
5 Reasons No One is Signing Up For Your Freebie
Reason #1. The topic isn’t aligned with your audience.
Your freebie could be the most valuable thing in the world, but if it isn’t something your particular audience wants, needs, and — most importantly – will cough up their email addresses for, it’s probably gonna flop.
Remember: A good freebie solves a specific problem for a specific group of people.
It doesn’t solve a bunch of different problems for a bunch of different people.
As an example, here’s how Elley Mae created a targeted freebie for her audience: ladies who want to turn their side-hustle into a full-time job:
To hone in on the right topic, choose one big problem or pain point that your audience has, and then create a freebie to help them overcome it.
And if you’re not sure what your followers are struggling with, the best thing to do is go straight to the source. Reach out to a few of your readers/customers for a 1:1 chat. Send out a survey to your community. Run a poll on social media or post questions for your followers on IG Stories to get their feedback.
If you’re stuck between two topic ideas for a freebie, don’t take a shot in the dark… just ask!
“If I were to create a ________ (workbook/guide/tutorial) to help you X (result), which would you prefer: Freebie A (elaborate) or Freebie B (elaborate)?”
Easy as that!
Reason #2. The freebie title is confusing or boring.
The title of your freebie is usually the first thing that people will see or hear, and they then make a split second decision on whether to invest more of their time and attention into learning about the freebie (for example, by clicking over to your landing page to read the full description).
Needless to say, your freebie title is make it or break it and needs to be crafted carefully.
The title of your freebie should meet the following four criteria:
It should convey what people will get/learn/achieve with the freebie if they download it, as well as what format it’s going to come in (i.e., is it a video, a PDF, a workbook, etc.).
2. it’s Enticing
The title should convey that the freebie will help solve a pressing problem that your audience has or help them achieve one of their current goals. This is what makes people want it.
3. it’s Catchy (but still clear!)
Try saying your freebie’s title out loud to see how it rolls off the tongue. I personally like using alliteration in my titles when possible to make them catchier and easier to remember.
4. it’s As short as possible
Don’t overdo it with a 15-word title. It’ll only be a mouthful when you try to talk about the freebie on video/IG stories, and it definitely won’t be memorable. Keep it short and sweet, and then add a more descriptive subtitle if needed.
Final Title Tip: When crafting your freebie title, brainstorm 5-10 different options before choosing a winner. You could also share 2-3 options with your social media followers and have them vote on their favorite (which is also a great way to drum up excitement for the freebie before you even launch it!).
For inspiration, here are the titles of some of my highest-performing freebies from over the years:
The Profitable Blogging Roadmap
The Perfect Opt-in Freebie Workbook
Beginner Blogger Bootcamp
The 30-Minute Blog Post Workbook
Reason #3. Your landing page copy needs work.
Writing the landing page copy (AKA: the words that go on the signup page) might seem daunting, but I have good news. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after designing dozens of landing pages and A/B testing a whole whack load of them, it’s that simple works.
Trust me, your landing page does not need to be an elaborate, lengthy, in-depth affair.
In my experience, 2-3 sentences of copy (roughly a paragraph) works really well. Humans have goldfish brains and short attention spans, and they aren’t going to hang around long enough to read through 4-5 paragraphs on your landing page.
Cut straight to the point with your landing page copy and tell us:
The title of your freebie
What people will learn or achieve with it
Instructions on how to sign up and download it
I promise, it’s not rocket science. 😊
Here’s a great landing page example from Ashlyn Carter of ashlynwrites.com. See how the copy is clear, to the point, but still compelling? That’s what we want!
Reason #4. Your freebie looks crappy.
Yep, I said it. As much as I hate to admit it (especially since I’m so not a design whiz), a lot of the time people do judge a book by its cover.
If your freebie looks totally amateur-hour, some people will automatically assume that the content inside is going to be amateur. I’m not saying that’s the truth, but a lot of these assumptions happen subconsciously and then influence people’s behavior (i.e., to download or not to download) without them even realizing it.
If you’re not an artist or graphic designer, never fear. I have just the thing that will help you design professional-looking freebies that will have your audience swooning in no time.
My friend Alysha from Basil & Bark has created the Ultimate Lead Magnet Builder (*affiliate link), a bundle of 50+ design templates for DIY-ing every sort of freebie you can imagine.
… And more! There truly is something in here for all of your freebie needs.
And the best part is that you don’t even need fancy design software to use these templates – just a free Canva account, which you can set up here.
Elevating the design of your freebie will help you and your brand appear more polished and professional, while also making your freebie extra-enticing to your potential subscribers (I mean, c’mon, everyone loves pretty stuff, right?).
Reason #5. You aren’t promoting your freebie enough.
This one’s a biggie.
You can’t just create a freebie, post about it once on your Facebook page, and then expect the masses to come running. You need to spend at least as much time promoting your freebie as you did creating it, if not more.
If you’ve been slacking on the promo, here are a few different ways to start spreading the word about your freebie so you can get more signups:
1. Promote it on your website.
Whether it’s in an announcement bar at the top of your site, a pop-up box, or front and center on your homepage (or all of the above!), your goal is to ensure that everyone who lands on your website at least has the opportunity to sign up for your freebie.
2. Talk about it on social media.
There are countless ways you can share your freebie on social media. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…. in your bios, in your posts, on live video… Make it your goal to talk about your freebie at least 2-3 times per week on social.
3. Collaborate with your peers.
Why not do a “freebie swap” with a peer in your industry where they share your freebie with their audience, and you do the same for them? This is a great (and totally free) way to get fresh eyes on your freebie.
Now, the strategies I’ve shared above are awesome — but they’re really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building your email list.
If you’re ready for more, you’ll definitely want to download my brand-new free guide, 50 Ways to Rapidly Grow Your Email List Today.
Inside this guide, I share my top 50 strategies for quickly building your email list with raving fans and future customers (pssst. 80% of these strategies can be implemented in under an hour). Click here to grab your free copy!
Tell me in a comment below:
What’s been your best-performing freebie to date? How about your worst performing freebie? What strategies from this post are you going to put into action right away?
See you in my next post!