How to Tie a Download to Your Opt-In Form
By Justin Premick January 25, 2007
One of the questions we get a lot is about how to offer a bonus or download to people who sign up to an email list.
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 technique is that it makes things easier on the subscriber, by immediately giving them the file, rather than having them 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 email@example.com?
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. Here’s how you can tie a download to your opt-in form:
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).
2. You may want to refer to our pointers on helping subscribers verify.
3. Put the download on another page of your site, and redirect people there after confirming.
4. Include a link to that download page in your autoresponder message also, for subscribers who may have accidentally closed the download page after confirming.
Start giving content to those who deserve it
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. Say bye, bye, bye to freeloaders and hello to loyal subscribers!
Need help writing those free download emails? Sign up for the free “What to Write” Guide and get access to these email content templates and more!