What subscriber-only giveaways do you use to grow your email list?


What reports or giveaways do you use to grow your email list and which ones have worked the best?

Free email report

My blog is all about self-improvement for the body, mind, spirit and life. I’ve been giving away my free 57 Tools To Boost Your Brain Report, which ties into my book, Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself.

But that report is not working too well. I’m wondering if the “57 tools” scares people away because it is such a large number. I do clearly state that it the report is free. Anyway, I’m now working on developing the Happiness Checklist, which I hope will work better.

So, what works/doesn’t work for you?



  1. Hello Harry,

    Oh Yeh 57 tools about anything would scare me away, I do think your Happiness Checklist should do much better.

    But I am not an expert on this subject that is for sure.

    I actually put together a free report The Ultimate Game Plan For Online Entrepreneurs and thought this title would draw everyone in.

    I got like 6 people in a month, so the next month I posted a PDF my girlfriend made with my 10 Affirmations in it! I got another 10 subscribers.

    Then a few weeks ago my sons uncovered my video course I put together on my old hard drive. So I put this together and added this as my giveaway thinking this was it.

    Well I have got “1” subscriber in a week.

    So I guess what I am saying is it is all about testing! Perhaps you can try your Happiness Checklist for a while and then go back to your 57 Tools.

    Who knows it may just work next time.

    Hope this helps

    Chery :))
    Chery recently posted…3 Simple Steps To Help With Your Retirement PlanMy Profile

  2. Hi Harry. I am 100% with Chery here… 57 is a huge number and does not sound like “a quick fix”…

    My most successful freebie is a 3 page report. It features the 5 most important questions people have to ask themselves before moving to Costa Rica (my blog is about living in Costa Rica).

    For each question I have an explanation why they have to think about… In a way I am responding to the questions…

    But that’s it. An easy read und super easy to create 😉

    I learned that years ago when I created a free report called “250 steps checklist for a better blog”. I was convinced that it a huge value but it was too much.

  3. Hi!

    Depending on the market you are tapping. If most of your readers are new, then a smaller commitment would be best. They are basically giving you something small in exchange for something small.

    They can digest is faster like that.

    I also like mixing it up with a subscriber only page with tools, bonus videos and even a group chat. Instead of the regular cheatsheet or free ebook.

    That has worked for me in many cases in different niches.
    Dennis Seymour recently posted…The 2 Sides of Guest Posting: I’m on the “It Works” Side, How About You?My Profile

  4. Hi Harry,
    The free 57 Tools To Boost Your Brain Report might not have made the required impact because of the market as commented by @denseymour.

    If the market or audience is new then such a report would be difficult to digest.

    However, success with online giveaways can be achieved with constant testing.

    Perhaps you should do A/B testing with the new title Happiness Checklist!

  5. Hi Harry,
    I am working on something as a giveaway and it is a good thing joining this discussion. Your question is important because answers can be “borrowed” 😉 to provide a workable giveaway to subscribers.
    On your experience with the free report.

    I will not agree that “57 Tools” used is one factor that causes its failure, I am thinking you should revisit your copywriting structure. The promotional copies or methods of promoting the free report could be problem! This is my take!

  6. Hi Harry,
    Your question is thought-provoking, especially for someone who has been trying to make impact with freebies to attract subscribers.

    Your experience is remarkable but the truth remains that every ” hopeful” free giveaway campaign will fail if it doesn’t meet with the needs of the readers.

    It is possible your 57 Tools To Boost Your Brain Report did not do well because it didn’t meet the needs of the target audience.

    I am not too keen laying the blame of the failure on the title “57” Yes, the figure could be overwhelming but I have seen worse titled free reports make better impacts – especially when it comes to the authority of the writer!

    It would be cool to try “Happiness Checklist”. Perhaps, this will give you the breakthrough you deserve.

    I haven’t published any free report as a giveaway yet but I am writing from experience of what I have come to know in the last couple of years!
    Sunday William recently posted…What Quality Is BEST SALEABLE If You Plan To Sell Your Online Business?My Profile

  7. Hi Harry!

    What I highly recommend you to do – is Test. Or “Split-Test”, rather.

    Try different Titles for your Free Reports and also try different types of Lead Magnets.

    We can’t really say what exactly will work best for you – because of the simple fact that how an Audience responds varies from individual to individual.

    So, what would work best for me – would not necessarily work best for you.

    But, what I can provide you with are the Basics and the Fundamental things to do – to help you increase your Conversion Rates.

    One thing that always works – for everyone – is Split Testing. And just testing everything in general.

    If you are using an Auto-Responder Service (most likely you are), then you can use their Built-In Analytic Tools to track everything.

    Look at the numbers – tweak and change things around on your pages – and keep on tracking every number.

    Eventually, you will start to see what works best for the type of people who come to your site.

    The lead magnets that I know work best are;

    – Free “How Tos” and “List” Reports
    – Informational Video Series
    – Very Specific Piece of Information
    – A Free Membership Account to Access Content

    Try a variety of lead magnets – and always split test and track everything to see what works best for your traffic.

