How to Tie a Download to Your Opt-In Form

One of the questions we get a lot is about how to offer a bonus or download to people who sign up to a list.

Here’s an example from a recent support ticket:

I have your opt-in on my page, but how do I offer a download e.g. a PDF, and then only make it available AFTER they give me their 1st name & email address in the opt-in form?

So what’s the best way to do this?

Not Protecting Your Downloads: A Common Mistake

A lot of people still put the download on their thank-you page, so that after visitors fill out the web form, they can get the file directly on that page.

One justification I hear for this is that it makes things easier on the subscriber, by immediately giving them the file, rather than them having to go check their inbox. And that’s true, it is the fastest way to get it in their hands.

But here’s the catch: if all I have to do is fill something in the form to get to the download, what’s stopping me from putting a fake address, like

Nothing at all. And while it may not seem like something that people do, the truth of the matter is that we see thousands of such bogus web form submissions every day.

Secure Your Download

So, you need to make sure that the people who are getting that download are actually subscribers.

  1. On your thank-you page, instruct them to check their email and confirm their address (by clicking on the link that appears in the confirmation message).

    You may want to refer to our pointers on helping subscribers verify.

  2. Put the download on another page of your site, and redirect people there after confirming.
  3. Include a link to that download page in your autoresponder message also, for subscribers who may have accidentally closed the download page after confirming.

Now, not only are you providing that download/bonus to subscribers, you’re ensuring that you collect a valid email address for each of them.

And you’re giving them two chances to get the download.