How To Deliver an Opt-In Freebie For Free

Are you just starting out online and feeling overwhelmed about all the tools you need to start your business and the investment it takes?

I feel you.  You have a fabulous idea, everything is mapped out and ready to go. You’re pumped and excited and you start getting to work.

But then it all hits like a ton of bricks?  I have to pay for a domain, content management, social media scheduling, visual branding, and my email marketing service?

How to Deliver an Opt-In Freebie for Free

Pump the brakes.  “Man, that sucks,” you say. Feeling defeated, now where do you even start?  The plan and all that excitement is dead.

Turn that frown upside down my Squarespace using friend, because here’s the good news… I have a workaround for delivering that amazing freebie you dreamed up in your head for free (ie: you don’t HAVE TO invest money in an email marketing service just yet, but eventually you [and I] should)!

The most important thing to have in an online business is an email list.  Your email list contains your most dedicated and loyal audience members whom, if marketed to correctly, will become your best customers. Social media followings can come and go. You don't own those websites.  Facebook can shut down your account at any time.  Instagram can wipe out your posts whenever they feel like it. Coincidentally your followers on those sites - they can be gone in a second too, however, you own your list!

That is a powerful thing.

For some of us, we don’t have much money to invest in our online start-ups.  Maybe we’re a little scared to jump and take a risk because we’ve lost money on start-ups before.  Or maybe you’re doing a little experiment and trying to make something out of nothing and work your way up the online biz totem pole.  And you could be someone like me who is side hustling so that I can fund and build my dream hustle.

Whatever the reason - you know you need to start a list, but you’re not in a place to invest money and so you’re on the MailChimp free plan!  (I’m right there with you girl.)

Also known as - you can’t send autoresponder emails; which means you can’t send your opt-in freebie for free,  automatically.

My current situation is that I work a 9-5 and am a first time mom to an eight month old. And so the story goes....

  • I don’t have much time.
  • I don’t have much (spare) money.
  • I dedicate time to this site whenever, wherever I can.

Basically, my phone is my life!  Most of my copywriting is done in my Google Drive apps in between naps, lunch breaks, and wherever I can fit a minute or two.  Furthermore, I will only invest in an email marketing service when I start to do sequenced emails such as a challenge or free email course (which is coming down the pipeline shortly).

And yet, in the last month I’ve managed to increase my email subscribers by over 300%.  I attribute this to creating unique, high value content (this post on another Squarespace tutorial has the most all time traffic for my blog posts, and was published less than a month ago). 

So how do we do send out our freebies automatically and avoiding the major time suck it would be to send them out manually on Squarespace?  It’s this great little tool called the Newsletter block and I’m going to show you how to set it up, down below!   

[PS: Want the visual tutorial? Join the BIZBUILDER community and I'll send you the link in the thank you box after you click GIMME THE JUICE!]

  1. First you want to create that amazing opt-in freebie or content upgrade, right? Right!
  2. Next you to find a home for that freebie or upgrade file online.  You can either upload it to your Google Drive or Dropbox, or you can upload it into Squarespace.
  3. Add a newsletter box to your site.  You can do this in a blog post, on a sidebar and any other place on a Squarespace page that offers the newsletter box as an option.
  4. Fill in all the fields as appropriate.
  5. In the advanced section, under the post-submit message field, write in your thank you note.  In that note, include a link to the freebie or content upgrade.
    1. If you prefer to upload the file into Squarespace (opposed to Google Drive or Dropbox), when you highlight the text you want to link and click the link button a window will pop up.  In that window click Files and then click the New option (there is a plus sign) and then upload your file.
    2. If the file was previously uploaded, click the Existing option and then click on the file that you want to use.
  6. Make sure the file is highlighted (or bold).
  7. Click apply.
  8. YOU’RE DONE!!!

How simple was that?

NOTE: Please make sure your audience knows not to expect an autoresponder email with the freebie.  

For the last few blog posts, before my newsletter box, I inform readers that the link to the content upgrade will be directly in the thank you note after they hit the submit button.  I also directly state that there will be no email containing the freebie so that the are clear in the process.  

I really like this workaround for a few reasons.  Not only is it free, it saves me time from having to manually deliver my content which would be nearly impossible to keep up as I continue to grow.  Also, it speeds up the blog post process where I can implement the content upgrade process directly in Squarespace without using other business tools.

One of the “cons” that I’ve heard expressed is that your audience does not have to confirm their email subscription before they get the freebie.  And yeah - it would totally suck if someone didn’t confirm and you don’t get that subscribe.  However, if that person just wanted to the freebie - they most likely would unsubscribe anyway.  When you’re building your list you only want to have people who really love your brand and biz and so it's okay because that person would never become a customer or fan anyway. It’s their loss and it just makes more room for quality subscribes!  So if this is a concern for you, hopefully you can look at it in a positive way.

I’m sure as my list grows there will come a time where I will outgrow this process as well, and take on the more common process of delivering freebies and content upgrades via autoresponders through a PAID email marketing service plan; however, this works well for me right now.  And I’m okay with that.  I hope you will be too!

As a budding biz owner the worst thing you can do is let all these investments you feel like you need to make scare you off from starting your business! Equip yourself with the tools (some free, some not) to set you up for success that meet you right where you’re at!  And on that same point, don’t be afraid of change. As your business evolves, you need to push the limit, stretch further than your comfortable with and make room for growth if you want to get to the next level!


If you're already a BIZ BUILDER, you can access the newsletter block tutorial for Squarespace in the RESOURCE LIBRARY!