    Hope this helps!

    Keep up the great work Harry!

    Cheers! 😀
    Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…Why Are You Not Making Money with Your eCommerce Site?My Profile

  8. Hi Harry,

    I’ve always wondered whether there was something better that I could give away to entice a site visitor to part with their Email address.

    Hence, when I saw your Blog post title I dived right in for a read.

    Here are my thoughts after I read this post.

    Your title – 57 Tools To Boost Your Brain – did not trigger an
    – Hey! I must have this document – moment with me.

    If I were suffering from depression, I’d find the number 57 to trigger a reaction like:
    – Yeah right, I’m depressed. I have to read about 57 unknown tools, really?. Let me go someplace else, AND you’ve lost a lead.

    There also is nothing mentioned about exactly how I’d benefit if I took the trouble, checked up on, and implemented, some or all of the 57 tools.

    Simply put, a specific, clear – Outcome that benefits me – has not been specified in this give away title.

    What if you titled your free give away as:

    – Yes! YOU can boost your brain power.
    My FREE eBook delivers heaps of terrific content that you can use to transform your mind to lead you Upwards and Outwards.
    Click Here To Download

    The title of the give away delivers a positive message.
    The title’s description specifies and outcome.
    When anyone clicks on the Call To Action, i.e. Click Here To Download they will be taken to your landing page and asked to share their Email Address in exchange.

    To answer your question: So, what works/doesn’t work for you?
    I’ll take the – What works road.

    An arresting title for your freebie
    A brief but terrific description, specifying a positive outcome
    An irresistible call to action

    Has always delivered conversions from site visitors to leads, for me.

    Hope this helps.
    Ivan Bayross recently posted…Understanding User Intent The Way Search Engines DoMy Profile

  9. Hi Harry

    For me it is not really the number of tips. It is where the tips are. Giving away e-books is really not today anymore. It is not even last year.

    Yes it is hard work and 57 tools can only be seen as value in anybody’s language. However it is in a book. I mean who reads books these days?

    I had a look at your landing page and it looks great. I have a feeling it will work better than your e-book.

    Of course, today the ultimate is something that talks back and offers little moving pictures on the screen. Blab and Periscope are the flavors of the day. I think it is a good idea to tap into that.

    Letters and pictures just do not cut it anymore. People want movement. They want to press buttons and make little hearts fly all across the screen. Even people with grey hair get a kick out of it.

    Another attention grabber that is popular these days is free one on one training for 30 minutes on Skype. Thirty minutes is not too bad and you can talk back. I see more and more coaches doing that.

    Back to your question: Did it work for me? I don’t know. I still have an e-book. What I do know is that it doesn’t work.

    Soon I will be part of the Blab crowd. I have no other choice.

  10. Hi Redtiger,

    Well said.

    I agree, today people do so love to see:

    People want movement. They want to press buttons and make little hearts fly all across the screen. Even people with grey hair get a kick out of it.

    Blab and Periscope and your laptop’s video cam and microphone are gaining in importance every day. There is no escaping that.

    BUT (Ah! you are clairvoyant, you knew that was coming 🙂

    There is another whole section of the planet, India, Australia, NewZeeland, Multiple other Asian countries where the Internet bandwidth is not so hot and the video medium alone is a deal blocker.

    They have the money to pay. They are hungry for value add information.

    In this space, terrific images, great copy, downloadable PDF’s work like a dream.

    The whole idea of making an income via the Internet is earning money without boundaries. At least this is my opinion.

    To access global markets, with product or service offerings, and get an income driven via PayPal or Stripe keep a neat balance of content.

    Images, Copy, Podcasts and Video.
    Ivan Bayross recently posted…Try Not To Gasp When You Read These 20 Ways To Stay A Mediocre BloggerMy Profile

    • Hi Harry and Ivan

      Thanks for your responses.

      I can see you have noticed but just to clear up in case somebody doesn’t: my comment was tongue in cheek. I wanted to stir the pot a little and I am glad you came out in defense of the book.

      In fact if you asked me what I prefer I would have to choose the book because you can at anytime go back to anything you may want to read again.

      A product in text form is still the best learning tool.

      Of course there is still a place for the book. In fact demand is growing. Just think of Kindle.

      Harry, I hope your new-look product is going well. It is a good compromise between giving value and keeping up with the demands of an impatient market.

      Ivan you are of course right about Internet bandwidth. Mine is not too hot either here in Africa and I hate it when I have to learn something from videos. I usually download them which is a time waster.

      Will I really tip a toe into Periscope or Blab? I am not sure. I don’t like flying hearts anyway. Well-mannered bearts beat, they don’t fly.

      I think they are the flavor of the day that will go stale quickly. Yet, while they are hot, why not use them – in addition to the e-book, not instead of it?

      Stay well

  11. Hi Harry!

    I don’t completely agree that the number 57 is the culprit here. It could be many factors:

    – Your squeeze page design – I know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in the marketing world, it helps when it looks “pretty” sometimes.

