How to Deliver a Lead Magnet or Optin Freebie Easily

Last modified on 24th October, 2018

How to deliver a lead magnet or optin freebies easily #deliverleadmagnet #sendfreebieOne of the most asked questions by bloggers who started their email list is how to deliver a lead magnet or opt-in freebie to their new email subscribers.

Whether you are offering a free ebook, PDF guide, cheat sheet, printables, templates – offering lead magnets or opt-in freebies is a great way to grow your email subscribers faster.

However, figuring out how to tie your free download to your opt-in form can be confusing.

You don’t want your lead magnets to be like others which fail to deliver the promise to new subscribers.

You can jump through hoops trying to figure out how to actually send that free PDF guide to your new subscribers…


You can read this post and learn how to do it quickly!

So, in today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the whole process from creating your opt-in form, hosting your file along with the tools you can use to deliver your lead magnet.

Sounds good? OK let’s get started!

Related: If you haven’t started your email list yet, check out the following guide:

How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now


How to deliver a lead magnet/optin freebie

So how does a lead magnet delivery works?

Depending on how many opt-in offers you have, there are many ways to do this. Each has its own pros and cons.

The two solutions I’m going to share below are pretty straightforward.

In addition, I’ve also included a bonus delivery method because, why not? :)

To deliver a lead magnet, the basic idea is to include a download link in the email you send to your new subscribers immediately after they signed up.

The key is to automate the process so that you’ll only have to set it up once and let your email marketing provider do the hard work.

I am going to use MailerLite as an example here.

If you’re starting out, I recommend using MailerLite because their automation feature is free (unlike some other email service providers that will charge an extra for this feature).

Either way, the processes should be quite similar whether you are using MailChimp, ConvertKit, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign or other.


Where to host your lead magnet file?

MailerLite doesn’t offer file hosting so you’ll have to upload your file to your website via FTP or WordPress Media Library.

To upload your file in WordPress, just go to Media > Library > Add New.

hosting lead magnet file

The downside of using the built-in WordPress Media Library is that each time you update and re-upload the file, the URL will change according to the current date.

While there’s a way to fix that,  it’s just adding an unnecessary step into the process.

You can avoid this by uploading the file via FTP to a folder on your server.

Alternatively, you can use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or other online cloud storage.

If you use Google Drive, just upload the file as usual and get the shareable link to include in your delivery email.

share file link google drive

Just make sure the “anyone with the link can view” option is set to prevent anyone with an access get editing privileges.


Method #1: Email the freebie after the new subscriber opt-in

This method sends an email containing the download link (not as an attachment) to your new subscribers.

Method #1 entails the followings:

  1. Creating an opt-in form – offer a lead magnet/free stuff for joining your email list.
  2. Creating an automation workflow – triggers your autoresponder to send out an automatic email when a subscriber joins your email list.
  3. Create your autoresponder email  – which contains a link or button to download the freebie.

This method is ideal if you:

  • have got only one lead magnet to deliver.
  • want to deliver lead magnet via email and not from a download page
  • want to create multiple lead magnets/opt-in freebies for different blog posts/categories.
  • have a single opt-in. Single opt-in adds the subscriber’s email into the list immediately. While double opt-in requires the subscribers to confirm their email address. You can learn more about the differences between a single opt-in vs. double opt-in here.

How to enable/disable double opt-in in MailerLite

You can use Method #1 with both single opt-in or double opt-in.

At the moment, I am using Method #1 with double opt-in enabled for all my lead magnet deliveries.

In order to enable double opt-in, login to your MailerLite account and select “Subscribe settings” from the menu on the right:

enable or disable double opt-in


You can choose ON/OFF for your double opt-in. In addition, you can also edit your Confirmation Email, along with the Confirmation Thank You page.

Keep in mind that you can also use your own thank you page by directing new subscribers to a landing page (that is your lead magnets/freebies download page) in your blog.

We are going to implement the landing page option in Method #2.

For now, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to implement Method #1.

1. Create an opt-in form

Please refer to my start an email list post to create an opt-in form. Pay attention to step #3 where I show how to create an opt-in form with MailerLite.

Once you’ve added your lead capture form, come back here and continue to the next step below.

I’ll wait :)

2. Create an automation workflow

MailerLite automation workflow allows you to create a series of emails.

For this example though, we just need to create one email. This is an autoresponder email which is sent automatically when a new subscriber joins your list.

Here’s how to do it:

Login to MailerLite, then click Automation > Create a new workflow

autoresponder automation

On the next page:

  1. Name your workflow – for this example, I called mine “Lead Magnet Delivery”
  2. Set the Trigger – select “When subscriber joins a group”

setup workflow trigger

Two new options will appear after you selected a trigger.

  1. Select an existing group or create a new one.
  2. Check this box if you want to resend the email for subscribers who rejoin the same group in the future.
  3. Click Save.

email automation setup


Next, we will add the first step to the automation workflow.

To do so, click on the + button then click the Email icon.

email autoresponder workflow


The next page involves the following steps:

  1. Write a subject line – you can include personalization and emojis if appropriate
  2. Add sender details
  3. Design the whole email
  4. Check this box if you want to enable link tracking with Google Analytics. I always enable this for tracking purpose.

autoresponder email details


To write the email content, click the “Design email” email (in step 3 above) and you can start creating your autoresponder email.

3. Create your autoresponder email

The final step is to create your autoresponder email.

Here’s how one of my lead magnet delivery emails looks like.

lead magnet freebies email example

Keep it brief and to the point – after all, they opted in to enjoy your offer right way.

Give an indication that more updates are coming their way.

