How I Grew my Email List by Thousands with a Single Freebie
*Anything marked with an asterisk is an affiliate link – I promise I only promote products I use myself!
As many of you probably know, I offer tons of opt-in freebies on my blog.
What’s an opt-in freebie?
An opt-in freebie is some sort of valuable resource that acts as a content upgrade to the free content that’s already on your site. This typically comes in the form of a worksheet, checklist, free course, tutorial, etc. However, in order to receive these freebies, readers first have to input their email addresses. The freebies then end up in their inbox and their email address ends up on your email list!
It's a win-win for everyone, which is exactly why this is the best way to grow a large, dedicated fan base.
I personally offer a resource library to my subscribers that’s filled to the brim with worksheets, checklists, templates, and cheat sheets to help other business owners and marketing managers design their own graphics and branding.
(They’re pretty bomb too, so if you don’t have access to them, sign up below. *wink wink*)
BUT, I have one freebie that is the motherlode of all freebies (drumroll please…)
This quiz allows my readers to answer multiple choice questions about their favorite colors, patterns, fonts, design styles, and a few personality- type questions, in order to match them with an overarching brand style of which they can use to design their own brand for their business or blog.
Once they’ve taken the quiz, I email them a style guide with specific instructions on how to design their brand according to the style they were matched with. These style guides give them color palette ideas, font pairing options, design resources to use, etc. It's full of super useful information and thanks to the quiz, it's all completely catered to their individual style preferences!
This quiz alone has brought in over 1/4 of my subscribers and has the highest conversion rate of all 20+ freebies offered on my blog.
That's why if you’re looking to increase your email list, a quiz is the best way to do it. Here’s why:
1. You’re offering individualized value
The best part about quizzes is that they automatically categorize your audience into groups. For me, that means my new subscribers are already segmented into six different categories. Because of this, I’m able to dive deeper within all six categories on an individualized basis because I can send category specific emails their way.
For example, if someone was matched with the sleek, modern brand style after taking my quiz, I can then send them emails about my favorite modern fonts, or where to find the best stock photos to fit their modern brand, etc. This means I’m offering WAY more individualized value to this subscriber than I would be to a generic list because I know exactly what their design style is. Genius, right?!
2. They’re fun and therefore are more engaging
Raise your hand if you’ve downloaded a free checklist and then literally never opened it afterward.
*Everyone raises hands…*
It’s okay, I have an entire folder of “these will come in handy someday and when I have time I will definitely look over them and fill them out” downloads.
But guess what? A quiz is fun and interactive, so no one will exit out of it before they’re done! Plus it adds a sense of anticipation because they don’t know what they’re going to get at the end. Essentially, quizzes are the same as Christmas morning and literally no one can say they hate the anticipation of Christmas morning.
Plus, when it’s time to get their result in their inbox, they have no choice but to open it because they have no idea what to expect inside!
It’s basically fool-proof.
3. You build a more targeted, engaged audience
Because you can give more individualized value to each person, you automatically know more about your audience. The more targeted then can be, the better you can engage with them. Better yet – the more engaged your audience is, the more likely you are to make more sales and increase your conversions rates!
The point is that quizzes offer so much more value than a typical opt-in freebie and can be used in SO many different ways!
Here are a few examples:
If you’re a food blogger, you could set up a quiz where you figure out what type of food the reader loves best. For those with a sweet tooth, send them your five favorite dessert recipes on your blog. Health nuts? Email them your best healthy recipes. You get the picture. This gets them back to your site, more engaged with your content, and builds their trust in your brand because of how helpful your content is!
Travel bloggers, set up a quiz to match them with their dream vacation. Find out what they enjoy doing, whether they’re a hot or cold climate person, what types of food they like best, then send them a guide on where they should go! Then, send them in-depth emails each week about your favorite places to visit in that city and what they need to know about them.
If you offer some sort of service, set up a quiz relating to your niche in order to assess what level of help they’re needing. Depending on what stage they’re at in their development, send them some useful resources to help them reach the next milestone. This will show them your worth, increase your expert status and keep you at the top of mind for the next time they need help in that area of their lives.
All of these examples would build a huge amount of trust between you and your reader because of the amount of individualized help and value you’re giving them. Plus these are all great ways to show that you’re an expert in your niche and the go-to person for any related help they may need in the future.
Have I sold you on using quizzes to attract an engaged audience yet? Great.
So how can you design a quiz like I did?!
Personally, I use a quiz builder called Interact* and I LOVE it. I was turned on to Interact when I saw that Tony Robbins uses it for his quizzes. And who doesn’t want to be Tony Robbins, am I right?
In all seriousness though, Interact has been a real lifesaver. Before learning of its existence I had been using a free platform that totally did not set me up for success like I needed it to. At all. It wasn’t easily customizable with my branding and had way too many workarounds to get it connected to my email marketing system. I essentially was putting some really ugly band-aids on a solution because it was free and I didn’t know there were other options out there.
The worst issue I had with the free quiz builder is that it was negatively affecting my conversion rates of gaining email addresses (which is literally the main reason I made the quiz at all, right?!).
This was because the free quiz sites don’t make it simple to connect your quiz to your email list. In order for someone to receive their style guide, they had to click a link in the description of the results page, then go to a new landing page that I had set up where they could then go and input their email.
It sounds like a lot of work just for a style guide, right?
Well, it was. It ended up being way too confusing and my conversion rates were suffering because of it. Anyone who doesn’t usually read the details of most things (ahem, me), would miss the link and wouldn't get a style guide.
What. A. Waste.
Thankfully, one day the quiz fairy appeared and *poof* all of my quiz building woes vanished.
What gives Interact fairy status? Interact fully integrates with all of the things. I’m not even kidding.
Every email marketing system known to man, plus several other analytic and campaign managers that I hadn’t even heard of until now can all be integrated into Interact’s platform with a click of a button.
After switching, nothing about the process is confusing to my audience. Once they answer the last question of the quiz, a pop up appears asking for their email address before they can see their final result.
It’s been a real lifesaver and has made a huge impact on my email list so far.
*Bonus Points*: I should also mention that Interact* also allows you to use your brand colors and logo within the quiz in order to brand it to your site. You then just embed the quiz into a web page and voila! Everyone thinks you’re a fancy coder who just built a quiz into your website.
For any of you who want to try out Interact*, I have good news! They offer a free trial, so there is no real reason not to at least check it out, right??
Learn from my mistakes people! Don’t use the crappier free versions out there. They don’t work for list building and that’s literally why you'd put the quiz together in the first place.