    – The wording: maybe you could try something along the lines of: “57 EASY steps to turbocharge your brain”? People want free, but they also want easy. Most people are too lazy to put in the effort these days.

    – You could also think benefit: what is boosting their brain going to do for them? This is something you may want to consider. For example, I have a freebie in one of my blogs offering a free huge graphic pack full of templates etc and in the title I have something like: “so you don’t have to hire a graphic designer” that’s the benefit of this.

    I hope this helps 🙂
    The Dot Com Gal recently posted…What Would You Do If You Had To Start All Over Again? 5err Enigma Review & InterviewMy Profile

  12. Hey Harry,

    I can totally get why you came up with the copy for your lead gen. However, I think it’s still not specific enough.

    Think about what your audience wants most. Do they want to clear their mind? Do they want to have a better memory?

    I think “brain boosting” and “turbocharging” your brain is not really specific enough. I don’t know the benefits this eBook will give me.

    Also “tools” is unspecific to me. Are you talking about tips or app recommendations?

    So I would change the copy and specifically these 2 things:

    1. Who is this for? Speak to your target audience.
    2. What am I getting out of this? What’s the benefit?

    If you address these 2, I’m pretty confident you’ll see more signups.

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted…Do You Leverage These Swiping Secrets To Make Your Web Copy More Effective?My Profile

  13. Hi Harry,

    First, I’ll share what I’m doing and then I have a suggestion…

    I offer my full eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing”.

    It starts as a pop-up and says;

    “Learn what your customers want and get my highly popular eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing” for FREE! Thousands of others have read it and used the principles in this book to change their businesses forever!”

    In six weeks, I’ve had over 1,000 subscribers and 20 new consulting or coaching clients.

    With that said, I think that title needs to be changed. I don’t understand what it means and why I should get it; or what I’m going to learn from it.

    If someone doesn’t understand why you’re relevant to their problems/needs/desires they will not opt-in.

    Hope that thelps!

    ~ Don
    Don Purdum recently posted…How To Build a Valuable Website that is ProfitableMy Profile

  14. RE:57 Tools To Boost Your Brain Report

    Harry, part of your problem might be copyright based or failure to pinpoint
    a narrowly targeted audience.

    First the copyright or ad text issue. Have you ever tried “FEAR” as a motivation to download your report and subscribe to your list?

    “Want to avoid early dementia? Download my 57 Tools To Boost Your Brain Report immediately.”

    “Is your memory fading? Can’t remember names too well? Download my 57 Tools To Boost Your Brain Report immediately.”

    OK. I’m sure you get the idea. Single out one or two of the tools(See tool #17) as particularly relevant. Stoke the curiosity factor.

    Also, do you have any subscriber testimonials? These should be particularly effective. What’s your experience?

    Second, are you a member of any relevant Facebook or Google+ groups that are focused on self improvement or aging?

    Contribute meaningful content before you link to your report. Let us know what happens with this approach.

    Best of success.
    Robert A Kearse recently posted…

    Make Money Online With 15 Powerful And
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  15. Hello Harry,

    I will talk about my experience from the side of the subscriber.

    These days I am not so much interested in the same ebooks given away by everyone.

    Everyone offering the same types of ebooks to get subscribers, usually same old PLR ebooks.

    I think it’s better now to offer something more, to get subscribers.

    Just PDF ebooks or reports might not be enough anymore, at least for me.

  16. Hey Harry,

    The subscriber-only giveaway that works will depend on what resonates with the audience.

    If the demography of the audience has been perfectly studied it would be easy to create and distribute a product which will appeal to their attention.

    It doesn’t matter whether the term “FREE” is included in the offer or not. The benefits that would be derived would always be appealing factor!

  17. Hey Harry,

    I have not really made any report to grow traffic from list building. However, it would be a great a try.

    Majority of the responses from this discussion are revealing. I will truly like to learn how giveaways like reports will help to draw and consolidate my online traffic.

  18. Hey Harry,

    I offer free ebook to build and grow my list. It has been effective especially when there is unique and epic information.

    Subscribers wants value and once your giveaway can offer that value easily then growing the list becomes easier.

  19. Hi Harry

    I would suggest that anything that covers upto 10 would work. I think the attention span of people now is so low that just the mention of ’57’ is a turn off. (Although I think 57 has something to do with Heinz beans?)

    You could try 3, 5, 10. I was recently looking for some ideas about WordPress membership plugins and any results that had more than 10 in their title I ignored. I was especially drawn to titles like ‘The 3 Best Membership Plugins for WordPress’.

    Just some thoughts anyway

  20. Hi Harry,

    I would have to agree with everyone else that 57 is a bit intimidating. People tend to like quick and easy solutions even though they aren’t always realistic.

    They don’t want to do too much work.

    Hopefully you are having better luck with the happiness checklist. That sounds like a winner to me. 😉

    Take care Harry,