I’d recommend sending out your actual welcome email the next day. This will allow you to connect and build a relationship with new subscribers.

This is crucial to get them to familiarize with you which might increase future email open-rates.

For now, make sure the automation workflow is ON.

email automation

That’s it, you are done!

Test the process by signing up using a secondary email (you can always unsubscribe later).

Or you can ask a friend to go through the signup process and ask for their opinion.

With this method, you can send a different email for each lead magnet that you offer.

You just have to set up a different workflow that sends out a unique email depending on which lead magnet they signed up for.


Method #2: Direct the new subscriber to a download page

For this method, you’ll have to create a download page for your blog.

Like in method #1, you must upload the file to your website or to an online cloud storage.

  • Create an opt-in form – offer a lead magnet/free stuff for joining your email list.
  • Turn on double opt-in
  • Send the confirmed subscriber to your download page or download the opt-in incentive immediately

This is a good option if you:

  • have more than one resources to offer, then creating a static download page/resource library/vault is the way to go.
  • want to encourage further engagement (like share your other content or invite others to subscribe)
  • only offer one freebie and want it to start downloading right after they click the confirmation link

Let’s go through the steps in detail.

1. Create an opt-in form

You can refer to my start an email list post to help create your opt-in form. Pay attention to step #3 where I show how to create one with MailerLite.

Once you’ve added your lead capture form, come back here and continue to the next step below.

2. Turn on double opt-in

Please refer to the previous section above: How to enable/disable double opt-in in MailerLite.

When a double opt-in is enabled, the subscriber will get a confirmation email containing a link or button to confirm his/her email address.

In MailerLite, you can design your confirmation email via your Profile > Subscribe settings > Confirmation email

optin confirmation email example


Few things to keep in mind when designing your confirmation email:

  • Keep it simple – you don’t want to distract the user with unnecessary text or graphical elements.
  • Make it obvious – use a large, descriptive text for your call-to-action button or link
  • Remind them that they won’t get the freebie/lead magnet if they don’t confirm their email address.
  • Use your brand design – if you use a certain colour for your brand, use it. You can also place your logo in the header.

When you click on the confirmation link or button, you will be directed to the Confirmation Thank You page which we will design next.

Still with me? :)

3. Send subscribers to your download page or download the lead magnet immediately

For this third step, you can either send the new subscriber to your download page or initiate the download to start automatically after they clicked the confirmation link.

The easiest way to deliver your lead magnet is by including the download link in the Confirmation Thank You page. This page is hosted on MailerLite server so you don’t have to create one manually.

To do this, click on the Confirmation Thank You page then Edit Content.

download link subscription confirmation

If you want more control or customize the download page further, you can create a new page in WordPress and send your new subscribers to it.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Add a new page to your blog
    create landing page
    You can try making this page attractive or add more elements to encourage further engagement.You can easily create an engaging and good-looking landing page using tools like Thrive Architect.Thrive Architect is a drag-and-drop landing page editor that comes with 270 beautifully designed templates. It’s the tool that I use to create my own landing pages.Here are some example templates that you can customize to match your blog:
    thrive architect landing pageThere are tons of other features that can help you to quickly build professional looking homepage and landing pages fast and convert visitors into customers or email subscribers.
  2. Take note of the page URL and then enter it into the “Or use your own landing page” text box and then click Save.
    use your own landing page

What if you don’t want to create a landing page and want the freebie to start downloading immediately after the subscriber clicked the confirmation link?

Easy, just replace your landing page URL with your download link.

However, I would only suggest using this direct download method if you’re offering only one lead magnet, like a catch-all freebie type.

That’s it, you are done!


How to password protect your download page

If you are offering valuable resources/files in your download page, you may want to password protect your download page. This ensures only your subscribers have exclusive access to your lead magnets and opt-in freebies.

Using a simple password that is easy for your subscribers to remember should be good enough. Include it in your welcome or confirmation email.

To password protect your lead magnet download page in WordPress:

  1. Edit the page you want to password protect
  2. Under the Publish section in the top left corner, click the Edit link next to the Visibility setting.
  3. Select Password protected and enter your password.

password protect wordpress page


Bonus Method: Automatically send download links/pdf to new subscribers right from your WordPress interface

How do you send a PDF or any other file automatically to your new subscribers without creating autoresponder email at your email service provider?

The answer: by using the Asset Delivery feature in Thrive Leads.

Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin that helps you create beautiful and compelling opt-in forms that will convert better than the average forms.

It’s the one I use to design all my opt-in forms at Sabahan.com.

The Asset Delivery feature in Thrive Leads allows you to associate one or more downloadable files with any opt-in forms you create in Thrive Leads.

This method is ideal:

  • If you want a quick and easy way to set up lead magnet delivery right from within your WordPress admin interface.
  • You don’t want to set up a separate list or a separate autoresponder email at your email service provider.
  • If you offer content upgrades – content upgrades are opt-in offers specific to a single blog post.
  • If you don’t want to set up a new group, new automation etc for each offer.
  • You want to free up your email delivery service and only use it to send out your actual newsletters.

To learn how the Asset Delivery works, you can watch the following video:

You can read more about Thrive Leads Asset Delivery here.



There you have it!

That’s how to deliver a lead magnet or opt-in freebie.

Now it’s time to take action.

Start transforming your opt-in freebie ideas into reality.

Learn how to create a lead magnet then use the tools I’ve talked about to deliver them and keep your subscribers engaged.

If there’s anything that I’ve missed or unclear in the article, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!


An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

  • Patricia says:

    Thank you !!! This is very insightful blog post

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